Dark Matter – S01E01 – Are You Happy in Your Life? | Transcript

Physics professor and family man Jason Dessen is abducted from everything he loves.
Dark Matter - S01E01 - Are You Happy in Your Life?

Dark Matter
Season 1 – Episode 1
Episode title: Are You Happy in Your Life?
Original release date: May 8, 2024

Plot: Physics professor and family man Jason Dessen is abducted from everything he loves.

* * *

[flashlight clicks on]

[lock disengages]

[alarm beeping]



“Cosine of Y is equal to X, then the arc cosine of X

is equal to the inverse”… Uh…

Cosine, function of X,

which is equal to Y.


You know, a very bad person invented trigonometry.

Hey, can I, uh…

Can I drive to school today?


What? [stammers] I’m a good driver.

[chuckling] Okay. [kisses]


Have a good day.

Coffee to go.


What? Thank you. [kisses] Oh, my gosh. You’re my hero.

[chuckles] Have fun.

See you guys later.

I’ll let you drive.

Thanks. [chuckles]

Hey, red light. Red ligh… Red light!


[parent] Charlie!

[horn blaring]

[breathes shakily]


[Charlie] Sorry, Dad.

It’s okay.

Hey, so, you wanna go for a climb after school?

Yeah, I was, uh, kinda thinking I might go over to Brooke’s after school.

How’s that going with her, by the way?

I don’t know.

Why don’t you just tell her?

Does Brooke even know that you like her?

What if she likes Drew?

Then you know the score, that she has bad taste.

[both chuckling]

[phone ringing]

[phone chimes]


Hey. Where are you?

[dad] Oh. Have a look.

[Ryan] Ooh, Charlie-o Andretti. [chuckles] You driving your old man around?

[chuckling] Yeah, I was driving myself to school.

Oh, God. Jason, this is a little bit weird, but I won the Pavia.


It should be you. You know this. I know this…

Nah. Come on, man.

I’m so happy for you.

Oh, shit. I gotta take this call,

but I’m gonna hit you back, and we’re gonna celebrate tonight.

Okay. Yeah.

[phone chimes]

[car horn honking]

Oh, sh…

Don’t worry about them. Just… You do you.


[Charlie] Yeah.


[students chattering]

[student 1] What’s that supposed to be?

[imitates cat meowing]

It’s a cat.

[students chuckling]

You have a cat in a sealed box.

And also in the box, we have a vial of poison,

a single radioactive atom… Oh, and…

{\an8}a Geiger counter.

Now, if there’s no atomic decay, the cat lives.

But if the atom does decay,

then the Geiger counter will detect radiation.

This will set off a charge, which will break the vial,

and poor cat dies.

[student 2] Aw.

[students chuckling]

“Aw” is right. “Aw” is right.

Now, the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics

suggests something crazy.

Before we look inside, the atom exists in a superposition,

which is a fancy way of saying

that it is in an undetermined state

of both decaying and not decaying.

Which means what?

[student 3] This guy had a thing for torturing cats.

[students chuckling]

Thanks, Riley. No.

Schrödinger was his name,

and he had a thing for understanding the universe.

[bell ringing]

[students chattering]

The answer, for anybody who cares to know, is that the atom in superposition

means that the cat is both alive and it is dead.

[gallerygoer 1] His name’s Woody Gwyn,

one of America’s great contemporary landscape masters.

[gallerygoer 2] Mmm. What’s the medium?

Egg tempera.

It’s more challenging to work with than oil. Dries very quickly,

so brush strokes can’t be reworked, but you get these very precise lines,

more luminosity than you get with oil.

You just making shit up now?

Yeah, about half of it.

Mmm. I know. [chuckles]

Yeah. [chuckling] Hi.

Oh, it’s incredible.

Yeah, I know.

You ready?

Let me get my stuff.

I could paint that.

[chuckles] You can do anything, babe.

I’m apartment hunting Friday, if you wanna come.

I would love to, but, um, Friday is my training day.

Ah, and how’s that going?

You know what?

My cycling time and my running time aren’t bad actually,

but my swimming really needs work.

And right now, I can’t even imagine doing them all back-to-back.

You know, there are less agonizing ways for you to avoid your family.

I’m just saying.

[inhales deeply] I’m not avoiding them.

So, when’s the race?

Next summer.


[breathes deeply]

[jazz music playing]

[Jason] More wine, right?

Well, I think it would be foolish not to.

Ah, that’s why I love you.

[chuckling] ‘Cause I’m an advocate of opening more wine always?

That’s the source of your adoration for me?

Yeah, I think that’s the only reason we’ve made it this far.

