Things Heard & Seen (2021) – Transcript

An artist relocates to the Hudson Valley and begins to suspect that her marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals her new home's history.
Things Heard & Seen (2021)

A Manhattan couple moves to a historic hamlet in the Hudson Valley and come to discover that their marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals their new home’s history. Based on the acclaimed novel by Elizabeth Brundage.

* * *

[slide projector clicking and reloading]

[eerie music playing]

[music swelling]

[sighs]

[splattering]

[car door opens]

[car door closes]

[suspenseful music playing]

[bird cawing]

[wind howling]

[panting]

[music stops abruptly]

[siren blaring]

[group] ♪ …birthday, dear Franny ♪

♪ Happy birthday to you ♪

[cheering and applauding]

[man] Happy birthday.

[woman] Good job, girls.

Oh, I love you, baby, so much!

[girl] Come on!

I’m gonna get you guys some cake.

Uh, I’ll get some wine. [kisses]

Okay.

Let me do that.

Oh.

That way, you can actually eat.

Thank you.

You’ve been looking so thin, you’re making us moms look terrible.

[groans, chuckles]

Mmm. Wow.

Good, right?

Yeah.

[men laugh]

What’s the matter, Mom?

It’s hot. Your father can’t keep his eyes open.

Oh, I’m fine.

It is a four-hour drive from Worcester.

I know. I’m going to make you guys some coffee.

[indistinct chatter]

Can you make a pot of coffee? And we need another bottle of white wine.

White wine, right. On it. Mom, can you do the coffee?

[woman] I’ll be right back.

[distant chattering and laughing]

[gags]

[sighs]

[sniffs]

[sighs]

Everyone, if you all raise your cups. To Dr. George, huh?

[all] Hear, hear!

It is official, right?

Yeah, it is officially official.

Yeah, I’m no longer a PhD widow.

[all laugh]

And I have some more good news.

Uh, my dissertation actually landed me a gig upstate.

[woman 2] Wow, fast.

[man 2] It must be really good.

I haven’t read it yet.

George is very secretive.

No, I am chickenshit.

Catherine was top of the class at art school.

Oh, is the position at Bard?

No, it’s at Saginaw.

It’s a small private college upstate.

You’re a big city girl now with your dream job.

You thought this through?

George really wants this. He hates the struggle here.

It’s gotten worse since his father cut him off.

[indistinct laughing and chattering]

And I had no idea he was even taking money from them.

Apparently, it’s been happening since Franny was born.

Moving’s expensive, too.

I know, but you can get a lot for a little up there.

It’s supposedly really pretty.

Yeah, I’ve driven through there.

Rich horsey weekenders and lots of full-time rednecks.

I know, but George has made some big sacrifices for me, and I… I owe it to him to at least try.

[somber music playing]

[door bangs shut]

[Catherine] Hey.

[George] Hey.

I think I’ve found the perfect house for us.

[somber music continues]

[door opens]

[woman] Oh, there we are. [chuckles]

This lock is a bit tricky.

[George] Wow, beautiful.

[Catherine sighs]

[woman] Okay.

[George] Huh?

As I told George last week, it’s from the late 1800s.

Mm.

[woman] There’s definitely updating that needs to be done.

Yes, certainly could use a paint job.

Yeah, but look at these bones, huh? Amazing!

You have to have a real vision for an old place like this.

Well, my wife is a trained art restorer, so we’re in good hands.

Why would someone just leave this here?

This is so beautiful.

[sighs] Dairy farmers everywhere are falling on hard times.

It’s a… a tough business these days.

[piano notes]

[sighs] So sad.

[plays random piano keys]

It is sad.

[George] We’ll make it happy.

You wanna see the rest, don’t you? Come on.

Show it to me.

[Catherine] Show me the upstairs.

[George] Okay, upstairs.

[Catherine] How big is it?

[gentle piano music playing]

[Catherine] Hey. Remember this?

[Catherine] I’m not gonna use all this space for it.

[Catherine] Here. This is right…

[George] Okay.

[gentle music fades to silence]

[Mozart’s “Lacrimosa” echoing faintly]

[George] Ah!

[Franny giggles]

Hey, uh, George, I was gonna put your little seascapes, you know, above the piano, but I… I can’t find them.

Oh.

Sorry. I packed them for my office.

Aw.

I love those things.

Yeah, I thought it would show off a relic of my former life. Oh!

You know, maybe this house is going to inspire you to start painting again.

Mm, nah, I think, since my dissertation, I… I really see myself as a writer.

Okay, the cat or the doll?

Which one?

I think she’s finally out.

Are you stressed about tomorrow?

Yeah… No. Should I be?

Well, first day jitters are a normal human reaction.

Are you looking for a reason to de-stress?

Do I need a reason?

No.

How do you want me to de-stress you?

[kissing, giggling]

[Catherine sighs]

[bugs chirping softly]

[electricity buzzing]

[buzzing]

[buzzing]

[buzzing]

[buzzing]

[moaning, heavy breathing]

What?

What is that smell?

You smell that? It smells like car exhaust fumes.

[George sniffs]

Right?

Yeah, I… I guess I smell… smell it.

And it’s getting stronger.

Do you think ghosts use premium unleaded?

I’m serious, George. Stop.

[buzzing]

[faint screeching]

[loud creak]

[Franny screams]

[footsteps]

Mommy, Mommy, I’m scared!

[Catherine] Oh God! It’s okay. Oh!

Come here.

I’m scared!

Tuck in, baby girl. All right.

[George sighs]

Wait, really?

Mommy, I’m scared. I don’t wanna sleep in there.

[somber orchestral music]

[George] America’s Rhine.

[inhales deeply] Oh, it is a dream setting for a campus.

Full disclosure, Claire.

Your chapter on how Swedenborg influenced the art of George Inness is what landed you here.

[chuckles] Swedenborg, really? That’s… that’s interesting.

It’s the part of my dissertation I struggled with the most.

How so?

[inhales sharply] Uh, I-I guess I’m a bit of a cliché, the New York cynic.

That… How a-a painter as brilliant as Inness could fall for some 18th-century mystic still baffles me.

[chuckles] Well, Swedenborg…

He wasn’t just some mystic.

He keenly understood that everything in the natural world has a counterpart in the spiritual realm.

And Inness painted landscapes with this in mind.

I-I get that.

Oh, this is my office in case you need me.

Wow, beautiful.

Mh-hm.

My… my trouble with Swedenborg is his communicating with angels and ghosts.

Glorifying death as this… as this grand passage.

You should know that Swedenborg still has a devoted following in this neck of the woods, myself included.

We even have séances on occasion. I’ll invite you.

[chuckles] I’ll… I will bring my wife.

She is the… the true believer of the family.

Ah, ah.

Well, this is your office right here.

[George chuckles]

[man] I guess I picked the wrong welcome gift.

[George chuckles] Well, I… I can’t argue with the cover art.

The Valley of the Shadow of Death.

Ahh, that is George Inness at his best.

Well, you are now officially in Inness territory.

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing things his way.

[George chuckles]

Thank you, Floyd.

[George exhales]

[loud vibrating]

[gasps]

[Catherine gasps]

[breathing heavily]

[knocking on door]

[Catherine] Hi.

Hello.

