The Porter (2022) s01e04 Episode Script

Episode 4

1 Listen, I'll bring home a little extra for the roof.
Let me use the trains to run numbers for you.
I can bring 'em in by the thousands.
Any man working on my team gets a piece of the action.
Hey Clarence, we too late for the draw? Come on, man.
I've got my numbers and everything.
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.
Why should our people walk miles to a city hospital that shuts the door in their face? - We need our own clinics.
- And my answer is no.
Corrine is gone and the show must go on.
With me on the job, you get the whole song and dance.
The song that I sing is part of an echo Henry! Ah, Mr.
Randolph, please.
You've been fighting for workers longer than anyone.
I don't even know where to start.
A token of support on behalf of The Welfare Committee.
You mean on behalf of the railroad? We have a rat reporting to Edwards.
I'm proud of you, old man.
Your son try the piano yet? He's working up to it.
Took me longer to choose a piano than a husband.
You married? I'm a lot of things I'll never be again.
Here's your cut, Junior.
Ah, what you think? Shines so bright you can see your reflection.
Go on now, take a look.
We gon' fix that janky-ass part in your hair.
You should get a pair.
I can have a jeweller here within the hour.
Money's made to be spent, Junior.
People start seeing what you have, they start wonderin' where you got it.
Very true.
Well it's taken two weeks, but you now have the distinct honour of being the only man to beat me.
Yeah, maybe you met your match.
Let's go again.
You're early.
Well, my watch said one thing, but my stomach was saying another.
Smells like I made the right choice.
Where Junior? I left him sleeping.
He's been running himself ragged these last few weeks.
Well, let me make myself useful then.
Hey Teddy, wanna come on and give your Uncle Zeke a hand? You remember the order, right? Atta boy.
Teddy always remember, every task is a chance to show your excellence.
There you go.
Properties for rent? You moving out? It's for my clinic plan.
Oh yeah.
Okay, Miss Marlene.
Finally gettin' it off the ground.
I'm taking it to New York to the U.
A convention, gonna show it to the man himself.
Maybe Garvey's got gumption for an old idea.
Well good ideas never go bad.
The man come here wid his two long hands, eh? - Yes sir! - Mm.
One to eat Marlene's famous fish soup and the other well, the other to smack you upside your head! - Think you're fast, huh? - Come here, come here.
You heathens.
Come on, now.
Have a seat.
Later, later, man, ready.
Well ya better have your Granny's yams in there or I'm goin' back to bed.
Lucky for you I made extra.
Oh, you made me extra.
I set a little food aside for Mrs.
Watson to give Teddy while we're in New York.
Oh! You are going to see the "Supreme Negro Jackass"? I believe the headline read "Supreme Negro Jamaican Jackass".
Nobody vex me now.
And I'll have you know, Glenford's covering for me, Popsy loaned me his car, and I booked a hotel exclusively for Negroes.
We're gonna have a good time.
Ready for that? - Mmmhmm.
- Mmm.
All right, now let's bless this food so we can eat.
Dear Heavenly Father, bless this food and bless these three fine young gentlemen who are about to receive it.
Two fine gentlemen.
Must be talking about me and my son.
Watch out.
I got two for you.
What's up? Number two become number one! Ya bus'.
You messed up the whole table, I ain't even know what happened.
What's the matter, you still looking for the rat? You'd be smart to pay it some mind.
Hey Junior, someone in the community is talking, but I have a plan.
I set up a meeting at the Stardust tonight.
Told all the porters when and where.
Nobody's foolish enough to walk through that door, knowing what'd happen to them if the company found out.
You're right.
Unless they working for the company.
You got a devious mind, Zeke.
You sure you don't wanna work with me? You sure you don't wanna join the movement? I'm good.
Me too.
Come on, man.
You can't have a good play right there? If you tell me it's your birthday, I think I might cry.
Hmm, no.
I can't believe nobody showed up.
But guess it's time to pack it in.
To give Popsy back his room.
You ever think maybe you should pack it in for good? What you mean? I mean, look at Lance.
Railroad fired him for no rhyme or reason.
