The Fall of the House of Usher – S01E04 – The Black Cat | Transcript

Leo adopts a black cat who soon brings evil--and a mysterious woman--into his home, while Roderick struggles with terrifying hallucinations.
The Fall of the House of Usher - S01E04 - The Black Cat

The Fall of the House of Usher is a gothic horror drama miniseries created by Mike Flanagan. Loosely based on the short story of the same name and other works by Edgar Allan Poe.

Original release date: October 12, 2023

In a flashback, Roderick meets Dupin during the drug trial investigation, where he discovers his signatures forged by Fortunato. Madeline continues to tell him to remain on Fortunato until they take it over as their birthright. In the present, Leo adopts a black cat resembling Pluto from Verna to deceive Julius. Camille’s death triggers a family crisis. Roderick, Madeline, and Pym identify Verna as the culprit from security footage and Madeline recalls meeting her in 1980. Roderick confronts Victorine about Camille’s presence in her lab, and she confirms upcoming human trials, unaware of her father’s condition. Tamerlane sees Verna with Bill, causing friction. Roderick confides in Madeline about his diagnosis, which is similar to their mother’s. The new Pluto torments Leo, leading to gruesome acts amid Julius’ concern over Leo’s excessive drug use due to his grief over his siblings. Leo hires Verna to retrieve the cat, but in a scuffle, Leo gouges Pluto’s eye, with Verna showing the same injuries. Julius returns home to see Leo trashing their apartment’s walls to find Pluto, with all of it being Leo’s hallucinations. Leo charges at Pluto on the railings, and he falls to his death.

* * *

[cat meowing]

[siren wailing]

I’m looking for a little pussy.

And I hate to be this guy, but it’s a very specific pussycat I need.

And this is the fifth place I’ve tried and, fuck me, are you a sight for sore eyes after the ogres I’ve been dealing with all morning.

I need a black cat. Female.

About yay big.

Please tell me you can handle that.

[chuckles] Cutie. I can handle that just fine.

[cats meowing]

How about this little guy?

Short-timer. Scheduled to leave us tonight.

That reeks of euphemism, my lady.

Oh, well, our guests get one week to find a home.

This isn’t a no-kill shelter.

I have a soft spot for the short-timers. Always have.


All black. It’s gotta be black.

What about these two? Not black, but siblings.

I’d ask you take them both though, keep them together.

Important with siblings, really, you keep them together.

What about that one?

No, not available.

That’s a purebred British short-hair.

We’ve already had four applications for her online.

But there are some really lovely cats who won’t make it if someone doesn’t intervene.

Fucking uncanny, innit?


Like I said, she isn’t available.

Yeah. Um, I don’t think you know what I am.

I’m a money bomb.

New cages. New computer. New building.

I will adopt every cat in here and donate it to an orphanage.

Set you up waterside in a new facility with tiny little kitty hot tubs.

They’d hate that.

And dress you head to toe in Louis Vuitton if I have to.

But I’m walking out of here with this cat.


God, that’s uncanny.

Uh… [sighs] Let me, uh…

Look, can you just, uh… Yeah, just hold it like that.

Yeah. Just like that.

[clears throat]


[camera shutter clicks]


You little fucker, you saved my life.


[door opens]

Hey, guess who I found just hanging outside the front door.

Bad news, though, looks like someone nicked the Gucci collar.


Oh, sorry.

I guess Daddy’s out getting a latte or something.

[cat growls, hisses]


Little cunt!

[cell phone ringing]


Hey, Dad, I’m kind of busy.

The fuck you say?

Say that again.


[scoffs] No, that’s bollocks.

No, she’s not.


[Roderick] Denial.

[phone clatters]


[Roderick] It’s amazing how far you can get on denial.

[cell phone vibrates]

You know why so many people use denial to get by?

Because it really fucking works.

Your granddaughter again? This late. You want to take it? She okay?

She’s fine.

The thing about denial is sometimes problems do just go away on their own, so it makes it feel like denial works.

The placebo effect.


[Roderick] It’s just Madeline.

What’s she doing down there?

Tinkering with her gigabyte or some such.

She’s a genius. A real one.

I mean, like, four or five people in a century genius.

She quit Mensa because she was bored.

Maybe we should fold her into the conversation, throw a little genius in the mix.

Where were we? Yeah. Denial.

Sometimes it works, like I said.

But other times, it doesn’t.

It really fucking doesn’t.

[Leo] I don’t believe this.

This is fucking off!

We’re still looking into it.

Well, what was she doing there to begin with? Vic?


This is your lab. Your animals.

I don’t know. I didn’t send her there.

