Air date: February 7, 2021
[train horn blaring]
[rock music playing]
[man] He’s upstairs!
[Joey] Oh, damn!
[Joey] [crying out]
[man] Hey there!
[Joey] I need immunity.
[Fiona] Well, that’s not how this works. You need to convince me immunity is something you deserve, and I’ll see what I can do.
[Joey] [breathing heavily]
[Fiona] I-I really don’t have time for this.
[Joey] I can’t fucking run anymore! … I’ve been hiding out three months. I’m out of money, out of drugs… and this morning they found me.
[Nancy] Who are you running from?
[Joey] You know who I’m running from.
[Nancy] We need to hear you say it. Give me the words, Joey.
[Joey] Jimmy Baxter.
[Nancy] Carlo gets arrested for murder, and Jimmy comes after you. Why?
[Joey] There may have been… some fentanyl. Okay? A side deal behind Jimmy’s back.
[Nancy] Hence the one-fifty on Carlo.
[Fiona] This isn’t a trial about drugs. This is a murder trial that resumes in 15 minutes, so if you have something to say to me, I need to hear it right this second.
[Joey] Carlo bragged about killing Kofi. He told me that the kid came to his cell, and he split his head open like a watermelon.
[Fiona] His words? The watermelon?
[Joey] His words.
[Fiona] What else?
[Joey] Gina. Carlo’s mom.
[Fiona] What about her?
[Joey] She made sure Carlo got to OPP that night. She used me to help with that. Gina Baxter pulled the strings on the whole thing. … Look. I know a lot more than just this trial. So give me a good fucking deal ’cause this is just the start.
[Joey] [pained breaths]
[Nancy] You want me to have him cleaned up?
[Fiona] No. Leave him exactly as he is. He’s the real deal. I want the jury to smell the fear coming off him.
[Michael] What’s his name?
[Fiona] Joey Maldini.
[Zander] This is outrageous, Your Honor. Outrageous. This witness is not on the list. There’s no mention of him in discovery, nothing.
[Fiona] He just walked into a police station two hours ago. I am sorry if this is less than ideal for the defense.
[Zander] Yeah, less than ideal for us. You’re damn right it’s less than ideal for us. But it is ideal for them. This surprise witness just-just shows up out of nowhere, ambushing us with game-changing evidence.
[Fiona] Are you suggesting that I knew about this witness and held onto him?
[Fiona] That I would risk my entire career just to jump you with this?
[Zander] Oh, give me… Fuck.
[Fiona] Did I push him out a second-story window? Did I break his ankle for him?
[Michael] Ms. McKee, please!
[Fiona] Fine, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s making wild accusations because he knows this witness kills him. That’s why you need to let Joey testify.
[Michael] Listen, I want both of you to go back to your corners, take a couple minutes and calm down. And then I want to know exactly what Maldini is going to say. … Ms. McKee. Who’s looking after your witness now?
[Fiona] NOLA PD, Your Honor.
[Michael] I want him put in courthouse custody while I make a decision.
[Fia] I love this one. This guy’s pretty cool.
[Adam] I feel like you could stop on every page.
[Fia] Yeah. Wow, this one.
[Adam] Mm-hmm. Yeah…
[Fia] Here. A present. Two presents.
[Adam] Oh. [laughs] Why two?
[Fia] For Infinite Jest. You need two. You need one for the main text, and then one for the footnotes. Once you’re in, you probably won’t want to see me. It makes a hermit of every reader. Adam…
[Frannie] God, I love seeing my students learning in the wild. [laughs] Oh, sorry, Frannie. Adam’s photography teacher.
[Fia] Oh, hi. Fia.
[Frannie] Hi. All his favorite photographers are women. And of them all, probably Vivian. Right, Adam?
[Frannie] I love Vivian Maier. I mean, I really love her. … But not as much as I love your shoes.
[Fia] Oh. Uh, yeah, thanks. … Actually, why do people say thank you when someone says they like what you’re wearing? I mean, it’s not like I made these myself or anything.