Mrs. Claire, right?

Yeah, can I help you?

Uh, yes, ma’am.

Um…

My name’s Eddie Lucks, and this here’s my younger brother Cole.

We just wanted to introduce ourselves in case you’re in need of a hired hand.

We do gardening, carpentry, plumbing.

When it comes to painting, we’re regular Leonardos.

[chuckles]

Best part of all is, we come real cheap.

Hey, like my marble?

Yeah, nice. You want me to show you how to shoot?

[Franny] Mm-hmm.

Oh, I forgot to mention that Cole is the best babysitter in town.

Yeah, I can see that. Where do you boys live?

In town with our uncle.

We got plenty of references if that’s what you need.

Okay. Do you have a business card?

A card? Um…

[Franny and Cole chatting indistinctly]

Let me see.

Oh, I left my business cards at home. [chuckles]

I got a pen.

[Franny] Yeah!

I think we should just hire them.

Shouldn’t we get one more quote?

There’s a lot of other groundskeepers in town.

I already did, and they… run like half the price.

Cath, please don’t tell me you’re back on the whole salads-only thing.

I ate a big lunch today.

What about the protein shakes the doctor recommended?

I saw you skipped it this morning.

I am doing them at night now because it’s easier on my stomach.

Franny, you want some more rice?

No, I want a pony ride.

[Catherine laughs]

[Franny] Go, pony, go!

[George] I am.

[Franny] Go, pony, go!

[George] You are terrorizing.

Oh, look, there’s another pony.

Okay. Ready?

One, two, three.

Horsey.

[mimicking flying noises]

[George laughing]

[Franny] Pony!

[George] Gosh.

You coming?

Yeah, in a second. I have to do dishes.

Oh, can you get that pot for me, please?

Thank you. I’ll be up soon.

Okay.

Don’t be long. I’m pretty tired.

[uneasy music playing]

[book thuds]

“Damned.”

George.

Hey, George.

George.

[George moans]

I’m a… I’m asleep.

[water running]

[ghostly echo]

[eerie music playing]

[Catherine grunting]

[grunts]

[gasps]

[gasps]

[breathing shakily]

[woman 1] Where?

[woman 2] Eight.

[woman 1] Three pounds is a lot.

You’ve got to be telling…

Company.

Hi. Are you the Historical Society?

Indeed we are.

Um, I don’t know if you need volunteers, but I’m new in town, and I would love to meet people and possibly learn more about the area.

Write your information down.

Okay.

[blind woman] We’ll send you a schedule.

And also, I was curious if you had any information on some of the older homes in the area, being that I just bought one.

Oh.

Actually, there’s a picture of your house hanging up.

Really? Where?

Yeah.

In the other room. The couple who built it is in it, too.

The original ones, long before the Vayle family.

I… I’m going to go take a look. Thanks.

[women whisper indistinctly]

[suspenseful music playing]

[Franny] He doesn’t look like a cat.

[George] He does.

[Franny] His ears are so little.

[George] It’s called Cat in the Hat.

And his nose and stuff like that.

He’s got a normal nose.

[Franny giggles] But it’s so little!

You know he killed someone?

Over a game of tennis.

Who?

Caravaggio.

Oh, well, I’m not surprised.

People get away with all kinds of horrible things.

Are you speaking from personal experience?

[chuckles]

So are you studying art? I-I teach over at Saginaw.

Oh God. No.

No, I was just… looking for T-shirt ideas.

I’m all about literature in school.

Which school?

Cornell.

Oh, that’s quite a commute.

Just taking a little hiatus.

Riding for rich folk at Crow Hill Stables.

Yeah, I know that place.

It’s right next to the tennis club. I play there sometimes.

Oh. Well, uh… I hope you’re a better loser than Caravaggio.

George Claire.

Right.

Right. Claire.

Yeah, my friend Eddie does your yard work.

I think your wife hired him.

Is that your little girl?

Yeah, that’s Franny.

Oh…

Hi there, Franny.

How’s that book?

What does this say?

Let’s see.

Okay, it says… “He should not be here. He should not be about.”

“He should not be here when your mother is out.”

It’s nice to meet you, Franny.

[Franny] Mm-hmm.

[George] Okay, ready to go?

George?

George?

[music playing on TV]

George, you’re not going to believe the picture I just saw.

[water running]

[faint grunting]

[reflective orchestral music playing]

[Cole and Franny chatting indistinctly]

[Eddie] Wanna go to the pond?

[Franny] Yeah!

[Eddie] You wanna go swim?

[Cole] Come on, Franny. Gonna catch you!

[Franny] No!

[Cole] I’m gonna throw you in!

[Franny] No!

[Eddie] Hey Franny, watch out for the snapping turtles, okay?

All right? It’s down my butt! It’s got my butt!

[Franny laughs]

Didn’t they say summer’s officially over?

Our seasons play by their own rules up here.

Who knows? It could snow tomorrow.

Well, I brought some lemonade to help you guys cool off, but it looks like you’re way ahead of me.

You should come on in. The water’s great.

Believe me, it looks very tempting.

You know what they say about temptation.

Easiest way to kill it’s just to give in.

[Catherine] So what does your uncle do?

He’s a hearse driver.

I guess every town needs one of those.

Can I ask about your parents?

Um… both dead. Car accident.

Oh God, I’m so sorry.

Yeah, I mean, it was something.

It makes a kid grow up fast.

Cole’s on good track for college, though.

And what about you?

Nah, that stuff’s not really in my cards.

I mean, I did want to study music…

Really? What instruments do you play?

…but…

All kinds. I… I have a beat-up guitar right now.

We have a piano at the house. I just got it tuned.

It’d be nice to have someone who can actually play it. I’m pathetic.

[chuckles] All right. Well, thanks, Mrs. Claire.

Catherine. Sorry.

It’s okay.

You’ll get used to it.

[students laughing]

Yeah. Please do not tell him I said that.

All right.

Okay, so, the Hudson River School painters.

Landscapes as the realm of the soul.

If you keep reading around the subject, you’ll find it really rewarding. Really.

Keep going, okay?

Thank you so much.

We will.

Bye!

George Claire?

Yes. Hello. Can I help you?

Justine Sokolov. Adjunct weaving instructor.

You play tennis with my husband Bram.

Bram?

Oh, Bram, of course. Yes. He mentioned that his wife teaches here.

I hear you’ve developed a cult-like following already in our department.

So I… Oh, this you?

I thought I’d invite you and your wife over and see what all the fuss is about.

Oh, uh…

That sounds really nice. [chuckles]

You know, it’d be nice for my wife to meet a few more Saginaw folk, too, so yeah.

Excellent. I have your number in the registry, so I’ll give the missus a call.

Fantastic.

George Claire.

Wow. You painted these?

Yeah, a long time ago.

I gave up the whole fine arts thing to focus on theory.

Realized I wasn’t really up to snuff.

[chuckles]

I disagree.

These are confidently executed, and they are… quite unique.

Thank you.

Uh, you should see my wife’s stuff. She’s the real artist of the family.

Okay, I look forward to it.

I’ll be in touch, George Claire.

[bugs chirping]

[sighs]

[groans] What’s wrong?

That smell. It’s… it’s getting stronger.

Yeah, I figured it out. It’s ’cause we’re above the garage.

