Presumed Innocent – S01E01 – Bases Loaded | Transcript

Chief deputy prosecutor Rusty Sabich is determined to investigate the murder of his colleague Carolyn Polhemus.

Presumed Innocent
Season 1 – Episode 1
Episode title: Bases Loaded
Original realease date: June 12, 2024
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Ruth Negga, Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, Peter Sarsgaard, O-T Fagbenle, Tate Birchmore, Renate Reinsve, Chase Infiniti, Lily Rabe, Nana Mensah, Kingston Rumi Southwick, Matthew Alan

Plot: Chief deputy prosecutor Rusty Sabich is determined to investigate the murder of his colleague Carolyn Polhemus.

* * *

My name is Rusty Sabich, and I am the prosecutor in this trial.

Sitting over there is the accused, James McDavid, and I can tell you that he sits there not guilty because that is what our constitution demands.

Now, I will present evidence to show you that the accused committed this crime.

And should you find that to be likely… likely… you got to vote not guilty.

Should you find that to be very likely, you have to set him free.

My job is to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt… and being on a jury, that is a high calling.

And being entrusted with the prosecution, satisfying the burden of proof, that is also a high calling.

I will live up to my duty, and I ask that you rise up to yours.

Let’s do our jobs, shall we?

[“Handclapping Song” playing]

That’s way high.

Way, way, way high. Come on.

Give me some more. Just focus. Take a breath.

Hey, just take a breath.

You’re rushing it all. Just breathe.

How’s it going out there?

[Rusty] Whoa, nice.

I heard something about runners on second and third.

Whoa, not the testicles!


[Rusty] Nasty!

Hey, guys, I thought we said no curveballs.

[Rusty] Let the boy pitch, hon. Just let the boy pitch.


[Rusty] Yeah?

It’s Raymond.

You threw a couple great ones today.


There must be some new poll out or something.

You have got to be kidding me.

[teen] Daddy suggested it.

[Rusty] Hey.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll be right… I’ll be right there.

[breathing shakily]

Barbara, can I talk to you for a second?

Yeah. Sure.


Carolyn Polhemus was murdered.

[breathing heavily]


I don’t know. I have to… I’m gonna… I have to go. I’ll be back.

[sighs deeply]

[siren wails]

[camera shutter clicks]

You don’t wanna go in there. It’s bad.

{\an8}All right. Make sure you glove up.

[shutter clicking]

[door closes]

I should take the case,

’cause something of this stature should be either Rusty or me,

and Rusty’s too close.

No, I need to be in charge.

A-And why is that, exactly?

Well, first of all, because Raymond asked me to be,

and he still is the district attorney, Nico, however much you want that title.

And second, I’m better than Tommy, so…

Okay, look. For the record, until I win the election…

and I’m going to win… I will remain your loyal and trusted servant.

It’s Rusty’s case, all right?

Tommy, you cannot see straight on things. Admit it.

Your view is likely obstructed by Nico’s sphincter.

You dismiss me at your peril.

[Raymond] Fuck off.

I just want the best lawyer for the job, and it’s Rusty.


Eugenia, can you, uh, please ask Rigo to meet me in my office?

Okay, yeah.

Oh, fuck.


I know.

I know.

Oh, Jesus Christ.

Rigo, what do you got?

Um, PD’s on forensics,

night of timeline, last known contacts.

Where are we starting?

Uh, recent releases. TCS parolees.


You think it was revenge?

I don’t know. Who knows?

I don’t… I don’t know.

Um, when the labs come in,

can you just make sure that they… they come only to me?

To me only. Not to Molto or Delay.

Yeah, you got it.

[reporter] One of Raymond Horgan’s top lieutenants,

a tough prosecutor with political aspirations of her own,

{\an8}Miss Polhemus was reportedly bludgeoned to death in her home,

her housekeeper discovering her body shortly after ten o’clock this morning.

{\an8}And it’s been a rough day on Wall Street with prices on the Dow…

[Nico] Our hearts go out to Carolyn and her loving family.

{\an8}We’re all quite rightly stunned and rattled

{\an8}by such a grotesque and heartless act of violence.

