The Porter (2022) s01e07 Episode Script

Episode 7

1 It's double to play, but we triple the payout.
TUFFY: We're just asking for trouble.
Dinger told me to come get you.
ZEKE: I know you a fucking rat.
You're running back to Edwards telling him all our business It's not like that! LUCY: I should have known better than to put my future in your hands.
We're through! I got circumcised.
Provident is a training hospital for Negro students and patients.
This is real life, and this is no one's business.
JUNIOR: We make our own lives.
Pack light, Mrs.
ZEKE: Serious ain't just showing up it's signing up.
JEFFRIES: We don't wish to give you or your men any false hope.
The answer is no.
DINGER: Thanks to them you have double the work tonight.
Strike, strike, strike, strike, strike, strike! Strike, strike, strike, strike, strike, strike! [HARMONIZING.]
You can't hide You can't run You can't hide for long You can't hide You can't run You can't hide for long [CHANTING.]
RADIO ANNOUNCER: As the labour strike all across the city rolls into its fifth day, the public outrage is growing.
Garbage, postal and railways are all at a standstill with no end in sight.
How long can labour unions starve to strike? Buck up boys.
We did the right thing stepping out on that platform.
Right or wrong, when the train stops the work stops.
Well we ain't on the bread line yet.
There's still time to get things sorted.
We just gotta What's going on? Nothing we want the company to know, so go on and get walking.
You still on that? I told you, I'm not the rat.
Hey, listen y'all, we just need to keep the end goal in mind.
Us refusing to cross their picket line is us defending our own right as workers.
As men.
WINCHESTER: Lookin' to the future is all well and good, but what happens now? You never told us what went down at that union Congress meeting.
GLENFORD: So when the company tries to retaliate, they're gonna step in for us, right? It ain't that simple.
GLENFORD: What's that supposed to mean? You said Moschel was on board.
WINCHESTER: You crazy? We walked out there for the world to see.
You really think he's gonna do us any favours? It's fine.
It's fine.
I just still got a few moves I need to make.
That's all.
LUCY: Mama? BERNICE: Clean or not, these clothes need to go on the line! Coming mama! POPSY: Those crates in the back, you count every bottle.
You ready to tell me what this is for? Didn't realize a cash transaction required an explanation.
Listen Junior, I don't profess to be a man with clean hands.
But back when all this was just a dream, I ran my shit with one goal in mind.
Make what I need to open, and then walk away.
That's what I'm doing, Popsy.
Is it? Why do you think I asked you for the car? Well I can't rightfully say.
But where do you think that you're going where the Queen can't find you, hmm? Especially when that's her money in your pocket.
I think it's best for the both of us you don't know the answer to that question.
I just need out of here quick.
Car in the alley? You're a good man, Popsy Reed.
I appreciate you.
Well this is a an interesting choice for a meeting.
Public support for the strike is real high.
This is one of the few places still open.
To real working men, that is.
Coffee, please.
I know that this labour disruption is hurting your pocketbook.
So don't worry, lunch is on me.
Try the chicken feet, you'll love them.
Trust me, this, uh, this communist invasion masking itself as a legitimate labour movement it's already in the process of being dismantled.
How's that? Oh, tomorrow's headline.
Arrest warrants have already been issued, and the Mounties are rounding up Reds as we speak.
We wouldn't want a repeat of Bloody Saturday, would we? Lost a few of your kind in that debacle, as I recall.
You try that red scare bullshit they pulled in Winnipeg, and it'll be your blood running in the streets, not ours.
Public support is nowhere near as strong as the stench of their uncollected trash.
The tide is turning away from labour so I suggest you tell your union boys to play along.
Yeah? And what are you gonna do about your porter problem? I assure you, I am not worried about that little show on the platform.
Hm, what about the star of the show? You don't know? Spit it out Moschel, and try not to choke on whatever that is you're cramming down your throat.
Before your porter Zeke Garrett broke ranks to join the picket line, he was in Ottawa meeting with the union congress board.
Brought a list of signatures of porters ready to unionize.
A long one.
It may seem like a complicated affair, but it's actually quite simple Edwards.
Either you're with us, or we're with them.
Choke on that.
You son of a bitch.
DINGER: Good afternoon Mrs.
My name is Ruben Miller, I'm the, uh, [CHUCKLES.]
