A Man in Full – S01E01 – Saddlebags | Transcript

On the heels of a lavish birthday blowout, Charlie suddenly finds his business empire in jeopardy as those around him contend with crises of their own.
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A Man in Full
Season 1 – Episode 1
Episode title: Saddlebags
Original release date: May 2, 2024
Based on: A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe

Plot: On the heels of a lavish birthday blowout, Charlie suddenly finds his business empire in jeopardy as those around him contend with crises of their own.

* * *

I don’t mean this as a criticism.

Maybe I do.

But when you die, will people notice?

When I go, there are gonna be a lot of memories of me

by a lot of people,

many who hate me.

Even so,

a person needs to live with vigor.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

End of the day,

a man’s gotta shake his balls.

♪ Let’s go, girls ♪

♪ I’m goin’ out tonight I’m feelin’ alright ♪

♪ Gonna let it all hang out ♪

♪ Wanna make some noise Really raise my voice ♪

♪ Yeah, I wanna scream and shout… ♪

♪ No inhibitions, make no conditions ♪

♪ Get a little outta line ♪

♪ I ain’t gonna act politically correct ♪

♪ I only wanna have a good time ♪

♪ The best thing about bein’ a woman ♪

♪ Is the prerogative To have a little fun and ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh, go totally crazy… ♪


Happy birthday, Charlie.

Ray, my good man.

Uh, what a wonderful… uh… wonderful, wh… wonderful night.

Isn’t it? Honey, you remember Raymond Peepgrass?

Of Course, I do.


My Mr. Peepy. You look great.

Here’s the birthday boy!


Good to see you.

Jerry, how are you?

Mr. Croker, sir.

Oh, look at you.

God, you’ve gotten big. Wow…

Joycie girl, did I invite you?

The memory is the first thing to go.

Why would I possibly?

So I’d be able to give your ex-wife a full report.

I’ll be sure to tell her the party was pure you.

You’re a hoot is what you are. You look fantastic by the way.

Did we have a little something done?


Just a little dignity-ectomy, you know, to better enjoy your party.

Man, she’s good.

♪ I’m in rooms with politicians Talkin’ business and shit ♪

♪ Hear you come with your opinion Ain’t solicit that shit ♪

♪ Lola hit up DJ Paul Went to Memphis and shit ♪

♪ Pause Rest in peace to Lord Infamous bitch… ♪

♪ I bob and weave and bust on beats like Bun B in this bitch ♪

♪ I’m feelin’ like I’m Tony Draper Ballin’ G in this bitch ♪

♪ On fire like hot boy Juvi 400 degrees in this bitch ♪

♪ All that chatter that you chatter ‘Bout my manner just don’t matter… ♪

Yo, what’s up, bitch?

What’s good?

Come on.


♪ So stay in yo place, lil’ man ♪

♪ Commentin’ on the TV channel… ♪

Whose house?


Happy birthday, Charlie! The man who built Atlanta.



How’s the party? Miss anything exciting?

Full Charlie with a splash of Shania Twain.

I wouldn’t wanna miss that.

Roger, Roger, you well?

How’s things at Croker?

Can’t complain. Same old, you know?

Hmm. Well, if things ever change or become a little too much same old,

we’re always on the hunt for good attorneys at Definition.

I’ll keep that in mind.

Enjoy the night. Much to celebrate.

♪ Looks like we made it… ♪


♪ Look how far we’ve come, my baby ♪

♪ Might have took the long way ♪

♪ But we knew we’d get there someday ♪

♪ They said ♪

♪ I bet ♪

♪ They’ll never make it… ♪

Whoo! Yeah! Whoo!

♪ But just look at us holding on ♪

♪ We’re still together… ♪

I believe this is where we dance.

You are so…

♪ You’re still the one ♪

♪ You’re still the one I run to ♪

♪ The one that I belong to ♪

♪ You’re still the one I want for life ♪

♪ You’re still the one ♪

♪ You’re still the one that I love ♪

♪ The only one I dream of ♪

♪ You’re still the one I… ♪

Thank you kindly, Gerald.