And to the public at large, we hear your anguish and your fear

because we feel it too.

It is difficult for the citizenry to feel safe

{\an8}when we can’t even protect our own prosecutors.

[scoffs] Wow. Such a dick.

[Nico] We have to do better.

We must do better, frankly.


He’s not wasting any time, is he?


[Nico] We owe that, not only to Carolyn Polhemus,

but to her friends and family that will never see her a…

[exhales deeply]

You okay?

[clears throat] Yeah.

[sighs] Yeah.

Oh, Rusty.

[breathing shakily]


I will try and be here for you…

But I can’t do the memorial.

[Rusty] I understand.

[Raymond] Thanks for coming today.

Thanks for…

[bells tolling]

Thank you.

How are we doing?

Same as you, I guess.

You know anything more?

No, not much, but I got Rigo on it.

You know, the clock is ticking on this,

and my expiration date is in the crosshairs.

Oh, well, don’t worry. We’re gonna find out who did this.

Who’s our ME?


Kumagai. Jesus fucking Christ.




I don’t like being called that.

Just a joke.

This press conference, Nico.

Please, can we not do this right here?

Fuck off. Teeing up Carolyn’s murder for political gain.

Hey. Raymond, let’s not do this right now.

Fuck you too, Tommy.

This is beneath us.

Just shut the fuck up.

This is beneath us.

Nothing’s beneath me. I once fucked an ottoman.

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of broken heart,

who are pressed and bored down with afflictions,

by the sorrow of heart under which their spirits are broken

or with a sense of sin and sorrow for it

by which their hearts smite them…

Her ex.

and they are wounded by it…

You ever meet him?


and broken with it.

Fucking weirdo.

[priest] These are just words.

[Rusty] He has an alibi.

Carolyn Polhemus was flesh and blood…

Who’s the kid next to him?

beloved daughter…

Her son.

mother, public servant.

[Raymond] You didn’t know?

[priest] Words cannot convey the loss

or ease our grief.

We tell ourselves we keep her in our hearts and our minds.

Sorry, Raymond, I’m just gonna…

Yeah, yeah.

[priest] Ash would not be just ash.

Her dust will not be just dust.

Her memory will fill us.

[Rusty] It just seems strange that she would never mention that she had a kid.

And the ex has custody?

I’m assuming he does. Yeah.

Listen, please tell me that we have some kind of a lead on this,

and that we are not absolutely out to fucking sea.

I have… I have an idea.


Bunny Davis.

Reynolds? We convicted that guy.

Yeah, but Carolyn and I worked that case together.

So you’re saying that we put an innocent man behind bars

only to have the real killer kill one of our prosecutors?

Great. That’ll get me fucking reelected.

[both sigh]

The two of them were tied up in exactly the same way.

Do you really think there’s a connection?

You asked if we were out at sea.


[ball thuds]



How come you’re home?

I was at Carolyn’s memorial.


[ball thuds]

You wanna try some?

Come on. Let’s see the curveball. Come on.

Show me the curveball.



[ball thuds]

Again. Let’s see it again.


[thunder rumbles]

[Rusty] Blunt force trauma to the head. That’s the official cause of death.

[Kumagai] Read the report. I sent it over.

I did. There’s no chemistry, pathology, toxicology. Wasn’t very thorough.

Wow. Go fuck yourself.

I am a medical doctor,

and you will give me your respect while you’re in this room.

No wounds that would imply that she was stabbed.

No, she wasn’t stabbed.

And no signs of sexual assault.

No, and you’d know that if you’d read the report all the way through.

I swear to God, you fucking people.


Excuse me?

I said, uh, “you,” and I said “fucking,” and I said “people.”

I need to go finish my lunch, so…

It was great seeing ya, Sabich. Uh, enjoy the sights.

[Carolyn] Liam Reynolds has been watching Bunny Davis.

He knows that a $12 baggie of heroin can get him anything he wants,

so he tricks her into his motel room.

And over the course of that week, he keeps her high.

So high that he has to give her Narcan on three different occasions

to revive her.

Bunny Davis dies three times while she’s with Reynolds.

And he revives her three times.

