Touched by an Angel (1994) s03e04 Episode Script

Sins of the Father

( whistle blows ) ( chains jangling ) ( buzzer buzzes ) If you'd wait over here for Officer Johnson.
Oh, okay.
TESS: Ready for a new assignment, baby? Tess, how does anyone end up in a place like this? Well, that's what you're here to find out: Where things went wrong and how to put 'em right.
But there's no way out of death row, is there? Oh, there's always a way out of the prisons that people find themselves in, baby.
Now, remember, you have Andrew and me as backup while you're inside.
( Door opens ) You're the journalist? Yes.
I'm Monica.
Johnson.
No pencils, pens, sharp metal objects or straps.
Don't speak to or acknowledge nobody till you're told.
All right? ( Ominous theme playing ) I've been here 16 years.
Nobody but clergy ever allowed on the row before.
You must have some serious clout.
Clout? Yes, I suppose I do.
That's the hospitality room.
Where they? JOHNSON: Execute.
Well, they just transferred in your boy.
He's a cop-killer.
Cold-blooded and hotheaded.
No hope in hell for a monster like that.
There's no hope in hell for anyone.
Pull your hair back.
Don't lean in too close.
( Buzzer buzzes ) Hello.
I told you, no talking to anybody.
Especially to Willis.
His time is up, and he doesn't need a journalist.
He needs a miracle.
I don't want visitors.
I want a damn watch.
Most guys get scared when they only have four days left.
Not Willis, he just gets meaner.
Gimme a watch! What's a matter, Willis? You wanna watch time go slipping away? Here we go.
JOHNSON: Luther! You got a guest.
Meet Luther Dixon, the youngest inmate on death row.
( Della Reese & The Verity All-Stars' "Walk With You" playing ) REESE: ♫ When you walk ♫ ♫ Down the road ♫ ♫ Heavy burden ♫ ♫ Hea-ea-eavy load ♫ ♫ I will rise ♫ ♫ And I will walk with you ♫ REESE: ♫ I'll walk with you ♫ CHORUS: ♫ I'll walk with you ♫ ♫ Till the sun Don't even shine ♫ ♫ Walk with you ♫ ♫ Walk with you ♫ ♫ Every time ♫ ♫ I tell ya I'll walk with you ♫ ♫ Walk with you ♫ ♫ Believe me I'll walk with you ♫ I'm Monica.
I think you were expecting me.
How much chips you gettin' to tell my story? Chips? I don't understand.
Well, why don't you come a little closer, and I'll kill you like I killed that cop.
Shot him dead in the streets and watched the blood run out of him.
I thought you told the judge you weren't the one who pulled the trigger? Get outta here, lady! No chips, no story.
I don't know what chips are.
Well, do you have a Snickers? What? WILLIS: Candy.
Baby boy wants candy.
They give out candy to the kids in the juvenile hall.
You've been in the juvie so much, Luther, your teeth probably all rotted.
You're in with the big boys now, and you're never gonna see candy again.
They have nuts in them, right? The candy bars you like, nuts and chocolate, kind of sticky.
You gonna talk to the lady or not, Luther? Get her outta here, man.
She must be crazy.
All right.
Let's go.
If you did have a candy bar in here, where would you keep it? Under your pillow, maybe? You must be trippin' or something.
So do what you gotta do.
MONICA: I need to ask you some questions, and I need you to tell me the truth.
And how you gonna know the difference? The truth will get you another candy bar.
Yo, how'd you do that? If you tell me the truth now, I'll tell you the truth later.
Who's that? That's my little brother, Samuel.
He must miss you very much.
I taught him what he needed to know.
Got him corded on real good.
"Corded on"? In the gang.
Look, you gonna listen to me or what? MONICA: How old is Sam? About 11 12 And he's in a gang? I mean, you in the set, you in the gang.
And the set is? The 'hood, lady.
Look, you wearin' me out here, all right? I'm sorry.
So everybody joins a gang because? No gang, no respect.
Gotta start jackin', you know what I'm saying? How else you gonna make the big green? ( hip-hop music playing ) TESS: There you go.
Thank you.
Well, I am ready to get started.
You are one sorry-looking angel.
