Original release date: May 7, 2021
Following the Blackstar incident, Sheldon scolds Brandon for going against the Code, despite the fact many people and law enforcement seem to support his choice. Brandon deals with the ramifications of taking a life and the loss of his friends. It is discovered that the Blackstar the heroes fought is not in fact Blackstar and no one knows where or how he came to be. Back in 1929, Sheldon confronts a reporter over an expose on the family business and discovers his father was not the man he thought he was. Later, at his father’s funeral, Sheldon has a seizure and is hospitalized after having a vision of an island with a mysterious voice telling him to go there.
* * *
Who did that?
Somebody’s screwing with ya.
Check that thing’s ass for a “made in China.”
No way that’s me. Cheap knockoff.
How do you know?
‘Cause I would’ve swallowed your baby boy whole and shit him out in pieces.
Let’s take those shackles off and find out.
[echoing] He’s not even close to being ready.
Maybe he never will be.
Shouldn’t he be locked up for what he did to whatever the hell this is?
Put him back in Supermax.
Oh, I see how it is. Rules don’t apply when it’s your kid doing the killing?
Get him out of here.
Double standards don’t look good on you, pal!
That’s some screwed-up shit!
You think people ain’t gonna notice? I got a fan club, asshole!
Jesus Christ, that guy’s got a mouth on him.
He always has.
This one never said a word.
No, he didn’t.
What do you think?
Clone? Parallel dimension? Some kind of a shapeshifter?
Whatever it is, we need answers.
Gonna need to cut him open to get them.
[dramatic music playing]
[reporter 1] If Blackstar didn’t escape, who did you fight in Nebraska?
We’re investigating the situation.
[reporter 2] Lady Liberty!
What steps are being taken to secure the Supermax?
There is no indication of a security breach.
Wherever the second Blackstar originated from, it was not the Supermax.
[reporter 3] There’s been reports of massive reprisals from several supervillain groups.
Is this something your team is aware of?
We’re in contact with state and federal authorities.
If we find any indication of an ongoing threat…
Paragon is in the process of an after-action debrief.
[reporter 4] Does he have a statement?
Paragon wishes to express his regret that the life of a hostile combatant was lost, regardless of the circumstances.
The latest option poll suggests 78% of Americans support your son’s execution of a supervillain.
Do you think your old-fashioned ideas of just tossing them in prison is becoming a threat to public safety?
The Union thinks…
If that’s true, 78% of my fellow Americans need to think about what kind of a country they wanna live in.
Lethal force without due process is not justice.
[man] But how are you gonna protect us from supervillains?
Your grandpa saw that, he’d set off fireworks.
Brandon, I know it hasn’t been easy being my son.
Growing up with the public constantly watching you, looking up at you and wanting to tear you down all in the same breath.
Brandon, what you did to Blackstar you can’t take back.
Everything you do is a reflection on this family.
We have to be the ideal. You have to be the ideal.
Chloe didn’t even show up when Blackstar was tearing up Nebraska.
I’m not talking about Chloe.
She’s drunk or high half the time, and I’m the one not living up to your expectations?
Don’t talk about your sister like that.
Like the way she talks about everyone else in this family?
[metal can dings]
Stop lowering yourself every time somebody pisses you off. Be better.
My friends were dead.
I had to make a choice between Blackstar and you.
I chose you, Dad.
And I’d choose you every time.
Wouldn’t you do the same?
You’re gonna be here long after I’m gone.
And one day, God willing, you’re gonna be the Utopian…
And every evil you can imagine is gonna rise up against you, against mankind, and not for justice, for vengeance.
And in those moments, the only thing that you will have to guide you is the Code.
It has to stand, Brandon, even if we fall.
So, what? I should’ve just let Blackstar slaughter us?
Killing is never the answer.
Why don’t you tell that to my friends we’re burying?
There’s always another way to get the job done, Brandon. Always.
Except I can’t shoot fire from my eyes, Dad.
Not yet, you can’t.
Look, if what I say or do, it hurts you, I’m sorry.
But one day, you’re gonna be stronger than anyone else in the world, including me.
All right, Brandon.
Stay out here on the farm until things quiet down.
Clear your head.
You’re grounding me?
I’m not grounding you, Brandon.
No, Dad. This is bullshit.
Have you seen what the supervillains are doing?
Work the farm, stay out of sight.
No uniform, no patrol until I give the okay.