I'm the conductor on the, the train your husband works.
I was hoping to have a word with him.
Oh, well, Junior isn't in at the moment, but I'd be happy to pass along a message.
Well that's very kind of you, but this really is a matter that's best kept between gentlemen.
Well in that case Mr.
Miller, I will be sure to let him know you came by.
I'll wait.
Oh honey, you've got a little bit of cream cheese.
Here you go.
- You all right? - Thank you.
ZEKE: Oh isn't that beautiful.
Please, pardon the intrusion.
Rebekah, am I right? That's right.
I'm sorry, have we met? Uh, no, ma'am, Zeke Garrett.
Sweetheart, if you wouldn't mind.
There's a baker outside selling sponge cake, would you mind picking us up a few pieces? Yeah.
Thank you, sweetheart.
What the fuck do you want, Zeke? Just a moment of your time, Mr.
Four Hundred.
What? Gotta have at least four hundred dollars in the bank to comfortably play a white man, ain't that how it go? I don't know what you're talking about.
ZEKE: Oh, you don't.
Provident Hospital.
I mean, you mentioned it when my friend and I saved your sorry ass.
And I'm guessing that your intended don't know about that.
And she's not going to, so why don't you get the hell out of here? Yeah, after you do something for me.
You have an annual union meeting coming up where you're gonna talk to Moschel, and convince him to put the porter admission up for a vote.
The hell I am.
Moschel only tolerates me 'cause his sister loves me.
You really think I can convince him on this? Besides, the charter says the union's for whites only.
Mmmhmm, it also says that every clause in the charter can be changed with a majority vote.
Come on now, don't you think you have an obligation to your people? You expect me to live my life as a Black man, yeah? Where the best I can hope for after twenty years of running up and down this country is what? Porter instructor? Or maybe I should be like you, yeah? On my knees begging the white union to let us in.
Look, we had a shot at something better.
You know, when you and your boys walked off that train.
We could have took your jobs, Steven, but we stood by you.
Now it's time for you to do the same.
Come on Zeke, if I do that, they're gonna know something's up.
Oh yeah? Well the way I see it, is you're already a pretty damn good liar.
I'm sure you'll figure it out.
She really is lovely.
Massey, good of you to join us.
Only kidding, your, uh, lovely wife here was good enough to invite me in.
You headed to work? I was on my way out when Mr.
Miller stopped by.
All right, well get going.
Pleasure meeting you, Mrs.
Wonderful cook your wife.
Understand now why you boys bring your your meals into the station.
What the fuck you doing in my house? You moving, uh, up or, uh, out? I ain't gonna ask you again.
Well, yesterday was, uh, watching you on the train, working hard and attending to the passengers, taking tips, and well then it hit me.
Junior Massey, he doesn't take tips.
And then, then I took the liberty of going through your jacket.
Oh, you went through my stuff? All right.
When you were occupied on the train and uh Well, I found, uh, found this.
Now what would you say if I showed this little betting book of yours to Mr.
Edwards? Well I'll say you didn't come here to threaten me for something you could have already done.
So what do you want? Ooh, a percentage.
A percentage of my money? [BOTH LAUGHING.]
- Of my money.
- Yeah.
See, I've, uh, added up the, uh, numbers, uh, for the duration of your little endeavour and I thought, well, uh, well six hundred would be fitting.
Well that sounds like a hundred percent.
And I'd also say that you can go fuck yourself out of my house if you think that's gonna happen.
You know, not a half century ago your daddy probably was a slave and he would've been whipped if he dared think about talking to his master that way.
Well, I'm Jamaican.
And no white man has ever conquered us.
Not the Spanish, or the British.
So if you ever come in my house again, I will skin you alive like my forefathers did every redcoat that set foot on these shores.
You hear what me say, you little fuck, you, hmm? Whatever you're paying the other men I hope it covers their legal fees because lawyers can be costly and after I throw every porter that helped you run numbers into prison, I can't imagine that the scales of justice will tip in their favour.
Can you? [GASPS.]
I don't have it here.
It's on the train.
Get it then.
What you think the picket lines are just gonna part like the Red Sea for a company man walking through? [DINGER CHUCKLES.]
I think those trains are gonna run sooner than you think.
And when they do Mr.
Massey, I want my money.
All of it.
