Midnight Mass – S01E02 – Book II: Psalms [Transcript]

An unsettling omen washes ashore in the wake of the storm. Later, when the locals gather for a potluck, tragedy strikes - and a miracle occurs.
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Midnight Mass

Original release date: September 24, 2021

The townsfolk are unable to determine a cause of death for the cats found along the beach. Bev covers the church perimeter with 1080, hoping to fend off potential predators. Father Paul learns that Leeza Scarborough, the Crockett mayor’s wheelchair-bound daughter, was paralyzed after being accidentally shot by town drunk Joe Collie. During the island’s annual Ash Wednesday potluck, Joe’s dog suddenly dies after eating food off the ground. Joe suspects Bev, whom he personally despises for extracting church donations from the townsfolk after convincing them to accept a settlement with the oil company that poisoned the bay’s waters, knowing it would benefit the church. Erin witnesses a mysterious creature stalking her property. Riley attends a one-on-one AA meeting with Father Paul, where he expresses his contempt for the doctrine of theodicy, owing to his own guilt over his fatal car accident. During Mass that Sunday, Father Paul insists that Leeza rise from her wheelchair to accept the eucharist; to everyone’s shock, Leeza stands and walks.

* * *

[seagulls screeching]

[screeches]

[Hassan] Hey, Warren.

Come here.

Hey. Would you tell the mayor and Miss Keane to keep off the shoreline unless they have gloves and galoshes?

I’ll be over directly.

[Warren] Yeah.

Hey, Mr. Mayor, Sheriff says to keep off the shoreline unless you’ve got…

What’s he saying? What happened?

Give me your, um…

See these ladies off the beach, would you, Warren?

Wade, we need to talk about this.

[Wade] In a bit.

[Bev] We’ve got…

Sweet boy, no need. I can walk on a beach just fine. Thank you.

You’ll have your say, Bev.

Lord knows you always do. Sheriff!

Mornin’.

I thought I said… You should stay back till I know more, Mr. Mayor.

It could be this is some kinda disease or infection.

You know, I remember 2002, whole flock of, uh…

Starlings. It was starlings.

Hundreds of ’em just fell out of the sky, covered the beach.

The whole town. The square too.

Never did get a satisfying answer. Lots of theories.

Lightning, noises, disease. Never did find out.

Whole pod of dolphins once too, on the west bank.

More than a dozen, and they had bites missing.

And now here we are again. What in the world?

They washed up from the Uppards, right?

Yeah, looks like.

They drowned, right?

The Uppards haven’t flooded in, well, 20 years or more, but that storm, wowzers.

[Hassan] Maybe.

But you said some kind of disease or infection? You think so?

But you don’t see any oil now, do you?

Well, here, look.

Try not to get too close.

[Wade] Yep.

[Hassan] Don’t want to pick up parasites. Here.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Nah, no oil.

That’s something, anyway. You should have seen…

Well, folks around here, they seen some horrible things wash up after the spill.

But you’d see it, you know. You’d smell it for sure. So that’s…

That’s somethin’ isn’t it? That’s a relief, anyway.

[Hassan] The neck’s broke. Ripped up a bit.

Yeah, the gulls have been at ’em all morning.

[Hassan] All right, but that’s the thing though.

There’s no blood. Anywhere. In the cats, or on the beach.

So I think it happened before they got in the water or in the water maybe.

Yeah. A predator, huh?

Ospreys maybe? Or some kind of shark?

Maybe lots of baby sharks. I don’t know.

You know, we used to have those before the…

Haven’t seen many around, you know, but maybe that’s it.

Maybe the sharks are coming back.

And that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing, because where there’s sharks, there’s fish, right?

You know, being new around here, I, uh… I wouldn’t know what sort of wildlife you have on the island.

“You”? It’s your island too, Sheriff.

We have on the island. So I put it to Ed Flynn.

Yeah? He out here?

Yeah, he’s been out here all morning.

He says ospreys could get one or two on a good day, but this many, it’s unlikely.

Maybe it was the cats themselves. Maybe they fought.

The Uppards is like Lord of the Flies for those cats.

Spooked by the storm or whatnot.

He only had one.

[Wade] What’s this?

He said he’d send more if we need.

Oh, we’re gonna need. Did you tell him how many?

I didn’t know how many.

He thinks there’s a few cats on the beach. Tell him it’s hundreds. You know what?

Tell him to come down here.

What’s this now?

I figured we’d burn them in case there’s disease.

Get ’em in a pile and burn ’em.

