Original release date: October 12, 2023
Lenore calls the police after discovering her mother’s torture, refusing to recant her statement despite Pym’s persuasion. Roderick recalls seeing Annabel Lee’s ghost at the funeral. At a 1980 New Year’s Eve party, Rufus praises Roderick. Madeline serves Rufus Amontillado, and they sneak into the basement to have sex. Rufus collapses, waking up chained to a niche as Madeline and Roderick wall him in, and Madeline reveals their plan to frame him and have Roderick replace him on the board. The Ushers establish an alibi at Verna’s bar, where Verna proposes a deal where the family gains wealth and power in exchange for their entire future bloodline’s death. In the present, Lenore encounters Verna, who grants her a peaceful death and tells her of her future legacy, where her mother will set up a non-profit in Lenore’s name after recovering and inheriting a large sum from Fortunato’s dissolution. In the present, Roderick admits to Dupin that Lenore’s earlier texts were from an AI bot of Lenore. After discovering Lenore’s body, Roderick flees to his empty office, where Verna discloses the Ligodone body count. She instructs Roderick to call Dupin, but before doing so, Roderick invites Madeline to the old house and kills her, preparing her corpse with her Egyptian burial tool collection. At the end of his confession, Madeline’s reanimated corpse appears and strangles Roderick, causing the house to collapse. Juno inherits and dissolves Fortunato, creating a drug rehab foundation with the funds. Pym is arrested, and Dupin retires, leaving his tape recorder on Roderick’s grave. Verna leaves behind a token on each Usher grave while reciting Poe’s “Spirits of the Dead” poem.
* * *
[Verna] 84,000 people just last year.
Just in the U.S.
And that’s just a guess. It’s impossible to know the real numbers.
941,878 since 1985.
Again, just the U.S.
Again, just a guess.
But we know better, don’t we?
And that’s just the deaths.
Who knows how many more are addicted.
Your tally is… fucking impressive, Roderick Usher.
It’s really you.
I’m sorry I couldn’t accept your resignation.
I tried to explain that to your sister that she wasn’t going to change the math.
And she had it in her head that…
If I die, this stops?
Which is bad faith.
She tried to loophole me.
Name your price.
You are funny.
The numbers are already locked in.
There’s only a few more transactions left.
there’s the opening bell.
Rung today by a representative from Fortunato Incorporated.
They will tear up your statement.
They shouldn’t have talked to you without me here, and they know better.
Now you can give your real statement.
My statement was the truth.
The truth is, your father died in a horrible accident
but it’s important he died upstanding.
He brought your mother home to care for her.
Who knows what she might have done to herself in her state.
He mutilated her.
Did you see that occur?
Look, I don’t expect you to understand this,
but your father was the swing vote on the board.
With him gone, the empire is balanced on the head of a pin.
He abused and mutilated my mother.
And then went off on drugs, I think, and got himself killed.
Well, your mother, as much as she’s been through,
she understands this family pretty well.
And I promise you, after I talk to her, she’ll do what’s right for the company.
Then you won’t talk to her.
I don’t care what’s good for the family. Or the company.
This is about my mom.
And if you think you’re coming near her with more pliers,
over my dead body, you fucking ghoul.
I’d like to make another statement.
[Roderick] Well, I mean, I have to say, I’m…
I’m proud of her.
You know where she gets that from, right?
Well, this is awkward.
Did you tell him yet?
Tell me what?
With Freddie gone, the board want a… There’s no easy way…
And Freddie gone, they need someone to step in fast…
Just getting me to kill myself before you could kill me.
I am impressed, Mads.
Want to subscribe to your newsletter.
The board’s the board. I don’t control them more than you.
They wouldn’t dare. Not if they didn’t already have it cracked.
You brokered this, Arthur?
Made your move when? After Vic? Just good math?
[Madeline] This wasn’t that.
It was equal parts math and mercy.
But like you said, my math was good.
[Roderick] Doesn’t matter, Madeline.
She wouldn’t let me die.
[Auguste] I mean, your own sister cut off your head.