[Frannie] Yeah, but you-you chose them, right? And when it comes down to it, the choices we make… Well, anyway, it was really nice to meet you. Fia, right? Such a pretty name.
[Fia] Thank you.
[Frannie] Short for Sofia?
[Fia] Yeah, on my Mom’s side.
[Frannie] Dad’s side?
[Fia] Scottish. Baxter.
[Frannie] Baxter… as in the hotel in the Quarter?
[Frannie] Oh… Well, I should get going. School. It was a pleasure, Fia.
[Fia] Thank you.
[Nancy] Costello here. Are you sure? Okay. No, that’s it.
[Michael] I know that Robin was having an affair. I– Not the details, but… I knew.
[Nancy] Christ, you knew?!
[Nancy] And you didn’t tell us? This guy’s a prime suspect in your wife’s murder.
[Michael] I ju…
[Nancy] What the hell were you thinking?
[Michael] Adam. Adam doesn’t know.
[Nancy] W… Okay, well, you have to tell him.
[Michael] Nancy, his mother was a wonderful woman. And he has nothing but great memories of her and-and who she was. I don’t want to destroy that.
[Nancy] So what are you saying?
[Michael] I need to get this trial over, and-and when it is, I can get my life back. But I cannot cope now. Don’t ask me to do it. Please.
[Nancy] This is a hotel.
[Nancy] Paid with cash. In a fake name.
[Elizabeth] [whispers] I see. Robin was…
[Elizabeth] Wow. God.
[Nancy] I’m sorry.
[Elizabeth] [sniffles] Doing your job.
[Nancy] He knows.
[Elizabeth] And Adam? Does he have to know?
[Nancy] It’s gonna come out.
[Elizabeth] You’re asking me to tell him.
[Fiona] Joey Maldini connects all the dots. Corroborates every aspect of the prosecution’s case and puts a skewer right through the heart of the whole self-defense idea. He tells us Carlo confesses to him, he tells us Gina was instrumental in getting Carlo moved to OPP.
[Zander] Gina Baxter isn’t on trial.
[Fiona] She might be soon.
[Zander] Oh, God.
[Fiona] Look, this trial is about a single moment in a cell and what was in the minds of two men in that moment. But we can’t know what that was unless we look at the broader context. Joey gives us the whole story.
[Zander] Prejudice massively outweighs the probative value of this witness, Your Honor.
[Fiona] He means he’s going down and he doesn’t like it.
[slow, suspenseful music]
[car doors open]
[Jimmy] [whispers] Okay, that’s… […] He knows Kofi wasn’t driving. My guess is that Joey would want to talk about that on the stand, how the victim didn’t do what everybody thinks he did. And maybe then people start looking for who was driving. Why were you down here that day?
[Michael] My wife was murdered near here a year ago. It was the anniversary, so I… I wanted to… I needed to be there.
[Jimmy] Was he dead when you left him?
[Jimmy] Don’t lie to me.
[Michael] He was dead.
[Jimmy] Let me ask you something. Do you wake up screaming in the night because you killed a 17-year-old boy?
[Jimmy] Good. Look at me.
[dark, suspenseful music]
[Jimmy] My family’s not losing another child. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do. Nothing. So if you don’t like it, I really don’t give a fuck. And if there’s trial fallout? Well, that’s your department, isn’t it?
[Frankie] Joey’s a junkie. He’ll just be stepping off a little early. We’re not asking for your permission. We’re telling you to set it up.
[Michael] When we go back into court, I will rule that the witness can testify. You… you have Johnny Zander ask for a recess until tomorrow to prepare for cross. It’d be a fair request, and I’ll grant it. You’ll have the night. How you get to him… well, that’s your department, isn’t it?
[Michael] You’re vaping just like the kids, huh?
[Nancy] It’s a terrible habit.
[Michael] Nothing illegal?
[Michael] You know, I-I hear that Joey Maldini has a drug problem. I mean, angel from heaven and everything, but still a little fucked up?
[Nancy] He’s hanging in there.
[Michael] Oh. Okay. Is it just the murder, or is he swimming deep enough to reveal the whole iceberg?
