Dark City (1998) | Transcript

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans.
Dark City (1998)

Dark City (1998)
Genre: Mystery, Science Fiction
Director: Alex Proyas
Stars: Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O’Brien

Plot: John Murdoch awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he has lost his memory and is wanted for a series of brutal and bizarre murders. While trying to piece together his past, he stumbles upon a fiendish underworld controlled by a group of beings known as The Strangers who possess the ability to put people to sleep and alter the city and its inhabitants. Now Murdoch must find a way to stop them before they take control of his mind and destroy him.

* * *




[Water dripping]





[Phone rings]

You are confused, aren’t you? Frightened.

That’s all right. I can help you.

Who is this?

I am a doctor. Now, you must listen to me.

You have lost your memory. There was an experiment.

Something went wrong. Your memory was erased.

Do you understand me?

No, I don’t understand. What the hell is going on here?

Just listen. There are people coming for you even as we speak.

You must not let them find you. You must leave now.

DR. SCHREBER: Hello? Are you there?


[Elevator bell]

[Clock strikes]

Hey, Mr. Murdoch. The Automat called.

Said you left your wallet there.


I suggest you retrieve it since you only paid for 3 weeks… and they was up 10 minutes ago.

I’ve been here 3 weeks?

It’s right there in black and white, Mr. Murdoch.

Day and date.

We make our books like we make our beds, all neat and tidy.

I’ll take care of it when I get back.

See that you do. Only thing makes you a guest… in this joint, pal, is cash on the barrelhead.

[Phone rings]




House rules. 3 weeks is 3 weeks.

No days off for good behavior.



[Clicking tongue]

[Clears throat]


Mr. Murdoch, yes, where is he?

He–he just left not 5 minutes ago.

Sleep now.

# When marimba rhythms start to play #

# Dance with me #

# Make me sway #

# Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore #

# Hold me close #

# Sway me more #

# Like a flower bending in the breeze #

# Bend with me #

# Sway with ease #

# When we dance you have a way with me #

# Stay with me #

# Sway with me #

Hey, sweetie!

He said he was your husband’s doctor.

He wanted to speak with you.


[Door creaks]

[Door closes]

Excuse me.

Dr. Sh–

Schreber. Please, won’t you come in?

You must be Emma Murdoch.

Thank you for coming to see me on such short notice.

[Clicking tongue]

What is this?


A rather crude experiment… designed to further my studies.

I don’t understand.

You say you’re my husband’s doctor, but he never mentioned you to me.

The truth is, Mrs. Murdoch…

John has been coming to see me for quite some time.

He had been grappling with feelings of betrayal… stemming from your marital difficulties.

John told you what happened?


When was the last time that you saw him?

3 weeks ago.

He packed a suitcase. He was very angry at me.

I understand how difficult this must be for you.

But for John’s sake, I would like you… to think of me as your friend, Emma.

It appears that John has suffered a psychotic break.

Complete memory loss.

He may be delusional.

Even violent.

Emma… if he were to contact you, and I suspect he will… you must call me immediately. Do you understand?

It is imperative that I be the first one to reach him.

Wherever your husband is, he is searching…


…for himself.

[Mouse squeaking]

Good evening, Mr. Murdoch.

It is Mr. Murdoch, isn’t it?

Mr.–was it “J”–something–Murdoch?

J. Murdoch.

What’s your name? Justin? Jerry?


My name’s Jason Murdoch. John Murdoch.

Jake Murdoch. How’s it going?

Hi. Jack Murdoch.

SWEEPER: Ha ha ha ha!


[Accordion playing mournful tune]

[Clock ticking]

[Phone rings]

[Stops playing]





I told the guy, “Cash on the barrelhead.”

I said, “Listen, 3 weeks is 3 weeks.”

Where’s our lucky winner?

Upstairs, sir, room, uh, 614.

Another call girl.

“J. Murdoch.”

Evening, Husselbeck.

Inspector Bumstead.

Your lace is untied.

[Elevator bell]


[Muffled voices]

Am I glad you’re here, sir.

They say Detective Walenski’s got the heebie-jeebies.

Just take what they give me, Husselbeck.

Wow. Looks like somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

[Bell on door rings]


Oh, it’s you.

You left your wallet here, buddy.

When–when, when did I do that?

When you was last here.

When–when was that?

When you left your wallet.

You expect me to remember?

Hello. Excuse me.

[Men chatting]

No, no, seriously.

Heh heh heh.



Where you headed, chief?


And where’s home?