That’s what did it in, you know.
My boss said, we’d already won once you were on the plate.
“No point in pushing the case. The dragon was slain.”
I told him he was wrong.
He says, Roderick Usher lost his children, and his company too.
What else do you want?
What else did you want?
What does that look like?
For what you’ve done?
I don’t know.
Suppose I’ll know it when I see it.
I hope you do…
I am pretty sure you will.
Your granddaughter again?
She is the best of us.
You speak so highly of her, but you won’t answer her texts.
Of all of my children, I’m most like Tamerlane.
Lenore always had that.
And then it skipped Freddie and Tammy. I don’t… I don’t know, maybe I…
I choked it out of them.
Annabel, she had custody and…
I couldn’t stand that,
so I waited until they were old enough and I just bombed them with money.
Just flashed a whole life in front of them and they picked me. Of course, they did.
And when they showed up, at my door,
and I looked at them and I saw myself.
But whatever of their mother had been in there…
it was gone.
It was killed by the money.
And Annabel, just couldn’t live without them.
But Lenore always had her in there.
My fire, but…
her grandmother’s heart.
Her grandmother’s compass.
Lenore always had that.
I saw her today.
At the funeral.
Our love it was stronger by far…
Than the love of those Who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we…
And neither the angels in Heaven above Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul
From the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee
How are you here?
When people asked how you took them,
how you convinced them away from me.
“He’s rich,” I’d say. “He’s rich.”
And you don’t understand what that word means.
They were young.
They only knew appetite,
and “Here,” you said, “come with me. Gorge yourselves.”
How could I compete with that?
You didn’t feed them though, did you?
You starved them.
Less and less of them came back each time until one day they were empty.
They were syphoned.
You started filling them up with…
What did you fill them up with, Roderick?
What did you have to fill them with?
Because you weren’t rich, were you?
I thought you were a rich man all this time, but I…
I see you now.
I look at you and I see…
The poverty of you.
Maybe this is a kindness in disguise.
Maybe they died in their childhoods.
[Annabel] What did you do?
What the fuck were you thinking?
I knew you would not understand.
You betrayed Auggie.
He was doing the right thing.
He’s going to get fired, Roderick.
Yeah, well, he made his own bed and he was an idiot, to be honest.
What does that make me?
That’s not what I meant.
Well, I must be.
‘Cause now you’re walking the halls at Fortunato,
Rufus Griswold’s arm on your shoulder.
We’re not done with him.
I have to go.
Don’t be stupid.
No, I do. I…
I don’t know you, Roderick.
The man I know, the man that I love could… never…
But you’re not him.
I made him up.
[Roderick] For the moon never beams
Without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee
And the stars never rise But I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee
And so, all the night tide I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling My life and my bride
[camera shutter clicking]
In her sepulchre there by the sea
In her tomb by the sounding sea
Send a bus. Keep it off dispatch, no names.
[Arthur] You got it.
[Auguste] It’s time, Roderick.
You said you’d tell me how they all died.
And you did.
But you also said you’d confess.
There are no more bodies left, Roderick.
No more skeletons in the closet.
Tell me what happened.
All right, Auggie.
Let’s get to it.
You sure I can’t tempt you?
Wish I’d said that.
[dance music playing]
♪ I don’t want to lose you This good thing, that I got ♪
♪ ‘Cause if I do… ♪
[Rufus] There he is!
My goddamn hero.
Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together,
Roderick Usher, the future of Fortunato!
You have no idea.
Okay, I haven’t slept in two years, Roddie,
two fucking years with that bloodhound on my heels.
But you played this thing so fucking beautiful!
You are not on the fast track, Rod,
you’re not on a ladder, okay, you’re there.
You are my right hand.
I told the board, I told the shareholders,
you’re the best thing that has ever happened to this company.
You know, you should tell them that it was your idea.
That you and Roderick came up with it together
and you just played your part.
You know, I may have already said that.
And that’s… that’s not even a lie.
I mean, not anymore, because you’re my guy.
I mean, listen, I had them change the blueprints in the new building.
