Original release date: July 18, 2021
* * *
I knew that was gonna happen.
ALEX: I know, but sometimes it’s fun to know.
LILA: Wait. I got to pause it. I need to go to the bathroom.
What?! No, not now.
I’ve been holding it for, like, an hour.
Take your laptop with you.
I can’t watch it on the toilet. I can’t pee while I’m watching.
I don’t like these zombies as much as the fast-moving ones.
I know, but I believe them more. Like, if they’re dead, they’re gonna move slower.
But I don’t think the 28 Days Laterzombies are dead. I just think they’re… they’ve got a virus, you know? That’s why they move fast.
But they’re both better than The Walking Deadones.
[laughs] Oh, my God, they’re awful. You could step around them. If we had zombies… You and me… We would be brilliant.
We’d save everyone. All right, I’m gonna turn it back on again.
[dogs barking in distance]
Did you hear that?
What was it?
Something in the back.
What is it?
Did you see that?
I don’t know.
Where’d they go?
ALEX: I don’t know. They were heading into the alley.
But I don’t see them.
LYNN: What don’t you see?
What’s going on?
What are we doing out here?
LEXIS: Looking for zombies. Lila saw zombies.
She was watching a scary movie.
It’s just her imagination, Mom.
Okay, that’s enough, let’s get back inside. It’s cold.
Two minutes, Lila.
What do you think?
There was definitely something back here.
Why do you say that?
Throughout every religion and mythology, there is the story of the destroyer. Lucifer. The Devil. He is as timeless as the Creator. And despite what the modern world would have you believe, he is just as real today as he ever has been. The word Lucifer comes from the Greek. Eosphorus. It means “dawn-bringer.”
DAVID: [clears throat] Father.
But it is also…
Father. [whispers]: Your back is bleeding.
I was light-headed getting out of the shower. I must have… scratched up my back when I fell.
Let’s go to the doctor.
No. I’m fine.
You don’t look fine, Father.
David. This stays between us.
I, uh… haven’t been myself lately. The blood on my back, it just… develops. It heals, then starts up again. I feel as if I’m under some kind of… attack.
I don’t know. I’ve been angry. I have trouble forgiving. And I don’t want to pray.
Father… let me conduct an assessment.
Of me? No.
You conduct five exorcisms a month. Who knows what the demonic can do to you over that time? The only way to know is if we conduct an assessment.
My team and myself.
David, if the archdiocese knows…
Let me do it confidentially. I’ll keep the results just between us.
LILA: There was definitely something out there last night. We need photographic evidence.
Adults won’t believe…
My mom would.
This is her job. She’s, like, a vampire stalker.
Okay, put your flashlight on. Zombies hate bright light.
LILA: The perimeter’s secure.
Good. Zombie flesh is soft, so they’ll probably…
LILA: It’s in your room.
ALEX: It could be my parents.
Wait. This is the moment when something jumps out and so…
What are you two doing? I thought you were sleeping in the yard.
We were. Mom, we just… We heard a noise up here.
Go to bed, you two.
Nothing. Good night, Mom.
Hey, Mom, can dogs be arrested for murder?
Can I get a haircut, Mom? Oh, that’s too long.
Mom, are you even listening to me? Do you hear me right now?
All right. Almost ready? Bus is in two minutes.
I want eggs, Mom. Why can’t we have eggs in the morning?
If you put your orders in by 2:00 a.m., I’ll think about it.
No, seriously, can dogs be arrested for murder or not?
What does your teacher say?
ALL: “Don’t talk during class.”
Mom, can I have another sleepover tonight?
Again? You just did one last night.
Mind your own business, Lynn.
No, it’s about zombies, right?
Hey! Don’t say “shut up.” If it’s all right with Mrs. Metellus, it’s okay with me. But I don’t want you to be outside again, all right?
No, inside. I’ll check.
Have fun, love you, bye.
David, what’s up?
I need your help. Father Mulvehill is having some issues. The exorcist might need an exorcism.