Keep people back, ’cause if you think it smells bad now…

Hang on a bit, okay?

I’ll go get more.

Just tell him to come down here!

I don’t think the folks are gonna much like that.

That seems a little drastic. We’ve had strange things happen before.

Hey, look. It’s public safety. Really. And they’ll thank you for it.

Their mayor isn’t willing to gamble with public health.

Hey, you know, that’s a good kid you got there.

It’s a good kid, lending a hand like that.

Yeah, he, uh… Well, he wants to be a part of things.

Well, that’s a good instinct. A place like this, someone tries to stay separate or isolated, it just hurts the whole…

We really would love to see you two in mass one of these days.

Not as a convert, mind you. No, no, no.

You’ve got your faith, and, well, God bless.

Nothing but respect. And I know that you hop the ferry and you spend your Sundays on mainland for mosque, but…

Fridays.

Oh, Fridays? Then you’re here Sundays, which is perfect.

You know, I think it would pay dividends with the community if you put in an appearance.

Maybe did a reading, help announcements, nothing major.

You don’t have to sign up for membership or anything, just show the people you’re here, part of the whole.

You know what I’m sayin’, right, Sheriff?

Yeah, I think we burn ’em!

[Ed] Makes sense. Better safe.

[Hassan] Yeah?

[Hassan] Get some gas, dig a pit, get some sand around ’em.

Mornin’, Ed.

Riley. Wowzers, you ever seen something like this, huh?

And natural causes, not the spill, mind you, but this is natural causes.

You know, I remember 2002 it was, a whole flock of starlings just fell outta the sky.

Yeah, some storm.

Riley was out in it, but he didn’t see any cats on the beach.

You were out here during the storm?

Why the hell would you do that?

I saw… I thought I saw something.

Yeah. Monsignor Pruitt.

[chuckles] What?

I don’t… I don’t know what I saw.

You said you were sure last night.

Well, I don’t know.

Well, he’s on the mainland.

Yes, I know.

So then maybe you saw someone else? Someone doing somethin’ to these cats?

No, I didn’t see any cats. I think, anyway.

I wasn’t lookin’ at the breakers.

How you doing, Riley? How’s it treatin’ you, being back?

Prayed for you every week. We certainly did.

Yeah. Uh, thanks. It’s fine.

Morning!

Morning yourself. Jesus.

Yeah. I wouldn’t get too close.

I read this thing somewhere about cats and pregnant people.

Pregnant women, I guess.

Yeah. Tend to be women.

Toxo-something. There’s this parasite in cat shit that can be bad for pregnant women.

Toxoplasmosis. It’s kind of a myth, really.

More likely to get it from gardening.

All right, well… Lotta cats. Better safe, you know?

What happened? This really looks like every stray from the Uppards.

Yeah. They’re just gonna burn ’em all.

Uh…

Hey, sorry about last night. I just wanted to apologize.

What for?

For unloading on you like that. It won’t happen again.

It’s fine. And look, it all worked out. You found your purpose.

Yeah, cat disposal.

You gotta start somewhere.

Wild night. I swear I saw…

You know how Monsignor Pruitt always wears that coat and hat?

Yeah, I guess so.

All right, last night I saw…

Uh… Never mind. He’s on the mainland. I’m just… It’s crazy.

[sighs]

Well, I guess I’d better start burning these cats. Got a boat to catch.

Greener pastures already?

Nah, I got a meeting.

Something good?

No, it’s…

Stay away from the cats, all right?

I don’t want you catchin’ toxo-cat-mosis or whatever.

Don’t tell me what to do.

[seagulls screeching]

[Father Paul] Our processional hymn this morning is number 400 in the red hymnal. “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Please rise.

[bell dings]

[organ playing]

[all] ♪ Holy, holy, holy ♪

♪ Lord God Almighty ♪

♪ Early in the morning ♪

♪ Our song shall rise to Thee ♪

♪ Holy, holy, holy ♪

♪ Merciful and mighty ♪

♪ God in three persons ♪

♪ Blessed Trinity ♪

♪ Holy, holy, holy ♪

♪ Though the darkness hide Thee… ♪

“Before he was given up to death, a death he freely accepted, he took bread and gave you thanks.”

“He broke the bread, gave it to his disciples, and said…”

[all applauding]

[man] It was a good week. Congratulations to all of you. You all deserve it.

[conversation continues indistinctly]

♪ In love and purity ♪

♪ Holy, holy, holy ♪

♪ Lord God Almighty… ♪

[Father Paul] Body of Christ, Leeza.

Amen.

[Father Paul] Body of Christ.