Oh, yeah?


Come on, guys. You’re scarring me for life over here.

[Jason] Oh.

Oh, yeah?

Close your eyes. [chuckling]

Stick with red, huh? Yeah.


[phone chimes]

[mom] Your phone’s blowing up.

[sighs] Who is it?

It’s Ryan,

and he’s wondering where you are?

So, Ryan won the Pavia.




[Jason] I found out today.

It’s pretty great, huh?

Yeah. The Pavia’s a huge deal.

Yeah. Well, I mean, he gets a million dollars,

and it opens up the floodgates for, you know, grant money and so on.

So, why aren’t you going to this thing that he invited you to?

It’s family night. I told him I’d catch up with him another time.

Okay, it’s also family night 52 nights a year.

[Jason chuckles]

Where is it happening?

The Village Tap.

The Village Tap?

[Jason] Yes.

He picked a place around the corner from our house.

It’s nowhere near where he lives. Why do you think he did that?

Because he knows that if he picks any place remotely far away,

I’m not gonna show.

Yeah. Said with love, don’t be a dick.


I’m glad you’re having a good time. No.

You know he would show up for you.


Are you happy for Ryan?

Of course I am.

Okay, go show him.


[Jason sighs]

I love you.

I love you too.

[patrons chattering]


Sup, man. Nice to see you.

You too.

[Ryan] There’s a similar s…


Get over here. Get… Ah, fuck.

[Jason chuckling] Fuck you.

Fuck you, man.

Why are you here? Did Daniela force this?

I don’t know. Not really.

Did she bribe you?

She pointed out that if you, you know…

You’re having a little celebration at my local bar, then it’s probably

a desperate plea for my attention.

That’s fair.

And if I didn’t show up, I’d be a… an asshole.

Your wife is a beautiful genius, and I appreciate her.

This man loves scotch.

[bartender] Oh. Oh, I know. [chuckles]

Oh, he knows.

What can we do to bring him joy? What is the nicest…

The best one you have? Macallan.

Macallan Rare Cask.

Yes, bring him the bottle.

Ah, come on. I don’t…


The… The bottle?

Well, it’s just more fun.

[bartender] Okay. Good choice.

More stuff is more fun.

[bartender] That’s my last one.

Thanks. That is good timing.

[Jason] Yeah, I’ll drink it alone.

Oh, did you hear that squeak?

Is that the sign of good scotch?

It’s a cork.

[both chuckling]



Could I, uh, introduce you to a bunch of people?

Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.

The kind you don’t really wanna meet, but I want them to have an experience.

Guys, this is Jason.

Hi. Claire. Nice to meet you. [chuckles]


Ivan. You are so lucky to have known him for so long.

Crazy how his mind works, you know?

I mean, like, I know I’m a genius,

but I mean, like, when he talks, it’s like… [exclaims, chuckles]

And what do you do?

Um, I teach physics at Lakemont.

[Ryan] He’s a professor.



[Claire] Oh. Oh.

[Ryan] Yes.

[Edward] All right.

I’m a member of the Ryan fan club.

[Claire chuckles]

I’m gonna smother you with my love.

[Ivan] Wow. [chuckles]

[Ryan grunts]

[patron 1] Ready?

[patron 2] Come on.

What exactly was the citation again?

And don’t pretend you haven’t memorized it.

Are you kidding me? I’m gonna have it fucking tattooed:

“For his groundbreaking work in the field of neuroscience,

and identifying the prefrontal cortex as a consciousness generator.”

[imitating explosion, cheering]


God, I owe you. Those notes were essential.

So, come on. What… What’s… What’s it like?

We’re scientists. We sign on to struggle and search our entire lives

in anonymity, you know?

We’re supposed to be fucking rock stars.


Thank you. Thank you.

Hi. Will you, uh… You gonna be over there later?


Oh, so will I.



[Ryan] Thanks.


[exhales deeply] I don’t know.

[stammers] I… [chuckles]

[both chuckling]

[Ryan] Hey.

Daniela wasn’t, uh, full of shit when she said I wanted to see you.

I did.

And it wasn’t for some bullshit victory lap.

Remember Andrew Darab?

Andrew Darab?


Rich Andrew, “I’m too good for this dorm”?

He and I have a hundred million dollars in our war chest.

And after today, it’s gonna at least triple.

Whoa. Really? Wow.

[Ryan] Yeah.

Neurotech company, so…

[Jason] Oh.

I want you to be a part of it, Jay.

I want you to join us.

Hey, if you’re pinching yourself every morning on your way to Lakemont,

then please tell me to fuck off, and I will.

No. [stammers] No, I’m not telling you to fuck off.