Maybe, hmm? Maybe the $50 million-bounty had something to do with it?

[Leo] What the fuck you been doing?

Your little cyborg murder monkeys?

You’re not putting this on me.

My wife is in the ICU. She’s maimed. Maimed.

[Tammy] What are we even talking about here?

There is the trial! I have to launch.

Sit down!

Be angry, be shocked, yell, whatever. Do it in here.

This is the space I’ve allowed for it, but when we go outside, someone needs to make a statement to the press.

We think it should be Leo.

Of course you think it should be Leo.

This is just awful. I’m so sorry. Camille was such a…

Why is it talking? It really, it shouldn’t be talking right now.

She just said she’s sorry. How do you expect her to feel?

This is a crisis, we need to mitigate the damage.

I’m saying that is why we had Camille. This was her thing.

[Leo] “On behalf of myself and the Usher family, I’m saddened to announce the loss of our beloved Camille L’Espanaye…”

[sniffles] “…aged 35.”

What the fuck is this?

Yeah, that is awful. Are we going with 35?

A fucking robo-chimp rips off my sister’s face and I’m saddened!

[Roderick] Enough!

Put it in your own words then, plagiarize “Candle in the Wind” for all I care, but everyone toes the line.

This is not about sticking together, it’s about forming a fucking wall.

And in case you haven’t noticed, Morella’s in the hospital, Prospero is dead, and Camille is dead.

So save the static until I figure out what the fuck is going on.

And until then, I don’t care if Madeline tells you to fart into a microphone on national television, you fucking do it.

We’re at battle stations, I’m the commanding officer, I don’t wanna hear anything but, “Sir, yes, sir.”

You get me?

Sir, yes, sir?

[Madeline] Now that that’s out of our systems, we can head outside and Leo will do his part.

[sniffles] Ah.

Have Tammy or Froderick do your soundbites.

Don’t call me that.

[Leo] Fuck this!


What? Don’t like it?

Cut me out the fucking will!

Give my share to the next junkie tart you find at the ER.


[door opens]

Is Juno in the will?

[door closes]

Oh, no. Juno’s not really in the will. [chuckles]

Is she, Dad?

I am still in the room. So…

[Arthur] This is what I wanted you to see.

The night guard was supposed to be Philip Fasullo.

He works most weeknight shifts.

[Madeline] Doesn’t look like Philip.

[Arthur] He was called off.

Someone from Corporate called his supervisor, stood him down.

We don’t know who called, and we don’t know who that woman is.

Do we have audio?

We do not.

Why the fuck not?

That isn’t really a thing typically with security cameras.

Stop right there.


[Arthur] That also isn’t really a thing.

You can’t enhance this image?

You see it all the time on TV. They hit a button, it enhances it.

You can zoom in, but that doesn’t enhance it.

Well then, please zoom in, Arthur.

All right, fine.

Recognize her?

[Roderick] It’s tough to tell.

Maybe if you could, I don’t know, enhance it.


Um, I don’t know. I don’t think so.

We don’t even have any female security guards at RUE.

Not right now.

So all we know is she shouldn’t be there.

Which means this was somehow intentional.

Do we think this is the same woman from Perry’s club?

I can’t confirm that yet.

[Madeline] We don’t need to confirm anything, do we?

Tell everyone to take up arms. We are at war.

I don’t know who, I don’t know how, but I know what it feels like when a bullet flies by, even if I can’t hear the shot.

Whoever the fuck this woman is, find her now.

We haven’t even made arrangements for Perry yet, and now we have to, what?

How does it work? Double them up?

What’s worse? A double funeral, or attending two separate ones?

I don’t even own anything funeral black.

[Julius] We can get you something.

I don’t even own a black suit!

Oh, no, wait. That’s not true. I do have one.

False alarm. It’s just fucking satin!

I’ll take care of it.

I can hear Camille’s voice in my head right now.

“Satin is silk for poor people, no one should wear it to a funeral, unless they died in it.” Fuck’s sake.

This is tough and you can’t talk your way out of it, I get it.

I get it.

Just tell me what I can do.

Okay. Got it.

Have you seen Pluto since you brought her back in?

I haven’t seen her yet, I worry she got back out.

I don’t know. She’s here. Promise. Just skittish.

Might need to shake off some trauma.

I’m just pissed about the Gucci collar.

Don’t sweat it.

I’ll put out more food for her though. Maybe we can coax her out.



[cat snarls]


Jules! Jules!

[breathing heavily]

[Julius] What?

Just missed her.

[people murmuring]

Your Honor, we should consider the possibility this is intentional.

I’ll give it a few more minutes.

