Current Revisions by
January 6, 2005
CREDITS SEQUENCE: EXTREME CLOSE-UPS
An unfinished mechanical device: a scaffold of thin metal
pipes, levers, pulleys, wiring, serve-motors.
THOMAS CRAWFORD works on it: in his 40s, well-dressed but in
disarray, graying stubble, hair and clothes unkempt.
Magnifying glasses distort his eyes, making them huge and
He sets aside a tool, takes a marble-sized ball-bearing and
drops it into a slot at the top of the device.
His enlarged eyes follow the metal ball -
- as it rolls and flips and spirals through a Rube-Goldberg-
style maze, setting off bells, clicking past turnstiles -
- then missing a leap and clattering across the work-table.
Eyes on the device, Crawford's hand traps the ball.
He stays still, analyzing.
He selects a tiny screwdriver from a neat array of metal-
working and electronics tools. Makes a miniscule adjustment
to a single joint. Drops in another ball.
It rolls and flips and spirals all the way down.
Crawford doesn't react. Just studies the machine.
Behind him, on a desk: a framed photograph of a beautiful
woman in her mid-30s.
INT. LUXURY BEACH-HOTEL ROOM - THE SAME TIME
JENNIFER CRAWFORD is just reaching orgasm -
- with ROB NUNALLY: mid-30s, good-looking, aging-boyish.
They clutch each other, shuddering, lost in passion. And
then, breathing heavily, caressing each other - Nunally rolls
off her - slowly coming back to earth.
Jennifer studies her lover, a quiet play of relief and
gratitude and satisfaction on her face -
- darkened by a troubled distance, maybe even fear.
She is, after all, having an affair.
INT. CRAWFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
Crawford stares through the grotesque lenses, motionless,
He takes a deep breath and checks his watch. Then he stands,
removing the glasses.
We now see his office: large, austere. Decor and equipment
related to aircraft engineering. Outside big windows, jets
take off from an industrial airstrip.
Crawford gets a brand-new bottle of Jack Daniels from a desk
drawer, uncaps it and swigs as he opens the door to a private
He gargles, spits into the sink. He pours out more, then
puts the half-empty bottle back on his desk.
He collects a home-made device from the workbench: it looks
like a PDA connected by wires to a blank credit card.
He puts it in the pocket of his suit jacket, which he sets on
the desk. Adjusts the placement of the open bottle, nearby.
Crawford goes to a light-box, studying a set of large X-rays:
dark strips of welding in a grayish fuzz of metal.
TINA, his assistant, appears in the doorway.
The N.T.S.B. guys are here.
(Doesn't look up)
She hesitates a second, glancing at the bottle.
Crawford ignores her, pulling an x-ray off the light-box and
grabbing his jacket -
- which knocks over the bottle. It skitters across the desk,
Crawford just walks out past Tina.
INT. AIRPLANE HANGER - SOON AFTER
The twisted, torn and burned wreckage of a large private jet
is being reassembled on the big empty concrete floor.
N.T.S.B. INVESTIGATORS in shirtsleeves and AIRCRAFT COMPANY
EXECUTIVES in suits cluster around work-boards covered with
photographs and diagrams of a crash site.
They look up, falling silent, as Crawford comes in carrying
the X-ray. A few exchange surprised, concerned glances; this
is not a man who skips a shave.
But when he gets to them, Crawford is laser-like - holding
the X-ray and pointing to a spot three inches above it:
He hands a startled Investigator the film and strides off
toward the giant open doors out to the airfield.
His foot knocks a piece of the carefully-laid-out wreckage in
passing; it clatters across the concrete, but Crawford
doesn't slow or look back.
INT. LUXURY BEACH-HOTEL ROOM - SOON AFTER
Rob is still in the bed, naked under the sheet - watching
Jennifer adjust the straps of her bathing suit.
What about dinner tonight?
She looks at him, surprised. Smiles, comes to sit beside
We go out to dinner - we might never
Beat. Rob nods.
I want to wake up with you. I want
He gropes for words, but it's too big and he relents - scales
...at least see where you live.
She regards him tenderly, feeling the same reckless yearning.
But also fear. She rubs his hair.
She leans over to kiss him delicately on the lips.
EXT. SANTA MONICA STREET - DAY
A black Porsche speeds down a quiet street near the beach,
pulls into a parking space.
Crawford gets out, goes to a pay phone. He puts his cell
phone on top of it, drops in some change and dials.
OPERATOR (ON PHONE)
Lieutenant Nunally, please.
He listens to hold music and checks the time.
OPERATOR (ON PHONE)
He doesn't come on til six. You want
his voice mail?
No. Thank you.
I'll see him later.
He hangs up, grabs his cell, and takes off down the sidewalk.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY - DAY
Crawford enters. He knows where he's going - past the front
desk and outside to the -
EXT. HOTEL POOL - DAY
Jennifer swims laps with strong, even strokes. Rob is
enjoying the sun in a lounge chair.
Crawford eyes them as he passes on the other side of a low
fence. Unnoticed, he heads upstairs.
INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - DAY
Crawford stops at a room with a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the
knob. He takes out his PDA-device and slides its card into
the key-card slot of the lock.
The lock clicks to green.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY
Crawford enters, quietly closing the door behind him.
He just stands there, taking it all in. The unmade bed, the
ripped-open condom packet, the clothes on the floor.
He is silent. Very still.
EXT. CRAWFORD'S STREET - LATER
Jennifer drives her Mercedes convertible past expensive
houses in the late-afternoon light.
She goes up the driveway of the Crawfords' stark mordern home.
Across the street, MR. GIFFORD is playing catch with his
GRANDSON. He waves to Jennifer.
She waves back, friendly but distracted, on her way to the
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Cold. Elegant. Metal planters with bamboo trees. Glass
doors out to a back garden. A fire in the fireplace.
In a corner is another of Crawford's Rube Goldbergs - this
one the size of a refrigerator. On a coffee table in the
center of the room, a big wooden bowl of ball-bearings.
Jennifer hurries in, dropping her keys on a table and -
- freezes, startled.
Crawford waits in the center of the room; despite the outer
"disarray", he is calm and focused.
You're - home early.
I just felt a sudden urge.
Crawford shrugs, smiling strangely. He looks pained.
I could use a hug.
Jennifer submits guiltily. Crawford embraces her, tight.
She waits it out, until:
Have you been drinking?
He lets go and she steps back. Studying him. Scared.
I've been watching you sleep. At
Sometimes when I'm at work, I'll start
thinking about you and I'll just get -
just - overwhelmed.
It's a dense, crushing -
geophysical force. Like I'm
pinned. At the core - where things
You ever get that way about me,
What are you talking about?
I'm trying to describe my feelings.
Those don't sound like feelings.
What's the sound of one feeling...in a
You think you're so much smarter
than I am. That must make you feel
Okay. Maybe it's time to really talk.
He shakes his head. Frayed and worn, she sighs.
Fine. Whatever. I'll make you some
He watches her turn and head for the kitchen. To her back:
I know. Everything.
She stops, exhales. Looking down. Afraid. Grateful it's
happening at last.
I'm so sorry.
Don't be. Knowledge is pain. I'm
used to that.
Jennifer winces, feeling some sympathy. Preparing herself to
turn and end it, to grow, to move on.
It's not like I don't let little
pleasures, in return for the pain.
She frowns and turns - and her eyes go big with fear.
Crawford is holding a semi-automatic pistol, aimed at her
face. Very still.
The gunshot explodes out of the muzzle - bright, harsh, loud.
EXT. GIFFORD HOUSE - FRONT YARD - CONTINUOUS
Gifford and his Grandson turn to look at the Crawford house.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Crawford stands, tilting his head to watch the slow hypnotic
curl of smoke leaking from the gun in his extended hand. The
hand, we might notice now, wears a surgical glove.
He lowers the gun, bends to pick up the ejected shell-casing
from the floor. He wipes it and tosses it aside, on his way
He stands looking down at her: face-up on the floor, head in
a small pool of blood, eyes and mouth open.
The doorbell rings.
EXT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
Gifford leans on the frosted-glass panel next to the door -
hands cupped around his eyes, trying to see in.
Tom? Jen? Everything okay in there?
INT. CRAWFORD FOYER - CONTINUOUS
Crawford steps in from the living room.
Everybody just LEAVE US ALONE!
He calmly aims up at the frosted-glass transom and fires
three times - watching Gifford fling himself away.
Crawford collects the shell casings, wipes them, drops them
back on the floor.
Peeling off the rubber gloves, he crosses to the fireplace
and throws them into the flames. They curl and blacken.
Crawford watches, expressionless - then looks around,
EXT. CRAWFORD'S STREET - DUSK
Helicopters overhead, SWAT teams setting up. Nearby houses
have been emptied, gawking NEIGHBORS and media vans moved
back to a block away.
UNIFORM COPS pull aside the barriers as a plain-wrap sedan
rolls through. It pulls up by the SWAT Command Truck.
ROB NUNALLY gets out, surveying the scene. The guy who spent
his afternoon with Jennifer Crawford in the hotel is an
You the Negotiator?
Yeah. What do we know?
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - SOON AFTER
Crawford waits, with the gun. The phone rings. He picks up:
EXT. CRAWFORD'S STREET - CONTINUOUS
Nunally is standing by the open trunk of his sedan, wearing a
Kevlar vest now - putting on his shoulder-holster over it.
Into his cell-phone:
Who is this?
My name is Lieutenant Robert Nunally.
I'm a hostage negotiator for the Los -
Crawford hangs up. Thoughtful.
Nunally grimaces, shuts his phone, shaking his head. But
then he turns - with the SWAT Commander and everyone else -
- as Crawford's front door unlocks and opens a few inches.
Nunally considers this, looks at the SWAT COMMANDER.
Okay then. Here we go.
He pulls his suit jacket back on, then reaches into the trunk
for his back-up gun. He tucks it into the back of his belt,
concealed under the jacket.
He takes a walkie-talkie and starts for the house.
The spectators fall silent. Radios crackle and hiss as he
heads up the driveway.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
Crawford watches Nunally's silhouette appear on the frosted
glass, from across the living room.
The door pushes open very slowly. Nunally stays in the
Crawford studies him, staying back.
Get rid of the vampires.
Nunally is confused; Crawford gestures at the flood-lit lawn
outside. Nunally glances back, sees the SWAT teams and -
down the street - the distant barricades, the media.
He nods, steps in and lets the door shut. Careful silence.
Do I call you Rob?
If you want.
Not vampires. Ghouls. Sorry.
Nunally nods, humoring him, glancing around. Sees the small
pool of blood where Jennifer fell. Plays it cool.
Mr. Crawford, what do you say you give
me the gun - so I can pay more
attention to what you're saying?
Is that your best shot?
So to speak.
I just think - maybe it would -
Tell you what: I will if you will.
Nunally frowns, wary.
Crawford moves to the coffee table in the center of the room,
holds his gun out over it.
We both put down our guns. At the
Crawford gestures to a chair across the room - by the foyer
door, near Nunally.
We set them down and step away.
Then you can "pay more attention" to
what I'm saying.
Nunally studies Crawford...and the gun, hovering above the
coffee table. Looking for a trick, a catch. But there isn't
one. If Crawford sets down his gun and steps away, he'll be
standing in the open center of the room.
Happy ending, then.
Nunally stares Crawford in the eyes -
- then slowly takes his gun from his shoulder holster.
Eyes on each other from across the room - moving very slowly -
the two men cautiously set down their guns -
- and step away. Crawford smiles.
Nunally smiles, too, reassuring and false. Begins to edge
forward - alert to the possibility of a lunge for the gun or
having another weapon. But Crawford stays absolutely still.
Mr. Crawford, your neighbor mentioned
that your wife -
You can call me Tom.
Tom. Your wife. Is she here?
Crawford gestures to a library alcove, behind him, out of
Is she all right?
Nunally begins to drift slowly to the side, to see.
I don't think she is. I shot her,
Nunally's nodding, edging to look into the alcove -
You shot your wife.
It was like I just suddenly - snapped.
We were arguing - and I got the gun.
- okay - I hear you -
And I shot her in the head. I know it
Are you listening to me?
But Nunally is not. He's frozen - staring, shocked, at the
back wall of the alcove - which he can now see.
There's a big framed black-white photograph: a portrait of
Oh Jesus Christ.
Nunally fumbles for his walkie-talkie, rushing past Crawford
toward the alcove -
- kneeling by Jennifer, who lies, face-up in a red puddle -
We need a medic in here! Get the
ambulance up! RIGHT NOW! NOW! NOW!
Nunally feels her neck frantically for a pulse - looking in
her open, vacant eyes for some sign -
Oh no - God no - I can't - get a -
Nunally desperately starts C.P.R., his hands getting bloody.
He stops to check her neck for a pulse now and then -
- as Crawford slowly approaches from the living room,
standing behind Nunally. Cold.
You know, I think I read somewhere
that a good place to find a pulse is
the femoral artery. It's on the inner
surface of the upper thigh. If you
put your fingers - you know, right up
inside her dress -
Nunally turns and lunges up, smashing a fist into Crawford's
face. Crawford reels backward with Nunally -
- the two of them falling with Nunally on top, beating
Crawford furiously, cursing -
- as SWAT COPS burst in, grabbing Nunally, dragging him back -
knocking into PARAMEDICS trying to get to Jennifer -
- Nunally kicking, flailing, spitting at Crawford - who's put
face-down on the floor, to get cuffed.
Nunally pulls free from the SWAT cops, distraught, angry -
going to retrieve his gun and shove it in his shoulder-
holster, struggling to regain control.
Wait a second - she's not dead!
Nunally whirls - everyone freezing, breathless, falling
The Paramedics kneeling around Jennifer work -
- as Crawford lies on the floor, staring at his wife. Like
she's a machine that defied astronomical odds and refused to
behave according to his calculations.
