Dark Matter – S01E02 – Trip of a Lifetime | Transcript

Jason wakes to a life that makes no sense - he doesn't have a family and he's created something extraordinary.
Dark Matter - S01E02 - Trip of a Lifetime

Dark Matter
Season 1 – Episode 2
Episode title: Trip of a Lifetime
Original release date: May 8, 2024

Plot: Jason wakes to a life that makes no sense – he doesn’t have a family and he’s created something extraordinary.

* * *

[Jason panting]

[dogs barking in distance]


We just did last call, man. Sorry.


Hey. Hey.

You know me, right?

I don’t think so.

[stammers] Come on, Matt.

How do you know me?

[stammers] ‘Cause I come in here all the time.

Oh, well, I’ve… I’ve never served you.

It’s Jason.


There was a party tonight, man.

You served us a bottle of the Macallan, uh, uh, Rare.

You mean this bottle?

Uh, yeah.

I haven’t sold a drop of that all week.

[sniffs] You just… [stammers] You opened up the back for my friend.

I’ve never seen you before in my life.




Matt. Fuck, man, you’re freaking me out, okay?

It’s not funny. Just tell me you… you know who I am.

Okay. Here’s what I’m gonna tell you.

Go get some fucking help and get the fuck out of my bar.


Is that gonna be a problem?



[breathes shakily]


[doctor] Mr. Dessen?


I’m Dr. Randolph. What brings you into the ER tonight?

Well, I, uh… I… I think that there is something wrong with my mind.

[machinery whirring]

What is that?

[nurse] Lorazepam, to help you sleep.

[breathes shakily]

[door opens, closes]

[breathing shakily]

[inhales deeply]


You’re killing me.

All right, Jason…

where do we keep our fucking coffee?


Sorry to wake you.

[Jason sighs]

[doctor] Do you know where you are?

Uh… [stammers]

…at the John of God Hospital.

[doctor] Very good.

I have the results from your CT scan, and there’s no brain damage.

No tumors.

Some shallow bruising but nothing too serious.

We also ran a tox screen.

We found something I’ve never seen before.

A psychoactive compound.

You asked us to find your family.

[inhales deeply] Yeah.

There isn’t anyone named Daniela Dessen in all of Chicago,

and no Charlie Dessen enrolled at St. Peter High School.

No, no.

[doctor] I’d like to talk about

what you told Dr. Randolph last night.

You said…

“It wasn’t my house. The furniture had been changed.

The kitchen was totally remodeled.”


Do you really believe that, Jason?

“Jason Ashley Dessen, born in Denison, Iowa.

Bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago.

PhD from the same university.” So far so good?


[doctor] “Postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and Princeton.

Awarded the Pavia Prize in 2010.”


And according to this article, you haven’t been seen publicly in over a year.


[Jason inhales sharply]


[doctor] Have you ever been hospitalized for psychiatric care?

There are places specifically tailored

{\an8}to help people who are experiencing a little bit of a disconnect

between what’s real and what isn’t.

I’d like to start by having a full evaluation done.

Is that something you’d be open to?


Thank you, Doctor.

[door opens]

[door closes]

He could be out there, spilling all our secrets.

We should go to the police.

We’ve lost four people, and you want to bring more attention to Velocity?

She’s right.

[Amanda] If you were a man of science like Jason, where would you go?




[staff member, over P.A.] Dr. Hollis… [continues indistinctly]

Excuse me, hi. Um…

[staff member] Hi.

[chuckles] It’s my first day here,

and, uh, I was wondering if I could borrow a pen.

[staff member] Yeah, sure. Here you go.

Oh, I’ll bring it right back.

Hey, Jason.

Uh… [stammers] …hi.

[people chattering]


[instructor] The first law of thermodynamics.

[whispering] Sorry. Keep going.

So does anyone wanna take a shot?

Really? No one?

What was the question?

Um, laws of thermodynamics.


[instructor] The first law of thermodynamics

is the law of conservation of energy.

It states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.

Now, what do I mean when I say energy?