Look at what happened to the church garden.
And here you are, giving 'em a reason to punish you.
Well, that's exactly why I'm doing this, to stop things like what happened to Lance and to Henry.
I know what Henry meant to you, but risking everything you got ain't gonna bring him back.
Well I gotta try.
These people have the kind of power you can't fight.
I've seen it up close.
William Edwards doesn't care about his own son, you think you can make him give a shit about the porters? You need to put this down, Zeke.
Before someone gets hurt.
This strike is nothing but a plot led by a bunch of foreigners and communists! Well, if you want to give into their demands, that's your business.
But I didn't make my money suckin' on a silver spoon, and I'll be damned or dead before I let anyone take it away! What? Mail delivery.
Anything to send out? I have an important shipment that needs to be escorted over the border.
- What is it? - Well, that's none of your concern.
I just need you to ensure that no one sees the contents of this boxcar.
Not the staff, nor the customs inspectors.
How am I supposed to do that? This railroad was built on imagination, innovation, and audacity.
Channel that.
Be creative.
Well I'm nothing if not creative.
You're nothing if not an Edwards.
Remember that.
And act accordingly.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are now boarding at Belleville station.
The last stop will be Montreal.
You might want to head off.
The train is about to leave.
Thank you very much.
The train don't leave for another ten minutes.
He'll make it.
I meant what I said the other day.
There's always a spot for you in the numbers game.
I already got Edwards and his spies breathing down my neck, you think I want Miss Queenie angling for what's left? Things are different now.
Me and Queenie are partners.
Partners? Zeke! What happened? Picked up the drop from Clarence, some guy jumped me on the way back.
Who? I never seen him before.
He get my money? Did he get my money? Yeah man.
Okay, get him on the train.
Get him on the train.
I gotta head into town to the pick-up spot.
I'll catch the next train back to Montreal.
I gotta find out what happened before word gets out.
Cover my car? Ain't you forgetting something? Shit.
I'll square things with Marlene later Well wait.
Hey, hey.
You think you should be heading down there alone? I mean, look at what the hell they did to Otis's face.
That is nothing compared to what'll happen if I don't get Queenie her money.
Hey, what you doing around these parts? I thought the train left at eleven.
I thought it was time to check in, see how business was doin'.
Hmm? Ah, pbshtt, well, numbers is bringing in new customers, which is good for you, good for me.
Any problems? Nope.
That's funny, my runner says different.
He got jumped after the pick-up.
You seen anybody hanging around? Hmmm.
Did the drop this week same as I did last week, and the week before that.
All right.
Everything all right here, pop? Yeah, yeah, son.
Everything is fine.
Ah, just finish loading up all that feed over there for me, okay? Hold on.
So I need your opinion on something, I It's my anniversary coming up and I don't know too much about Leave! - What the hell? - Please, please, please! Come on.
Which hand your boy could do without, Clarence? No, no, no, no, no, no! You were-you were fine, you were fine taking from my boy and now you're worried about yours? - It's all - Which fucking hand?! It's all gone, man! Come on, Junior.
Listen, I lost everything to the Spanish Flu, man.
I had to go see this loan man by the name of Bolton.
I ain't asking you for your sob stories! - I'm asking for my fucking money! - It's gone! He took it all! He said-he said he's "changing the terms of our agreement".
- He said - You lying to me? - No! - You fucking lying to me? You want me to break your fucking boy's hand? Oh come on, Junior, man.
Ain't a white man out here that don't think that they got a right to everything that we got.
You-you know that, man.
You know that! Come on now.
- All right.
- Come on, man.
That's my son.
All right.
Come on, get up.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
You're good, man.
You all right? You good? Pop! Pop! Put your hand in my pocket again you'll draw back a fucking nub! Pop! Pop, are you all right? Despise me If I should take a notion To jump into the ocean Where'd you get that? I-I got a big tip and treated myself.
Don't you lie to me, Lucy-Mae.
You think I don't see you sneaking in and out all hours of the night? Whoring yourself off for what, some fancy dress? It's not like that.