♪ When you move in right up close to me… ♪

♪ That’s when I get The chills all over me… ♪


Raymond. Harry Zale. Bad time?

Oh, uh, no. It’s… it’s, uh… it’s fine.

So, how was the big party? I’m told you were there.

Uh, well, it would have been weird for me not to have been there.

He might suspect something was up if I didn’t go.

Well, you didn’t tip him off?

Why would I do that?

Well, I saw in a few emails where he calls you “Peepy.”

A term of affection for his little friend?

He’s not my friend.

He treats me like I’m his butler.

That explains some of the favorable terms Mr. Croker seemed to get.

Listen, Charlie is a big client of the bank.

He is an even bigger asshole.

What’s his tell?

I’m sorry?

His tell. I wanna know when I got Mr. Croker on the squirm.

Well, if he starts going all Baker County with his southern drawl,

that’s good.

The more nervous he gets, the thicker the accent. Hmm.

But saddlebags,

that’s his tell.

Beg your pardon?

He sweats under his armpits.

He creates these perspiration blotches that look like saddlebags.

That’s when you’ll know you’ve got him.

Don’t fold on me tomorrow, Raymond.

I have been waiting for this meeting, for this day,

for a long time.

I will not fold.

Shut up!

I will not fold.

He looks good.


You okay?

Never better.

You don’t think he’s caught any wind?

Not from me, he hasn’t.

The air conditioner still on? I asked for it to be shut down.

It’s off. It’s 79 degrees in here…

and about go get hotter.

Can’t hit people in the head. Flags and video review on every play.

Oh my God, he brought his wife.

Not in my football. How’s my tie?

Never looked better.

Can you do this, Raymond?

All right, ladies and gentlemen. Let’s, uh, get started.

Uh, Charlie, I… I don’t think you’ve met Harry Zale.

Harry is the head of our Real Estate Asset Management Department,

so I asked him here to, uh, get things underway.

Makes sense. Give ’em hell, Harry.

By the way,

I understand you just had a big birthday.

Congratulations on that.

Why, thank you, Harry.

Okay, then.

So, Mr. Croker, why are we having this meeting?

You called this meeting, my friend.

Oh, I know, but I wanna know if you do.

You wanna know if I know?


Think of this as an AA meeting, Mr. Croker.

Now that the spree is over, we wanna see some real self-awareness.

Beg your pardon?

There’s a problem. But I want you to tell me what it is.


Harry, I can’t speak to what your problem is.

I can tell you that I’m here to address our situation

with a business plan.

Our situation?

Do you mean the 800 million dollars

that you owe this bank?

‘Cause that’s my problem.


What do we have for our new friend, Harry?

The underlying assets remain sound.

Despite market saturation, the absorption rate of commercial space

in Metro Atlanta continues to steadily increase.

What we’re talking about here is a cash flow situation.

All we need is a temporary freeze on three big…

Can I stop you?

Mr. Croker, did Mr. Stroock just suggest a freeze of principal payment?

‘Cause let me tell you something about loans.

A loan is not a gift,

and when we make loans, we actually expect to be paid back.

We fully intend to honor our obligations.

And when can we expect to commence with that honoring?

Harry, if I could draw your attention to our commercial real estate projections,

which I believe…

It’s your projections, sir, which led us into this ooze.

Now, you look here.

I didn’t make these loans. You people did. In fact, you came crawling.

Raymond Peepgrass over there practically got down on his damn knees to beg me.

This is my meeting, not Mr. Peepgrass’.

That may be so, but my point is he was your representative,

and his hope was for Croker Industries…

Mr. Peepgrass’ hopes and dreams,

whatever they may be,

do not take precedent over the obscene mess we now have.

This bank rose to its glory on my back.

And now we’re looking to recapture some of that glory.

Plus interest.

Let me ask you something, Harry.

You ever been huntin’?

Ever headed out in the pickup early in the morning

listening to all those boys, talking about all the bird they’re gonna shoot?

