The Porter (2022) s01e03 Episode Script

Episode 3

Miss Queenie, I had no idea any of this was touching your territory.
Means the only business that remains is how you plan to make this right.
Let me use the trains to run numbers for ya.
Pay and part ways.
Boys like ours, they need more help than we know how to give.
Eli is pulling us off our regular route.
He seems to think that we can do just as well On de bullion street.
None of these folks are gonna donate to anything besides their own vices.
Who let these preachers in? You all right? I think you're a diabetic.
Who's this Johnson? Rumour is he's looking for a dancer to go along.
He chose Corrine.
You need to leave Mr.
Senior Executive.
But I have some friends from prep school.
They hold a salon every few weeks.
If I wanted to get the porters into a union that purposely excludes them, what's the first thing I should do? Always go for the head.
You have to go to the labour board in Ottawa.
They're the ones with the sway to change things for everybody.
Think if I have to spend the rest of my life vowing and smiling at people rather spit in my face than see me as human, then killing me would be a kindness.
Zeke? Zeke! Didn't no one teach you to knock? I-I did.
I was wondering if you had a spare polish brush? Fellas in my room say it get more tips than a rag.
Best shine takes both.
You know Tuffy, one of these days you have to spend your own money on your own supplies.
One of these days I'll have to do better than break even so I can.
Well that's the nail on the head ain't it? I talked to the head of the union, now they plan to get us into the CBRE.
- You're dreamin' Zeke.
- Hey Zeke.
No way those white boys let us in their union.
Well it ain't about what they want, it's about what they need, and what they need is numbers.
See, now if I could get enough names and dudes from the porters, then I can show the labour board that we ready to be union men.
Okay, okay, but what good's a union to me? Well the same thing it is to them.
Higher wages, breaks on back-to-back runs, and paid time and a half on holidays.
Now if every man on that train is union, well the company can't move down one inch of track un Track of what? Unless what? Zeke, you all right? Yeah.
What's wrong? Oh, you go on ahead without me.
Come on, man, we're going Go on, Tuffy.
Shouldn't you be getting a move on? You know I'm cooking up something special for you tonight, Mrs.
Promises promises.
Rose asked if you would put that in the post for her boy.
The address is on the pamphlet.
She made one for us too, so don't go pinching your way through his.
Black cake? You ever feel like a place like this could be good for Teddy? I'm not sending my son to an asylum.
If it helps our boy who cares what they call it? He's just a baby, Junior.
And then one day, sooner than we want, he's gonna be all grown up.
When that boy steps foot out on St.
Antoine they ain't gonna see a baby, Marlene.
They gon' see a nigger not playing by the rules.
And then what? You'll put that in the post? Sure.
You all right? I know you have your routes to attend to, so I won't keep you long.
I wanna say what an honour it is to be representing the good people of St.
Antoine At our upcoming convention.
We may be the smallest chapter in attendance, but with a more concerted effort, I don't see a reason in the world we couldn't get brother Garvey's notice.
Ah, what kind of effort? Well, it's less effort and more efficiency, sister.
For example, minimal socializing would increase the amount of visitations, thereby creating an overall increase in donations and membership.
Given that you've had so much success at your earlier posting, perhaps brother Eli, you would be good enough to accompany sister Gwen and I on our route today.
Help us to identify any areas of inefficiency.
Well, I'm, ah Sure you good ladies wouldn't want me under foot.
Oh, you would be no such thing.
And what a testament it would be to brother Garvey, to know that he has men who lead by example.
Well, it would be my pleasure.
You got a little something on your face.
Fuck you, Massey.
Don't be like that! Looks good on you.
Old bread and cold soup.
I'm tellin' you, every dog has it's day, and one day that dog will get bite.
Serious bite is what de man get.
Think the fellas would be behind that? I mean, them white workers' food comes fresh and free.
We-we pay out of pocket for-for this right here.
If we got into the union, Junior We have to talk about this shit right now? I ain't asking you to stand on a soapbox, Junior.
