A Simple Favor (2018) | Transcript

A woman seeks to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her best friend.
A Simple Favor (2018)

A Simple Favor (2018)
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Runtime: 117 min
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Ian Ho, Joshua Satine…

Plot: Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.

* * *


Hi, moms, Stephanie here.

Today, as promised, I’m gonna share my zucchini chocolate chip cookie recipe.

But first, many of you have asked me for an update on the Emily situation.

And for those of you who are new to my vlog, you should know my best friend, Emily, is missing right now.

She asked me a simple favor, to pick up her son, Nicky, from school, which was five days ago.

And she hasn’t come back yet, so…


I’m sorry, we’re all really worried, and I’m doing everything I can to help the police track her down.

But I’m realizing I don’t (SNIFFLES) know her as well as I thought I did.

It’s like my mom used to say, God rest her soul. Um…

Secrets are like margarine, easy to spread, bad for the heart. (SNIFFLES)

But as different as we are,

I do consider Emily my best friend.

She is this wonderful, elegant person.

And our sons brought us together, actually.

(THUNDER RUMBLING) Well, for our new friends, I’ll just start from the beginning.

I met Emily a few weeks ago at school.

It was International Cuisine Day in my son’s first grade class.

And once again, I drew Sweden, which meant my famous meatless meatballs.

You’re all dead!

I killed everyone!

Not me. I came back to life.


I want to thank everyone,

who participated in today’s feast. Yay!

Class, haven’t we learned so much

about food from all around the world?


Give your parents a big round of applause.

STEPHANIE: That looks great!

Big smile!

SONA: Oh, my gosh.

Where does she get all that energy from?

STEPHANIE: What are you looking at?

I think there’s crystal meth in those meatballs.

Oh, parents, there’s a sign-up sheet on the board

for our Fun Fair next week. (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY)

Uh, please, Stephanie, don’t sign up

for more than one job.

I’m not sure everyone else has had a chance to volunteer.


Miles, sweetie, sweetie, maybe just be careful

with your fingers with Nicky’s truck, okay?

Has Nicky’s mom volunteered?

Emily? Please. She wouldn’t know

a sign-up sheet if it bit her on the ass.

God, it’d be my dream to run PR for Dennis Nylon.

Can you imagine all the free shit she must get?

DARREN: I know.


I’m crossing myself off decorations.

I can leave that open for Emily.

And then if she can’t make it,

I can still bring my balloons and helium tank.

Please tell me you don’t actually

own a helium tank, Stephanie.

I think lots of people own helium tanks, Stacy.

Because kids love balloons.

Do you not have one?

You a bad parent? (CHUCKLES) I’m kidding.

We’re terrible parents.

I think it’s a perfect plan, Stephanie.

Good thinking, Stephanie.


Hey, Smooch!

Oh, great work today, Smooch.


Thanks a lot, Mom.


Can me and Miles have a play date today?

Um, I don’t know, sweetie.

I think we need to ask your mommy,

and she’s still in the city.

She’s right there.




Come here, little dude.

Oh, my baby! (KISSES)

Look at your shirt. Did any food make it into your mouth?

Ask her, Nicky, ask her!

Ask me what?

NICKY: We want a play date.

Oh, we can’t. Mommy already has a play date

with a symphony of anti-depressants. Let’s go.

BOTH: (CHANTING) Play date! Play date! Play date!

Baby, please don’t do this. I gotta go.

Come on. I got a ton of work to do.

You don’t let me have any fun.

That’s not true. I let you tear my labia

as you exited my body, so you’re welcome.

Do you drink?

I need a martini.

Oh! Uh…

Yeah. I like martinis. I haven’t had one in a long time.

They’re good, though. Had one that was mostly chocolate.

And I was like, “Alcohol and chocolate!”

(CHUCKLES) Mom life.

Oh, okay. No play date. Come on, kid, let’s go.

Then I’m staying here.

Christ, he’s fucking stubborn.

It doesn’t have to have the chocolate in it.

Okay, I don’t think I’m gonna win this, so, um…

I mean, do you wanna come over for a beverage of any kind?

I think I could use some backup.

That’s me? I’m backup?

Does your kid drink, maybe?

I mean, it’s never too early to start teaching them.

I think you’re joking, but great.


Hey, you, let’s go.

Let’s get your umbrella out, okay?

Because we’re gonna go out in the rain.

STACY: What on Earth are those two gonna talk about?

Emily’s gonna eat poor Stephanie alive.

At least she’d be eating something.


What is your problem?

Go show him your room. Go.

STEPHANIE: Oh, please don’t run!

Be safe please!

Cute socks.

STEPHANIE: Oh, thanks!

They’re from Target. It’s 10 bucks a pack.

So great, Target.


They have other animals.

They have these squirrel ones are cute, chipmunks,


That’s so lifelike.

EMILY: Yeah.

Do you like it?

(STAMMERS) How could you not? It’s, um…


I used to dye my hair. I get bored easily.


Did you paint that?

No. No, no. It’s made by an almost famous painter

from the East Village.


My life is littered with almost-somebodies.

I did some art modeling in school

to pay my way through.

Then the pervert got obsessed with me.

Oh, well, that happens, yeah.

So I stole the painting, you know,

thinking it’d be worth something someday.

But, no. (CLICKS TONGUE) No such luck.

This house is incredible.

Thanks. It’s a fucking money pit.



Oh, sorry. It’s, um, what we say at my house when someone swears.

It’s a force of habit.

We have an oopsy jar in the pantry.

It’s like, you know.

Put a quarter in for every bad word.

You should smash the oopsy jar.

That might change your life.

Yeah. Ugh. Sorry.

Don’t say sorry.

You don’t need to do that. You don’t need to apologize.

It’s a fucked-up female habit.

You don’t need to be sorry for anything, ever.

That’s true. That’s great advice.

Thank you.

I love this music, by the way.

Thanks. Yeah.

Makes me forget I’m stuck in this shithole.

I’m gonna go get booze.





I was really caught up in the ambiance.


Come on, give me a little more.


I liked it. I may join you later.

Oh! You must love cooking in this kitchen!

No, not really. Sean does.

I think it’s probably just an excuse to avoid writing.

Your husband’s a writer?

No. He wrote a book 10 years ago.

It made him the toast of the town.

I actually had to stalk him

to make him fall in love with me.

But then, nothing. He never wrote anything ever again.

It’s the old bait-and-switch.

What was the book?

It’s called Darkness at Dawn.

Oh, my gosh! I read that in my book club!


This was… Yeah.

Well, this was back when I first became a single mom,

and I joined this book club, and that was the first book we read.

It’s so impressive.

So you’re divorced, then?


Do you mind if I ask how he died?

Car accident.

Oh. How awful.


My brother, Chris, was in the passenger seat, so…

You’re kidding.

One fell swoop, and the two

most important men in my life were gone.

Normally, sad stories don’t get to me.

But that one…

That one did. That was brutal.

I don’t talk about it a lot.

Especially with people I just met.

I’m really sorry. Oh! Mmm…

Baby, if you apologize again,

I’m gonna have to slap the sorry out of you.

Yeah. That’s… I’m not sorry.

That’s a hard habit to break, though.

It is.

So, are you dating anyone?

No. Slim pickings in Warfield.

Well, you are an hour and a half outside the city.

I’m not gonna date someone from the city. (CHUCKLES)

I tried eHarmony for a while,

and then that mother of three wound up

with her head in the trash can,

you remember that? And I… Ugh.

I said, “No thank you. Delete.”



Come on, baby,

you’re too sexy to give up.


That’s nice. I don’t know. Um…

If your head’s gonna end up in a trash can,

your head’s gonna end up in a trash can.

I just didn’t think I would end up a single mom,

struggling to make ends meet.

I mean, my husband had life insurance,

thank goodness, but not a lot.

I put half of that away for Miles’ college,

and so, with that coming in,

the money still runs out in 2020.

Thank God for his life insurance.


My husband doesn’t have anything

if it makes you feel better. But he does spend like

he’s the man of the hour.


Fucking have to pay for everything.

We can’t even sell this house.

We bought it during the bubble.

I love your house.

Don’t dream of selling it.

If I were you, I’d just bask in this kitchen all day long!

Then you should move in.


Here. Cheers to being house poor.

Yes, cheers!

EMILY: Mmm. What?

STEPHANIE: That’s, uh…

It’s just another one of my bad decisions.

Yeah. (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) It’s great.

Is that a charity symbol?

Yeah, Mother Teresa and I are, like, the same person, so…

It’s a nice contrast with your ring.

Thanks. Yeah, this is a family heirloom.

It belonged to Sean’s great-grandmom,

and then his mom,

and she insisted that I have it, so, you know?

SEAN: Whose Subaru is blocking the garage?

Speak of the devil.

Oh, that’s mine. I’m sorry…

You’re what?


Your wife is trying to get me to stop apologizing.

Or maybe you can get her to start.

Oh! Hi.




Oh, martini time?

I’m sure it’s 5:00 somewhere.

Oh, my God, did you just come up

with that cliche by yourself?

He’s such a brilliant writer.

I have to say, you inspire me.

EMILY: Not enough, apparently.

SEAN: “Why, thank you very much

“for going to the grocery store,” he said,

dripping with sarcasm.

Oh, I figured you’d want a break

from not writing ever.