People shoot a lot of birds

with their mouths on their way out the field,

but there comes a time when you finally gotta stop the truck,

pick up a gun and do something with it.

Down where I grew up in Baker County, there’s a saying,

“When the tailgate drops, the bullshit stops.”


…now the tailgate’s done dropped.

We are here with a goddamn serious business plan

and a proposal for restructuring these loans.

What we are not here for is a lecture

about the nature of debt management.

I’m not sure who the hell you think you’re talking to.

I’m talking to a man who owes this bank 800 million dollars.

A man who owes six other banks

another 400 million dollars.

A person who is over a billion dollars in debt.

I’m talking to a shithead.

I am a legitimate and good businessman.

Nothing here is legitimate, sir.

This here is one of the worst cases of corporate mismanagement

that I have ever seen.

And trust me, I stare down the gullet of malfeasance every day.

You, sir, have taken 800 million dollars from this bank to do what?

Fly around in your private jets.

Buy big plantations, so you can shoot quail.

Think you can just go hog wild, that nobody can touch you?

Well, I’ve got news for you, sir.

This ain’t Saturday night no more.

Party’s over.


You listen here.

Actually, Mr. Croker, we’re gonna pause and take ten

to have a lender’s cactus, if you don’t mind.

Would you excuse us for a bit?

You’re gonna do what?

Have a brief lender’s cactus.

You mean to say “caucus”?

No, sir, I mean cactus. With all the pricks on the outside.

We’ll try not to keep you waiting long.

I can’t even say you disappointed me, Raymond.

You tiny little bug.

Good to meet you, Harry.


You speak to me like that in front of my bride…

Sorry, I didn’t realize she’d be here.

Maybe next time, leave the missus back home in the trophy case.


We’ll be in touch.

We will.

Mrs. Croker.

There are things that we can do.

Transactions that…

Gerald. Take me to DeKalb.

Yes, sir.

The airport?

I need to sit, figure some things.

The Boeing.

Yes, sir.

Oh, Christ.


Thank you, Gerald.

Why don’t we go home, Charlie? I can take your mind off all this.

My mind can’t afford to be off it right now.

It’s got to be especially on it. Yours too.

We need to sell off assets, and I have some ideas.

I don’t wanna hear nothing about selling off assets.

Sorry, sir. Both jets are in repairs right now.

Can I take you to the Concourse?

That’s fine. Thank you, Gerald.

Call Roger White. Tell him to meet me in my office with the goddamn plans!


It’ll be fine.

Hey, it’s okay.

Things are not fine.

♪ A British bank is run with precision ♪

♪ A British home requires nothing less! ♪

♪ Tradition, discipline, and rules Must be the tools ♪

♪ Without them ♪

♪ Disorder! ♪

♪ Catastrophe! ♪

♪ Anarchy! ♪

♪ In short, we have a ghastly mess! ♪

We’ll have catastrophe and disorder if you’re late for school.

Get your backpack and your coat, please.

Aw man!

“Aw man!”

You doing okay?

Let me ask you a question.

The answer is no.

You haven’t heard the question.

Oh, I know the question, and the answer is no.

Look, Croker Industries has done a lot of good work.

Mostly at your nudging.

We haven’t done half the things…

And what’s more, as bad as Charlie can be,

he’d be so much worse if you weren’t there.

Oh, so that’s my callin’?

Keeping Charlie Croker from being at his worst?

Honey, you make almost a million dollars a year.



I’m just saying.

Okay. We have a nice house, a nice life.

One we certainly can’t afford on a judge’s salary

should I get appointed and give up my practice.

I could always go and work for a law firm.

But would you want that?

Roger, you have said many times your job isn’t boring.

You said it’s even fun some days.

So, you make a ton of money at a place where you have fun.

For most people, that’s like hitting the lottery.

Yeah, well, I’m just not convinced it’s my callin’.

I’m ready.

You’re ready.

All right.

Let’s go.

Hut, two, three, four, five.

♪ Concrete jungle… ♪

♪ Let ’em take us ♪

♪ For a ride ♪

I don’t know exactly what. All I know is it can’t be good.