Blood of Christ.

Amen.

♪ Holy, holy, holy ♪

♪ Merciful and mighty ♪

♪ God in three persons ♪

♪ Blessed Trinity ♪

Where were you before this?

Everyone asks, you know? Lots of gossips in our parish.

Like, lots.

I’d be happy to tell them if they’d ask me. But…

Well, that’s the thing about where we’ve been.

It’s important, sure.

But it’s not as important as where we’re going.

And every place I was before where I am now, well, they were just leading me here.

Even if I didn’t know it at the time. Even if I didn’t see it.

It’s kind of like you.

I’ve lived here my whole life.

Sure, but there was a before for you too.

It was pointing you here, and you know what that is?

That’s pointing us where we’re going, whether we know it or not?

It’s God.

He was pointing you here the same way He was pointing me here.

Morning!

[sighs]

Yeah. Come on, bud.

[Father Paul] You all right?

Leeza?

Oh, I’m fine.

It’s fine.

[Erin] You okay, Bev?

Erin. [chuckles nervously]

You surprised me. What do you need?

The Windex.

Did you try adding a bit of water to it? Usually, you can get more out that way.

I already threw out the bottle. But I’ll try that next time.

You know, your mother used to put back the empties, right back into this closet.

Half of them filled with nothing but water sometimes.

She was so against waste.

I’d have to throw them out myself. I would say, “Peggy. Peggy Greene, you are going to bury us in bottles if you keep it up.”

And here you threw it away.

Isn’t that just a gas?

You know, it is funny, because at home, she never met a bottle she couldn’t empty.

Here you go.

What’s that for?

Ugh, rats.

Had a big problem after the spill.

The rats came upon us like locusts.

I guess their regular food source was polluted.

No fish to eat at the marina, so they were in every pantry on the island.

This works like a charm. But with what happened with those cats…

If there are some wild animals out there responsible, some kind of predator on the island, what did that to those poor kittens? Well, this…

I plan to just sprinkle a little bit outside the house, just to be safe.

I could do your house as well, if you like.

Oh, no. I’ll be fine.

Of course you will, dear.

[knocking on door]

[Sarah] Oh.

Sarah.

Yes. Sarah Gunning.

You’re… I’ve heard about you, Father.

Paul. Hill.

What can I do for you?

I’m sure you’ve heard that I’m taking over for Monsignor.

I have.

He told me something as we were discussing the congregation.

Your mother… He said prior to her health declining…

Prior to that, that she never missed mass. Not even daily mass. Is that right?

My mother is…

Was very devout.

Well, here’s the thing…

[Sarah] Mom, someone’s here to see you.

John?

[Sarah] No.

She thinks you’re Monsignor Pruitt. Sorry, she gets confused.

That’s an easy mistake, same tailor.

[chuckles]

Mom, this is Father Paul.

Monsignor Pruitt is away for a while, and he came to…

Well, I’ve come to celebrate mass, young lady.

Ah…

I’ll be in there in my office if you need anything.

If she starts to have an episode, come get me.

[Father Paul] Of course.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

Body of Christ, Millie.

Blood of Christ.

Are you really walking by without saying hi?

[Riley] Uh, I didn’t want to bother you.

[Erin] You’re very considerate. Um…

Do you want some tea?

No, I’m just heading back.

How was your day?

Wow. It’s been a long time since anyone asked me that.

In prison nobody asks?

No, in prison no one needs to ask. Every day is exactly the same.

How was your day?

[Erin] Honestly, it was dull.

Do you want my routine? I’ll give it away cheap.

Cheap? Well, it better be ’cause I’m literally broke.

You got a pitch?

God, you want an actual pitch?

Used to hear a lot of pitches.

Right, ’cause you were all Shark Tank for a second there.

Yeah, Shark Tank meets Silicon Valley.

Just call me Mr. Wonderful.

Now, sharks.

[chuckles] Mmm.

Have you ever woken up and went to AA on the mainland, and thought, “There’s got to be a better way.”

I’m listenin’.

So our patented Erin Routine starts with 40 minutes of morning sickness.

Huh, go on.

Then, a classroom full of teenagers, all of whom think you’re an idiot, but half of whom smell like fishing boats that they spent their mornings working.

Nice.

Then city council, where you will be kind of, but not really, slut-shamed by Bev Keane.

Ah.

She really misses your awful mother, by the way.

And that is followed by an hour of evening morning sickness.

Is evening morning sickness worse than morning morning sickness?

Oh, substantially.

See, for those reasons, I am out.

That’s a bummer.