With that fatal blow, she won the joust.

Well played.

Hmm. Thank you.

This is Stephanie.

Hi, Stephanie.

Her kid goes to Warfield with our kid.

She read your book.

I did. I loved it!

It reminded me of William Thackeray.

She really read it.

Wow, not many people

trot out Thackeray as a reference.

Oh, I was an English major at Barnard.

It was pre-mommy brain.

I did my thesis on the Canterbury Tales.

“And with that word Arcite gan espye,

“whereas this lady roamed to and fro.”

“And with that sight, her beauty hurt him so.”

I’m sorry, do you guys wanna get a room?

Am I breaking this up?


I like that.

Hey, do you want me to make you a drink?

No. I’m good. You guys enjoy.

I’m gonna head upstairs for a shower.


SEAN: Nice to meet you, Sharon.

Yeah. It’s lovely to meet you.

He’s terrible with names.

Oh, yeah. I mean, Stephanie’s crazy.

Like P-H-what? (CHUCKLES)

You guys are such a cute couple.

Yeah, we’re on the verge of bankruptcy,

and we can’t find a decent nanny

in all of Connecticut, so…


If you ever need me to pick up Nicky

after school and take him to my house,

even if you just need the night off…

You’d do that for me?

Yeah. Anything.


Hi, moms, Stephanie here.

If it’s your first visit to the vlog, a hearty welcome.

Today’s theme is friendship.

So today, I thought we would make

friendship bracelets!


I have never understood

these silly, hurtful divisions

between working moms and stay-at-home moms.

Honestly, I have found it difficult

to make friends with either.

Emily! Hi, what’s up, lady?

EMILY: Hey, I was wondering if I could

take you up on your offer to pick up Nicky.

I’m in a meeting with no end in sight.

Uh, yeah, I’m happy to help.

Actually, I just got this jumbo set of Perler beads…

EMILY: Yeah, yeah, okay. You’re the best.

Okay. Um, just… Does Nicky have any dietary restrictions?

Yeah, just don’t feed him shit he doesn’t like. Thanks.

Don’t feed… Okay.

Oh, my God, she’s so funny.


EMILY: No, no, no, Dennis, this is what’s gonna happen.

I’m gonna do my job,

you’re gonna take some pills,

and then I’m gonna call you later. Okay?

What? Oh, oh, I can’t hear you.

I’m in an elevator.

STEPHANIE: I am hungry for flesh!


Just Darth Mommy, it’s this game…

It’s really silly.

Honestly, his dad was much better

at the roughhousing stuff.

Don’t do that.

Do what?

Don’t denigrate your good parenting

to comfort me for my shitty parenting.

Oh, gosh, no, Emily, that’s…

That’s not what I was doing at all.

I think you’re a super mom.

Oh, no, you don’t.

Come on, your kid had

lobster bisque for lunch the other day.

I’m lucky if I remember my kid’s lunch box.

Honestly, it’s fine.

The nicest thing I could do for Nicky is blow my brains out.

I’m kidding.

Right. Yeah. Well…

You do work in the city, so…

Oh, my gosh!

Oh, my gosh!


Did you just take my picture?

I’m yearbook mom.

Did I ask you to take my picture?

Erase it.

You look really chic, it’s just for “Faces and Places.”

Just for the other parents.

Erase it or I’ll slap a fucking injunction

on your yearbook, do you understand?

Yeah. Okay.


Yeah, it’s gone.

Whoa. Bye-bye.

Don’t do that again.

Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry.

Or, I didn’t mean to offend you.

Um… I’m sure that stuff’s

really sensitive in your industry.


Oh, no. It’s all good.

I guess I’m probably not the kind of person

you’re normally friends with.

Oh, you do not wanna be friends with me. Trust me.

Dennis, sweetie,

let’s try this again. Um…

Okay, I want you to go home

and chill the fuck out

and don’t ever call me again. Bye.

That’s how you talk to your boss?

Yeah. You know, you gotta go right at ’em.

Especially the powerful ones.

Or they will fuck you in the face.

Yeah, I get that.

Wanna get out of here?

Mommy needs a drink.





STEPHANIE: Okay, guys…

I guess we’re going.

EMILY: Hey! Nicky, come! Now!

Okay. I have a gift for you. Please close your eyes.


Yeah. Hold out

your tattoo hand, please.

This is happening. I’ll wait all day.

Are you propositioning me?


Here. I made that for you.

You made this for me?

Thought it would go with that pinstriped suit you have.

Really? That’s nice.

No one does stuff like this for me.

I used to watch those Bewitched reruns on TV Land,

and I always thought it was so classy

when Darrin would come from work

and Samantha would fix him a martini.

Every time we do this, I feel so high-tone.

My God, you’re such a nerd.


Ugh. Fuck this. I need a real martini.

This one’s not real?


Sean and I had the real thing at Dukes in London.

The key, frozen gin.

And a frozen glass. Here.

Move, bad martini.


Little bit of vermouth.

Swirl it around, dump.


Don’t you dare touch that wash cloth.

Then add in the gin.


Cut your twist.

Squeeze it, outside out. Get a nice little mist.

Lick the edges. Voila.

And don’t add fucking ice. Ever.

We don’t like ice anymore?

That shit ruins everything.

Tough day at work?

I just need to hit the reset button sometimes.

Oh, cheers!


Can you make me one of those?

STEPHANIE: Do I look reset?

Because I feel reset.


You smell good.

What is that perfume? You smell so good.

I wish I smelled like you.

Thank you.

It’s one of Dennis’. I could get you one.

I could get you a bathtub full

if you’d like.

(STAMMERS) I would love it, girlfriend.

Thank you. (SNIFFS)

I’m really unhappy with myself for taking that picture…

Oh, my God, are you still talking about that?

…without asking, it’s so rude.

Please, stop. Forget it.

Just, like, “Paparazzo.”

You are so nice.

I have no idea how you’ve survived this long.

I’m not as nice as you think so.

Are you baiting me?

No. I’m just saying.

Everybody has a dark side.


Some of us are better at hiding it than others.

Wanna trade confessions?

No, no. No.

(CHUCKLES) Come on.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?

Oh, no, I don’t know, I shouldn’t.

You go first.

Okay, um…

Few months ago, Sean and I had his TA over

for dinner, and drinks, and a threesome.

Was Sean jealous of him?

Did I say it was a him?

That’s very cool, sis. Very cool.

You okay?


I don’t mean to freak you out.

Hello! I’m not freaked out, maybe you’re freaked out.


Because I’m not freaked out.

I’m cool. I’m laissez-faire.

Okay, laissez-faire. (LAUGHS)

I mean, you’re not exactly a sexual maverick.

And that’s fine.

You know, prudes are people, too.

I wanna know your secret. Tell me.

My dad died when I was a senior in high school.


this boy showed up to the funeral.

His name was Chris.

And I guess he was the spitting image

of my father, 30 years younger.

My mom thought she saw a ghost.


And it turned out he was my half-brother.

That’s your whole secret? That your dad had an affair?


Okay, can you just tell me your secret?

Come on, spill it, dark side.

So, Chris…

It was too late for him to drive home, so he stayed over.

We stayed up all night, talking,


my dad was…

My dad was really the person who understood me.

And he was gone, so…

I was alone, alone for the first time.

But he sees me, you know?

Like, he really sees me.

And we just stared at each other for the longest time.

You can’t be too drunk in my house

not to finish the story. What happened?

Uh, yeah. Uh… (SIGHS)

Okay, so, I don’t know,

maybe it’s not so racy where you’re from, but…

Stop avoiding. Tell me what happened.

STEPHANIE: We stood there

for the longest time.

EMILY: Uh-huh.

STEPHANIE: So I went in to hug him,

and we kissed.

I know, it’s so gross.

The end?


You just kissed?

Yeah, we kissed.

You just kissed your brother?

STEPHANIE: Yeah. It’s so…

EMILY: What?

STEPHANIE: Ugh. It’s so lurid.

It’s my half-brother. It’s not my brother.

EMILY: He’s your half-brother, though?



EMILY: Yeah, there’s more.


No. No, there’s not more.

No, no. Yeah, there is.


You fucked him.


EMILY: Was he good?

STEPHANIE: That is so disgusting.

I don’t know…

EMILY: You didn’t fuck him? Tell me you didn’t fuck him.

STEPHANIE: I don’t know what’s going on in your…

EMILY: Swear.


Swear on your dad’s grave.


Oh, my God.


You brotherfucker! (LAUGHS)

No. Don’t.

This is good.

Oh, my God!

I’ve got a brotherfucker taking care of my kid.

I shouldn’t have even said anything.


You know what? I don’t know. It’s these stupid martinis.

Hey, brotherfucker, do you wanna stay for dinner?

I shouldn’t have even said anything.

Yeah, I do wanna stay for dinner.

That would be lovely.

I can’t wait to see what you cook.

You know what?

I’m gonna cook you the best meal of your life,

and you’re gonna feel really bad

about being so mean right now.



I like you!

Hi, moms, Stephanie here.

Today we’ll be talking about the perfect first aid kit…

so you’re never left in need during a crisis.



EMILY: Stephanie. Thank God you picked up.

Hey, I just have a little emergency.

Oh, really? That’s a coincidence. I was just…

I need your help.

Are you okay?

I’m fine, but I do need just a simple favor.