With respect, if I was a half hour late to court, I’d expect to be charged with contempt.

What are you suggesting, Mr. Dupin?

Just an observation.

It feels like there are different rules for people like the Ushers, and apparently their counsel.

Save it for the jury, Mr. Dupin.

[doors open]

[people murmuring]

[doors close]

I’m sorry, Your Honor.

[judge] Mr. Dupin and I were just discussing the parameters of contempt of court, Mr. Pym.

Yours and his own, it seems.

[Arthur] I’m afraid it couldn’t be helped.

The Usher family has sadly been burdened by another death in the family.

Camille L’Espanaye is dead.

So, I apologize. It has been a… a busy morning.

[judge] Sorry to hear this.

[Arthur] The family, understandably, is in shock.

I’m afraid I have no further information at this time.

The government was, of course, unaware.

What happened exactly?

[judge] We are going to reconvene Monday, barring further disruption.

Our sympathies are with the Usher family during this very difficult time.

[gavel bangs]

[judge] Court is adjourned.

[clerk] All rise.


Not now.

[Roderick] So, why was she here?

I don’t know.

Well, just tell me. I’m going to find out anyway.

Pops, I don’t know. I honestly don’t.

Well, she was onto a scent and she was here.

Which means she was onto something to do with the work, or she was onto something to do with you.

She had a nose for secrets. She was…

Had a knack for snooping.

You see, I can’t tell if you’re asking if I’m the informant, or implying Camille was.

It wasn’t Camille.

All right. If you say so.

I say so.

She was after you, or after the tech.

God, just ask me already.

Is it you?


Maybe you talked to the Feds.

Get a leg up on the others. Didn’t think it would go this far, now there’s no way out of it.

Don’t be a fucking twit.

You know what? Fuck you if you think that, ’cause I would bleed for this family.

So why was she here?

I don’t know!

Maybe you told her to go and get a profile done on me.

[sighs] I, um…

I think that she was looking at the chimpanzees.


Because I think she wanted to torpedo my project.


For fun? [sighs] I don’t know.

You know how much money I spent to smooth over those chimps?

I do.

You know what the waiver cost?

I had to build ten miles of habitat.

I know.

And this animal… I mean, what did you do to it, Vic?

The device absolutely does not increase aggression.

Where is it now?

It’s dead.

No, not the monkey, for fuck’s sake, the $200 million of intellectual property wrapped around its shitty, dead heart.

It’s retrieved, and the animal is irrelevant.

No, it’s… it’s priority one.

As people look into this, it’ll be at the center.

The monkey itself might be a goddamn crime scene.

Should I just pull the plug? Put this out of its misery.

Free up money for Leo’s video games, or Tammy’s bugs?

Okay, look. We’re moving to human trials.

That’s what I’ve been waiting to hear.

Yeah, we’re ready.

Do you think you have the data to get it approved?

Well, as a matter of fact, yeah. We do.

This is excellent news.


I know I’ve been, um…

It’s important.

More than you know. It’s important.

[Arthur] Her belongings.

I was able to grab these before the police.

We’ve been through her primary phone.


With the password.

You have her password?

We have all your passwords.

Oh, I guess that makes sense.

The only thing, and this is delicate, so I’m going to need you to treat this delicately, do you understand?

I understand.

I don’t actually understand at all what you’re saying.

What is delicate?

This was in Morrie’s bag. Do you recognize it?

No, that isn’t hers.

We’re sure it’s hers. We can’t open it though.

Well, I’m telling you, this isn’t hers.

That’s fine.

We thought maybe you could, uh, try a couple of common combinations, see if it unlocks.

But it isn’t hers.

I understand.

Maybe try anyway.

[Frederick sighs]

It’s usually our anniversary.

[phone vibrates]

Nope. Um…

Lenore’s birthday?

[phone vibrates]


I can keep trying, but it’ll lock me out.

Her company phone checks out. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.

This one though… [chuckles]

And I really need to see what’s on that phone.

What about her ring?

Her wedding ring. Have they found that yet?


Where is that?

Please… try the phone.

[phone vibrates]

[inhales sharply]

Take a left up there.

I need to do some things before I go back to the office.

I’ll tell you where to go.

Don’t be stupid, Madeline, this is crazy.

This is fucking crazy.

[siren wailing faintly]

[raven cawing, flapping wings]

[metallic clinking]

[metallic clinking]

[Victorine] You sign there.


Jeez. It’s a lot of paperwork.

Seem like waivers, most of these.

It’s all very standard, I promise.

It’s a good thing I trust you.

Well, you know, we have to trust each other.

It’s a big part of it.