( Chuckles ) Tess did anybody tell you exactly why I'm here? Well, I figure the Angel of Death doesn't have too many options.
Well, no, no, but See, I've got some preliminary work to do that maybe you haven't been filled in on.
You do your job and I'll do mine.
Tess, I'm supposed to borrow There he is.
TESS: How much time do we have? Just under four days.
Four days to change a generation? I guess that's why they call them miracles.
Hey, you! Come back here right now! ( horn honking ) You bring that back here right now, you rascal! Andrew, they My car! Somebody stole my baby! Oh, Lord, take me home! ( Sobbing ) Where's Deonne? MAN: He's gone.
I'm here.
What's it to you? Just had a little business to do with him.
What a bucket.
Ho-ho-ho! Where's your car? Or do you just have a dashboard cover and no car? Man, this thing needs some work.
New plugs, re-wiring Battery's no good.
How come you know so much about cars? My brother Luther taught me before he got busted.
Oh, so Luther's in the 'pen, huh? He's on the row.
Youngest one ever.
Too bad Luther didn't stick to fixing cars.
You know, I could use some help around here.
What do you say five bucks an hour? That's baby tooth.
I could make that in two minutes.
Stealing dashboard covers? You be needing some protection on the street.
You wanna pay for that? ( Door shuts ) WOMAN: Samuel! Samuel, I told you to come right home after school.
Where's your homework? Why you dumping on my case? I'll get it done! I want you home now.
Where's Deonne? Retired.
We don't want people like you and him doing business around here.
It's not that kind of business anymore.
You just make sure it isn't.
TESS: You stole my car! You stole it and then you killed it! Will you look at this? The Angel of Death done killed my car.
That car was spotless! And it will be again too.
I promise.
Ooh! I promise.
Ooh! Well, I was about 12 when I start jackin' parts.
Then me and the homies felt, you know, it was time for the bigger chips.
So I start sellin' heats.
So you stole pieces of automobiles and sold them for money, and then you and your fellow gang colleagues advanced to buying and selling firearms? ( Sighs ) Yeah, you know, I sure miss my homies, though.
Wish one of them fools would shoot me a kite.
WILLIS: Oh, Mama.
Mama, write me a letter, Mama, I been here two whole days, and I'm so lonely.
You gonna get a lot lonelier, punk.
Yo, you better shut up, homey! I'm tellin' you, man! ( Smooching ) JOHNSON: Knock it off down there! INMATE: Shut up! So has anyone sent you a letter? No, but you know, they oughta.
'Cause I got my respect! ( Chuckles ) You got none.
Do your friends still respect you now that you're on death row? More.
Even Samuel? Especially Samuel.
Even your mother? It ain't her fault, all right? My mom's tried to stop me from doin' the gangs and all that.
But all the preachin' in the world ain't gonna change the way it is out there on them streets.
MAN: You know, Man is an adaptable creature.
If you walk into a cow barn, at first, all you can smell is manure.
But after a few minutes, you don't smell it anymore.
The smell hasn't gone away.
You just get used to it.
And that's what's happening in our neighbourhood.
How many times have you said it to yourself, "There's nothing we can do about them selling drugs on the corner"? How many times have you seen a child breaking into a car and looked the other way? How many times have you heard a gunshot in the middle of the night and simply gone on watching TV? God wants us to do something about this.
God wants us to take back our children.
God wants us to stand up! ( cheering ) God wants us to stand up.
Stand up! ♫ This little light of mine ♫ ♫ I'm gonna let it shine ♫ ♫ This little light of mine ♫ Are all your prayer meetings like this? No.
Some are even more useless.
I don't quite get your meaning.
Trusting God doesn't seem useless to me.
God doesn't live in this neighbourhood.
♫ Oh, midnight oil ♫ ♫ I'm gonna let it shine ♫ ♫ Oh, midnight oil ♫ ♫ I'm gonna let it shine ♫ MONICA: So you're 16.
LUTHER: The youngest man on death row.
You think that makes you a man? WILLIS: Mm-hmm.
A dead man.
Shut up, Willis.
LUTHER: Yo, what's your point, huh? Huh? Well, I suppose my point is that if your friends respect you and they want to be like you, that I'm afraid they'll behave like you, and one of them, maybe Samuel, will end up in here right next to you.