[exhales] I, um… I know this must feel awkward, but I thought it’d be easier if David wasn’t present.
It’s just that I’ve never been on the other side of one of these assessments.
I’ll try to make it quick and painless.
Last person who promised me quick and painless was the doctor taking out my appendix.
And was it either?
[laughs] Okay. Why did you become a priest, Father? Actually, should I call you Father?
Joe’s good. I heard the calling.
You heard? Are we talking a voice?
No. I understood what God wanted from me.
Do you think God has a special purpose for you?
Why “of course”?
Because God did not just call me to the priesthood. He also called me to be an exorcist. That’s your question, right? Secular professionals love priests when we open food kitchens and… protest nuclear weapons. We unnerve them when we start talking about demons and angels and… true evil. Am I right?
Are you right that I’m unnerved by your profession as an exorcist?
I don’t know if I’m unnerved. I’m just trying to deal with the reality as you see it. Um… do your thoughts jump from place to place so much you can’t keep track of them?
Recently I have felt… confused. But, uh… I haven’t been getting enough sleep.
Have you been doing anything that’s out of character? Father, I’m… gonna be honest with you. You do seem troubled. By something. I don’t what it is. But… it’s keeping you from completing your mission. So use me. Use the secular to cure the spiritual.
[exhales] [clears throat] When I was… a younger man, before the priesthood, in seminary, in fact, I had a habit. An addiction. Nothing dramatic. Gambling.
When I heard the call, I gave it up completely. I never felt the draw again. Just like… people who give up cigarettes. After a while, the thought of a cigarette makes them nauseous. But then… this. It was like that whiff of a cigarette from the past. Call it… nostalgia, call it… Uh, I don’t know. [chuckles] But I started gambling online. Didn’t feel like gambling. I could play poker anonymously with other anonymous people. And I wouldn’t be a priest in a card club.
Have you bet with money?
Not at first, but… lately, yes.
A lot of money?
Well, as a priest, I don’t have a lot of money. But I want to be clear. I… I don’t think my issues are spiritual. I-I think they are a backsliding into old habits. That’s all. And I-I have to resist it. It’s about willpower. Nothing else.
KRISTEN: He admitted to a gambling problem. That, combined with the cycles of high energy and confusion are all warning signs of mania.
KRISTEN: Online. He started back in seminary, but he gave it up until a month ago.
When he exorcised Leland?
David, this is a vicarious trauma issue, not a demonic one.
A trauma issue can be a demonic one.
No, let me look at his computer.
Because that’s what I do. A lot of things are more simple than devils and diseases. … What?
We think you should take the month off.
What? [laughs] No.
You were almost dead.
Come on. I was missing in a basement for 24 hours. That’s nothing. Let’s go.
[door opens, closes]
So we don’t get caught in small spaces, right? Like that.
And yet… look where we are. We’re not…
What are you playing at, Alex? It’s late. You should be in bed.
What’s that, Dad?
Go to bed.
[whispering]: That wasn’t my dad.
What do you mean?
I looked into his eyes, and… that wasn’t my dad.
Okay, is this what’s been on your laptop?
Mm… no, not like that.
Okay, but when you surf the Web, this is how they appear, right?
MULVEHILL: Yeah. Uh, maybe. I don’t know.
Yeah, okay. It’s not psychological… You going back to gambling… And it’s not spiritual, it’s not the Devil… It is Internet advertising.
The temptation is spiritual.
BEN: No. These big social media companies have algorithms that search for characteristics that they then target ads at. Shopping ads, porn, even gambling ads. It’s not the Devil at work. It’s just social media.
I haven’t gambled in 30 years. What characteristics could they possibly be looking for?
Articles that interest you. Keywords in your emails, searches. Look, these algorithms are pretty subtle, cross-referencing search words in your emails that push you toward knitting, violent videos, kittens, whatever unknown obsession you have.
DAVID: So, what does he do to conquer it?