I suppose so.

Because you hear a lot of stories.

Like big pharmaceutical companies, a lot of them, they test their drugs in lower-income countries.

Do you know that?

I have heard things like that, yes.

Always figured it was because people were more likely to take the money.

Less likely to complain.

[hesitates] Maybe even reluctant to report the side-effects.

Or less likely to even notice them.

Or maybe they don’t know the risks, or they don’t understand them.

There is another edge to that sword, though.

So, perhaps it offers them access to medication and procedures they might otherwise not be able to afford.

Some of the smartest trials, they happen in the places where the need for what’s being tested is the highest.

I guess it’s kind of like why this opportunity is…

Why it’s going to you.

You actually need it.

That’s why I’m particularly grateful for this.

That beautiful device being tested in the good old US of A.

On someone who’s life could really change.

I’m lucky to be a part of it.

Now, there you go. All done.

Thank you.


This, uh, goes on my heart like a pacemaker?

[chuckling] Oh, uh…

It’s a quantum leap forward from a pacemaker.

It’s a predominantly passive implant. At least, at first.

It’ll gather real-time data about your heart and entire vascular system, evaluating its efficiency.

It can locate blockages before they become clots, or strokes.

This can help prevent numerous cardiovascular issues.

It can save your life.

And then, one day, if it all goes right, it will take over, keep your heart beating perfectly in rest, stress, exercise, exertion, all of it.

For many, many more decades to come.

Okay then.

Okay then.

When do we start?

Uh, well, you know, um… I need a couple more days to make sure everything’s above board.

We don’t want to rush these things. But I think by the end of the week.

Yeah. We’ll be good to go.

And Dr. Ruiz will perform the surgery herself?


Oh, yeah. She is…

You know, she’s very, very excited about this too.

Okay. [laughs]


[both laughing]

[Lenore] Dad, you gotta eat.

I don’t think I’ve seen you eat in two days.

[sighs] I’m okay, peanut.

Have you ever seen this phone?

Did your mom have it, maybe?

No, I haven’t. Why would mom have a second phone?

I don’t think she did. I think they made a mistake, and someone else’s phone got mixed in with her things.

And I think that we should find whoever this phone belongs to and get it back to them, right?

Yeah, we should.

So, do you have… I mean, I know you kids these days, you can hack into all sorts of things, can’t you?

Teenagers are all about hacking into stuff.

Not really. You’re thinking of hackers, Dad.

Well, do you have any idea how we can get in there?

We use one of three things to get into our phones and it always works.

Passcode, our fingerprint, or our face.

Mine does that too.

[gasps] You don’t say!


Well, shit.


The wallpaper on that one is factory preset, if it matters.

What does that mean?

I mean, Mom uses pictures of cakes.

That’s right. She did, didn’t she?

So, probably not hers.

It’s not hers.


You’re killing me.


I’m losing it. I don’t get it.

I took enough of those yellow pills.

I should be in a two-day coma.

I’m sorry.


Anything I can do?


Well, now that you mention it.

Mmm, seriously? That’s what you’re thinking about right now?

People grieve in different ways.


Well, if it’ll help you sleep…


[exhales] Mmm.

[exhales, sniffles]


Creepy little fuck.

[Julius] Hmm?

Oh, no, not you, you’re brilliant. [exhales]



[Julius groans]

Jules. Sorry! Jules!

[groaning] My fucking nose.

I’m sorry! Fuck!

What the…

Are you fucking joking?

[breathing heavily]

Sorry, Jules, your cat left… Your cat just…

I’m throwing away the sheets. And probably burning the bed!


And we might have to move.

[Roderick] Displacement.

The other go-to coping mechanism in my family.

It’s when you direct your more intense reactions towards something or someone that doesn’t feel threatening.

So you get to react and be angry, be abusive, be violent, even, but you don’t risk significant consequences.

I’m familiar.

I bet you are.

How many nights did poor Ernie bear the brunt meant for me?

Like I said, I’m familiar.

Napoleon was most like me in this way.

Of all of them.

Denial, displacement, projection.

But see, I wanted something better.

Something better for him. For all of them.

A trait of mine that seemed to skip them somehow…


That is something that is one of the few coping mechanisms that’s considered positive.

Sublimation is when a person chooses to redirect strong emotions into an object or an activity that’s appropriate and safe.

So, instead of lashing out at your employees, you pour your energy into kickbox…


[breathing heavily]

What the hell?

I was talking! I was fucking talking!


The hell is wrong with you?

Sorry. I’m sorry.

Don’t you raise your voice to me.

You talk about displacement all you like, don’t point that shit at me, understand?