Energy can be described as the ability to do work

where work…

[Jason clears throat]

I’ll take over from here.

[music playing faintly through earbuds]

Thank you for covering for me. Sorry I was late.

You find all this a little boring…

or do you already know all of this stuff?

It’s okay. I find it a little bit boring.

It is. [sighs]

That’s up to you.

You know what true boredom looks like?

Your life in five years’ time when you realize you haven’t paid attention.

And you’ll find yourself working for other people, likely a middle management person

who takes out their frustrations and their despair on you

while you’re trying to sell products and services that you don’t care about

for some multinational corporation who doesn’t actually give a flying fuck…

[students laughing]


…excuse my language… if you exist.

But I care,

’cause for this fleeting moment… What’s your name?


Riley? That’s right, Riley. For this fleeting moment,

Riley and everybody else who’s still on your phones… put them away…

you get to sit in a classroom and ponder the mysteries of our existence.

And that is great.


I’m not expecting you to understand everything.

I’m not a cruel man.

But I do expect you to respect the opportunity.

Pay attention.

That’s all.

Like when I tell you things.

For example, that in 1850,

a brilliant man by the name of Rudolf Clausius…

Can you call me immediately if you hear anything?

Yeah, we’re very worried about him.

I appreciate it.

[phone buzzing]

Any news?

[Leighton] No. Dawn spoke to someone at John of God.

Jason was there last night.

Dawn rushed over, but Jason had already left.

Did she hear anything about his condition?

No. But at least we know he hasn’t left the city.

Any luck on your end?

I’m striking out.

What about Ryan?

I left word.

Okay. Listen, keep trying. Call me the moment you hear something.

I will.


[people chattering]

May I have your invitation?

Oh, I… I know the artist. She’s…

Uh, the public opening is tomorrow. Unfortunately, tonight is invite only.

Yeah, but Daniela,

she said I could come.

Okay. Your name?

Uh, Dessen, Jason.

Dr. Dessen?


Just one second.

Inside the envelope are three cards.

Choose one and present it to the woman inside.


Uh, I’m sorry I didn’t recognize you.

[people chattering, laughing]

Hi. Welcome. Have you selected your card?


Do you know where Daniela is?

The artist.

I just know that she’s somewhere back there. Sorry.

Um, your door is going to be number two.

Please seal the remaining cards in the envelope

and keep them with you till the end of the exhibition.


[chuckles] Enjoy.

[people chattering]

Oh, it’s you.

[Daniela] I heard you checked in.

Where… Where… Where’s Charlie?

Charlie who?

Darling, you’ve done it. [chuckles]


Listen, The Times is here.

Okay. Good. Um, sorry. Alesia, this is Jason Dessen.

Jason, this is Alesia Cheney, my agent.

The Jason that inspired the show?

Uh, yeah.

[Jason chuckles]

I am so proud to be your friend.

Hi. This looks fantastic.

Thank you. Look who’s here.


Yes. Okay. Going.

Um, sorry, guys.

I have to go be a good host, but, um, I’m having a much smaller thing

at my place after. Will you come?

Mm-hmm. Yeah. Yeah.


Yeah. I wouldn’t miss it.

Well, shit, where the fuck have you been? [chuckles]

I heard you cracked up, and they stuck you in a cell.

Although I also heard you moved to Costa Rica and became a farmer.

And I heard you were dead.

Well, I’m certainly not dead, so…

Hey, how did those compounds I made for you last year work out?

Compounds? What compounds?

All right. Please, I know…

I understand that you’re buried under a mountain of NDAs, Jay,

and I don’t wanna be a dick,

but I did a lot of work for you and Velocity in the dark.



You said… [stammers]

You said Velocity, so… [stammers] …you know that place.

What are you doing?

What is this? What is this shit?

[glass clinking]

What are you doing?

Just… We’re not done here.

[Daniela] Hi. [chuckles] Sorry.

Hi, everyone. If I could just, um, have a moment.

I just wanna say a couple things.