Haven’t you mugs got anything better to do? Hm?

Well, I’m just trying to do my job, May.

There’s a killer out there in case you hadn’t noticed.

Maybe you should be out looking for him instead of cooling your heels, huh?

Ha ha ha.

He he.

Aw, go on, get out of here.

Come on.

Round and round she goes.

Where she stops? Nobody knows.

What’s that make so far, Husselbeck? 6 hookers in all?

I believe so, sir.

Give the man an “A” for effort.

You’d think these stiffs would have the good grace… to expire at a good time of night.

Hey, too bad about Walenski, huh?

I guess he’d seen enough.

So, Husselbeck… what kind of killer do you think stops to save a dying fish?

You’ve got me, sir.

Bumstead, what took you?

This killer’s been running circles around us thanks to Walenski.

With all due respect, Chief Inspector…

I’ve known Eddie a long time. He’s a good cop.

Whatever kind of cop Walenski once was, he let drift a long time ago.

WALENSKI: Let me talk to Bumstead!

POLICEMAN 1: Come on, let’s go.

POLICEMAN 2: Hold on!

WALENSKI: Frank, Frank!


Get his arm!

WALENSKI: They’re watching us!

On your feet.

There’s no way out!

POLICEMAN: Don’t make us hurt you.

God, can’t you see?!

Let me go, let me go!

I’m not gonna hurt you. I’m not–

What was that?



I’m being punished for my sins, right?

What did I ever do to inherit this?

Where do you begin?

Well, everything Detective Walenski committed to paper should be here, so–

The only thing that should be committed is Walenski.

Nothing like a little healthy paranoia.

Sir, we just got the fingerprint results in.

What is this, some kind of joke?

[Distant phone rings]

Don’t throw anything away.


Inspector Bumstead.

I came here to file a missing persons report for my husband.

Take it to the front desk.

They told me to come see you.

His name’s John Murdoch.

Mrs. Murdoch, why didn’t you report this before?

I mean, if your husband has been missing as long as you say…

I thought he’d simply walked out on me.

Then a…doctor contacted me this evening.

How long have you been married?

Nearly four years.


Why do you ask?

Because you seem uncomfortable with your ring.

As if you were… unaccustomed to wearing it.

No, I never take it off.

Do these names mean anything to you?

No. Who are these women?

Why are you looking for my husband?

Are you going to accuse him of something?

Maybe. Maybe murder.

Whose murder?

Which one?

Ha ha. All of them.

Mrs. Murdoch, I am sorry, I’m sorry.

I didn’t mean to alarm you.

I’m so sorry that I came. Just both made a mistake.

Mrs. Murdoch, if you please.

If you’ll just give me half a second to explain–

[# Slow saxophone]

I’ll be right out.

[Shoe drops loudly on floor]

Have we met before?

If we did… I hope you’re still breathing.

What’s your name, honey?

John. Ha ha.

Ha ha. Well, that’s an appropriate name.


I was just thinking.

What you do… seems kind of dangerous… right now.

I mean, how do you know I’m not the killer?

You don’t seem like the killer type. Why?

You feeling any urges I should know about?


[May sighs]

[Door closes]

Aw, shoot.


[Sign creaking]


So it seems you’ve discovered your unpleasant nature.

Who are you?

We might ask the same question, yes?

Sleep now.

[Wood creaking]


He can tune.






[Strange chugging noise]

[Squealing sound]


[Squelching noise]

What is to be done? This man is dangerous.

It is said he is able to tune.


We have seen it with our own eyes.

On occasion the imprinting does not take.

They behave erratically when they awaken.

We find them wandering like lost children.

But this one was different, yes?

What has the doctor to say about this?

He has failed to report in.

And Mr. Quick?

No more Mr. Quick.

Mr. Quick, dead, yes.

Poor, poor Mr. Quick.

Mr. Book, does he know?

Should we not know, Mr. Hand?

We had hoped to learn more before sharing with you.

We can know nothing until we possess him.

Mr. Night, you will take the East.

Mr. Face, you the West.

Mr. Glove, the South.

Mr. Shade, the North.

We must have this man.

Do you really think my husband could be capable of committing those murders?

Do you?

Let’s hope, for both our sakes, that I’m wrong.



I’ve been so worried about you.

Are you punishing me?

You know, if disappearing is your way of punishing me…

I don’t appreciate it.

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

I found these keys in my pocket… so I assume I live here.

You supposed to be my wife?

Supposed to be?


You really… don’t know who I am, do you?

Your doctor called me.

He was worried that this might happen.