I will knock your goddamn lights out, you raise your voice at me.

You’re right. [breath trembling]

Sorry. It’s a…

That was… That was not your fault.

I do… I respect you, Auggie. I do respect you. I always have.

You’ve had a funny way of showing it over the years.

You remember the day we met?

Of course I do.

I thought a lot of things that day.

A lot of things I’d never thought before.

I saw the world different after we met.

Never imagined we’d end up here, though.

[doorbell buzzing]

[Roderick] Yes?

Hi there, sorry to bother. I’m looking for Roderick Usher.


Are you Roderick?

[baby whines]

You’ll have to tell me who you are at some point.

Yeah, I just don’t want you to shut the door.

My name’s Auguste Dupin, and I’m trying to do a little good, and I need some help doing that and I’m hoping you’re the kind of man who’ll help.

I’m a Medicare fraud investigator, and I’m here because you work at Fortunato.

Uh, please.

I have 36 names on this list and I’ve had 30 doors shut on my face.

Just hear me out. I’m not after you.

I just want to get to the bottom of some things.

Set some things right. Please.

[baby whines]

[Annabel] Come in.


Come on in.

Oh, thank you.

So, again, if you could just look at these.

I don’t know what those are.

Consent forms for a drug trial.

Dr. Brevit, see, on all of these…

How well do you know Dr. Brevit?

I don’t know Dr. Brevit.

Who is Dr. Brevit?

He’s an associate of Fortunato’s clinical trials division.

You’re sure you don’t know him?

I’m sorry. I know you probably can’t say a lot, but if you’d just tell us what you’re after, if he can help, he will.


See, a lot of these people apparently didn’t sign these forms themselves.

I believe some of these signatures are forged.

And I believe this doctor has been enlisting some of them in studies without fully informing them, or their families, about possible side effects.

Major side effects.

Good Lord.

[Auguste] Some of them are dead now.

And some of their bodies, well…

Mr. Dupin, I…

[Auguste] Auguste is fine.

Auguste. Um, I don’t know much about the pharmaceutical industry, but I do know my husband, and if he had any idea that any of this was going on, he would have taken action.

Yeah, that’s right. I don’t know anything about any of this.

I really don’t.

You see, that’s the thing. You’re on my list for a reason.

When Brevit enrolls a new patient, that enrolment letter goes through several departments for verification.

And some of them are even supposed to contact the patient and confirm the data, arrange payment, things like that.

Confirm that they’re competent and actually consenting as well.

What are you getting at?


Your signature is here.

Next to Brevit’s.

Here, can I?

[Auguste] And here.

Here. Here. And… and here.

This isn’t his signature.

Honey, hang on.

It isn’t, I can tell.

Are you saying it was forged?


It isn’t.

She’s not saying that, and this is not on the record, right?

[Auguste] Yes, but… I cannot recall if I did or if I did not sign these particular papers.

But I’m happy to look into it as soon as possible.

I just don’t recall.

Right now, at least.

A lot of people are having a hard time recalling a lot of things.

What do they do to you all over there?

Everybody at Fortunato’s concussed or something.

I’m sorry.

You’re a lower rung guy, I know that much.

Me too. We both got a boss, don’t we?

And I get it, you say the wrong thing, or she says the wrong thing, it could knock you right off that rung.

Out of the job even.

I see that baby.

I see those homemade toys.

Someone knit those dolls, carved that train.

You guys go hand to mouth. Just like me.

You’ve got another child.

Older boy by the look.

Sleeping I’m guessing, and I don’t count a lot of bedrooms, so I figure they sleep with you.

Jar of honey up there on the counter’s almost gone.

Dried honey on the table and floors.

That’s a home remedy for the older one.

And I see the elderberries, echinacea. You’re throwing a lot at it.

And he’s sleeping now, because he was up all night.

Coffee mugs by the sink says one of you was up all night with him.

Trying to make him take the honey.

That many mugs, I think both of you were up.

Shifts, probably.

You’re good parents who can’t afford the medicine, so, yeah, you’re smart not to recall.

Don’t want to risk it. Can’t afford to say the wrong thing.

Hard to say the wrong thing.

Even harder to do the right thing.

But if you change your mind…

[footsteps receding]

[door opens and closes]

[Rufus] It’s bullshit.

And I’m sorry that it showed up at your door.

I’ll call Health and Human Services, make sure they stop harassing our people.

They have no right.

Yeah, but about the forms.

Fucking people.

You know, they think that medicine happens in a vacuum.

Like we lock ourselves in a clean, empty room with a beaker and a Bunsen burner and a bunch of test tubes and walk out with penicillin.