EXT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - SOON AFTER
Jennifer's stretcher is loaded into an ambulance, doors
slamming shut and sirens kicking on -
- as Crawford, cuffed behind his back, is pushed into the
back seat of a police car. His eyes on the ambulance as it
pulls away, carrying his wife.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - SOON AFTER
A DETECTIVE uses a pencil to lift Crawford's gun from the
coffee table and carefully put it in an evidence bag.
Nunally stands back, watching the COPS and TECHNICIANS work
the scene - lost in his thoughts, shaken.
You all right?
Nunally "wakes" - nods. Absently:
Yeah. I'm good.
To avoid talking more, he heads out to the glaring lights and
INT. WILLY'S APARTMENT - THE NEXT MORNING
The alarm clock shifts to 6:00 am and pops on to local news
and traffic -
- but the narrow futon bed is already empty.
WILLY SLOCUM works at a laptop on his second-hand desk, lit
by a solitary lamp.
He is in his late-20s, good-looking. Short hair, office-pale
but athletic, wearing mis-matched sweats from Eastern
Oklahoma State College.
He jots a final note, sets his yellow legal pad aside. As he
goes to the closet-sized bathroom, pulling off his sweatshirt
and starting the tiny pre-fab shower, we linger on the laptop
screen: rental listings for a new apartment.
The bare overhead bulb is on, revealing the concrete floor
and painted-plywood walls. His clothes hang neatly on a
length of pipe suspended by ropes from the exposed rafters.
Law school texts fill cinderblock-and-board shelves.
The radio chatters. Willy knots a tie in his crisp white
Willy methodically packs legal folders from last night's
"homework" into his big, battered briefcase. He has to work
to stuff all the files in.
He pulls on his suit jacket, settles the shoulders, tugs at
his cuffs. Uncaps a pen, leans over a one-sentence letter
waiting on the desk. Reads it over.
As he signs, we glimpse:
- hereby give notice that I will be resigning my
position at the District Attorney's Office as of
Willy savors the moment.
Then he tucks the letter into an envelope, gets the heavy
briefcase - goes to shut off the light and open the door -
- which swings about six inches, then clonks into something.
Willy grimaces. Peeks out, goes to pound on a wall.
MRS. DEMELLO! Your CAR!
Silence. He sighs. Shuts the door and presses a button near
There's mechanical grinding noise as the far wall slowly
rolls up, letting in daylight and revealing an alley beyond
the hanging clothes and cinderblock shelves.
He presses the garage-door-opener button again, and hurries
across the apartment to duck out under the closing door.
EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS
Willy straightens and takes a breath, re-settling his suit
jacket with an irritable glance at his landlady's car, parked
sloppily next to the garage, blocking his door.
As he walks away, down the alley, we rise up to reveal the
hazy sprawling landscape of L.A. - and the towers of
Downtown, rising ahead of Willy like Oz.
Come on, Phil: I called you as a
courtesy, and you start looking to
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - LATER THAT MORNING
An ancient fluorescent-lit cubby crammed with documents, case
files, notes, reference books. Willy on the phone:
I'm not knocking it down to a Class C.
My backlog of open cases does not
mitigate the fact that your client
tried to kill his brother-in-law with -
oh, right, a "golfing accident"? Your
client owns one golf club and no golf
balls - and the "accident" took place
in the stairway of an illegal after-
hours gambling club. Yeah, okay -
I'll see you in court.
His cell phone rings. As he gets it:
Well, I won't see you in court, but
someone from this office will. You
take it up with them, I gotta go.
Willy Slocum. Oh - hey, hi, yes.
Assistant District Attorney NORMAN CHANG (mid-30s) throws the
door open without looking:
Willy holds up a finger, talking into his cell:
No, I didn't. Wow. Okay.
Norman mouths "WOOTON SIMS?!" repeatedly during:
No - short notice is...fine. No, I
can. Black tie. Sure. What time?
Okay. Yes. Thank her.
He hangs up, exhales slowly. Looks at Norman.
Wooton - SIMS?!
Please stop saying, "Wooton Sims" over
and over. It's starting to sound like
Okay: go back to "Wooton Sims."
As Willy gets up and goes out, past Norman -
How the hell did you get a job at
Wooton Sims?! I can't even get an
INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - DAY
Norman follows Willy out to a central bullpen area where the
shared ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS work: MONA and GLADYS.
I've been here five years. I'm your
supervisor. I graduated USC, summa!
We're just going to pretend he's not
No problem. I'm serious.
I'm really jammed-up all day, and I
need to rent a tuxedo - for tonight.
A tuxedo?! Oh, come on! You are so
full of shit.
There must be a place that does that,
right - same day? I'm also gonna need
a messenger to bring it here. This is
my suit size and my shirt size...I
really appreciate this.
Mona nods, taking notes as Willy gets out a credit card.
Other DDAs are gathering to soak up some vicarious kicks.
What's going on?
Wooton Sims buys a whole lot of seats
to this charity opera thing every
year, because Bob Wooton is the
chairman of this committee -
It's what the man told me to call him.
You're gonna need to pick out a style,
For the tuxedo.
Willy hesitates, in over his head. A DDA helpfully does the
Travolta finger-in-the-air pose.
I don't know - I just don't want to
look like I'm going to the prom.
You wanna go Classic. Fix him up.
We'll get you something Classic.
(Picks up a ringing phone)
Willy Slocum's office.
Make sure it comes with cuff-links and
Oh, that's very nice: it's good to be
back in high school.
Her tone makes him - and everyone else - turn.
God wants to see you.
Who art on the Eleventh Floor.
Willy, startled, looks around. Approving nods, raised
eyebrows. He tightens his tie and heads for the elevators.
There is no justice! There is no
justice in the city of Los Angeles!
INT. LOBRUTO'S OFFICE - SOON AFTER
District Attorney JOE LOBRUTO, 50-ish, sits behind a massive
oak desk, studying a thick file. Doesn't look up as a
SECRETARY shows Willy in.
Willy hesitates. Looks around: he's never been here. Flags,
wood panelling, leather furniture, windows overlooking the
city. Finally Lobruto looks up, takes Willy in.
William No-Middle-Initial Slocum.
(As Willy does:)
Eighty-four-percent conviction rate.
With a case load thirty percent higher
than any other first-year DDA.
Of course - you also swapped more
cases than the rest of them put
Willy considers his options. He always does.
I offered my losing cases in exchange
for two or three of anyone else's
possible convictions. They couldn't
handle their workloads, and I prefer
not to lose.
Lobruto knew this; the question was would Willy admit it.
You're going to need a middle initial.
You're going to Wooton Sims.
In two weeks.
You'll be able to afford a better
suit. But those guys all play squash
and have middle names. They go in for
the mother's maiden name a lot.
Beat. Willy doesn't like the implied personal judgement, but
the only way it shows is how calm he stays.
My mother didn't have a maiden name.
Lobruto nods, unruffled by Willy's hard calm.
So you're a bastard; sometimes I can
be a son-of-a-bitch. Maybe you belong
I didn't work this hard to stay where
You're a street-fighter, Willy. You
should be in court. We can move you
up to better cases.
I appreciate the offer.
I didn't think so.
(Closes the file, stands)
Well - you got your litigation
experience. Your chops. And your
juicy private sector job. Anything
else the City of Los Angeles can do
Willy's amused. He stands, too. As they shake hands:
No, I think that's everything - thank
The offer stands. If you get tired of
carrying a spear.
Willy nods - but Lobruto notes the tiny flicker in his eyes:
not getting it and trying to cover. Lobruto smiles gently.
It's an opera joke. Give my regards
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - LATER
Willy's twisting in his rented tux, trying to adjust a buckle
on the side of the vest.
The phone rings and he gives up, frustrated - pushing the
plastic garment-bag aside to answer -
- knocking a full cup of take-out coffee on to his chair.
Which is where he left his suit.
Willy freezes. Watching the coffee seep into the fabric.
Into the phone, distracted:
INT. NORMAN'S OFFICE - THE SAME TIME
Norman's looking at a case file.
I've got an Attempted Homicide.
Conley caught it last night, but he's
hung up in motions with Gardner.
Arraignment in Part Seven, at three
Three o'clock is in fifteen minutes.
Thank you. What's the temperature?
I can't do it.
You do still actually work here,
Willy, right? I mean, you're still
going to be cashing your paycheck for
another two weeks and everything?
Just get somebody else for this one.
Everybody's booked up. Look: it's not
going to trial. There's a weapon with
prints, and a confession. Take the
arraignment and wait for the plea.
A real confession?
Spontaneous and signed. Come on,
Willy sighs. Looking down at his coffee-soaked suit.
Okay. Here's the problem.
INT. NORMAN'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Norman slowly smiles, listening.
You know - I really wish I was going
to see this.
INT. COURTROOM - LATER
Willy slips self-consciously through the double-doors,
wearing the tuxedo.
He gets even more self-conscious when he notices a handful of
local REPORTERS. He hurries in -
- passing Nunally, in the back row. Nunally is making a good
show of keeping it together...but it's only a show.
JUDGE IRENE FELDMAN, 50-ish, looks over her half-glasses.
Mr. Slocum. Nice to see a man who
dresses for court.
Sorry, your honor. Long story.
Willy, hurrying to Prosecution Table, barely glances at the
Defense Table -
- but Crawford, sitting beside his PUBLIC DEFENDER in an
orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, never takes his eyes off
Grapevine has it the punch-line is
Good for you, double-oh-seven.
(Signaling the Bailiff)
Let's see what public service is
offering you by way of a send-off:
The State of California Versus Thomas
The Defense rises; Crawford hardly pays any attention to the
Judge - glancing back and noticing Nunally, whose eyes bore
into him, haunted and burning.
Crawford stares at him impassively a second, then turns to
lean past his P.D. and watch Willy hastily skim the file.
Mr. Crawford, you've been charged with
section 664 slash 187 of the
California Penal Code: Attempted
Murder, with additional allegations of
Assault With a Deadly Weapon - Penal
Code section 245 dash A2, with Great
Bodily Injury, P.C. Section 12022.07.
Do you waive further reading of the
complaint and complete statement of
(sotto) I do. But, your honor -
And do you wish to enter a plea at
Not guilty. But I also want to waive
my right to counsel, and represent
Willy looks up from the file - startled.
Do you have a problem with your
appointed counsel, Mr. Crawford?
No. I just want to do it myself. I
believe it's within my rights.
Your honor, if I could have a moment
with my client -
I'm not your client. Try and keep up,
The P.D. shuts up, taken aback. The Judge considers
Crawford, thoughtful, then turns to Willy.
Do the People have an objection or a
comment for the record, Mr. Slocum?
Willy hesitates, held by Crawford's strange, amused gaze.
Shakes it off:
I'm sorry, your honor: we've got the
weapon and a signed confession. I
really think Mr. Crawford needs a
competent attorney to - frankly -
negotiate a plea.
Crawford reaches up with cuffed hands and adjusts an
imaginary bow-tie. Willy self-consciously touches where
Crawford indicated on his own collar, straightens his clip-
Crawford nods: you're welcome. Willy turns to the Judge.
I - can't - this was supposed to be -
with a pro se defendant, this is going
to drag out for months - and I'm not
even going to be here. The People
request a continuance to -
Excuse me? Your honor? I'm willing
to waive my right to a preliminary
hearing and go directly to a jury
Does that help?
You don't need to look out for Mr.
Slocum, Mr. Crawford. The District
Attorney's office can shift another
prosecutor to the case -
No, I like Mr. Slocum.
Mr. Slocum? He likes you.
Mr. Crawford seems to understand his
rights and responsibilities.
All due respect, your honor, I'm
worried this may turn into some sort
of a - circus -
I appreciate your concern for the
dignity of my courtroom, Mr. Slocum -
considering you're making the argument
dressed as a game-show host.
Unfortunately, the man is a tax-paying
citizen, entitled by our Constitution
to try and manipulate the legal
system, like everybody else.
JUDGE FELDMAN (cont'd)
As for you, Mr. Crawford, I strongly
urge you to retain counsel. Lack of
same will not be grounds for appeal.
I understand. Thank you.
Are the People ready to go to trial
without a preliminary hearing?
Willy hesitates, irritated. Looks through the file again.
Checks Crawford - waiting, polite.
Sure. Why not.
Crawford smiles at him, as the Judge opens her calendar.
INT. PARKING STRUCTURE - LATER
Willy, in his tux, comes out of a staircase and stops. Rob
Nunally is waiting by Willy's parked car.
You're supposed to be good.
Willy takes him in - wary, seeing an edge of anger and fear
beneath the tough controlled cop manner.
Is that what I'm supposed to be?
I asked around. You're supposed to be
top-notch - but to me it looks like
you've got one foot out the door, and
you're wiping the rest of us off the
bottom of the other one.
I'm sorry to...disappoint you.
Nunally is silent - frustrated. The concrete walls and
ceilings echo from distant cars.
I took Crawford's confession.
And now you want mine?
I'm here to warn you. Take this
seriously, because it's serious. This
guy is stone cold - and his wife - is
lying in a hospital bed - with brain
He struggles to keep himself under control.
Are you all right?
Are you gonna be on this, or what?
Yeah. I'm on it.
You got a confession. You took the
gun out of his hand. It's done.
I'm just - telling you. Is that okay?
Or are you too friggin' busy?!
No. It's okay.
Willy waits. Watching the tortured cop wrestle with demons.
It's a lock. We're good. Put him
down. Bury him.
Willy nods. Nunally turns and walks away, down a ramp.
Willy watches him go. Sad. Like he's watching Nunally
drown. But he's seen people drown before...and he's not
about to put out a hand. Might get pulled in himself.
INT. CHANDLER PAVILION - LOBBY - LATER
Willy moves uneasily among clusters of laughing, chatting,
sparkling FORMAL-DRESSED PEOPLE.