‘Cause whatever Lakemont’s paying you, we will crush that. We’ll smash it.

Yeah, well, that’s not hard. [sniffs]

And you’re doing all this in… in Chicago?

San Francisco. But…

Jason, we already have the space. It’s incredible.


Our life is, uh…

It’s here, you know?

I mean, up the road.

I hear you. Just maybe run it by Daniela.

See what she thinks. I think it’ll be great for her

and for Charlie.

Oh, God. Shit. [groans]

For me.

I’m really gonna have to get back to them actually.

Mmm. All right.



You go, you know, enjoy yourself with, uh…

No, I will. I will do that.

I mean, you know.

I’m definitely going… But, hey, come on. It’d be me and you again.

Just making stuff.

New stuff. Amazing stuff.

[phone ringing]


[horns blaring]

You dipshit! You almost died.

[exhales heavily]

[thunder rumbling]

[beggar] Hey, man. Can you spare a dollar?

All right.

Don’t move!

[breathing heavily]

Give me your phone. Give me your phone!

Start walking. Now.

All right. Get in the car. Open the door.

[Jason] Hey, I’m not…

Get in the car.

Or you can bleed out on the sidewalk right here.

[Jason grunts]

Get in!

[Jason] No. Oh…

Look at me. Jason.

If you fuck this up,

if you don’t do exactly what I say,

I will kill you.


Now drive.

Who the fuck are you?

Shut up.

[Jason breathing shakily]

[patrons chattering]

Eyes on the road. Keep driving.

What’s the passcode to your phone?

Uh, I know this. Father’s birthday reversed?

Is that right?

That’s right.

How is Ryan?

He, uh… He offered me a job.

[masked person] What kind of job?

[Jason] He’s starting a neurotech company in San Francisco.

What did you say?

Well, I didn’t give him an answer.

Is… If… If he’s done some…

Take this exit. Now!

[Jason grunts]

[masked person] Get out. Come on!

[grunting, groaning]

[Jason] Hey!

What are you doing?

[masked person] Take off your clothes.

[Jason grunting, breathing heavily]

[Jason groans]

[flashlight clicks on]

[gasping, whimpering]

Start moving.

[Jason breathing heavily]

[masked person] Down there.

[Jason grunting, groaning]

[masked person screams]

[both grunting, groaning]

[groaning, breathing heavily]

[groaning, grunting]


[gasping, breathing heavily]

What was that? What… Was that a needle? [groans]

Get up. We don’t have much time.

[Jason groans]

[Jason] What did you give me?

[Jason grunts, groans]

Open the bag.

[breathing heavily]

Get dressed. You’ll be unconscious soon.

[Jason groans]

What are we…

What are we doing here?

What is that?

It’s, uh…



Are you happy with your life?

Or have you ever wondered what else you could have been? Answer me.


What else I could have… [inhales deeply]

Well, yeah.

Good. Now you hold on to that thought like your life depends on it.

You’re gonna be scared, but you can make it yours.

And you can have everything that you missed out on.

I’m sorry, but I’m doing this for us.

Both of us.

[Jason] Who are you?

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.


[Jason, distorted] Hey. Uh, hey. I need to go home.

[doctor] You are home.

I need to check your pupils.


Good. Follow the light. Follow the light.

Where… Where am… [groans]

[yelling, groaning]

[doctor, echoing] Test everything.

[gasping, screaming]




[exhales sharply]

[breathing shakily]


[door handle clicks]

[door handle rattles]

[breathing sharply]

[rattling continues]


[exhales deeply]



[door unlocks]


Um, who are you?

You don’t recognize me?



That’s okay.

I’m Amanda.

What’s happened to me?

I’m… I have no idea what… what’s happening.

We’ll figure it out.

You’ve been through a lot.



I have good news.


You’re all cleared.

Cleared of what?

[Amanda] Radiation exposure, biohazards, infectious disease.

We’ll have complete results from your blood work in the morning.

You’re cleared from quarantine.


I am so confused.

Where am I? What… What is this place?

[Jason] Leighton?

[chuckles] You remember me?

Yeah. It’s been, uh…

[Leighton chuckling] Come here.

…a while.


What’s going on? Wh-What… What the fuck is this?

This is your triumph.

[Amanda] I’m Amanda Lucas, lab psychiatrist, joined tonight by Leighton Vance, our CEO, and Jason Dessen, our chief science officer and cofounder.


[keyboard clacks]

[onlookers laughing, chattering]

[Leighton chuckles]

Welcome back.


Most of the team rushed in from the city to be here.

You’re the only one who has returned.