[Nancy] I mean, no one’s gonna get in Fiona McKee’s way now. You know? We figure let her win this one, then we’ll get him talking about the rest. Obviously, Special Crimes is a little overexcited.
[Michael] But this should be you, right? Fiona said he came to you. You’re the one who got him talking.
[Michael] Don’t sell yourself short, Nancy. Or else some big, dumb slab of beef will be stealing the career-defining case you could’ve made. I mean, this is yours. It’s big. Listen, if it ever starts to feel like it’s getting too big, and you need someone to talk to about this, Cusack, whatever, I’m here.
[Michael] I’ve got to sort through a couple things. See you.
[Nancy] Hey. Think I’m not watching? I see you.
[Jimmy] Excuse me?
[Nancy] I want you to stay away from them. Michael, Adam.
[sinister, atmospheric music]
[Nancy] Don’t pretend you don’t know who I’m talking about. You fuck with him, you fuck with me.
[Eugene] Did the count. $9,310.
[Big Mo] Well, ain’t we showing initiative?
[Eugene] I’m good with money. Ask Little Mo. Even had a teacher tell me I got a facility for the numbers.
[Big Mo] A facility? [laughs]
[music playing over radio]
[Eugene] So bad at math I’m good at it.
[Big Mo] How that work?
[Eugene] Uh, you can’t do that shit on paper, so you got to do it in your head. Keep doing it in your head over and over, the better you get. That be the equation, you feel me?
[Big Mo] Who’s that motherfucking scientist? The wheelchair dude, with the voice.
[Little Mo] Stephen Hawking.
[Big Mo] Yeah, we got our own Stephen motherfucking Hawking in the Lower Nine. [laughs]
[Eugene] I-I thought I could do, like, payroll or help build the bank.
♫ You can have that no-good half of a man ♫
♫ But please ♫
♫ Don’t mess with my man… ♫
[Big Mo] Build the bank how?
[Eugene] You ever think about using the church to clean money? Like the one down on Caffin that need a new roof? You give them a cash loan, help them fix it up. Then they issue you back a legit check. There’s a lot of churches that need help down here.
[Michael] This might be the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make as a judge. I’ve listened to both sides’ arguments with great care, but there’s one more thing that I need to know before I decide. Joey Maldini is struggling with drug withdrawal, and I need to know for myself that he’s up to this.
[Fiona] I’ve taken a good look at that, Your Honor. He’ll be fine.
[Michael] But as I said, Ms. McKee, I’d like to see that for myself. Unless there’s a problem. No? Good. All right. [clears throat] Uh, no, no, no. Just-just Alan in chambers, if you don’t mind. Let’s keep our social distancing, huh? … Thank you.
[Michael] Well, I’m Michael Desiato. I’m presiding over this trial. You, uh, look a little nervous, young man.
[Joey] Wouldn’t you be?
[Michael] [exhales] Yeah. I’ll let you in on a little secret. I– Oh, Alan. Would you get Mr. Maldini a glass, please? … I get nervous, too. Always have.
[Alan] Here you go.
[Michael] Ah, thank you. So I had to come up with a strategy in order to deal with it. Are you familiar with W.H. Auden, the poet? “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” So, when I feel overwhelmed, or if I feel I’m heading that way, I just take a moment, breathe and take a sip of water. [sighs] God. They can’t get your boot back on, huh? Hey, you know what? You look to be about my size. Let me, uh…
[Joey] [clears throat]
[Michael] Let me tell you what to expect. Now… you’ll hear your name called and you’ll come on up to the stand. There you go. And you’ll swear on the Bible to tell the truth and then sit down, at which point, if you just… just look at me, okay? That way you don’t have to see the people in the court who really don’t like what you’re doing. Here, let’s try this. Take it, careful, careful, careful.
[Michael] Yeah. That’s it.
[Michael] So, at that point, it’s just a conversation between you and me, all right? One-on-one. And you’ll be fine.
[Michael] I’m ready to rule on this. I’m going to grant the state’s application to call Joey Maldini.
[Zander] Your Honor, the defense requests a recess until tomorrow so we can prepare for cross.