Madame Nadeau's dinner is tonight.
She needs us to serve the guests.
But I can't.
You know I'm performing at Stardust.
You need to stop believing in some fantasy that you can be something you aren't and accept what you are.
What I am is a star.
And after tonight, everyone's gonna know it.
I'm not playing with you, Lucinda.
Show up tonight or don't come back at all.
Hey Marlene.
Where is he? You know he'd make it if he could.
Is he in trouble? One thing I know about Junior Massey, he always finds a way out of whatever he get himself into.
Two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Stop! Sandra, switch with Monique.
Um, I don't know who you think you are, but this isn't how things are done.
It is when I'm headlining.
So why don't you take your new place? In the back.
Don't forget to tell Popsy to turn up the stage lights, now that it's a little darker up front.
Which one of you heifers thinks you deserve my spot? You? Lucky to be five feet tall if you take off those high heels.
Or you? Pretending to be twenty when you're damn near forty? Or you? Couldn't find the beat with a light, a map, or a compass.
I earned my spot.
So step in line, or step aside.
Come on, Sandra.
From the top! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
How are you going to talk about a black man who wants to do good for black people? Aw, come on.
All I'm saying, is the ship sank.
I mean, how many Negroes ended up in the water because of that man? Come on.
All anyone wants to talk about are Garvey's ships to Africa.
What about everything else? What about it? - Black enterprise.
- Ha! Black pride.
Randolph says Garvey will do anything for a dollar, and then that dollar ends up in his pocket, Marlene.
Come on! He is a black man who wants to do right by his people, not just have them holding their hands out to the white man.
So that's what you think I'm doing? All I meant was that is why I'm taking my clinic to him.
We can barely go to the white hospitals.
Certainly can't get a job at one.
We have to take care of ourselves.
That's all I'm tryin' to do too, Marlene.
Take care! The train to Montreal making all stops leaving in 15 minutes.
Fifteen minutes.
Hey, I thought you were on the last run in? I had some business.
You jumpin' on? Isn't that Edwards boy? Yeah, don't know what he's doin', but he does it at every stop.
Gets off, walks to that car, stands there.
What's inside? Who knows? Maybe he's working the train for extra money.
Had a run in with him at Stardust a couple of weeks ago.
That boy might be the worst gambler I ever seen.
Is that right? Hmm.
Ah, come on, don't get sore, Winn.
Sometimes the wrong card comes up for the right man, huh? And I'm the right man always! Give me that.
I'm sorry, sir.
Sir, I'll get this cleaned up straight away.
Excuse me, sir.
Didn't realize my father allowed gambling on his trains.
Ah, it's just a friendly game, sir.
I'd appreciate if this goes no further.
All right, I'll make you a a deal then, huh? We're still about an hour and a half outside of Montreal.
Why don't we play a "friendly little game", as you say.
No sir, I have guests to tend to.
It's a good thing my father owns the trains then, huh? Be that as a may, if I apologize I Take the deal, my friend.
Trust me, you won't like the alternative.
Don't worry, I'll leave you with enough money to go home with.
That's mighty kind of you, sir.
I dreamt I grew wings of velvet I took off flying, like a bat out of hell But when I woke from this vision I was once more a woman jailed I bathe in the stormy weather To men's delight, I swoon and sin But the river is rising and it's fixin' to pull me in If every note of the birdsong Broke every bar in the cage Flocks of my people would fly off Up and away When vipers coil around her throat The nightingale still serenades the crowd Who am I but a songbird Who am I but a lost girl, found I wish I was a songbird Who am I but a lost girl, found This back to Africa stuff is different.
Say, whatever happened to the other act? The one with the the cream coloured girl? Dammit! Thought I had you that time.
All right, let's play again.
Not to pour salt in the wound, sir, but your money clip is looking a little light.
Play for this.
Winner takes all.
That's that's worth more than all I got.
Four times as much, at least.
I think the stakes are fair.
Oh shit, I missed a stop.
Sir, I gotta be getting back to work.
Don't worry.
It's in both of our best interests that no one gets wind of this little game.