I-I just need a few porters who ain't so set against it.
And I need to go to that labour board with an army by my side.
Well, feel free to take the milk but I'm gonna take the cream.
Oh, so you think you got claim to a top crew? You goddamn right.
And I gotta settle this situation with Queenie to get this lottery up and running.
I need 'em just as bad as you but I ain't gonna wait for you to get 'em Nigger, you gonna have to wait.
Really? You know what? What? May the best man win, Zeke.
I will.
Now I'm telling you, it ain't that far fetched.
It's about the details.
Specifically, not fucking 'em up.
The company exploits every worker, black and white.
If you really want change, well you got to Keep your mouth shut.
You get questioned, you know nothing.
You get stopped, you know no one.
Especially not me.
I mean, don't y'all deserve to lay your head down after they have you on your feet eighteen hours? Here's how it works.
Pick three numbers, place your bet.
The draw's every three days.
cash on bet, no exceptions.
The runner picks up once a week, bet slips included.
And, uh, last three numbers on the stock total take the win.
Any man working on my team gets a piece of the action.
Look, Stanley.
I know you joined the welfare committee to make things better for us, but we both know that ain't happening.
Ain't it time that we-we-we tried a different tactic? Ladies! Are you serving tea or having it? My apologies, Mr.
Sorry Zeke, but I tried that fight and almost lost my job.
I try it again, I might get deported.
Stanley, I hope Lady in car 3 gave me the local rundown.
Belleville's got three hot spots to keep the locals coming.
A barbershop, a supply store, and a diner.
Now the boys gonna keep us covered while we're gone but we gotta lock the location fast.
What happens if we miss the train? I catch a bullet.
Whoo! Ladies, can we slow down? Easy! Easy there.
I know what you're doing and it's not one bit funny.
If that man wants to come here setting rules for what we do, he should know what that entails.
So this has nothing to do with vengeance for him punishing us? Well, I didn't say that.
I hope it's not all like this.
Untrained nurses playing doctor.
We teach nutrition like we're supposed to.
But sometimes people need help they can't get anywhere else.
Just relax.
At least Marlene comes from healing people, three generations.
Healing hands or not, if this Gwen! You're about to be a mama.
These the people you're looking to keep company with? It's bigger than them, Junior.
No it's not.
I mean, how you gonna sell these charleys as a solution when they're the whole goddamn problem.
Not very well, apparently.
Guessing you got your cream crew together? It's not complicated, Zeke.
What I offer these boys is not "one day maybe", it is in their hands right now.
Only you gotta risk your neck with a gangster for it.
Calculated risk you can measure.
But this union shit you're talkin', now that's danger.
Look, you want my help getting the boys in the room, I'll get 'em in the room.
The rest is on you.
What the hell happened to him? Look like the dog get bite.
Gwen will stay and finish up.
So much to do and so little time, brother Eli, keep up.
Can we kindly cut the shit, sister Massey? I had no more say in my appointment than you did the appointed man, but don't you think it's time we, we stopped testing each other? The U.
A is quite clear on the role of its nurses.
Educate our people on good health.
Enlighten them to I didn't start out delivering babies and tending to broken bones.
But when you're faced with that kind of need, how are you supposed to turn your back on that? What does this have to do with the U.
A? Brother Garvey says that we are supposed to create our own opportunities.
Why should our people walk miles to a city hospital that shuts the door in their face whenever the mood strikes? We need our own clinics.
If you would just look at my plans You know there's a reason why you're in the uniform and I'm in the suit! There are roles to be obeyed Marlene, and I strongly suggest you start playing yours.
You know brother Garvey's promoted a woman to the top spot.
Head of International Organization.
Henrietta? That-that-that is pure public relations.
Or maybe the line between suits and uniforms is thinning out.
Brother Garvey will promote whoever he wishes, wherever he wishes.
But I am his emissary in St.
And my answer is "no".