My doctor?

Yeah. He, uh… he gave me his card.

He’s desperate to find you.



I feel like I’m living out someone else’s nightmare.

What happened to me? Why was I seeing a doctor?

I had an affair.

You were angry at me.

The police are looking for you.

I know. I saw the papers.

“Killer stalks city streetwalkers.”

I was with one of those women… before I came here tonight.

I don’t understand.

I–I met her outside an Automat.

I guess I wanted to test myself.

I wanted to know if I had it in me to do those things.

Maybe I have lost my mind, but whoever I am, I’m still me and I’m not a killer.

I believe you.

You do?


The car outside, the one you arrived in.

It’s a cop. He dropped me off here.


I didn’t know he was still here.


Hold it right there, mister!

Wait. You have the wrong man.

Stand aside, will you, please?

I didn’t kill anyone.

Right now what you are is a suspect. Turn yourself in.

I’ll listen to whatever you have to say.

You’re not gonna believe what I have to say.

Try me.

There’s someone after me.

There’s this–this group of men. They want me dead.

And I don’t even know if-They’re not even–

Yeah, who’s gonna listen to a madman?

Stand aside, Mrs. Murdoch.


No one ever listens to me.

Murdoch, stop!


How much further?

We’re almost there, buddy.

Hey, you happen to know the way to Shell Beach?

You’re kidding. Me and the missus spent our honeymoon there.

All you gotta do is take Main Street west to–

Or is it the cross–

You know, that’s funny. I–I can’t seem to remember… if it’s Main Street west or the cross-town.

I’m sorry, Inspector, I cannot be of more assistance… but I am running late for an appointment.

Well, I appreciate your taking the time.

There’s just one thing that puzzles me.

I’ve met quite a few murderers in the course of my work.

Murdoch doesn’t strike me as one.

Perhaps you are not accustomed to digging deep enough.

Well, I do know when someone is lying to me, Doctor.

Forgive me, Inspector, but you are not a clinician.

Judging personalities happens to be my business.

Well, maybe you could give me a few pointers.


Let’s take you, for instance.

You are a fastidious man, driven.

Consumed by details.

I would say your life is… rather lonely.

Good evening, Inspector. I really must be going.

[Starts engine]

WOMAN: Closing time. The pool is now closed.

Dr. Schreber.

Most unfortunate it is that we were forced to seek you out here.

You know how uncomfortable we find all this… moisture.

I’m sorry. I–

Failed to report in, yes.

I was frightened. I–I have a weak heart, you know.

Your weakness is not, we think, an affair of the heart.

We found this in his hotel room.

Must we reproduce Mr. Murdoch’s memories again?

I tried to imprint him… but he woke up, he knocked the syringe right out of my hand.

I tried to stop him but he was too fast.

He has no memories, then?

Only fragments. The procedure, it was interrupted.

I–I guess it’s only a matter of rounding him up.

You have had strays before, right?

This is no stray, Doctor. This one can tune.

But that’s impossible. I thought only you had that ability.

You will process another template of the subject’s memories, yes?

Of course. I’ll imprint him again.

No. We require them for a quite different purpose.

It’s almost midnight, Dr. Schreber.

We’ll talk again after tonight’s tuning, but… no more delays, yes?

No more inconsistencies in your behavior.

[Loud noise]

You appear quite frail, Doctor.

Perhaps some exercise would do you good.



Come in.


How is he?

The same.

Walenski? It’s me, Frank.

[Key in lock]

Come in, Frank.

Close the door.

I’ve been looking through some of your old reports.

It’s an interesting case.

The kind that can make a man’s career… or break it.

Yeah, I was on that case.

And then what? What happened then, Eddie?

Nothing happened, Frank.

I’ve just been spending time on the subway, riding in circles.

Thinking in circles.

There’s no way out.

I’ve been over every inch of this city.

You’re scaring your wife to death, Eddie.

She’s not my wife.

I don’t know who she is. I don’t know who any of us are.

What makes you say that?

Do you think about the past much, Frank?

As much as the next guy.

See, I’ve been trying to remember things– clearly remember things from my past.

But the more I try to think back, the more it all starts to unravel.

None of it seems real.

It’s like I’ve just been dreaming this life… and when I finally wake up I’ll be somebody else.

Somebody totally different.


You saw something, didn’t you, Eddie?

Something to do with the case.

There is no case. There never was!

It’s all just a big joke! It’s a joke!



MAN: Tonight’s requirements are… 12 family photo albums, 9 personal diaries… 17 love letters, assorted childhood photographs… 26 wallets, ID’s and social security cards.