[Michael] No. The witness is ready now.
[dark, suspenseful music]
[Fiona] I think we all saw you limping.
[Joey] I broke my ankle.
[Joey] Jumping out a second-story window.
[Joey] A few hours ago.
[Fiona] Why did you do that?
[Joey] To get away from some people.
[Fiona] What people?
[Joey] People who want me dead.
[Zander] Objection, Your Honor, th–
[Fiona] I withdraw the question. Do you know the accused?
[Joey] [panting] … He’s my best friend.
[Fiona] How did you two first meet?
[Joey] Me and Carlo came up together. Can’t remember if we first met at kindergarten or first grade, but he was, like, my bro. My family’s fucked up and– oh, shit, am I not supposed to swear?
[Michael] You’re doing just fine.
[Joey] [exhales] … [exhales]
[Joey clears throat] Uh, yeah, so… the Baxters kind of took me in. They were a good family, they, um, always had food in the fridge. And, uh… leftovers in little plastic containers with, uh, labels on them so you’d know what’s in them. [gulps] Like… risotto. Or mac and cheese. And name-brand soda.
[Fiona] So you two stayed close?
[Fiona] But here you are testifying against him.
[Joey clears throat] Um… Where I come from, you don’t snitch. You just don’t, but… I can’t keep living like this.
[Fiona] Like what?
[dark, suspenseful music]
[Fiona] Like what?
[Joey] I loved the Baxters like my family. But when your own family–
[Zander] Objection. The Baxter family is not on trial here.
[Fiona] The witness can’t testify to the narrower facts if he doesn’t put them in their proper perspective. If Mr. Zander’s gonna have a problem with that–
[Michael] You may have bigger problems, Ms. McKee. Let’s-let’s get this man some medical attention, please? Release the jury.
[Michael] Call the EMTs.
[intense, pulsing music]
[Michael] Ladies and gentlemen, I owe you an apology. I thought that I had made sure that the witness was well enough to testify. But I was wrong. I made a mistake. So I’m afraid you’ll have to disregard everything that Mr. Maldini said. His credibility is questionable, but what really matters is that the defense wasn’t able to cross-examine him, so everything he’s said hasn’t been tested, and that is what is really unfair to the accused. So get rid of the entire idea of him from your minds. For our purposes, Joey Maldini never existed.
[slow, contemplative music]
♫ I’m-a break you off, let me be your motivation… ♫
♫ Baby, turn around, let me give you innovation, hey ♫
♫ You got that good-good, baby, don’t you? ♫
♫ Got that good-good, baby, don’t you? ♫
[Alan] That was on purpose, right? The café?
[Frannie] Yes. And thank God.
[Alan] You know, just… Let me, let me explain–
[Frannie] Forget it’s me saying this. Just think for a moment. You’re crazy to be doing what you’re doing.
[Alan] I can’t help it.
[Frannie] What does that mean?
[Alan] You know what it means.
[Frannie] [sighs] I’ll tell you what it means, and I’ll tell you what you’re mistaking it for. You think you’re in love with this girl. You’re not. You’re fascinated by her. You’re pulled towards her because you killed her brother.
[Alan] You sound like a teacher.
[Frannie] [exhales] I love you. It’s wrong, it’s a terrible mistake. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I do.
[Alan] You’re jealous.
[Frannie] You want it to be that easy.
[Frannie] You want me to be the bad teacher turned into the jealous woman. It’s not it. I am begging you to take responsibility for yourself, Adam. For both your sakes, you and Fia Baxter have to stop seeing each other.
[Alan] Or what? Y-You’d tell her?
[Zander] Rehearsing and coaching are not the same thing, which means I can tell you how to say things but not what to say. Understood?
[Zander] So, when Kofi Jones walked into your cell, what would be the one word to describe how you were feeling? … Okay, if it were me, how about terrified?
[Carlo] Yeah, I-I don’t know about terrified.
[Zander] Here’s the law. Here’s the deal with self-defense: I’m gonna put it in your language, Carlo. You have to believe that you are in immediate danger of being killed or very seriously hurt and that deadly force is needed to prevent it.
