Constellation – S01E04 – The Left Hand of God | Transcript

Jo's life back home is not how she remembers it, and growing tension with Magnus adds to her feelings of alienation.
Constellation - S01E04 - The Left Hand of God

Season 1 – Episode 4
Episode Title: The Left Hand of God
Original release date: February 28, 2024

Plot: Jo’s life back home is not how she remembers it, and growing tension with Magnus adds to her feelings of alienation.

* * *

[footsteps crunching]

[Alice panting]

Are we nearly there?

[breathing heavily]

I’ve… I’ve got wet socks.

It must be minus 50.


[breathing heavily]


What do we do now?

Hot chocolate?

[sighs] I mean, where do we live?

[panting] Well, we could go back to England.

We could stay here in Sweden.

We could go anywhere, really.

I mean, we don’t have any…

[wind howling]

[Alice breathing heavily]

You remember the last time we were here?

That was the last summer with Mamma. [pants]

I’m nervous. [breathes shakily]

Well, she’s not gonna be here.

You know that, right?

[breathes heavily]

We’re not gonna see her again.


[“Tellur” by Surrogate Sibling plays]

[Magnus, Alice] Merry delayed Christmas and happy delayed birthday!

[gasps, chuckles]

[Alice, Magnus chuckle]

Oh, my God.

[Magnus] Okay. “The Spanish fireman has two sons. What are they called?”

[Jo] Mmm.

[Alice] Hmm.

[Magnus] “Jose and Hose B.”

[Magnus, Jo chuckling]

[Magnus] That’s pretty good. Oh.

[Alice] What?

That was crap.

[Magnus laughs]

You know, they’re supposed to be crap. That’s the point.

You say one.

Oh, no.


Yeah. You do one.

[Jo groans] Hmm.

[chuckles] Okay.

Okay, I got one. Um…

[smacks lips] It’s sort of similar to that one.

But it’s kind of Swedish though.

I’m married to a Swede. Go ahead.

Okay, so, Nelson Mandela has a Swedish half-brother.

Who’s Nelson Mandela?

Mmm, it’s not gonna work if you don’t know who Nelson Mandela is.

I know who he was.

Okay, so Nelson Mandela has a Swedish half-brother called…

Måste ManDela.


It’s real… It’s really… It’s really funny in Swedish.

[Jo] You changed around the cupboards.

Uh, no, I’m not really a move-the-cupboards-around kind of guy.

Jo, can we have a talk?

Of course.

It’s just… We didn’t really leave things in a very satisfactory way when you went.

[stammers] How did we leave things?

Well, you… [sighs] …didn’t look at me… [chuckles] …when we said goodbye.

[stammers] Of course I did.

No. You didn’t.

I’ve thought about it a lot the last year.

I don’t know if you noticed, but it was a really appalling few months.

For me, at least. Before you went away.

Uh, I’m sorry.

That’s not… That’s not how I remember it.

I’m back and I’m… I’m not going anywhere.

Do you love me?

But of course I do.

I’m not being needy. It’s a genuine question.

Of course I love you, you big idiot.

[distorted dialogue]



[piano note rings, fades]

[sighs] Hello.

[receptionist] Welcome back, ma’am.

Thank you.

[applause, cheering]

[in Swedish] What about this one?

“How the Sand Got to the Sea”.

Do you want to toss it or keep it?


You don’t understand me, do you?

[in English] I was just asking if you wanted to keep it or toss it.

Toss it.


[Alice] The Changeling.

[speaks Swedish]


The one when the trolls take the baby.


And they put the baby in the fire to bring the mamma back.


Was there anything specific that upset you before I left?

[sighs] We don’t have to talk about it.

Is the Allen key anywhere?


It’s this one, right?


[Jo sighs]

We hardly saw you.

I mean, obviously there was that washout of a summer up at the cabin, but you were away training.

A lot.

So, there wasn’t, like, one specific thing?

You know, there is gonna come a day when I have assembled my last piece of shitty furniture and I am not gonna have to do this again.

Magnus, what?

I’m not a jealous person. I hope you know that.

But I had really started to wonder about you and Frederic.


[scoffs] No.

[stammers] Absolutely not. No.

Look, things are going really well with us.


So this would be a good time to level with me.

But, Magnus, I didn’t have an affair with Frederic.

[Magnus sighs]

I would never do something like that.


Magnus, please.

I just want us to be honest with each other.


Jo, while you were gone…

[sighs] …I kind of met someone.


I mean, nothing happened really.

But… [sighs, chuckles] …we went for a drink.

One kiss.


