The Porter (2022) s01e05 Episode Script

Episode 5

1 You've got a snitch.
And in my experience, snitches get paid.
So I should get close to Edwards, build his trust.
I would like to be the head man between your office, and the Welfare Committee.
I have an important shipment.
Just need you to ensure that no one sees the contents of this boxcar.
Good work, son.
Who's this Johnson? - Willie Johnson.
- Rumour is he's looking for a dancer.
- He chose Corrine.
- I want you to be my stage director.
We need our own clinics.
I'm taking it to New York to the U.
A convention.
Junior didn't ask me to take ya.
What? If you leave a man breathing, you leave him with another chance to betray you.
I don't see any blood on your hands.
So you know what you have to do, right? This continent belongs to the white races.
The peace of the world would perhaps be best promoted by an understanding between the peoples of different continents as to the parts of the world to which their several populations, should be confined.
That the white race must preserve this country for their children.
That Canada should remain a white man's country is believed to be not only desirable for economic and social reasons, but highly necessary on political and national grounds.
And every Canadian, from the humble day labourer to the baron of industry should see it as their patriotic duty to uphold these values.
This has been the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable W.
Mackenzie King.
Did you fire another cook? It seems our good Prime Minister has been advised against meats by his "spiritualist".
I'm attempting to see if I can't acquire a taste for this sludge before he comes.
Prime Minister King is coming here? To our house? He'll be joining us for breakfast tomorrow morning.
Make sure to put on your better suit.
This is incredible! If King likes our ideas on the expansion, then we can cut through the red tape and break ground in under a year.
Only two things are required of you tomorrow, Franklin.
To sit, and to say nothing.
And as exasperating a man as our Prime Minister is, my company's future is tied to his favour.
I don't need a suit and tie to stay out of your way.
King has a special appreciation for family.
So you will sit, in your better suit, and say nothing.
And who knows, you may well learn a thing or two.
Looks like you're having a little trouble.
I got a couple days off next week.
I can take ya to New York.
No need.
Givin' up on the clinic? I didn't say that.
It's been some time since I've had a worthy opponent.
Where did you pick up the game? Ah, here and there.
Kept my mind steady when the world wasn't.
Well, it certainly made these Welfare Committee meetings more interesting than those with your predecessor.
About those extra shirts the porters have been requesting I've looked at that budget forwards and back, it simply cannot be done.
I mean, it's a little difficult for a railroad to boast the first class experience when the porters are sweating through their shirts.
And to that end we will provide a water pitcher for the porter area to keep the men cool.
A water pitcher? Well, I'm-I'm sure my fellow porters will be happy to hear it.
What on earth? Dianne! I believe she's on lunch, Mister Edwards.
If those damn city strikers are up to more shenanigans, I'll fetch the constable myself! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
One, two, three, four.
- Five, six, seven, eight.
- Step back and dip and switch.
One, two, three, four.
Stop! Stop, stop, stop, stop.
You girls been doing the same old thing so long you forgot what real dancing looks like? Why can't we just do the regular set? From the top.
All right.
Try and keep up.
Five, six, seven, eight.
One So the rumours are true.
Lucy-Mae, Stardust stage director.
You come all the way from New York to congratulate me? Well, I was hoping we could have a private word.
You know these girls'll gossip anyhow, say what you gotta say.
I wanna come back.
I don't need to be lead.
I'd be fine on the line or wherever you see fit.
There's no room on my stage for you.
Monique's filling your raggedy shoes just fine.
So if you'll excuse us, we have a show to prepare for.
You're cruel Lucy.
That type of bitterness only comes from settling for less.
And that don't ever end well.
From the top.
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold.
A glass of water? That's it? Actually, it's a pitcher.
When I had heard that you had joined the Welfare Committee, I thought maybe you had lost your goddamn mind.
Now I know you have! I just hope my new position will benefit us all in the long run.
Didn't I hear you committee boys get an office complete with a pool table and a fridge full of beer? Guess you don't need that pitcher.
His car window? You said to make a ruckus.
You didn't say how I had to do it.
Did it work? You find out who's the rat? I'm pretty sure I got a good idea who's in Edwards' pocket.
And me and him, we're gonna have a meeting of our own.
What happened to you? Massey turned chauffeur now.
Didn't think to tell me you took my wife to New York? You don't want me to drive Marlene, fine, but don't act like Junior Massey isn't always after my help.