Nights with you in Harlem When the moon recedes from view And daybreak brings the promise of loving you You loving me [FOOTSTEPS STOMPING.]
Those nights MOSCHEL: We raised our voices, stood our ground! And showed those sons of bitches that the city can't run without us.
I'll buy you lazy bastards a round of drinks.
There you go.
How you boys doing, eh? What's wrong with you? You knock up my sister or something? - You schtupping my sister? - No, no, no, no, no.
No I would never do that.
Relax, I'm kidding! Unlike me, she's a good Jew.
Never ate a pork dumpling.
Come on Steven, lighten up.
It's a celebration! Zeke Garrett came to see me.
He asked me to talk to you about putting integration on the agenda at the annual meeting.
He can't be serious.
A lot of the men are talking about how the porters stood by us when we walked off.
You think they rolled out the red carpet for a Jewish union leader? They're barely tolerating us.
I'm not gonna stand up for negroes.
Smarten up.
Tommy's got his eye on your seat.
If you're not gonna listen to your men, I can guarantee you he will.
All I'm saying is put it on the agenda.
What happens next is up to the men.
Let them decide.
If nothing else, it's a good show of faith to keep the porters in line until negotiations are over.
How you boys doing in here, eh? [CROWD CHEERING.]
What's going on? I'm trapped Mar.
That man that came here, Dinger, he wants the money I make from the train, but it belongs to Queenie.
Queenie? The woman they call the Southside Butcher? If I pay the man we can't leave.
If we leave, then every single porter that lifted a finger to help me be left in the lurch.
Not to mention what happens if I don't show up with Queenie's money.
Baby, baby, what you doing? Come on.
Sell it.
Sell everything we own.
Pay that man, and let's get the hell outta here.
You can't help anyone from the grave, Junior.
As long as I have you and I have Teddy, I have everything I need.
The rest we'll figure out together.
RADIO ANNOUNCER: There was a rush of employees eager to get back to their old positions this morning, as the strike ends with a modest victory for the unions.
After an all night session, the general strike committee decided to accept the city's proposal to appoint a commission to investigate the strike and settle all disputes.
Which track? Track number 8, Ma'am.
Thank you.
No problem.
Well, you got what you wanted.
Moschel's putting it on the agenda.
Hey! Your blackmail stunt nearly threatened my entire life! What do you think would happen if people found out the truth? We both know nooses travel north of the border.
Well no one forced you to pass.
I did what I had to do for my people.
So I'm one of your people when you need something, theirs when you don't.
I guess who we really are shows up when no one is looking.
I must confess Mr.
Massey, I wasn't entirely sure this was all real until now.
Well, it looks like you're good for something after all.
See you next week, same time, same place.
This isn't gonna stop, is it? DINGER: No.
Like you, I do not intend to invest all my years on these damn trains.
I'm out.
You see what uniform you're wearing? You're a porter, Mr.
You clean shit and you eat it at the ring of a bell.
And the only authority that you have is what I give you.
Come on [LAUGHS.]
Can't you see I'm offering you a gift.
I can be your new very best fucking friend.
Get back to work.
FRANKLIN: I know Dianne takes a long lunch on Thursday, so I thought I'd bring you, a little something to read.
Well it was certainly a considerate gesture, but this is old news.
Not so old that they wouldn't care about the real story.
You know.
The one that tells how you preach protecting the Canadian worker from the "immigrant scourge", but, tsk, tsk, tsk, you pay off the government officials to just whip them past your borders.
This was an isolated incident.
I've got a paper trail that begs to differ.
You will release my trust funds, or I walk right out this building and right into the office of the Daily Record.
This is you trying to get back into the house? No.
This is me through trying.
I'm not asking for anything that doesn't belong to me.
This what I'm owed and it's what she deserves.
You do realize this act of insolence will end the very idea of you taking a position here.
Stop by the bank at the end of the day, I'll have it sorted by then.
You startin' to regret this arrangement? I mean, these girls that It's not them.
Well something's got you shook.
What is it? Might as well spit it out.
He has always been the type of man to chase after his dreams.
But now it feels like we're just running away from his problems.
You don't wanna run with him? MARLENE: It's just What if it doesn't work? You know what you need? You need to get outta your head a little while.
I got just the tonic for you.
Come on.
All right.
All right.
You worry too much, honey.
Put that to your mouth, pull it in.
Now, what was I sayin'? Oh yeah right, my first time.