I thought you were leaving me, Jo.

You know, there was a lot… [stammers] …a lot of gossip about you and Frederic.

I assumed you’d come back, and we’d be done.

But why?

Like… [stammers]

Just trying to level with you.

Yeah. [stammers, scoffs] I want you to be my husband, okay?

I want Alice to be my daughter.

When I was up there, the only thing I could focus on was getting home and assembling shitty furniture.

When I was up there, all alone, and no one could hear me and…

[inhales sharply] …I thought I was gonna die.

[Alice] Daddy?

Daddy. Come.


I really grieve the time I’ve lost with you and her.

I couldn’t cope if…

[Alice] Daddy?

[mouthing words] Go.




[PA system chimes]


[chiming continues]


[chiming continues]



[radio chatter]

[chiming continues]

Mr. Rogers?

[clears throat]

Mr. Rogers?

[occupant] Just a second.

Is he…

Bud, all speakers are supposed to go to the main hall. Emergency briefing.

Yeah, I just wanted to say…

[captain] Attention, please.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the captain speaking.

We are turning and making a call in Santa Barbara.

It looks like there was an incident with one of our guests overnight.

We have to complete a few necessary safeguards and procedures.

We will be asking you to stay on board, and we hope this won’t inconvenience you too badly.

[Michaela] Henry, you are funded by NASA, and you are a NASA employee.

And have been since long before you were born, Michaela.

We need to talk about the fact that no permission is granted to you to go to another space agency with RPL equipment.

The CAL is mine.

It didn’t work, Henry.

No, please don’t say that.

I know. It’s very tough to let go.

Yeah, well, this is not what failure looks like.

I just need to think it through.

It’s having an effect.

You need to come home, okay?

You’ve had ten days with a lot of assistance and there’s no evidence the CAL worked. We’re shutting it down.

This is the end of the project.



[Jo] I misremember things.

Such as?

Where things are. My car.


I remember it as red, but it’s blue.

Uh, it’s a small thing, but, um…

Actually, it’s quite a big thing.

I think, um… [stammers] I think I…

I have a piano in my house, and I don’t play the piano.

Do you have hallucinations?


What kind?

I see Paul Lancaster.

I mean, I…

His ghost, I suppose.

Sometimes it feels like I’m still up there on the ISS.

What you are telling me seems highly symptomatic of PTSD, where you would expect replays of stressful events, memory lapses, anger.

It’s not surprising you would have this condition.

You were in fear of your life,

very concerned about your crew, your family.

Dealing with the death of a friend, you’ve been through huge trauma.

Now you’re back to Earth, and this can be where it hits you.

Listen, we’ll try you with a dexamethasone-suppression test and see what your cortisol levels are.

And in the meantime, I can give you something.

Such as?


[chuckles] Jenny, I’m not psychotic.

I’m not depressed.

No, but it’ll calm you.

It calms these things.

[printer whirring]

[whirring stops]

I don’t want this. I don’t…

This kind of stuff is career-ending.

[Henry] I’m interested in the research you’re doing.

What’s it called, “salutogenesis”?

I, uh…

How do you define it?

I-I didn’t know you were here.

Oh, I’m here.

Think it’s a better place for me to be. I think I can help.

So how is it going f… for you?

With the CAL, you mean?

Well, I keep running it and running it.

I think I may be on the edge of something.


I don’t remember much about the CAL before the accident, I, uh… I…

Would you like to see it?

I’m not getting a hell of a lot of stuff I understand.

Have you heard much anecdotal evidence from astronauts?

How it affects them? It’s not all good.

I know some felt burned out.

Oh, yeah.

Um… People find it tough.

Go through things they don’t understand.


I have a couple of friends… Gemini IV crew…

Chuck Parks, John Cooper…

They smelled burning toast up there. Both of them.

John heard a dog barking. [chuckles]

Always said it was Laika.

You know, I wonder how Laika felt.

You a dog person?

Uh… [chuckles] …ish.

Hmm. It’s always been the case since we started flying high altitude.

I was a test pilot, pre-Apollo.

Flying the highest altitudes you can, right up to the edge of space.

It was pretty common back then for colleagues to report a powerful force pressing down on one of the wings of the aircraft above 90,000 feet.

They called it “the left hand of God.”

I knew this guy.

Lost his son.

Little boy, six years old, drowned in a lake on his baby sister’s birthday.

This guy, a couple years later, flying DC-10s over Nevada, heard a voice.

A child’s voice.

His son’s voice.

“Daddy, watch out.”

Noticed that he’d plunged into a dive, managed to pull out.