She’s too drugged to resist, but not so drugged she can’t feel it.

And when he runs out of drugs

and can no longer sedate her, he hog-ties her for three days.

Three days with a rope around your neck, pulling you, choking you.

Bunny Davis was a daughter…

a sister…

a friend.

Bunny Davis was 26 years old

when she found herself hog-tied in a dirty motel with a monster,

and she is praying… pleading…

that this is the kind of man who will just let her go.

But no.

This man, Liam Reynolds, is the kind of man who does this…

and this…

and this.

[Tommy] You remember Bunny Davis?

Uh, yeah.

Carolyn was tied up in a… in a similar way.

All right. Well, you think there’s a connection?

[Tommy] Apparently, Rusty thinks there’s one.

Yeah, but Liam Reynolds is in prison.


All right.

Well, you know, it’s not our case.

Not yet.

[gate buzzes]

I don’t think this is our guy.

It’s, uh… It’s totally plausible

that he could have gotten someone on the outside to do it.

That’s a stretch.

Different MO. The other victim was stabbed in the heart.

Carolyn was bludgeoned.

It was a fire poker, by the way.


Yeah, she had a whole wrought-iron fireplace set.

[inhales deeply] Poker’s missing.

It would, uh, match the wounds.


[officer] You’re good.

[Rigo] Makes me think it just happened. It wasn’t planned.

[Rusty] It just happened? It was meticulous.

[Rigo] No, she was tied up meticulous.

Not so much the murder.

Sounds like something I’d do. [chuckles]

Sounds like something I’d enjoy.

So, am I a suspect?

[sniffs, scoffs]

I mean… [chuckles] …hope so.

It’s pretty fucking boring around here.

Will I get to go back to court, put on a tie, dress up?

What, are you… [stammers] looking for some kind of revelation?

{\an8}Fuck off.

She was about notches on her belt, which I was one.

So, if you want a statement from me, I got a statement for you. “Yippee.”

Or no, here’s a… here’s a better one.

Here’s a better one from me. “What goes around comes around.”

Are you done?

I’d gladly crater her skull.

[scoffs, sniffing]

You’re a thoughtful guy, yeah?

Okay. So, let’s just say, for the sake of argument…

yours, not mine…

you’re a thoughtful guy serving a life sentence.

Not Carolyn’s doing, by the way.

And that if you had any information at all,

I think you might find it advantageous

that you’re sitting across from the chief deputy prosecutor.

What do you wanna do?

You wanna go keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing around here?

Let me ask you something.

Do you actually think

that I had something to do with the death of your revered colleague?

I think… I think that you would be intrigued

by the commonalities between Bunny and her.

And that if you had anything to share at all,

now might be an opportune time.

Carolyn Polhemus.

Carolyn Polhemus…

ruined my life.

You helped.

[juror] We, the jury in the above-titled case,

find the defendant, Liam Reynolds, guilty of murder in the first degree.

[spectators clamoring] Yes!

There’s two things that I never forget.

Faces, and being fucked over!

[spectators gasping]

[inhales deeply]

[Raymond] As beloved as Carolyn was,

she also made a lot of enemies.

She was an unflinching prosecutor

who put a lot of very bad people in prison.

Some possibly looking to get even.

It’s every prosecutor’s worst fantasy

that someone you convict comes looking for revenge.

Violent criminals with grudges is not something you want to cultivate.

Things aren’t okay the way they are. There’s a lot of fear.

People don’t feel safe,

and people are anxious. And they’ve got good reason to be,

because Raymond Horgan is not doing a good-enough job of keeping things safe,

and that’s something that we intend to change.

And right now, people don’t feel free and they don’t feel safe.

So, in two weeks, Chicago, get out there and vote.

[doorbell rings]

Mr. Caldwell, I’m… I’m sorry for just, uh, turning up like this.

My name is Rusty Sabich.

I know who you are.

Carolyn spoke of you.

I tried calling.

Police have already been here.

Could I just have a word with you?


We divorced over nine years ago. We haven’t really kept in close touch.

[Rusty] And do you know anything about her personal life?

I do not.

Do you?