I’ll get some fans and air it out in the morning.

[exhales]

But why does it come and go?

Cath, please stop with the ghost stuff.

I’m not gonna let you put a negative spin on this house.

[ghostly echo]

[eerie music playing]

[door creaking]

[sniffing]

[sniffing]

[electricity buzzing]

[buzzing]

[echoing piano playing Mozart’s “Lacrimosa”]

[piano playing grows louder]

[piano playing stops suddenly]

[Catherine gasps]

[buzzing]

[faint ghostly echo]

[Franny screams] Mommy, where are you?

[gasps]

Mommy, I’m scared, I’m scared!

Mommy!

Hey, hey! Shh.

What happened?

What is going on? Where were you?

What happened? Tell me.

I saw the lady, Mommy. I’m scared.

It’s okay, it’s okay. Don’t worry.

Mommy’s here. You can sleep with us.

Oh God. Cath, again?

If we filled out her sedative prescription like the pediatrician said, this wouldn’t keep happening.

I said to you ten times I don’t feel good giving her unnecessary medications.

It’s this house.

Oh God. You two sleep in there. I’ll take Franny’s room.

Hey. Hey.

Daddy’s mad at me.

[gasps] No! No, no, no, he’s not.

[door closes]

No, sweetheart. Not at you.

[rock music playing on radio]

[girl laughs]

[Eddie] It’s gotta feel good.

I guess, yeah.

[laughs]

Uh, guess who I ran into the other day?

Who?

Your boss, George Claire.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah.

I haven’t met the guy officially yet.

What’s he like?

Dishonest.

Deceitful.

[chuckles] How would you know that?

Because I found him attractive.

[deep sighing]

[Cole] Here we go!

Whee!

You wanna watch Eddie chop wood?

[Franny] Yeah!

[unsettling music playing]

[Eddie grunts]

Chop.

Chop.

[ax thuds]

Chop.

[mysterious music playing]

“All of us on Earth are associated with those in the spiritual world who are like ourselves.”

“We are, in a sense, united to them.”

[ghostly voice] United to them…

[chopping wood continues]

[Catherine] What do you want?

[pensive music playing]

[horse neighs]

[horses neighing and grunting]

[George scoffs]

What are you looking for here?

[pants]

[chuckling] I… I don’t really know.

You’re a presumptuous fucker, aren’t you?

[door squeaks]

[horse neighs]

[pensive music continues]

If you’re coming in, shut the door behind you.

He’s got a social life at that school, and I’m isolated.

[woman] Something’s wrong. I can hear it in your voice.

I… I’m starting… to see things.

And I’m scared to tell George about it.

Catherine, have you been eating?

[sighs]

What’s the church like up there? Have you prayed on any of this?

Try to remember how he did right by marrying…

Oh, I gotta go. Thanks a lot for the pep talk, Mom. I love you.

[Catherine] That was some run.

Yeah, I guess I went pretty far. I don’t know what came over me.

And then I-I got distracted by these wildflowers.

Thanks, but now you’re going to be late for class.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I-I’d better hustle.

Whoo!

[running upstairs]

[pensive music playing]

[Cole] Look who’s home.

Hey.

[Cole] What are you doing?

One sec.

Mr. Claire, right?

It’s nice to finally meet you. I’m Eddie.

My brother and I are about to get…

The Vayle boys, aren’t you?

Not anymore, sir.

We go by Lucks now. Took our uncle’s last name.

Do me a favor. My… my wife doesn’t know that you lived here.

Uh, or what happened.

I think it would be better if we kept it that way.

Uh, she’s a nervous woman and, uh… well, she wouldn’t want you around if she found out.

[chuckles softly]

Sure, Mr. Claire.

My brother and I are only here for honest work.

Thank you. I appreciate it.

It seems a… little odd, no?

That you’d want to be here at all.

Taking care of this house comes second nature to us.

Right.

Did you meet your husband in art school?

Yeah, we were undergrads together.

That’s cool.

[Catherine] Were your parents supportive of you studying music?

Yeah, my mom was the one who taught me.

But when my father found my application, he, uh… he beat me with a two-by-four.

Are you serious?

Yeah.

Yeah, he actually bloodied me up pretty good.

Well, if you decide to reapply to music school, I will personally write you a check for your application.

Wow.

You really got me.

[“Someday You’ll Be Sorry” by Louis Armstrong playing on piano]

Hey, George.

[music stops]

Eddie… Eddie was just playing his favorite Louis Armstrong song for me.

Called… What’s it called?

“Someday You’ll Be Sorry.”

[chuckling] That’s right. That’s the story of my life.

[chuckles]

What a surprise.

Eddie was telling me earlier how he was here for honest work.

I… I didn’t realize that it included entertainment.

We finished painting, sir, and, uh, Mrs. Claire asked me to play something before I left.

So…

Wait, Eddie, Eddie.

Come on, please. Don’t stop on my account.

I’ve been called many things before, but never a party pooper.

Well, the man of the house has spoken, so finish the goddamn song, Eddie.

Yeah, please.

[exhales]

[piano playing resumes]

[piano music fades to silence]

Shit.

[sighs]

[uneasy music playing]

Oh God.

[grunting]

[gasps]

[ghostly voice] Catherine.

[gasps, gags]

[gasps]

[breathing heavily]

[electricity buzzing]

[eerie music playing]

[indistinct ghostly whispering]

[birds chirping]

[Catherine groans]

[raven screeches]

[George and girl panting]

[George] What you do to me, you do not know.

My God.

I’ve never done anything like this before, you know.

[exhales loudly]

What’s wrong?

What? I’m just talking.

Sharing.

What the fuck is wrong with me?

Why do I keep doing this?

Hey, Willis, I’m being serious.

It’d be nice to know you a bit better.

Some ordinary, regular things.

That’s not what this is about.

Ow! What the hell?

You think because I fuck you, I’m fooled by you?

I’ve been around guys like you my whole life.

What the hell are you talking about?

My dad made a fortune defending them.

Thieves, con men, psychopaths.

And they all got off because that’s the way the world works for men.

Okay, look, I see that you have some pretty awful ideas about men.

I have awful ideas about everything.

Now get the fuck up.

Come on, Willis.

No.

I’m done with this.

Willis!

Willis!

[horse neighs]

Willis!

[ethereal music playing]

[Justine] Hi!

Trick or treat?

[all chuckle]

Come in, come in.

Hello, I’m Catherine.

Oh, of course you are. Mmm.

Oh.

[chuckles] George, hi.

Hi. For you.

Oh, thank you.

Bram, where are you? The Claires have arrived.

Wow.

[Bram] I’m here.

[George] Amazing.

[Justine] Thanks.

Hello.

I’m Catherine.

Hey, Bram.

Thanks for having us.

Look what they brought us.

Thank you. How are you?

Very well.

Come on in.

Beautiful.

Thank you.

I love your artwork.

Ah. Well, yes. We’re just enjoying our tenure here while it lasts.

Oh, do you rent?

No, no, no.

[laughing] He just means how these old Hudson Valley homes are.

We think we own them, we’re just caretakers.

[laughing] They outlive us all.

My wife thinks ours is haunted.

Well, she’s probably right.

[laughs]

They’re all haunted a bit.