Do you understand?
Do you understand?
It’s not a punishment, Brandon. It’s an opportunity. Use it.
[steam whistle blowing]
We’re up to our necks, and you stop by the cleaners before coming in?
It’s Dad’s suit, for the funeral.
It’s a closed casket, for Christ’s sake. No one’s gonna know.
Yeah, well, I’ll know.
[indistinct chattering outside]
All right, let’s see how we’re wrapping Pop for the big send-off.
He’ll look good in that.
But let’s change the tie.
No, he loved that tie.
[chuckles] He hated it.
He wore that tie all the time.
Yeah, ’cause you gave it to him.
That’s his huckleberry, right there.
Went on the second your ass hit the door. [chuckles]
He told me this was his favorite tie.
Yeah, he said a lot of things, Shel.
Uh… I spoke with the board.
They wanna shut it all down.
What? They can’t do that.
Yeah, they can.
We have to talk to them.
[sighs] I’ve been talking to them, Shel.
Dad would never put our men…
I don’t care.
We are not putting our guys…
[knocking on door]
[Willie] Excuse us! Please.
Can we have a minute?
Not a good time, Willie.
We’ve got something we think you ought to see.
What is it?
[Sheldon] They’re saying Dad ripped off the workers.
Son of a bitch.
Where’s G. Kennedy?
Where is he?
I wanna talk to the scumbag who wrote this garbage!
I’m the scumbag you’re looking for, pal.
You’re G. Kennedy?
I stutter? Who are you?
Lawyer, I’m guessing, by the suit.
“Chester Sampson gambled his workers’ pensions on expansion and lost it all in the market crash.” How can you make up lies like this?
There’s not a word in there that isn’t the God’s honest.
Everything is double-sourced, top to bottom.
Top to bottom.
[Grace] So you can run back to whoever’s trying to rattle me at Sampson Steel, and you can tell them that Grace Kennedy, she doesn’t get rattled, ever.
My father would never do any of the things that you say here.
I’m sorry for your loss.
Oh, you’re sorry for my loss? I guess my loss is your gain, right?
“The death of capitalism.” That is one hell of a headline.
Well, guess what, you rotten little Marxists?
Capitalism made this building!
It made your homes, and it made your cars!
And my father made the steel that built everything that makes this country the greatest in the world!
And what do you do, huh? What do you make? What do you… what do you contribute?
You lurk behind your ink and your newsprint, wagging your little finger while you drag a good man’s name through the muck!
And he was a good man!
What have you built, huh? How are you helping America?
Your nose is bleeding.
You should be ashamed of yourself, all of you.
Thought you went home.
You all right?
Did you ever lose anybody back when you were a superhero?
Were you afraid?
[Fitz] Did you run?
No, of course not.
So you stayed, and you fought?
Yeah, I got a couple of hits in, but…
I’m not talking about fighting Blackstar.
I’m talking about fighting through the fear.
It wasn’t enough.
[Fitz] It never is.
Petra, I know you don’t…
I’m not you.
I can’t keep taking hits and just get back up.
I can’t watch my friends die because of some asshole.
[Petra] The supervillains are going crazy out there.
Guys who robbed banks before have been killing people.
[voice breaking] I can’t.
[Petra] What if this is just the start of it?
I don’t know if I can do this when things are this insane.
I never asked you to follow me into this game.
Hell, I’m surprised you wanted to, after all the foolish shit I got up to when you were little.
I was worried you weren’t ready, that you’d get yourself hurt…
Bad, like I did.
[sighs] But here you are, and I couldn’t be prouder.
For not getting killed?
For being better than me… in so many ways.
[knocking on door]
[door unlocks, opens]
Are you okay?
Yeah, I’m fine.
I got bagels from that place you like in New York.
I can’t have gluten. I have a shoot coming up.
Can I use your toaster?
[Sheldon] Thank you.
You don’t eat them, I’ll just throw them at the gulls.
Keep me awake half the night.
I thought gulls slept when the sun went down.
My night, their day.
So, what kind of shoot is this one?
Long, conservative dresses with wholesome scenery?
It’s a joke, Chloe.
Why are you here?
Are you coming to the funeral?
You want me there?
Of course I want you there.
Brandon could use your support. He’s really struggling right now.
Well, what am I gonna say to him?
I don’t know, but he’ll listen to you before he’ll listen to me or your mom.