Sometimes, we ask ourselves the big questions:

“Who am I? Who could I be?

Who might I have been if the Bulls had defeated the Pistons

in the 1990 conference final?”

[attendees laughing]

Just asking.

We all know our lives are marked by the choices that we make.

And while I’ve never been a fan of regret,

I will admit to a certain curiosity about the path not taken.

Tonight, each of you made a choice

that determined which version of my show you experienced.

You should still have the cards that you didn’t choose.

They’re also tickets and you can use them to return

at any point during the next month and take a different path.

Maybe find out if the grass really is greener.

Thank you to my amazing team. You made this possible. Thank you.

And thanks to all of you for coming tonight. It means the world.


[attendees] Salud.

[attendees applauding]

And where else is the exhibition showing?

Well, New York, uh, and then Boston,

and it’ll open in Los Angeles next month.

So probably fly out to go see it.

Mmm. Well, maybe I’ll come with you.

You know, we can make a weekend of it.


Why not?

Well, I would love that.

[phone chimes]

He called me today. [sniffs]

Ryan did?

Yeah. He wanted to know if we talked about the job offer.

[Jason] Food’s here.

Uh, can I eat later? Some of my friends are going to the skate park.

Who’s gonna be there?

Brooke, Drew, A-Adam and Michelle.


Sure you don’t want to eat something first, though?

Yeah, I’m good.

Okay, back by 10:00.

Yeah. Thanks.

[Daniela] Hey, kiddo.


Maybe tonight’s the night you tell Brooke.

Tell her what?

That he likes her.

Whoa, strong disagree.

Well, relationships are a negotiation,

and whoever speaks first kind of loses.

That’s a cynical view of love, my love.

Who’s talking about love?


Just show her that you’re interested, and… but play it close to the vest.

So, like, be aloof?


Yeah. The right level of aloof.

But cool.


[Jason] Have fun.


Be yourself.

Yeah. [chuckles]

[Daniela] Have fun.

Yeah, thanks.


[door opens, closes]

[chuckling] What was that?

[chuckles] What? What?

Show me aloof. What does aloof look like?

Uh, like…

[laughing] No.


[Jason] Hey.

You want?

Uh… [chuckles]


[Daniela sighs]

[Jason sighs]


[clears throat] …now it’s just the three of us.

[inhales sharply, grunts] Spill it.

Where you been?




[inhales sharply] Oh, boy. [laughing]


A man of science… [chuckles] …physics professor…


…he is married

to the woman of his dreams, and they have a son.

And they all have a good life.

Until one night, this man, he goes to a bar.

He’s seeing an old friend, college buddy, who’s won a prestigious award.

[Ryan] Hmm.

But on the walk home, something happens.

He doesn’t make it home.

When he regains his full presence of mind,

everything has changed.

Uh, brain tumor, head trauma?

CT scan says no.

Maybe it’s like some kind of multitiered deepfake punking.

Within five hours, the entire inside of his house is renovated.

And I’m not just saying different pictures on the walls.

I’m saying new furniture, new appliances,

light switches have moved, walls are different colors.

No prank could possibly be this complex.

And… [stammers] …I mean, what would be the point?

Ooh, how much LSD is this man on?


That seems like a determining factor.

Okay. Then I… I don’t know. It sounds like he’s crazy.

I’m not crazy.

Tonight, your agent said that I had inspired your installation.

[Daniela] Yeah.

How so?

We hadn’t seen each other for a while,

and you showed up here one night out of the blue.

Said you’d been thinking about me. You really don’t remember this?

You told me

that our existence is all about choices.

You said our choices create worlds.

And so, theoretically,

we simultaneously inhabited an infinite number of them.

You told me that, in this world,

the worst choice you’d made was the one you made with me.

I said

we’d had our moment all those years ago

and that I loved you.

I’ll always love you.

But now we’re friends.

I’m in a different place, and you are too.

We talked for a long time.

You started talking about your research,

and you mentioned a project that was under wraps,

and you said something that struck me, so I remember it very clearly.

You said you’d probably never see me again.