Well, O'Dell's diner's out.
I think you might've caught a bad steer on this one Junior.
Nah Glenford.
I got a good feeling about this next place.
Even so, come on.
C'mon, man.
We gotta find some gamblers.
Guess gon' see if you're gonna make some money.
Money business.
What you want? I think the question is, what do you need? And how much money you need to get it? All right.
Which one of you brothers wants a free shoe shine, huh? And from what I can tell, the numbers game you runnin' down here is small and spotty.
Well if by 'small and spotty' you mean crooked as all hell.
And that's exactly it.
What I'm offering is something more solid, backed by a well established Chicago enterprise.
Pssh, that so? That's so, big man.
Come on now, you know it sounds good.
There's no betting on credit, but a three-number-play gives you all kind of chances.
You wasting my time, brother.
How long you think before this whole place is an echo, huh? Oh, you concerned about my welfare now porter? Yes, sir, I am.
Well from what I can tell, you boys is the only ones out here with steady work.
Now I'm guessing none of your brothers get to cut the line when the job at the mill opens up.
It's not right.
Is it right? No.
Brother man, is it right? You're goddamn right it isn't right.
But you cut a win on our numbers play, that's a week's easy pay without coughing up black dust.
Man, if you can afford to turn down this kind of opportunity that's your prerogative.
But if I were you If I was you I would know how deep the water was before I jumped in it.
Folks around here ain't got a pot to piss in, and here you come with your full belly asking people to spend what little they got.
You got off at the wrong station for that porter.
Hey Clarence, we too late to place our bets? Come on, man.
I got my numbers and everything.
Alright baby, let's put us both out our misery.
This ain't for you.
And shame on the liar who told you that it was.
Next! Your horse-face up there hoofin'.
What is this? Look, Corrine is gone and the show must go on.
But not with you girl, come, no! Next! Please! Show me somethin'.
Send these dumb doras home already.
I mean, with me on the job you get the whole song and dance.
And you don't have to set foot outside the saint to get it.
You askin' or you tellin'? If anyone's got a right to that stage it's me.
I've been here longer than anyone.
And Lord knows I'm better than everyone.
So you telling Again.
So let me tell you something Lucy-Mae.
See all them girls lined up here waiting for their opportunity? They've been here since before the sun come up this morning.
So if you want yours, the line ends at the door.
Next girl, please! Show me somethin'! So what's the plan for Kingston? You cover the train, Glen and me gon' hit the next spot.
Massey! Ma'am.
Car nine has a real proper pain in the ass that needs attending to.
It's not my car.
That's not my problem.
I got five porters missing.
All of them facing down a shitload of demerits when I get my hands on them.
You wouldn't happen to know where they are, Mr.
Massey? I'll see to the car right now Mr.
Yeah, get on it.
Yes sir.
You think he's on to us? Not us exactly.
I need you to drop on Zeke's little clubhouse meeting.
Let him know dinger's on the prowl.
You gotta make the run for me.
By myself? Be fast, be clear.
Be sure you don't fuck with my money.
Ain't gonna fuck up your money, Junior.
Y'all know what these are? Cleats for tying rope.
My daddy used to make something like this back in Oklahoma.
Costs about thirty cents a piece.
We beg this railway to keep us safe and their answer don't raise any higher than a decent tip.
Alright, let's just say the railway feels generous and they put five of these on top of the ice car.
Five at thirty cents a piece, that's $1.
Now our brother Henry died a death he wasn't meant to, doing work that he was not supposed to.
And the company that made him do it says all that he's worth is a dollar and fifty cent solution? A solution that didn't even have a damn thing to do with how he died.
Look, I know y'all might be scared of what might happen if we try to unionize.
But maybe it's time we start thinking about what happens if we don't.
Thirty cents a piece, y'all.
Franklin? There was no one out front so I showed myself in.
You're Mr.
Edwards' two o'clock? We have a no appointment required arrangement.
In future, Mr.