Her life was work, so the people at her work

would be in a much better position to know.

Really, the reason we divorced.

You, uh… You worked quite closely with her,

from what I understand.

She was my number two.

I never knew that she had a child.


Yeah, sometimes what you don’t know can tell you everything.

[door opens, closes]

Carolyn was a-a very compartmentalized person.

I’m sure there are many things about her that remain unknown to me.

Whatever I did see and know is what she wanted seen and known.

If you’re wondering whether I killed her,

the police have already satisfied themselves that I didn’t.

[door closes]

Uh, my son, Michael.

Mr. Sabich.

Hello, Michael. I’m sorry for your loss.

Thank you.

He’s angry…

at the world, at his mother, at… at me.

His family unit failed.

I’m sure he blames me for that failure.

[breathes shakily]

Okay, everyone. Let’s get started.

Um, listen, I know that we’re all struggling.

We’re going through some very, uh, hard times.

Carolyn was a… a really special person, one of our core team.

Look, it’s okay to hurt.

And, uh, it’s okay if you can’t carry on.

That’s human nature.

But it’s also human nature to support each other.

You know, to be compassionate.

What’s the, uh… What’s…


What’s the news on that front, Carolyn’s murder?

Uh, well, we haven’t gotten the whole full path report.


On Carolyn’s clothes and body, there were, uh,

minute fibers of a carpeting that were not found in her apartment.

They were synthetic, milled domestically.

The color is called Scottish malt.

The dye lot hasn’t been identified

and the fiber could be from either industrial or domestic weave…

Color’s called Scottish malt.

Narrows it down.

Um, there was also probably no struggle before she was killed,

so no sign of break-in, which suggests that Carolyn knew her killer.

And the autopsy concludes three blows to the head.

And what’s this with the rope?

It’s just standard half-inch, American-made hemp.

Right. Which can be found almost anywhere.

Target, Walgreens, Home Depot.

So, when you say that this investigation is nowhere, you really mean it.

Is that what you plan to report to Delay,

so you can call a press conference and declare incompetence?

Your incompetence is on full parade today.

Wow, you… you really can be a real dick, can’t you, Tommy?

I guess this ends the compassionate portion of the evening.

Tommy, can I talk to you?

What the fuck was that, Tommy?


You think that that’s productive?

I wasn’t aware that’s what we were going for.

You know what?

I know a lot.

Uh-uh. You know what, I’m tired of your fucking insubordination, okay?

And if I find that you have been blocking my investigation, I…

Blocking… [stammers] You have carpet fibers.

The case is basically solved.

Are you fucking kidding me?

You wanna take me on?

You wanna take me on?


You think that would be a good idea?


How do you think that’ll work out for you, Tommy?

[chuckles] You’re upset.



Mr. Sabich, any comments on the Polhemus case?

I’m not at liberty to comment right now.

This is an ongoing investigation,

but I can tell you that this office…

Way to go, Rusty. Come on.

is hard at work, and Raymond Horgan is very hard at work.

And the idea that we’re doing nothing is offensive.

I mean, I understand that that’s an idea that Nico Della Guardia wants to convey

because it’s politically advantageous for him to stoke fear.

{\an8}But Nico Della Guardia hasn’t tried an actual case in this courtroom for years.

He pleads everything out.

Get ’em!

[Rusty] His methodology of choice is to just stall and stall and stall

{\an8}until the defendant’s lawyers have to quit

’cause their clients can’t pay them anymore.

It’s one thing to be a hack. It’s another thing to be dishonorable.

But to be both is…

{\an8}Nico Della Guardia is known around here as Nico “Delay” Guardia

because he stalls and he pleads out.

{\an8}And just one last thing. Just one last thing.

If you were headed down a dark alley and danger lay ahead…


who would you want in your corner?

A pleader and a staller…

That little fuck.

like Nico Della Guardia,

{\an8}or a fighter like Raymond Horgan?

[Barbara] Please don’t tell me you’re personally handling Carolyn’s case.



Raymond asked me to.

Raymond asked you to.


If I don’t take it, then it falls to Tommy Molto, who will do nothing

because this going unsolved dooms Raymond’s chances of reelection.