NIKKI GARDNER joins him, strolling alongside. She's his age,
but her elegant dress, unlike his tux, was made for her.
Are you a shark?
You've been circling the lobby for
half-an-hour now, like if you stopped
If I stopped, I'd be standing around
with no one to talk to. At which
point, death would be a relief.
Why don't you talk to Bob?
Willy stops walking, getting a little careful.
"Bob" is talking to the Governor.
Do I know you?
She puts a hand out, gently amused.
Nikki Gardner. Senior Associate,
Oh - hey, hi. It was your office that
called, with the invitation.
On Bob's orders.
Listen, I don't...actually know "Bob."
I mean, I've only met the man once.
Nikki nods, considering this. And him.
They're each conscious of an unexpected buzz of attraction.
The lobby lights flicker, breaking the spell a little. As
the CROWD begins to drift toward the auditorium doors:
You like opera?
Truth is, I haven't really had that
Neither do I.
With a conspiratorial head-tip, Nikki moves toward the plaza
doors. Willy follows.
EXT. ARTS CENTER - SOON AFTER
They stroll the emptying plaza, dressed to the nines.
Bob assigned you to my team. I'll
supervise your case-work, steer you
through the office arcana, and
generally keep an eye on you.
Kind of like a mentor.
Kind of like a probation officer.
Beat. Willy nods, meeting Nikki's gaze as she looks to make
sure he's got it.
Wooton Sims expects absolute loyalty
and a hundred-and-ten-percent
performance. But: you get to work on
legendary litigation. National,
sometimes global, in scope. It's high-
stakes. And cut-throat - even within
the team. We burn out associates at
an astonishing rate.
You're trying to scare me.
You're going to have to try harder.
She stops walking. Studying Willy.
Can I ask you something personal?
Who are you?
Willy doesn't answer. Maybe uncertain what she means. Maybe
not wanting her to know. Or even not knowing, himself.
We have a guy in our criminal
division, fresh out of Yale, named
Calvin Tyler. One of our very rich
clients gets pulled over, D.U.I. -
which is routine bullshit, so Calvin
gets it. Against you. Next thing we
know, Calvin is fired, and Bob Wooton,
who has never even interviewed a
junior associate before - let alone
hired one - says you're on my team.
Willy weighs his options. Decides to level:
It was a good bust, so Calvin came to
me for a deal. I told him if he could
arrange an interview for me with Mr.
Wooton, I would throw the case. I
laid out his arguments and evidence
for him - and I showed him how I would
lose. Calvin set up my appointment
for the day after our court date.
Then he did what I had suggested in
court - and I wiped the floor with
him. Your client got the maximum.
Next day, I met with Mr. Wooton.
Wow. You know what's brilliant about
You didn't actually do anything all
Well - I wasn't entirely honest with
His cell-phone rings. He ignores it.
You gonna get that?
Everyone I need to talk to is here.
They are both feeling the electricity in the air between them.
They wait the phone out, enjoying the forbidden insanity of
it. But then:
We need to talk about your transition
Bob believes in trial-by-fire. He
wants you up-to-speed two weeks from
Tuesday, because we're getting on a
plane to Chicago for depositions in a
class-action against our biggest
client, Armstead Pharmaceutical.
She studies Willy, trying to make sure he understands:
That's catch-up on three years' work -
and you haven't closed out your old
I'm good at trials. Even by fire.
You know, a little bit of fear can be
a very healthy thing to have.
I'm looking forward to when I can
afford the luxury of having some.
Nikki sighs, smiles. Enjoying him, somewhat reluctantly.
I'll have them put the Armstead
materials in your new office.
He watches her head off into the night. He remains, alone,
in his tuxedo, looking at the elegant glittering arts plaza.
Then he checks his cell-phone. Dials.
INT. FORENSICS LAB - LATER
MARCHAND, Senior S.I.D. (Scene Investigation Division) Tech,
works as he talks into a speaker-phone. He and Willy have
teamed-up often, and an underlying respect lets them mock
It's Willy Slocum. What's up?
Your gun in that Palisades shooting is
How can the gun be "no good"?
It's a perfectly good weapon. A
Heckler & Koch nine-millimeter. It's
just no good as evidence. It's never
It's the gun from the scene?
Yep. Bought by Mr. Thomas Crawford
and registered to his wife, about a
month ago. Apparently a gift.
And between the shooting and arrest,
this guy was locked inside his house.
Is that a question?
No, I mean, just: what's the point?
Playing games with the gun. He's
alone in the house with the victim,
and he confessed - it's not like the
gun's gonna get him off the hook.
Do you have a question I can answer?
Beat. Willy shakes the puzzle off, irritated:
Look, our weapon is in that house
somewhere. Get a team out to search
it tomorrow morning.
He shuts the phone. Takes a moment, looking around again at
where he is. Absently tugs at his tie and vest, lets the
case go. Heads in to the opera.
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - A WEEK LATER
Controlled chaos. A week's work has emptied the shelves and
cleared the surfaces, but the file-cabinet drawers are all
half-open: Willy sorts folders, neatly marking and packing
them. White "trans-file" storage boxes are piled all over.
Willy looks up, at a MESSENGER with another file box.
Where do you want it?
The idea here is we're trying to take
boxes out - not bring more in.
Is that the idea?
Willy sourly gestures to a chair; checks the label as the
Messenger sets it down -
Whoa - wait a second, this is a screw-
up. I already have these documents.
I sent this box: to the Defendant, at
I picked up at County. Slip says
bring 'em here.
Messenger holds out a clipboard. Willy reluctantly signs.
As the Messenger leaves, Willy cuts the tape and takes out a
folder. Opens it:
Crawford has scrawled NO in red marker across the top sheet.
Willy turns to the next page. A big red NO across that, too.
Pulls out more documents - flips through: NO - NO - NO - NO -
red letters wriggling across the typed pages, like flip-book
Beat. Disturbed, he picks up the phone, dials.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THE SAME TIME
S.I.D. TECHS are taking the place apart: opening HVAC vents,
pulling books off shelves, upending chairs and tables,
removing drawers from cabinets.
Marchand, supervising, answers his cell-phone:
Where are we on this gun?
We can't find it, Willy.
I'm in trial on Monday.
I know. I don't know what to tell
you. I'm there now.
You said you'd get a team out a week
I'm here now. My team has been here
Do you really need it?
Do I need it?! The weapon?!
He takes a second. Sighs, exasperated - but honest:
I don't know. Probably not.
Defendant's a whack-job.
He went pro se, right?
Yeah. Just when you think they're not
really stupid, they defend themselves.
You've got a confession and an
airtight bunch of circumstantial.
We've gone over this place top-to-
bottom three times now, Willy.
Willy takes a breath. Thinks it through.
Yeah, okay. Don't worry about it.
Sorry - got a lot going on.
Must be rough, figuring out what
you're gonna do with all that money.
Hey, I had to sit through an opera
Oh gee - lemme see if I can express
how much sympathy I have:
Marchand snaps his phone shut.
Willy smiles, hangs up. But then his smile fades, as he
glances down again at Crawford's box of papers.
Hundreds of pages. Every single one scrawled NO.
Willy considers them.
INT. COUNTY JAIL - INTERROGATION ROOM - LATER
Metal chairs. Bad light. Crawford sits, cuffed, at a table,
waiting. Looks up as the door unlocks.
A GUARD lets Willy in, locks the door behind him.
Crawford watches Willy take a legal pad, files, pens from his
briefcase, set them on the table.
How's my wife?
I don't know.
I heard somewhere, I think it was on
N.P.R., that you're supposed to talk
to people in a coma. Play their
favorite music. Supposedly it reaches
Willy, now ready, lets Crawford study him.
You represent Jennifer. The voice of
the victim, judicially speaking. But
you haven't gone to see her?
Too busy getting up to speed on
I beg your pardon?
I'm not judging you. I think anyone -
coming from...what you came from -
then paying your way through East-Okie
Cowshit College and Tulsa Law by
writing papers for Princeton kids on
the internet - my God, it must have
eaten your liver! Sixty-thousand
dollars in debt, eighty-four percent
conviction rate: you deserve this.
Willy tries to stay in control.
What the hell have you been doing.
I'm permitted the use of a private
Not to investigate me!
Why not? You're investigating me.
You shot your wife.
Allegedly. That's how it works,
right? If I can't introduce something
in court as evidence - it doesn't
Look - I don't want to play games with
I'm afraid you have to.
Beat. Willy reconstructs his formal cool. Takes some pages
scrawled NO from a folder, pushes them across the table.
Is this some form of - communication?
You sent me a box of papers.
It's called Discovery. The State has
a legal obliga-
There's nothing in it, Willy. You
haven't 'discovered' anything. Have
you found the gun?
Does it bother you that I call you
Crawford nods. Pleased. Leans forward.
I'd like you to consider becoming my
lawyer. I'll pay you. A lot of
I'm - prosecuting you.
Yeah, but I'm offering you a chance to
get on the right side of this whole
mess while you still can.
Are you out of your mind?
I think - on advice of counsel - I'll
decline to answer that one.
Willy studies him. Decides: it's an elaborate act. Begins
to put away his papers.
I don't need the gun to convict you,
by the way.
She was cheating, you know.
Willy looks at him, slightly taken aback. He didn't know; it
wasn't in the confession.
As he considers whether it makes a difference - he notices
Crawford watching, enjoying. Willy shuts his briefcase.
It doesn't matter what she did...Tom.
What you did is a crime.
Perhaps. But - maybe my so-called
peers will look at me and see
themselves. Betrayed. Frustrated.
Humiliated. And you and I both know,
Willy, that people have an infinite
capacity for believing in their own
Great. Take the stand. Tell your
story. I'd appreciate it.
Not to mention the fact you have no
actual evidence connecting me to the
Willy smiles, gets up.
Except your confession.
Crawford watches him go to the door.
My grandfather was an egg farmer.
Willy stops, annoyed.
Is this gonna be about how you had a
I used to candle eggs at his farm.
You know what that is? You hold an
egg up to a light, and look for
The first time I did it, he told me to
put the ones that were cracked or
flawed in a bucket - for the bakery.
He came back an hour later and there
were three hundred eggs in the bakery
bucket. He asked me what the hell I
I found a flaw in every single one.
Thin places in the shell, minuscule
Look closely enough and you'll find
everything has a weak spot...where it
Looking for mine?
No, I've found yours.
Crawford considers how to put it.
You're a winner, Willy.
Silence. Willy pushes the call-button by the door.
Huh. Well. Joke's on me then, I
Yes. It is.
I'll see you in court, Mr. Crawford.
The door unlocks. Crawford winks.
Willy hesitates for a second - then leaves.
INT. WOOTON, SIMS - EMPTY OFFICE - LATER
It's big. It's got a window. It's got a sofa. Undecorated,
except for a pile of materials & boxes marked ARMSTEAD
Willy is filling out forms - tax, citizenship, benefits. He
doesn't notice Nikki when she comes to the door.
Make sure you sign the one with the
devil in blood. It's not binding
He looks up, smiles.
Just want to be ready for Chicago.
I'm all closed-out, downtown. Last
trial starts Monday.
Beat. Not pleased:
You've got a trial Monday?
Yeah: attempted murder.
That gives you three days. You told
me - and I told Bob - that you would
be ready to hit the ground r-
The man confessed. And he's pro se.
Willy, some but acting as his own
lawyer - he could drag it out for
You want to hear his witness list?
Nikki nods. Willy is silent. She frowns.
Willy leans in, enjoying this part - analyzing, even
admiring, Crawford's ploy:
It's kind of clever: this guy is
trying to provoke the system into
declaring him insane. I think he
thinks we'll call in the doctors and
he can fake 'em out by refusing the
defense. He's acting out this really -
organized plan to appear crazy.
Beat. Nikki considers Willy.
You're gonna miss being in court,
He studies her, confident. Gestures to the stacks of
I'm almost halfway through these. And
I think I've already found about six
disqualifiers in Delaware, Ohio, and
Florida. I have to check case law in
each state, but it looks good. I'll
get the rest done over the long
Nikki sighs, smiles a little, against her will. He's won her
Willy shrugs, grins. In the silence, the impossible
electricity returns. After a moment - to defuse it:
You don't go home for Thanksgiving?
She studies him a moment, thoughtful. Careful.
If you want - you're welcome at mine.
She nods. Smiling a little, knowing her family and starting
to know Willy:
I think it would be interesting.
Yeah. Okay, thank you.
Beat. She leaves. Willy doesn't go back to work right away.
INT. COURTROOM - THE NEXT DAY
JUDGE ROBINSON presiding. A mid-sized crowd, including a few
REPORTERS. A UNIFORM COP is in the witness box, Willy stands
in the Prosecution Table.
We established a perimeter around the
house and then waited for SWAT and the
Negotiator. It was strictly by the
So the house was completely surrounded
within how long of the first shots?
Crawford sits alone at the Defense Table. He wears an
expensive suit and no handcuffs, but two DEPUTIES sit behind
him. He's barely listening to the testimony - drawing on his
legal pad: intricate, dense complex diagrams of "Rube
Maybe ten minutes.
And when you arrived at the sc-
Crawford noisily tears a page off his pad. Looks up - sees
Willy, and everyone else, turned to him.
Willy sighs, returns to the Cop.
When you arrived on the scene, was
there a crowd?
Oh yeah. Neighbors, came out to look
soon as it started.
And from what you could ascertain, no
one went into or came out of the house
until SWAT and the negotiator arrived?
Thank you. No further questions.
Crawford looks up from his drawing.
Your witness, Mr. Crawford.
Crawford takes in the Uniform Cop.
No questions for this witness.
Willy watches Crawford return diligently to his doodles.
CLOSE-UP: THE DEFENSE TABLE - LATER THAT AFTERNOON
It's a mess of loose legal-pad pages torn from Crawford's
pad, each covered in madly intricate schematics. He works on
yet another, head down, intent.