It has something to do with a big loan restructure meeting.

I likely won’t make it home in time for dinner.

All right, I’ll pick somethin’ up. You want my specialty?

And get some milk too, would you, babe?

I was planning to go to the market on my way home.

Actually, can I just send you a list?

No problem.

Thanks, honey.

I’ll call you later. I love you.

Love you. I know.



Bad day?

I hope yours was better.

Unfortunately, the loan was strictly constructed in the bank’s favor.

Now, even if it was to be deemed ambiguous, we’d be in a…


I think you know me well enough to know that I can appreciate that you appreciate

that I need to be told something good.

Telling me that the loans were strictly constructed is not good.

I was ambushed

by the bank,

by Raymond Peepgrass.

I may not be a lawyer,

but I understand there to be an implied duty of good faith

in any business transaction.


…good faith cuts a wide swath.

It includes many things.

What it does not include…

is an ass fucking.

Now, we live in the United States of America.

As my attorney, it becomes incumbent on you

to fuck these sons of bitches back.

Peepgrass. That cocksucker, Zale.

Especially Zale.

You are now the fucker-back in chief of Croker Industries.

You fuck ’em up the ass, you fuck ’em on the head,

you look ’em all straight in the eyes and fuck ’em in the mouth.

This is not an appropriate conversation.

Well, these are not appropriate times!

Two, three, four, three, two, three, four.

High knee. Shuffle.

High knee. Shuffle.

One more time!

♪ I’m too lit saucy Booty put him in a coffin… ♪

Push! Be better!

♪ My status poppin Got too many hoes watching… ♪


♪ Independent I’m a boss bitch Check me out bitch I’m gorgeous… ♪

Toe, heel, clap. Toe, heel, clap.

♪ Ass fat you can look but please don’t touch it… ♪

Good! To the stairs. Let’s go!

Don’t be last! Don’t be last! Don’t be last!

♪ Buss it, buss it, buss it, buss it ♪

♪ I told him eat up the cake Like its a birthday… ♪

Everything hurts.

That’s the point.


Introducing you to muscles you didn’t know you had.

By way of pain?

Why are we in this class? Really?

I overheard nipple girl, Shirley, whatever her name is,

talking about butt crack surgery.

Who does that?


Oh, Miss Areola Grande herself.

Would you look at that?

If I were her mother…

Which we’d never admit we were old enough to be.

Seriously, it’s okay to be out in public like that?

Okay, may I?

Go ahead. I’m a big girl.

Are you sure?

Okay. Well, your objection to her, let’s call it her visibility,

could be because you’re feeling some lack of your own,

and it’s probably because of that right there.

Oh please!

Never mind, “Oh please.”

Why can’t you just admit it pisses you off that she’s in the picture?

I have no desire to be in that picture or any other with Charlie Croker again.

But you were in it with him when he built Atlanta.

You helped make him. Not your best work.

And seeing her get credit…

You forget, I was the one who left him.

Ugh. The ballet arts gala is coming up. I bought a table.

That’s pretty much the visibility ball in Atlanta. You’re going.

Honey, I donate good money to not go to those types of things.

Besides, attending in person won’t make me feel any less superfluous.

Superfluous? Seriously, do you really wanna be in that picture again?

Of course not.

Maybe I’d like to be in that one.

{\an8}Sweetie, not everybody can be me. Certainly you know that.

{\an8}Such a brat.

{\an8}Seven hundred thousand?

It’s a fair number,

one which would include and erase all future child support payments,

which, conservatively, at 35,000 a month…


It’s a fair number.

Present day value of 700,000 far exceeds any structure…

It’s a very reasonable demand,

which we have extended as reasonable people.

This is blackmail. It’s extortion.

It’s a fair number.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

You should be shame.

You put un-prophylact penis in my vagina.

And you squirt desire. You feel shame.


Like fountain.

I haven’t got that kind of money. Not even close.

Then we do a deposition. We ask you hard questions.

Make you out an awful person.