After all, we’re in Headless Horseman country.

[laughs] Let me take your coats.

Oh, actually, we should go outside and look at the alpacas before they nap.

Oh, yes.

This way.

You’ll love it.

Alpacas nap?

[George] Tell me, Bram. [blows]

Where does one buy such quality weed up here?

[Bram] Buy? I grow it.

[George] Nice.

You know, I came up here to write the Great American Novel, but… I spend most of my time tending to my garden, if you get my drift.

Mm-hmm.

I love your setup. It’s amazing.

Aww, thank you.

And your work is so unique.

Thanks. It’s gonna sound a little strange, but it’s a spiritual thing for me, weaving.

I tap into something cosmic when I’m working.

Its patterns, you know?

Yeah.

Sometimes I feel guilty taking credit for it.

Why? You shouldn’t.

I would love for you to make something for my Franny.

I’d pay you, naturally.

Don’t be silly. I’ll do it for cost.

Oh, actually, George already asked for a scarf for his mother, so I’ll just add it to that order.

Okay.

Wow.

You guys just have the one child?

Yeah. Yes.

She’s four. And you and Bram? Do you guys have kids?

No.

No.

Bram and I were conflicted about that for a while, and then Mother Nature made the final decision.

And she made the right one.

It all worked out perfectly.

I was conflicted, too, but just like that, it…

It happened.

And then we got married, which I was also conflicted about.

I guess you could say I’m a conflicted Catholic girl at heart, dutifully going through the motions.

You know, the first few years of our marriage were a complete blur because of the baby and school.

We’re really still trying to catch our breath up here.

You know, I attend this women’s group.

It’s an Arts Club… thing.

We meet once a month up in Albany, and there are so many creative ladies to meet, Catherine.

I think you should come with me.

I would love something like that.

I don’t know anybody up here.

Well, you do now.

It must be so nice to inherit a fortune and then spend all day not writing a book.

I really like them, especially her. She’s so interesting.

She’s so free with herself and her body.

She can certainly put away some lasagna.

That’s a nasty thing to say.

Come on, I’m kidding.

I like them, too.

I especially like…

[sniffs] …Bram’s weed.

[sniffs] Mmm.

Are you sure you’re okay to drive after smoking so much?

Yeah.

I’m fine. I’m more than okay.

Really?

Watch this.

[engine accelerating]

George, slow down.

Slow down, George.

Really?

Really?

George, slow down!

[yelling] Slow down!

[Catherine] Stop, George!

[George] Whoo!

[tires screeching]

God, what the hell are you doing?

What? What, I’m just having a little fun.

You remember what that was like, Cath, huh?

That’s not funny!

[laughing] Come on.

Oh, come on, Cath. Cath!

Catherine!

Cath, where are you going? Come on, get back in the car.

Cath!

Get your hands off me!

God, we are two smart people.

We should’ve known better.

Known what?

That I’m only here for the imaginary book jacket bio that you have in your fucking head.

The… the… the professor with the wife and the country home.

I gave up everything for you!

Oh God, I’m so sorry.

I’m so sorry I fucked up both of our lives!

And the worst part is this is all I have.

Cath, you know what you do have? Is the crying drunks.

You are a person who should not drink alcohol, especially when you do not fucking eat anything!

Oh my God. I am so sick of everybody blaming everything in my fucking life on me not eating!

Please, get back in the goddamn car!

Get off of me!

[cries out] Ow!

Fuck!

[groans]

Oh my God. Cath?

[Catherine whimpering]

Oh my God. Cath…

I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. Was that…

Did I… Did I…

Cath?

Cath, are you okay?

[car door opens]

[car door slams]

[door opens]

[door closes]

Come on, Cole. Get up. I’ll drive you home.

[door closes]

[footsteps]

[George] Hey, Cath?

I didn’t mean to hurt you.

[sighs]

I would never hurt you.

But I also…

I have not been sensitive to your needs for some time.

And for that, I owe you an apology.

More than an apology.

[electricity buzzing]

One thing I do know…

[voice breaks] …is I love you.

[buzzing]

[Franny screams]

[glass shatters]

[Franny] What was that?

Oh God. Jesus. What?

[Catherine] It’s okay, baby.

[whispering] Nothing happened. It’s okay. It’s okay.

[ethereal music playing]

[woman] “We look at each other, and we are not ashamed.”

“I wearing the face of the proper marriage, you the face of the independent woman.”

“We cleaved to each other across that space.”

[door opens and closes]

[George] You’re back later than I thought.

Am I?

The fridge is empty.

I can go out, pick up some food for us.

What do you feel like?

I, uh… I ate with Justine.

[keys jangle]

[door closes]

[car engine idling]

[George] Brilliant setting for a faculty meeting, Floyd.

[Floyd] Yes. I take her out alone a lot, which would seem selfish.

[George chuckles]

I used to sail a bit myself. Grew up on the Connecticut coast.

Oh, that’s right. Do your family own a boat?

I inherited my cousin’s. The Lost Horizon.

[Floyd] Ah.

He actually drowned while sailing it.

Oh, how sad.

Yeah.

Only 19.

Mm.

Already so sophisticated.

[Floyd sighs]

I remember when he died.

I stole his diary after the funeral. Read it repeatedly.

I know it’s… it’s an awful thing to do, but I… I think I needed some sort of… connection.

Did you learn anything from it?

Yeah, a little.

He was gay, unhappy.

Typical tortured artist.

And then all that angst one unfortunate moment vanishes forever.

We’re all so inconsequential, Floyd.

Swedenborg would suggest otherwise.

He’d say death is only the beginning.

Have you read the book yet?

[chuckles]

[George] It’s on the top of my list.

[door opens]

[George] Come, come in.

Ahh.

Cath?

Let me get that.

Hello.

Oh, Catherine, this is Floyd DeBeers, head of our department.

He also took me on this magnificent boat ride.

So good to meet you.

So, in return, I invited him to our house, a very unfair trade.

I’ve heard wonderful things about you.

As I have you.

[Catherine chuckles]

George, is this some kind of setup?

[Catherine chuckles] What?

[chuckling] I… I swear to God, I didn’t even tell her you were coming.

You see, George? You see? There are no coincidences.

I’m sorry. I… I was taken by the artwork and just started reading it.

[George] Nothing to be sorry for.

You do know what this is, don’t you? The cover art?

It’s a soul transitioning into the afterlife.

[Catherine] Really?

[Floyd] The painter followed Swedenborg, so he believed that death is parallel to birth, but divine.

[George] Floyd, believe me.

You do not want to get my wife started on all that, uh, stuff.

[chuckles awkwardly] Uh, Cath, please show Floyd around.

Um, I’m gonna fix us some cocktails.

May I show you around?

I can’t wait.

Great.

[both chuckle]

My daughter’s asleep already, but you can… we can peek in her room.

We actually have four bedrooms, but we only use two of them.

A young couple can’t have too many bed…

You okay?

Shh.

[whispering] We’re not alone, are we?

What do you mean?

She doesn’t mean any harm.

She has reasons for lingering.

[whispering] I’ve seen her, and so has my daughter.

Because she’s here for you.

She wants you to know that.

[cries]

At first, I was terrified, of course, but now… every time I sense her, I… I feel… comfort.