When I saw you earlier,

the first thing you asked me was, “Where’s Charlie?”

Who’s Charlie?

Our son.

What? What?

[Jason] This is what I know.

You and I live in a brownstone…


…in Logan Square.

We have a 15-year-old son named Charlie.

All right, man. That’s not funny. Why would you even bring that up?


You’re a famous neuroscientist.

I am?

[Jason] You won the Pavia.

You lecture all over the world.

This is supremely fucked up.

[phone ringing]

[Jason] All over.

You know, uh, Jay, what I think is that, uh,

you should eat a bag of dicks.

And please let me microwave them for you first,

so they’re nice and fucking hot for your mouth.

Fuck you. Honestly, man.

Ryan. Ryan, l-listen, man.

Ryan! I’m not fucking with you.

[Ryan] What?

I have not lost my mind. I swear.

I hear you.

[sighs] There’s some stuff I gotta deal with.

[Daniela] Yeah.

Do you… Do you want him to leave?

I’m good.

Yeah? Okay. All right.

You’re coming back tomorrow to finish those dishes, right?

[both laughing]

Hey… It was a great show.

I’m good. Yeah.

Thank you.

Yeah. Thank you.

[Jason] I’m sorry.

[door closes]

Why are you using my toothbrush?





You really didn’t need to go to any trouble.

I could’ve stayed at a hotel.


No, no, you’re staying here with me. End of story.

Uh, your clothes are in the wash. So I put those there if you want.

Thank you.

Whose are these?

My last boyfriend’s.

I really don’t know why I still keep them, but… [chuckling]

Because they’re so fancy.

Because I do…

Oh, yeah. They’re fancy.


[sighs, chuckles]

When you went to the hospital,

what’d they think was wrong with you?

They don’t know.

They said I had some strange drugs in my system, which I-I didn’t take.

They wanted to have me committed.

Okay. You sure that’s not what’s best at this point?

I don’t need psychiatric help. Just need answers.


I know you think that I have lost my mind.

Get some sleep.

[breathing deeply]

[gasps, exhales heavily]


Sorry, I-I didn’t mean to scare you.

Are you leaving?

Uh, yeah. Training day.

Oh, of course.

Oh, will you take the chicken out of the freezer and put it in the sink for me?

‘Cause it has to defrost.


Okay. [kisses] Thanks. See you.

Have fun.


[door opens]

[keys jingle]

[car engine starts]

[phone ringing]

[Ryan] Sweet buddy. What’s up?

[Jason] Hey, Ryan.

[Ryan] Hey.

Daniela said that you called. You call my wife now?

Yeah, I… Well, I just thought she would be super excited.

All right. Listen, Ryan.


Just let me be really clear, okay?

I like my life in Chicago, and I’m not leaving.

So that’s a no to the job.


That’s a n… Okay. Okay.


Um… Well, shit, man. Uh, I’m sorry I overstepped.

Yeah, well, you kind of fucking did.

Shit, man. Okay.


Okay, I hear you, man.


[breathing heavily]

[phone ringing]

Hello? [breathing heavily]

[Jason] Hi.

Oh, my God. Jason. Are you okay? [breathes heavily]

I don’t know.

[breathing heavily]

Where are you?

I’m, uh… I’m about to walk into a… a mental health hospital.

[breathing heavily] I wish you’d let me help you.

I think I need to see someone that doesn’t know me.

Which hospital?

I’m not sure this is a good idea.

Well, technically, it is my house.

[Daniela sighs]



[stammers, scoffs]

In our house,

we have that photograph of the waterfall.

Only you and me and Charlie are in it.

I’ve never been there.

We went there five years ago.

It was the trip of a lifetime.

Jason, she sounded worried…


…on the phone.

I think we should let her help.


This here is my son’s room.

At least it should be.

Our son…

who’s into anime.


He likes a girl. He’s… You know. Come on.

He draws those crazy landscapes you love.

Fifteen, he’s already looking at art schools,

and you’re really proud of him because he… he’s got your eye for it.


when I told you that I was pregnant,

you said you needed time to think about it.