I should get going. I don’t wanna keep my parents waiting.

Some things never change.

I remember a 15-year-old Riley sneaking out of my bedroom window, trying to make curfew.

Don’t want to upset the parents.

Have a good night, Erin.

[Erin] You too.

♪ Saturday morning And it’s growing light ♪

♪ I look out my window And remember the night ♪

♪ A story is starting And this story ends ♪

♪ And I feel like I need you again ♪

♪ Time used to move softly When I was at home ♪

♪ It went on without me… ♪

[door opens]

Hi, honey.

[door closes]

How was your day?

[sighs]

♪ And I feel like I need you again ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ A song needs a reason and rhyme ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

♪ My love needs a little more time ♪

[thudding]

[seagull screeches]

How was your day?

♪ I recall September ♪

♪ The leaves turned brown ♪

[song fading]

[sound distorting]

[air whooshing]

[air whooshing]

[birds squawking]

Okay.

Ready?

[indistinct chatter]

There they are. Dolly, Wade.

Little more crowded today.

[Bev] Mmm. Just wait till Easter.

If it weren’t for that and Christmas, some people would never come at all.

Not like us though.

[Father Paul] It’s great to see so many of you here today.

But I do have to ask, why not every Sunday?

Christmas, Easter, I get that.

But there’s also always an uptick around the start of Lent.

Why is that? What’s so special about today?

Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent. It’s hardly a crowd-pleaser.

The beginning of repentance, making amends for our sins.

Sin.

This darkness, this blackness that spilled into us.

That darkness, we wear it on our forehead today.

Just a smudge of it. Uh…

A smudge of death, of ash, of sin for repentance.

Because of where this is all actually heading, which is Easter.

Rebirth, resurrection, eternal life. Life that rises again.

Even out of blackness, love rises again.

Even out of sin. And this island, it will rise again.

Even out of disaster, rebirth, restoration, eternal life.

Jesus sees you.

Sees you, best of all, and he sees you true.

Because, don’t forget, who did he seek out?

Who did he turn to, to build his church?

His apostles.

Jesus’ first disciples, they were fishermen.

One of his first miracles, right?

The nets are empty, fishermen desperate.

Jesus says, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch,” and when they pulled up those nets, a bounty of fish.

He sees you. Oh, yes, he sees you, brothers and sisters, and he will resurrect this island, and he will again fill your nets.

It’s great you’re here today, but please keep coming back.

Those doors, they’re always open, as the gates are always open.

You just bring yourself. God will do the rest.

As Psalm 60 tells us, “God, You have rejected us, You have broken us down, You have been angry. Restore us again.”

Do you know what psalms are? They’re songs.

The word psalm from the Greek psalmoi. It means “music.”

Songs of prayer. Songs of praise.

That’s who we are. That’s who we must be.

That’s what it means to have faith, that in the darkness, in the worst of it, in the absence of light and hope, we sing.

“Restore us,” we sing to the sky. And He will, my friends. He will.

That same hand that dealt you your hardship, that same hand will make you whole.

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

Remember you are dust…

Lorraine, remember you are dust.

To dust you shall return. To dust you shall return.

Ben, remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

Fiona, remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

Erin, remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

Tom, remember you are dust and to dust…

Riley, come.

No, Mom, it’s okay. Just go ahead.

No, honey. It’s not a sacrament.

It’s a blessing. Please.

Edward, remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.

Riley, remember you are dust…

And to dust you shall return.

Bless you, son.

Amen.

Remember, Father Paul, you are dust and to dust you shall return.

♪ It’s comin’ through a hole in the air ♪

♪ From those nights in Tiananmen Square ♪

♪ It’s coming from the feel That this ain’t exactly real ♪

♪ Or it’s real But it ain’t exactly there ♪

[indistinct chatter]

♪ From the war against disorder From the sirens night and day ♪

♪ From the fires of the homeless ♪

♪ From the ashes of the gay… ♪

[singing continues]

[Ed] You know how it works.

The catch goes up and the subsidies go down.

Just a bump.

And we’re right back where we started.

It’s 3%. Even two would help.

I can’t. Wish I could.

[indistinct chatter]

[Bev] This used to be quite the event.

You’d have nothing to compare it to, your first one and all, but…

Well, it used to just be a spring festival, but then St. Patrick’s came in and we coined the phrase, you know, “Crock Pot Luck.”

Tried to make it really something.

Well, we’re thrilled to be here. Aren’t we?

Yeah. Yeah.

I’m gonna go hang out with Warren.