BEN: Well, I can clean out his browser of cookies and upload some ad blockers.
Type in your password, I can do it right now. Unless… you want to keep gambling.
Great, I’ll do it right now.
I’d better get to class. David?
Okay, now tell me the real story.
[laughs] The real?
What do you mean?
You’re doing something. I know you. I don’t need an algorithm to know you.
[chuckles] Okay. So I was looking at his number of emails.
There are none.
What do you mean… There are no emails?
I mean his email cache is empty, clean. Spotless. Not even spam.
So when somebody cleans out their inbox, trashes all the emails and then throws out the trash, in my experience, they’re hiding something.
Give me a minute.
DAVID: He likes you guys.
What’s going on?
Mm, almost, almost there, almost.
Okay, if I search an email from his inbox and type in just the symbol “at,” the auto-correct pulls up the most recently sent email.
Uh, it’s a trick. Watch. He trashed every one of his emails that he sent or received, right?
And I want to find the last one sent. Watch.
Mm-hmm, that is the person that he most recently exchanged emails with.
DAVID: Wait, wait, what-what’re you doing?
What are we looking for?
Your priest friend’s cohorts. He’s not been up-front with us.
He confessed to gambling.
That’s not everything.
Why would he confess to that and not something else?
I don’t know. But that’s why we assess, right? Find out if he’s having an affair or if he paid off somebody?
“Great talking to you…”
No, no, no, no, no. Um…
“Thinking about our last conversation.”
Well, now we wait.
That was fast.
BEN: “I’m warning you. One last time.”
What’s he warning about?
BEN: “Let’s meet in person and clear this up.”
Wait, is that a good idea?
We’ll find out.
What the hell?
LILA: Hey, Mom.
Hey. How are you doing? Come here.
How’s it going? You seem upset.
No. No, I’m not. Just dealing with everything. In your work, Mom?
The stuff you do, is there really monsters?
Is my work bothering you, babe?
No, no, no. I… I actually think it’s kind of cool.
I tell my friends at school about it, and…
Although I do tell them you carry a samurai sword.
[laughs] That’s great. I’m gonna get one.
Well, are there monsters? Like, real monsters?
Well, there are people who do monstrous things, I guess. But I don’t know if I’d call them monsters because they’re still people underneath.
You just have to find that person?
Yeah. And sometimes that’s hard because they’ve forgotten who they really are or they like being a monster too much.
Is that what happened with that LeRoux guy?
Why do you ask?
I know he was bad.
Yes, he was. He did monstrous things.
What happens if they can’t be a person again? If they’re always gonna be a monster?
I don’t know. Do you ever give up on anyone? A friend or…
Lila… your dad loves you.
I know. This isn’t about Dad.
Oh, love you.
Hey, you can sleep here if you want.
No, that’s okay, uh… I have homework.
Hey, Ben. I’m glad you called. I have a question.
Um, so what you did today with Mulvehill’s gambling ads… On my Web browser it’s just covered in ads I don’t think I ever did anything to encourage.
What kind of ads?
Like, um… people ads, meeting… meeting people ads.
Okay, uh… [chuckles] Well, just bring in your laptop tomorrow, I’ll clean out your cookies.
Okay. I-It’s not just that. I also just don’t understand why this is happening; I mean, I never did anything.
Uh, social media has a mind of its own. It… it guesses at what you may want. Or somebody’s just messing with your computer. … Hello? You still there?
They can do that?
Yeah, if they have your password. Listen, c-can I… can I just tell you why I called?
Uh, yeah, of course. Sorry. What is it?
I think I found the person that Mulvehill was emailing.
Who is it?
BEN: It’s a guy he owes money to. He’s an enforcer. Mulvehill has gambling debts.
$40,000 from online poker.
Oh, my God.
Yeah, I got him a one-week extension, but he really has to get out of this situation. Clearing out his browser is not enough.
I can get him medication for his mania. But I don’t think he’s gonna listen to us.
Okay, I… I’ll talk to him.