DR. SCHREBER: These do bring back memories.

This one is still warm.

What is it?

The recollections of a great lover?

A catalog of conquests?

We will soon find out.

You wouldn’t appreciate that, would you, Mr. Whatever your name is?

Not the sort of conquests you would ever understand.

Let’s see.

A touch of unhappy childhood.


A dash of teenage rebellion.

And last, but not least…

a tragic death in the family.

MR. BOOK: Doctor.

Mr. Book.


Aah! Aah! Ah! Ah!

Why does Murdoch not sleep… during the tuning as the others do?

I don’t know. Maybe he’s a step up the evolutionary ladder.

A–A freak of nature. He’s adapting to survive.

What do you expect? Weren’t you looking for the human soul?

That’s the purpose of your little zoo, isn’t it?

That’s why you keep changing people and things around every night.

Maybe you have finally found what you are looking for… and it’s going to bite you on your–


It requires several of your lifetimes to master our gifts.

The idea that a simple man could develop the ability to tune–

Is absurd, I know… but what other explanation is there?

[Clock chiming]

It is time.

Shut it down.

[Horns honking]

MAN: Get your paper right here!

[Dog barks]

It’s driving me crazy.

I can’t sleep.

And they call my job “unskilled”.

You think you’ve got it tough?

You try looking after these kids, for a change.

Anyways, Frederickson says he’ll take me off the damn night shift soon.

Well, it’s about time, dear.


[Clock chiming]

[Brakes screech]



[Hurried breaths]

Wake up!


Wake up!

Wake up!

Wake up!


Can anybody hear me?! [Echoing]

Let the tuning commence.



[Rippling sound]



[Metallic click]


[Door creaks]

The Goodwins. Jeremy, Sylvia…

Jane and little Matthew.

Jane and little Matthew.


[Tinkling glass]

The rich get richer.

Probably have maid’s quarters before the night is through.




Dr. Schreber, I presume.

It’s you.

Hey, come on.

That’s no way to greet a patient, Doctor.

If that’s what you are, huh, Doctor?

Mr. Murdoch, please, I–

What is happening here? Why is everyone asleep?

Shh. Please keep your voice down.

Why can’t I remember anything? What have you done to me?

Nothing, nothing. Please, I want to help you.

We can’t talk here.

It is not safe. If they see us together, they’ll–

I don’t care. I want some answers.

I want some answers now!

Who are they?

Why are they trying to kill me?

Answer me!


My God. You really can do it.

I did that?

Listen to me, John. You have their power.

You can make things happen by will alone.

They call it tuning. That is how they make the buildings change.

Just now you acted out of self-defense. A reflex.

But I can teach you to control your power consciously.

Let me help you, John. Together we can stop them.

We can take the city back.


My glasses.


My glasses, please.





[Phone rings]

[Engines start]

[Bus door closes]

[People chatting]

He made a terrible impression for the firm… lollygagging around as he did.

So I simply told Frederickson I was going to have to let him go.

And well you should have, darling.

He attacked me.

I don’t know where he has gone.

Come, Dr. Schreber.

We have much to do.



[Clock ticking]

# They say that you’re a run-around lover #

# Though you say #

# It isn’t so #

# But if you put me down for another #

# I’ll know #

# Believe me, I’ll know #

# ‘Cause the night #

# Has a thousand eyes #

# And a thousand eyes #

# Can’t tell, but see #

# If you are true to me #

# So remember #

# When you tell those little white lies #

# That the night has a thousand eyes #

# A thousand eyes #


MAN: Whoo!

Tonight’s experiment shall be conducted in the following locations.

The first subject shall be imprinted here on Avenue M.

Mr. Book. There is a–a problem.

There is no Avenue M. We were unable to complete it.

During the last tuning we detected a lack of control.

An opposing influence on the machines?

Then this man Murdoch is more powerful than we thought.

He’s becoming like us.

So we must become like him.

The good doctor has done as we asked?

The life and times of John Murdoch, Volume 2.

We must not do this.

Murdoch does not possess these memories, yes?

How will his imprint allow us to find him?

Everywhere he goes… everyone he seeks out will be known to us.

And as he follows the clues, so shall we follow the memories.

Perhaps we have forgotten what happened last time, when we t–

Yes. Poor, poor Mr.–

We have not forgotten.

If Mr. Hand wishes to make this sacrifice for the greater good… so be it.

But to imprint one of us. Failure has always resulted.

What Mr. Hand proposes is our only option.