Yeah, have fun.

[Sarah] Are you glad you came?

Oh, yeah. My kinda second date.

[Sarah chuckles]

Now, I’ve been curious about this place ever since I saw it on the news, after that tanker crashed.

It is, though, everything you said. You’ve gotta get outta here.

Well, I don’t know how to move my mother anywhere else.

I think that time has passed.

And this is where she wants to be. It’s the only place she ever knew.

I don’t want her dying anywhere unfamiliar.

But yes.

After that, I gotta get out of here.

Well, don’t look now, but I think we’re upsetting your clergy.

[Sarah] Oh.

He’s not mine.

He’s new. But I guess they all kind of have that same…

They have had the same old monsignor here since before I was born.

And he would stare at me just like that.

All the time. Even back when I was a kid.

I remember it freaking me out, thinking…

He knows.

Oh, yeah. Exactly, he knew! [chuckles]

[singing continues]

[sighs]

This is nice, isn’t it?

Uh, yeah. Everybody seems to be havin’ fun.

[Father Paul] Easter Festival on Crockett Island. It’s a special thing.

I’ve always preferred Easter, even to Christmas, if I’m honest.

This is my favorite time of year. Renewal, resurrection.

How’s Monsignor Pruitt doin’?

Is he comin’ back anytime soon?

This was one of his favorites too, the Crock Pot Luck.

I think he coined that.

Yeah, he’s doin’ well. He’s better.

Not great.

He speaks fondly of you, though, by the way. Remembers you well.

Is he, uh, up and about at all?

Why do you ask?

Nothing, just…

The other night when it was really blowing, I…

I swear I saw him down on the beach. Just walking in the rain.

Uh-huh. Seems unlikely.

Yeah, I suppose it could have been someone else, but…

The hat, the coat. It…

It’s nuts, I know. If he’s off-island, that is.

Uh, I spoke to him that night on the phone.

This was before the storm, to bring him up to speed on my first day.

It was after the afternoon ferry.

It was a landline in his room, so, I mean, unless he swam here.

Between you and I, Riley, and I am sorry to say this to you, that man isn’t going anywhere. Not anytime soon.

I’m sorry to hear that.

Yeah.

Everything has its season.

Well, I appreciate your time, Father, but I bet there’s a lot of people here who’d like your company too.

I don’t wanna hold you up with the town pariah.

Pariah. Well, no… Okay, you smoked me out.

I actually have an agenda. Your mother mentioned to me that you have to travel to the mainland for your AA meetings.

Get that stamp for the parole board. Yes?

Thanks, Mom.

Well, it got me thinking that I can start a chapter here, anytime.

I could save you that trip to the mainland.

Spare you having to burn through a whole day waiting on the Belle.

We could meet at the rec center.

I… I understand why Crockett doesn’t have a chapter already.

I can’t imagine that there’s much of a demand.

But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need.

Plenty of problem drinkers, especially these days.

One full-blown alcoholic already, who’s responsible for the drunken hunting accident that paralyzed little Leeza, I’m told.

[Riley] Yeah, I don’t know that I’d call it a “hunting accident.”

There’s not much big game around here. I think Joe was just shootin’ to shoot.

[Father Paul] Yeah, and he still won’t put down the bottle.

But someone like you, Riley, someone who already has, could set quite the example.

Can you imagine that? The good you could do?

Just by skipping a trip to the mainland?

Sorry, do you mind if I interrupt?

Not at all, Miss Greene.

Really enjoyed your homily today, Father.

Oh, thank you. Beautiful day, isn’t it?

[Erin] Mmm-hmm.

Think about what I said. No hard feelings either way.

[vocalizes]

[music stops]

[all applauding]

♪ If you could read my mind, love ♪

♪ What a tale my thoughts could tell ♪

They gave you three. That’s ambitious.

I guess they didn’t get the memo.

Yeah.

I used to think, “One day I’ll be older, and I’ll get drink tickets and I will exchange them for a glass of wine.”

“And that’s when I’ll feel like an adult.”

And now here we are.

Two adults with drink tickets that neither of us can use.

My mom used to go around and ask everybody if they were gonna use theirs, and at the end of the day she would have a handful of these blue tickets that she would dutifully spend.

Night after the potluck was not great at my house.

I’m sorry.

It’s okay. She’s just everywhere here.

Her memory. I work in the same job.

I live in the same house, sleep in the same bed.

And I’m alone just like her.

And I keep telling myself it’s only temporary, but I…

You’re nothin’ like her.

I remember that much. And you’re gonna be…

Fine.