I mean, should Della Guardia win, then he’ll give Tommy my job, by the way.

And what if it gets out…

[stammers] That you two were involved.

I mean, what’s that gonna do to your case,

your career and our kids?


It has been over for so long between me and Carolyn.

I just need two weeks, because between now and the primary,

Raymond needs there to be a case, Barbara.

And I am the only one in the position to deliver that.

[inhales deeply] What, he can’t find a prosecutor who hasn’t slept with her?

I’m sorry.



Our marriage barely survived this.

I barely survived this.

I know you, Rusty.

[sighs] You will disappear into this case.

[sighs] You will disappear and you will go silent.

And that’ll break me.

[exhales deeply]

My father cheated on my mother…

and, uh…

I swore to myself that I would never do that.

[scoffs] And now I’m here.

Why do you think it happened?

I don’t know. You know, it wasn’t about the sex.

I mean, it became about that.

But I mean, with Barbara, that’s… that’s what it was at first.

I mean, B and I met when we were 20.

She was pregnant six months later,

and then there was Jaden and… and then there was Kyle.

And so we were just… we were in.

When we laid down to bed… [stammers] you know, we lay with all of our worries.

You know, the kids’ troubles at school, my caseload.

With Carolyn, it was just pure.

She just woke me up, you know?

She was funny and strong, and she was brilliant, Carolyn.

Just fucking brilliant. [chuckles]

You know what I can’t make sense of, and maybe you can help me understand?

There was something about that first encounter…

[sighs] …I just keep thinking about.

I mean, maybe what she was drawn to wasn’t just me.


Do you think she was drawn to your power?

Well, that doesn’t sound very loving.


But it was.

I’m trying to teach you something.

You’re not listening.

I’m trying to learn.

You’re not listening.

I’m… I’m half listening.


Kind of miss the old days,

where, if two consenting adults wanted to touch each other, they could just touch.


We were very physical.

She was very aggressive.

Uh, she liked it when I was aggressive.

[panting, kissing]

You’re talking about the sex now?

[“Crazy” playing]

And sometimes when Carolyn and I would engage in ways

that B and I never did,

Carolyn would look at me and she would say,

“Does Barbara do this for you?”

Almost like she wanted to bring her into the bed with us.

Like she wanted her to be in bed with us.

Like she wanted one more witness to what I was willing to lose.

Is that a sentiment that you’ve shared with Barbara?


[Rusty pants]


[Carolyn] Does Barbara do this for you?

[panting, kissing]

[grunting, kissing]


[grunts] Fuck.


I can’t stop thinking about her.

[“Crazy” ends]

[crowd cheering]

[chanting] Della Guardia.

Thank you.

What… [chuckling]

[chanting continues]

What a wonderful night.


But look, let’s remember, friends, only the beginning.

[chanting continues]

I would also like to thank

my wonderful friend and noble adversary, Raymond Horgan.

{\an8}[crowd booing]

Thank you… No, no, no.

{\an8}He has served this city so faithfully for so long.

But wonderful and noble.

[mocking] So faithfully for so long.

He’s my dear friend Raymond.

My dear friend Raymond.

My heart and love go out to him.

{\an8}So, Raymond Horgan, thank you, please.

{\an8}[crowd cheers]


{\an8}But you know, look,

that’s the past and we’re here for the…

[crowd] Future!

Does this mean you’re out tonight?

I mean, I still have a job, but I’m not chief deputy prosecutor.

That’s Tommy, right?

Yes. It’s Tommy Molto.

[Nico] …are you with me?

[Kyle] Fuck ’em.

Okay, yeah.


Fuck them.

Honestly, I mean, look at ’em.

I mean, he’s not wrong.

You wouldn’t wanna be there with these guys in charge.

Okay. Well, where would I go?

[Jaden] Mmm…

What would I do?

What about the case?

I don’t know. [sighs]

[Barbara clears throat]

How’d it go with Dr. Rush?

You would have liked it.

She completely took your side.

Of course she did. I’m the “cuckoldee.”

I am sorry about the election…

and your job.

I’m almost relieved, you know?