And who was there for you when you needed help the most, Zeke? I know you mean well, but it's my job to get my wife what she needs.
- You good? - Yeah, I'm good.
All right.
Big daddy, your my big man Oh, do not act like I haven't seen you a hundred times in the raw.
I told you he was fragile.
I suspect that those stomach pains aren't anything a little prune juice won't cure.
I told him nothing in here comes free.
I suspect that it's nothing a big fart won't cure.
You know, you are a strange bird, Marlene Massey.
Strange how? I've seen folks light up for all kinda things, but the way you light up for puss and piss It is not for that.
It is for helping people who can't get any help, no matter what.
Are you sure it's not you liking be a boss? I see y'all set up here.
Well, what if we could set this room aside and start a little clinic? Does this look like Saint Luc's to you? When women get sick, paying customers do too.
Healthy workers means more money.
And in exchange for this room, I would treat the girls for free.
Only the customers would pay.
You have to keep all of this down in the basement.
Ain't nothing break a mood like a nurse with a needle.
Get in.
I got a train to catch.
I checked your schedule and your train don't leave for another twelve hours.
Get in.
Hello porter.
What's this all about? Come sit.
You and I have to have a little chat.
I run numbers on the side and bring it back to you.
Nothing in our arrangement is about conversation.
Let's go by way of the tailor, Sticks.
See if he can't turn water into wine.
We don't need any performers tonight.
I'll have your best table.
We're neither open, nor except guests who who have no reservation.
Let the owner tell me that.
You're nobody's porter as long as you're with me.
Miss Queenie, I'm so sorry.
I need three things Jacques.
Your best table, your best service, and this fool on the bread line where he belongs.
Bien sûr, ma reine.
Right away.
Get out! Sister Massey.
A word? Brother Eli.
Is there anything I can help you with? I hope you enjoyed New York.
It was interesting.
I spoke with, uh, Brother Garvey about your little clinic.
He was enthusiastic about the idea.
But sadly, I had to tell him it was not feasible since we don't have any trained nurses to run it.
I don't know what I was thinking.
I had no business approaching Mr.
Garvey without your say so.
You said that you have a heart for this community same as me, and I need to start trusting that you'll do what serves it best.
Run along now, your route is waiting.
Sister Gwen will be taking the lead with the residents from now on.
But usually I treat the residents and Gwen handles the pamphlets and the collections.
Sister Gwen may not have your medicinal knowledge, but she's incredibly efficient.
Unless you have a problem with that? Not at all.
I got this memory of New York.
Four years old, face stuck to a window watching the woman inside spin like a top.
Mama gave me a swat for watching, but I didn't care.
I just wanna make magic.
Stage directing at Popsy's I don't know if I'm closer to that, or farther away.
We're going out tonight.
Franklin, I'm not really in the mood.
Yes, well neither am I.
But reality is becoming entirely unpleasant, so let's just, just put it away for a few hours.
Oh, we can do that? My dear, we can do anything.
It is indeed possible for the mountain to come to the man.
It seems so.
Jacques only serves the finest cut, acquired from a private rancher.
It's a good cut, but I wouldn't say "the finest".
The marbling's light.
Our marble, makes for a sweeter, sweeter steak.
I used to work as a meat packer.
I believe they call that position the "killer".
Which is why you're here.
The Irish are already circling my numbers game.
I have a meeting with their captain here, the day after tomorrow.
Depending on how it goes, it might take more than a few soldiers to get the job done.
I might need a General.
Tell me it isn't you.
Tell you what ain't me? Well, someone is selling us out to Edwards.
You saying it ain't you? Edwards writes down every penny that comes out of his pocket, and he's paid you more than a few times lately.
You think it's hard on the train, try making ends meet without it.
So you rat us out for a few dollars? I didn't rat Look, I was heading home after the graveyard shift at the ice factory, when this choice ride pulls up beside me.
Edwards is driving his damn self, if you could believe it, invites me into a car for "a chat".
So he heard Dinger canned me, said he could help out.
Now I thinking I'm getting my job back but he drives me out to the train yard.
Says he'll lay a sawbuck on me if I, if I wash down a train car over the next few nights.
And you didn't ask why? The man made it clear.
No questions.
No companions, no conversation.
So I'd appreciate it if you kept this between us.
I ain't exactly living on tips these days.
But if Edwards is hiring outside help to do a job that he could easily force porters to do, he's up to somethin'.
And I intend to find out what.