This may sting a bit.






Is it done?

Oh, yes, Mr. Book.

I have John Murdoch…in mind.

“Johnny… I found this postcard among your mother’s things. Brings back memories, doesn’t it? Stop by sometime. We’ll see if we can’t hook ourselves… another mermaid. Love to Emma. Karl.”


Karl Harris.



“Harris Karl.”

Excuse me. Can you tell me the way to Avenue C?

Try the subway.

You got a problem, pal?

You, uh, been working here long?

25 years. No days off for good behavior.


Mm! Mmm! Mm!

Mm! Mm! Mm! Mm!

We’re looking for John Murdoch.



GIRL: Ah. Ah.

MR. WALL: She knows nothing, Mr. Hand.

A dead end, yes, Mr. Wall.

We thought his imprint would allow us to track him, yes…

but instead we have been brought here.

This is irrational.

Instincts are irrational, Mr. Wall… and we must follow where they lead, yes.

Mr. Sleep suggests he may go to places familiar…his job.

He does not care about our job.

Indulge us, Mr. Hand.

If you were Murdoch–


If… I were Murdoch…

I would remember… how my wife had hurt me by sleeping with another man.

And then…

I would look for a way to hurt her in return.

Leave me alone with her.


There’s work to be done.

ANNOUNCER: All change, platform 3.

Platform 3, all change.

All change? Excuse me.

How do I get to the end of the line?

You want the Express.

ANNOUNCER: No trains leave on platform 7.

You want platform 2.

Got it. Thanks a lot.


How come that train didn’t stop?

That’s the Express.

There’s no way out, you know?

You can’t get out of the city. Believe me, I’ve tried.

You’re Murdoch, aren’t you?

The one they’ve been looking for.

Who are you?

Used to be a cop.

At least, in this life, I was.

They steal people’s memories, you know?

Then they swap them around between us.

I’ve seen them do it. Back and forth, back and forth… till no one knows who they are anymore.

How do you know all this?

Once in a while, one of us wakes up while they’re changing things.

It’s not supposed to happen, but it does.

It happened to me.

They’ll come looking for you, Murdoch.

Just like they’ll come looking for me.

But that’s OK.

I figured a way out.

[Horn blasts]

[People screaming]

They were here.

Last night.

This was to be his home.


That was when we loved her.

This is all well and good, Mr. Hand…

But we require a more practical link to his present whereabouts.


And I know where to find her.

We’re very lucky, when you think about it.

EMMA: I’m sorry?

To be able to revisit those places which have meant so very much to us.

I thought it was more that we were haunted by them.


But imagine a life… alien to yours… in which your memories were not your own… but those shared by every other of your kind.

Imagine the torment of such an existence… no experiences to call your own.

If it was all you knew… maybe it would be a comfort.

But if you were to discover something different…


There used to be a ferry when I was a boy.

Biggest thing you ever saw.

Lit up like a floating birthday cake.

That’s just what my husband once said to me… on this very spot.

Where is your husband now?

I wish I knew. What brings you here?

I met my wife at this place.

It’s where I first met my husband.

Small world.

MAN: Grr! Ha! No, no, no.




[Beads rattling]



Ah! Ah! Ah!

What are you doing here?

I’ve been following you.

Hold it right there!



It’s been so damn long…

I thought you’d forgotten your Uncle Karl.

You son of a gun! Ha ha ha ha!

Ah ha ha ha ha ha!

Uncle Karl?


Is that me?


Shell Beach is where I grew up?

That’s what I said.

Shell Beach, your hometown.

I need to get there, Karl. How do I get there?

I don’t know.

I haven’t been there in years.

Come on. You must remember.

You gotta have some idea.

Come on!

Uh, sorry, Johnny.

The old cracker barrel ain’t what it used to be.

So bright there.

KARL: Brighter times, I guess.

You were always scribbling in that damn book.

That’s me and your pa. Ha!

What a couple of handsome fools.

What happened to my parents?

Where are they now?

They’re dead, Johnny.

They died when their house burnt down.

I looked after you.

You don’t remember that, really?

What’s that?


What is that?

It’s a scar.

You burnt your arm pretty bad in the fire.

What does it mean, Johnny?

It means these are all lies!

BUMSTEAD: Why are you here, Mrs. Murdoch?

My husband told me he’d been here.

He told me he wanted to test himself… see if he was… capable of–

I wanted to talk to her. I thought maybe she could help me find him.

Stay here. I’m gonna call the station.