Great.

As a teacher, as a mother, whatever else you do.

There’s a lot I don’t know about you anymore, but I know that.

You’re gonna be great.

[Joe] Pike! Pike!

[Pike yelping]

[Joe] Pike! Pike! Pike!

[Pike whimpers]

[woman] Is he okay?

[Joe] Pike!

[sobbing] Oh, God, no. Pike. Pike!

[Pike whimpering]

[Joe] Oh, my God, no!

No, Pike.

[Pike whines]

No. Baby boy, no.

[Pike gurgles]

[Joe] Oh, my boy.

[sobbing]

What happened?

Who did this? Who did it?

Who did this? Which one of you?

Who did this to a helpless little dog?

Oh, my God. Pike.

Hey. Easy now, Joe.

Any idea what happened?

Yes. He was poisoned!

That’s what happened.

You don’t like me? That’s fine!

Shit I done, I don’t care about me so much either.

But what did he ever do? What did he ever do to you?

Sheriff, Joe, I’m not a vet but, may I?

Can you help?

Did anybody see him eat anything?

Maybe he got into something that he shouldn’t have.

Or maybe it was a horrible accident.

An accident? [scoffs]

[clears throat]

Joe.

How…

Oh, my baby boy is dead.

All right, everybody, come on. Let’s go. Come on.

Let’s go, everybody. You heard the sheriff. Let’s go.

Let’s give them some room, huh?

♪ Amid th’ encircling gloom ♪

♪ Lead thou me on ♪

[muttering indistinctly]

♪ The night is dark ♪

♪ And I am far from home ♪

♪ Lead thou me on ♪

♪ Keep thou my feet ♪

♪ I do not ask to see… ♪

Mornin’.

Mornin’. You’re up early.

Yeah, I was hopin’ maybe I can help out on the boat.

Just… I wanna be of use, Dad.

[sighs]

Well, you’re gonna need better shoes.

I’ll go see if I can find some.

[Bev] Here we are again. Back to normal.

Funny how the pews empty back out once everyone has their ashes, isn’t it?

[indistinct chatter]

♪ So long thy pow’r ♪

♪ Hath blest me, sure it still ♪

♪ Will lead me on… ♪

Blood of Christ, Leeza.

Amen.

Whoa, Dad, your back!

[Ed] No, no. It’s…

It’s okay, I’m good.

I’m good.

♪ Which I have loved ♪

♪ Long since, and lost awhile ♪

You, straight home. No funny stuff.

[Hassan] Can I help you there?

[exhales] Sheriff.

My goodness, you startled me. What on earth brings you here?

Can’t imagine your job brings you here, does it?

Last thing we need is one of our kids in trouble.

No, no, it’s nothing like that.

I’m just following up on our little island mystery.

The cats.

The dog.

We confirmed that it was poison.

Oh. That’s tragic.

[Hassan] I was wondering, you were talkin’ a while back about that rat stuff, compound, what was it…

Ten-eighty.

Ten-eighty. That’s it behind you, isn’t it?

It is.

And yes, you’re correct.

After those cats, not knowing what on earth could have done it, I put some out, strategically, carefully, around my property.

A few others requested I do the same for them.

And if that poor dog, if it ingested some, accidentally, well, I’ll just be a wreck.

Is that what you’re telling me?

Please, if that’s what occurred, if you’re certain…

Well, I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive myself.

So is it?

And are you?

Certain, I mean.

I’m not telling you that.

Can’t say just about anything for certain.

Anyone else tend to have access to those chemicals?

Well, I should hope so.

They’re for the whole island, after all. We just store them here.

Heck, you walked right on in here, didn’t you?

If you had wanted to grab a gallon, who would have known it?

You are right, Sheriff.

I see what you’re getting at and you are right.

I should really lock these up.

You have a good day, Bev.

You do the same, Sheriff.

I’ll come by the next couple weeks, change the oil and air filter for you.

Should be good for a while though.

Why are you doin’ this to me, man? I’m trying to quit dark sodas.

[Joe chuckles]

I don’t know if I have enough on me. I can write ya a check.

You’re good.

[Joe] Next time.

Yeah, that’ll work. Just try not to run it for long.

Only for, like, legit emergencies.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Hassan] Joe.

[Joe] Sharif.

What are you doing here, Bowl?

Helping my man, Joe. Same as every month.

He keeps my genny going. Changes the filters once in a while.

And if I search your pockets, that’s what I’ll find? Air filters?

If you try to search my pockets, you’ll just find a fist up your ass.