Can you grab Nicky from school?

Sean’s in London, his mother broke her fucking hip,

and I got a big fire to put out at work.

Oh, yeah. Oh, my God!

Poor Sean, poor you. Um…

Anything I can do to help. Yeah.

You’re the best. Hey, I gotta run,

but I’ll get you back for this, okay?

Of course, Nicky’s in good hands.

Hey, Stephanie, you’re a good person.

True friend. I mean that.

Don’t worry about it. I will talk to you later. Bye.



(GASPS) Freeze! Do you know what I see?

I see two boys getting a play date!

BOTH: Yeah!

Stephanie, that’s so great you took the nanny job.

Nanny job?

Yeah, for Emily.

I know she was looking for one.


We’re just friends. I’m helping her as a friend.

Oh, God, I’m so sorry.

I didn’t realize you guys were so close.

Well, we are! (LAUGHS)

We drink martinis together. Strong ones from London.

Okay, boys, if you don’t wrestle in the car,

I’m gonna make you fruit pops!

Let’s go, let’s go!

BOTH: Yay!

She doesn’t know she’s working for free.



ALL: Whoo!



This is Emily Nelson,

Director of Public Relations for Dennis Nylon Holdings.

Leave a message or go fuck yourself.

Hey, uh, Em, it’s Stephanie. Um…

I know you’re probably knee-deep in that crisis.

But Nicky’s asking when you’re coming to get him,

and I don’t know what to say, so…

Just let me know.

And I hope you’re hanging in there. Give ’em heck.

Stephanie Smothers. I’m a close friend of hers,

I’m watching her son.

Can you just tell me where she is

and when she might be back?

Yeah, she’s in Miami for a few days.

Did you wanna leave a message?

I’m sorry, did you say a few days?

Yeah, can you hold for a second, please?

She didn’t say that it was gonna be a few…


Oh, for the love of Joe.



SEAN: Yes?

Sean, hi! Um, it’s Stephanie. I’m so sorry to bother you.

I got your number from the school directory.

Has something happened to Nicky?

(STAMMERS) No! Uh, Nicky’s fine.

Yeah, sorry, he’s fine. He’s here with me.

Um, Emily, though, asked me to watch him,

and that was two days ago, and I haven’t heard from her.

Have you guys been in touch?

Christ, two days?

What’d she tell you?

Um, she said she had to put out a big fire.

And I called her office,

and then they said she was in Miami?

Yeah, that sounds about right.

I mean, I’ve played through

some of these emergencies before,

and once she knows that Nicky’s being taken care of,

she disappears for quite some time.

Oh, fun! Um…

I’m flying back tomorrow.

I’ll pick up Nicky as soon as I’m on the ground.

All righty?

All righty.


Miss Canterbury Tales.

Um, her assistant, Valerie, said that

she couldn’t get in touch with her, either.

Which is weird, because it’s a work thing, an emergency.

Some of the moms think we should go to the police.


Has it really come to this?

Do you want tea?

You know what? Let’s do it.

Not the tea. The police.


SEAN: Yeah.

The police are here.


OFFICER BLANCO: And when was the last time

either of you heard from her?

STEPHANIE: Three days ago.

I was in London. My mother broke her hip.

Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.

Thank you.

Well, she said it was a work crisis?

Yeah. She has a very high-profile job

and a full staff that she oversees.

Most times when a woman vanishes,

she has a reason.

What are you implying, exactly?

You two didn’t have a fight?

Something to make you run off to London?

Are you saying that I broke my mother’s hip?

You leave town, your wife takes off.

Maybe there’s, um,

a close friend she might be spending some time with.

Excuse me, that’s very rude.

He is a dedicated husband and father.

I have seen him with his wife, let me tell you,

they’ve got more chemistry than a science fair.

Just exploring all avenues, ma’am.

Well, that avenue is a dead end, so you can drop it.

And where’s Emily’s family?

She doesn’t have any.

She was an only child,

and her mother and father died when she was a teenager.

I’m sorry, I didn’t know that.

OFFICER: We’ll file a missing person’s report

and contact you in the next couple of days.

If she doesn’t turn up,

we’ll contact the local authorities in Miami.

Not planning any more trips, are you, Mr. Townsend?


I’m gonna be right here.

I’m gonna be at my house with my son.

We can show ourselves out.

SEAN: God knows we’ve had our troubles in the past,

but I don’t think she’d just up and leave her child.

No, God, she adores Nicky. She wouldn’t do that.

She is an enigma, my wife.

That’s what drew me to her.

It can also make her impossible.

She can be so fiercely private.

She sure doesn’t like

having her picture taken, I’ll tell you that.

I remember this one time, she shut down my Facebook

because I posted up a family picture.

Ugh. Social media is so tricky.

I can get to close to her,

I can never quite reach her.

She’s like a beautiful ghost.

Never entirely there.

That’s so poetic.

That’s why you’re such a good writer.

I’m not a writer anymore, Stephanie.

I gave all that up just to chase this woman

for the rest of my life.


I should order a taxi and go home.


Oh, gosh, it’s 1:25, they stop driving at 1:00 here.

That couch pulls out, um,

if you wanna stay over.

I know Nicky would love it

if you were here in the morning.

That would be lovely.


SEAN: Who wants more B vitamins?

MILES: Yeah!

NICKY: I do!

SEAN: Yeah? Are they nice?


Yeah? Delicious?


SEAN: Hey.

Uh, what on Earth are you making?

These are hangover smoothies.

They get it right out of you.

And the kids love them.

Little tip, they have a full portion

of vegetables in them,

and they don’t even know it.

It’s so hard to get kids to eat their vegetables.

SEAN: Right?


Wanna try some?




I think we should get ready for school. (GROANS)

Oh, school, school.

Hi, moms, Stephanie here.

Today I’m making a new recipe

I learned for a hangover smoothie.

Uh, it’s really nice.

I especially want to thank everybody

who’s written in to ask about Emily.

It’s been four days now.


The good news is that Sean is home from London,

and he’s working very closely with the police.

Um, actually, moms,

I know a lot of you are hung up on the idea

that the husband is always the primary suspect.

I know, I’ve seen Law & Order.

But, um…

First, I’m here to tell you

Sean was in London when Emily disappeared.

And some of you have suggested

that he did that to set up an alibi,

but he’s an amazing husband and an amazing father, so…

The police haven’t been much help.

But every mom knows that if you want something done right,

you have to do it yourself.

I will leave no stone unturned.

I think that’s what Emily would want.

RECEPTIONIST: Dennis Nylon, please hold.

Dennis Nylon, please hold.

Thanks for holding.

How may I direct your call?

Hi, my name is Stephanie…

Dennis Nylon, please hold.

My friend works here. She’s been missing…

Thanks for holding. How may I direct your call?

I tried to call her assistant.

Dennis Nylon, please hold.


She wasn’t super helpful.

Thanks for holding. How may I direct your call?

I can’t tell if you’re talking to me.

You’re looking right at me.

Dennis Nylon, please hold.


Thanks for holding. How may I direct your call?

Her name is Emily Nelson.

She’s the head of the PR department.

Emily’s not in today.

I know she’s not in.

Dennis Nylon, please hold.


Just gonna…

Sorry. No, I am not sorry.

I need to speak to Dennis Nylon, please?

A woman’s missing, so…

Mr. Nylon’s not here right now.

Great, I’ll wait.

Knock yourself out.


RECEPTIONIST: Dennis Nylon, please hold.

Um, Mr. Nylon?

We don’t accept unsolicited resumes.

Cool, that’s not why I’m here.

Um, we have a problem.

We most certainly do.

A friend of mine works in your publicity department…

Is that a vintage Hermes scarf?

My Aunt Frieda gave it to me.

Did she want you to hang yourself with it?

Look at that knot, Jesus fucking Christ!

I’m here about Emily Nelson.

What about Emily? What happened?

She asked me to pick up her son four days ago

because she went to Miami.

She’s still not back. No texts, no calls,

and no one in your office seems to give a crap.

Excuse my language.



Why did Emily go to Miami?

I didn’t know she did.

We in this office have learned that

when Emily elects not to tell us something,

it’s best not to ask.

Doesn’t she work for you?

Emily’s job is to stop the apocalypse

without worrying any of the designers.

And she always finds a way

to look fabulous when she does it.

That’s great!

What do you suggest that I do?

Never wear a vintage Hermes scarf with a Gap T-shirt.

If you were truly Emily’s friend, you would know that.

Excuse me, I have a very busy day.

Valerie, my office.



DENNIS: Sit, sit, sit! Emily! I want answers.

MAN: Steven, you forgot the shirts.

WOMAN: No, I can’t help you with that.

Of course he’s freaking out.

He needs someone to manage this now.

I don’t know.

Mother fudger.


Well, if it isn’t Aunt Frieda’s

least favorite niece.

What were you doing up there?

Corporate spying?

Or just a common garden shoplifter?

Yeah, you gotta go right at them.

Especially the powerful ones.

Or they will fuck you in the face.

Listen, you bargain basement Tom Ford,

if you don’t have this Ken doll

unhand me this second,

I will tell the thousands of moms that watch my vlog

that Dennis Nylon is a bully who victimizes women.

And that they should stop buying your tacky blouses

made by Indonesian children.

Because if you lose moms, you lose business.

