Dark Matter – S01E03 – The Box | Transcript

Leighton and Amanda show Jason his groundbreaking invention. Daniela and Jason2 throw a dinner party.
Dark Matter - S01E03 - The Box

Dark Matter
Season 1 – Episode 3
Episode title: The Box
Original release date: May 15, 2024

Plot: Leighton and Amanda show Jason his groundbreaking invention. Daniela and Jason2 throw a dinner party.

* * *

[phone buzzing]

Did you find him?

Is he okay?

What? What happened?

Jesus fucking Christ, Leighton.


[breathing heavily, straining]



[Jason panting, grunting]

I take the blame for what happened.

You hear me, Jason? I take the blame for what happened.

You came back, and we were not prepared.

We were not prepared for you to be as…


…unwell as you are.

I don’t wanna restrain you.

But as long as you’re a danger to yourself and others, this situation can’t change.

[inhales shakily]

Did… Did you…

Did you send that woman to Daniela’s apartment?


I am just trying to help you remember the brilliant man you are.

And this incredible thing you created.

Fuck off.

[breathes shakily]

[Jason] Thank you.

Thank you.

Um… [clears throat]

…what is this?

That’s wine.


I got a second bottle…


…’cause it was so nice.

Yeah, it was. It was great.

It was also a hundred dollars.

[both chuckling]


Feels like you’re trying to sleep with me.


I am definitely trying to sleep with you.

Oh, yeah?


[chuckles] Okay, but the, you know, full seduction thing,

it’s been a minute.

Don’t get me wrong… [chuckles] …it’s amazing.


Keep doing it, but…

Hey, hey!


Oh, my God. [chuckles]

[chuckles] I can’t linger.

Mike is out getting our car, but I saw you two lovebirds…


…and wanted to come say hi.

Hi. No, I’m glad you did. It’s good to see you.

Yeah. I’m so excited about tomorrow.


What can we bring?

Nothing. Just your beautiful selves.

Okay, perfection.


All right. I’ll see you later. Bye.


Yeah. See ya.

What, uh, was…


Yeah, Barbara.

[stammers] What… What’s going on tomorrow?

Our dinner party.

At the house?

Yeah, we talked about it.

You forgot.


Yeah, you did. [chuckles]

No, no… Hold… Yes.

Yes. Yes. Mmm.


Who all is coming again?

He’ll be right with you.

[Leighton] This was my grandfather’s office.

Keep it exactly the way he left it.

I’m Detective Mason.

Leighton Vance. Pleasure.

Your family was in aviation?


He founded Velocity 52 years ago.

Built jet engines.

Is that you and him?

My parents died when I was young.

He raised me.

Please, this way.

[Mason] So Jason Dessen.

[Leighton] Mm-hmm.

[Mason] He worked here for…

Eight years.

And when was the last time you saw him?

[exhales sharply] It’s been, uh, more than a year now.

You know, one day, he just didn’t show up for work, and I haven’t seen him since.

No one has, as far as I know.

You sure you don’t want a coffee? Water?

No, I’m good.

No? Okay.

You know, I did speak to the police when Jason first went missing.

What do you guys do here?

R and D.

What’s that mean?

Research and development?

Oh… [chuckles]

…no, I know what it means.

What do you make?

Transistor-based silicon qubits for quantum and healing processors.

That’s a mouthful.


You know,

there was another woman, Blair Caplan.

She worked here too, right?

Yeah. Uh, Blair.

Yeah, she went missing.

Eighteen months ago?

Yeah. It, uh…

hit everyone here really hard.

So were she and Jason in the same group?

No, Blair was in process improvement.

What’s this all about?


Jason Dessen checked into John of God General three nights ago.

[scoffs] What?

You didn’t know?

No, no, I didn’t.

Is he okay?


He… He left the hospital before I got there.

But he was apparently seen at an art show later that night.

[stammers, chuckles] I…

I thought he might have reached out to you.

To me? No. No. [chuckles]

I wish he had.


Well, we’re trying to find him.


According to my predecessor’s notes,

he was in a relationship with another employee at the time of his disappearance.


Dr. Amanda Lucas.

Is Dr. Lucas in the office today?

[Leighton] How’d it go?

How’d lying to the police go?

Awesome. Super great.

Dawn said she tried to dial 911.

So she shot her?

Lower your voice.


[Amanda] Leighton.

I told her to bring them both here, okay? I didn’t know that she would…

Because she’s a deeply unstable person…


…who refuses treatment for her PTSD.


I warned you about hiring her.

Enough! Enough.