Edwards prefers that his "arrangements" wait in the car with the driver until summoned.
Good day to you.
I was thinking, maybe it's time to inquire about your friend's salon.
Well, that's an unexpected introduction.
I-I-I'm so sorry.
I thought this was Franklin Edwards' office.
My-my mistake.
Yes it is.
So why don't we have a bite and discuss him? They're getting closer.
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe! They come for you, They come for me.
Sorry you missed the meetin'.
You know, uh, I'm thinking, maybe I'm getting through a little.
At least to some.
Thanks for getting them in the room.
Well, shucks, you ain't talking I'm gonna start eating.
Marlene do something different with this black cake? A friend.
Rose made it.
Asked me to put it in one of the mail cars for her boy that stays at the asylum.
You know what's funny? Marlene thinks I wanna send Teddy away 'cause I'm ashamed of him.
Truth is, I'm scared for him.
If I ain't spent all that time fighting the white man's goddamn war.
Where the fuck is Glenford? Well my first granddaughter was born on the third.
And my third granddaughter was born on the second.
Yeah, okay.
So I suppose the second number should be a three.
That's a hell of a lot of children.
Now my grandsons though Last chance to board! Last chance to board! I warned him stay away from those lipstick wearing women.
- I said, "Godfrey" - Ma'am! All things holy, can you just take a breath? Now where is the man that runs this place? - Who, Silas? - Yes, Silas.
He asked me to mind the stand while he's waiting on the porter to pick up the slips And some m-o-n-e-y.
Excuse me, please.
Come on, Glen, come on! Just come on, man! Let's go! Let's go, let's go, Let's go, man! Get up! Get your ass, come on! Move your ass, come on, man! Run, man! Run! Come on, man! - Move your ass, come on! - Come on, man! - Run! - Come on! Get your ass up here! Come on, get on! I got you! Come on.
There you are.
Yo, Glen.
You got my money? Yeah, you got my money.
Lord when I'm dead today I need you gimme whisky when I die.
Can I get a bag with that? Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hey, it's me, it's me.
What's wrong, miss Rose? They swore they'd take care of my boy, Junior.
They swore! We're gonna get you home, okay? It's okay.
Had a long day today.
Man, oh, man, I am so tired.
Well, you know I-I-I, I want some provisions tonight.
I was gonna make some rice for everyone.
Do you want some rice? Yes.
What took you so long? Sorry.
It's been a god awful day! Went to your office to tell you about it.
Funny thing though, you don't have an office! I need the light.
I wanna see how your face looks when you lie so I know for next time.
I tried, Lucy.
What other stories have you been selling me Franklin? You make me the star of an imaginary salon? I told you I didn't make that up! And I wouldn't have had to lie about this job either if my, my father would just give me my due! Oh, so it's his fault you're a liar? My father jumped from number two at the pullman To the top of the food chain faster than you can spit! But me, me it's like he expects me to just grovel my way up the ladder like I'm some Like some what? The man pushed me off on boarding schools and nannies my entire fucking life.
Opportunity that's-that's the least of what he owes me.
You know, I ain't big on religion, but a preacher friend taught me something that stuck.
A man shouldn't think of himself more highly than he ought.
What's that supposed to mean? It means, if you wanna walk in your daddy's shoes, you best be willing to shine 'em first.
Is that more preacher wisdom? No.
You know my husband's a porter right? I mean if he wanted to meet me by the train, I know the way.
You know the way that don't get you caught by the rail police? You'll find your porter just on the right, ma'am.
This is where I get off.
Junior ain't the only one with plans tonight.
Well if you went through all the trouble to make oxtail, this really is special.
I was thinking about the place Rose sent her boy.
Can we not talk about this tonight? I was thinking that you were right.
Let him be our baby a little while longer.
Well, Mrs.
Massey, I I heard that church girls know how to cut a rug.
Well Mr.
Massey, you're about to find out.
I love you.
Order whatever you like.
My father said it's on the house.
Says you boys built the tracks the world runs on.