Okay, number one,

they are not Indonesian children,

they are Vietnamese teenagers.

Number two, Tom Ford wishes he were me.

And number three, if I’m tacky,



This has been fun.

Better pray I don’t have a bruise.



No wonder she doesn’t like having her picture taken.

DARREN: Look at our little Stephanie.

Comforting the worried husband.

Oh, please.

It’s an arts and crafts project.

I’ve never seen her pass up a chance to use a stapler.

Emily’s gonna hate those flyers

when she gets back.

She’s not coming back. (SIGHS)

Don’t you watch Dateline?

If the case isn’t solved in the first 72 hours,

they’re always dead.

Oh, yeah.


Oh, perfect timing!

Dinner’s ready.

The boys are upstairs.

I’m just gonna have them wash their hands

and come down.


Are you okay?


I’ve just never experienced anything like this.

Walking into a fully set dinner table.

Yeah, (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) this is weird.

I’m being…

No, no, no! Not at all.

I think anything stable these days

is like a gift from heaven, right?

I should tidy up first, though.




SEAN: Hello.

SUMMERVILLE: Mr. Townsend?

Ah, yes.

Detective Summerville. We spoke on the phone.

SEAN: That’s right. Um…

Stephanie, can you help the boys with their homework?

Of course.

Come in. Sorry.

Thank you.

Just a pre-dinner snack.

That’s a cute nanny.

No, no. That’s one of my wife’s friends.

She’s been helping me out.

Oh, shit. Can she come help out around my house, too?


SUMMERVILLE: The passenger manifest says

she wasn’t on any flights to Miami.

But she did rent a white Kia from Budget.

She paid in cash for a two-day rental.

Now, when people pay in cash,

it usually means one thing.

What are you saying? She’s having an affair?

I can’t say that with any confidence.

SEAN: Can you not track the Kia?

SUMMERVILLE: I have toll booth reports coming in

from across the country,

assuming she’s not swapping out plates.

I wanna get a description of your wife to

every precinct in the tri-state area, okay?

Did she have any distinguishing features?

Any birthmarks, tattoos?

She’s got a tattoo on her left wrist.

Oh, great.

It’s flames and a charity symbol in the middle.



More judgment from you?

Nope. No, no, no.

But she did things like that.

Impulsive, crazy things.

SUMMERVILLE: I’m gonna go call this in.

Tell your wife’s friend I said goodbye.

SEAN: You’re a saint.

You don’t have to do that.

I’m not a saint. I just like to keep my hands busy.

Um… I should go.

It’s Flags of the World day on Monday.

I haven’t even started on South America.


No, I don’t mean sorry. I mean thank you.

Thank you for being such a good friend.

Of course.

I’m a problem-solver, I just wish I could do more.

You’re doing plenty.

So, that’s where we are today.

And we are keeping our heads up

and not jumping to any conclusions.

We are soldiering on

with cookies and origami.

But for you moms who want to help,

we know that Emily was driving a white Kia

that she rented from a Budget

at La Guardia Airport on the 24th.

And I did a little digging,

so, um, the license plate is…


VIEWER: Dear Stephanie,

I’m writing from Standish, Michigan,

with a possible Emily sighting.

I was driving down I-75 two days ago,

when I saw a woman gassing up a white Kia.

She was really pretty,

and I remember thinking she didn’t look like

she was from around here.

I hope this helps.

STEPHANIE: So, um, Summerville sent the info

to the local authorities in Michigan.

Did she ever mention Michigan? Did she have a friend there?

As far as I knew, she didn’t have any real friends.

Not before you.


How is that possible?


Hello. Please tell me you found her.

A lake?

(STAMMERS) Well, I don’t know.

Okay, I’m heading there now.

They found the rental car in Michigan.

Look, I’m gonna have to go

because otherwise I’m going to go crazy.

Can you do me a favor?

Yes, it’s done. Go.

Hi, moms. Stephanie here.

I can see we have a flood of new viewers today.

And if you’re new to the vlog, I’m sorry.

This probably isn’t the best entry to start with.

For those of you who have been following my vlog this week,

you know that my best friend, Emily, went missing.

So many of you wrote in with your helpful tips and ideas.

I wanna give a special thanks to Leanne Lippens

whose helpful tip made a major break in the case.

I have some somber news.

(VOICE BREAKING) Emily was found.

Not alive, I’m afraid.

My friend, Emily Nelson,

is dead.

PRIEST: Our Father, we look to you again,

facing this moment of our need.

In our sorrow, grief and loneliness

draw us up to yourself

that we may know the comfort of the everlasting arms.

Especially support and comfort those

who have been closest to our departed sister.

Sustain them in the blessed assurance

that death is conquered,

the new life is begun.

To be absent from the body

is to be present with the Lord.

May we be assured in the hope

that we shall walk together again

in your blessed presence.

Help us to number our days

that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

In the name of the Father,

and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.



Oh, hi.

Are those, um…

Oh, yeah, yeah, they are.

They’re from your last-minute brownie entry.

I can’t believe you watch my vlog.

(STAMMERS) To be honest,

when we first started watching it,

we were just making fun of you.

But, um…

But then, you had some really helpful hints in there.

Especially when Lulu got that rash,

apple cider vinegar was great.

Oh, well, great! That’s…


You’re a real saint

to help her family out like this.

I’m not a saint.

Emily was my friend, and she’d do the same for me, so…

If you or Sean need me

to watch Miles or Nicky anytime, it’s nothing.

That’s so sweet, Sona. Thank you.

It’s the least she could do, she didn’t even bake anything.

Yeah, yeah.


MILES: Nicky,

you don’t need to worry.

Your mom’s in heaven now.

No, she’s not! Shut up!


She’s in the ground!

MILES: Ow! Stop it!

She’s never coming back!


Ow! You’re hurting me!

NICKY: I hate you!

MILES: Ow! Stop it!


SEAN: Nicky, get off him!

Nicky, what’re you doing? Get off him!

What the hell are you doing?


Calm down, stop that.

She made this happen! She made my mom die!

That’s crazy and you know that.

She’s trying to be my new mom!

Sweetie, I’m not trying to be your mom.

I want my mom!

I know you do, baby. I know you do.

But calm down.

Mom was right!

You are a loser!

Is that what she told you,

drunk at 2:00 in the afternoon?

I am trying my best!


He’s just a little boy. Jesus!

Nicky, I’m sorry.


What do I do?


What do I do?

We’re all gonna take a deep, centering breath now.


We’re gonna focus on one thing at a time.

I’m gonna stay and talk to Nicky.

So I need you to take Miles inside,

put some ice on his nose.

‘Cause you got a good little shiner coming.

It’s okay.


It’s okay.

I don’t wanna talk to you.


You’re not my favorite dinner date

right now either, buster.

But you should know that everything

you’re feeling right now is normal.

You can act out all you want. That’s fine.

This doesn’t change what I know.

What do you know?

That you’re a good kid.

So let’s just sit here and not talk.

Let’s just sit here

and feel lousy and watch the grass grow.



Hey, come on. Don’t be hard on yourself, yeah?

It’s the kind of stuff nobody gets right.

You do. You always do.

No, no, come on.


Um… I don’t know if…


Yeah, we shouldn’t.










Are you serious?


Hey, Ms. Smothers!


Can I talk to you?

Yeah. Um…

I’m gonna come right down.


Hi! Hi!

Hey! Hey!

Uh, I just left something here, so I was just…

I had a key

because earlier, Sean gave me a key…

You’re not under arrest, Miss Smothers.



I should hope not.

All right. No, no.


You’re very funny.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.


Sean’s not here right now.

You know, I was actually hoping to speak to you.


Yeah, I went by your house.

Then I went by the school,

then one of the moms thought you might be here.

Did they? Okay. Well, that’s…

Was it Stacy?

Can I come in?

Of course, I would love that!

Thank you.


You said that Emily’s your best friend.

Yes. Yes, we are.

Was she depressed?


No, she had everything.

She had the house and the job…

And the husband.

I was getting there, yeah.

The neighbors said they fought a lot.

Well, they had issues. Um…

But they loved each other intensely.

Oh, what issues did they have?

The normal issues.

They were stressed about money.

And I think Emily wanted to slow down

and smell the roses.

She slowed down all right.

I got the autopsy report right here.

Let’s see here.

“Severe liver damage suggesting heavy alcohol use.

“Track marks along her arms and between her toes.”

Were you aware of the heroin use?

No, that’s, uh… (STAMMERING)

I’m sorry, I really have

trouble believing that.


She liked a very strong martini, but…

I don’t know how she could’ve kept that a secret from me,

and especially from her husband, Sean.

Yeah, you seem to know Sean pretty well.

I… We’ve gotten to know each other

over the last few weeks, just as friends.


(CLICKS TONGUE) I’m guessing you’ve never dealt

with law enforcement before.

Not really, no.



That’s a really nice dress.

Oh, thank you.

Doesn’t seem to be your style, though.

Oh, I’m very versatile, Detective,

I think you’ll find.

I’m really just trying to help Sean and Nicky

in their time of grief.

Oh, how is Sean’s grief?

He’s holding up very well.

As well as can be expected.

Uh-huh. (CHUCKLES)

Is that everything, or…

(CLEARS THROAT) Let me ask you something.

Were you aware

that he took out an extra $4 million

life insurance policy

on Emily before she disappeared?