Now, winner takes all, it's settled.
Yes sir.
Eh eh.
That must've cost ya a pretty penny.
Not money buy this here.
Yeah? Hey, if it taste it, me brotha.
Well, pour me another one, I maybe taste that one.
They say a man who drinks like that is trying to forget.
Marlene ain't gonna be best pleased when I get home, seein' as I was supposed to take her to New York.
Yeah, well you know that wife of yours, her thunder is worse than her lighting.
Yeah and besides, it's not like she didn't get a chance to go, right? What you mean? Talkin' about Zeke.
Come by to get the car, said you got tied up.
Just figured you sent him.
Come on, pour me another drink, man.
Pour me another drink! Pour me another drink he said.
Pour me another drink, man.
Any problems? Not a one.
You kept your eyes on it at every stop? As instructed.
They'll take it from here.
Good work, son.
Hush now.
Fellow citizens of Africa, I greet you in the name of the United Negro Improvement Association.
We, of the United Negro Improvement Association, are raising the cry for Africa for the Africans, those at home and those abroad.
We seek to emancipate the Negro everywhere, industrially, educationally, politically and religiously.
On going back to our respective homes we go with determination to lay down, if needs be, the last drop of our blood for the defence of Africa and the emancipation of our race.
An insult was hurled at the civilized Negroes of the world when they took upon themselves the right to parcel out a proportion of 608,000 square miles of our own land! For we have never gave it up.
We have never sold it.
It was still ours.
And we are the more aggrieved because of the lynch rope, because of the segregation, because of the Jim Crowism that is used, practiced and exercised here in this country and in other parts of the world by the white nations of the earth, wherever Negroes happen accidentally or otherwise to find themselves.
If there's no safety for the Negroes in this white world, I cannot see what right they have to parcel out the homeland, the country of the Negroes.
The world ought to understand that the Negro has come to life, possessed with a new conscience, a new soul.
I warn the world that the day will come when the races of the world will marshal themselves in great conflict for the survival of the fittest.
Brother Garvey! Greetings, Sister? Massey.
Marlene Massey.
I am part of the U.
A chapter in Montreal.
Had a chance to visit Montreal about two years ago.
Wonderful city.
You're doing fine work there.
Keep it up.
Actually, that's why I came.
I believe that we could do more.
I have a plan for a clinic.
Black owned, Black run, serving the Black community in Montreal.
I like the sound of it already.
I found some properties for rent, and I believe in a few years we could be profitable.
Those are highly endorsed by Mr.
He'll be speaking shortly, as one of the leaders of the movement.
You believe in eugenics? I endorse in the race purity ideas Mr.
Powell purports, the strength of one's bloodline is the strength of one's race.
And we are, as you know, the original race.
What about the part that sanctions the sterilization of women or getting rid of "feeble-minded" individuals? Sister, have you never pricked your soul on a thorn you found reading scripture? Love someone whose ways were unloving? You may not agree with all he stands for sister, but one does not discard the baby with the bathwater.
I thank you for coming, Sister Massey.
And I'll be sure to speak to your chapter head about the clinic.
Excuse me Nice to see you and thank you for coming.
Randolph? I don't know if you remember me.
The porter with a plan? Yes sir.
Zeke Garrett.
This isn't a great time.
Oh, right.
I understand.
I'll wait.
Randolph, I-I've been followed, room broken into, community garden got destroyed, and someone is talkin' to the company, telling them my every move.
You've got a snitch.
And in my experience, snitches get paid.
So you need to find out who the company is paying.
How do you suppose I do that? You know what they say about house slaves and field slaves? Folks think the house slave is the, uh, Uncle Tom and the field slave is the threat.
But they have it all wrong.
Well, how do you figure? The house slave was the one making their food, fixing their drinks, making their beds at night.
Well it sounds like a porter.
Don't underestimate the threat you can be on the inside.
There's value to being close to the enemy.
Ears to the door, hmm? Collecting information.
So I should get close to Edwards? Build his trust.
And when you have enough, you get out and blow the whole thing up.