They’re building an office next to mine. It’s yours, okay?
Everywhere I go, you are going. You are a made man. You understand me?
There is nobody on the face of this fucking planet
that I trust more than you.
And there is not a single person, friend or foe, who does not know that.
Let’s have another drink.
Way ahead of you.
You’re a sherry man, aren’t you?
Holy shit. What is it?
A powerful wine for a powerful man.
This bottle right here, this probably cost more than a year of your s…
Well, your former salary.
Because after tomorrow, you can afford to take a bath in this stuff.
[Madeline] To Fortunato.
[Rufus] Hear, fucking hear!
That’s good. Hey, no, don’t be shy, bottoms up, let’s go.
I’m going to savor it.
Actually, I gotta hit the head real quick.
Yeah, go, do your thing.
Hey, well done, man. Fucking hero.
♪ Do I make you feel so good ♪
♪ Baby ♪
♪ Am I being understood… ♪
Ooh. Good choice.
Nobody’s going to wander down here.
You know what this is, right?
This… is going to be the foundation of my new building.
Which is going to be 70 stories tall…
You know what else?
We can make all the noise we want.
I got to be honest with you.
I thought you were a cold fish when I met you.
But I like you better this way.
If you can get over here, you can do what you want to me.
Accept that challenge.
Anything you want, stud.
[sighs] What the fuck?
You big, strong, powerful man.
[Rufus groans softly]
What is this?
[Madeline] Look, Roddie, he’s awake.
Did you drug me?
I like how you pretended to be impressed,
like you can tell the difference between sherry and amontillado.
Whoa, what the fuck is this?
It’s a hostile takeover.
Seriously, what is this?
I thought we would see all the stages,
but we may never get out of denial.
We’ll finish this wall and still be hearing,
“Seriously, what is this?”
There we go.
You let me out of here right fucking now!
I will fucking kill you!
Definitely not, then.
And actually, I think that makes this self-defense. So, thanks for that.
You fucking fucks.
I will dismember you and fuck each piece. Do you hear me?
Anger is going great.
[screaming] Help! Somebody he…
[laughs raucously] Okay. Okay.
[continues laughing] Okay.
You fucking got me.
You got me. You two, holy shit. You got me.
You’re real ballers, aren’t you?
Oh, thank you.
Listen, I’m impressed.
I can be the magic man. I can change things for you.
Here’s the thing, Rufus.
Roderick threw himself in front of the Feds,
took the bullet, got everyone clear,
but that doesn’t mean that the Feds weren’t right.
Falsifying data, forging signatures, fraudulent studies
and, well, grave robbing.
Corpses disappearing after participating in Fortunato trials.
I imagine because the chemicals in their bodies would be incriminating.
You stopped all that. You fixed that.
[Madeline] Yeah, only so far.
We go to the board and say we dodged a bullet,
but the cancer runs deep,
and the man behind it all, the man responsible,
well, he has got to go, doesn’t he?
For the good of the company.
You want me to what? Resign?
What do you want me to do?
[sighs in exasperation]
All right. Listen to me.
Okay. I… Okay. [breathing heavily] I get it.
I never should have made Roderick take the fall for this.
Right? That’s what this is, isn’t it?
And… And you’re right, that was fucked!
But I didn’t know! Did I? I didn’t know who I was dealing with.
I picked the wrong patsy.
Okay? But that’s over now.
That’s behind us. And now I know, okay? I misjudged you.
Fuck, listen to me, I can get you things.
I can get whatever you want. Uh… stock options, promotion.
Madeline, you should come work for us. How does VP sound?
I was thinking COO.
Yes, fuck, yeah, okay. Why not?
I mean, that’ll be, you know, take a minute,
but that’s a great goal. Long term, right?
Stop! Stop! Stop! Okay…
Dollars. Fucking each.
The board will be disturbed when they learn what you’ve done.
And that you disappeared, you ran off.
To a beach somewhere without extradition.
The company’s in a tailspin, can’t promote the existing brass,
they’re all tainted goods.
All named in the file too.
Plus, no one wants to put their head in that noose.