My dad just came home from work. And… he just stares at the wall and doesn’t say anything.
Alex? Where does your dad work?
CongoRun. Their warehouse.
That’s like Amazon?
Alex… I think that’s what we saw from upstairs.
“CongoRun Warehouse Turns Employees… into Zombies.””
REPORTER: Millions of people order from CongoRun.com every day, making it the third-richest company in the world. But accusations continue to grow that CongoRun mistreats its employees. All are non-union, many are forced to work without regular bathroom breaks or even routine safety precautions.
[distorted voice]: They fired me because I couldn’t keep up. Every night I come home to my family feeling like a zombie. And then I finally got injured on their new distro machine.
That’s like Dad’s.
They just fired me. No workman’s comp, no nothing.
Get complaints about blood left on people’s lawns and sidewalks and driveways. What can I do? There’s no time to even stop and put on a Band-Aid.
You’re right. It is your dad’s work. So what do we do?
[music playing quietly on radio]
Whose phone is locked?
Are you talking to us?
If you want to get your hair braided, you need to make an appointment.
We’re not here to do our hair or our phone.
We read online you deal with zombies.
People becoming zombies.
Who’s becoming a zombie?
And why is that?
He started working at a factory.
Where does your dad work?
CongoRun, their warehouse. Long Island.
LILA: What are you doing?
In Haiti, the slaves in the sugar cane fields were worked to death. It was backbreaking work. Painful. Deadening. Some of the slaves thought the only escape from this nightmare was to kill themselves. But that, of course, meant the slave driver lost a good worker. So the slave drivers perpetuated a story. A story of zombies. If a slave were to commit suicide, they wouldn’t go to heaven or hell. They’d be cursed to work the plantation as zombies for eternity. So, now, fast-forward to today. The CongoRun factory is physically and emotionally toxic. And, like slavery, can turn the workers into zombies. By making them dead inside.
So what’s the solution?
Two solutions. This one. The blue one. It’s for your dad. Add it to his food and don’t tell him. Just let him consume it.
What does it do?
This one. The green one. It’s for the slave driver.
LILA: Who’s the slave driver?
I don’t know. But he’ll reveal himself. They always do.
ALEX: Hey, how you doing, Dad?
Lila came over and helped me make spaghetti and meatballs.
I do not need this now, David.
DAVID: That’s too bad. We need to talk. You have $40,000 in gambling debts.
Don’t deny it, Father. We’re assessing you. That’s what we do.
I told you I have a weakness. And I…
No. Stop it. You’re making it worse. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was Leland. Maybe it was just a… a weakness in your character. But I can’t ignore it.
You promised you wouldn’t go to the bishop.
And I won’t. As long as you take six months off. Go into a program. Promise that, and I won’t go to the bishop.
You going to school?
[whispers]: Mom and Dad are still asleep.
They’re still asleep now? Wow. You think this is because of our…
Oh no, no, no, no, no, no.
No, they gonna fire me.
Hello, Mr. Hamlin? I’m so sorry, this is Brandon Metellus from the east loading dock. My alarm clock didn’t go off this morning and I’m coming, I…
Oh, my God.
Okay. If you think so, sir. I’m-I’m so sorry.
Are you fired?
No. There was a gas leak on the east dock. My whole team was sent to the emergency room.
Oh, my God.
BRANDON: All 40. I was the only one not there. They’re out, permanently. Lung damage.
KENSIA: Brandon, if you hadn’t slept in…
You still got the green bottle?
Next we find the slave driver.
I think we need samurai swords.
Gonna get you!
Do you have a minute, Sister?
How’s your breathing?
I’m still working on it. Been distracted.
Well, you need silence.
I know. It’s hard to find.
No, it isn’t. You’re just lazy.
Um… do you know Father Mulvehill, the exorcist?
Why do you do that?
I find the good Father, shall we say, full of himself.
You find Father Mulvehill…
His little exorcism kit… The leather one. He spends his nights making it look weathered. The leather is new, but he rubs it down with sandpaper to make it look old.