How you doin', Lucy-Mae? Just getting ready to fade back into the shadows of the back row.
You know, back when I told people that I was gonna open this joint, they thought that I was crazy.
Couldn't imagine that a Black man could do much around here except, you know, work in the mines, on the trains.
What's that gotta do with me? Just because people weren't understanding what you were bringin', don't mean it wasn't good.
So you're saying I can keep headlining? I want you to be my stage director.
Hmm? Come up with the routines.
Let's give these folks a, a taste for the future.
But slowly.
A taste for the future? Well that's a new way of puttin' it.
All you're really sayin' is stay in the back row.
This crowd don't deal in coal.
Jigaboo, tar baby, ink stain, eight-rock.
I've heard it all before.
I'm only gonna say this once, so listen up.
You got something that none of these other girls got.
Girl, that is vision.
So I'm gonna leave it up to you to decide what you wanna do with it.
Every page is full of nonsense, like restrictive immigration and selective breeding.
Yeah, well, he ain't alone in his thinkin'.
I mean, you could hardly find a copy of that book anywhere.
They call them "socially inadequate persons".
You should see the list: the wayward, deaf, deformed, dependent.
And they always blame the "deficiency" on the mother.
Well you know nothin' like that will ever happen to Teddy, right? Not as long as I'm breathing.
I have half of mind to go home and build that clinic myself.
Go on, Marlene.
I'm serious, Zeke! I am through asking for permission.
I'm gonna get my clinic one way or another.
On the first page is a list of all my kin, ah, dates of birth.
And how do I know you didn't make this all up? Well, why would I do that? Looks to me this nigger's trying to smuggle in his prostitute in his fancy car.
I'm a porter with the Cross Continental Railroad, sir.
And the company gave us this card when we crossin' the border.
Said you're a porter, huh? That's right.
I'll take a shine before you go.
But I'm off duty, sir, and I don't got my kit.
Oh, spit shine'll do just fine.
Or maybe you'd rather I take your lady aside and conduct a thorough inspection to make sure she's not bringing in any impurities.
See? I just did half your work.
Hurry up.
Zeke, slow down.
Zeke, stop! What are you doing? Zeke! You're scaring me, Zeke! Zeke.
I'll see you tomorrow.
Hey Marlene? Junior didn't ask me to take you.
What? I know, I-I-I'm sorry.
I just know how much it meant to you and I just I just couldn't stand to see your dreams slip away.
Thank you.
The watch and the money should more than cover this week.
Something happen I should know about? Nothing that's gonna happen again.
I don't see any blood on your hands.
Which leads me to believe whatever problem you encountered, you failed to solve.
In this business The only way you can be sure you won't encounter the same problem twice.
This is what Bobby did with his second chance.
Same hustle, different drug.
The last man who stole from me got picked out of the river piece by piece.
Believe me, porter, this was a kindness.
If you leave a man breathing, you leave him with another chance to betray you.
So you know what you have to do, right? Hmm.
Sticks, clean this bitch up.
Garrett? Earlier today I had some trouble crossing the border.
The Customs Agent, well, the way he spoke to me.
Didn't you have your card? See, well, that's just it.
As soon as I showed it to him, all of a sudden I was able to get right through.
And it made me realize how valued being a porter on your railway really is.
And I just wanted to apologize for ever taking that for granted, sir.
Good to see you've come to your senses, Mr.
I think we could work together to make things better, sir.
Sir, I would appreciate if you would consider appointing me to the Welfare Committee.
- The Welfare Committee? - Yes, sir.
If it's all right with you, I would like to be the head man between your office and the committee, sir.
Not even on the committee yet and asking for a promotion.
I know the work and the men better than anyone.
And no one knows the railway like you, sir.
Surely, the best change can come if we work together.
From the inside.
I'm sorry.
Does that sorry come with an explanation? Listen, I'll make it up to you, Mar.
Doesn't matter.
It's done.
Come on, please Junior.
Come on, Junior, please.
Come on, man! Please, no.
No, Junior.
Please, Junior! I'm sorry, Junior.
Junior, no! No! No! I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.

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