Luther, have you ever really looked up to someone? Your father, perhaps? My father's a dog.
He had responsibilities.
He had a family.
But still, he jetted out on us.
That ain't no man.
My daddy wasn't no man.
What was he? Yo, man, I ain't even talkin' to you! Well, I'm talkin' to you.
And your daddy ain't the reason you here.
You here 'cause you a punk.
No wonder he left you.
Hey, Willis, I bet you don't know the time.
I do, though, 'cause I got a watch on my wrist! You got a watch? ( Luther laughing ) How come you? Hey! Hey, Johnson! How come he got a watch, and I don't? Back up! He don't have a watch, Willis.
LUTHER: Yes, I do.
And guess what.
Guess what it say.
In three days, you a dead man.
Do you hear me? Luther, please.
WILLIS: Hey, check this out, baby boy.
You're new meat around here now, but I get you face to face, you gonna be dead meat! Luther Shut up, man! Hey, Johnson.
Hey, Johnson, man! Come get this white lady before I squish her head through these bars! JOHNSON: Back up! Both of ya.
All right.
Let's go.
You got a lot to say now, huh? Back up.
LUTHER: You need to just shut your mouth, man.
WILLIS: Yeah, come on, shut my mouth.
LUTHER: Death gonna shut your mouth.
Those cars got alarms, 'Dre.
Can't live up to your big bro, huh? I just said they were wired.
I didn't say I couldn't do it.
Tonight.
Samuel Hill, am I gonna have to carry these all by myself? I'm b-busy.
Man, don't be disrespectin' your moms like that.
Go on.
Unless I say different.
( Scoffs ) Samuel, I'm making your favourite for dinner tonight.
Spaghetti.
What do you think? I got things to do.
What things? Does it have anything to do with 'Dre? Samuel, use a glass, please.
I told you to stay away from 'Dre.
He ain't nothing but trouble.
He's my road d-d-dog.
Keep that gang talk out of my house.
You wanna end up like your brother Luther? At least Luther's got respect.
Respect? Respect got him sittin' on death row.
I want you to live, baby.
Sammy, where you going? Samuel, you get back here.
Samuel, you hear me talkin' to you! Samuel! Damn it.
Yo.
Samuel.
Man, I cannot figure out what's wrong with this thing.
It's worthless, that's what.
Yeah, well, besides that.
Now, look.
It starts up okay, and then it just dies.
Man, it's a dirty carburetor, not gettin' any gas.
Oh, yeah.
Yeah, see, I should have seen that.
Listen do you think that maybe you could? 'DRE: Little Sam.
Little Sam! ( Hip-hop blaring ) I could really use your help.
What's with the white dude, man? You hangin' with 5-O? I gotta handle some business.
'DRE: Come on, Sam.
( Buzzer buzzes ) Never thought I'd see you up in here again.
Well, here I am.
To be honest with you, I don't understand you, Luther.
I don't understand how anyone can kill a human and be proud of it.
Well, ain't nothin' to understand, you know, it's too damn late.
But it's not too late for Samuel.
He doesn't have to end up in here.
But he might because you're still his hero.
You know, Samuel's my boy, right? He got his stripes.
Stripes? Look, I can't understand you if you won't talk to me.
Fierce.
Check it out.
My pops had these scars on his shoulder, right? Like some cat clawed him or somethin', you know? And I remember him telling me that they didn't hurt half as bad as the other guy looked.
The homeboys used to tell me my pops had all the stripes.
He was hard.
And when I was little, I I was gonna be just like him, you know? But, uh But he left you.
Shook the spot when I was a kid.
And he was your hero.
Next question.
WOMAN: Every time I try to talk to my boy, it pushes him further into the gang.
We gotta teach these children that life is the most precious thing they have, and they're wastin' it.
Now, how am I supposed to teach him anything if I can't get him to come home? We have to show them, somehow, that the gang is not their family.
That's right.
A family keeps you from harm.
It doesn't expose you to it.
If you've got a family left.
Protecting our children starts at home.
TESS: We've got to tell them the truth.
That gangs are death, not life.
And we've got to keep saying it again and again until they hear us.
Preach on, sister! Thank you, I will.