[sighs] Shit.

Did she mention Blair? The detective.

Of course she did.

Amanda, Chicago PD is so close to connecting the dots on Jason,

Blair, all of it.

[Amanda sighs]

You know what happens if they do.

We lose everything we’ve worked for. We go to prison.

It’s been a year and a half since the box came online.

I’ve sank a billion into this shit.

Fuck your billions.

Fuck my billions? Oh, fuck my billions.

We have four people missing. And now Daniela Vargas.

Meanwhile, he somehow found a way back.

How? How the fuck did he do that?

[exhales sharply]




I mean, what the hell happened to him?

Maybe superposition is brain-damaging.

So what, he… he scrambled his memories? His identity?

I don’t know.

That’s why I wanted more testing. There’s so much we don’t know. I need…

[Jason] Hey.


Help me remember.

Hey, bud.

Brought you some clothes.

Thank you.

Listen, uh,

just curious,

why’d you run?

I was scared.

So you went to Daniela’s apartment?

She’s… [sighs] She was an old friend of mine.

I was just looking for someone, anybody, that I remembered.

That’s all.

Did you tell her or anyone about this place?

I don’t know what this place is.

And you and I, you said we’re close.


What exactly are we protecting here

that would justify, um, killing a person?

Just… I mean, for any of us?

It doesn’t.

Listen to me. Everyone here has given everything to your work. Everything.

And any one of us would lay down our lives to protect it.

Including you.

Especially you.

I would?

You’ve forgotten what we built.

So show me.

[automated voice] Name, please.

Leighton Vance.

[automated voice] Please enter passcode.

[keypad beeping]

[automated voice] Access granted.

[door opens]

A long time ago, I tried to build a one-inch cube

that could put an aluminum nitride disc in superposition.

To actually create what Schr√∂dinger had imagined for…

his cat.

[Leighton] That’s right.

So you remember your breakthrough.

When you started scaling up in size?

No, I-I never finished.

Could never find a way to fully shield the box from the outside environment,

and the superposition state kept collapsing.

Okay. So your memories stopped before winning the Pavia.

[Jason] Is this some kind of alloy? I mean, that can’t be the answer.

[Leighton] It is.

Jason, you came up with so much more.

See, underneath that alloy

is a layer of active, adaptive shielding that you developed.



Adaptive. Fuck. That’s it.

[Leighton] It’s full of smart materials that generate fields,

cancel out whatever radiation or sound tries to make it inside.

It’s like the world’s most advanced noise-canceling headphones.

It doesn’t just block the sound,

it blocks the noise of everything outside.

And gives off a robust magnetic field in exchange for that trick.

What’s inside?

[exhales heavily]

So far, you were the only person to go inside and return.

There are others? What happened to them?

We don’t know. Recording devices can’t be used inside.

How many were there?


How do you sweep three missing people under a rug?

The first was an employee.

See, when Blair didn’t return,

you started talking about going next.

I mean, we tried to dissuade you, but you felt guilty.

Said you’d built the box,

that you should be the one to figure out how it works, and you did.

[Jason sighs]

And what happened after I disappeared?

[Leighton] We put out a call for volunteers. Anonymously.

Did they even have any idea what they were signing up for?


[Jason chuckles]

[sighing, grunting]


[Jason sighs]

[Leighton] And poof. You’re gone.

Until three days ago.

You said any one I want?

Sky’s the limit, kiddo.

Let’s call it an early birthday present, huh?



Is that the one?

Yeah, yeah.

It’s, um, kind of expensive. Is that okay?

It’s cool.


What else do you need?

Knock yourself out. Come on.

Are you gonna join us for dinner tomorrow night?

Absolutely not.

What, you don’t want to see, uh, Barbara and… and Mike?


GG and Marcus are gonna be there too.

Oh, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, that new, uh, boat of theirs is pretty sweet, huh?

Charlie, what’s Blair’s last name again? I’m… I’m spacing on it.

Wait, what?

Blair. Her last…

I… I gotta write everybody an email.

Uh, Caplan. I think. Thank you.



[keypad beeping]

[door unlocks]

Can I come in?


Reviewing your work?

This is like forgetting every single thing about yourself

and then reading your own biography.

So I guess you really don’t remember me.

Then I should start over.

Amanda Lucas.


What’s your role here?

I’m a psychiatrist.

Just for this lab?

I train the box pilots.

Training? What kind of training?

Mental conditioning for harsh environments.

Emotional regulation. Hyperfocus.

I oversaw trials for Lavender Fairy,

the drug Ryan built.