Dr. MARION KANG is on the stand, using a marker on a big
diagram of a head:
- through the frontal cortex and the
temporal lobe, coming to rest against
the back of the skull.
So this bullet inflicted serious
It inflicted serious and irreparable
Willy nods, allowing the jury time on this. He checks a note-
card, glances at Crawford. Considers his options.
Dr. Kang, is it safe to say that
someone inflicting this kind of wound
intended to kill?
Judge Robinson gives Willy a warning look.
Mr. Crawford, you might want to
object. The witness can't know your
state of mind.
Crawford doesn't even look up from his drawing.
No thank you, your honor.
Willy gives Judge Robinson an I-told-you-so shrug. Turns to
I would say so, yes.
Thank you, Dr. Kang.
Crawford tears off the page, starts another.
INT. COURTROOM - LATER
Nunally on the stand. Focused, professional. Crawford
draws, ignoring him.
So after you put down your gun, what
did Mr. Crawford do?
He confessed to shooting his wife.
Did Mr. Crawford appear confused or in
any way intoxicated, impaired?
No. Not at all. He knew what was
What did Mr. Crawford say?
Nunally looks at Crawford, enjoying the fatal blow:
He said, "I got the gun and I shot my
wife. God help me, I shot her in the
head. I know it was wrong."
(low, still drawing)
Everyone turns, surprised.
I'm sorry - Mr. Crawford, did you say
Crawford sets aside his pen for the first time. Looks up.
Yes. I want to object.
On what grounds?
I don't know.
Your honor -
I don't know what you'd call it. They
- it wasn't the first time, either,
but - I don't know the legal term.
Why don't you just explain it in
Fucking the victim.
Uproar in the court.
Mr. Crawford -
You said layman's terms -
Your honor -
I'm sorry - what would you call it -
legally - when the officer who
arrested you has been having sexual
intercourse with your wife?
Utter silence. Willy whirls a look at Nunally. The cop
meets his eyes - a deer in headlights.
Oh - shit.
I think it's objectionable - maybe I'm
Nunally looks down, silent. Shaking his head.
Your honor, the People request a -
Nunally suddenly launches himself over the witness box rail
to attack Crawford - as the Deputies leap forward to stop him -
all of them flailing and cursing in a tangle -
- spectators screaming, fleeing, gawking. Chaos.
INT. JUDGE ROBINSON'S CHAMBERS - SOON AFTER
The Judge grim, Willy panicked, Crawford calm.
He had my witness list. He should
have filed to suppress.
My mistake. Sorry.
Mr. Crawford, I warned you about
What about the fact that it's true?
I mean, isn't that the point here: to
get to the truth?
Mr. Slocum - is it true?
I don't know. I only heard about it
five minutes ago.
Put him back on the witness stand if
you don't believe me.
We can't put him back on now! Not
after what the jury just saw. Your
honor, I told you this would turn into
a circus. First he provokes the
witness with an outrageous allegation -
My Dick has evidence.
The Judge and Willy look at Crawford like he's truly insane.
My investigator. I call him Dick. I
guess I should call him as a rebuttal
witness? He's got phone records,
credit receipts, photographs,
videotapes - all documenting the
affair. In graphic detail.
Dick is good.
The Judge looks at Willy. This is bad. Thinking fast:
Okay - um: I'll stipulate that my
witness was less than forthcoming
...and that can more or less cancel
out the fact that the defendant
withheld a crucial -
Mr. Slocum - your witness was intimate
with the victim, and he assaulted the
defendant during the arrest.
Actually, while obtaining my so-called
Willy stares at Crawford, shaken. Understanding the trap.
No way. Your honor -
He's got a point. They were alone in
the house. The confession is no good.
Oh - come on!
Is this a legal argument? "Oh come
(Whirls on him)
You want to get into it?!
Crawford raises his eyebrows. Awkward silence. Willy takes
a deep breath. Turns to the Judge.
He dictated and signed his confession,
after that incident.
In police custody. Arguably, in fear
for his life. I'm sorry, Mr. Slocum -
it's all 'fruit of the tainted tree.'
We have to exclude all versions of the
confession and any evidence collected
by Lieutenant Nunally or by other
police officers on the night he was
This is insane!
It's Biblical, isn't it? The fruit
and the tree and -
He set this up! Don't you see what
Yes, I do. And I don't like it. But
it's done, so we have to deal with it.
Do you think I could go home today,
your honor? With Thanksgiving around
the corner -
Don't push it, Mr. Crawford.
What we're going to do is give Mr.
Slocum a few days to regroup and come
up with new evidence. If he doesn't -
then you can go home. That's going to
put us into the long weekend. We
reconvene Monday morning.
Willy just stands there: blind-sided, shell-shocked.
Crawford smiles at him.
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - THAT EVENING
The end of a bad, bad day. Willy flips on the lights as he
comes in, shaken.
A package is on the empty desk. Addressed in red marker.
The return address: TC, County Jail.
Willy just stands looking at it.
INT. COUNTY JAIL - THE SAME TIME
Crawford sits on the metal bunk in his prison jumpsuit.
Alone. Looking down.
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - RESUME
As Willy takes a letter-opener from the desk drawer - the
phone rings. He answers it, eyes still on the package:
INT. GLAMOROUS BAR - THE SAME TIME
Crowded with UPSCALE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS. Nikki is on her
cell-phone, hand over her other ear:
Well - you've gotta admire the
cleverness of it.
Willy begins cutting open the package as he talks:
INT. COUNTY JAIL - CONTINUOUS
Crawford very slowly raises his eyes, until he is looking
directly at us.
Come on, Willy - give the devil his
Yeah. I'm just trying to figure out
what that is.
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE/GLAMOROUS BAR - RESUME
Okay: then listen - I checked with Bob
on how he wants you to handle this.
Has LoBruto tried to take you off the
Well, he pretty much has to if he's
gonna save any face. So here's the
strategy: you let him.
Willy cautiously lifts the box's flaps - pulls aside tissue
paper - to reveal:
A single eggshell. Broken, empty.
I let him?
INT. COUNTY JAIL - CONTINUOUS
Crawford begins to smile.
Yeah, damage control. Stop getting
your face on TV. As it is, I had to
talk Bob down from cancelling your
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE/GLAMOROUS BAR - RESUME
Willy is staring down at the broken eggshell, barely
listening to Nikki.
But we've got to move fast and get out
from under. Otherwise, and I quote:
"Stick a fork in this kid's ass and
turn him over, he's done."
I can't just - walk away.
Willy: today, you got killed. The
issue now is saving your new life.
Willy can't take his eyes off Crawford's "gift."
I guess...that would be the smart way
of looking at it.
INT. COUNTY JAIL - CONTINUOUS
Crawford stares right at us. Smiling. Ice cold.
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE/GLAMOROUS BAR - RESUME
Nikki is sympathetic, misunderstanding Willy's quiet:
You want to come out and get drunk?
No. Thank you. I've got some stuff
to take care of.
All right. Don't beat yourself up.
He hangs up. Considering the empty eggshell. But then he
District Attorney Lobruto is in his office doorway, trying to
decide whether to be angry.
You don't look into who the victim
was sleeping with?
Willy burns, ashamed. But unable to admit it.
He - threw me off.
Look, Crawford knew he'd be the prime
suspect, so he gave us everything -
but he made it all radioactive. The
night this went down, it was over.
But you still walked it into court,
Willy. We might not have a case...but
it didn't have to be a public
humiliation for this office and the
Are you taking me off?
You're leaving anyway.
I'm starting to get a sense of this
That's not new evidence.
I can take him now: he thinks he's
smarter than I am.
It's not about you, Willy.
Yeah, it is. He made it that way.
(Shows him the egg)
He likes me.
What is that - some kind of Oklahoma
Let me do this. I won't make you look
No. You won't. That's what I need to
make sure you understand. I remove
you now: I'm covered, I took some
If you go on with this, when you lose -
blame has to come down. And it'll
come down on you. I'll have to
investigate you for improprieties,
incompetence - anything I can. In
public. I'll hang you out to dry.
For the good of this office.
If I lose.
You said "when."
Lobruto grimaces. He shakes his head. Sighs.
All right. It's yours.
Willy nods. Stubborn. Scared.
INT. MOTEL ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Local news on the TV: Willy pushing past media outside the
courthouse; official photo of Nunally; footage from the
standoff at Crawford's.
The sound is low, and Nunally isn't watching. He's sitting
on the edge of the bed...looking down at his gun, in his
A knock on the door "wakes" him. Beat. He sets the gun
aside, goes to peek out the curtains. Lets Willy in.
You're not easy to find. I had to
call Internal Affairs.
Yeah - they put me on a desk - 'til
this gets...sorted out.
He uncomfortably watches Willy glance around at the half-
empty liquor bottle, the mismatched suitcases and paper bags
full of balled-up clothes. And the gun on the bed.
Got home - my wife already took the
kids to her folks. Press is all over
our front lawn. Friggin' vampires.
He falters, haunted by the echo. Willy doesn't notice:
What the hell were you thinking.
You're on the job and you get called
to your girlfriend's house -
I didn't know it was her house. I'd
never been there.
It was her name!
I didn't know her name!
Willy waits. Nunally explains, reluctant to expose himself:
No last names. Her rules. We met at
the same hotel room, twice a week - no
phone calls, no questions. She didn't
want us to know too much about each
other. She said it was like...travel
in a foreign country. No baggage -
from our lives. Just us. Escaping.
Did you get the feeling she had rules
because she had done it before? With
No. I don't know. Maybe.
No. It was all just this...crazy
thing. For both of us. It was...
real. You know? We didn't expect
that, when we started. We didn't know
where it was going. I had cheated so
many times, I was numb - but she was
...new. And she made me feel like
there was - some chance. To change.
We were scared. It was like we were
afraid to go forward, but we couldn't
You always think you have time. To
work it out. Or make things right.
What was I supposed to do?!
You were supposed to tell me!
I'm married! I have kids!
You thought nobody knew - so maybe you
could just walk away clean.
No! I didn't think HE knew! OKAY?!
Even - after. I thought it was just -
massively fouled-up...bad luck. Like -
God - telling me - something.
I'm there. My mind is going crazy. I
know the confession won't hold if
anyone finds out.
I thought the guy was a whack!
Yeah? Well, he's not.
Nunally won't look at Willy. He just sits there, numb.
Is there anything else you can give
me. Anything that might get us some
Nunally shakes his head. Willy grimaces. Goes to the door.
I...tried to warn you.
Willy stops. Looks back.
You warned me he was smart. You
didn't warn me you were stupid.
Nunally winces. Takes it. Willy feels a little badly. Two
guys in a shabby motel room, in terrible trouble.
How do we get the confession back in?
What are you gonna do?
Willy shakes his head. Walks out.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THE NEXT DAY
A massive search is under way.
Marchand's S.I.D. Team has been doubled, back-up by a dozen
SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES -
- passing hand-held metal detectors along the furniture -
- taking pictures down from the walls -
- turning over mattresses - patting-down every item hanging
in the closets -
- wriggling into crawlspaces - poking into light fixtures
recessed into the ceilings -
- opening the air-conditioning unit, up on the roof -
- ripping out Crawford's high-end home-theater system -
- taking apart the Porsche in the garage.
Willy paces the edges of the action, restless, edgy.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER
Willy stops in the doorway - watching a DEPUTY shut the
stainless-steel freezer, open a wired-glass cabinet and poke
Shake the boxes.
The cereal boxes - shake 'em. And
there's a chicken in the freezer.
Thaw it out, check inside.
The Deputy stares like he's nuts. Willy doesn't blink. The
Deputy goes to shake the boxes, eyes on Willy: okay?
Willy nods. Moves on.
EXT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - LATER
Hours have passed.
Willy steps out of the front door, because he's going stir-
crazy inside. Stands watching two TECHS walk the lawn and
flower-beds with metal detectors.
He notices, past the S.I.D. vans and Sheriff's Dept. black-
and-whites parked in the driveway:
Nunally, in his parked car, across the street.
He meets Willy's eyes. Worried.
Willy can't give him any news. So he pretends he didn't see
the question in Nunally's eyes, looks away. Takes a breath,
turns and goes back in to work.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DUSK
It's getting dark out. Techs pack equipment cases, carry
them out. The place is a disaster area.
Marchand watches Willy pace the living room.
The garage? Washer-dryer?
And the tool shed, and the roof, and
the H.V.A.C. ducts.
What about the door frames? The
What did he do: rip open a door frame,
hide the gun inside and re-plaster the
wall before SWAT showed up?
What about the neighbors' property?
He could have thrown it over the
He might have passed it off to
somebody, Willy. Had an accomplice,
waiting, out the back.
Willy shakes his head, grim. Pacing.
This isn't an accomplice sort of guy.
He slows. Looking across the room at the big Rube Goldberg
device. As he moves toward it:
This is a...guy who likes to show off.
He examines the intricate workings, eyes travelling the
clutter of metal and wires and motors.
Checks Marchand - who shakes his head.
Willy grimaces. Fuming, relentless:
It's a physical object. It can't just
vanish. We're missing something -
some step in the story.
He begins walking through the crime, "the stations of the
cross" - re-enacting it, starting from the front door,
methodical, reciting it to himself:
The neighbor sees her get home. He's
already inside. She lets herself in.
A minute or two later: blood-pattern
says she's standing over there - he's
somewhere around here.
Willy stands where Crawford was. Raises a finger-gun.
As Willy goes to where Jennifer fell:
But then he carries her back there.
Willy walks along the path defined by the drops of blood:
Because he's gonna need time. To
confess. When she's alone with the
Willy stops in the alcove, looking down at the dried blood,
the discarded paramedic-supply-wrappers.
Neighbor comes to the door.