I know that doesn’t make any sense.

It makes perfect sense.

[crying]

[Floyd shushes gently]

Her name is Smit, wife of Jacob Smit.

He was a… um, a local minister.

They built this house, and that’s all I can find at the library.

Let me do some digging on campus.

You can’t tell George because he can’t know.

He thinks that I’m crazy.

No, of course not.

He’s just afraid, you know.

Men at his stage of life often are.

But try and be patient, Catherine.

With love, he can catch up to you spiritually.

And let us…

Let us hold a séance here.

With or without George.

Really?

We can find out a little more about your housemate.

[George] Bye, Floyd.

Good night, good night, and thanks for a wonderful evening.

[George] Drive safe.

My God, Cath, he absolutely adored you.

I… I have never seen Floyd light up like that around anyone.

And you were up there awhile. Did he say anything?

About what?

About me?

Oh.

He said that you were an exceptional professor.

[sighs]

And you are an exceptional wife, which means the world to me.

[kisses]

Ah! I feel like having company was good for us.

Yeah? We need this.

I, uh… I want to invite my whole department over.

A… a real party. What do you think?

[sighs]

I think we owe it to Franny to make this place a happy home.

I’m not against it. I just think that we need to then also invite the locals and our neighbors.

Neighbors? [chuckles] Really?

I need to feel like I’m in this community, George, not just your community.

Okay, let’s do it.

[jazzy piano music playing]

Please tell me again why I’m carrying a Bundt cake.

[laughs]

We’re no good at parties.

Speak for yourself.

I am. Nobody wants the sheriff around when they’re drunk.

[piano music continues]

[indistinct chattering]

Uh, more wine?

Hi. Wine?

A little. Just… just…

Oh! Okay, good.

She’s a friend of Bram’s.

She’s also writing.

They both have been writing novels… Sorry. They both have been writing novels.

I first wore glasses when I was 13.

Oh, thank you. Thank you, young man.

Yes. You’ve done a lot with this place.

I want you to meet my wife Millicent, the love of my life.

It’s incredibly nice to meet you.

I hear we might have a session in your home.

Yeah, soon, I hope. Thank you.

George? Travis, Mare’s husband.

A pleasure to meet you.

This is her best cake.

[laughing] Oh, wow.

Thank you. We’ll put it right here.

[Mare] Travis? Come here. You’ve got to hear this.

Yes, dear.

Hm. I almost baked a cake.

Bram insisted there was something you might appreciate… even more.

Oh… [chuckles]

[sniffs] Oh, fantastic.

[chuckles]

Um, shall we?

Yeah. Why not?

Why not?

This place looks marvelous, Catherine.

Thank you.

Absolutely transformed.

Well, a little paint goes a really long way.

[sighs] And it does my heart good to see Eddie and Cole here.

You’re a saint for having them back.

What do you mean?

Well, they grew up here.

You… you knew that, didn’t you?

I-I-It’s just that I told George the whole story when I first showed him the house and…

What story?

I suppose he… he didn’t wanna upset you.

I… I’m going to go find Travis.

No, no, no. What story, Mare?

He didn’t tell you anything about their parents?

Hm-mm.

[sighs] Well… it’s just that…

Dear Ella, she was a friend of mine, you know, and… and…

Sometimes, I can’t help but believe that she…

She’s free now.

And… and I know he struggled financially, but that horrible man was cruel in… in ways that you could never know.

What happened to them?

Catherine, it’s not the time. I don’t want to ruin your party.

No, no.

Mare, I’m begging you. I need to know this.

[sighs]

All right.

The way I… I heard it was that…

Calvin Vayle slipped Ella and the boys a sedative one night.

And… when they were out cold, he…

He went outside and shot every one of the cows they owned.

Oh my God.

And then, when he was finished, he went into the garage below their… bedroom, started the ignition of two trucks and closed the windows.

The fumes.

Then he went up and… laid down in bed with Ella until…

Oh my God, I was wrong.

They never woke up.

I had the wrong wife.

I…

Wrong about what?

Your friend Ella. She’s here, Mare.

Oh my God. Where did you get this?

Wh-what are you doing with this?

She never took this ring off.

You know what?

I’ve been in this house for three months, and nobody has said anything to me.

Not the mailman, not a neighbor, not… not the bank teller.

God, I’m such a fool!

No, no, it’s not like that.

Oh my God!

Catherine, we’re from farm stock up here.

It’s… it’s not our way to get involved with people’s personal business.

You’ve made this home so warm and inviting, and everyone’s moved on so well. I’m sure that George didn’t mean…

Do not waste any of your time on George, Mare.

George Claire always gets exactly what he wants.

[George] Justine, tell me something about you I don’t know. [blows]

You don’t know anything about me.

I do.

I know you’re a weaver of fabrics.

Huh?

And ideas.

Like the ideas you’ve been putting in my wife’s head lately.

Mm.

[George] Mm-hmm.

Mm.

[George chuckles]

Okay.

Here’s something about me you don’t know.

I get suspicious when students worship their professors.

Always leads to trouble.

[chuckles]

Is that a dig or advice?

Oh, it’s just honesty. You know, like the Good Book says.

“The truth will set you free.”

I don’t know about that.

People really don’t want the truth, and they certainly don’t want to be set free.

What? Says who?

The Eagles, remember?

“Hotel California.”

[Justine laughs]

Yeah. We, uh… we all choose our own prison.

Here, give me your hands.

I’ll show you why they’re right. Here.

You’re going to read my palms now?

Come on.

[Justine sighs]

[George clears throat]

[George exhales]

Okay.

Now, try to get yourself free.

[grunts] Okay, that’s enough. You can let go now, George.

Yeah, I know I can, but are you sure you really want me to?

I’m very sure.

Oh.

[laughs]

George, you… you are hurting me now.

Let go!

[laughing]

W-what?

[laughing]

Jesus Christ, George.

Hotel California, Justine.

Hotel California!

[laughs]

[George] Good night.

Drive safe.

[door closes]

Whoo!

Well,

that was a success, huh?

[dishes clattering]

Your friend Justine is a bit of a head case.

Is she trying to start some trouble or something?

No, I didn’t see Justine all night, but it’s interesting that you ask.

Know what’s interesting to me?

Is that this party was supposed to bring you and me together, and as soon as everyone leaves, you retreat and ice up.

How could you not tell me about this house, George?

[George sighs] Jesus.

[sighs] I was afraid this might happen.

That one of your lies would be exposed?

I wasn’t lying to you, Cath. I was trying to spare you some unpleasantness.

I can handle unpleasantness, George, okay? I lived through childbirth, remember?

I was trying to protect you.

Believe… believe it or not, I-I actually wanted you to be happy here.

[loud radio static]

[cacophony of voices on radio]

What the fuck is that?

[radio static continues]

Fucking electricity in this house!

[radio static continues loudly]

[George] What the…

[static and voices continue]

The fuck is going on?

[radio silences]

Franny’s overdue for a visit with your parents.

You can finish off the weekend there.

[somber music playing]

[printer whirring]

[answering machine beeps]

Floyd, it’s Catherine.

I’m ready.

This is her. This is Ella Vayle, and this is the article I found about her death.

But she’s trying to…

She’s reaching out to me, and I-I need to know why.