They have no respect for what it takes to develop and test and market a drug.

The real laboratory, okay, the real lab is the real world.

The signatures on the forms…

Do you know what the real world is, Rod?


‘Cause in the real world there are side effects, and surprises, and anomalies, and acts of God, and all of that, and we weather that.

For all the whiney little sheep out there, we weather all of it.

The complaints, and the lawsuits, and the investigator, and the whole mess.

Why? So their dick can stay hard a little longer?

They can kick that headache a little sooner?

And then they attack us for it. Fucking people.

My signature was forged.

No, it wasn’t.

Yes, it was.

It definitely was on at least a half a dozen forms.

You a team player, Rod? Hmm?

You part of the Fortunato team?

Yeah, I am.

What does that mean to you? In your mind?

I don’t know. I think it means…

Because if you come to me, you tell me that your name was forged on important internal documents, documents that, apparently, have been stolen I might add, well, then you’re not on the team at all. You’re on their team.

I’m just asking you to explain…

And I am explaining to you that this company is a team.

We are a unit. This isn’t just about sticking together.

This is about forming a fucking wall.

There are elements out there that would threaten us if we let them.

We are all at fucking battle stations right now.

I am the commanding officer and I don’t wanna hear anything that isn’t, “Sir, yes, sir.” Do you get me?

I get you.

Then say it.

Sir, yes, sir.


Now, [exhales] I’m going to look into this, okay?

And if there’s some clerical error with your signature, well, we’ll have that corrected.

It’s all the same thing, isn’t it?

I mean, everybody in this building, we’re on the same team.

Everybody approves everything.

No matter whose name is on the form. So what’s the point?

House can’t be divided against itself, can it?

I’m on the team, 100%, sir.

That’s great.

And, Rod…

These clerical errors, they’re old.

They’re from before you showed your true potential.

Before I took you under my wing, as it were.

These kinds of errors, they can’t happen now.

You’re in the officers’ club now, son.

So, you can relax.

You just remember whose team you’re on, you’ll be fine.


Sir, yes, sir.

You know what kind of car I drive, Rod?


No? Well, it’s a Ferrari.


Yeah, you bet your ass it’s nice.

1979 Ferrari 308 GTS.

Rosso Dino red, natural tan Tuscan leather interior, Targa top, 5-speed gauge shifter, 2.9 liter V8, puts out 292 horses.

Goes zero to 60 in under eight seconds.

It’s not an ordinary car, Rod.

This is an extraordinary car, okay? This is not a car for just anybody.

This is a car for a somebody.

You drive a car like that, you make a statement.

About who you are, where you’re going, and how you get there.

You follow my lead, you keep your nose clean, your mouth shut, and your eyes open, pretty soon you’ll be driving any car you want.

Parking it in the driveway of any house that you could ever dream of buying.

Because I’m a Candy Man, Rod.

I’m Willy fucking Wonka, and this is my chocolate factory.

And you just got the Golden Ticket.

You play your cards right… one day all this could be yours, Charlie Bucket.

Now, let’s get a drink, huh? It’s gotta be noon somewhere.

[Annabel] You should quit.

We’d starve.

I’ll get a job.

How about a degree? You gonna get one of those too?

Hey, now.

I’m sorry.

If I quit, I’m burned. Gris would destroy me, I know too much.

Maybe I go to a competitor first.

I get in before Gris can destroy my reputation. Or maybe…

He said I’m a part of the club now.

He’s got my back. Maybe I stay quiet just like he said.

Or you could do, I don’t know, anything else.

This industry is ugly, Roderick.

It doesn’t have to be.

Jesus Christ, both of you. They forged your signature, Roderick.

Your name, our name, is on evidence of a crime.

Christ, nobody knows they’re the fall guy until they’re falling.

You work for a competitor, they’ll never trust you.

You stay at Fortunato, they’ll never respect you.

You just ate a spoonful of their own shit in front of them and smiled.

You can’t be part of the club now. You can’t be an equal.

Not when they’ve watched you eat their shit.

That’s just nature.

Which is doubly fucked because your father built this company.

It’s your birthright, Roderick. Our birthright.

You’re gonna go to work… and you are going to keep eating that shit.

And you’re going to make Rufus Griswold think it’s your favorite food.

And then you’re going to call this number.

Your wife is right.

It’s the right thing to do.

We’re going to call him tomorrow.

And you are going to become best friends… with Auguste Dupin.

[Leo groans]

Long night?

Yeah. Sorry.

[grunting] It got away from me.

How is your nose?


It’s okay, though.

[groans] You find that little fucker yet?