Willy nods, comes out - crosses to the foyer:
Crawford shouts, "Leave us alone" and
fires three more rounds: boom-boom-
So everybody knows he's dangerous -
and she might still be alive.
So they'll call the Negotiator.
Now he's got about ten minutes.
And that's it. He stands there with the imaginary gun in his
hand. Looking around. Trying to think like Crawford.
I'm sorry, Willy.
Willy won't respond - because accepting the apology means
admitting he's got nothing left.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LATER
It's night. The house is empty. Except for Willy, turning
on lights as he gets to each room, turning them off as he
Do you dare stay out?
Do you dare go in?
Studying framed photos: Jennifer - now and then with Crawford -
in Italy, Bermuda, Colorado. Always a bit posed and formal
when they're together.
And IF you go in -
Should you turn left or right?
Or right and three-quarters?
Or maybe not quite.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - BATHROOM - SOON AFTER
Checking the contents of the medicine cabinet.
You can get so confused that you'll
start in to race,
Down long wiggled roads at break-
No longer really looking for the gun. He's looking for
insight. Contact. A way in.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - DRESSING ROOM - SOON AFTER
Willy wanders through Jennifer's spacious dressing room.
And grind on for miles across weirdish
Headed I fear, toward a most useless
He idly surveys the vanity, cluttered with cosmetics, skin-
care products. Lifts her perfume, sniffs.
The Waiting Place...
For people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
Or a bus to come, or a plane to go
Notices a storage box on the floor, left partly-open in the
search. He shifts the lid aside.
Or the mail to come, or the rain to go
Or the phone to ring, or the snow to
A high-school yearbook. An old photo album. A teddy bear.
A snow-globe. A well-worn book by Dr. Seuss.
Or waiting around for a Yes or No
Or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Willy stares down at the souvenirs of a lost life.
INT. HOSPITAL - I.C.U. - NIGHT
The room is dim, and silent except for the hiss-click of the
respirator, the monotonous beep of the heart monitor.
Waiting for the fish to bite
Or waiting for wind to fly a kite
Or waiting around for Friday night
Or waiting perhaps for their Uncle
Jennifer Crawford lies with her head wrapped in gauze, eyes
shut, plastic tubing down her throat held in place with tape.
Willy sits beside her bed, reading Dr. Seuss:
Or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
Or a string of pearls, or a pair of
Or a wig with curls...
Or Another Chance.
He stops reading a moment. Watching her:
What are you doing?
Willy turns. A work-weary RESIDENT comes past him to check
the I.V.'s and monitors. He's about Willy's age.
I heard it might - help - if somebody
talked to her.
Who told you that?
The man who shot her.
The RESIDENT looks up at Willy - who shrugs, uncomfortable.
Is there any chance...she might come
out of this?
Are you a member of the family?
(Getting out ID)
Sorry. I'm with the District
We don't have any other witnesses.
This woman had a bullet plow through
I know. But you hear about people
waking up from comas. After everybody
said pull the plug - they wake up.
You hear stuff like that all the time.
You hear about Elvis and Aliens, too.
All the time.
It's not impossible, though. Is it?
I mean - why else are you keeping her
Beat. The Resident sighs.
No. It's not impossible. But even if
she did, she might not remember how to
talk - let alone anything about how
she was shot.
When I was here alone before, she
moved a little.
Are you just going to keep asking the
same question in different ways until
you hear the answer you want?
That's how it works with the law.
I knew I should have gone to law
Willy watches the Resident go out. Then he looks back down
at Jennifer. Listening to the machines.
INT. CRAWFORD OFFICE - THE NEXT DAY
Willy wanders. Tina, the assistant, waits in the doorway.
He's trying to conceal the fact that he's on a fishing
So this is all exactly how he left it.
Browses a wall of framed photos: Crawford at crash sites,
universities, engineering test-labs - awards, certificates,
articles from industry publications lauding Crawford as the
Go-To-Guy for investigating mechanical failures of aircraft.
And he was - distraught.
He was drinking. The past few weeks.
But he was working on this.
He stands over unfinished Rube Goldberg device. Tools laid
out on the work table - meticulous, organized.
All distraught and everything.
It's not evidence.
Do you want coffee. He said I should
Willy turns, a little rattled. Beat.
Tell him I said no thank you.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY
The room where Jennifer and Nunally met. Cleaned-up now,
anonymous, empty. Willy stands looking at it.
There's nothing to see. He grimaces, nods - heads out, past
the ASSISTANT MANAGER waiting in the doorway.
INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS
As Willy comes out of the room - he slows, noticing the
little gray plastic surveillance-camera-ball in the ceiling.
How long do you keep the tapes?
Willy considers it. He's got nothing else to try.
Can I get a copy of October 9th?
I'll have it for you Friday.
I'm kind of under the gun here.
We're short-staffed tonight and
Beat. Seeing Willy's confusion:
Willy nods, trying to pretend he hasn't forgotten:
INT. GARDNER HOUSE - DINING ROOM - LATER
A faux-Tudor Hancock Park dining room. Wealthy, but lived
JUDGE LEWIS GARDNER, your basic Henry Fonda/Jimmy Stewart-
type patriarch, carves a turkey at the head of a long table,
wearing a worn and gravy-splattered apron. Platters
circulate in both directions among Nikki's older siblings
(BURTON and SANDRA), their spouses, their children.
Willy sits next to Nikki, who is high-stylish despite the
fact that she's dressed "casual."
White or dark, Willy?
Anything is fine, your honor.
I'm off-duty, you can call me Lew.
While Gardner piles turkey on a plate and passes it:
So - is everyone in this family
involved in the law?
Well, Nikki's not.
Burton's a counsel for Sierra Club,
and Sandra's ACLU - so they use the
holidays as an opportunity to give me
a hard time, because I can buy and
We're not actually for sale, Nick.
Nikki gives Willy a did-I-tell-you? look.
Nicole decided early-on that black
sheep was the most effective role in
which to distinguish herself from her
You know of any other family in
America where the corporate lawyer
who's going to make partner by thirty-
five is the "black sheep"?
Well - you may be lost beyond
recovery, but maybe we can still
convince Willy that defending giant
corporations against injured citizens
is not the best use of his skills.
I don't think so, sir.
It's where the money is.
I believe that phrase refers to banks.
And it was coined by a thief.
Beat. Willy remains polite, but won't back down.
Times have changed.
You don't have to do this.
I don't mind; I get this kind of thing
now and then.
Almost always from people with money.
Appearances can be deceiving, Willy.
I grew up with eight brothers and
sisters on a farm up in Fresno, and I
promise you I saw my share of hard
Willy considers his options.
My mom OD'd fairly frequently, so they
put me in a Group Home. My younger
sister is dead and my older brother is
Beat. Willy looks down, begins to eat again.
I usually do.
Yes. I see that.
I don't know if you will against the
The click of silverware.
Beat. Willy looks up at Burton, steady. Shrugs.
It's not over 'til it's over.
That looked pretty over.
Anyway, Willy's been taken off the
It might not seem like it now, but
that's a blessing in disguise, Willy.
Willy nods. Beat. To Nikki, uncomfortable:
Nikki looks at Willy.
That...doesn't make any sense.
Lobruto has to do some kind of damage
I asked him not to.
Silence. Nikki is staring at him. Angry.
You are really stupid, did you know
Willy doesn't know how to handle this; everyone else tries to
be polite, eating and pretending not to notice.
I'm - getting new evidence -
Where? The Evidence Store?! Oh,
that's right - they open early the day
after Thanksgiving. You're gonna be
Did it ever occur to you I might be
good enough to still win?!
The man shot his -
You wanted corporate, right?! You
wanted to play in the big leagues?!
Yeah, I'm just -
You go to all that trouble getting
yourself in - and then you just pay no
attention to wh-
Look - I'm sorry - can we not talk
about this here?!
Nikki stops. Refusing to look around. Ashamed at losing
control, turns back to her food:
Everyone eats in silence a moment - then Nikki tosses down
I need to talk with you.
She gets up and walks out of the room. With an awkward
glance around, Willy excuses himself and follows her.
EXT. GARDNER HOUSE - FOYER - CONTINUOUS
Look, I'm sorry I didn't tell you -
Did you hear me, when I said Bob
wanted you gone as soon as this thing
broke?! Did you hear me say I went
out on a limb to convince him -
Wouldn't it be better than damage
control if I actually turn it around?
And what if you don't?
Willy has no answer. He doesn't think that way. And she
sees that. She sees a young man from Oklahoma, in way over
his head. Desperate to get through:
You don't get it at all, do you?! You
pulled a stunt to get yourself this
job. Fine: you're a hot-shot!
Wooton Sims does not need hot-shots.
Because you don't win. The firm wins.
And you just put yourself head-to-head
in conflict with Bob.
What am I supposed to do?
We told the man you're getting on a
plane to Chicago, Tuesday.
Nikki watches him dealing with it, sympathetic. The
impossible feelings always running under the surface for them
have developed a darker, aching tone. If anything, stronger.
I think maybe I'm gonna go now.
Call if you want.
He nods. Neither one moves. Judge Gardner enters cautiously
from the dining room - breaking the spell.
Nikki nods goodbye to Willy, and goes out quickly without
meeting her father's eye. Awkward pause.
I've got some work to do.
I need to call a cab.
Gardner nods respectfully, but doesn't move quite yet.
Studying the torn-up young man.
You know what nobody understands about
certain kinds of underpaid public
service work? Now and then you get to
put a fucking stake in a bad guy's
heart. We're not supposed to talk
about that when we visit a third-grade
class on Career Day, and it doesn't
get you very far into the country-club
locker room - but it's hard to beat
when you actually get to do it.
Willy looks at the kindly old judge, a little surprised.
Gardner shrugs: my two cents. He goes to a side-table, finds
the Yellow Pages.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT
Empty. Dark. Willy lets himself in.
He looks for the light-switch - finds only a complex
computerized dimmer-panel. He tries it.
Accent lights come on, buried in the living room planters.
He can't get any other pre-sets to work.
The crime scene is creepy, lit like that. The dried blood is
black. Shadows stretch up the walls, strange.
Willy grimaces, moves through it - sees another panel by the
French doors to the garden. Goes over -
- and jumps back, startled -
- by Nunally, on the other side of the glass.
Catching his breath, Willy stares. He unlocks the French
doors and Nunally steps in, uneasy, haggard.
The hell are you doing here?
Nunally looks around - taking a pint bottle from his overcoat
pocket, uncapping it.
We need to talk.
He drinks, then offers the bottle. Willy hesitates, takes
it. As he drinks:
We have to find the gun.
Willy winces at the liquor and the remark, hands back the
Thank you, Professor Einstein. It
would also be good to find a couple of
eyewitnesses. If one could be the
Dalai Lama, it would be even better.
No - Willy: we need to find the gun.
I've had three different teams here -
He didn't leave between the shooting
and when we took him out in cuffs.
The gun is here.
So we have to find it.
Well - we can't! You want to move on?
Nunally tosses something from an inside pocket of the coat -
- Willy catches it. A Heckler & Koch nine-millimeter in a
Willy stares down at it. Then at Nunally, who holds up: a
bullet, deformed by impact.
There's a guy in the Evidence Room,
owes me a favor. Well - it's not so
much a favor as I know stuff about
him. He can trade this for the bullet
from Jennifer, give us a ballistic
It's a crime.
So who's gonna get away with a crime -
this asshole, or us?
Willy sighs. Tosses the gun back.
What else have you got?!
I'll find a way.
No you won't.
Willy watches Nunally stalk out through the big, strangely-
lit room. The front door opens, and slams.
A little worried, Willy takes a deep breath. Gets to work.
He still has three days to break this open.
Walking through the crime again.
Playing it out in his mind. Standing in different places,
getting different perspectives.
Willy stands in the alcove. Looking around.
There's something here. But he can't get it.
His eye falls on the Rube Goldberg device. Moves closer,
peering into the mechanism.
Turns away: no gun. But now he's facing the big wooden bowl
of ball-bearings, sitting out in the middle of the room on
the coffee table.
Hide in plain sight.
He walks over - pushes his fingers in, feels around.
Nope. He sighs. Takes a ball-bearing, rolls it in his hand.
Goes to the device - drops the ball in the slot.
The machine is amazing. The ball rolls and leaps and
clatters - lights flash, elevators rise and fall, at one
point the ball lifts on a jet of compressed air - then it
spirals out of sight and reappears somewhere unexpected -
- until at the end the ball suddenly catapults out and sails
across the living room -
- to land neatly back in the bowl on the coffee table.
Willy grimaces. This guy is really good.
INT. MARCHAND'S OFFICE - S.I.D. - SUNDAY AFTERNOON
A mess of courtroom exhibits, copies of evidence, lists,
depositions, photos, diagrams, take-out food containers and
Marchand surveys it. The bleary end of a long day - sifting
Willy. There's nothing here.
Willy has barely slept all weekend. He shakes his head,
reviewing the hotel surveillance tapes on a VCR/TV, stubborn.
Guns don't just walk out of crime
Marchand waves copies of Crawford's evidence - stills printed
from home-video Dick took at a hostage negotiation: Nunally
doing his job, his methods, his routine.
Two months before he shot his wife,
this guy had his investigator watching
the cop at work. He knew exactly how
it would go down - and he didn't leave
any loose ends.
Then what is this:
Willy uses the remote. On the TV, in black-and-white:
Jennifer and Nunally come out of their room and head for the
pool - indistinct figures zip jerkily in and out of rooms on
- until he slows it: Crawford comes to let himself in.
Hotel surveillance. From that day.
He was there. Why?
Marchand watches over Willy's shoulder. Shrugs.
Had to see it for himself.
See what? They were out at the pool.
The unmade bed. Her panties. Man's
gonna shoot his wife in the head, he
needs to get himself all worked up.
Willy stares at the grainy black-and-white figure emerging
from the room, walking away down the corridor. Unconvinced:
Yeah. Worked up.