Till the end of his life, he swore his son saved him.

They don’t say it, but that’s the kind of thing that followed us into space.

You ever seen anything that wasn’t there?

Like climbing Everest, going into space.

Your whole focus is on the summit. And if you’re not very careful, you can forget that once you’ve summited, you have to get back down.

That’s when people come unstuck.


I have to check this. It’s running again.


[whirring intensifies]


[exhales sharply]

[whirring continues]

[breathes shakily]


[breathes shakily]

[line ringing]

[ringing continues, stops]

[person] Hi.

It’s Papa.

I can’t talk.

It’s not working.

Oh, God.

[Bud] There were a few good years but…

Christ, I need to find a way around it.

I gotta find a way to get to that motherfucker.

Papa, you gotta stop thinking like all this stuff is outside of you.

Connie, it’s not an illness.

It is an illness. No one fucked with your brain.

It’s you. It’s something you can control.

Look, if you’re having an episode, please just take your pills.

[scoffs] Like I said, I can’t talk.

[line clicks]


[Alice humming]

[teacher] She speaks about death and accidents.

And there’s this cupboards issue.

[Jo] What do you mean?

She hides in cupboards. Yeah. [chuckles]

She hides in cupboards.

[inhales sharply] It strikes me that… [sighs] maybe you’re a system that has lost each other a bit.

She’s ten. She was nine when you left.

That’s a long year. It’s a very liminal age.

What do you mean with “liminal”?

Between one thing and another.

Yes. Exactly.

She wants to change things, like her room.

And for a year, you’ve had the father and the daughter, and so Mom is…

[sighs] Mom’s been too far apart.

She was in space.

And now she’s come back, and maybe Alice isn’t sure.

Maybe she’s haunted by her feelings of, “Mom is…”


“Who-who are you?

Can I trust you?”

What have you told her? She knows things that are private.

She’s my colleague and Alice’s teacher.

What did Jenny say?

Jenny said that I have PTSD.

There’s nothing to worry about. I’m fine.

Don’t tell anyone.

Do you think something is wrong with my attachment to Alice?



Well, of course there is.

I’ve been away for a year.

“Who are you? Can I trust you?”

She didn’t say Alice couldn’t trust you.

You just sat there agreeing with her.

[speaks Swedish]


[Magnus] Try the spare room.


[in Swedish] Are you here?

[speaks Swedish]

[in English] Fuck. [inhales sharply]


Alice, get out of there.

Alice, now.


I got some old clothes that you might like.


Baby. Come.


We haven’t really had enough Mamma-Alice time.

Maybe we could go away somewhere.

Just us?

Well, no. Daddy, of course, too.

We could go to the cabin.

What about school though?

School have had you for a whole year.



Baby, don’t shut me out.

I’m not.

You’re not happy I’m back?

I don’t know.

I’m just a little bit disappointed.

I thought it would be different.

At the center of the CAL is a chamber containing a gas of rubidium atoms.

Around it is an arrangement of lasers, electromagnets.

A magnetic trap.

[associate] Understood.

To achieve the condensate, the laser is turned to resonate the atoms.

Then, when the laser is turned off, that’s when the superposition is formed.

You formed it?

A black blob… Uh, two black blobs alongside.

[mouse clicks]

[computer chimes]

This is the image we got on board the ISS.

There’s an interference effect, Henry.


There can’t be an interference effect.

What’s, uh, the data now?


What is this?

It looks like a child’s picture of an owl or something.

It doesn’t wanna be seen.


But trust me, when I’ve run it down here…

When you’ve run it down here?

That’s what I see.

Then show me the data.

This is the data. I can’t, Louis.

It’s there, clear as day inside the halo, but it’s just me who sees it.

Henry, I’m sorry. You can’t have built a pathway to another universe.

What you saw from the ISS was a false image.

No. The CAL experiment was meant to capture a state in which one particle is in two different states at the same time.

And we did it.


Henry, an experiment went wrong and…


…um, you got a false image.

But you can always run it again.

No, sir, I cannot goddamn well run it again ’cause we’re never going back up there.

Listen, Louis, what if the result of the experiment could theoretically make themselves visible in different ways?


Not on a screen.

In the mind of an observer.

Of what you see in the world around you.

What if it works on the chemistry of the brain?

Ah, come on.

The whole history of quantum physics is bound up with the observer effect, the effect that looking at something has upon the experiment.

What if the experiment is having an effect on me?