So you said that you and I live together.

For over a year.

Off and on.

[inhales deeply, sighs]

Listen, that day that I disappeared…

What happened that day?


We woke up that morning,

and I could tell something was bothering you.

You had seen an ex-girlfriend the night before.

You said you were fine. I said I didn’t believe you.

I knew you were going to do something. I just didn’t know what.

When I got out of the shower…

you were gone.

I must be out of my mind.

[breathes shakily] I mean, what other explanation could there be?

Sometimes an extreme stress situation can trigger psychogenic amnesia.

[breathing deeply]

Abnormal memory functioning in the absence of structural brain damage.

What if I’m not the person that I think I am?

That all these… [stammers] …thoughts are just a… like you said,

a by-product of the trauma

or brain damage from working here or being inside the box.

See, these thoughts, the files, t-t-they are… that’s me.

That’s… These clothes. Even these.

They’re… They’re not mine, but they might as well be.


what if…

I’m not me? I’m… I’m the person that everybody else thinks that I am.

[Jason sighs]

[Daniela] You greet people when they arrive. I’m gonna go get changed.

[doorbell rings]

[Daniela] Oh! You’re on.

I’m on it.

[Daniela] I’ll be two minutes.

GG and Marcus. Barbara and Mike.


[Jason] Mmm.

How you been?

No complaints.

But you must, uh, love being a lawyer. It’s…

Oh, yeah.

Yeah, I like… I like being a lawyer. [laughs]

What do you… I mean, it’s all right.


[stammers] I’m happy to see you.

I’m happy to see you too.

Yeah, you look great.

Thank you.

I’ll go just check on everybody. Yeah.

Of course. Go, go, go.

Yeah. I’ll… I’ll see you in a minute.

I’ve always wanted to see Fiji.

[Marcus] Mmm.

[GG] Oh, gosh.


I mean, the snorkeling was life-changing.

I’d go back again in a second, wouldn’t you?

Oh, shit. I’d live there.

[Marcus, GG laughing]

There you go.

[Jason chuckles] Gotcha.

Uh, so, uh, Charlie, he’s… Thank you… Is, uh, he still thinking art school?

[Jason] Last I heard.

Oh, and, uh, what about Connor? Is… How… He must be a senior now.

[Barbara] Yeah. Yeah. Connor’s driving us both fucking crazy.


[Barbara laughs] Yeah.

He’s failing two classes. I don’t think he’s gonna get into U of C.

You can imagine how Mike is taking that.

Not so good, huh?

[Barbara] Oh.

[shushes] Don’t fight it.

Who’s that?

Just accept it.


Absorb it. Hey, buddy.



Uh, Daniela invited me, so…

[Jason] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Ryan] Oh.

Care for a drink?

I’m okay right now, but thank you.

Okay, and you… [groans] …probably want a Diet Coke.

I would kill for a Diet Coke. You know me.

Can I have some? Do you have those?


[Daniela] Hello. [laughs]

Hey. Hi. There she is.

[sighs] My God, it smells good. What is happening here?

[Daniela] It is a beef Wellington.

[Ryan] What?

[Jason sighs]

[Daniela groans]

[Ryan] Do you need a hand?

[Daniela] No, I think I’m good. Thank you.

[Ryan] Okay. Sure.

I’m so glad you could come.


It’s really nice to see you.

So good to see you.

Sorry, I was just in the middle of a conversation. We’ll catch up.

How dare you go have fun with better people.



I want to, uh… [stammers]

…apologize again for overstepping boundaries.

I shouldn’t have called Daniela.

No. Forget it.

We’re cool?

Yeah. Yeah, we’re cool.


You look good.


[Leighton] I hear you’ve been going through your old files.

Ringing any bells?


That’s too bad.

You know what I think?

I think the reason why you don’t remember anything about your life

is because it wasn’t yours to begin with.

We’re gonna finish what we started the night that you returned.

I’m gonna ask you a few questions.

And this time around, you’re gonna tell me the truth.

I am telling you the truth.


You told Daniela Vargas the truth.

You told Ryan Holder the truth.

[Ryan breathing heavily]

[Leighton] Tell me what you told Ryan.

Tell me what you told this woman you thought was your wife.

You’re an impostor.

Another version of the Jason we love.

Where you from?

And where’s our Jason?

How did you use the box to get to this world?

[Leighton screaming, grunting]

[Jason grunting]

So now…

Yeah, your new place.

I just have to wait to see if I actually got the place.

I-I love Bucktown.

Mmm. So do I.