I was not aware of that, no.

Why? How would I?

(CHUCKLES) Okay, all right.

(SIGHS) Yeah, I don’t…

I’m sorry. What…

What are you…

Are you saying he had her rubbed out?

He hired a hitman?


I didn’t say anything about him hiring a hitman.

You just did.


I can see that you’re enjoying yourself,

Detective Summerville.

But if you wanna grill someone, you should

really speak to Emily’s boss, Dennis Nylon.

He could not be more suspicious.

That’s super interesting because he contacted us.

And he said he thought you knew more than you were letting on.

Well, he sucks.


As long as you’re honest with me, Ms. Smothers,

I swear to you,

you have nothing to worry about. Okay?

I’m just following breadcrumbs wherever they lead.

Okay, you know what? I’m done for now.

Thanks for your time.

(STAMMERS) Your theory doesn’t hold water, you know,

because it doesn’t explain

the fake plane ticket or the rental car.

And why would someone shoot her full of heroin

at a summer camp in Michigan?

There’s plenty of good heroin right here in Connecticut!

I’m told.

Great, good. Okay, so we have a lot to talk about.

All right, then. Enjoy the new house.

The worst breadcrumbs I’ve ever heard of, you know.

Couldn’t fill a Caesar salad

with those breadcrumbs!



Why is this Caesarean salad so crunchy?

It’s Caesar salad, baby, and it’s delicious.

What’s in it?



How was your day at work?


Spent most of the day explaining the difference

between “your” possessive and “you’re” apostrophe R-E

to college juniors.

I can see how that might drive a man over the edge.

I know, right?

What about you boys?

What’d you guys get up to today at school?

I saw my mom.

I understand, Nicky, that sometimes

we think we see people that we miss

even if they’re gone.

No, I saw her.

She was right outside the fence

by the kickball yard at recess.

Lots of people look like someone else.

Nobody looks like Mom!

She told me to say hi to Stephanie.


this is unhealthy.

Miles saw her, too. Right, Miles?

I think I did.

But I don’t know.

I was playing tetherball.

Did you two hatch this up?

Is this a game, like when you smash everything with trucks?

Because you know what we say about lying.

I’m not lying! I saw her! Fuck you!

Hey, Nicky!

MILES: Oopsy!

I’m sorry.

Don’t I get a kiss good night?

Of course you do, sweetie.

Actually, you owe the oopsy jar a quarter

for earlier, but I…

Good night, sweetie.


We should get naked.

What is it?

What’s wrong?

I smell her, Sean. I smell her perfume.

It’s all over Nicky like a ghost.

He probably got to her perfume bottle

in the medicine cabinet.

He misses her.

Okay? It’s just you being paranoid.

Is it? Because I found this, too.

What’s this?

It’s the friendship bracelet I made her.

I’m afraid to say she would not have kept this.

She hated stuff like this.

She probably gave it to him

right after you gave it to her.

Unless he’s telling the truth.

You saw her with your own eyes.

In her coffin.

There was something off.

They found her at the bottom of a lake!

You saw her tattoo,

and you saw that ring that she stole from my mother.

She said your mother wanted her to have that ring.

She said your mother insisted.

That’s what she told you? (SCOFFS)

My father gave that ring to my mother.

It was like the only bit of jewelry

that she ever owned.

I took Emily to London to meet my mother

after we eloped.

It went missing that weekend.

My mother was frantic. We searched everywhere.

Nothing. We didn’t find a single thing.

My mother was devastated.

So we took a flight back to New York.

Guess what I found.

What did you find?



No way!

My little Sherlock Holmes.


Mum is gonna be so relieved.

Oh, come on, baby.

Mum will take it to the grave. What a waste.

So pretty.

Excuse me.

Not amusing, my darling, not in the slightest.

I’m not joking in the slightest,

(IN BRITISH ACCENT) my darling.


I don’t have any intention of giving it back.

Of course we’re gonna give it back.


We’ll tell her that it just slipped

into your purse by accident,

and we’ve only found it now.

But if you tell her that I found it,

then I have to tell her that I stole it.

And what do you think will be worse for her?

Thinking that she lost her ring,

or thinking that her son married a thief? (GASPS)



You choose, her or me?

Meet me in the bathroom in 20 seconds.

Knock twice.

SEAN: Nine months later, Nicky was born.

STEPHANIE: How could you stay with her?

I was spellbound.

She was the only woman

I could never figure out fully.

As a young, arrogant writer, I could never

live up to what she expected of me.

I was always looking over my shoulder.

I could hardly sleep.

But with you, it’s different.

I sleep like a log.

That’s what every woman wants to hear.

You know what I mean.

You understand me, you see me.

You’ve rebuilt me, Stephanie.

I’ve even started writing again.

First couple of chapters,

but it’s a start.


That’s wonderful.

You took a broken man,

and you pieced him back together again.

You’re unlike any other woman I’ve ever met.

Move in with me.


No, it’s too soon. What will people think?

They’re already thinking it.

And I’m tired of lying. I’m tired of pretending.

I want to be this man.

The man I am with you.

I don’t do threesomes.

I want to say that.

I’ll just get that out in the open.

What are you talking about?

Your TA?

Emily told me about your little moment.

That’s what she told you?


Stephanie, listen.

Emily was a pathological liar.

That never happened, okay?

Why did you take out a $4 million

insurance policy on her?

My gosh. Those cops really did a number on you, didn’t they?

I’m being serious.

It was because of you.

When Emily found out that you had been

living off your husband’s insurance money,

she thought she and I needed to get policies

out for Nicky’s sake.

It’s probably the most responsible thing we ever did.

Thanks to you.

Move in with me.

We can start a whole new, wonderful life together.

Just you, me and the boys.

Please, say yes.


I love you, Stephanie Smothers.

I love you, too.





Hi, moms. This is Stephanie here.

I’m gonna do something a little different today.

I normally avoid any talk of religion on the vlog.

I don’t wanna offend any non-denominational moms.

But I do think that we live on after we die, so…


if you are out there,

and you can hear me right now,

no one could ever replace you.

And you’ll always be Nicky’s mom.

I can’t take your place.

I can just try to love the people that you love

and try to make their lives better.

I think that’s what you would want.



Okay, guys, it’s getting too rough back there.

I murdered you!

Not me. I came back to life.

Like your mom!

Okay, the dolls are going in your backpacks

or they’re going in the trash, I mean it.

Mom, they’re not dolls! God!

Stephanie, my mom told me to give you this.





Damn! Are you trying to kill us?




MAN: Hi, I’m calling from

United Timeshare International.

Yep, I…

We’d like to offer you a free trip to the Bahamas.

All you have to do is come down to one of…

I don’t want that, have a nice day.

I don’t want that, I don’t care.

Oh, my God!


Hi, I’m sure you have a job to do.

I don’t need a free trip.




No, no, Emily’s dead.

Oh, no, have you forgotten already?

Where are you?

I’m in heaven.

Watching over you.

Nice blouse, by the way.

Why are you doing this?

How do you know it’s just me doing it?

Hey, hey, hey, kiss Sean for me,

four million times.

Oh, hey.

Are you trying to Diabolique me?

What are you talking about?

Diabolique, you know?

The French movie about the guy whose wife

and mistress, they’re trying to kill him.

But I don’t have a $4 million

insurance policy.


If you and Emily are in some kind of plan, please just call it off…


I’m really not the one.

Just breathe, please.


Nicky’s getting to you. Emily is dead.

She called me.


She called me today.

I have a friend in the psychology department.

I’ll give him a call.


BETH: Hey, handsome, you got time…

I am sorry. I didn’t know you were in a meeting.

Beth, this is Stephanie.

Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you.

I was just wondering if you needed

to use the SMART board, ’cause it’s broken.

I can live without it.

BETH: All right.

All right.

She seems nice.

Stephanie, go home.

Emily had some Xanax in the medicine cabinet.

Take one. Take two.

Yeah. Maybe she has some heroin lying around. Hmm?

This is all just grief. Just stages of grief.

I’m sorry, you’re right.

I’m so overwhelmed, and I…

(SIGHS) I’m sorry.

EMILY: Oh, baby, you just need someone to love you.

STEPHANIE: I have you. All you need is a good friend.

Come on, don’t you miss sex?

Having a man fuck you on top of a washing machine?

(SIGHS) Barely remember what it’s like.

Why are you such a masochist?

You could have a man in your bed any time you want.

I had a man, I ruined that, so…

What does that mean?

Come on, what does that mean?

If you can’t tell me, you can’t tell anyone.

I’m your best friend.



STEPHANIE: Let’s go see Daddy.

DAVIS: I just want the truth.

STEPHANIE: What are you talking about?

About Miles and Chris.

Chris? My brother, Chris?

Yeah, your brother.

And you certainly don’t act like it.

Sometimes it’s more like you guys are lovers, right?


That’s disgusting. That’s…

Is Miles mine or not?


Oh, my God!

Are you listening to yourself?

You sound ridiculous.



STEPHANIE: Davis! Davis!

Where are you going?

Where are you going? Davis?

Steph, it’s all right. Don’t worry.

Just gonna go for a drive.

Have a little talk. Man to man.

No problem.


It’s my fault.

I’m the reason they’re both dead.


Hey, don’t do that.

People do terrible things

for their own fucked-up reasons.

That’s on them,

it’s not on you.