Pay it.


Raymond, this could get a lot dirtier.

I mean, sometimes the best thing to do is just to… bend over and take it.

No. I have been bending over and taking it for my entire fucking life.

I do not have 700,000 dollars.

And even if I did,




Hey, Mom.

Why aren’t you at school?

I’m suspended.


Didn’t they call?

What did you do now?

I am not sure.

I may have talked a few kids out of going to college.

So some of the parents complained.

Well, what exactly did you say?

I don’t remember word-for-word.


Something about how higher education is a bit of a racket

and now they lure applicants

under the guise of turning them into poets and philosophers,

only to turn out bankers and lawyers and high-income earners

predisposed to feeding donations back into endowment coffers.

Something… something like that.

Mostly the football stuff that pissed them off.

What football stuff?

You know, when played correctly, it causes dementia.

indistinct chatter


Hey, that’s my car. Hey!



Excuse me. That’s my car.

Well, your car is in a red zone.


No… no, no, I didn’t…

Dude, I got pushed in.

That truck must’ve pushed me in.

Yeah, well, you’re in, honey. See?

I didn’t park in no red zone. Look, look, look, look, look, look at the angle.

I’m half over the curb. Why would I park my front wheel over the curb?

This is 3-2-1-7, request for backup outside of Delmar’s Market on Columbus.

Wait. Did you just call for backup?

Yeah, Delmar’s Market, Columbus.

Unit 14 is close by.

You’re damaging it.



Step away. You’re gonna get hurt. Hey, that ain’t smart.

Take the thing off the truck, man. I’m here. I can drive off.

You heard her. You’re in the red zone.

Hey, you can’t get in the car.

Red zone!

This is my car. He’s damaging it.

All right. Now, deal with these guys.


I was pushed into the red zone.

You can take that up in traffic court.

Traffic court? No.

Get out, sir.

You can’t tow it with somebody inside.

I don’t got time for this shit.

Out of the car now or I will remove you.

It’s my car.

I didn’t park in the red zone.

Get the fuck out of this car now!

This is not right.

This is not necessary. Stop it, you’re hurting him.

Let him go.

Taser! Taser!

I… I’m sorry, you’re where?

I’m at the police station.

I’ve been arrested.

Arrested for what?

They were trying to tow my car.

A police officer kind of attacked me, and I sort of fought back.

You did what?

Are you all right? Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But I’m being held overnight and arraigned in the morning.

Okay. Okay, well, just…

Oh… Hold on. Gi… give me a second. Let me figure something out.

Yeah. Okay.

I love you.

Mr. Croker.


I’m… I’m really sorry to bother you,

especially since today has already been a really stressful day, but…


What’s wrong?

Conrad has been arrested.

He is in jail, and I don’t know what to do

other than admit I need help.

He was arrested for what?

He assaulted a police officer.

Conrad did?

There was a dispute over a parking violation,

which escalated, and the police officer got violent,

Conrad resisted, and now he is in jail,

and I’m so sorry to bother you with this, but his arraignment is tomorrow.

I don’t know where to turn.

Jill, I’ll get you a lawyer.

Thank you.

Now, take the rest of the night off. Okay?



We’ll handle this.

Thank you.

Mr. White, hi.

You can follow me. The mayor’s expecting you.

Thank you.

Oh! Brother White.

Mr. Mayor.


My man. You dress up good. You spiffy up for me?

I was at the Woodruff for a client thing.

And you ducked out. Now, I feel special. You hear we beat Tuskegee the other day?

Underdogs by three touchdowns. I don’t know, man.

I take that as an omen.

Of what, I know not,

but Morehouse beating Tuskegee, it’s got to be an omen.

Maybe me getting re-elected.

Kinda made it sound important.

It is.

Norman Bagovitch.

What about him?

Oh, man!

I see, you still walk on a… on a tight string.

So that’s it, huh? No small talk. Shoot the shit.

What about Norman Bagovitch?