You’re saying the spirit is the most recent resident of your house?

Yes. I was confused before.

Well, my research turned up something interesting about the original owners, especially for our group here.

What? The Smits?

Reverend Smit’s wife was an early devotee of Swedenborg.

[group murmurs]

[Floyd] Unfortunately, it was not a happy marriage.

Smit was a strict Calvinist who strongly disapproved of his wife’s philosophic exploration.

“Damned.”

[Floyd] She died in their home rather mysteriously at age 26.

So much death in my house.

Oh, no, no. Don’t think of it that way.

We embrace inhabited houses as a blessing.

[Floyd] Mm.

[Millicent] Portals between two realms with guides to shepherd us once our own time comes.

Some religions call them guardian angels.

Perhaps it’s our Swedenborgian friend who first opened the portal door.

We are good at that.

[all laughing]

[Millicent] Because it’s the afterlife where we reach our greatest purpose.

[laughs] You never see these spirits as potentially evil?

An evil spirit will only commune with an evil-doer.

[Floyd] Which we will take, on a leap of faith, that you’re not.

[group laughs]

[local man] And remember.

Evil only thrives in the house where it is welcome.

[Floyd] Mm.

[local woman] Goodness always triumphs.

Always. If not in this world, then in the next.

[Floyd] We should start, yes?

Let whomever the spirit is speak for herself.

[tense music plays]

[electricity buzzing]

[woman gasps]

[table vibrating]

[group screams]

[ghostly wind shrieking]

[ghostly voice] As evil comes to light, beware!

[Floyd] She’s making her presence known. We welcome her, don’t we, Catherine?

We do. We… I… I do.

[ghostly voice 2] Get back here!

[ghostly voice] No!

[ghostly voice 2] Ella.

[ghostly voices grunting]

[Catherine] What happened?

[Floyd] She wants to break through.

She’s trying.

But something, someone is stopping her.

[ghostly voice] You’re suffocating me!

[group yells]

[Catherine] What was that? Oh my God.

I’m afraid this home has another spirit.

And until that spirit reveals its nature, be careful of those around you, Catherine.

[Franny] Mama, Mama!

Hi, baby.

Come here. Did you have fun at Grandma and Grandpa’s house?

Yeah.

Did you look for seashells on the beach?

Mm-hmm.

Really? Are they pretty?

Yeah!

Keep moving, everyone. Hustle.

We don’t wanna get caught in traffic on the way into the city.

Nearly there, nearly full.

Tommy, good. Thank you for com…

Justine.

George.

I, uh, I didn’t know you were joining us.

Floyd wanted an additional chaperone.

[engine turns over]

[student] I’m here!

Right, Katie. You’re the last.

[Franny] Where are we going?

Get in the car, baby. I’ll be there in a sec.

Eddie!

There’s something I have to give you that I, uh… found in the house a while back before I learned the truth.

It’s a little bit tight on me.

Just leave it.

No, no, it belongs to you and Cole.

She would want you to have this.

I don’t want it.

I noticed it on you a couple weeks ago.

Um…

It just seemed right.

You and Mom would have liked each other.

[horn honks]

Three on the bottom are on time.

I found that overdue one in my husband’s car, I can pay the fine.

It’s just on his card.

Actually, this one’s checked out under the name Willis Howell.

Oh, that’s odd.

It’s unisex, you know?

Excuse me?

The name, Willis.

She’s a pretty thing.

In here a lot on weekends.

Daddy’s friend.

Don’t worry. I’ll ask her to pay the fine.

I’d like to open a new account.

Of course, Mrs. Claire.

Uh, just… just fill out, um, this form.

Uh, we will require George’s signature if it’s a joint account.

It’s not.

[traffic sounds]

[George] Okay, everyone. Here we are.

[man] George Claire?

[chuckles] Good God.

Dr. Warren. Wow. [chuckles]

What an odd coincidence.

Odd indeed.

I was told that you had moved away for good.

Well, I, you know, couldn’t resist coming back for this exhibit.

You might remember my passion for Thomas Cole.

Yes, I do. I just wish you had shown the same passion for your dissertation.

Excuse me. Professor Claire, um, in the third Voyage of Life painting, why is the sailor so distraught?

Oh, the third one is called, uh, Manhood.

Uh, it’s when Cole believes we, uh, we lose the confidence of youth.

Uh, go… go check out the sailor’s hands. They’re no longer on the tiller.

[George chuckles]

[student] Thanks, Professor Claire.

[Dr. Warren clears throat]

Yeah… You know, I’m curious. Um…

How did you get a teaching position without a recommendation?

Oh, I’m, um, I’m just a temp instructor.

Um, one of the professors took an emergency leave, and I, uh… I just stepped in to help.

Interesting, then, how the students, uh, they call you professor.

[chuckling awkwardly] Yeah, yeah.

Uh, yeah, right. I keep correcting them.

Yeah. I get so tired of correcting them.

Good day, Claire.

What…

What was all that about?

Uh, yeah, I have no idea.

I kind of think you do.

I don’t think you should see Justine anymore.

[George sighs]

There’s a lot of talk about her at Saginaw.

What kind of talk, George?

Well, they say she’s a closet lesbian.

And she’s clearly obsessed with you.

[sighs] I think she is… instigating problems between us intentionally.

[indistinct chattering]

[George] Floyd, heading home for the holiday?

[Floyd] What?

Oh, no, no. Not for a while yet. I-I still have, uh… I have work to finish.

Is something wrong?

Actually, I got a call this morning from Shelby Warren, your advisor from Columbia.

Oh?

His recommendation letter, the one submitted with your application, he claims he never wrote it.

Shelby’s recollection is that you asked him, but he told you he couldn’t do it.

In good conscience. I remember the conversation well.

You forged it, didn’t you?

No. I… I…

Oh…

Floyd, I wrote the letter that I deserved.

I… I… You need to understand why.

As you know, I’m quite fond of you, George, and you’re popular with your students, but this is a serious accusation.

Can’t we put a pin in this until after the holiday?

Oh…

Please, please, Floyd.

I… I understand your dilemma. I do.

Floyd, I… I have my entire family up here.

I’m supposed to be home in an hour.

I… I really deserve the chance to sit down and be heard.

Man to man, huh?

Friend to friend.

I’ll schedule an appointment.

[banging knife]

[man] I know you all think that Audrey is a quite calm, conservative soul, but back in the day, she was absolutely wild.

Don’t believe a word!

And then George came along.

And he was always getting into trouble, which is why I went gray by 30.

[Audrey] Oh, stop!

But the real troublemaker was this cousin that George idolized.

Turned out to be a first-class homo.

I don’t know what was worse for his parents: that he drowned or was gay.

That is a truly repugnant thing to say.

She’s right, Tom.

Henry’s death was a family tragedy.

He was such a talented young man.

Henry used to do these exquisite watercolors. Teeny-tiny paintings.

What were the… the paintings of?

Oh, the shoreline, ospreys, lighthouses.

Just common seaside things.

Turkey time, everybody.

It’s the way he presented them that was unique.

They even wanted to do a showing of his work after he passed, but… they all just disappeared, apparently.

[Catherine’s mom] What a shame.

It really was.

[man] Nice job on the turkey, George.

Thank you.