Wait, do you mean my "first first"? Or the first time it was good? Both? My very first time was my husband, and it was as awful as the man himself.
Now the real deal was Ray Badger.
How should I say this? He had trouble getting the badger to come out of the tunnel.
By the third song, that badger was on duty, baby.
He had me so wet I thought I had sprung a leak.
My first was my husband.
My only, as a matter of fact.
Your only? How you know he know what he doin'? Girl, you eat prime rib, do you need to taste any other meat? [BOTH LAUGH.]
I just love him so much.
What's that? Hey, that's your going away present.
It make no sense at all To say how much you earn It make no sense at all To say how much you used to earn It make no sense at all ["GROW MAMA GROW" BY DOMINIQUE FILS-AIMÉ.]
You should know better than to wait so long Who said the world will be here right after you're gone You should know better than to take so long [WOMEN LAUGHING.]
FAY: You know what? You've got that room down there for a clinic, but that's your money maker right there, baby.
Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Feelin' now what you feeling now Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Grow Grow mama grow Grow mama grow Momma Grow mama, grow mama grow Wake up mama tell me what's on your mind Know you heard them calling Wake up mama tell me what's on your mind All night long Wake up mama tell me what's on your mind Wake up mama tell me what's on your mind POPSY: I told you to get your ass outta my club.
All I'm asking for is her address, dammit! Please! Well that ain't happening.
The last thing Lucy needs is for you to show up there and cost her another job.
- Popsy - Hey! That is Mr.
Reed to you.
Reed, I know how much you mean to Lucy, so I could only imagine that the feeling is mutual.
But you have to understand, I promise you, this is good news.
Something Lucy would definitely want to hear.
Well, boy, this is a bar.
Not an information desk.
So I ain't gotta tell you shit.
Reed, no matter what you think, I love her.
And I'm going to come back here every day until she shows up or you tell me where I can find her.
And you'll find I'm very persistent when I want something.
I thought my services were no longer needed.
How'd you put it? "I've got Zeke Garrett under control.
" Things have changed.
Unless you're no longer in need of my money? That depends.
What kind of information are you looking for? I heard Garrett has a list of porters who are angling to get into the union.
I'd be very interested in obtaining that list.
How interested? Name your price.
What are you gonna do with it? I suspect you don't really want to know the answer to that.
You have until tomorrow.
Tomorrow? I don't know if I can get to [TENSE DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
How long you think I got? You know what time your train leaves.
No, I mean until she's done playing with the porter.
A woman in her position can't afford to keep friends.
Family? Bobby had no loyalty.
Boy had more mouth than sense.
But all he wanted to do was get out of the box he got put in.
Isn't what every man wants? [TENSE SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC.]
Well if you decide you wanna get out the box, I got a proposition for you.
A real partnership, fifty-fifty split.
You take Chicago and I'll take the trains.
You got no idea what I want.
I know you wanna be makin' moves, but she's got you makin' drinks.
So maybe when you count up the money from the power-ball, you'll think different.
KATHERINE: I'd rather be in here than entertaining Roger.
Last time he took his socks off and the stink was so bad my eyes started to water.
FAY: I told him the sex was so good it was bringing me to tears.
Marlene, sit down.
Come on.
Relax, honey.
Madam stays out of the house for this very reason.
She'll bail us out with a big gratuity so we're not charged.
Charged?! Is, uh, that the woman who claimed she was a Black Cross Nurse? OFFICER: Yep.
Kept saying she didn't belong here.
Eli, please.
I know we've had our differences but, [WHISPERS.]
you know I'm not one of them.
OFFICER: Is that how your Black Cross Nurses usually dress? In that kinda whorehouse get up? ELI: They most certainly do not.
OFFICER: So she's not one of yours? She used to be one of our nurses.
So sad to see how far she's fallen.
Must be a hard fall from such a high horse, I suppose.
I didn't mean it like that Oh, I know exactly what you meant.
You know what? The next time you wanna play in the dirt little girl, you go find yourself a garden.
Leave me the fuck out of it.
Sister Massey.
You wanna tell me what you're doing in here Lucy? I mean, you know the landlady don't take kindly to wom Oh, now I hope those tears ain't for that Edwards boy.
Because I'm sure he don't deserve a one of them.
LUCY: It's not just him.
It's my whole rotten life.