You lost, porter? I'm just here to pick up some supplies for the Welfare Committee.
This one on scrap or repair? It's been decommissioned.
Really? Two officers for a train going nowhere? Enough questions, porter.
Yes, sir.
I hope you're not too sore that Eli put me in charge.
It's not your fault.
That man'll do anything to put me in my place.
So you think I don't deserve to take the lead? No, Gwen.
I'm sorry, I I didn't mean it like that.
Way I see it, you two are cut from the same cloth.
Both thinking you know better than everyone else.
Marlene! Zeke! What happened? I don't know.
I found him like this.
Go on.
Are you are you a doctor? - No.
- Not exactly.
Where's the pain? Well go on and tell her.
I-I had a surgery.
So, take him back to Saint Luc's, get his doctor to deal with it.
Well, he don't wanna.
Besides, I I had it done in Chicago, at Provident.
Can y'all help? I would have to examine him to say for certain.
What? You can't be serious.
He's white.
Gwen, he needs help.
This goes against everything the U.
A stands for, and I'm not going to be a part of this.
Gwen! I know where we can go.
Come on.
Come on.
Come on, now.
All right.
Get on up.
Whoo, I am not used to that kinda, that kinda noise in this house.
Come over here.
I need your help.
Oh, now I'm a nurse.
Fay, help me take his pants off.
No, no, no.
Either you get on a train back to Chicago or you let me help you right here and now.
Let's lay him down.
- Lift your butt! - Okay.
Lift your butt.
I don't know where you've been, but this looks nasty.
It's not a disease.
I got circumcised.
Ain't you supposed to do that when you're a baby? I didn't, okay? I'm getting married, and I don't want anything to screw it up.
It looks like it's infected.
Zeke? - Can you put on some water to boil? - Yes, ma'am.
Yeah, I'll mix some alcohol and some opium.
That'll help you with your pain.
Now what is your sweetheart's name? Rebekah.
She doesn't know about this.
You're gonna be just fine.
- All right? - Okay.
I heard you brought the house down the other night.
Only thing went down was the tips.
But I suspect you know that already.
You may have caught a tough crowd but what you did on the stage? That's all the girls talk about.
What happened in New York? The men who run the show get to entertain the world, and the women get to entertain their bullshit.
Besides, New York is no place to raise a baby.
Willie's? I ain't been gone that long.
I was telling stories yesterday.
We could definitely use you in the show.
On the line, that is.
Fantasy awaits, my dear.
How are you? Hi.
Ain't she a gorgeous girl? Yes she is.
My father used to tune grand pianos for the legends in New Orleans.
I swear he can hear them breathe.
Only thing my father ever gave me was my trumpet.
Before he disappeared.
What he did made you the man you are today.
What he didn't do, did the same.
You ever played pairs before? I don't know what we're playing.
All that natural talent, yet something's holding you back.
Question is, are they holding you to something worth keeping? And follow my lead.
You know, I could be out there teaching little nappy head youngins or scrubbing some white woman's toilets.
But I like sex.
And I love being the one who decides how it happens.
Why are you telling me this? Because you want to be in charge too, Marlene.
And there ain't nothin' wrong with that.
I left him resting in your room.
I hope that's all right.
Long as he leave a little something on the nightstand.
I'm sorry, I didn't know where else to take him.
I'm just glad it worked out.
The thing I can't make sense of is, why Chicago? Well I think I have my guesses.
What do you mean? Provident is a training hospital for Negro students.
And patients.
Negro? Fits a little different now, don't it? You slit Bobby's throat like it was nothing.
I also take out full page ads educating Black folks on their voting rights.
That sounds like something you say so you can sleep at night.
I suspect you know better than most how to fit yourself into different boxes.
In time you'll see this simply requires the same mindset.
And if I wanted to leave? If you did, I expect you would.
Thank you.
It's a fantasy, darling.
Keep an open mind.
Who said it was closed? Just not keen on being the darkest thing in the room.
Sawyer, I was hoping you'd be here.
Sawyer meet Lucy.
Lucy, Sawyer.
You, ah! Show some respect, Pockets.
Berlin doesn't entertain just anyone.
Oh, Irving is No one has to tell me about the biggest name on Broadway.
Our little gatherings have become quite the must-do for the celebrity set.
You think this place could turn a profit? Franklin Edwards.
Are you looking to jump in? Hm, no.
I'm just here to see the hot new talent, like everyone else.