Marchand gets his jacket, pulls it on.
Willy, go home. Tomorrow you go back
into court and take your lumps - then
you start your cushy new life, and you
forget all about this one.
(Hoping to get a smile:)
And then you can lend me money and
Willy says nothing. Runs the tape back and then slow-motions
it forward again.
Marchand goes out. Leaving Willy alone, watching Crawford.
INT. WILLY'S APARTMENT - VERY LATE THAT NIGHT
Willy stands over crime scene photos and diagrams spread out
on his narrow futon. "Walking the scene" again, on paper.
The whole apartment is an array of law books, notes,
exhibits, marked-up depositions.
He's staring at evidence he's already stared at a hundred
He grinds the palms of his hands into his eye sockets, a dull
moan rising into a yell -
- as he sweeps everything off his bed in a storm of paper -
throwing books - tearing up printouts - pulling out drawers,
emptying them, smashing them on the desk -
- yelling in a frenzy until his throat is hoarse, his shabby
garage apartment is trashed, and he's sitting, exhausted, in
There's a knock on the door.
Willy frowns, checking the clock: it's two-thirty a.m. He
goes to open it -
- revealing Nunally, standing in the darkness, a haunted
shadow of the boyish confident cop we met making love to
It's done. In the tool shed: taped to
the blade, inside the lawn-mower.
Before Willy can say anything - Nunally walks away.
Willy doesn't move. Watching the tormented cop disappear
down the alley.
INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - BULLPEN - THE NEXT MORNING
Willy - in a clean suit and crisp suit, carrying his
briefcase - hurries through, paying no attention to the
SECRETARIES and OTHER D.D.A.s who watch like he's on his way
to his own execution.
At his office door, he gestures for Mona to come in with him.
Surprised, she gets up - taking with her an envelope with a
messenger-receipt taped to the front.
INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Mona watches Willy shut the door behind her.
Can I ask you to do something for me
Write down your cell number.
(As she does)
Once my trial is in session, wait
outside. I might call - and just hang
up. If I do, I want you to come into
court and whisper to me that we got a
tip about the murder weapon.
You found it?
I haven't decided yet.
Mona studies Willy - then accepts it's don't-ask-don't-tell,
hands him her number. Willy nods, grateful.
Turning for the door, she remembers the envelope in her hand.
Oh: this came for you.
He takes it, and as she leaves, checks the return address:
Willy grimaces, opens it. Inside are an airline ticket to
Chicago - first class - and a handwritten note, on Wooton
We only win the favor of the Gods
by making a sacrifice
See you tomorrow
He stands in his empty office, considering the ticket and the
INT. COURTHOUSE - CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS
Willy steps off the elevator, into a crowd of REPORTERS AND
SPECTATORS outside the courtroom.
He's startled for a moment: it's worse than he expected - the
dense buzz of talk in the marble corridor and all the eyes
tracking him like he's walking into an arena - a freakshow
- but he doesn't slow, ignoring the comments and questions,
avoiding eye contact -
- until he sees Nunally by the courtroom doors, his eyes
fixed on Willy.
Willy meets Nunally's gaze...moving on, giving back nothing.
Nunally watches Willy disappear into the courtroom, stares at
the closing doors - uncertain, on edge. Lost, no matter
which way this goes.
INT. COURTROOM - SOON AFTER
Mr. Gifford, the Crawford's neighbor, is on the stand. Willy
questions him, standing by the Prosecution Table.
Behind him, the court is standing-room-only. REPORTERS,
SKETCH ARTISTS, SPECTATORS. Nunally, sitting near the front.
Lobruto, standing at the back.
Crawford writes intently on a legal pad, filling pages with
So - between the time you heard the
first gunshot and called 911, and the
time of Mr. Crawford's arrest - you
had the Crawford house in view?
Yes. I was very concerned about
Jennifer. She was a lovely woman.
No one but Thomas Crawford came in or
Thank you, Mr. Gifford. No further
Crawford glances up at the Judge. Then at Gifford, as if
he's just noticed him up there. Beat. Without getting up:
Did you see the guy run out the back
The other guy. The one who shot my
wife. Did you see him run out the
back of the house, carrying the gun?
Willy closes his eyes. Gifford grimaces.
I couldn't see the back of the house.
(Trying to salvage it:)
I believe...the police went around
back when they arrived.
No further questions.
Willy immediately stands:
Re-direct, your honor.
But Crawford is standing too - with his handful of pages:
I've also written a motion to dismiss.
Objection - I'm on re-direct!
The Judge hesitates. Both men standing.
On what grounds, Mr. Crawford?
The prosecutor doesn't have any actual
I'm in the middle of presenting -
All of his witnesses are going to
testify to the same facts: that my
wife was shot and that I was,
tragically, in the house at the time
...a witness - and, in a way, a victim
myself. I'll stipulate to Mr.
Slocum's entire witness list right
now, a request a directed verdict or
dismissal, per California versus
Collier, 1982, and the Appellate court
decision, v. Watrus, 486.19.
Willy stares at Crawford, stunned. As the Judge reluctantly
nods to the Bailiff to collect Crawford's pages and opens a
Your legal skills seem to have
improved over the long weekend, Mr.
While the Judge checks the citations, Crawford glances at
Beat. Willy looks down - reaches into his briefcase, moves
his cell-phone out from under some papers. To where he can
get it easily.
Looks back up at Crawford. Smiles slightly.
Willy and Crawford turn to the Judge.
Have you got any new evidence?
May I have a moment, your honor?
The Judge nods.
Willy nods down. Trying to focus. He's got nothing, and
everyone in the room knows it. He can hear it, he can feel
it. There's a restless, hungry edge to the crowded
He stares into his open briefcase: the cell phone.
Next to it: the first class ticket and Nikki's note.
Willy glances back at the gallery. Nunally's eyes burn into
him. In the back: Lobruto frowns, concerned.
Willy turns back to his briefcase. He breathes. Press the
MENU button - selects SPEED DIAL.
On the tiny screen, a list of names. Selected: MONA/CELL.
INT. COURTHOUSE - CORRIDOR - THE SAME TIME
Mona sits on a bench, a few steps down the corridor from the
courtroom doors. Cell phone in her hand.
INT. COURTROOM - CONTINUOUS
Willy stands at the Prosecution Table. Hearing his own
Crawford studies Willy, curious.
Your honor? Can we signal the
prosecutor from here on planet Earth?
Willy's fingertip hovers over the cell phone keypad. Press,
and a path is chosen. Possibly for life.
Next to the cell-phone, the ticket and the note. See you
Nunally sits forward. Lobruto is watching intently.
Willy doesn't move.
Mr. Slocum? Now or never.
Willy won't look up.
Nunally stares, agonized.
Willy grimaces slightly, as if he feels his soul burning up,
turning to ash and blowing away -
- nods, closing the cell phone, sliding it under Nikki's
note. Shuts the briefcase. Looks at the Judge.
I have no further evidence at this
time, your honor.
Crawford begins to smile.
Lobruto looks down. A buzz rises in the gallery -
- as Nunally gets up, furious - stalks to the doors, slams
Judge Robinson looks at Willy a moment - then at Crawford,
who has been waiting, calm and polite. Very reluctantly:
Motion to dismiss is granted.
Uproar. The Judge bangs his gavel -
Order! The jury is released, with our
- practically shouting over the chaos - REPORTERS hastily
heading for the doors, pulling out cell phones -
- and the Defendant is free to go.
Crawford gives the Judge a gentlemanly bow of the head.
Willy begins to pack his papers into the briefcase. Refusing
to look up.
The Judge and the Bailiff might be saying other things, but
no one is listening - SPECTATORS swarm up the aisles, out to
the hallway - and the Court starts to close down.
Crawford comes over to Willy, holds out a hand.
Willy looks him in the eye. Doesn't move. Crawford shrugs.
Even a broken clock gets to be right
twice a day.
He winks, and heads up the aisle.
As Willy watches Crawford go out the doors into a clamor of
lenses, hand-held mikes, white-hot halogen glare and flashes -
- he hears a buzzing noise. Looks down at his briefcase,
moves the papers aside: his cell phone is vibrating.
Willy stares at it, as if he'd forgotten the thing could be
used for an incoming call.
The caller ID reads: WOOTON SIMS. He picks up -
INT. WOOTON SIMS - NIKKI'S OFFICE - THE SAME TIME
Nikki sits at her beautiful desk with stellar views out the
windows behind her.
(It's an effort)
What did you think - I wasn't keeping
I don't know what I thought.
Awkward silence. She tries to get past it:
Listen: what do you say I take you out
tonight and get you completely
trashed? Tomorrow's just a travel da-
- there's a gun shot outside the courtroom.
Willy turns. Shocked. Screams and shouting in the corridor.
Hang on -
We move with Willy as he shuts the phone and heads for the
doors - faster, pushing out -
INT. COURTHOUSE - CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS
- into the echoing chaos of the corridor - trying to move in
the crowd -
- shoving through to where people are yelling and clustered
around a figure lying on the floor.
Willy pushes closer, until he catches glimpses of:
Nunally. Lying on the marble floor. His gun in his lifeless
fingers. Blood all over, from his head.
Willy stops pushing. Won't let himself look away - the
screams and commotion around him retreating into a numb blur.
Then suddenly Willy looks up - as if he's been called -
- to find Crawford, standing very still, in the crowd, on the
other side of the body. Everyone else is moving, talking,
gawking at the body or averting their eyes -
- except Crawford. He's looking straight at Willy.
Willy stares into Crawford's eyes.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE THAT NIGHT
The life support system clicks and hisses and beeps.
Jennifer is curled into a fetal position, despite the tubes
Willy sits by her bed. Still in his suit from court, the
jacket off, the tie loose.
He's been there a while. But now he speaks.
Your husband said something...that I
can't seem to shake loose of. He said
I'm a winner.
And he's right. I can't lose. I
can't stand people who lose.
I may have been working so hard to put
some distance between me and...people
like you - that maybe I messed up. I
don't know if did anything wrong.
Or what I should have done. I really
don't know, any more...what I'm
supposed to do.
But I feel like I let you down.
Somehow in the...process. And if I
did, I'm sorry. That's all. I just -
I hope you...have...just, some...
He feels stupid. Takes a breath. Looking at her pale,
drawn, comatose face.
He stands, goes to get his jacket, lying folded on a table by
the door. Pulls it on, settles the shoulders, tugs at his
cuffs. Gets his briefcase.
He goes to the door, and as he opens it - he looks back.
Jennifer's eyes are wide open.
She's staring at him. Willy stands, breathless, watching
INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR - LATER
Sliding glass doors suck open, Willy walks with the Resident
from the other night:
She was looking at me.
Yeah, I understand -
No, she was looking at me.
CLOSE UP - JENNIFER'S EYEBALL
A beam of light slides across it.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
The Resident tucks his flashlight in a pocket, draws a pin
from his lapel. Gently sticks Jennifer's cheek. Willy
The Resident ignores him. Pricks her forehead - her chin -
her big toe. Each time she twitches. He runs his thumb
along the sole of Jennifer's bare foot. It arches up.
The normal reflex goes downward. Up
indicates brain trauma.
She's in there. She was looking at
The Resident sighs. Sympathetic, but plain:
Sometimes we have to tape their eyes
shut. They all move - they make
sounds, they twitch. You think
they're dreaming. But they're not.
It's just what's left of the system,
sending broken signals.
Can we do other tests? Like an M.R.I.
or something? And I want a coma
specialist to see her.
You're not authorized to order tes-
I'll get you authorization. First
The Resident studies Willy. Reluctantly:
You get the paperwork, I'll do what I
Willy nods, grateful. As the Resident heads out, Willy sits
by Jennifer's bed - protective, intent.
INT. HOSPITAL - LOBBY - THE NEXT MORNING
Crawford comes in through the lobby: rested, well-dressed. A
free man. He slows, surprised -
- seeing Willy come off the elevators. Willy hasn't left
Jennifer's bedside. He's in the same suit and carrying his
briefcase from the courthouse.
This isn't like you at all.
You haven't got anything to gain.
Oh - right. That's my weak spot.
Ever think about what yours might be?
Of course I have.
The truth about me is, Willy...I'm
really not very nice.
Willy nods. Concealing the ace up his sleeve.
You sure do know a lot, though. Got
everybody all figured out, everything
set up, like one of your contraptions.
Then you just sit back and watch it
all fall right where you want it to.
Must be kind of...boring. At that
Not an ounce of sympathy, Willy?
Imagine it - imagine she was yours.
And you knew you were losing her.
Imagine days. Weeks. Going through
her desk. Her purse. Her closet.
Alone. Staring at her clothes. Her
shoes. Knowing this is what it will
be like. After.
Do you have any idea how hard it was
to go on living - with her - every
But you had to, right? You needed
time to set it all up...your "crime of
There are many kinds of passion,
Yeah. There are.
So - thank you.
Crawford frowns. Starting to feel wary. Willy sees it.
For sharing your wisdom. All your
little helpful bits of information.
You were right.
Talking to her.
Beat. Willy winks. He goes past Crawford and out the doors.
Crawford doesn't move - except to turn and watch Willy.
Uncertain, for the first time since we've met him.
INT. WOOTON SIMS - RECEPTION - LATER THAT MORNING
Willy - still unshaved, unslept, in yesterday's suit - comes
off the elevator, fishing out ID as he passes a RECEPTIONIST:
Hi, I'm just -
- going directly to the key-card slot by the glass double-
doors to the rest of the floor. He swipes his card and pulls
the handle -
- but it stays locked. Willy swipes his card again. No go.
Excuse me - I'm new, I just started -
and there's something wrong with my
card. Can you buzz me in?
Who are you here to see?
I work here. Willy Slocum. I'm new -
He stops, realizing how he must look.