Nah, I’m sure she’s around here somewhere.

Listen, I know you’ve been through a lot and I know what I signed up for.

You’ve always been very clear about your recreational time.

[Leo] Don’t complain about the drugs.

It’s getting to be a thing.


Don’t do it, Jules.

I’m not saying, “Just say no,” I’m saying I’m worried about you.

Because you’ve always, always had it under control, like you’ve got some kind of magic power, but, babe, you are off your game.

Slow down maybe.

Call it a favor to me, if you like it better.

Humor me?


[softly] Okay.

[doorbell rings]

[panting] Sorry to show up like this and… take a minute. [chuckles]

A lot of stairs. [chuckles]


[Leo] Want some coffee?

No, uh… No, thank you, I…

Uh, I’m fine, I…

This is nice.

You’ve not been here before, have you?

No, uh…

I was at the tree-housey one, but, I didn’t, uh, didn’t see this. It’s nice, it’s fancy.

It’s like an artisanal brewery, or something.

[Leo] Well, it’s gonna change again shortly.

Boyfriend just resigned. He’s dead and he doesn’t know it.

I’m sorry to hear that.

Hey, I was hoping for some drugs.

Sorry to be blunt about it, but that’s it. I… I want some drugs.

I’m going through a rough time, and Morrie, you know, well…

Morrie, she’s melted, you know.

It turns out she has this burner phone, and…

[exhales] I can’t help but wonder why she was even at this…

Perry’s orgy?

Please, don’t fucking say that word.

Sorry, uh…

Perry’s cuddle puddle.

That can’t be much better.

I need something to get me focused and get my energy up, and just make me feel not awful.

Just for a minute.

Something in coke for you? You don’t want the designer stuff.

[grunts] It’s too dangerous.

Just stick to the classics.

Don’t go overdoing it with this, all right?

Just a few bumps a day till the edge wears off.

[cat snarls]



[Frederick] What the hell?

Fucking hell! Grab that cat!


[Leo screams]

Fuck! [groans]

Grab that cat! I’m gonna skin it alive!

Is it your eye?

[Leo groaning]

[water running]

[Leo] Fuck!

You should wash that out really well.

[Leo] Fuck!



Oh, fuck!

I’m just gonna take this cocaine, if that’s all right.

[Leo groans]

[Bill] We’ll be in Points Park tomorrow 11:00-1:00, so come on out, BILLT Nation for another pop-up pump up.

Today here in the studio, we are extremely excited. Right, guys?

to welcome the BILLT Nation Goldbug contest winners.

Come on out, folks.

As promised, they get a tour of BILLT studios, along with a complete Goldbug makeover.

All to celebrate the new lifestyle brand Goldbug, which launches on Thursday.

All right, why don’t you all head backstage, get golden, and we’ll see you after the workout.

Everyone knows that life is short and the universe is chaotic, and so much is out of our control, so the doomsayers will tell you.

I say, “Fine, but what about what is in your control?”

How in tune are your mind, your body, and the sacred Gaia energy?

I’m BILLT and you can too.

♪ We built this city ♪

[Bill] Your best days are a lifestyle away. You ready?

Let’s hit this warm-up!

♪ Built this city ♪

♪ BILLT this body ♪

♪ We BILLT this body with work and soul ♪

♪ We built this city on rock and roll ♪

[“We Built This City” playing]

♪ Say you don’t know me ♪

♪ Or recognize my face ♪

♪ Say you don’t care who goes ♪

♪ To that kind of place ♪

♪ Knee deep in the hoopla ♪

[Leo] Fucking hell!

♪ Sinking in your fight ♪

♪ Too many runaways ♪

♪ Eating up the night ♪

♪ Marconi plays the mamba ♪

♪ Listen to the radio ♪

♪ Don’t you remember? ♪

♪ We built this city ♪

♪ We built this city on rock and roll ♪

[Leo gasps]

[breathing heavily]


♪ We built this city on rock and roll ♪

♪ Built this city ♪

Hey, um, thanks for coming.

Sure. I was surprised to get your call.

I, uh, I can’t find it.

Little fuck! I can’t find it anywhere.

Hey now, I’m sure it’s just…

Cats are predators. It’s in their genes.

They were domesticated 10,000 years ago, but that prey drive, it’s there.

No matter how cute and tiny you keep breeding them… they leave little gifts.

Usually to teach you how to hunt.

It’s harmless. Unless you’re a mouse.

Harmless, yeah?

That look normal?

I’m a little surprised she put ’em in the tub.

I found these all over. One was on top of the fridge.

I didn’t know where to throw ’em, and to show you. Look… you’ve gotta take it back.