Now, all your plans: Your neighbourhood watch, your canvassing the streets, your treating the police like friends instead of enemies.
All of that is fine, but it's not enough.
We've got to fight these gangs not with our fists, but with the power of God.
Amen, amen.
What do you mean "we"? You say we are not doin' enough.
How many jobs are you holdin' down? Well, I'm holdin' down three jobs.
You're not from this neighbourhood.
My husband was, and he's gone.
My oldest son was, and he's gone.
My youngest, well, I'm losin' him too.
This ain't nothin' but a bunch of talk.
I'm sorry, but all your prayers are just a waste of time.
It's all hopeless.
Well, if you think it's hopeless, why are you here? ( Car alarm blares ) My car! Hey! Samuel! Sammy! Samuel! Samuel, no! You let go of my child.
Let him go! Valerie, if you save him now, you won't be able to save him later.
Mama! Ma! ( Sirens approaching) No, Mama! God help him.
God help my child.
So tell me about 'Dre.
'Dre? You know, we was riders.
I did anything for him.
He got me put on the set, showed me what was what.
You know that last job? Me and 'Dre did it together.
He worked everything out, but, uh ( snickers ) It's always cool to have a rider like 'Dre on your team, 'cause you'll never be lonely.
So where is he now? ( Keys jangling ) JOHNSON: All right.
That's enough for now.
I'll see ya tomorrow.
( Dramatic theme playing ) MONICA: I don't suppose this is a coincidence, father and son side by side like this.
TESS: A coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
I wonder how he got those scars on his back.
It was another violent night in the neighbourhood a long time ago.
He wasn't much older than his son is now.
It was a stupid argument over a stupid piece of street.
You were there? Oh, some of these cases go on for generations.
Tess, if you know Willis, then you can make him listen, and then maybe he can talk to Luther, and I can't make him listen, baby, and neither can you or any other angel.
All we can do is speak the truth, and you can do that as well as I can.
People hear the truth in a whole different way.
It has a sound of its own.
God exists.
God loves you.
God wants to be a part of your life.
Those are all true, and Willis' heart knew it then, but his ears didn't wanna hear it.
But we're running out of time now.
Samuel.
Baby.
You left me in jail! How come you didn't come get me? I sent Reverend George after you.
You always picked up Luther! I know.
Maybe if I'd left him in there all night the first time, he wouldn't be sittin' there now.
What kind of mum are you? The kind that loves you.
The kind that can make difficult decisions because she wants what's best for you.
The kind that wants you to be so scared of prison that you'll never go back.
Scared? ( Tearfully ): You think I was scared? The scariest thing I see right now is you.
( Melancholy theme playing ) ( breathing deeply ) How'd you get in here? It's a little strange, don't you think, to see a man doing push-ups on the day of his execution? I've been here before.
My lawyer's got another appeal goin' right now.
Your appeal will be denied this time, Willis, and you will die at midnight.
What? The question now is, how will you die? Will you die as you've lived? Or will you take truth with you and leave some truth behind for your sons as well? I don't know what you're doin' here, but, lady, you better get outta here now before I lose my patience.
I'm an angel just like the one you met a long time ago.
Tess asked me to give you this.
It's the watch you lost the night you got those scars on your back.
An angel? Yeah, right, well, listen, Miss Angel.
If I'm gonna die, what do I need a watch for? Because there's still time left, not for you, perhaps, but for your children.
You're dreamin'.
They long gone.
Not yet.
Samuel will listen to Luther, and Luther will listen to you.
Willis, Luther may spend the rest of his life on death row, but he doesn't have to be there alone.
And Samuel has the chance to live a long life of his own instead of dying on the streets.
But it starts with you.
It starts with truth.
God loves you, Willis, and he wants to give you this chance to do something with your life before you lose it.
If God loved me, he'd save my life.
What do you think he's doing? Reach out to your son and tell him who you are, and be the kind of father you so desperately wanted to be when you first held Luther in your arms.
( Keys jangling ) GUARD: Time's up.
GUARD: Okay, Thompson.
Let's go.
( Wind gusting ) LUTHER: Hey, old buzzard.
Last piece of sky you ever gonna see, huh? ( Pensive theme playing ) GUARD: All right, Thompson, let's go.