Yeah, this is Bumstead. Send the homicide coroner to 1440–East, yeah.

There’s been another one.

It’s the same pattern. I’ll explain when you get here.

[Scribbling sound]

Oh, God.

It’s OK. I won’t hurt you.

It’s OK.

Where the hell did she come from?

I found her hiding.

She saw what happened here.

[Indistinct talking on radio]

POLICEMAN: Are you ready to go home, Mrs. Murdoch?

The inspector is gonna take me. Thanks.

[Talking on radio continues]

[Indistinct talking]

It’s beautiful.

It was a gift from my mother.

She died recently.

I keep it with me to remind me of her.

I’m sorry.

It’s a funny thing, though.

I can’t remember when she gave it to me.

How do you think I could forget a thing like that?

Do you think about the past much, Mrs. Murdoch?

What’s happening, Inspector?

I’m not sure I know anymore.

I left your old room like it was.

You can sleep here tonight, huh?

Glad to have you back, Johnny… even if it is for just a night.



Is that the right time?

Why, sure. That clock’s kept perfect time since I bought it.

A.m. or p.m.?

What do you think, Johnny?

I don’t understand. How can it be night already?

What happened to the day? How’d I miss it?

You’re tired. Anything’s possible.

Look, uh… get some sleep. We’ll straighten all this out tomorrow.

“Guide to Shell Beach by Johnny Murdoch. “

Oh, come on.



[Phone ringing]


Emma, he’s here.

He’s acting mighty peculiar.

I know. He’s not himself.

Keep him there, and I’ll be right over.

I’ll try.

Thanks, Karl. Bye.


I can’t promise anything, Mrs. Murdoch.

We just have to play it as it comes.

Johnny, we-We just wanted to help. Ha.


Uncle Karl.

Johnny, if you’re in some kind of trouble… well, maybe we could do something.

Haven’t seen you in so long.


[Loud clock chime]



Argh! Oh!

Mr. Murdoch…you’ve been the cause of much distress.

Start talking.

There’s no need for this.

There’s no escape.

The city’s ours. We made it.

What are you talking about?

We fashioned this city on stolen memories… different eras, different pasts all rolled into one.

Each night, we revise it, refine it… in order to learn.

Learn what?

About you, Mr. Murdoch… you and your fellow inhabitants… what makes you human.


We need to be like you.

I understand you now, Mr. Murdoch.

I remember that which you do not… what you’ve been missing.

The ocean, yes… running along the waves as a child… meeting Emma at the river… That first kiss that followed.

What are you?

You’ve seen what we are.

We use your dead as vessels.

Ah! Ah!



Uhh! Uhh!


[Clock chiming]

Get in!

What about her? Ring any bells?

She was alive when I left her.

What about this?

This is nothing. I–This is–

It must mean something, all those pictures.

What pictures?

I don’t understand this.

Stop playing games with me, Murdoch! Stop telling me lies!

I am not telling you lies!

Help me out here. Make me understand.

I have this jigsaw puzzle in front of my face… and every time I try to rearrange the pieces, it still doesn’t make any sense.

What–You–You-think it makes sense to me?

I’m as much in the dark here as you are.

You let me ask you a question?

You heard of a place called Shell Beach?


You know how to get there?


You tell me?

Oh, all right. You just, uh-You go to the…

Where? Where do you go?

Just give me a second, will ya?

You can’t remember, can you?

You think that’s kind of odd?



I got a better one for you.

When was the last time… you remember doing something during the day?

What do you mean?

I just mean…during the day.

Ha. Daylight.

When was the last time you remember seeing it?

And I’m not talking about some distant, half-forgotten childhood memory.

I mean like yesterday? Last week? When?

Can you come up with a single memory?

You can’t, can you?

You know something? I don’t think the sun even… exists…in this place.

‘Cause I’ve been up for hours and hours and hours and the night never ends here.

That is crazy.

You’re damn right this is crazy.

Listen to me, Bumstead. It’s not just me.

It’s all of us.

They’re doing something to all of us.

Shut up, you–I’ve–I’ve heard enough.

Please listen.

Shut up, will ya! Shut up!

Listen to me.

There has to be an explanation for this somewhere.

Explain this.

[Door slams]

John, I’m so sorry.

I never meant to hurt you, John… and I did it, and I don’t know why I did.

I wish I could take it all back.

No. Emma… You didn’t do it.

This…affair of yours, whatever it is… the thing you’re supposed to have done… you didn’t do it. I don’t believe it ever happened.

What do you mean?

I know this is gonna sound crazy… but what if we never knew each other before now?