I tried talking to him about what happened with Blackstar, but I just…
[sighs] I don’t know. I… I…
You try to say the right thing, the thing you think he needs to hear, but it just all…
I just… I can’t get through to him.
Just give him some time.
You know, he was tight with Barry since… junior high.
Brandon’s the godfather to his little girls.
Oh yeah… Oh, Tectonic.
There you have it, Dad.
That is why I’m here, halfway across the country.
That is why Brandon’s a mess.
Because you could never stop being the Utopian long enough to really be there for either of us.
That’s just not fair, Chloe.
[Chloe] You wanna talk about what’s fair?
The suit and cape are the real you, Dad…
Honey, I didn’t come here to fight with you.
[Chloe] I know you didn’t, okay?
But you can’t stop.
If it’s not how I look, it’s how I dress, or who I’m dating, or how I’m reflecting on you if I don’t show up to a fight or a funeral, or any other thing that’s me, Dad.
You have been attacking me for so long, I don’t know how to do anything but fight you.
Chloe, we’re bigger than this, both of us.
[Chloe] We’re just us.
The only way out of the loop is for me to stop being me, or you to stop being you.
Wait, that’s just a, a lose-lose.
That’s a great framing device for unaccountability.
Chloe, we are our own worst enemies, both of us.
But every time I try to propose a solution, it becomes, by default, just another attack.
I’m not trying to attack you, Chloe.
If you would just stop pointing fingers for once and start…
I don’t know. Okay.
Are you gonna make it to the funeral?
It would mean a lot to me.
I don’t know.
Well, bagels will keep in the freezer for after the shoot.
What’s the name of that guy from Legal? Bieder-something?
[Sheldon] Biederbeck, that’s it.
What are you doing?
We are gonna sue Grace Kennedy and her socialist rag into the goddamn ground.
Put the phone down. We’re not suing anyone.
We are not letting these people spread lies about Dad.
Everything they wrote.
[phone hangs up]
I checked the numbers and confirmed it with the bank.
He used the pension fund to back the expansion.
[sighs] Oh my God!
[Walter] It’s gone, all of it.
Check it again.
[Sheldon] Check it again.
You made a mistake, or the bank did. Dad would never do something like that.
You’ve got no goddamn idea, do you?
Walking around in a cloud of Dad’s bullshit about building homes and families.
This is steel.
What we have, we clawed from Carnegie and Rockefeller.
You think that happens without getting your hands dirty?
Republic, and Bethlehem, and U.S. Steel tried to put us in the ground every day since these walls went up, and every day, we stopped it.
We gave as good as we got…
[chuckles] …sometimes better.
Me and Dad.
And now it’s just me.
I’ve worked here since I was 15 years old. Don’t you dare…
[scoffs] Yeah, you worked here. I lived here.
While you’ve been picking ties and going off like a lunatic in front of the press, I’ve been trying to keep what we built from disappearing in a puff of goddamn smoke.
And since you weren’t around, I went ahead, and I spoke with the board.
The only way we can hold on to what’s left of our assets is to shut down production, at least for five months.
We are not putting those guys on the street.
We are. We are, Shel.
Walter, we are not. We are not doing it!
[shouts] We are!
Hold on. I’m figuring this out as soon as I can.
You owe us!
Hold on! Hold on!
Yes, the mill is closing, but I promise I’m gonna get it back up and running…
To hell with your promises!
What about our pensions?
Your pensions, I’m gonna get them back to you as soon as I can.
Get the hell back!
Hold on one second. Listen, I’m…
You taking his side, Willie?
We ain’t taking shit!
And we ain’t going to jail for beating up some rich kid, either.
They’re gonna need you at home, not rotting away in some jail cell.
What if it just makes me feel better?
Come on, clear out your lockers and go home to your families.
We’ll make this right.
[Willie] Go on.
I hope it’s a real nice wedding, Shel.
[Clyde] Really nice.
Put him in a suit.
Put him in a tie.
Put him in a box.
“Everything ends up in a box.”
He said, “I’ll be right down.”
“Right down,” like it’s some kind of a goddamn joke.
But I’m a… [sighs]
I’m a dozen feet away, and I… I… I just stand there.
[Jane] Listen to me.
You couldn’t save him.
You could not save him.
[Grace] Hey, honey, you ready?
[Brandon] Just about.
[Grace] What’s going on with that tie? You need some help?
I can’t do this.
Yes, you can.