Nikki Gardner. Willy Slocum, for
As he calls in, Willy sees Nikki through the doors - one of
a half-dozen ASSOCIATES trailing in the wake of BOB WOOTON.
They all carry expensive business luggage, except Wooton -
who is powerful, perfectly groomed, and two decades older.
Wait a second - never mind, here she
is, thank you.
Willy goes toward the glass doors as Wooton comes through -
nodding deferentially to the boss, semi-apologetic:
Can I talk to you for a second?
Wooton glances back at Nikki, eyes saying: don't take long.
She nods as Wooton and the team continue to the elevators -
staying back by the glass doors to talk with Willy:
You let him know what happened last
I told him.
Great - who do I work with on it while
You don't work with anyone.
Nikki: the man has power-of-attorney
and a health-care proxy, he can
disconnect her life-support whenever
he wants. If we don't move fast -
Nikki explodes - but quietly, not wanting the team to hear:
Jesus, Willy, wake up! It's over!
What is wrong with you - it's first
year law: that woman could fully
recover and swear he shot her and it
wouldn't matter. Double jeopardy!
You can't take him back into court!
I told you - we bring a civil suit -
You've got no standing.
It doesn't have to stick: we just need
to get a court order for now - to keep
Crawford from pulling the plug! With
all the brain-power here, I'm sure
somebody can come up with a pretext or
call in a favor. Then we can tie this
up in court while we arrange a state-
appointed conservatorship - so we can
protect her while we fight him on -
What's the point, Willy?
Willy stares. Because she's drawn a line in the sand. One
he already crossed, without truly understanding...and now
he's standing out there alone - feeling the sand slither away
under his feet.
This man is going to kill his wife.
What does that have to do with Wooton
Willy just breathes. Vulnerable like we have never seen him
He looks across the big reception area, at Wooton and the
team of associates. Some look away.
I warned you.
No, this is insane.
It's what it is.
Ding! The elevator. Nikki grimaces, frustrated - and sad:
I warned you.
She starts for the elevators, Willy following -
You're not really just gonna let this
happen, are you?!
Oh I'm supposed to lose my job over
My problems?! Wait a second - this is
not about my anything any more -
Willy grabs Nikki's arm to stop her, turn her around - and
she shoves him away, hard, tears welling in her eyes -
- Willy letting her go - as the Receptionist quietly calls
for help -
- and Nikki hurries into the waiting elevator. The Associate
holding the doors lets them go.
This is about taking a couple of
goddamn weeks off to try and save a
The doors begin to close. Willy stands facing the cluster of
lawyers in expensive suits, their expressions ranging from
pity to contempt -
- except Nikki, whose eyes are full of shame and guilt and
As the doors shut across them.
Willy doesn't move. Confused, humiliated, frustrated.
He turns when a bunch of OTHER LAWYERS emerge from the
offices, ready to act as bouncers. People gawk from behind
the glass doors.
Beat. Willy holds up his palms.
Don't bother. I got it.
He bangs open the paddle-sign on the stairway door, setting
off the fire alarms as he stalks out.
INT. WOOTON SIMS - BUILDING STAIRWAY - SOON AFTER
Willy runs down the stairs furiously -
- the clanging alarm, several floors above now, a little
He suddenly stops - clinging to the railing, bent over. He
sways, dizzy, gasping -
- backs up until he's against the concrete wall. Presses
himself against. Listening to his own ragged breathing.
Scared out of his mind.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DUSK
Crawford stands by the bed, glancing over a set of forms on a
DR. LUNT, a senior neurologist, and a HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR
wait. The machines hiss and click, keeping Jennifer alive.
Crawford signs the forms, expressionless.
EXT. COURTHOUSE - THE SAME TIME
Willy's walking alongside Judge Robinson, as they leave the
building. The Judge is wearing his "civilian clothes."
What do the doctors say?
People wake up out of these things.
What did the doctors say, Mr. Slocum?
They said...there's no way to really
know. I'm trying to get them to run
more tests - but I was there, and I'm
I'm sorry. I have no probable cause
to issue a court order against Mr.
Crawford - and he's protected agai-
WHAT ABOUT HIS WIFE?! WHAT'S
The Judge stops - giving Willy a hard eye: I'm sympathetic,
but yelling at me is not a smart approach.
Willy looks at the Judge a second - hapless, frustrated,
scared - then nods and shakes his head and turns away -
hurrying off through the homeward-bound crowds.
The Judge watches him go. Grimaces.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - KITCHEN - THAT EVENING
Crawford is carefully preparing an elegant, solitary meal.
Music plays on his state-of-the-art sound system.
He stops, noticing a pair of Jennifer's reading glasses,
folded up by a note-pad and pen next to the telephone. He
picks them up. Stylish, feminine.
He goes to the trash, steps on the pedal to flip open the
lid, and drops the glasses in.
Goes back to cooking.
INT. LOBRUTO HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT
Lobruto - at the dinner table with his family - looks up,
surprised, as the doorbell rings. He excuses himself -
- goes to open the door. Willy's outside: apologetic but
urgent, near the end of his rope.
I'm sorry - but nobody else seems to
give a damn that sooner or later this
guy is gonna finish what he started.
Have you been home at all today,
Willy looks down at himself: he's unshaven, in the same
rumpled clothes he wore to court yesterday. Exasperated:
No - I've been trying to get some-
There's a court order out against you.
A restraining order.
You were at the hospital? Talking to
Willy nods. Lobruto looks out at the confused, frantic young
man - truly sorry that he can't help Willy fight his way back
toward doing some good in this mess.
Crawford hired a lawyer this time.
They saw Judge Gorman this afternoon.
You need to stay away from him, and
his wife, and the hospital. He can
have you arrested if you don't.
I can't help you. I told you how it
Willy stares a second, slowly understanding his situation.
Can you do anything for her?
I don't see how.
Willy grimaces. But nods. Turns away.
EXT. LOBRUTO HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
We move with Willy out to the quiet street. The windows of
the houses he passes seem warm and safe - and very far away.
Behind him, Lobruto watches from his lighted doorway.
Willy walks, shaken, determined, into the night.
INT. HOSPITAL - I.C.U. - THE NEXT MORNING
A NURSE checks Jennifer Crawford's vital signs. She then
begins to gently wash Jennifer's face, where it's not taped
The monitor beeps, the ventilator hisses.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THE SAME TIME
Crawford knots his necktie, studying himself in the mirror.
EXT. GARDNER HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - SOON AFTER
Judge Gardner pulls his car out to the street -
- swerving hastily, as Willy's car skids alongside and forces
him to the curb, horn honking.
Willy pulls to a stop, blocking Gardner's way, and gets out
of the car - holding up both palms: just wait.
INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR - LATER THAT MORNING
Dr. Lunt takes a chart from the I.C.U. Nurses' Station.
Has Mrs. Crawford been prepared?
INT. CRAWFORD'S CAR - SOON AFTER
Crawford drives, wearing a dark suit, sunglasses. Calm.
INT. JUDGE GARDNER'S CHAMBERS - SAME TIME
Willy watches GARDNER'S SECRETARY bring in a document, fresh
off the laser-printer. As Gardner signs:
Can I use your fax machine?
These have to be served in person.
INT. PARKING STRUCTURE - DOWNTOWN L.A. - CONTINUOUS
Willy brakes as he drives around a corner and sees a DRIVER
wrangling with the BOOTH GUY. He grimaces, looks around -
- backs up, tires squealing, heading for another exit.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Dr. Lunt stands by Jennifer's bed, supervising the Nurse and
an Orderly as they prepare her.
INT. HOSPITAL - LOBBY - CONTINUOUS
Crawford walks in, goes toward the elevators.
INT. WILLY'S CAR - INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS
He floors it, racing under a light going red - narrowly
misses getting broad-sided.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Dr. Lunt looks up from making notes on Jennifer's chart, as
Crawford enters the room.
EXT. EMERGENCY ROOM ENTRANCE - CONTINUOUS
Willy pulls into a NO PARKING zone and jumps out, papers in
hand - tossing the keys to an ORDERLY smoking a cigarette -
Move it if you need to!
- running through the automatic doors.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Standing beside Dr. Lunt, Crawford watches, expressionless -
- as the Nurse and the Orderly work, efficient and silent,
disconnecting the oxygen tubes, unplugging the monitor -
INT. HOSPITAL LOBBY - SOON AFTER
Willy dodges people, coming to the elevators - which open.
INT. HOSPITAL STAIRWAY - SOON AFTER
Willy gasps a little as he hurries up the stairs -
INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR - SOON AFTER
- comes out of the fire stairs, hurrying toward I.C.U. -
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
- and into Jennifer's room, where he stops. Shocked.
The bed is being stripped, the equipment rolled out.
Willy stares, breathless, overwhelmed.
You just missed her.
She just went on up.
Willy struggles to control his emotions. Looks down.
How long ago...did she die?
Medevac transfer. Out to a long-term
care facility up in Santa Barbara.
They just left, you can probably still
Willy tries to understand her. With growing horror.
He's - moving her by helicopter?
Nothing but the best.
We hear the surge of a jet engine -
- as Willy runs out of the room.
EXT. HOSPITAL ROOF - HELIPAD - LATER
A Sikorsky S-76 Medevac chopper is preparing to take off,
very loud and windy.
Through the open doorway and the thick windows, we can
glimpse Crawford sitting beside Jennifer, who is strapped on
to a gurney. She's connected to life-support equipment.
The MED TECH is outside, checking a few last supplies and
giving Crawford a moment alone with his wife.
Crawford moves. He may be whispering to her. Or adjusting
her pillow. Hard to tell.
As he climbs out of the chopper -
- he sees Willy across the roof, arguing with Dr. Lunt, who
is skimming the court documents, shaking his head.
Crawford, curious, walks toward the two men.
EXT. HOSPITAL ROOF HELIPAD - WILLY - THE SAME TIME
Dr. Lunt hands Crawford the court order. As Crawford reads
them, Lunt and Willy shout over the helicopter engine:
This orders him not to take her off
life support! He's not! We can't
stop the man from -
Then just hold it - for a couple of
hours! Have it inspected!
You're talking about a phenomenally
expensive delay, Mr. Slocum - when the
man has every right to move his wife!
She's not gonna get there!
He looks at Crawford: reading - amused, thoughtful.
This man is a mechanical engineer with
expertise in air crashes! He has
access to airfields and he knows
exactly how to make it look like an
accident! You know what he did! You
know why she's like this!
Lunt hesitates, feeling a tiny edge of doubt.
Crawford checks his watch. Looks into Willy's eyes -
- then gestures for Willy to join him, and turns back to walk
across the pad to the helicopter. Climbs in.
Willy stares, stunned.
Lunt looks at him: case closed. The rotors whirl faster,
engine noise rising to a scream.
From the open chopper doorway, Crawford looks at Willy again
and gestures for him to get on.
Willy doesn't know how to react. Slowly, he starts to walk
toward the helicopter.
INT. HELICOPTER - CONTINUOUS
Willy bends, coming to the door - wind-whipped, flinching.
Crawford holds out a hand to help him in.
Willy doesn't move. The PILOT glances back.
Crawford's eyes are locked with Willy's.
Willy stares at Crawford, scared. But unable to back down
from the crude, plain challenge. Which Crawford is clearly
Angry, at himself, Willy climbs in without taking Crawford's
hand. As he nervously figures out how to buckle himself in -
- the Med Tech secures the door, the Pilot turns to face
front - and they lift off.
EXT. ABOVE LOS ANGELES - SOON AFTER
Looking directly down at the Sikorsky as it glides over a
picturesque mapscape of streets and freeways, gray and terra-
cotta rooftops, blue kidneys and rectangles of pool.
INT. HELICOPTER - SAME TIME
Willy watches Crawford, who stares back at him. Calm.
Glances uneasily at the Pilot, bug-headed in sun-goggles and
headphones. Flying them, calm.
The Med Tech, adjusting Jennifer's portable ventilator.
EXT. ABOVE LOS ANGELES - SOON AFTER
The Sikorsky glides over cross-hatched parking lots, a pale
swath of beach -
- and the white foaming edge of the Pacific.
INT. HELICOPTER - CONTINUOUS
Willy looks up from the view. Scared. Yells to the Pilot.
Why are we going out over the ocean?
Willy looks at Crawford.
EXT. ABOVE THE OCEAN - SOON AFTER
Deep dark vast blue. The Sikorsky flies over. Small.
INT. HELICOPTER - SOON AFTER
Willy stares into Crawford's eyes.
Then he looks around at the vibrating metal box carrying him
hundreds of feet above the earth. The sunlight glare in the
scratched windows. The blur of the rotors against the empty
sky. The edges of the door frame. The rivets in the roof.
Crawford's eyes. Amused.
Willy unbuckles his seat-belt, lurches toward the Pilot -
We have to turn back!
Get in your seat!
He's doing something - we have to turn
Who's doing something?
Willy points to Crawford, who's just sitting there -
He is! You have to get us DOWN!
Get back in your goddamn seat!
Willy, I'm not doing anything.
Everyone can see that.
I'm TELLING you, we have to TURN BACK!
He's DOING SOMETH-
An alarm begins to shriek - on the ventilator.
Everyone turns as the Med Tech hastily kneels next to it -
I don't know - I'm - there's a -
- Willy whips around to look at Crawford, with fury in his
glare: oh, you bastard.
Crawford almost smiles.
The Med Tech is flipping switches, checking wires -
I can't do anything with this, up
The Pilot turns - steeply, Willy falling over, the Med Tech's
supplies spilling - as the Med Tech hastily removes
Jennifer's breathing tube and prepares to begin C.P.R. -
The Med Tech looks up - startled. Confused.
What is it?
Willy watches, wide-eyed, as the Med Tech grabs up his
paperwork, searching it -
The Med Tech looks up at Willy, scared.
She's Do Not Resuscitate.
Willy turns on Crawford. He shrugs.