Shame because my people died clearing the way.
I'll be back, y'all.
Pardon the intrusion.
I just thought that given all the time we've been spending together an introduction might be in order.
Oh no? All right then.
I just wanna let you know that I'm not the kind of man that you come at sideways.
Ain't a negro in this whole world wasn't born lookin' over their shoulder.
So you tell whoever the hell you working for, it's impossible to step on my damn shadow.
What's it gonna be? I'll have my usual, please.
Funny how it's always the men expect me to remember everything they ever ate, but can't even remember my name.
I really like when you tuck your hair behind your ears when you wear those earrings, Lijuan.
I know men aren't meant to have an opinion in the matter, but I like your green dress better than the black.
Maybe it's because of the perfume you put on when you wear it.
It smells like magnolias.
Reminds me of home.
Yeah, we better get going.
Police soon start patrolling the yard.
Can you imagine having so much money that you can stick it on the walls? Yeah, I think about that all the time.
You know, if we strip this car end to end we can make enough money to have anything we want.
Move to a new place, maybe buy a bigger place of our own.
What's the matter with you? Baby, you okay? All my life is praying and believing.
Prayed for my family and I buried them.
Prayed for my son, I can't talk to him.
Prayed for my husband Now they're closing the doors in my clinic before they even get a chance to open.
Your Garvey tell you that? Eli's God of Garvey around here.
Look, I don't know what is to believe like you do.
But if heaven can't hear ya, I hear you Marlene.
If our son needs, I got him.
And if my wife needs, I got her.
And if Marlene Massey wants a clinic in St.
Antoine, then I got you.
'Cause we make our own life.
Pastor Haynes? Hey pastor, I'm sorry to come so late.
I had to make sure I wasn't followed.
I think the railroad knows I'm trying to unionize.
What is it you need, Zeke? Your basement.
I wanna hold a special meetin'.
You see, I've been thinking about what you do, and-and how you get people to believe in things that they can't even see.
It's scripture.
Faith is evidence of things unseen.
Yeah, but sometimes you need to see faith change things to believe it.
And the church basement? Well let's just call that a faith healing service.
Thank you, pastor.
See you Sunday.
Did you manage to find anything before you got caught? I applied the standard protocols, known associates, affiliations, family, relationships.
This isn't much more than I could have heard pressing my ear to the train window.
I think the last page in my report might beg to differ.
He was in Wales for the riots.
Service report is scant, but the information's valid.
Stay on that.
I think I've got someone else to put on Garrett.
No! Hey, you! Give it! - I told you yesterday.
- Shut your mouth.
I ain't tell you that! I don't like you! I'm gonna get ya! Whoa! Oh wait.
Oh, this is Oh my god.
This is my friend, this is Donald.
Donald, Marlene.
Mmm, I like her.
- You know what? Stop.
- What? - Stop it.
- No, come on.
Baby, go with Jasmine.
I'll be over there in a minute.
You hit that white man.
I'm gonna call the cops on you.
It is not funny, Fay.
Oh, oh it was funny.
You should have seen your legs up in there going round and round.
Stop laughing! Oh! No and thank you! Thank you for rescuing me, ha, from his orgasms! And what you doin' in here anyway, church woman? You come to bring me some of that nasty ass tea? I told you, I came back to check on you.
Does he really pay you to spank him? Pssht, ain't that nothing.
Used to be you get locked up for slapping a white man.
Now they pay me top dollar for it.
If I could just find one that would pay to cook and clean, I might be set for life.
All of these people living secret lives, I mean Do you ever just wonder if the people in their real lives don't have a right to know? Everybody's always gettin' worked up about rights they have no right to.
This is their real life.
And this is nobody's business.
"I was glad when they said unto me," "let us go into the house of the Lord.
" Amen.
If you are glad this morning, say "amen"! Amen! Somebody say "amen".
Amen! I wanna talk to you this morning about mustard seed faith.
Faith that begins long before the harvest appears.