[Carlo] Yeah. That. But notice how you didn’t use the word “terrified.”
[Zander] Okay. Okay. … How did your brother die?
[Carlo] He died in a car crash.
[Zander] The car was driven by who?
[Carlo] Kofi Jones.
[Zander] And did Kofi Jones leave your little brother all alone, bleeding to death on the side of the road with no one to hold his hand or hear his last words?
[Zander] Speak it back to me, with feeling.
[Carlo] You just said it.
[Zander] How did it make you feel, Carlo?
[Carlo] What the fuck am I supposed to say?
[Zander] It rhymes with mad.
[Zander] Oh, Jesus.
[Carlo] Fucking sad.
[Zander] I’m so sorry for your loss.
[Zander] Okay. Here’s my question, Carlo. Here’s-here’s the question. When the man who killed your little brother walked into your cell and you saw him standing there… what was the first thought that came into your head?
[Carlo] Kill the motherfucker.
[music playing over TV]
[Eugene] Say, I ain’t trying to get all sappy or nothing like that, but… I just want to thank you, you know? For-for bringing me in and letting me stay.
[Little Mo] Of course, man. I knew you was good people. I mean, shit, look at you now. Making financial propositions to the mama herself. [laughs] I knew you had weight on you. [exhales] You know, Rudy, he was worried as all fuck when you were joining in and moving in, especially after what went down with Kofi. But I told him… that you smart and that you loyal.
[Eugene] Who Rudy?
[dark, somber music]
[Little Mo] Oh, you ain’t need to learn all our secrets in one day, old boy.
[dark, atmospheric music]
[Father Patrick] Come, sit. … Doubts, I hear. You haven’t spoken to me about these doubts, but you have spoken about them.
[Fia] Why can’t you believe I am capable of forming my own opinions?
[Father Patrick] Uh, there’s no new relationship? Nobody’s feeding you these thoughts at this difficult time?
[Fia] His name is Adam.
[Father Patrick] Because of what happened, you are vulnerable, Fia. You can be exploited.
[Fia] What are you saying?
[Father Patrick] He appears as one thing.
[Fia] My… Okay, my boyfriend is the devil? Is that… Mom, is this you?
[Father Patrick] All right, my child. Here’s what we’ll do.
[Fia] What are you… What are you talking about? “Here’s what we’ll do”? This is none of your business.
[Jimmy] Fia. Hey.
[Fia] Fuck him. Fuck him. Who do they think they are? In confirmation class yesterday, you know what he said? “God spake unto Abraham, ‘Kill him with a knife.’ Your own son. Your child, a sacrifice to me. Build a bonfire to put your dead son on, and ask him to help you collect the wood first, lie to him about what you’re doing.'” And then, “And now that you’ve proved, by agreeing to murder your child, that there is, there is no one, no one you love more than me, you don’t actually have to do it.” I mean, what kind of a fucking deranged despot is that?
[Gina] This is not you.
[Fia] It is me. It’s all me.
[Gina] Do you love him?
[Fia] No. I hate him.
[Jimmy] Your mother meant Adam, Fia, not God.
[Fia] Would you do it, Dad? If God asked you to? [exhales] Mom? Would you kill me if God asked you to do it?
[Gina] Do you love him?
[Fia] Yes. Yes, I love him.
[Charlie] Wha… I know when my godson is holding something back.
[Adam] Yeah, I might have gotten myself into something that’s kind of messy.
[Charlie] The girlfriend?
[Adam] There’s another thing.
[Adam] There are two.
[Charlie] Girlfriends? [chuckles]
[Adam] Uh… One of them is my teacher.
[Charlie] Oh. Whoa. So let me guess. You like the other one.
[Adam] “Like” isn’t the right word.
[Charlie] Okay. And Mrs. Robinson is upset. Okay. Yeah. I got this.
[Adam] No, I…
[Adam] I got myself into this. I should get myself out of it.
[Charlie] Well, that sounds–
[Adam] It’s what it is. I got it.
[Eugene] If you’re here to try to get me to go see that motherfucker lie under oath, I’d rather be making money. What’s this?