Not if the Feds decide to tighten it again.
Unless, what if… there was a candidate who already escaped the hangman once.
Maybe someone the board’s heard a lot about.
Someone even Rufus Griswold admitted was a cut above,
bulletproof, trustworthy beyond a fault.
And given my celebrity status right now, I’ll be on the fast track.
Especially after you talked him up so damn much.
Like you said, you can make all the noise you want.
And no one’s due back at work for a week, so happy new year.
That candle will last you an hour or so,
then, I’m afraid, you’re in the dark,
You sure no one will come down here?
No, not tonight.
And he won’t make it past morning, not with the cyanide.
I really can’t believe he didn’t taste it.
He really… didn’t know shit about sherry.
Back upstairs for a bit?
Be seen some.
Thought so, but no. Too clean. Better that they all saw us leave.
If the cops ask, I fucked him in his car,
he took off looking for some blow, and you and I hit a second venue.
Our job tonight is to be seen, but not scrutinized.
Do you get it?
Something like that.
Kind of thought he’d be louder.
[“Another Brick in the Wall” playing]
[Roderick] So where do we go now?
[Madeline] She’s wearing a fur coat inside, dripping diamonds,
and going on and on about her house on the Cape.
And then I look over at her meal ticket, I’m sorry, her betrothed,
and he is this bloated monster of a human,
just stuffing his maw with the company caviar,
and I thought to myself, if that is who I’d have to serve, to fuck,
for diamonds and furs and a house on the Cape, forget it.
[Verna] So there is a limit.
No, it’s not a limit, it’s a standard.
I don’t want it, any of it,
if it involves serving at some man’s pleasure.
What about a woman’s?
I thought we had a moment.
I’m nothing if not versatile.
What’s your dealbreaker, handsome?
[Roderick] Don’t think I have one.
Curiouser and curiouser.
I find most people have a threshold qualifier.
Something or someone they’d be unwilling to sacrifice,
no matter how sweet the deal.
Don’t think I’m like most people.
So what would you do to make your dreams come true?
People talk a good game, but money where your mouth is.
What would you be willing to do?
For example, what if I told you right now
that you could achieve all the success you ever imagined?
All the money.
All the power. A lifetime of luxury. Comfort. What would you do?
What would you give?
Our mother used to tell us Bible stories.
She talked about how the meek would inherit the Earth.
Well, she didn’t inherit shit.
So all these hypotheticals, “Never Have I Ever,” “Fuck Marry Kill,”
“What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar?”
“Devil at the Crossroads.”
It’s all just fairytales.
Magic beans and beanstalks, bedtime stories for kids.
The real world is Darwinian. Survival, chaos, power.
You’re a killer, aren’t you?
Both of you.
Couple of real killers.
I wouldn’t say that.
Really? What else would you call it?
I mean, you killed Rufus Griswold tonight, didn’t you?
And you’re here, building an alibi.
This bartender would say you were here all night.
Closed the place and then some.
What if I said I could guarantee that you’ll get away with it?
And not just that.
All of it.
In good time, not a lot of time, you’ll be elected CEO, Roderick.
Or Madeline, if you prefer.
You will be the king and queen of Fortunato. Your birthright.
CEO, COO, whatever you want.
And I’ll sweeten the deal.
No legal consequences. Guaranteed.
For your whole life.
People may try but you will never, ever get convicted of a single crime.
The company is yours to do with what you want.
Be altruistic, be charitable, or don’t.
I just want to see what you do.
The fuck are you talking about?
[Verna] You feel it.
Both of you.
In the air.
We’re sitting outside of time and space.
This is the moment luck meets opportunity.
That’s a hell of an offer.
And you’re going to say it costs what? Our… souls or whatever?
No such thing, for one, and even if there was,
you already sold them tonight, one brick at a time.
[chuckles] No, nothing so silly as that.
It won’t even go on your tab.
What if I said you get all that, the whole thing,
and the price is deferred?
Let the next generation foot the bill.
So that’s the deal.