I miss him.

Which one?


I’m lonely.

I think loneliness probably kills more people

than cancer.

Hey, come here.

Come here.

You’re okay. Want to order pizza?

Oh, God. God, I’m so embarrassed.

Oh, because of that? No, hey. It’s all good, baby.

It’s all good. Just another Tuesday.




Diana Hyland?

Did you paint this?

Where on Earth did you find it?

I should start by giving you some unfortunate news.

Emily’s dead.

My condolences.

Who the fuck is Emily?

The girl in the painting.


Her name’s not Emily.

Her name’s Claudia.

Rest in peace, asshole.

So, not a pleasant memory for you, then?

No, opposite. She was amazing.

I mean, she was the best that I ever had.

I was selling paintings.

You know, it was the first time

in my career that I had any buzz.

She walked into my gallery.

A real fucking muse just right out of thin air.

What happened?

She was all I could paint.

I memorized every inch of her body.

My dealer fucking hated it.

And the art critics fucking hated it.

They called me a knockoff dyke Mapplethorpe.

Anyway, I blew my whole career painting that con artist.

Now all I paint are these goddamn knives,

which are pretty good, but nobody wants to buy this shit.

Oh, what? They’re so good. People are just jealous.

I haven’t had a drink in 42 days.

Oh, don’t…

Might as well celebrate.

Mmm, well, cheers.

I gave her my heart and I gave her my soul.

I paid for her to go to college.

I paid off her debts.

Did you ever see any heroin use?

No. No way, her?

No, she didn’t touch it.


She never let me paint her face except for this one.

I’ve never seen such a beautiful girl

wanna be so invisible

or just completely vanish.

But you know what, it takes

money to vanish.

And so she took everything that she could from me.

You know how I would paint you?


Like a fucking saint.

I get that a lot.

You should embrace it. People love saints.

Yeah. After they’re dead.

Okay. What do you know about her? How did she die?

In a lake.

On heroin.

Well, you don’t believe that or you wouldn’t be here.

She didn’t ever mention Michigan, did she?



That is the only thing that she ever left here.

She said she had it since she was a kid.

I warn you,

you go poking around in her past,

you’re gonna find some shit that is terrifying.

She was not a normal person like you or me.

Sean, it’s Stephanie…

I thought about what you said.

You’re right. These are just stages of grief.

This experience has been so stressful for both of us,

I’m gonna take a couple of days to myself.

I’ll have Sona pick up the boys,

and they can stay at her house tonight.

You should take some time, too.

There’s ham stew in the freezer.

Five minutes in the microwave.

Lots of love.


MARYANNE: Yeah, we’ve been saving young souls

going on 50 years now.

Not Bobby and me personally.

Well, it seems just perfect!

And my son’s practically a porpoise,

so I know he’s gonna love swimming in that pond.

That’s Squaw Lake!

The kids all joke that it’s holy water.

(LAUGHS) Any fish you pull out of there

is guaranteed to feed a multitude.


Oh! Oh. That’s so funny.


Um… Have you guys got any old photo albums

or a yearbook I could look at?

I always feel like there’s no better review

of a place than the faces of the campers.

Oh, heck, yeah. We got a ton of ’em down in the basement.

You’ll see nothing but smiles.


Hope and Faith.

STEPHANIE: Hi. I’m looking for the McLanden Foundation.

Is this Margaret McLanden?

MARGARET: Who’s this?

Yeah. Hi, there. My name’s Maryanne Chelkowsky.

I’m the director of the Squaw Lake Bible Camp.

What do you want?

Well, we are putting together the 50th anniversary

edition of our camp gazette.

We’re trying to track down some star alumni.

Are you any relation to Hope and Faith McLanden?

BRUCE: Hello.

Bruce, it’s that camp.

The girls must have done something again and God…

BRUCE: Girls are long gone, Mrs. M.

You just go on back to your chair.

MARGARET: But it’s filthy there, Bruce.

I’ve asked you a…







(SIGHS) Take your time, Bruce.




Mrs. McLanden?

Hi, I’m Gloria from the cleaning service.


Didn’t Bruce tell you?

I’m supposed to clean the entire place

until you could eat

a four-course meal off the floor.

Did I get the date…



Start in my upstairs bathroom.

(WHISPERS) It’s not lying if I’m actually cleaning.


The fire’s dying!




I couldn’t help noticing that

lovely picture of your daughters.

Where’s Bruce?


Oh, um…

Bruce had to go out. Um…


your daughter, Faith…

She had some trouble, I gather?



Troubles would’ve been a vacation.

That child came straight from hell.

That’s a very strong statement for a mother.

Are you a mother?

Yes. I love every minute of it.


Then you must have brain damage.

It’s a thankless business.

And some children are just born rotten.

They don’t need a parent. They need an exorcist.

My husband understood that.

Now, wait. Don’t tell Bruce!


Bingo! (LAUGHS)

It’s unseemly, the way that man polices me.

Would you like some sherry?

Oh, no, thank you. You’re very sweet.

Wait, that’s… (SNIFFS)

That’s not sherry. That’s the gin.

Where’s the sherry?

Must be behind the Sylvia Plath.

What ever happened to Faith?

Oh, everything. Everything.

We spent so much money on her rehab.

Hope tried to help take care of her

and get her off that stuff.

Of course, Hope’s a born liar with terrible posture.

Uh, Mrs. McLanden?

Do you know the person in this photograph?

That’s Faith. That’s Faith!

Now, why’re you… Did she send you?

No, I’m not even sure…

Are you the police?

No, I’m just ask…

I have told you people a thousand times.

My memory is not good anymore. It will not stand up in court.

The night of that fire,

my husband and I were estranged.

We lived in separate wings of the house.

The fire that burned down the west wing?

Are you an insurance agent?



Oh, good! Oh, good, good.

Oh, Bruce and I have been waiting

for the insurance money.

Of course, you assholes had that clause about arson.

Arson. Yeah.


Here’s to being house poor!

You ain’t supposed to be drinking, Mrs. M.

Who are you?

Well, uh…

Thank you so much for your time, Mrs. McLanden.

I will get you that faux Givenchy suit in ivory

and the scarf in taupe.

I will put a rush on it! Thank you for your order!

Shit. Okay.



Where do you think you’re going?


I wanted to order the navy blazer.

Extra large.




What do you want, cupcake?

I’m looking for all the Wayne County

arson-related news items

for the last 20 years.

Hi, moms, Stephanie here.

I’m coming to you from Michigan.

Special on-the-road edition.

As many of you know,

I was struggling to find closure

surrounding the death of my best friend.

So I drove up to the lake where she drowned

to see if I could dredge something up.

Oh, shit.

Well, it turns out

this is the site of many a canoe race

at the Squaw Lake Bible Camp.

I had to dig through a bunch of camp journals,

and I found a photo of Emily,

whose middle name is Claudia.

Not pretty I didn’t know that.

You crazy fucking bitch.

It’s like looking at an angel, isn’t it, moms?


And it gave me the closure I needed.

I feel closer to Emily than I’ve ever felt.

Almost like a twin.

Emily, wherever you are,

I hope that you’re listening.

And you gotta have faith.




♪ Things that we need

♪ Money, clothes, Weed, indeed

♪ Hats, food, booze Essentials, credentials

♪ Code of the streets Owners who creep

♪ Slow when you sleep Holdin’ the heat

♪ Put holes in your jeep Respect the streets

♪ It’s the L-I-L-F-A-M-E ♪

Mom’s home!

Oh, Smoochie-smooch?

(GASPS) Oh, my goodness!

Smooch, I missed you so much!


Where were you?

And why did we have to sleep at Hector’s house?

He pees the bed!

Oh! Hector’s the worst!

They could’ve stayed with me, you know.

I thought we all needed a breather.

Now I feel like a million bucks.

Maybe even four.


Hi, my name’s Beth.

I’m calling on behalf of my boss, Sean Townsend,

about his wife, Emily Nelson’s policy.

The number is CT7602258001.

Can you tell me the name of the agent

who handles that account, please?

Dear Miss Prager, my name is Bruce Hargrave.

I’m writing to you about a case you’re handling

for Emily Nelson, recently deceased.

I have been the caretaker

of her family estate for many years.

What I have to say will sound crazy,

but years ago, my employer died in a house fire.

His teen daughters, Hope and Faith McLanden,

disappeared without a trace.

I’m attaching an old photo.

Hi, this is Sean Townsend.

I was meant to meet Billy Kent for lunch.

What do you mean?

You guys called two days ago to organize this.

No, never mind.

I’ll call him back.


Oh, come on, you dumb shit.

We’ve spent every anniversary here.

How could you not put it together?

Emily, why?

I have four million reasons why.

How could you do this to Nicky?

I did this for Nicky.

I hated that job. I never got to see him.

It’s not like we could live off your faculty buffet

the rest of our lives, could we?

I grieved your death.

I understand.

You’re not alone. They say that

90% of people who lose their spouse

end up sleeping with their spouse’s best friend

after their funeral, actually.


No, I just made that up, you fucking dick.

That’s how you grieve?

Balls deep in my best friend?

You could’ve told me something.

Except you can’t keep a secret, even in the dark.


You almost ruined everything.

I had to lay low until the insurance money

came through.

And so why didn’t you stay low? Hmm?

Instead, you terrorized our son.