It's in her living will.
The Med Tech looks at Willy, paralyzed.
She's D.N.R. She signed it.
There's a restraining order - she's
protected - I'm authorizing you to do
The Med Tech turns to Crawford, uncertain -
No extraordinary measures.
(Turns to Willy)
Unless your court order specifies
contravening her living will. But I
don't think it would. I think you got
one that forbids me from disconn-
Willy throws himself at Crawford - attacking him, as the Med
Tech grabs him, drags him back -
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON BACK THERE?!
- the Med Tech holding Willy down on the floor by Jennifer's
stretcher - Willy struggles furiously -
Wait! WAIT - LOOK!
Willy is pointing at Jennifer - shocked -
- as the Med Tech lets him up and they kneel by her, the Med
Tech taking her pulse - Willy, staring down at her, intent:
Willy whirls around to Crawford. Who's frowning.
You messed up. With all your plans
Willy turns back to Jennifer. Delicately strokes the side of
her face. Her eyes flutter open -
Shhhh. It's okay. It's all right.
- she stares into Willy's eyes. He takes her hand. Silent
awe in her eyes. Yearning. Fear.
You're gonna be okay?
She squeezes his hand. Very weakly.
Crawford is looking daggers: die, bitch.
Jennifer's eyes - fixed on Willy - roll back. She fights it.
Jennifer? Hang on.
Something sad in her wordless gaze. As it starts to fade.
She's slipping. Her eyes gone empty. Her hand becoming
lifeless in his.
No. Come on, Jennifer. Fight back.
Tears well up in Willy's eyes, but he struggles against them -
feeling Crawford's gaze, refusing him the satisfaction.
Don't let go.
But she's gone. He stares down. Mourning her. Letting his
grief slowly burn into rage. He gently reaches up and closes
Then he looks up at Crawford, who smiles sympathetically.
You pushed it, Willy. We didn't have
to be here.
But now you're my witness. You saw:
I didn't touch anything, I didn't do
anything. The machine went down.
Anybody asks - you'll have to tell
them. What you saw.
That's really kind of perfect, isn't
Willy stares into his eyes. Cold. Then he looks away. Out
the window, into the sun-glare.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
INT. WILLY'S APARTMENT - A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER
The garage door is open, letting in daylight. We can see the
alley especially well, because there are only empty hangers
on the clothes-bar, and the cinderblock shelves have been
taken apart, stacked on the floor.
Willy is packing. He's wearing jeans, an old t-shirt.
He carries a heavy pile of legal textbooks out to the trash
bins, throws them away.
As he turns to go back in - he sees Lobruto coming along the
alley, wearing a suit. Surprised, waits.
You're not answering your phone.
That's kind of an answer in itself,
Willy heads back in, starts to pack again.
Where are you headed?
Haven't decided yet. Just someplace
Lobruto nods. Willy packs.
I shouldn't have let it get so far out
We all lose, Willy.
We just have to live with that, and
keep fighting the good fight.
That's not what I was doing.
You belong in a courtroom.
Willy packs, thinking about that. Shakes his head.
I need to - get to know myself better.
You're a good lawyer. All this may
have even made you a better lawyer.
Don't waste it.
Willy turns on him - angry, confused, bitter:
I didn't just lose a case! I let a
man get away with murder.
Lobruto nods. Respecting his pain. Shrugs, accepts the
decision, with regret.
Willy nods his thanks, and turns back to packing.
Lobruto starts to leave. But from the alley door:
If it makes you feel any better -
technically, you let a man get away
with attempted murder.
Willy doesn't respond. Keeps packing.
Lobruto goes out.
After a moment, Willy stops. Looking up. Something turning
over in his mind.
EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS
Lobruto is walking toward his car when Willy steps out of the
garage and calls after him:
His wife is dead!
Lobruto turns. Uncertain what Willy is getting at.
We can still get him. We can take him
back to court.
Willy comes toward him - excited, insistent:
Double jeopardy doesn't apply! We
bring a new charge - of homicide.
Willy - what happened to you, on the
helicopter - we don't even know if we
could prove -
No: he shot her and she died. The
fact that it took time - the fact that
he went to trial in between, just for
shooting her - doesn't matter. He
fired a gun and caused her death, and
If he can twist the law around - then
so can we.
Lobruto thinks it out. Wary.
A second indictment on the same
A man burns down a house; we charge
him with arson. There were people
sleeping upstairs - and after weeks in
the hospital, they die. We'd charge
him with murder. Right?
Lobruto nods. On the fence, but seeing it now. Impressed
with the young man's fervor, and his logic.
But he shakes his head.
All your evidence is still toxic. The
confession, the arrest - it's all
Willy grimaces. Looks down. Thinking, intense.
I'm sorry, Willy. It was a good idea,
I'll get something new.
Willy looks up at him. Calm now.
You don't want to know.
Willy, you can't -
I don't work for you.
Beat. Lobruto sighs, as Willy nods and turns to start back
to the garage. With work to do.
Don't do anything crazy.
What else have we got left?
Willy disappears inside.
INT. S.I.D. LAB - LATER
End of the day. Marchand pulls on his coat, shuts down his
computer. He turns to go -
- Willy is standing in his doorway.
I need a favor.
INT. POLICE EVIDENCE WAREHOUSE - SOON AFTER
Willy follows an EVIDENCE CLERK along an aisle between floor-
to-ceiling steel shelves of boxes marked with case numbers.
These are from that thing at the
The Clerk stops, checking a number against a slip of paper in
his hand - pulls down a box for Willy.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THAT NIGHT
Crawford is building a new Rube Goldberg device, tools and
parts laid out precisely on a table.
Eyes enlarged by the glasses, he silently connects two tiny
pieces of metal -
- when a French door suddenly implodes, a metal lawn chair
hurled in from the backyard smashing through it.
Crawford stands, taking off the glasses -
- as Willy walks in over the broken glass, carrying Nunally's
Willy crosses the room to the alarm panel on the wall.
You ain't seen nothin' yet.
He presses the POLICE emergency button, then turns to
I want the gun.
Why? You've already got one.
I want the gun you shot your wife
Crawford doesn't move.
Willy raises his gun, points it at Crawford's face.
One way or another, I'm going to see
to it you receive justice tonight.
Crawford studies Willy.
You're serious, aren't you.
(A smile dawning)
Willy. You got religion, didn't you?!
You care. That's...priceless.
He laughs. Willy keeps the gun aimed at him.
No, it's very sweet. Really.
Gonna be a whole lot less funny in
about a minute.
Crawford nods. Considering the game. Unruffled.
Getting it like this: is that going to
hold up in court?
I don't work for the D.A. any more.
I'm just a guy who broke into your
house. When the police arrest me -
they'll inventory anything in my
possession. If that happens to be
crucial evidence in another case,
well: some prosecutor just got lucky.
Silence. Crawford studies Willy's eyes, over the muzzle of
the gun between them.
It takes a very special kind of person
to look right into someone's eyes and
pull the trigger. It takes a unique
kind of strength.
I guess you'd know that.
Yes. I would.
Willy cocks the gun.
Crawford shakes his head. Eyes on Willy.
I don't think so.
Willy doesn't lower the gun. But he doesn't pull the
You don't know me.
Beat. Crawford smiles slightly.
Then I'm in for a - rude awakening.
Willy glares over the gun. Crawford shrugs.
Willy's angry. Frustrated. Trapped.
His bluff called. Refusing to back down.
Where did you even get yourself a gun?
Crawford is thrown by this - but conceals it well.
Willy grimaces, over the gun still aimed at Crawford's face.
He has backed himself into a corner, and he's getting scared.
Because all of a sudden the threat he came to fake Crawford
out with -
- is starting to seem like his only way out.
Even Crawford sees it. In Willy's eyes. The uncertain edge
of the idea. He could just do it. End the game. Blow
Crawford's brains all over the wall.
There I was, with a perfectly good
weapon just sitting in the evidence
It would be so easy. With his life already a shambles. With
everything already lost. At least he would have this.
Willy. Put it down.
I thought you might appreciate the
Willy's finger tightens on the trigger.
And Willy does. Hesitating.
Distracted, by a thought.
Lowering the gun slightly, looking at it - remembering:
INT. S.I.D. LAB - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)
Marchand, on the phone - holding the gun Crawford
surrendered, in its plastic EVIDENCE bag:
"A perfectly good...Heckler and Koch
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)
Crawford is getting edgy, watching Willy study Nunally's gun:
The police will be here very soon.
The exact same type of gun you bought
your wife, a month before.
He looks up at Crawford. Getting it.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (FLASHBACK)
Nunally setting down his pistol on the chair - as Crawford,
across the room, sets down his on the table.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)
If they see you with a gun in your
hand - they're not likely to ask a lot
That's why you went to the hotel.
INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - DAY (FLASHBACK)
Surveillance-cam view: Crawford lets himself into the room -
That's why you went into the room.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY (FLASHBACK)
Crawford quietly closes the door behind him. Stands, taking
it all in -
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)
Willy looks at Crawford. Stunned.
You took his gun.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY (FLASHBACK)
Crawford checks the dresser drawers, the night-table - finds
Nunally's badge, holster and gun.
And you left him yours.
Crawford replaces Nunally's gun with his own matching pistol,
which was tucked into the back of his belt.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)
Beat. Crawford shrugs - arrogant:
I gave it back.
Yes you did.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - (FLASHBACKS - VERY QUICK)
Crawford fires at Jennifer - Crawford shoots at the transom -
After you'd used it.
Crawford holds out the gun, to Nunally: making the offer -
Then you told Nunally you'd put it
down - if he put down his.
Nunally setting down his pistol on the chair, as Crawford,
across the room, sets down his on the table.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)
Willy turns, looking into the alcove:
That's why you moved her back there -
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (FLASHBACK)
Nunally rushes past Crawford to kneel by Jennifer - shocked,
The truth is I could have done it
right in front of the man and he
wouldn't have noticed.
- ignoring Crawford behind him.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)
He had...other things on his mind.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)
Nunally's calling for help on the walkie-talkie, desperately
starting C.P.R. -
- as behind him, Crawford picks up the murder weapon,
(Nunally's gun) from the table -
- and walks over to the chair where Nunally left Crawford's
gun (from his holster).
And all you had to do was switch the
guns back - in the commotion -
Crawford picks up his gun and sets the murder weapon on the
chair in its place.
- and then wait -
He then comes back to put his gun on the table, where it will
be mistaken for the murder weapon. Straightens, done.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (FLASHBACKS)
Nunally grabs up the murder weapon from the chair, upset,
distracted - puts it in his holster -
- until Nunally walked the murder
weapon right out of the house.
A Detective drops Jennifer's gun into an evidence bag -
- as Nunally walks out.
INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)
Willy stares at Crawford. In real wonder.
You know, this is really kind of fun.
It's like showing some caveman a
Willy looks down at the gun in his hand. Thoughtful.
This caveman's gonna put you in prison
for the rest of your life.
It's still not evidence, Willy.
There's no prints left by now.
Nothing ties that gun to me.
Willy smiles, slow... Enjoying himself, at last.
No. That would be true. Except for
all those eggs.
Willy nods to himself, going to the wooden bowl of ball-
bearings - selecting one, carrying it to the Rube Goldberg
With all those little cracks and weak
places. Like Nunally. Shooting
himself, right there in the
courthouse. I didn't think he was
going to do that. Did you?
Studying the complex device, toying with Crawford:
I mean, we all knew he was going to
fall apart sooner or later. That was
part of your plan, right? Like a bank
shot, on a pool table: you kill your
wife - and destroy her lover. With
Well: four bullets, actually. Right?
Crawford frowns. Trying to see what Willy's getting at.
First bullet goes into your wife.
INTERCUT QUICK FLASHBACKS:
Crawford fires at Jennifer -
Then three more out the front of the
house, to get some attention.
- and fires three times at the transom.
Then while you're waiting for the show
to begin - you have to reload
Crawford pushes new bullets into the clip -
I mean, you don't want him wondering
where the hell four bullets went,
considering he never fired his gun
- and slides the clip back into the gun, pleased.
Willy nods, thinking it out. Sure of himself.
He sets the ball-bearing into the slot at the top of the
And I'm betting you didn't worry about
CLOSE: Crawford's fingers, putting the bullets in the clip.
Willy lets the ball go - watching it begin rolling down the
I mean, why would you? Nobody's going
to be looking at his gun.
The ball tumbles and clatters - flipping and clicking through
the ingenious, precise, heartless machinery -
And sooner or later, life goes on,
those four incriminating bullets would
get used, and be gone forever.
- and Crawford is recognizing, slowly, his one mistake.
The gun in Nunally's limp dead fingers, glimpsed on the
marble courthouse floor, through the crowd.
Except Nunally only fired one of those
bullets. Into himself.
Willy turns from the machine -
- which continues clattering and working, beside him.
Which means there are still three left
with your fingerprints on them - Tom.
In this clip.
He holds the gun up. Savoring Crawford's growing fear.
They can hear a car rolling up the driveway. Red and blue
lights sweep the frosted glass by the front door.
Everybody has a weak spot, right?
Some place they break.
Without looking, Willy gently pushes the machine, moving it a
fraction of an inch on the floor -
- as the ball catapults out - sailing across the living room
in a perfect, graceful arc -
- that misses the bowl.
Outside, the police car doors open and then slam.
Crawford, going pale, watches the metal ball roll off the
coffee-table and across the floor toward him.
Crawford doesn't move. Trying to focus. His mind working.
The ball comes to rest against Crawford's shoe.
The doorbell rings.
Crawford looks up. Meeting Willy's eyes.
Smiling slightly, Willy tucks Nunally's gun into his belt and
puts his hands in the air.
And gives Crawford a wink.
Crawford is staring at Willy, frozen - panic and hatred and
fear curdling in his eyes -
- as behind him, the police begin pounding on the front door.