You get the whole world,
and when you’re done, at the end of it all,
just before you would have died, Roderick,
just before you would have died anyway…
your bloodline dies with you.
Well, just hypothetically…
how long would he live?
No dear, you two die together.
You came into this world together, and you go out of it together.
Or no deal.
I’m a creature of symmetry.
You’d live a long time.
Longer than any man in the Usher family ever has.
But when that curtain falls, everyone takes a bow together.
Those kids… would have quite the life.
[Verna] They’d never want for anything.
They could live decades with every luxury, every opportunity.
Or they could live a little longer, but struggle.
What’s more loving? Forty years, 50 years of a gilded life?
Or 70, 80 years of anxiety,
tribulation, and heartache?
Every Usher that exists today, and every Usher yet to be born,
they will live a blessed, privileged life and depart the stage together.
It’s an offer.
On the table.
What do you say?
I’d say that’s a good deal.
I’d say that’s a done deal.
[Verna] Then say it.
You have a deal.
[Verna] You too, Cleopatra.
I don’t even have kids, this is his thing.
[Verna] You too.
You have a deal.
[Verna] In the ancient world, we’d seal this with blood, or spit.
And then later, papyrus.
But, a deal’s a deal all over the world.
Tonight, we’ll just drink.
But not just any drink.
Henri IV Dudognon Heritage Cognac.
Aged 100 years in barrels.
Named in honor of the beloved French king.
You drink this on the best day of your life.
Or your last night on Earth.
This moment calls for it.
To the House of Usher.
Whose time has come.
You’d better get going.
Get some sleep.
Lots to do, you two.
Lots to do.
We should settle up.
We just did.
Well, that was loopy.
Weird fucking lady.
Do you think she meant what…
[Roderick] It faded like a dream.
And by the time we got home, it didn’t feel real.
And a day or two later, we were so worried about someone finding Gris,
we… both kind of blew it off.
We were drunk. Maybe we were stoned.
We remembered it differently.
It was a folie à deux.
A delusion shared by two.
And then we never talked about it again.
They never found Gris. The cops never came.
The board voted me in.
And the work began.
And over the years, it was just a weird dream.
Pym was looking for this woman.
You said he found her.
Where was she?
Same place she’d been the whole fucking time.
Ready for pickup.
I’m leaving now.
Wow, that was amazing.
I’m sorry, I just… I couldn’t help myself.
You had your little guy parked out there for two days and I thought, fuck it.
I had the best seat in the house.
Your reputation is warranted.
You’re beautiful at what you do.
Can I get you a drink?
I’ve been looking forward to this.
So your guy, once he picked me up,
he was gonna cut off my hands and my head,
and then the body goes into an oil drum and gets dropped a hundred miles out.
That still the dance?
It’s nothing personal.
Oh, I know, Arthur.
And I kind of set you up.
So, I apologize as well.
You really don’t remember me?
I was so impressed with you lot.
The Transglobe Expedition.
Circumnavigating the planet. What a show.
So much money.
One of my favorite things about human beings.
Starvation, poverty, disease, you could fix all that, just with money.
And you don’t.
I mean, if you took just a little bit of time off the vanity voyages,
pleasure cruising, billionaire space race,
hell, you stopped making movies and TV for one year
and you spent that money on what you really need,
you could solve it all. With some to spare.
But you were the first to do it.
The Transglobe Expedition.
That man in the desert, they left him, didn’t they?
That guide in the Arctic. The friendly fire, hit in the gut.
And there was that woman too.
That Inuit woman.
You didn’t partake.
But you saw what they did.
We’re a… virus, I think.
People, I mean.
Hmm. But you’re so damn interesting.
That’s why I had to go topside.
I had to see the ship go by with my own eyes.
And you saw me too.
Standing on the ice.
The aurora above.
What happens to you when the Ushers are gone?
Which is imminent, by the way.
You’ve enjoyed a sense of immunity throughout your life, but it isn’t yours.
It’s theirs. Just reflected.
Let me guess.
You can do something about that.
Like I said to one of my clients, when I’m done,
you can stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody,
and it won’t cost you a thing.