Oh come on.
Come here.
It ain't rotten Luce.
And-and you can't let a few bad spots make you toss the whole apple.
I put my whole trust in Franklin.
Quit my job at Stardust and everything.
Talk to Popsy.
I mean, I'm sure he'll understand But he won't give me the stage.
And I can't keep being a maid, or I'll end up just like my mama.
Nothing to show for my talent but a record that gets tossed in the trash.
So what you going to do? - Can I stay here tonight? - Come on Lucy.
I-I know it's against the rules, but I just need some time to think.
Find myself a fresh start somehow.
I sent a little to my family, but if they won't take it, you should.
- No, I shouldn't - Come on.
You're family too, Luce.
And fresh starts don't come cheap.
Thank you.
And just don't snore, or step on me.
All right, I'm be right here.
I guess you're telling the truth.
Madam never leaves any of her girls behind.
You're letting me go? Someone else came to pay your fine.
Let's go.
I promise I will pay you back every last penny.
I was glad to do it.
I'm sorry.
I should've told you that I was still going to the brothel.
What were you thinking, Marlene? At first I was as mad as you at Eli for sending us there.
But he wasn't wrong.
He sent us to a place with real need.
There's plenty of people in the world who could use your help.
Why would you want anything to do with those kind of people? Those "kind of people" are all kinds of people.
- Gwen, I'm sorry.
I didn't mean - It's getting late.
Gwen Bring back the coat when you can.
Ever think of trying to make it as a trumpet player? Music might feed the soul, but it don't put food on the table.
You can move to Chicago.
You can live in luxury.
Your son can learn from the best musicians.
And you could be my right hand.
And what about my wife.
What's her name again? Marlene.
Pretty name.
Everything added up? STICKS: Ledger looks good.
I gotta be getting off, or I'll miss my train.
Just remember porter-man, as long as you work for me, you'll never go hungry.
Thank you.
I saw your face.
I know the money didn't add up.
Why'd you cover for me? Used to work for a gangster name of "Slick" Teddy Sims.
He had the whole Southside in his pocket, but his woman was always in his ear about taking on the Italians for more.
Slick wasn't big on that.
What a man won't do for love or pussy, right? I know that's right.
So I'm lookout while Slick meets with the Italians, next thing I know, the cops are everywhere.
I get locked up, Slick gets shot up and the whole city's up for grabs.
Let me guess, the love of his life is now rolling with the new gangster.
No, new occupation.
Queen of the whole fucking city.
Ten years inside.
I get out, Queenie gives me a job as a jack-of-all trades.
And that was generous.
Yeah, I think that most days.
And other days? Well I think who the fuck tipped the cops off about our meeting? Maybe she was generous, maybe Slick shoulda seen her coming.
Either way I'm making the first move this time.
Proposition accepted, porter.
MAN: Hey Zeke.
You've got a telegram from Edwards.
Thank you for travelling with us, ma'am.
You have yourself a good day.
Porters! If you hear your name called, please come forward.
What's going on? I don't know but it don't look good.
EDWARDS: Joining the Welfare Committee.
Using the Ice Cream Social Fund as a cover to collect names and dues.
You're a little man with big dreams, aren't you Mr.
Garrett? Only wanted what was deserved, Mr.
Job security protection and a decent living.
You're like David, one shot at Goliath, only you missed the mark, Mr.
And now your fellow porters will have to pay.
Now hold on, you can't punish then for what I did.
I most certainly can.
And I imagine in the future you might find it a little more difficult to entice these hardworking men to follow your foolish mission.
Rufus Wells.
Glenford Brown.
Winchester Barnes.
Wesley Clark.
- EDWARDS: Hutchinson Colby.
- Oh, these are good men.
Sidney Grizzle.
That have dedicated years to this company.
Blanchard McLean.
They have families goddammit! Ezekiel Garrett.
You know what I remember about David and Goliath, Mr.
Edwards? David used one stone, but he picked up five.
Just in case.
Gentlemen, be aware as of today the railway no longer requires your services.
You all get to go home.
What? Be sure to turn in your uniforms to the station manager before you leave.
Hey, Mr.
No, Mr.
DINGER: Otherwise the cost will be deducted from your pay.
Miller you can't do this.
Excuse me gentlemen.
Miller, I got a wife! Good thing you didn't sign that union list.

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