Thompson Willis Thompson? WILLIS: Uh, T-bone steak some scrambled eggs some greens pecan pie and a pepperoni pizza, extra cheese.
Anybody you wanna see? Minister? Friends? Family? No.
Yeah.
You went to the store and never came back.
Just like that, man, you was gone.
You even know how many nights.
Mom's cried herself to sleep? You left us with nothin'! Samuel still in Mom's belly, man! She needed you.
We needed you! You just jetted out on us, man.
What was I thinkin'? I'm sorry I let you know.
Well, you know what? I'm glad they gonna kill you tonight.
'Cause this time when you gone, ain't no comin' back! ( Melancholy theme playing ) 'DRE: Yo, that preacher's been messing with us for too long, man.
His time's up.
Man, you sure about this? Man, I should have known your brother was the hard one.
Why don't you just? I be just as b-b-bad as my brother.
Oh, yeah? You b-b-bad? You h-h-hard? Prove it.
That's right, fool.
Let's raise up outta here, man.
( Hip-hop music playing ) ( bells ring ) Preacher's daddy's store.
You just wait.
He'll be out in a while.
He's comin'.
( Suspenseful theme playing ) ( indistinct conversation ) Yeah, take care of yourself.
( Bells ring ) JOHNSON: I can't say I liked you very much, Willis.
You weren't as much trouble as some of the others.
What you want me to say, man? Hey, I'm just tryin' to be nice.
Now, the warden will be up in a couple of minutes.
It's really gonna happen this time.
( Buzzer buzzes ) Bon appetite.
( melancholy theme playing ) WILLIS: Can he see you? What? Can you see her? You must be trippin'.
Talk to your son, Willis.
When you need me, I'll be here.
Hey.
Hey, what's up, man? I'm I'm I'm sorry.
Sorry for what? You know that white lady been hangin' around, Monica? ( Chuckles ) She told me she's an angel.
Damn thing is I-I-I think she is.
Straight from God.
Oh, man.
Yeah, 'cause see I seen one before, and I didn't listen to her.
And now Look, Luther, son Man, I'm not your son no more.
Yes, you are.
You are.
Listen to me.
You're my son, and I gotta tell you something, and you got to tell your little brother.
Those stripes I got here, the ones that you think make me so hard? I got 'em runnin' away from a gangsta I couldn't put down 'cause I was scared.
He turned around and got me 'fore I could get him.
Angels tried to tell me to get out then.
But I didn't listen.
Thought you said it was one angel.
It was one, at first.
She looked like a sister.
Then there was this other one, a white dude hangin' around.
I couldn't ever figure why he never got put out, till I realized what he was.
Angel of Death, Luther.
Tell me somethin'.
Who did pull that trigger? You sorry? I'm sorry that those kids don't have no father, 'cause I know how that feels.
( Door unlatches ) ( chains jangling ) WILLIS: It's funny.
I ain't scared no more.
I thought you never was scared.
That's a lie from the pit of hell, son.
We all scared.
JOHNSON: Ready, Willis? I am now.
Johnson.
I wanna say goodbye to my friend here, please.
Next time you meet an angel you listen.
You hear? You see him, Luther? The dude in white, you see him? God can be with you tonight or not.
It's up to you.
Yeah.
Show me the way to go home.
Let's go, Willis.
( Buzzer buzzes ) Let me know if I have any other stops to make tonight.
( Buzzer buzzes ) I think your father's going to die in peace now.
It's too bad he couldn't live that way.
Who cares about him anyway? You do.
You won't admit it, but you loved him.
That's why his betrayal hurt so much.
And it filled you with so much bitterness and hatred that you can't love anyone else.
As a matter of fact, Luther, you've become just like him.
"I ain't nothi" like that loser.
No? How many promises have you broken to Samuel? Samuel never had a father.
All he had was you, his big brother.
I took care of my little brother.
And who's taking care of him now? And the man you killed, who's taking care of his family? You know, I have listened to you now for days, and I have learned some of your language: "In the 'hood," "in the set," the cop was a "one-time," "chips" are money, stealing is "jackin'.
" And, yes, it's all very impressive, you with your secret codes and your dead homies.