Is his tab coming due any time soon?
Even I’ve got my limits.
Fortunato Pharma will be dissolved in a bankruptcy settlement.
The family trust will turn over 4.5 billion,
including federal settlement fees paid in instalments over nine years.
It’s a pretty sweet deal.
It’s a fucking Christmas present.
It’s a slap on the wrist that comes with a blowjob.
And you can make this happen?
Oh. no, this will happen without me.
Humanity will shit that bed themselves.
Corporate justice in this world is a punchline.
Then… what are you offering?
There’s a file.
Camille L’Espanaye was very good at what she did.
She had a file on everyone.
Barely scratches the surface,
but the surface alone will get you 20 to life.
It gets found, or it doesn’t.
So you can either ride the phoenix out of Fortunato’s ashes,
or you can watch it fly away from a federal prison cell.
This I can do.
What are you asking in return?
What do you have, Arthur, in this life you’ve built for yourself?
What assets have you acquired?
I’m not interested in money, property, or stock options.
What have you got?
No familial connections. At least, none that you care about.
But everyone loves something.
And in that love there’s collateral.
I have no collateral.
Collateral is leverage.
And I won’t be leveraged.
No man or woman has leveraged me in 70 years of life.
And I’m not going to cede that ground, not this close to the end.
Thank you for your consideration.
And for your generous offer.
But I think I’ll play out my hand.
If it’s all the same to you.
This has been a pleasure.
[Lenore] I can’t believe you’re not at the hospital.
Honey, I know more about hospitals than anyone would ever want to.
I’ll never spend a single night in one.
No, I’m much better here.
I promise you.
[grunts] I’m okay. You don’t… You don’t have to stay.
Where am I gonna go?
Mom’s in the ICU, and I am never going home again.
I can’t believe Juno left you by yourself.
Don’t be too hard on her.
Where is she, anyway?
at the Four Seasons.
For now, it’s…
Probably a clinic.
But don’t blame her, she’s…
She has to do her own thing.
Well, I’m not going anywhere.
And I think maybe…
maybe not having Fortunato anymore… maybe it’s a good thing.
That place wasn’t good, Grandpa.
No, it wasn’t.
But it was mine.
And maybe you’ll make it good.
Can you do that, do you think?
I say this with love.
Let it go.
Let it all go.
I mean, you’ve got more money than you’ll ever be able to spend.
Than I’ll ever be able to spend.
Let’s put it to work.
Try to fix things.
Let go of Fortunato, and Ligodone, and all the bad stuff.
We did bad stuff, Grandpa.
Our family did bad stuff.
It’s not too late to fix it.
Get some sleep.
You know, you… you can stay.
I had them make up one of the guest rooms.
Way ahead of you.
You know, I told them.
The terms were clear.
And they’re just… well, they always had a hard time focusing on things
outside of their immediate concerns, didn’t they?
I mean, it shouldn’t be on me to have to spell out
the definition of the word bloodline, but…
Have a seat.
There is a lot about my job I love.
But there are moments like these that bring me no joy.
I hope you know that.
Let me tell you a story about your mother.
See, she recovers very well now that she’s in the clinic.
Takes three years, more than 100 skin grafts…
physical therapy, reconstructive surgery.
But she endures it.
Her battle scars become armor.
She inherits a sizeable fortune when Fortunato collapses.
She puts it to work immediately.
She gives most of it away.
Domestic violence and abuse charities.
But keeps enough to start a non-profit.
She sets up chapters all over the world.
She calls it the Lenore Foundation.
After her daughter.
And she saves a lot of lives.
Would you like to know how many?
Dozens in the first year.
Thousands soon after.
And then a major burst of growth.
600,000 five years in. And in a decade, it’s millions.
More than 3,000,000, in fact.
Then it gets hard to count.
Because the people she helps help others.
Who help others. And others.
And so on and…
This is the part I really want you to hear.
You did that.
When you got her out of the house, when you defied your father, you did that.
You saved those people.
That choice you made echoes through millions of lives.
I thought you should know that.