How do you know that?
We Sisters of Mercy clean your rooms. We know a lot more than you want us to know. What is your question?
Okay, you’re probably ahead of me on this. I think Father Mulvehill should take a break from his exorcisms. He conducts five or six a month, and I think he’s, um, spiritually… exhausted.
You have reason to believe this?
I do. He’s been texting his next subject, Leland Townsend. He’s the man that you…
I know who he is. What’s he texting?
I’d rather not say. It’s of a personal matter.
Then go to Bishop Marx.
I promised the Father I wouldn’t.
Well, that was a dumb promise.
I… could confront him and tell him he has to go to Bishop Marx.
No. Mulvehill will never give up exorcisms willingly. He loves the drama of them. He thinks he’s in a movie. You confront him, he’ll just lie to Marx and say you’re trying to undercut him. Why are you looking at me like that?
You see so clearly. It’s just odd, because you’re, uh…
Cleaning the kitchen?
When’s his next exorcism?
Tomorrow. With Leland.
And you’ll be there?
Good. Then I’ll join you.
BRANDON: Wait-wait, wait, wait. The question isn’t whether we’re angry. Of course we are. 40 of our friends are out of work and in the hospital.
MAN: CongoRun isn’t giving them severance.
And they can’t even sue. They have to go to arbitration.
BRANDON: Wait, wait, wait. The question is do we have enough support to unionize? Our power is in a union.
LILA: Looks like the blue bottle worked.
Think your dad’s not a zombie anymore?
If we move now, maybe. Everybody’s angry.
We know that anger dissipates.
How did you know that we were meeting?
I just, uh, wanted to give you an update about your colleagues.
WOMAN 1: This isn’t for management.
WOMAN 2: This is for the workers.
MAN: Yeah, get out here, go.
Look, look, look, look, this is not a time for anger. This is a time for prayer and compassion.
The slave driver.
Our CongoRun family is hurting.
BRANDON: You’re not hurting. You’re trying to kill us.
Brandon, you know that isn’t true. We’re putting aside a fund of $300,000 to take care of…
[all shouting, clamoring]
HAMLIN: Hey, the solution, the solution is never a union. You trade the face of the boss you know for the one you don’t. Because the union becomes your boss.
A boss you’ll have to pay. You’ll have to pay dues and go along with their rules or they won’t protect you anymore. But the thing is, you don’t need any protection.
WOMAN: We want to pay dues.
HAMLIN: CongoRun will always take care of you. We’re like a family.
Brandon, I would suggest you end this if you plan on keeping your job.
BRANDON: Mr. Hamlin, you can’t fire me for unionizing.
HAMLIN: That’s not why I’d be firing you.
I need to re-wrap it.
HAMLIN: You failed to come into work yesterday.
BRANDON: Failed to come into work and get sick from your little gas attack.
Well, you still failed to show up. A fireable offense. I would disband your little communists here. No. In fact, you can leave my house right now, sir.
He’s coming, quickly.
Excuse me. Thanks.
Little girl? I’d tell your dad it’s a bad economy to be out looking for a job.
Come on, come on.
[door opens, closes]
Or should I undress for this, Father?
No, you can leave that on, Leland.
Ah, that’s probably the CongoRun delivery men. I ordered some 40-pound weights. I don’t need any. I just like seeing someone try to deliver ’em.
Oh, it’s you. You got a nun here.
Sister. What are you doing here?
I invited her.
You don’t trust me.
It’s not about trust. It’s about…
I don’t trust you.
Oh, David, could you get that?
Well, look. It’s a party.
MULVEHILL: Holy saints of God…
….intercede for us. Be merciful. Spare us, Oh Lord…
Save me, Satan.
As wax melts before the fire,
So the wicked perish…
LELAND: Aah! It’s burning,
…at the presence of God.
It’s burning. I’m melting!
MULVEHILL: The lion of the tribe of Judah…
I’m gonna hang in the hall.