But where has it gotten you, Luther? Into this room, alone, where you will spend the rest of your life with no one no one, that is, except God.
God, who is doing his best trying to take care of you, just as he is taking care of the victims whose lives you have shattered.
And I don't care if you bother to come up with some fancy word for him too, because he's still God, and he loves you.
But he cannot, and will not, let you out of here because of what you have done.
But he will stay with you, Luther, and he will stay with your little brother too, if you'll just let him.
Your body may be in prison, but your soul doesn't have to be.
What did you mean by? 'Bout Samuel? Samuel loves you, Luther.
But right now he's holding the gun that 'Dre gave him.
As a matter of fact, he's going to murder someone in a few minutes.
Well, you gotta go stop him.
You can't let him go out like that.
Only you can do that.
How? By loving him enough to tell him the truth.
Are you really an angel? Then I'm gonna listen.
Sam.
Luther? What're you doin' here? How'd you get out? It looks real good out here, man.
It's a pit.
No matter how bad it may seem, it's freedom, Sam.
You hear me, man? And I don't wanna see you kickin' that to the curb for nothin'.
What are you talkin' about? What am I talkin' about? This, man! It's wrong.
It's a mistake, man.
I don't wanna see you maki" no mistakes like me, man.
Do not be like me.
But you're down, Luther.
So what, man? I killed a man.
He dead! He gone! His babies sit up at night crying.
I swear to God, I wish I'd have never done it.
'DRE: That's how you got outta jail, man? Sellin' out your honor and your respect? Yo, it ain't no pride or no honor in shootin' a man in the back.
Here, come on, Little Sam.
Evidently, your brother done punked out on us.
Sam, you ever wonder why 'Dre got out, and I got sent to the row? We did that job together.
You ever wonder why 'Dre didn't get no time, man? Sam, he's He's just messin' with your head.
'Cause he turned on me.
That's right, you turned on me.
He's woofin', man.
Man, I hid that gun good.
But after they come talk to 'Dre, the cops go right to it.
Sam, they would have found that gun anyway, man.
He was your road dog.
No, Sam, that's not it, man, that ain't the answer, Sam.
Listen to me, Sam.
Believe me when I tell you they got a home right next to mine startin' tomorrow.
If you pull that trigger, you better believe it's gonna be yours, man.
That's the way it is.
No, that ain't the way it is.
Man, listen to me.
Sam.
Listen, you gotta do somethin' nobody in our family has ever done, man.
Live! Live to be old, man.
I love you.
I love you, man.
I love you, man.
( Bell tolling ) TESS: You look like you could use a friend.
I thought I was alone.
Oh, there's always somebody here.
Might help to talk about it.
The father of my sons just died a few minutes ago.
I know.
But your prayers for him were not in vain.
My prayers are runnin' out.
My Luther's gonna end up just like his daddy.
And one night, I'm gonna be sitting here again.
Sittin' here waitin' waitin' for midnight to strike.
But it doesn't have to be that way with Samuel.
I know.
But that's just the way it is.
Samuel wants to be with his gang.
Every time he walks out that door, he just breaks my heart.
Don't let your heart break.
Let it change.
It's too late.
There's nobody left.
Not even my little Sammy.
You've got a choice too, you know.
Choose to believe that God will never leave your son, nor forsake him.
Believe that as long as he lives, he will have a choice.
And believe that God will show him the right choice to make everyday.
And then pray that Samuel will listen.
Mama? I'm right here, baby.
TESS: All right, all right.
What about the light in the glove compartment? It's brand-new.
Hey, you ready? MONICA: I listened.
I tried to understand his language.
Yes, you did.
You heard what Luther had to say, and he heard you.
He's 16 and he'll be locked up for the rest of his life.
Why does it have to be that way for some people? It doesn't.
Now, God may move in mysterious ways, but the ways of people are the biggest mysteries of all.
We can't change their past, but the good news is, they can change where they're going.
And so can Luther.
Now get in the car, let's go.
( Engine starts and revs ) Thank you.
You're welcome.
Oh, now that sounds more like it.
Well, I threw in a couple of extra cylinders while I was at it.
That's okay, isn't it? You're a good angel, boy.
All right.
Here we go.
( Cooing ) ( heartfelt theme playing )