[Auguste] Wait. What are you talking about?
Lenore Usher isn’t dead.
She died earlier tonight.
That’s not possible, Roderick.
She’s been texting you all night.
Madeline had this project.
Sentient AI project.
Scans your social media posts and makes a digital you.
She never did crack it.
I think she would have.
Given more time.
But she… she used Lenore as a beta test.
Lenore bot, a little bit ago.
I guess the goddamn thing was activated because it’s been texting me.
It’s stuck on…
Once upon a midnight dreary
While I pondered
Weak… and weary
Deep into that darkness peering Long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams No mortal ever dared to dream before
The silence was unbroken And the stillness gave no token
And the only word there spoken Was the whispered word, “Lenore”
And the raven never flitting Still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door
And his eyes have all the seeming Of a demon’s that is dreaming
And the lamplight o’er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor
And my soul, from out that shadow That lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted nevermore
I guess we’ve finally come to it.
World without pain.
That was the whole point.
Nobody can stomach a little discomfort.
It hurts. It hurts and they cry and cry, and I took it away!
I reached in and snuffed out those flames in their backs,
in their joints, their heads and their hands.
I waved my wand, wasn’t enough.
Was never enough.
They just kept wanting more.
More and more.
[Verna] Oh, honey.
Don’t kid a kidder.
Did you drive here like that?
When was the last time you drove your own car?
And tonight you do it barefoot.
Good for you.
You know, I’ve worked with a lot of truly influential people over the years
but when it comes to sheer body count, you’re in my top five.
Take a look.
Those are your bodies.
They’d each be alive today if it weren’t for you.
New one every five minutes. Just in the States, but…
open it up to the world.
Why did you come here tonight?
On your way home.
Your real home.
Was it to say goodbye?
One last look at your great tower.
That’s your true monument, Roderick.
It’s a wonder of the world.
And it’s eternal.
That’s your legacy.
Give yourself a minute.
And then find your way home.
Our business is almost done.
You’re going to call Auguste Dupin and ask him to meet you.
And that was tonight?
[Roderick] It was.
You said that’s Madeline down there.
It is. At least, I think it is.
I called you and I came here.
Roderick, are you here?
[Roderick] Down here.
I got your message and I don’t know what to say.
So that’s it, is it?
Nothing more we can do.
There is nothing.
And she’s giving us a few minutes to talk, so…
I guess there must be some…
Something we’re meant to wrap up.
You know what? Yes, why the fuck not?
You always said it was you and me against the world.
Said we’d change the world.
We did, didn’t we?
When did you start bringing this stuff here?
Some of this is mine, isn’t it?
[Roderick] Few days ago.
Same reason the pharaohs did.
I mean this house, this…
this carcass of a house, this is our tomb.
So, we need all the dressing, all the…
All this treasure, for the afterlife.
Please, treasure. What the fuck does that even mean?
Gold’s just a… transition metal element, nothing special.
Money’s not even gold anymore, it’s just ones and zeros.
It’s a lie agreed upon.
We built a life.
A privileged fucking life, out of nothing but dirt and trauma,
empty pockets and broken hearts.
We did that. And say what you will, it was fucking substantial.
Would we have done anything different
if we’d believed that woman in the bar was real?
I suppose that’s the only question left.
Did you believe it? I…
Honestly, I can’t remember what I believed.
I believed it enough to get an I.U.D.
And you still wouldn’t glove up with the fucking stewardesses.
I was who I was.
And I loved you for that.
And the fucking people, the fucking people out there, Roderick.
You don’t want Ligodone, don’t buy it,
you don’t want to get addicted, don’t abuse it.
They’re mad because we made it available and desirable.
Hey, newsflash, it’s our only fucking job.
They want an entire meal for $5 in five minutes
then complain when it’s made of shit and plastic.
McDonald’s would serve nothing but kale salad all day and all night long
if that’s what people fucking ate.
It’s available, no one buys it.
We will get around to funding AIDS research,
and diabetes, and heart disease,
just as soon as we figure out
how to keep our geriatric dicks harder for a few more minutes.