And it’s gonna take 25 minutes off my commute.

Also, it’s right by Map Room.

[Marcus] It’s the best beer bar in Chicago. Not even close.

Underground caves that you can swim in.

Have you heard of this?

[GG] No.

Yeah, it’s incredible. Jason.

[Daniela] Sorry.


[clears throat] What was the name of that hotel that we stayed in?

With… Which…

You remember last Thanksgiving, we stayed in that hotel.

You were obsessed with it. What was it called?


Uh, Mahekal.

Mahekal, that’s it. Mahekal.

It was beautiful. We loved it.

[Jason groans]

[Dawn] Where’s our Jason?


[GG] Oh, no. Here we go. Wait for this. [chuckles]

Thank you all for coming.


[Dawn] Where’s our Jason?


To my extraordinary wife, Daniela, who made this amazing meal.


I do not deserve you.

That’s true.

[all laughing]

Listen, I… You people. [laughs]

[chuckles] Well, it’s true.


I would rather spend time with the people in this room

than the best people in the world.

[all clamoring, laughing]

Oh. No. Knew it.



[Blair] Mmm. It’s pretty good.

[mouthing] I love you.

[Barbara] It was nice.

[mouthing] Love you too.

[Jason gasps]

[Leighton] Dawn.

[Jason breathing heavily]

[door closes]

[Jason grunts]

Everything I’ve done, I had to do.

I know I’ve made mistakes, but…

I never wanted to hurt anyone.

[breathing heavily]

I never wanted any of this to happen.

I have the key to the box at my fingertips,

and I don’t even know how to use it.

It’s fucking me up.

Well, I can’t help you.

I don’t know.

Mm-mmm, brother. You gonna have to do better than that.

Everyone who gets in that box vanishes, never to be heard from again.

Now, I don’t know what happens in that box.

Could be an experience beyond my wildest dreams. Could be a nightmare.

[breathing heavily]

Even if you didn’t build the box, a better version of you did,

which means you have some innate sense of how it works.

Please, Jason.

This is important, not just to me but to all of us.




Oh. [chuckles]

What if there was a world where cancer had been solved, huh?

Or climate change. Poverty.

Social discourse. Hunger.

What if we could bring that knowledge into our suffering world?

Now, it is all going to shit around here.

So, Jason, I’m only gonna ask you one more fucking time.

How does it work?

[breathes deeply]

You get in the box.

You close the door.

And you twirl around… [chuckling] …and you fucking cross your fingers.

I don’t fucking know. [laughing]

[panting] God.

[sighs] Fuck.

[door closes]


[record player playing jazz]


[Jason laughs]

[Daniela laughs]


What is this?

You were amazing tonight.

Are you drunk? [laughs]



Just, mmm.

[Jason laughing]

Are you sure you’re okay?


Do you promise you would tell me if you weren’t?

‘Cause past few days have been different.

They’ve been great.

They’ve been different.

[Jason] No. Fuck.

Hey, no! Fuck!

[door opens]

[Jason] Ryan! Help me! [groaning]

[Ryan] Hey.

Come here. Buddy. Oh, God.


Come here. Oh. Oh, my God. What is happening, man?

I’m so sorry. I… I think it’s my fault.

Leighton was reaching out to me, and I called him back after Daniela’s thing.

[groans] That’s…

That’s how they knew how to find me.

[Ryan whispering] I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.

I don’t know. I don’t know what’s happening.

[Ryan breathing shakily]





They killed Daniela.


They just broke into the apartment.

And they just shot her right in front of me.

[Ryan breathing shakily]

She’s gone. She…

‘C-‘Cause… ‘Cause I called.

This is my fault. This…

No. No, no, no, no.

This is my fault. My fault.

[stammers] Listen.

[Ryan sobbing]

[Ryan] Oh, shit. [breathing shakily]

[Jason] It’s not your fault, okay? It’s my fault.

It’s my fault. I just…

I shouldn’t have gone there.

Brother, you gotta tell me.

What was it that you were working on at Velocity?

[Ryan breathing shakily]

You’re the missing piece, Ryan.

I just need you to tell me what it was…


You asked me to build a drug

that would alter the brain chemistry of the prefrontal cortex.

Alter it?



To put, uh…

To put certain areas of it asleep… [inhales shakily] …for an hour.

Why? What was the application?

You wouldn’t tell me!

Jason… [inhales sharply] …I was throwing darts in the dark,

and you would just tell me if I fucking came close to the bull’s-eye.

I’m not who you think I am.

They were trying to put a human being in superposition.