Thank you for sticking by me.

It’s not lost on me that I’m, you know…

The stickiest?

You know, I’m not tragically dependent.

I could have left.

I could have moved on. I still could.

The reason I haven’t is we have a family…

and if I’m desperate for anything, it’s to preserve that.

Oh, and I love you.

There’s that. [breathes shakily]

I will fight… You and I will fight…

to save what we have because we have got a lot.

But you need to stop loving her.

You need to stop loving her.

[Raymond] I called Nico.

Congratulated him on both his victory and a race well-fought.

I also told him that I would be stepping down immediately,

as it will allow him to enjoy a bit of incumbency

before the general election.

Add to that, a lame-duck prosecutor

really can’t serve the best interests of our city.

[elevator dings]

Rigo, hey.

Hey, how you doing?

[scoffs] I don’t know.

Yeah. Well, sorry.

What are you doing here?

Hall and Oates want a debrief on some cases.

Oh, some cases? [chuckles]

Hey, you gonna hang in okay?


See ya.






[exhales heavily] Wow, couldn’t get out of here fast enough, huh?

Yeah. Well, if you believe the press, I don’t really have that much time here.

It’s like a champion stud going out to pasture.

If only the stud part still worked. [chuckles]

[chuckles] You ready?

What, for pasture?

No, for this meeting.

Oh, with Tweedledum and Tweedledumber.


Mmm. [groans]


You’ve seen the look on my face. Happy?

[laughs] Please. Come on, Raymond. Take a seat.

You too, Rusty. And close the door.

First off, I just wanna thank you for your gracious remarks last night.

They were very moving, very kind.

Oh, fuck off.


Your previous public comments, however, saddened me.

Sorry you feel that way.

So, Tommy’s gonna assume the role of chief deputy prosecutor,

effective immediately.

Uh, it goes without saying, you’ll just pass on your case list

and charging notes and calendar files, and blah-blah-blah.

And then given the compounding public interest in the Carolyn Polhemus case…

The fire you flamed like a shameless fuck?

Where are we on that?

I mean, I gave Tommy the full report.

Actually, I don’t think you did.

There’s a… a couple things are missing here.

[Rusty] Like what?

Um, the fingerprint analysis, for starters.

I’m still waiting on that.

It’s available.

[clears throat]

So you have been tampering?

Well, I mean, it’s my investigation now. [chuckles]

Several sets of fingerprints were found in her apartment, including yours.

So, when was the last time you were in Carolyn’s apartment?

I was at the scene following her death.

But you were gloved up… [stammers] …right?

And your fingerprints were found in her bedroom.

No one saw you enter that room.

So, when was the last time you were in Carolyn’s apartment prior to the murder?

Uh, we had cases together… trials… and sometimes we would work after hours, and sometimes we would be at her apartment.

So you discussed cases at her apartment?

We were work colleagues.

So, I looked at Carolyn’s call logs on her cell phone.

You two had quite a few calls together.

What is… What is the point of this?

The point is, I’m trying to find out when the last time you were in Carolyn’s apartment prior to the murder.

And you said, uh, that you worked on cases together there.

Do I need a lawyer present at this meeting? [chuckles]

What was the last case the two of you worked on together?

I’m sorry, am I under criminal investigation here?

Listen, I’m the new chief deputy prosecutor.

I’m looking to be briefed by the former chief deputy.

I have questions.

It’s normal.


Were you and Carolyn romantically involved?

You want me to repeat the question?

[breathes shakily]

Um, my personal, uh, relationship with Carolyn Polhemus is not relevant to this investigation.

Are you shitting me?

You’re a hack, Tommy.

Hey, Rusty.

I certainly stand corrected for having accused you of incompetence in this investigation.

Seems it was deliberate, bordering on artful.

You’re a fucking hack, Tommy.

Hey, maybe…

You’re a fucking hack.

Rusty, maybe you should keep your mouth shut.

[Tommy] Here’s the thing. [sighs]

Full path report came back on Carolyn’s murder and she was pregnant.

Were you aware that Carolyn was pregnant at the time of the murder?


[Tommy] Do you have any idea who the father might be?


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!