Oh this motherfucker, he shot up 15 points in the polls

the last three weeks thanks to the good old boys,

all because he’s riding the wave of all this bumfuck populism

and it’s my bum stands to get fucked the most.

Still got your turn of phrase.

Here’s my latest,

“When they go low,

I go Roto-Rooter.”

Fight shit with shit,

which is where you can be of assistance.

Not sure I follow.

Man, come on.

Anybody who thrives as Charlie Croker’s fixer…

I’m not a fixer, I’m of counsel.

Okay. Let me get to the point.

I’ve been sitting on this oppo research for months

because I was hoping I wouldn’t need to use it.

Seems like buddy boy Bagovitch used to brag

about sexually assaulting some woman like 30 or so years ago.

And back in the day, he hung with your man, Croker.

They played in the same backfield at Tech.

I was hoping you could help me

track down the victim, wherever she may be,

and get her to come forward.

It’s not how I do business, Wes.

Norman Bagovitch is the worst kind of racist.

He will set this city…

This conversation’s offensive.

Oh, like I give a fuck. It’s me here.

And I’m giving you an opportunity. It’s a chance to make a difference.

I do not now, nor have I ever needed you to matter.

Oh, I didn’t say all that.

I think you did.

Here’s what I will say.

You wanna get in the game… you’re gonna have to get some dirt

under them pretty fingernails,

’cause that’s where it’s at.

Bagovitch raped a woman.

Croker knows who. You need to get him to tell me who it is.

Why can’t we just continue it?

Because we can’t. She flew in from Finland.

She doesn’t have to be there for a deposition.

It’s her right to be there.

Raymond, look. What happened…



Fuck! Fuck! Ray? Raymond?

Shut the fuck up! Is everything okay?

Call you back.

You shut up. You shut up.

Do something.

Both of you shut the fuck up!

Oh, you wanna go?

Get the fuck out here! I’m gonna fuck you up!

Are you kidding me?

Are you fucking kidding me?!

How we doing, Raymond?

Expecting somebody?

What do you want?

What I want

is for you and me to have a little sit-down,

talk about the big mess you helped make.

That was not my doing.

Let’s go sit.

Oh, Mr. Peepy.

I am trying to understand…

why you would not tell me this was coming.


when a suckerfish lives off a shark’s back,

licking all his sustenance off that shark’s back,

my guess is some appreciation would accompany such sustenance.

I am not

a… suckerfish.

Oh, sure you are.

I am a human being,

whether you choose to think of me as one or not.

I’m not a tiny bug put on earth

to do your bidding.

The thing about being human, Raymond,

it can be vulnerable.

I don’t think vulnerable is something you wanna be right now.

Not with me.

You have belittled me for too long.

Belittled you?

I made you, and I can unmake you just as fast.

Sit down!

You may think you’ve hit bottom.

You ain’t.

‘Cause after Mr. Zale and the minions of PlannersBanc get finished with me,

they’re going to start in on those in the bank that facilitated those loans.

Here’s how this is gonna go.

You’re gonna get the bank to call off this default business.

I couldn’t call it off even if I wanted to.

And I don’t want to.

I’ve taken your shit

for as long as I’m going to take it.

Is that what you think? ‘Cause I don’t.

Every story has a beginning, middle, and an end.

What part of the story you think we’re at?



of my home,

you fucky fuck!


Get out!


We’ll see about them saddlebags.

♪ You better run, run from the devil ♪

♪ You better run, run from the devil ♪

♪ You better hide ♪

♪ Hide, hide from the ♪

♪ Hide from the ♪

♪ Young boy ♪

♪ Trying to rule the world I see ♪

♪ Well, young boy ♪

♪ I can give you everything ♪

♪ Diamonds ♪

♪ Everything you touch can be ♪

♪ Golden ♪

♪ But first you gotta listen to me ♪

♪ I’ll tell the truth, I’ll promise you ♪

♪ This world may frown upon The things I have you do ♪

♪ But I got taste, and I got style ♪

♪ I know the twists and turns To make your life worth ♪

♪ You better run, run from the devil ♪

♪ You better run, run from the devil ♪


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