Speaking of which, you aughta hear what this one can do.
I didn't come here to perform.
We're all performing darling.
Excuse me.
My life's Work has ended And I face the rising sun And that bright and glorious morning I shall see oh yes I shall know Him I shall know Him I've been redeemed by the print The prints of the nails in His hands Oh, my soul Thrilling rapture When I face the rising sun And the lustrous of His gleaming Gleaming eye oh yes How my full, full soul is gonna praise Him When I reach that other side And His smile, oh, will be the first To welcome me Wooo! He gave me his card! - Who? - Mr.
Berlin! He said if I were ever in New York to look him up.
You see that.
You were great.
You are a wonder.
Thank you.
How on earth a drip like Splash landed you is a mystery for the ages.
Splash? Let's just say it involves a boarding school crush on an older woman, a fumbling attempt to consummate an awkward evening that ended in a young Mr.
Edwards peeing his best slacks in shame.
But really Splash, don't you think this bright young star you've caught deserves to have people flocking here to adore her? Is that what you want? More than anything.
Well then Sawyer, you've got yourself a partner.
Will you tell Steven you know? He ain't the first Black man to pass as White.
Definitely won't be the last.
Feels strange knowing what I did today helped him to keep his secret.
Oh, hey! You should be proud of what you did in there, Marlene.
You got a God-given gift.
Look what you did for me.
About New York, I I-I-I should get going.
Watson's been waiting for me for hours.
That happens sometimes, when I'm with you.
I lose track of where I'm supposed to be.
Pockets! Pockets.
I want another drink.
Thank you.
What's this? Where did you get these, Junior? You don't need to think if you're telling the truth! I am sick of all these secrets! First it's the piano, and then your hand, and now these damn cufflinks! Wanna talk about secrets? Why didn't you tell me Zeke took you to New York? Spend the night with my wife, hm? Why didn't you take me to New York? You knew how long I'd been dreaming about that clinic.
You knew what it meant to me! You still shoulda said something.
No, no, no, no, no, no.
Don't you dare crawl up in this house expecting me to answer for your best friend! What has Zeke Garrett ever done except for risk life and limb standing by you?! Meanwhile you're God knows where, with God knows who Everything I do is for business, Marlene! It's for business.
I don't know what you've gotten yourself involved in, but I can't live like this.
People I'm working with ain't so easy to get away from.
Hey! Who's in there? Are you in some kind of trouble, son? Pastor Haynes.
Campbell says you was askin' after me.
Apologies for just showing up like this, but there's something you need to know.
Go on.
Name's Clay.
I'm one of the thirty-five men that the railroad smuggled over the border to be strikebreakers.
In effect, this expansion will make us both an international railway, and a shipping conglomerate.
With St.
Kitt's being of particular interest to us, given its deep ports and its proximity to the Panama Canal.
This is impressive.
But how do you plan to manage the budget that would accompany this kind of expansion? Foreign labour, of course.
Apologies for keeping you waiting, Prime Minister, I had a few pressing matters on my desk.
As I understand it, the labour strike chatter grows louder by the day.
Well, I've never let unions get the best of me and I won't start now.
I've already made the necessary arrangements.
Settle down! Settle down! I said settle down! The strike has been called! Steel workers, longshoremen, cops, firemen.
All unions are set to walk out.
And what if we don't have jobs to walk back to when it's over? Can you feed your family Tommy? Can you pay your mortgage? If we don't stand together, we all fall apart.
I'll be back in a minute.
Where are you going? Just eat your fucking cookie! You see? This is exactly what I'm talking about! Mr.
I thought I made it clear, you need to handle things in Ottawa first.
If my boys get wind I'm even talking to you Well, what if they got wind of a train car full of strikebreakers from the States? Impossible.
I wrote a letter to the Minister of Immigration, he assured me that the border measures in place would keep foreign labour out.
Well what if I heard it from a man who escaped? Oh my soul thrilling rapture When I face the rising sun And the lustrous of His beaming, Beaming eye oh What are we doing here? - I got a business to take care of - Hey, just wait for it.
Wait for what? Wait for it.
What the hell was? Come on.
I shall see my redeemer, When I reach that other side And his smile will be the first To welcome me Then I shall know Him I shall know Him I've been redeemed And by His side I shall stand oh yes I shall know Him I shall know Him I've redeemed by the prints The prints of the nails in His hands
Previous EpisodeNext Episode