Do you have any sense of how long you’ve been gone?

Fourteen months and ten days.


[Leighton] Listen, I know you’re exhausted, but we were hoping you could tell us a little bit about where you’ve been.

What you saw. You know, how you made it back.

We can start small.

What’s the last thing you remember before waking up in that hanger?

I was at a bar.

A bar?


[Amanda] By yourself?

No. [stammers] I was with… I was with someone.



Ryan Holder.

Do you remember how you got the cuts and bruises on your face?

Yeah, someone hit me.

Can you remember who?

No, I don’t… I don’t know.

How do you not know? Where were you, Jason?

I don’t… [stammers] I just don’t know. I…

I don’t know what any of this fucking is.

I don’t know any of these people.

I haven’t seen you in God knows how long.

[mutters] I don’t know what is going on, right?

I wanna go home.

Just wanna go home, ’cause I’m freaking… f… freaking out.

[Leighton] We’re gonna get you settled in for the night.

But right now we need to monitor your vitals, track your progress towards regaining your memories.

Listen, I know you probably don’t know this, but we missed you.

[Jason grunting] Watch out!

[Leighton] Jason!

[breathing heavily]

[elevator dings]

[security] Forget your badge, Dr. Dessen?

Uh, yeah.

[security] Good to see you again.

Thanks. Thank you.

[security] Have a good night.

[elevator dings]

[Leighton] Jason? Jason!

[lab employee] Lock it down! Don’t let him leave!

[Leighton] Jason, stop!

[alarm blaring]

[Leighton] Jason! Jason.


[Leighton] Stop!


[Leighton] Stop!

[security guards clamoring]

[panting, grunting]

[Leighton, security guards shouting in distance]

[Leighton] Jason!

Hey. Hey!

[tires screeching]

Thank you. [sighs]

[Jason exhales heavily]

Forty-four Eleanor Street, Logan Square, please.

[driver] What happened to you?

[Jason] Some guy started some shit.


Uh, could you go a little faster please?

[dog barking in distance]

[keys jangling]

[Amanda] Jason?

The fuck?

[door creaks]

[faucet running]

[faucet stops]

[Daniela] Your food’s in the fridge.

[Jason] I, uh…

{\an8}brought you something.

Mint chocolate chip? Really?


I was… It was getting so late,

I just stopped in at a gas station. I didn’t…

[Daniela] Why didn’t you call me?

I called you.

I texted you.

Time just got away from me. I’m sorry.

[dishes clattering]

I’m still mad at you.

Did you eat?


Well, you should eat.

I’ll warm up your food.

[sighs] How drunk are you?

What? I’m n… I’m not.

[kissing, breathing heavily]

What the fuck is going on?


Look, Ryan offered me a job.

Doing what?

He’s starting a neurotech company.


What did you say?

Well, I… I said that I’d have to talk to you first.

What do you think?

Well, the job is most likely in San Francisco.

And our life is here.

[inhales deeply]

Do you remember what I said to you all those years ago, when we decided to do this?

Yes, I do.

Tell me.

You said that at the end of your life, you would rather have memories of me than of a cold, sterile lab.

And I… I stand by that.


[exhales deeply]


[Jason] Okay.

[exhales deeply] You’re forgiven.


How did you get in here?

I live here with you.

[scoffs, sighs]

[scoffs] Wh-What is this?

Some… Some kind of joke?

No. No.


Where are they?


Daniela. Daniela!

[Amanda] Jason.

Have you done something to them?

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

[Jason] Charlie.


[breathing shakily]

This is my son’s room.

It… [sighs]

[Jason] What?

No. Oh.

{\an8}This is…


[breathing heavily]

[keypad beeping]

[line ringing]


[person] Hello?

Wh… Uh, where’s Daniela?

[person] Who?

Dessen. Dan… Daniela Dessen.

[person] I-I think you misdialed.

No, I have not dis…

[call disconnects]

[Jason] What? Oh, man. Fuck.


[line ringing]

This is… I mean, what is this shit?

[person] Wrong number. Fuck off.

Hey! No, listen.

[call disconnects]

[phone beeps]

Who is Daniela?

She’s my wife.


What the fuck?

[phone buzzes]

[Jason] Oh, my boy.

[sighs] Yeah.

Will you just let me talk to him alone?

This is… This is all wrong. And it…

Let me… Let me help you.


Look at me. You know me.

I have never seen you in my life!

[tires screeching]

[dogs barking]

Look, do you wanna help me? Where the fuck is my wife?

You don’t have a wife!


Jason. Jason!


[“Don’t Harsh My Mellow” playing]

Oh, my God.

What happened?

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.


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