[Lee] Results from Kofi’s GED exam.
[Eugene] Says he failed.
[Lee] He did. Look at the date though, look at the time. Kofi was busy failing his GED exam… the same time that Rocco Baxter was killed. Which means Kofi covered for someone. Desire asked him to take the fall. So it has to be someone in the crew who killed Rocco. The people you call family now? They’re the ones who let the Baxters think that Kofi was responsible for killing Rocco. They put the “X” on his back and then they turned the other way. I know they took you in. I know you think you owe them something for that. But has it ever occurred to you that maybe the reason they’re keeping you so close is because they sold your brother down the Mississippi? Where was Little Mo that day? That would explain–
[Lee] Rudy? Who’s-who’s Rudy? He’s in Desire? You think he was driving?
[Eugene] I don’t know who he is, but… Little Mo said that he was worried that I was joining after what had went down with Kofi.
[Lee] What else did he say? What exactly, Eugene? Word for word.
[Eugene] I don’t remember. I mean, we was drinking and stuff and I don’t remember.
[Lee] Wh-What did he say? It’s important.
[Eugene] He said he was worried, like I told you. But… Little Mo told him not to trip, ’cause… I’m smarter than Kofi. And I’m more loyal.
[Lee] “More loyal”? That’s so warped. So I can look into this Rudy?
[moody pop music playing]
[Charlie] You’re a teacher?
[Frannie] Yeah, high school photography.
[Charlie] So a real vocation?
[Frannie] On good days, yes. I love it. On lesser ones it can feel more like babysitting.
[Charlie] [chuckles] Charlie Figaro.
[Frannie] Are you, uh, looking for my vote or are you hitting on me? It’s a little difficult to tell.
[Charlie] [chuckles softly] I’d have thought you’d be kind of expert on reading what is and isn’t appropriate, Miss Latimer. You being a teacher and everything.
[Frannie] How did you know my–
[Charlie] No, no, see, [chuckles] I’m doing the talking now. I want you to listen more carefully than you have ever listened to anything in your life. This can only end badly for you. This comes out, uh… you go to jail. You become a registered sex offender and everything that that brings with it. And your vocation? This thing you love? Dead forever. But none of this needs happen. If you stop now. Do the right thing, Miss Latimer. You feel me?
[Frannie] What about Adam?
[Charlie] I got him. You ain’t got to worry about that.
[Frannie] He told you?
[Frannie] Was it hard for him?
[Charlie] Now, now, see? I don’t think you heard me right. Now you need to stop it. Step off. I got him. He’ll be fine.
[Frannie] I don’t know.
[Charlie] I know my godson.
[Frannie] He’s 17 years old.
[Frannie] It’s not easy to watch somebody die in the gutter and have to live with the guilt of knowing you did it. And when you’re sensitive and sweet and 17…
[Charlie] Wait, wait, wait, wait. Adam?
[Freya] Ten minutes. And you owe me.
[Lee] I promise wherever I land, I will take you with me.
[slow, suspenseful music]
[Freya] Earl Grey still?
[Lee] You’re not my assistant anymore, Freya.
[Freya] Mostly I’m just curious about what the hell you’re doing.
[Lee] Found a cop who’s arrested a dealer many times, and yet none of those arrests have led to charges. What does that tell you?
[Freya] Either the dealer’s an informant or the cop’s dirty. Or both.
[Jimmy] How much?
[Fia] Hmm? Hmm?
[Jimmy] How much do you love him?
[Fia] With all my heart.
[Jimmy] I’d like to meet him.
[Fia] Okay. Great. Uh, when?
[Jimmy] Now? … Now would be good.
[Michael] [exhales] Hey.
[Adam] Hey, uh, I was just about to head out.
[Michael] Oh, yeah? Where you headed?
[Adam] [chuckles softly]
[Michael] Oh, okay. [laughs] Girlfriend?
[Michael] Well, have a good time. You gonna be gone long?
[Adam] Uh, I don’t know.
[Michael] Okay, well, I’ll wait up for you.
[gentle piano music]