[breathes shakily]

[“Prelude in C-sharp minor (Op. 3 No. 2)” playing on piano]

[piano fades, stops]

[“Prelude in C-sharp minor (Op. 3 No. 2)” continues]

[breathing shakily]

[gasps, breathing shakily]

It has to hurt, right? When someone doesn’t believe you.

Agent Bright, FBI.

You know what we’re discussing here is a psychological illness in which these people can’t see reality as it is.

Now, it might have passed you by, Agent Bright, but truth is a rare commodity.

Has that passed you by in law enforcement?


I was on the moon.

I walked there.

There’s proof. I left a golf ball.

No one is doubting that you walked on the moon.

We just wanna know what happened to this man on the ship.

You came and interrupted him at dinner.

Yeah, to talk to him. Make him see sense.

They’re gonna drop me off in Santa Barbara, okay?

You said something like, if Mr. Rogers were to tussle with you, you would throw him in the damn sea.

No, Agent Bright, I haven’t been able to lift this shoulder past 45 degrees since I crashed my plane in Korea.

And even if I could, I wouldn’t.

I’m an astronaut.

The right stuff.

[footsteps approaching]

[Henry] What are you doing?

I’m an autonomous human being.

I don’t need anyone’s permission to be anywhere.

Goddamn it, I want us to agree on what’s causing this.

Convince me that I am not going insane.

[machine whirring]


[machine whirring]



[cleaner speaks German]

[both speaking German]

[door closes]

[mouse clicking]

[breathing heavily]

[Jo in English] “Ilya. Vitamins A.”

“Audrey. Vitamins A.”

“Yaz. Vitamins A.”

“Vitamins B.”

Oh, okay.

[breathes deeply]

“Amanda Klein.”

“Vitamins B.”

“NASA astronaut Amanda Klein saw angels in space.”

Come on.

“Canadian astronaut on trial.

Assumed false identity before attempting murder on ex-husband, new family.”

“Caldera, Henry.”

[door opens]

[speaks German]

[speaks German]

[both speaking German]

[in English] What are you doing?

[cleaners speaking German]

[both speaking German]

[in English] Guys, stop it!




[breathes heavily]

[continues breathing heavily]

[Henry] Whatever I do here with my own time and my own life is a matter only for me.


Excuse me, Henry.

If you hadn’t been so fucking curious, none of this would have been an issue.

[stutters] Are you okay, Henry?

Commander Caldera?

Curiosity killed the cat.

[footsteps approaching]

[Jo breathing heavily]

[wind chime tinkling]



We both had a lot of time to think about things… and, um, no time to talk.

About what?

Obviously something’s changed, and I-I’m sorry if I said things that were inappropriate.

But I want you, Jo, just as much as before.

I want us to serve out the contracts here and go private, like we said.

I’ve been talking to them. StarCosm, Alyanna.

They like it.

Especially if it’s the two of us as a package.


[stammers] I don’t know what you are talking about.

Jo, look.

I think you owe it to me to tell me if you’ve changed your mind.

Have you changed your mind?

[Jo] There’s a lot of weird differences between Earth and space, and it’s not just the gravity.


Um, time passes at a different speed on Earth and in space.

So after six months in space, an astronaut have aged 0.007 seconds less than a person who remains on Earth.

[teacher whispering]

What happens to it?

Do you, like, understand anything?

[Jo] Um, to what?

Where do the 0.7 seconds go?

[teacher whispers]

Is it you?


[Jo] Yeah, I’m talking to you.

Is it her, Magnus?

What’s happening?

Is it her?

Come on, Jo.

I’m sorry, Sara. -“Oh, I’m sorry, Sara.”



Leave my husband alone, okay?

[door opens]

[door closes]

[laughing, chattering]

[Magnus] What the hell was that?

Give me the keys.

This is ridiculous.

You’re not supposed to drive for a couple of weeks.

I know how to drive a fucking car.

Don’t swear in front of our daughter. You’re acting like the town drunk.

Can we put on a song?

[in Swedish] I have to concentrate a bit.

[pop music playing]

Alice, I need to concentrate, okay?

[Magnus, in English] Alice, turn it off. Turn it off, Alice!

[in Swedish] Alice, for Christ’s sake!

[in English] Mom!

[horn honking]

[Magnus yelps]



[grunts, breathes heavily]

The various space agencies have rehab clinics for astronauts who, um, uh…

[sighs] There’s a condition called astronaut burnout.

For God’s sake, she’s just come back.

I can’t have her going away again.

She’s got a problem.

It’s obviously a reaction to the stress of what went on in space.

And, um, without an intervention, she’ll get worse.

And are you going with her?

Don’t know.