[Brandon] I… I don’t know what to say.
You do know.
You just speak from your heart.
But, you know, fear is a part of everything, but so is getting through it.
[priest] Lord Jesus Christ, by your three days in the tomb, you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you and made the grave a sign of hope that promises resurrection even as it claims our mortal bodies.
Grant that your children may sleep here in peace until you awaken them to glory, for you are the resurrection and the life.
Then will they see you face to face, and in your light, will see light and know the splendor of God, for you live…
I don’t think she’s coming.
[Sheldon] It’s funny.
You never really know anybody until they’re gone, do you?
That’s when it’s all stripped away, the…
The lies that… that… that hold you together, that blind you, blind you from seeing…
…the truth… [grunts] …you don’t wanna see.
Somebody get a doctor!
[priest] Then will they see you face-to-face
and know the splendor of God.
[Brandon] Today we bury my friends.
I knew them as Briggs,
Vera, and Barry.
They weren’t their powers. They weren’t their uniforms.
They were people.
And I’m sorry they’re gone.
I’m sorry I failed them.
I’m sorry I couldn’t do more, couldn’t be more.
We’re all reaching for something, and we keep falling short of it.
But not Briggs, not Vera and not Barry.
They achieved it.
They died heroes.
And I envy them.
[woman] So sorry.
[Brandon] Thank you for coming.
Say hello to your mom.
Hey. You did good out there, B.
How you doing? You okay?
She’s alive. That’s how.
I won’t forget the reason she’s still here.
You did the right thing.
How are they holding up?
They saw Barry. They saw it on the news, and they didn’t blur it out or cover it up.
I want them to forget. Ask your uncle? He can go inside their heads and erase it.
Like they never saw it. They won’t have to remember him that way.
Karen, he doesn’t do that, especially not to kids.
Excuse me. Mrs. Bishop.
Sorry to bother you, ma’am.
Boys over at the precinct took up a collection.
Uh, it ain’t much, but, uh…
[officer] Least we could do.
[Brandon] Anything you need, Karen, you let me know, okay?
[vehicle engine starts]
There’s too many funerals.
Us and you.
We’re doing our best.
I know you guys are too.
Eh, there’s doing, and then there’s getting it done.
Ought to line them all up, pop them one by one, just like you did Blackstar.
Hole in the head. Problem solved.
[ominous music playing]
Half the people were patting him on the back for killing Blackstar.
Fitz too. He wasn’t even trying to hide it.
How about that cop that Brandon was talking to?
These guys are supposed to be upholding the law, not campaigning for mass executions.
I thought we were having a conversation.
You were handling it fine by yourself. You’re good at that.
I’m not Walt. I can’t read your mind.
I don’t know. What do you want, Sheldon? The world isn’t the way you want it to be.
You made that pretty clear at the press conference.
I couldn’t stand there anymore, Grace.
These people have no idea what they’re asking.
You cannot control everything! You have to stop.
I mean, if you clamp down on this the way you clamped down on the kids…
We don’t kill, ever, no exceptions.
You know what? If there weren’t exceptions, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now, because we’d be buried next to Brandon’s friends.
[Grace] Sheldon, the supervillains are changing the rules.
I don’t know why the hell they can’t have a nurse in here to keep an eye on him.
We’re paying them enough.
I could do with a nurse or two myself.
Can you shut it off for five minutes, Hutchence? This isn’t a joke.
I wasn’t joking. I could use a nurse. [chuckles]
When’s the last time a doctor came by?
An hour ago.
Yes, and he said the same thing as the last one an hour before that.
If there was something they could do, they would do it. We just have to wait.
You have to do that on his bed? Go play on a table.
I don’t tell you to stop wearing a hole in the floor.
You don’t tell me where to play cards.
Get those cards off his bed, or I’ll do it for you.
You try it, and I’ll throw you out the goddamn window.
[Chester] Find the boat.
[Chester] Gather your crew.
[Chester] Sail to the island and save America.
Get the doctor. Go!
Okay. All right. You’re in the hospital. All right?
You had a seizure at the service.
You gave us a good scare, I’ll tell you what.
[chuckles] You’re here.
You’re with us, all right? You’re in the hospital.
[whispers] I saw something.
What did you see?
[Sheldon] An island.
I think it was…
I think it was some kind of a m… message.
A message from who, Shel?
[ominous music playing]
[dramatic music playing]