Please, eat. It’s gonna get cold.

[guests chatter indistinctly]

[ominous music plays]

[footsteps receding]

Uh…

Could you excuse me one minute?

[retching, spitting]

So you’re starting with all this again?

I happen to be sick, George.

Throwing up my marriage.

Now leave me the fuck alone!

Catherine…

[door slams, lock clicks]

[George] What the fuck?

[turning door handle]

Cath? Catherine?

[Audrey] George?

[ghostly echo]

[creaking]

[Ella] Please.

[deep sighing]

Please.

[male ghostly voice] No one understands us.

[car engine idling]

I am here for you.

We are your friend.

George.

Free yourself.

[breathing deeply]

[sighing]

[Floyd, in distance] How was your holiday?

[uneasy music playing]

Hello, Floyd.

George.

I didn’t expect to see you till tomorrow.

Taking advantage of the warm spell we’re having, huh?

Yeah, I thought I’d go out one last time before storing her for winter.

You’re so lucky to have her.

That last spin you took me on, it… [grunts] it really reminded me how much I… I miss sailing.

Especially when… when I’m feeling a little… a little low.

You want to join me?

Oh, no. I… I… I don’t want to in… intrude.

It’s fine.

The river’s as good a place as any to have our talk.

Hey.

What’s the matter? Are you okay?

[groans]

Things… just aren’t great.

It’s him, isn’t it?

[inhales deeply]

I know his kind all too well.

I grew up with it.

If I had someone as good as you, I’d kiss the fucking ground she walked on.

I swear to God.

[haunting music playing]

[exhaling]

[Catherine grunts softly]

[George] I’m eager to tell you the truth about the… problems I had at Columbia with… with Shelby.

Look, it’s a complicated story, but, um… essentially, I got ostracized… for reporting misconduct.

It was… it was sexual misconduct.

Look, I’m willing to listen, because I… I care about your well-being, but forgery, regardless of the reason, is a crime.

I don’t want us meeting on false pretenses here.

I can’t keep this to myself forever.

Yeah, I-I understand that, and-and, look, I appreciate your dilemma…

So…

So tomorrow, I plan to bring the situation to HR.

And we both know the outcome.

They won’t permit you to remain on staff.

[melancholy music playing]

You okay, George?

There, there.

All things must pass.

Yeah.

I promise you’ll get through this.

[bell jingles]

Hey, Cal.

Hey.

I called in a take-out order.

Be right back.

[music playing softly over speakers]

[chuckles] Excuse me. Sorry, I just wonder…

Where did you buy that scarf?

Oh, um…

It was a gift.

Oh.

[Cal] There you go, $6.57.

Thanks. Just two back, please.

[bell jingles]

[breathing heavily]

You’re putting in late nights too, huh, George?

Jesus.

Look…

You’re soaking wet.

[laughs] What… what the fuck, Justine?

Are you officially stalking me now?

Officially? No.

Then why are you suddenly everywhere I turn?

Because I really care about Catherine.

Yeah, you’ve made that perfectly clear.

Uh, I’m not sure how to take that.

I… I kind of think that you do.

Tell me, George, how’d your mom like that scarf I made her?

Uh, yeah, she…

She didn’t really care for it, actually.

She… she said that it felt cheap.

Well, that explains the neck it ended up on, then, huh?

[scoffs]

Go fuck yourself.

Do you want to explain what happened at the Met?

If you got something to say to me, Justine, you should just spit it out.

[engine turns over]

[Justine] I will.

[reporter on radio] Government said there was no way they would meet the new demands for the hostages’ release.

Then it accused the Iranians of not taking good care of the hostages.

[reporter 2] The Carter Administration stepped up its pressure on the Iranian government by charging the hostages…

[suspenseful music playing]

[car engine revving]

Oh my God.

What are you doing?

[screams]

Fucking psycho!

[tires screeching]

[screaming]

[crash]

[horn honking]

What happened to your clothes?

I got sick on them.

You and I need to talk.

Not tonight, we don’t.

And why is that?

Did you not hear me? I said I got sick.

Sleep down here, then. I don’t wanna catch anything you have.

[slams shut]

[George] If you’re really here, show me a sign.

[glass shatters]

[Catherine screams]

Oh my God!

[groans]

What the fuck is going…

Have your boyfriend fix the window in the morning.

[eerie music playing]

[phone ringing]

[engine turns over]

[George] Cole.

Hey, it’s George Claire.

Uh, I have an emergency this morning.

I was wondering if we could get you here a little bit early.

Can I help you?

Oh, uh, I need this filled quickly.

It’s for my daughter’s night terrors.

[machine beeping rhythmically]

They say she might never come out of this.

The doctor never met Justine.

He doesn’t know the force of her personality, Bram.

[reporter] …Department of Agriculture. The announcement comes tomorrow.

In other news, police have identified the body pulled from the Hudson last night as 68-year-old Saginaw professor Floyd DeBeers, a frequent fixture of the Hudson sailing community.

What?

Yeah, I guess he went out for a sail yesterday and…

They assumed he had a heart attack and fell overboard.

Oh… oh my God.

[exhales sharply] Jesus.

Yeah.

I know you two became very close very quickly, so I-I’ll keep you posted on the memorial service.

Yeah.

And… we’re going to be needing an interim chair.

Your name came up, if you’d be willing.

Um…

Oh God, um…

Yeah, yeah.

Whatever the department needs.

[students chatting indistinctly]

[clears throat]

I have some very sad news to report.

Some of you may have already heard.

[ominous music playing]

Wait. Why… why is this up?

I-I didn’t choose this slide.

[projector clicking]

[projector continues clicking]

What is this?

Huh? Who did this?

Is this some kind of joke?

[clicking]

Who did this? Huh?

Who did this?

[yelling] Who the fuck is responsible for this?

Well, fuck it. [breathing shakily]

[ominous music rising]

You’re home early.

Did you cancel your class?

Is something wrong, Cath?

Why?

Well, you… [scoffs]

You skipped your protein shake again.

Thanks.

Where’s Cole?

He had to leave because you had him come in so early today.

Right.

Well, that’s good. We can…

We can sit down, have that chat you’ve been pushing for.

I don’t think so. Not tonight.

Why not tonight? You said it was extremely important.

I don’t think that it is anymore.

What were you doing upstairs?

I was putting Franny to bed.

Oh, what? I… I can’t give her a goodnight kiss?

Yeah, she was very tired, George.

You know? I think I’m gonna give her a kiss anyway.

No, she’s out cold, George. No, she’s…

George.

[Franny moans]

Why is she dressed?

I told you. She was tired.

You know that they’re expecting a deep freeze tonight?

It’s a terrible time to travel.

Hey, where are you going?

Hey!

[groans]

Jesus!

Get downstairs.

Get off!

Get off of me!

Hey, Catherine!

Catherine!

[Catherine panting]

[grunts]

What are you doing, huh? What the hell is this?

[Catherine grunting]

Let go of me, George!

[eerie music rising]

[Catherine cries out]

[both grunting]

[Catherine cries out]

Where do you think you’re going?

With my goddamn daughter!

Home!

This is your fucking home!

Nowhere’s home with you, George!

Fuck!

I know about Floyd!

Your clothes were soaked that night! And Justine? You hated her.