Yeah, maybe. To begin with.


Did you have an affair with her?

What did she say?

Never mind what she said.

Did you?



[footsteps approaching]

[Jo] What’s this?

Magnus asked me here

because he’s concerned about you.

You lied to me.


He’s concerned because you’re behaving in quite a… dissociated way.

I can speak for myself, you piece of shit.

What have you said to him?

I told him the truth.

Um, I hon… [stammers] Honestly, I… I didn’t remember. I-I didn’t…

How the fuck do you forget something like that?

Clearly there’s some memory issues going on.

Fuck off!

[Frederic] If you’re having these symptoms, Jo, we can easily get you the appropriate help.

I need to talk to my husband.

Get the fuck out of my house.


[Jo] I’m not crazy.

Frederic, I work for you.

This is my home.

You don’t belong here. I’m not at work.



We’ll go through HR tomorrow.

It’s good to have all this out in the open though.

[door slams]

I didn’t lie to you.

I am not a fucking fool.

I… I… I didn’t remember.

I don’t remember. I don’t remember!

Maybe this isn’t the same fucking place that I left.

It’s exactly the same, Jo!

It’s you that’s different.

[Alice] Daddy!

Wait. Magnus! Hey, Magnus…

[Magnus] Why don’t you try taking care of your child for a change?


“Marine Observatory. Denmark.”

“Dear Commander Ericsson… you’ll find enclosed two tapes. We heard you when you were on the ISS on October 15th. The recording is not clear, but we are sending it to you with a transcript.”

[Bud] The fuck’s the matter with you?

[conspiracist] You’re the one who tells people you walked on the moon and you didn’t. You’re a liar, a coward, and a thief.

[Bud chuckles] Oh.


SS Bernice CCTV is ready for you.


[agent] It’s all cued up.

“TsUP, this is Station. Respond please.”

[static humming]

[distorted voice speaking]

[Jo on tape, distorted] TsUP, this is Station. Respond please.

TsUP, Station. Please come in.

I’m gonna talk. I…

Not sure you can hear, but my lights are on, so I… I don’t know.

[breathes shakily]

I don’t know if the faults are here or…


[Jo] “…last transcript.”

“The second recording made by ourselves on November 23rd, 1967. It appears to show an accident in space and a death of a female cosmonaut.”


[hissing, rumbling]

[cosmonaut speaking Russian, breathing heavily]

[distorted speech continues]

[distorted speech continues]

[Alice] Mummy?

[guests chattering]

[screaming, breathes heavily]

Alice? What is it? Alice?

It’s me! [cries]

Wha… [stammers] What are you seeing?

You’re dead.

Don’t wake her up.

She’s awake.

It’s Wendy’s dad. [breathing heavily]

What? Paul?

For God’s sake, Jo, just leave it.

I want to go. [breathes heavily]

Come here.

Wait, no. Put her down.

Come here. Come on.

Magnus. Where you taking her?

Don’t put her in a cupboard!

Don’t put her in the fucking cupboard!

[Alice] I want to.

How is that gonna make things better?

I want Daddy to tuck me in.

Don’t put her in the fucking cupboard!

She’s scared of you, Jo. Okay?

You’re scaring her.

Just go away. Go downstairs.

[Magnus] You okay, baby?

[breathing heavily]

[footsteps approaching]

[Magnus] I mean, what were you doing? Hmm?

Why are you putting her in the cupboard?

She’s scared. She wants to hide.

How long has she been scared?

How long do you think?

Take the pills that Jenny gave you.

You know what?

Those pills, they are antipsychotics.

Of course they are. That’s the point.

No, no, no, wait. [stammers] I mean, both are.

The vitamins and… Both sets, they… [stammers]

There’s a concerted effort to get me on antipsychotic medication.

They want to deny what I saw up there.

Just take the fucking pills, Jo. [breathes heavily]

What are you doing?

I’m gonna call Frederic back because he’s… he’s actually right.

No, I need to sort this out.

And you need to help me.

I need to work out why they’re doing this.

I am helping you, Jo.

Why are you calling Frederic?

I was the one that was supposedly fucking him.


[sniffles] I know you could all… all hear me when I was up there.

When I was up there and I was trying to get back home and I was afraid, you could all hear me. I heard those tapes.

And you were gonna leave me up there to die.


Put the phone down.

I’m sorry.

Put the fucking phone down.

I will… I will still be here!

Put… [grunts]

[shouts, grunts]

[breathes heavily]

[line rings]

[breathes heavily] Magnus?

[“Lullaby” by Suvi-Eeva Äikäs plays]


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