What’s the market share on wimpy dicks, Roderick?
60-70% of the healthcare industry.
The Pentagon spent $83 million on Viagra last year.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, the fucking Supreme Court does its part,
tears the autonomy, rips the liberty away from women,
shreds not just their choice but their future, their potential.
We turn men into cum fountains and women into factories,
cranking out, what, an impoverished workforce,
there for the labor and to spend what little they make consuming.
And what do we teach them to want?
Houses they can’t afford. Cars that poison the air.
clothes made by starving children in third world countries,
and they want it so bad that they’re begging for it,
they’re screaming for it, they’re insisting upon it.
And we’re the problem?
These fucking monsters, these fucking consumers,
these fucking mouths.
They point at you and me like we’re the problem.
They fucking invented us.
They begged for us, they’re begging for us still.
So I say, we stand tall and proud, brother.
Bill’s come due.
Let’s not hide here in the basement like we’ve got something to be ashamed of.
No. Not us. You and me against the world.
Don’t care if it’s Death herself.
If she wants Madeline fucking Usher,
she’s going to have to look me straight in the eyes.
You’re Madeline fucking Usher.
You are a queen.
You’re a goddess.
And you’re gonna live forever.
What did you do?
I sent her off like a queen.
Queen Twosret, as a matter of fact.
She’s getting acclimated.
That’s why they buried them with the things they buried them with.
Things needed in the afterlife.
She’ll have all she needs down there.
Just takes a little getting used to.
What did you do to her?
I loved her.
I honored her.
Right. And after you “honored” her…
Are you sure she was dead?
You know, maybe not.
Now you mention it, it makes perfect sense. [chuckles]
Our mother was the same way.
Thank you for coming tonight, Auggie.
I’m sorry for all the times I inconvenienced you.
It may not have been perfect,
but you can’t say we didn’t change the world.
How many people can say that at the end?
I promised my confession.
And here it is.
In the witching hour.
I knew I would climb to the top of the tower on a pile of corpses.
And we told them… it was about soothing the world’s pain.
That’s the biggest lie we told.
You can’t eliminate pain.
There’s no such thing as a painkiller.
And imagine if we’d put that on the bottle.
I bet I still could have sold it.
[Auguste] “There was a long tumultuous shouting sound
like the voice of a thousand waters,
and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly
and silently over the fragments of the House of Usher.”
It pulled other things down into the Earth with it.
My case for one, pointless now.
I put in for retirement.
And I went home.
Juno inherited everything.
And she completely dissolved it.
Fortunato Pharmaceuticals was shuttered. Stripped for parts.
Repurposed into the Phoenix Foundation.
Every dollar went for rehabilitation programs,
addiction and recovery research.
And she weaned herself off Ligodone.
Arthur Pym was arrested a few weeks later, after Camille’s former assistants turned over a mountain of files to the police.
He surrendered himself at the courtroom.
And didn’t utter a word in his defense.
He remains the only conviction from the Fortunato Pharmaceuticals case.
And he will die in prison.
The regulators are working.
Trying to stop the bleeding.
Opioid epidemic’s with us now.
You tattooed it on the world, but they’re trying to take it down.
Take it apart.
Didn’t know what to do with this.
Because it don’t matter in the end why you did any of it.
I don’t fucking care why you did it.
We don’t want your confession, or your rationale, or your explanation.
So take all that with you, why don’t you.
I’m going home… to my husband.
I’m the richest man in the world.
You know that?
[Verna] Thy soul shall find itself alone
‘Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone
Not one, but all the crowd, to pry Into thine hour of secrecy
Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness, for then
The spirits of the dead who stood In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will Shall overshadow thee, be still
The night, though clear, shall frown
And the stars shall look not down
From their high thrones in Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given
But their red orbs, without beam
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee forever
Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish
Now are visions ne’er to vanish
From thy spirit shall they pass, No more, like dewdrop from the grass
The breeze, the breath of God, is still
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken Is a symbol and a token
How it hangs upon the trees
A mystery of mysteries