I didn’t terrorize him.

You made me think that he had gone insane

as well as Stephanie.

I missed him too much.

He’s my little dude.

You know how much I love that kid.


Well, the clock is ticking now.

Nancy Drew knows too much.

If she fucks up my insurance money coming through,

I’m taking you down with me.

You’re taking me down with you?

Well, of course, this was all your plan.

My plan?

I had nothing to do with it…

Why are you playing dumb now?

…you twisted fucking psycho.

I don’t know where…


What were you saying about me being a fucking psycho?

Do you love her?

No. It was just sex.

Did you think of me when you were fucking her?


Do you love me or not, baby?

Of course I do.

She doesn’t mean a thing to me.




Oh, shit. Oh, shit.

I forgot to load it.

Fuck. Oh, God.

Can you imagine if I would’ve, though?

What a mess.

Emily, you’re crazy.

Hey, it’s pretty simple. You know?

It’s your choice. Her or me?

It’s not that hard.


Stop it.

You love this.

Meet me in the bathroom in 20 seconds.

Knock twice.


STEPHANIE: There he is now.

Mr. Townsend, Isabel Prager, Addison First Insurance.

I’m investigating the death benefit claim

for your late wife.


did you know that Emily had a twin?

No, but…

Well, I hate to even say this,

but it means the body in the lake

could be this sister.

ISABEL: It could explain the DNA match.

And if that’s the case,

then where is Emily?

If my wife was still alive, she’d come home.

She’d wanna see her son.

I’m not a cop,

and I’m definitely no therapist,

I’m just an insurance guy. (INHALES)

But this is an incredibly interesting case.

This is just bananas, isn’t it?


ISABEL: I will say,

it’s unusual

to live with someone as husband and wife

and not know that they have a twin.

She was a very private person.

Well, hey, we all have our secrets.



But, as I’m sure you can understand,

with a payment of this size,

we’ll have to continue this claims investigation.

Of course.

And, by law, give all our findings

to the authorities.

Of course, anything you need.

I just hope that my wife is still alive.

I want her back.

Okey-dokey, then.

Obviously, if you do hear from her…

You’ll be the first to know.

Thank you so much!

Okay, thank you. Thanks for the coffee.


Thank you so much again.


You knew that she had a twin.

Did I?

Why didn’t you?

You knew and you didn’t tell me.

Sean, (SCOFFS)

you sound crazy.

Take a Xanax.

Take two.

Hi, moms. Stephanie here.

Today, we’re talking about tombstone tributes.

I want to thank Helen from Missoula, Montana,

for the suggestions.

For thinking outside the box.

You know, it doesn’t have to just be flowers anymore.

I think any item that sparks a fond memory is perfect.

Emily’s favorite treat was a dry gin martini

in the late afternoon.

I’m gonna make a couple just like Emily used to.

Frozen gin, frozen glass,

generous twist.

I’m gonna head out there a little later today.

Have a toast on her grave.

Nice, big twist. I taught you well.

Student’s become the master.

Ooh, wisdom.

Hey, give me that.

I don’t know what tricks you have

up those new sleeves of yours.

You think I poisoned both drinks?

That’s not my style.

I don’t even eat gluten.

Want another?


First, tell me why

you killed your father and sister.

Okay, why don’t we first talk about

your son’s real father?

Oh! Emily, I hold all the cards here.

I wanna know about your twin, Faith.

I’m not a twin.

Great, I know that you are.

We were triplets.

Faith, Hope, and Charity. Charity was stillborn.

Mom thought we offed her

in the womb.


Dad believed her.

She’s quite a woman, your mother.

I had a nice afternoon with Mags.

You met my mother?

She likes her martinis even stronger than yours.

We had a little walk down memory lane.

She’s a cold woman, Em.

Bet you couldn’t do anything right in her eyes.

It was probably Faith’s idea to set the fire.

But then, all the bad ideas were Faith’s, weren’t they?

You don’t know anything.

Sure I do.

And I get it.

You’re 16.

It’s that age where you feel so trapped.

Then, if your mother always had the biting comment…

Faith, it’s over. Let’s go!

Dad! Dad!

Dad! Don’t touch me!

It’s not my fault!

…I’m guessing your father was more direct.


MR. McLANDEN: Whore!

Never again!


That’s when you and Faith learned to hit the reset button, right?

Burn, baby, burn.



Why’d you leave each other?

Well, we couldn’t stay together after the fire.

The cops were looking for the big blonde arson twins.

We were a walking sideshow.

(ECHOING) Fuck off!

We had to say goodbye, so we did it with tattoos.

Flames, and a little something for Charity.

We split up in Corpus Christi.

She was gonna head south to Mexico,

I was gonna go north.

We set a time and place to meet

after the smoke cleared.

But then, she never showed up.

I was worried sick. I waited for days.

But nothing.

I thought maybe this is my opportunity

to do it on my own.

She was always getting me into trouble.

So I bought a one-way ticket to New York

and never looked back.

Did you miss her?

Of course I missed her.

I wasn’t whole without her.

But I couldn’t go on like that, I had to survive.

And it worked.

Yeah, my life in New York fell into place.

I got a job, worked my way up.

I met the perfect man.

Oh, you know that part, though.

Then your sister calls.

Fucking Facebook.

You had to see her.

Yeah, of course I did.

So you fabricate this trip to Miami,

meet up at the old camp.

Camp bunk four, it was our happy place.

It was the only place we could escape our dad, really.

STEPHANIE: Must’ve been shocking

to see her after all those years.

EMILY: Yeah, it was like looking in the mirror.

Except at the sick life she chose over me.

STEPHANIE: What did she want?

EMILY: Everything.

Just gonna stand there?


You gotta have Faith.

I don’t hear from you for 14 years,

and now, here you are?

I’m out of cash.


The fuck did you say?


Get away with it this time.

Okay, so, um…

Now what?

I don’t know.

I didn’t know where to go.

When I call, you act like a stranger.

Won’t even let me come meet your family.

What am I supposed to say to them?

The truth?

Well, you may as well now

because I’m about to tell the cops.

You’re what?

I don’t know what else to do.

I don’t have anything,

so I don’t really have anything to lose.

I’m gonna go tell them everything we did.

And then we’ll go down together.

We can be together again.

I have a little boy now.

Yeah, I know. I saw that kid. He’s super cute.

Cut the shit, okay?

What do you want from me?

I want a million bucks.

How am I supposed to give you that?

You’re rich and famous now.

I can’t give you a million dollars.

You do seem highly motivated.

I don’t know what it is, though.

It’s your job,

probably your kid.

Don’t talk about Nicky.


Yeah, I’ll, um…

I’ll sell the house. I’ll do whatever I need to do.

If I do this, you can’t tell anyone ever.

Do you understand?

Yeah, I get it.

I mean, I don’t really get the big deal about kids.

You could always just make another kid.

You know that, right?

You can’t make another sister, though.

It’s fucking hot.

Come on, let’s go swimming.

Remember? Like we used to.

You coming?


Right behind you.

STEPHANIE: How’d you get her in the lake?

EMILY: Fuck you. I didn’t kill my sister.

That was her idea.


Come on, wimp.

What? I thought you were the alpha now.


I am the alpha, God damn it.



You abandoned me.

We were supposed to be a team, you and me.


Yeah, I know we were.

But I just thought the only chance we had was alone.

You were right.

I’m sorry, kid.

Me, too.


EMILY: I was so worried.

I woke up the next morning. I couldn’t find her anywhere.

I never thought…

I never thought she’d do that, you know?

When I found her body in the lake, it was too late.


You drowned her.

No, she killed herself.

I’m just all that’s left of her.

No, you’re a sister killer.

You’re a brotherfucker.


What does Sean know?


It was his idea.

I didn’t know what to do once I found the body.

He said maybe this is our opportunity.

We could finally get out of debt.

Flee the country.

Spend more time with Nicky.

He convinced me we could pull it off.

That her DNA would do the rest.

I don’t believe you. He grieved for you.

Oh, you believed that?

Aw, that was all an act.

You’re a pathological liar.

Did Sean say that?


I’m just gonna play you this tune real quick.

EMILY: Do you love her?


It was just sex.

EMILY: Did you think of me when you were fucking her?

SEAN: Yes.

EMILY: Do you love me or not, baby?

SEAN: Of course I do.

She doesn’t mean a thing to me.

I’m sorry, baby. I know you thought it was real.

But, hey, look on the bright side.

Your website went viral, thanks to me.

All this for a little money?

A little $4 million. (CHUCKLES)

That’s not exactly little, huh?

I was hiding out till that money came in.

He was just gonna tie up some loose ends.

Was I a loose end?

Well, he needed help with Nicky.

You’re so good with those kids.

So what happens now?

I just want my kid.

You fucked up my insurance plan.

The authorities won’t back down on that.

You can have Sean. He’s a piece of shit.

I don’t even want him.

I don’t want Sean.

Then I don’t know, I guess there’s…

There’s another way, but

sort of one mother to another.



(WHISPERS) Sleeping like a log.



What’s going on?

They have a warrant. I tried to call you.

Excuse me. I’m Sean Townsend.

Look, I’m happy to comply with anything you need.

But it would be nice to have a heads-up.

This is an open investigation.

You don’t get to pencil us in when it’s convenient.



Am I under arrest?