Okay? Put it down, most likely. The cat’s a fucking psychopath.


She’s in the walls.


Yep. Listen.

[cat yowling]

[Leo gasps]

Cats are actually apex predators, you know?

It’s all about hunting.

They can lengthen their spines for short bursts of speed.

Thirty miles an hour.

They can narrow their shoulders and chests to squeeze into tiny spaces.

Jump nine times their height from a standing position… and land on their feet almost every time they fall.

[cat growling]

They eat their prey to get taurine. An essential amino acid.

Cats don’t make enough of it, so they have to eat it.

They’re predators because they’re… deficient.

A lot like your father. Aren’t they, Leo?

Mmm. Heads up.

[cat yowling]

[Leo screaming and grunting]


[cat snarling]


[cat meowing]


[cat snarling]

[cat growling]


Fuck, Jules. Maybe you’re right.

Maybe I should take a break from the drugs.

[cat meowing]

[breathing heavily]

[tense music playing]

[breathing heavily]

[frame thuds]

[breathing heavily]

All right, that’s done it.

I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what.

Don’t fucking move!

I can buy a new wall. I can buy a new loft!

I can even get Hemsworth to send me a new hammer.

But you, you little shit!

[grunting and screaming]

[cat snarling]

[snorts and sighs]

[ECG beeping]

[Frederick exhales]


[whispers] Oh, it’s nothing.

[snorts] Oh.

[breathes deeply]



It’s me. It’s Freddie Bear. Are you awake?

[ECG beeping intensifies]

[Frederick groans]

[beeping steadily]


Oh, fuck it.


[Morrie wheezing]

[Frederick breathing heavily]

[groans softly]


Well, fuck.

[Bill] I have no idea.

I find that hard to believe.

Look, I know the rules.

I would never see these girls outside the house.

Yeah, ’cause I’d fucking kill you.

Are you sure that it was her?

She was standing right behind you wearing the same wig.

You had to have seen her, Bill.

Well, I didn’t. Did you get a freeze-frame?

It’s a live stream. You know I can’t get a freeze-frame.

I’m sorry, Tam.

I should have seen her, and I should have fucking told her to get lost.



Honey, you…

What? No.

You gotta sleep.

Okay, seriously.

This isn’t healthy. You’ve gotta…

I’m going to email Lauren and tell her to tell Candy to give us a wide berth.

It’s unprofessional.


[piano music playing]

[footsteps approaching]

You look lost, old man.

Sorry. I guess I am.

I thought I’d distract you.

How are you feeling?


How’s your leg?

It’s fine.

I was thinking, though.

What if I backed off the Ligodone for a bit?


I don’t know. Just been reading.

I mean, I love it. I do. I just thought…

Maybe see how I go without it for a few days.

Darling, how would that look?

Besides, you’re the proof positive.

You’re a walking rebuttal to all those assholes out there.

You’ve taken more Ligodone than just about anybody I know, and look at you.

You’re a vision. You’re…


You’re thriving. You’re pain-free.

You are my most beautiful, perfect proof.

You know, I could use a little cheering up now you mention it.

What do you say?


[breathing heavily]

[glass breaking]

[Juno] What’s wrong?


Roddie, Roddie, what’s wrong?

[breathing heavily]


[breath trembling]

What’s wrong?

What’s wrong?

Excuse us, please.

It’s okay.

She shouldn’t have called you.

Of course she should have.

It’s nothing.

Don’t insult me.


Doc came by a few nights ago to the house.


And what is it?


Same as Mom.


And that’s, uh…

That’s five years on the outside.

It’s pretty advanced, so…

It’s less. Much less.

You know, I knew vascular dementia can cause hallucinations, but I just didn’t think…

And nothing like this.



Yeah, I thought the same thing.

If her contraption really works, it could buy some time.

Prevent the strokes. Mitigate the brain damage.

Good. Meds?

Beta-blockers, Risperdal.

Risperdal? He wants you on antipsychotics, I’ll rip his fucking throat out.

Might do, frankly.

I mean, tonight, what I saw, I mean, what I saw.

Victorine will get her little heart miracle working first order.

Same as Mom.


Hey, what’s all that…


[thudding intensifies]

[Julius] Hey.


Almost got her! [grunting]



Leo, what’s happening?

[Leo grunting]

[frame crashes]

If she runs, grab her!


I’m gonna flatten that cunt, I swear!



Come here! [grunts]




[Leo breathing heavily]

You don’t see it?

Stop! Stop!

[body thuds]

[cars honking]

[cat meowing softly]

[sirens approaching]


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!