Theoretically, it’s impossible, okay?

Because the consciousness just wouldn’t allow it.

Ryan, we’d be making observations that would cause everything to decohere.

But if there was a… [sighs]

…if there was a mechanism in the brain responsible for it.

The observer effect.


That’s what it is. My drug stops the brain from causing its own decoherence.

That’s what it is.

That is what it is.

Okay, but… but… but it wouldn’t…

it wouldn’t stop others from decohering us if they observe us.

That’s where the box comes in.

What? What box? What are you talking about?

The box!

Inside the room, there’s a hangar.

They have a box, and that is a gateway.


[door thuds]


would you come with us, please?

[Ryan breathing shakily]

You know…

how I came home late from Ryan’s party the other night?


When I left the bar, my head was somewhere else.

I was thinking about Ryan’s job offer.

And I was feeling down, and I just stepped into the traffic.

[brakes screeching]

[horns honking]

And a cab nearly splattered me across the pavement.

And I don’t know if it was because my life flashed before my eyes,

but ever since that moment, I’ve felt so alive. [chuckles]

Like I finally see my life with, uh, force and clarity.

And all the things that I really should be grateful for.

You. You, especially.

I realized that I’ve just been so afraid to live my life the way that I want to.

And I’m not gonna do that anymore.

[Daniela chuckles]

[breathes deeply]

[grunting, whimpering]

You need to come with me right now. I’m getting you out of here.

[Jason] What? The c… The cameras.

I turned them off. Let’s go.

Hey, what about Ryan?

I’m sorry.

We have to go.

[footsteps approaching]

Hey, why are you helping me?

[exhales shakily] I don’t know that I can come back from what I’ve been a part of,

but I have to try.

Stay there.

Come on.

What happens now?

We just have to get through the night watchman.

This elevator is the only way out. Let’s go.



[Jason grunts]

[Leighton grunts]

[stammers] What do we do? [exhales heavily]

[breathing heavily] I’m thinking. [sighs] Shit.

[sighs] Can we get out?

[elevator bell dings]

[Amanda breathes heavily] Fuck.

The box. [breathes heavily]

[Jason] What? The box?

[automated voice] Name, please.

Amanda Lucas.

[automated voice] Please enter passcode.

Access denied.

[Amanda] Shit.

[automated voice] Name, please.

Amanda Lucas.

[automated voice] Access denied.

They’ve frozen my clearance.

Hey, wait, wait.

[automated voice] Name, please.

Jason Dessen.

[automated voice] Please enter passcode.

Come on.

[automated voice] Access granted.

[Leighton] Jason, stop!

[Amanda panting] Get in the box.

Amanda, no!

[Amanda] Go!

[Amanda] Come on.

[Dawn grunting]

[indistinct shouting]

[Amanda] Come on.

[Dawn screaming]

[Amanda, Jason panting]

[Jason] Can anyone get through?

[Amanda] I don’t think so. It’s supposed to stay locked for three minutes.

Set a timer.

[Jason] And, uh… And then what?

We better not be here. [breathing heavily]


You can’t… You can’t come with me.

They just shot at us.

Just tell them that I made you. That I forced you to. That…

It won’t make a difference. Leighton doesn’t forgive.

[Jason grunts]

[panting] Oh, God.

[Amanda] We’re supposed to inject ourselves with one of these.

Roll up your sleeve. Put this on.

Okay, great.

I need to hit your antecubital, okay?


When I’m over the vein, it’s gonna turn green.

Ah, yeah.


[Jason] What is it? [groans]

[Amanda] Sorry. Are you okay?

[Jason groaning]

I don’t know how to work the… the box.

[Amanda] That makes two of us.

[Jason] I need to get back to my family.


[Daniela] No.

[Jason] I’m gonna do it.

[Daniela] No. No. You’re declaring…

[Jason] Yeah.

[Daniela] But you’re not… [groans]

I am a super-sleuth detective…

[Daniela laughing]

…and I’m doing it.

He’s not.

Am I doing… Yes, I’m doing it. Okay, so… [imitates shutter clicking]

[Charlie] Mm-hmm.

Miss Scarlet…

[Daniela] No.


In the study, obviously…

[Daniela] No.

[Jason] …with the… with the knife. Don’t believe me?

Just read ’em and weep, birthday boy! [laughs] Read ’em and weep, Charlie.

That’s right. Ready?

[all laughing]

[Jason] Damn it! No!

[Daniela] Always! Every time!

[Jason] Goddamn it. [groaning]

[alarm ringing]

[Amanda breathing heavily]


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