[Joe chuckles] Okay. Stop kiddin’, you crazy little fuck. That’s…

Sheriff, you search whatever you want on my property. You knock yourself out.

My friend here is just leaving, and he means no harm.

Not his fault he was born woefully fuckin’ unfunny.

Kid’s just helping me out.

Kid’s a drug dealer.

Not when he’s here, he’s not.

And he’s about the only person on this island treats me like a human being.

So if that’s the reason, well, I kind of wish all you assholes was drug dealers.

Did you charge her yet?

Miss Keane insists she has no idea what happened.

Oh, she insists? Why didn’t you just fuckin’ say so. That changes everything.

Now, there was some chemicals nearby for rats and such.

[Joe] Rats.

If the dog got into something by…

Pike.

His name was Pike.

If Pike got into something by accident…

There weren’t no accident, okay?

But you know what, Sheriff?

I didn’t expect this would go any different.

Not with me, not here, not with her.

She killed half the island with that fucking settlement.

What’s one more dog on the pile?

Look, I hear you, Joe.

Yeah, I’ve known that woman since grade school.

And nothing she’s ever done or does is by…

You know what? Forget it.

You’re a smart man, Sharif, but in this case, you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

So let’s just leave it there.

I know Bev Keane too, all right? Not as well as you, but enough to know you’re not wrong about her.

You’re not wrong, Joe.

Thank you.

I gotta say, to be honest, I hadn’t really considered how awkward this would be with just two people.

I really don’t know how to start. [chuckles]

Riley. Alcoholic.

Hi, Riley.

All right, would you object if I began with Serenity?

Uh, be my guest.

[Father Paul] All right.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I can…

Maybe we should do it together.

Mmm.

[both] To accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Amen.

[clicks tongue] And we’re off. So how do you wanna do this?

I think we just talk.

Okay.

Um…

I kinda wanna talk about this place.

Oh.

Way I hear it, Bev Keane was encouraging people to take the settlements from the oil companies almost from the start.

It seemed like a lot of money, I guess, until you hold it up against a couple years of lost wages, but not a lot of people really doing that math back then.

And there’s Bev Keane saying, “Go ahead, take the cash. It’s a gift from God.”

“And maybe give a little back to God while you’re at it.”

And they do.

Take the money, they turn around and hand some of it right to the church, which, with Pruitt being sick as he was, means they really were giving it to her.

And that won’t look right, I guess.

So, lo and behold, she builds this rec center. [scoffs]

Who knows if it actually cost as much as people gave her.

With so many of them gone now, there’s really no way to know for sure.

Catholic Church in a nutshell.

All over the world, these small, starving villages with big, fancy churches.

Gettin’ bigger and fancier, while the towns dry up.

Churches just poppin’ up like fat, plump little ticks suckin’ the town dry.

[hesitates] Okay, so… We can safely say you’re not practicing.

That’s safe.

Not always the case, though.

You were an altar boy.

Does that surprise you?

Monsignor Pruitt said that, uh, back in the day, he didn’t think you lacked for belief or faith.

Yeah, I’d rather not go too far down that road tonight.

I mean, you seem like a nice guy.

You’re doin’ me a favor. I just would not want to offend you.

That’s tough to do.

And AA, it’s not about protecting people’s feelings, is it?

It’s about recovery, responsibility, honesty, support, more than anything else.

And of course, the higher power.

Yeah, that part.

Mmm-hmm.

See, it’s… It’s not the only game in town as far as recovery, you know?

You ever heard of RR?

RR?

AA for pirates?

Oh. [chuckles]

“Rational Recovery.” It’s based more on reason and psychology.

It’s about empowering people instead of saying they’re powerless.

So you’re the higher power, is that how it works?

Addictive Voice Recognition Technique, that’s how it works. AVRT.

Oh.

Recognizing the addictive voice inside.

It’s not that I want to drink, it’s that the addictive voice wants to, the AV.

So you learn to identify it, separate it and control it.

Being your own higher power, how is that working out for you?

I haven’t had a drop in four years.

Not much of a selection in prison though, is there?

[chuckles] No.

Look, Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine.

Alcohol isn’t good or bad. Not itself. But it’s people.

Mmm?

Do you know how many of us have this problem?

It’s a lot actually, 1 in 12 of us.

I haven’t counted.

Yeah, 12.

That’s a funny coincidence, that number pops up a lot in the Bible, but there’s 1 in 12 of us for whom alcohol, this thing which isn’t good or bad, causes great suffering.

Caused you suffering.

I know it did that.

God can take that pain and turn it into something good.