What if the first time we ever met… was last night in your-in our apartment… and everything you remember… and everything that I’m supposed to remember never really happened?

Someone just wants us to think it did.

You know, back in the apartment…

I suddenly felt like I didn’t know you at all.

It was as if you were a stranger.

But how can that be true?

I so vividly remember meeting you.

I remember falling in love with you.

I remember losing you.

Time’s up.

No, wait, wait.

Please, just…

just one more minute.

I love you, John.

You can’t fake something like that.

No, you can’t.

[Knock on door]

Inspector? Sir?

Detective Walenski killed himself last night.

I–Um…kind of thought you should know.

Oh, and… the chief wanted to see you.


I knew you’d track the killer down, sir.

Um…sir… shoelace.

How can we help you, sir?

You can sleep.


Sleep. Sleep.

Evening, sir.


I wanted to be the first to congratulate you…about the case.

Take us to Murdoch.



Dr. Schreber.


I knew you’d come eventually.

Don’t you think it’s about time you started giving me some answers?

Yes. Yes, of course.

Won’t you please sit down?

I–I come here quite often.

It’s one of the few places I’m allowed a moment’s peace.

You–You see, they have an aversion to–to water.

One could almost call it a phobia. Ha ha ha ha.

Who are they? What do they want from me?


Well, for now, let’s just say… that you were the subject of their experiment.

W–We all are.

You’re not crazy, John.

And you are not a murderer.

I’m sorry about this. I truly am.

But we do not have much time… and I cannot afford the luxury of doing this the right way.

Everything you need to know… all the answers are in this syringe.

I need you to inject yourself.

It’s the only way to make you understand.

You’re kidding me, right?

We’re running out of time, John. You have to do this now.

Give me the gun, Doctor.

Inspector, he is more disturbed than we thought.

I may not be the judge of personality that you are, Doctor… but you’re the one who looks disturbed to me.

You do not know what you are doing.

What, exactly is in this…Doctor?

All the answers you’ve been looking for, John.

I swear to you.


Guess I’ll just have to hold on to it for…safekeeping.

If you don’t mind.

Let’s go, Doctor.

Go? Where are we going?

Shell Beach.

That’s where you want to go, isn’t it?

The ocean.

Why are you doing this?

What do you hope to gain by helping me?

The truth.

None of these maps extend far enough to show the ocean.

You won’t find anything there… I promise you! I’ve been there, and–

If you’ve been there, you can show us the way, then, can’t you?

We’ll see for ourselves.

I won’t.

I refuse. You–You can’t make me go there!



Ah! Ah!

You were saying, doctor?

I don’t understand. Used to be a bridge here.

Try that again, your friends are gonna be… fishing you out of the canal.

Just don’t hurt me. I’ll tell you everything.

It doesn’t matter anymore anyway.

What? [Gasps]

Who are you people?

We will give you some more pretty things soon…Anna.

I’m not Anna.

You will be soon, yes.

I have another use for her first.

First there was darkness. Then came the strangers.

They abducted us and brought us here.

This city, everyone in it… is their experiment.

They mix and match our memories as they see fit… trying to divine what makes us unique.

One day, a man might be an inspector.

The next, someone entirely different.

When they want to study a murderer for instance… they simply imprint one of their citizens with a new personality… arrange a family for him, friends, an entire history… even a lost wallet.

Then they observe the results.

Will a man, given the history of a killer, continue in that vein?

Or are we, in fact, more than the mere sum of our memories?

This business of you being a killer was an unhappy coincidence.

You have had dozens of lives before now.

You just happened to wake up while I was imprinting you with this one.

Why are they doing all of this?

It is our capacity for individuality… our souls that makes us different from them.

They think they can find the human soul if they understand how our memories work.

All they have are collective memories.

They share one group mind.

They’re dying, you see?

Their entire race is on the brink of extinction.

They think we can save them.

Where do I fit in?

You are different, John.

You resisted my attempt to imprint you.

Somehow you have developed their ability to tune.

That is how they change things.

That is how they built this city.

They have machines buried deep beneath the surface that allow them to focus their telepathic energies.

They control everything here, even the sun.

That’s why it’s always dark. They can’t stand the light.

So why do they need you?

When they first brought us here, they extracted what was in us.

So they could store the information, remix it like so much paint and give us back new memories of their choosing.

But they still needed an artist to help them.

I understood the intricacies of the human mind better than they ever could… so they allowed me to keep my skills as a scientist… because they needed them.

But they made me delete everything else.