Oh, no, not yet. The DA wants a slam dunk.

That’s gonna be pretty hard since I haven’t done anything.

Did you know your wife was alive?

Not until recently.


She contacted me.

And you immediately notified the authorities, right?

I can’t discuss this without my attorney.

You know what? You really are a professor, aren’t you?

Okay, we’ll talk soon.

Oh, uh, if we need to contact you,

will you be with your wife or the best friend?

Somebody else?

I need a stiff drink. Maybe some of your…

I’m sorry. You can’t come in.

What? Where’s Nicky?

He’s upstairs playing.

You have to go.

What are you talking about?

This is an ongoing investigation, Sean.

For fuck’s sake.

I can’t let you into this house

until this whole thing’s been solved.

She’s gotten to you, hasn’t she?

This has nothing to do with Emily.

It’s got everything to do with her.

She’s gaslighting you.

You don’t understand how powerful she is.

No, I don’t understand anything right now.

Stephanie, don’t do this.

Please don’t make me call the police.




SEAN: Stephanie, please call me back.

I don’t know what’s going on

or how this is all going to turn out.

But you’re a great mum,

and you taught me how to be a better dad.

For that, I’ll always be grateful.

The truth is, I don’t think I ever knew my wife.

Or what she’s capable of.


NEWS ANCHOR 1: A shocking new development

in the Emily Nelson case,

which first went viral on a popular Internet vlog.

The PR executive who was believed dead

in Michigan has resurfaced.

And it appears the body found in the lake

was that of Nelson’s estranged twin sister.

Nelson’s husband, Sean Townsend,

an abusive failed novelist and English professor

allegedly forced her to stage her own death

in order to collect

a $4 million life insurance policy.

NEWS ANCHOR 1: Nevertheless,

bail for Mr. Townsend will be set today.

NEWS ANCHOR 2: A British national,

Townsend faces deportation if found guilty.

Although an accomplice to fraud,

Ms. Nelson is complying with the authorities

in exchange for clemency.

SEAN: Stephanie?

Where’s Nicky?

Oh, he’s at a friend’s house watching a movie.

I figured we needed some Mommy and Daddy time.

Have you forgotten me already?

You’re impossible to forget.

Thank you.


Oh, please, Sean, I’m not gonna poison you.

If I wanted to get rid of you, you’d already be dead.

You put those files in my computer.

Yes, I did.

But I did have help from a woman

who loves volunteering for everything.

SEAN: Stephanie.

She’s not as sweet as her snatch, is she?

Were you ever gonna tell me you had a twin sister?

Wasn’t your business.

I’m your husband!

You’ve been fucking my best friend

in my house, but now you’re my husband?


Then I should probably tell you that we were triplets.

The details.

STEPHANIE: Hi, moms!

Stephanie here.

I wanna thank you for all the love

and support you’ve been sending me.

Means so much.


You know, as shocked as you guys are

about these turns of events,

I can assure you, nobody is more stunned than me.

Emily had her secrets.

So did her husband.

Clearly, I was the naive romantic

caught in the middle.

I love you guys. I always will.

I hope you can forgive me

in advance for what I have to do.

Moms, do everything yourself.

EMILY: Stephanie.

You shouldn’t be here right now.

I used to live here. Remember?

Don’t make this any hard…

Don’t move.


Stephanie, please.

You don’t even let the boys play with squirt guns.

That was before you told me you loved me,

and it turned out you were laughing at me behind my back.

Stephanie, maybe we should take it down a notch.

You used me.

You used me, too.

But you had me making you dinner,

watching your kid, and sucking your dick.

I had no idea that she was still alive.

Stop lying.

Okay, you guys, I think we

should just sit down and talk this out.

Emily, you sit down. You hated Stephanie.

You used to watch her vlog and rip her apart.

All I wanted was to be your friend.

You were.

And then you fucked my husband

and my insurance plan.

Don’t blame her. This is so typical of you.

Sean, I was just trying to get us out of crushing fucking debt.

Oh, yeah. Maybe if you had the good sense to give me a call,

I could’ve helped you with this little plot of yours.

Oh, please, you haven’t come up

with a decent plot in 10 years.

Really? Right now?

Can I say something, as the lady with the gun?

Nicky deserves better than both of you.

Fuck you, I love my kid.

Shut up.

Stephanie, put down the gun.

You don’t wanna do this.

I really do, though.

I loved you.

I loved you, too.

I think this is the best thing.



Yeah, we could say he attacked us. They’ll believe us, you know?

No, no, you’re not fucking serious. You’re not gonna kill him.

We’re just gonna send him to jail.

Are you serious? Jail’s enough for you?

You don’t need to kill him.

Aren’t you angry?

Don’t you want revenge for your sister?

Yeah, yes. But he didn’t technically kill her.

Then who did?

Because I don’t buy that it was an accident.

Screw this.



Oh, my God!


Oh, my God. Jesus.

Oh, my God. Um…

Oh, my God! Shit! Is he really dead?

Sean? I’m sorry. What do I do?

Do you put pressure on it?

Do we call an ambulance?

Do I just let him die? I mean…

He deserved it, right?

(CRYING) No, I killed her. I killed my sister.


Sean? Sean!

Get up.

Show’s over, come on.

Seriously? Come on. Get the fuck up. Hey!

(SEAN GROANS) You too, Brando.

Get up!



That was extra.

I mean, obviously, I knew you guys were up to something,

when I saw both the mics

that you had the cops plant in here.

You clearly wanted a confession out of me,

so you could clear Sean’s name.

But that was a good way to go about it.

And where you messed up, though, baby girl,

is thinking that I would confess

to protect that fucking yeast infection.

(LAUGHS) Really?

All right.

Come on, you gotta know better than that.


But then you came in all emotional with the gun,

and that was… That was convincing.


It was very cinematic.

I don’t even know where you find this shit.

You’re really amazing.

Thanks. That means a lot.

But you did confess, Emily.

Oh. Yeah. Um…

I did. But I cut these first, though.

For our friendship bracelets.

One for you!

That is disappointing.

Oh! My God! Look what I found. (SCOFFS)


Okay. You can’t shoot us. The police are outside.

No, they’re not.

(IMITATING) Hey, cops, Stephanie here.

Change of plans.

I’m meeting Emily and Sean at Darren’s house now.

I’ll see you there.

You sent them to Darren’s house?


It’s a virus.

String theory. String theory, isn’t it?


Hands up! Weapons down!

No, I have a prescription for that.

I have ocular pressure!

Come on, I’ve been on the run for 10 years.

You think I don’t know how to manipulate the system?

So you’re gonna kill us?

Well, what the fuck else am I supposed to do?

You two will clearly go to

extraordinary lengths to take me down.

And you know too much.

So, I feel like a murder-suicide

is the only fitting end for you two.

And if you kill him,

I think our insurance still covers that, right?

I mean, sort of perfect.

One door closes and another one opens.

Thank you for that.

You always have been fucking crazy, haven’t you?

Have I?


Oh, shit. You’re right.

God, you fucking… You actually fucking shot me.

I’m gonna miss him.

Your turn.

Emily, come on.

You’re not gonna kill me.

Oh, yeah. I killed my dad and my sister,

but I could never kill my husband-fucking best friend.

Am I really your best friend?

You’re not just saying that for, you know…

No, no, I’m not just saying that at all.

I get worried that it’s just me.

I know, sometimes I was worried about that, too.



So hard to connect with other moms.

And then when you have a full-time job, it’s…

Okay, okay, don’t pull that crap.

Being a mom is a full-time job.

What I do is hard work.

And I have my vlog on top of that,

and that’s just getting bigger and bigger.

If you came on the vlog, that’d be so fun.

If you came on the vlog

and confessed to killing your father and sister and held me at gunpoint,

I could probably hit a million subscribers.

Aww. That would’ve been great.

Why don’t we do that right now?


We’re live streaming. Did you not know that?

What the fuck are you talking about?

God, that’s so rude, I’m sorry.

Wave hi to the moms!

This little gadget. Boop!

Yeah. They make nanny cams so small these days.




Emily, stop!

Emily, you can’t outrun this! Don’t do this to Nicky.

Come on, you’re still his mom.

Yeah, I am.

But you sure as shit won’t be.

America’s hybrids.

Silent, but deadly.

I saw you on the vlog.

You fuck with one of the moms, you fuck with us all.



Oh! Emily.

Stop! Emily.

This looks super painful.

Now, sweetie.

Stop. You’ve just been hit by a car.

Don’t do this.

I’m getting worried about your knees right now.

Just relax.

I’m sorry.

I’m not sorry. Oh!

I’m still working on that.

Hi, moms! Stephanie here.

We have very exciting news today

because we signed up our one millionth subscriber,

Mrs. Carol Findley of Ames, Iowa!

Thank you for joining us, Carol.

You should know, as our newest friend, that in addition to my usual helpful tips and recipes, I now take on unsolved mysteries.

Because it turns out I have a nose for sniffing out the freshest basil and criminals who thought they got away with it.

So if you have a cold case or a mystery that needs to be unraveled, you just drop me a line.

That includes you now, Carol, because you’re part of the family.

For now, we’re gonna be talking about my favorite cold soup, gazpacho!

Which is normally gross, but we’re not gonna make it gross.

Right, guys? It’s gonna be great.


(LAUGHS) In your ass!


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