Something with purpose.

Suffering can be a gift.

It all just depends on us.

What we do with it, how we react to it.

So, alcohol, that isn’t good or bad.

The same with guilt, grief, suffering.

It just depends on what we do with it.

What’s more empowering than that?

No.

Alcohol isn’t good or bad.

But the version of me that would come out when I had enough to drink, he was bad.

He was selfish and careless, and he ruined my life.

There is a saboteur inside of me, and I always thought, you know, we’d work it out.

We’d learn to live with each other, because he wouldn’t really hurt me.

Not me. I fed him, so he wouldn’t hurt me.

And then one morning I woke up and found out he killed someone.

I had killed someone.

So who’s to blame there? I am to blame there.

And God?

[scoffs]

He just kinda let it happen, didn’t he?

See that? That’s the part I cannot square.

Because you’re right, there is so much suffering in the world.

So much. And then there’s this higher power.

This higher power who could erase all that pain, just wave his hand and make it all go away, but doesn’t?

No.

No, thank you.

The worst part is that it lets all the rest of us off the hook.

We can all just stand by and watch Leeza Scarborough wheel herself around town.

We can watch Joe Collie slowly drink himself to death.

We can watch so many people just slip into these bottomless pits of…

Of awful and we can stand it.

We can tolerate it because we can say things like, “God works in mysterious ways.”

Like there’s a plan? Like something good’s gonna come out of it?

Nothing good came out of my drinking.

Nothing good came out of me killing that poor girl.

Nothing good came out of Joe Collie’s drinking.

Not a single good thing comes out of Leeza never being able to walk again.

Nothing good came out of a metric ton of crude oil filling up the bay.

And the only thing, the only fucking thing that lets people stand by, watching all this suffering, doing nothing, doing fucking nothing, is the idea that suffering can be a gift from God.

What a monstrous idea, Father.

Yeah.

Yeah.

[inhales]

Look, there’s nothing in the scripture, or in the world for that matter, that suggests God negates personal accountability.

There’s certainly nothing in the program to suggest that.

Not at all, in fact.

I believe God can take our work, even our awful works, and turn them into something else.

I know He can find the good in them, and find the love in them, whether we see it or not.

That I know… Riley Flynn.

That I know.

[thudding]

[thudding continues]

[floorboard creaking]

[thudding]

[urinating]

[inhales sharply]

I’m so sorry.

You did the right thing.

It’s better to be safe, you know?

Everything’s just fine.

Oh, thank you, God.

Yeah, everything’s fine.

Just a little spotting.

[Erin sighs]

I’m sorry I woke you up.

If you hadn’t, if you’d waited until tomorrow and something really was wrong?

No, honey. That’s why I’m here. You did the right thing. Here, listen.

[heart beating]

Hi, baby.

See? Baby’s just fine.

Mom’s a little worked up though, Littlefoot.

It’s just ’cause she loves you, though.

Thank you again.

Of course.

Sarah! Sarah!

[Sarah gasps]

Jesus, Mom!

Come quick! Come!

[Sarah] Jesus.

[Mildred] I thought I saw your father.

His clothes. I thought it was your dad.

Dad’s been dead for 15 years.

It’s not getting any easier to tell you that.

No, it was something else. It came right up to the window.

Oh, Sarah. That face.

[breathing heavily] That face. Oh. That face.

[creaking]

Hello?

Somebody there?

[echoing] Hello?

Somebody there?

Who’s that?

[echoing] Who’s that?

That you, Ooker?

[thudding]

[door shuts]

Good morning, Father.

[Father Paul] Leeza.

[Bev] Our responsorial psalm today is Psalm 27.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom then shall I fear?”

“The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom then shall I be afraid?”

“When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh, it was they, my foes and adversaries, who stumbled and fell.”

“Though an army should encamp against me, yet my heart shall not be afraid.”

“And though war should rise up against me, I will put my trust in Him.”

“One thing I have asked of the Lord, one thing I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life.”

[organ playing softly]

Body of Christ, Leeza.

Amen.

Come on. Body of Christ.

Father, what are you doing? [chuckles nervously]

Body of Christ.

What are you doing?

No. No.

[crowd murmuring]

Come on.

Body of Christ.

No, stop it.

That’s cruel.

Come on.

Leeza, honey. What is wrong with you?

[Wade] If this is a joke, Father, it’s not funny. I…

Leeza.

[exclaims]

[crowd gasps]

[breath trembling]

[Wade] What?

[gasps]

Body of Christ.

Amen.

[serene instrumental music playing]

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