MULVEHILL: The offspring of David hath conquered.
Is Ben all right?
I think it’s from that basement, being trapped.
MULVEHILL: Graciously hear us, Oh Lord. From all evil, deliver us. From all sin. From all s-s-s…
Father? Father, are you… Father. It’s-it’s okay, it’s okay. It’s okay, it’s okay.
[Leland chuckles] Oh, my. Don’t know my own strength.
Shut up, hell fiend! You think you have power over Jesus Christ, demon?
I think I have power over a priest who owes money to his bookie.
You have no power over God.
Try me, bitch. Show me where God is. In Bergen-Belsen? In the Uighur concentration camps? Just show me.
Take over, David.
I’m not an exorcist.
Oh, no, not the holy water again. Now I’m in real trouble.
ANDREA: Do it.
ANDREA: God drive out the Devil, drive him from where he dwells. David.
Stop it. Stop it, damn it!
Out, devil, out!
How did that happen, David?
I… don’t know.
But it did happen, right?
David threw holy water on Leland and his skin burned. It was smoking. He ran out, terrified.
What? What, are you suddenly holy or something?
It’s not me. It’s her. Sister Andrea.
Oh, hi, my name is Zach Neville.
I’m the regional director of operations for distribution.
Sounds like the slave driver.
NEVILLE: I got to say that, uh, your name has been coming up quite a bit lately.
BRANDON: I don’t understand, Mr. Neville.
He was threatening to fire me.
He was standing where you are right now and he said if I continue to organize, I would be fired.
Yeah, and I’m here to say that Mr. Hamlin overstepped his bounds.
So you’re not firing me?
[chuckles] Of course not. In fact, we had to let Mr. Hamlin go today. He came into work inebriated.
Did we do that?
I think so. From the green bottle.
So Brandon still has his job? Well, actually, I wanted to offer him Mr. Hamlin’s job.
Oh, my goodness.
W… If I stop organizing?
Yeah, well, you wouldn’t be a worker anymore. You’d be in management, that’s true, but at ten times the salary. Of course, we want industrious people like you in the corporate ranks.
Now, wait a minute, now…
Can we think about it, Mr. Neville?
Of course, of course. But, Brandon, I am sorry we put you through this. We want to make it right for you and your family.
Thank you, Mr. Neville. Thank you.
Now, you call me. You have my card.
[door opens, closes]
Father Mulvehill agreed to move into isolation for six months.
Don’t step there… it’s wet.
Y-You heard what I said?
I did. Father Mulvehill is going on retreat.
He’ll be back, and just as proud as before.
That’s why I need you. This-this battle is too important for you to spend 12 hours a day cleaning this rectory.
I don’t spend 12 hours a day cleaning this rectory. I spend 12 hours a day praying.
Then use your prayer to beat back this demon.
David, you have all the power you need.
That didn’t happen because of me. That holy water happened because of you. And for the first time, Leland was scared.
Not of me, of you.
[sighs] Sister, he… he gets into my mind. He interrupts my prayers.
Then work on your breathing. Clear your mind of everything but God. Focus.
Why won’t you join me?
‘Cause I’m a woman and this is the Holy Catholic Church. Here, dump this outside.
Ah, Lila, come on in. Alex is almost done.
Thank you, Mrs. Metellus.
I know. I’d rather have, like, a lot of…
Oh, did Mr. Metellus not take the new job?
No, he did. What’s great is he can do it from home if he wants. You can’t believe what it’s like to have him around. He’s a different man.
Almost ready. All right, Dad.
Hey, Mr. Metellus.
Hey, Lila. I was gonna make hamburgers tonight. You want to come over?
I’ll ask my mom.
Loading dock three, we’re running behind the 9:00 a.m. orders.
Oh, yeah, take a look, Lila. I can do it all from here. Isn’t that great?
Loading dock one, it is not time for a bathroom break. Ten minutes, please.
You want to finish that zombie movie tonight?