That… That I remember.

And then, the next day, you came to my apartment,

and you said that you were busy with your research.

You said that the next year of your life would be spent in a clean room

and that I deserved better.

[breathes deeply]

You said our child deserved better.

[Jason] No.

I chose not to do it on my own.

We went our separate ways, and that’s what happened.

That’s not what happened. What happened was, I thought about it,

and I said to you, at the end of my life,

that I would rather have memories of you than of a cold, sterile lab.

No. You said you weren’t ready.

[clicks tongue] I never said that.

[breathes deeply]

Are you fucking with me?

Or am I walking around a dark house with someone who’s lost his mind?

No, I’m telling you the truth.

We should get out of here.

[Jason sighs, sniffs]

[Daniela sighs]

I’m sorry…


…for what you s-say happened to us.

That was a lifetime ago.

And for… for all of this. I mean…

I don’t want to scare you.

I just don’t understand how what’s true for you isn’t true for me.

I can’t reconcile it, I…

I know I have an entire marriage worth of memories with you,


I know sounds completely insane.

I just know that I wouldn’t lie to you.

I don’t know what it means exactly, but…

I believe you.

Holy fuck.


He did it.

Son of a… He did it.

[tires squealing]

[Daniela] He did what?

[Jason] What I was trying to do.

Crazy theory.


What if the Jason that lived in this world… that won the Pavia Prize,

whose house we were in today, who everyone thinks that I am…

What if he created

a larger version of… of my box

that could put not… not just a particle

but an actual human being in superposition?

A box that would… it would allow a person to travel

across the multiple realities of quantum physics.

And what if he used that box to travel to my world?

What if…

the person that abducted me…

is me?

How could it be you?

Not exactly me. Uh, a version of me.

Like… All right, im-imagine

he and I are the same person all those years ago,

right up until the moment that you got pregnant.

Then, we split up into our own separate universes.

We split because I chose to be with you,

and he chose to pursue work,

which led to the creation of the box.

[chuckles] What if, in this moment,

I’m in his world…

and he’s in mine?

Why would you do this to yourself, though?

I’m glad you found your way to me.

I am too.

What’s this?

That’s proof.

[Daniela] Of what?

That I’m not crazy.

See, eventually, the mark of my wedding ring will disappear,

and my memories will be the only remnant

of this life that I had.

So that’s to remind me of what’s real

and what I have to get home to.

[Daniela] Hey.


[Daniela] Still awake?


Do you wanna come down?

[Jason sighs]

Tell me about us.

About us?


[groans] Where do I start?

We had a shotgun wedding…


…that pissed a lot of people off. [chuckles]

Then we had an amazing party,

which was great.

And then we became parents not so long after.

First few years were complicated.

It got hard. Real hard.


Uh… [sighs]

You know how it is. Maybe you don’t.

But life has a way of just…

[sighs] …grinding you down.


you know, our priorities changed.

I mean, I spent less time in the lab. You spent less time in the studio.

[inhales deeply] I eventually lost my, uh, funding, and you eventually quit painting.

I quit painting?


So are we, like, boring?




It’s not the way I look at it. It’s… It’s, uh…

Okay. How do you look at it?

We made a life together.

[Daniela] Hmm.

[Jason] Mmm.

Am I happy?


We’ve had our rough patches, but, yeah. Yeah.


And you are also my best friend.

How’s the sex?


[chuckling] Oh, my God. Are you actually blushing? [chuckles]

[chuckles] This is so weird.


Is it bad?



[inhales deeply] I’m sorry.

No. No, no, no.

[doorbell rings]


[phone ringing]

[ringing stops]


Who is this?

[call disconnects]

[Daniela] They hung up.



[Jason] Hey. Hey. Listen, please don’t.

I-I-I’ll go with you. She has nothing to do with it.

Drop the phone. What did I say?

Daniela, do… do exactly what she says. [stammers]


[Daniela gasps]


No. Daniela.

Daniela. No. Daniela.




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