Faith that looks at a field of weed What you doing here? - Had some time to kill.
- Mhm.
I hear you got someone taking on a fair share of that lately.
The Edwards boy? And when you're facing It's just a little bit of fun Zeke.
The boy walks around like the world owes him a favour.
When the pot calls out to the kettle, it sure can sing.
What's that supposed to mean? Maybe Popsy can explain it to you.
Faith can grow, amen! Amen! Praise God.
And for those registered for the faith healing meeting, it begins directly after service in the church basement.
Now let me get to these announcements before our beloved secretary gives me an earful.
Our ladies committee needs a reliable wagon to, uh, bring these baskets Gentlemen, thank y'all for staying behind.
I'd like to introduce y'all to our guest speaker for today's faith fellowship.
This is brother James Kendall, an elevator operator outta New York.
Now I asked him to share the story of the Goliath battle against his employer, as a reminder that the force of our oppression is the truest measure of our power.
Brother James.
Thank you, brother Zeke.
Gentlemen, I want to start off by telling you a story.
Lucy Conrad.
Yes sir.
You wanna explain to me Why after I've been auditioning dancers You choose to go up there and sing me a song? Well sir, you already know I can dance.
But I believe you asked me to show you something.
I guess I did.
My lawyer will take care of whatever you need.
Make sure you send the bill directly to me.
It's all accounted for.
Every cent, every slip.
Quite a few cents from the look of things.
It's better to be over than under, right? Hmm.
What was that about? It's a part of my work with the French legal society.
We help immigrants become American citizens.
The American dream shouldn't have a price tag.
Gangster with a heart.
Something like that.
It's what you're owed.
Every cent accounted for, I'm nothing if not fair.
If we talkin' fair, how 'bout a little somethin' for the man that introduced you two? Shut up! This is you free and clear.
This is me renegotiating my terms.
Sticks! Fix Mr.
Massey and I a drink.
Hey Junior! Hey, you makin' a big mistake.
Look, you shoulda got out from under Queenie while you had the chance.
My debt is clear.
This is a new arrangement.
Look, I get the appeal.
Queenie's smart, powerful, sexy as all hell Nigga that ain't your cousin? That mean I don't got eyes? Look, don't let that do-good shit fool you, man.
That woman don't care about nobody but herself.
The second you become a problem Bobby, I ain't you so there ain't gonna be no motherfuckin' problem.
Thank you very much.
All I'm saying is, it's not too late to start thinking about a exit plan.
You sure you know what you're doing? That shit use to drive the soldiers crazy in the war.
Well folks are still going crazy for it over here.
And it's a whole lot easier to smuggle than booze.
You know my granny always used to say, who cyah hear mus' feel.
What that mean? Miss Queenie's already beat your ass for going behind her back.
And there you is.
Look, I'm just trying to be somebody, Junior.
Ain't that what we all want? I got a train to catch.
Stay outta trouble, hm.
Get you some pooch or something.
You wanna know who your real friends are? See who turns up when life knocks you down.
Think this is 'cause of my meeting? All I know, this garden was the beginning of a new chapter here.
A way to stop depending on the railroad to keep our doors open.
Well, we'll find a way.
Our folks in saint are pull together people.
I've seen it time and time again.
You might be right about that.
What's this about? This? A token of support on behalf of the welfare committee.
You mean on behalf of the railroad.
The welfare committee serves porters and their families.
The company wants you all to know, we're here for the community.
So quickly? I mean, the smoke hasn't even cleared yet and here you are, Stanley.
We should get these to the cold room.
Would hate to see fine folks cooking up spoilt chicken.
This way.
Stanley, are you responsible for this? Hand to the most high, I don't know who did this.
But maybe you should be more careful who you invite to your meetings.
Save the lecture, I already spoke to Queenie and everything's gonna be alright.
Junior, we have a rat reporting to Edwards.
It's one of our own.
You know which one of us they after? What makes you think it's only one?
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