Ah! Ah!

Can you imagine what it is like being forced to erase your own past?

What about my past? What about my childhood?

Shell Beach, Uncle Karl.

What about this?

This was blank when I found it!

You still don’t understand, John.

You were never a boy… not in this place.

Your entire history is an illusion, a fabrication… as it is with all of us.

You made those drawings happen with your gift.

You say they brought us here.

From where?

I’m sorry.

I don’t remember.

None of us remember that… what we once were… what we might have been… somewhere else.

I’ve taken you this far.

You don’t need me anymore.

Let’s go.


There is no ocean, John.

There is nothing beyond the city.

The only place home exists…

is in your head.

No! No!

John, stop!







And now you know the truth.






You’ll allow yourself to surrender, Mr. Murdoch… or it will result in this one’s death, yes?

What do I care? She’s not my real wife!

She’s nothing to me!

But you do still care, don’t you, Mr. Murdoch?

You see, I have become the monster… you were intended to be.


Shall I end her life now as you would have?

Don’t hurt her, please!

Then surrender, Mr. Murdoch.





The doctor was right. He has evolved.

Kill him.

Kill him! Kill him!

Kill him! Kill him!

He is powerful, yes.

Dangerous. But he can also lead us to what we seek.

What the doctor calls the soul.

It is time for our experiment to move into a final phase.

We no longer need the other subjects.

The time for study is over.

It is time to be one with John Murdoch.

It is time, Doctor.


Shut it down!

Shut it down forever!

What are you doing?

They want to imprint you with their own collective memories.

They want to make you one of them, so they can share your soul.

Imprint, Doctor. No more disobedience.

I’m sorry, John.

The pain will only last a moment.


Remember, John.

You’ll rise to greater heights than that, my boy.

One day when you’re older, you’ll understand.



That’s it, John. Practice makes perfect.

SCHREBER: Now remember what I told you. Never talk to strangers.

John, remember.

You’re probably wondering why I keep appearing in your memories.

It is because I have inserted myself in them.

All of these memories have been fabricated… to teach you about the strangers.

Give you a lifetime of knowledge in a single syringe.

You will survive, John.

You will find strength within yourself… and you will prevail.


YOUNG JOHN: Hi, Uncle Karl.


You’re getting the hang of it, John.

Maybe one day I’ll be working for you.

This is the machine the strangers use to amplify their thoughts.

The machine that changes their world.

You must take control of it.

You must make the machine yours.

I know you can beat them, John.

But you must concentrate.

Something’s wrong.


There is no time for romance, John.

The world can be what you make it.

What have you done?

You have the power to make anything happen… but you must act now!














[Shrill scream]

I knew you could do it, John.

You have their power now.

You control their machines.

Where’s Emma?

She is not Emma anymore, John.

She has been reimprinted.

So give her back her memories.

I can’t. The facility where the strangers… stored the memories has been destroyed.

I’m sorry.

What are you going to do now, John?

You told me I had the power, didn’t you?

I can make these machines do anything I want.

Make this world anything I want it to be.

Just so long as I concentrate hard enough.

DR. SCHREBER: Where are you going?

Shell Beach.

What’s the fare?


Oh, please.

Oh, no–

It’s fine.

Thank you.


MR. HAND: John…

Been waiting for you, yes?

What are you doing?

I’m just making a few little changes around here, is all.

Are we sure that’s what we want?

I’m prepared to take my chances.

I’m dying, John.

Your imprint is not agreeable with my kind.

But I wanted to know what it was like… how you feel.

You know how I was supposed to feel.

That person isn’t me. Never was.

You wanted to know what it was about us that made us human.

Well, you’re not going to find it…in here.

You went looking in the wrong place.

It’s so beautiful here.

So bright.

Do you know if Shell Beach is around here?

I think that’s it just over there.

I’m headed that way myself.

Would you like to join me?


I’m Anna, by the way.

What’s your name?


John Murdoch.

# When marimba rhythms start to play #

# Dance with me #

# Make me sway #

# Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore #

# Hold me close #

# Sway me more #

# Like a flower bending in the breeze #

# Bend with me #

# Sway with ease #

# When we dance you have a way with me #

# Stay with me #

# Sway with me #

# Other dancers may be on the floor #

# Dear, but my eyes will see only you #

# Only you have that magic technique #

# When we sway I go weak #

# I can hear the sound of violins #

# Long before it begins #

# Make me thrill as only you know how #

# Sway me smooth, sway me now #

# Sway me now #

# Sway me smooth #


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