I know you were involved. I know it in my bones.

And what about that cousin? That cousin whose identity you stole?

Oh, you’ve… you’ve really lost your mind, you know that?

You’ve… you’ve gone way, way over the edge!

No, I’ve woken up.

And so will Franny when she learns exactly who her father is.

You want to leave? Go! Go, if you want to.

Go. Get up. Leave your daughter with this, this monster you’ve conjured up in your paranoid, food-deprived brain!

[scoffs]

[door closes]

[panting]

[ominous music playing]

[groans]

Oh, my God.

No!

[crying out, panting]

[grunts]

[screaming] Help!

Somebody help us!

[grunts]

[panting]

Franny!

[groans]

Franny!

[groans]

Ella, help me.

[Mozart’s “Lacrimosa” echoes]

[ghostly echoes]

[Ella] Fate.

Catherine.

On the path of fate…

[Catherine panting]

[Ella] …I can gather sharp stones so you don’t feel their pain.

Oh my God. Franny!

Where did he put you?

[Ella] But another’s free will…

is his alone.

[Catherine groans]

[Ella] Our essence… united.

[Catherine] Baby?

[Ella] I would give my life again for the power to stop this.

[Catherine, distorted] Baby.

[dial tone]

Where is…

[distorted groaning]

[ghostly whispering]

[dial tone continues]

[Ella] Just know, Catherine.

As she was there for me, I am here… for you.

[male ghostly voice] No.

[male ghostly voice] Stop this!

[Ella] No!

[indistinct ghostly whispers]

[George crying]

[floor creaking]

[ghostly whispers]

[male ghostly voice] George.

[George sobs]

[male ghostly voice] George.

Free yourself.

[Ella] Those who commune with evil never win.

[George screams]

[splatting]

[male ghostly voice] Again!

[George sobbing and screaming]

[ax clatters]

[phone busy signal]

[busy signal fades to silence]

[birdsong]

[knocking on door]

Mrs. Claire?

[George] Cole, my wife is ill, so do not disturb her.

Franny should take her usual nap.

Her sippy cup is prepared in the fridge.

Make sure she drinks it.

Feel free to leave once she’s fast asleep.

[Cole] Bye, Mrs. Claire.

Feel better.

[uneasy music playing]

[cawing]

[car turns off]

[dripping]

[telephone ringing]

Laughton residence.

Yeah. Hello, Travis.

It’s Sam Pratt.

Hi, Sam. Everything okay?

Yeah, well, actually, we… we do have a bit of a situation.

I got my neighbor here, you know, the college professor.

Um, apparently, something happened to his wife.

[indistinct police radio chatter]

[door opening]

[door closes]

It’s…

[eerie music playing]

[door creaking]

Is that your ax, George?

[electricity buzzing]

29-year-old Catherine Claire was found brutally murdered at her farmhouse here in Chosen, New York.

She was discovered by her husband, Saginaw professor…

Willis.

Willis.

[Willis] Eddie. [exhales sharply]

You’ve heard.

I should have done something.

[Eddie] Okay.

[woman] Here it comes.

All right, here we go.

[door opens]

What’s your gut?

Sure seems broken up.

Robbery gone bad. Really?

Mmm… Alibi checks out.

The college says he was teaching the whole day.

Mm.

Shall I let him go for the night? His parents are out front.

Go ahead.

There’s someone else I need to talk to.

Come on.

They can’t force us to come back tomorrow.

You are not speaking to anyone until we secure a criminal attorney.

From Manhattan.

First thing in the morning, we’re leaving this godforsaken place for Connecticut.

[sighs]

Did you ever see him hit her?

Threaten her?

[exhales] No, no, I never…

She just told me that she hated him.

Lots of wives hate their husbands.

Lots of husbands hate their wives.

That doesn’t mean that they’d put an ax in their gut.

Do you know if he might have been cheating on her?

Or maybe she was cheating on him.

I just know he fucking did it, Travis! I’m telling you he did it!

You have to believe me, okay?

I never said I don’t, son, but you’re giving me nothing here.

Fuck, man!

So he has a solid alibi?

He was at work all day.

Took the art department out for drinks, even had the babysitter come.

But you said he could have done it earlier.

The coroner confirmed as much.

Possibly. It’s difficult to prove.

Fingerprints? There any fingerprints?

They’re everywhere. He lived there.

Guess who else’s are on the ax.

Eddie Vayle.

No.

Not Eddie.

That boy has his poor mother’s soul.

Travis, it’s so obvious George Claire did this.

You have to arrest him.

I know.

But I need another person to connect the dots.

That may take time.

[plaintive music playing]

[sighs]

[Mare] Where is the justice for the women of that house?

[machine beeping rhythmically]

[voice 1] Guardian angel.

[voice 2] Wake up.

[voice 3] Goodness always triumphs.

If not in this world, then in the next.

[Catherine] Franny! Somebody help us!

[Justine gasps]

[Ella and Catherine] Justine, it’s time.

[knocking on door]

[Audrey] George?

Someone called while you were sleeping.

Another journalist?

No, no.

Someone claiming to be an old friend.

They left a message. Very cryptic.

Did you get a name?

Yes.

Um…

Sokolov. Justine Sokolov.

[tense music playing]

I’ll just…

[water running]

[Calvin] They made this happen.

[echoing] It’s their fault.

They have always tried to hold you back.

You are envied.

Unrecognized.

Trust in your impulses.

[tense music climaxing]

Go.

[man] Hey!

Hey!

I can’t let you go out.

That boat isn’t up-to-date on fees.

Just going out for a minute.

No, can’t let it happen.

[intense music playing]

I’d really appreciate it, sir.

Mind just giving me a hand?

[thunder rumbling]

Travis.

Good afternoon.

Up for a chat?

Yeah.

[thunder crashes]

[ghostly whispering]

[thunder clapping]

[ghostly whispering]

[Ella and Catherine] The gates of Hell are only visible to those about to come into it.

[intense music rising]

He who is evil is also in the punishment of evil.

Damned.

Damned.

[eerie choral music]

Damned.

[distorted voice] They never win.

[Ella and Catherine] Damned. Damned.

The world of spirits is not Heaven or Hell.

We stand between the two.

[eerie music climaxes]

We have lost our children.

Because of you, we are joined in spirit.

Because of you, our powers grow… from tiny drops… into an endless sea.

[“Search for Life” by Dirty Projectors playing]

♪ Where is the time we spent? ♪

♪ Some was too close to hold ♪

♪ What happened to the rest? ♪

♪ Don’t know when I let it go ♪

♪ And now the future ♪

♪ Will overtake her ♪

♪ She goes to other heights ♪

♪ She wades dunes, sand, and lime ♪

♪ In search for life ♪

♪ All over are the days ♪

♪ When we wandered through the world ♪

♪ Together in the clay ♪

♪ And together in the pearl ♪

♪ The wheel throws color ♪

♪ And polishes nothing ♪

♪ She goes to other heights ♪

♪ She wades dunes, sand, and lime ♪

♪ In search for life ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ An anima holds guard ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ Awake and rosy ♪

♪ Protecting what we are ♪

♪ With hope and holy ease ♪

♪ In search for life ♪

[strings solo]

[song ends]

[gentle piano music playing]

[haunting music playing]

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