Original release date: May 21, 2021
A brilliant physicist obsessed with traveling through time discovers two unlikely characters standing in the way of her epic breakthrough.
* * *
NARRATOR: If you travel to the future, can you escape your past?
[sighs] All right.
All right. Um…
Um… it’s day 1,227.
I am still trying to make contact with the future, and today’s trial appears to have failed.
Unless you feel like… talking now.
Can you hear me now?
Do you remember that?
Can you hear me now?
It was the… the… Verizon guy.
God, that was so long ago.
That must have been, like, 20 years ago.
Can you hear me now?
Oh, my God, and do you remember that he went to Sprint like a traitor?
Like when LeBron went to the Knicks?
Or when Trump fled to Russia?
Thought I would have found you by now.
My future me.
I thought that I would be where you are, away from all this.
I thought it would finally be over.
But… well, that’s 10,620 failures, unless we recall what Edison said.
“I have not failed, I’ve simply found 10,000 ways it didn’t work.”
What a fuckin’ dude. [sighs]
Okay. Um, I’m just gonna… recalibrate the, um…
[man laughing on TV]
I’m working, Rachel.
RACHEL: Don’t “I’m working” me.
You’re still in Mom’s basement with your ridiculous time travel project.
LEAH: I have funding from private trillionaire investors who race yachts, so…
RACHEL: Yeah, well, Mom keeps waving her hand around, and in a lot of pain.
LEAH: What time is it?
RACHEL: I don’t know.
-LEAH: Okay. Is she, like, pointing at the ceiling?
-RACHEL: Yeah, I think so.
-LEAH: Okay, and is she saying, like, “hole, hole”?
RACHEL: Yeah, exactly.
She’s too hot.
Every day it’s the same damn thing.
The sun warms her room and the nurses never anticipate the rise in the Cauchy Horizon.
I tell them this every single day…
RACHEL: The rise in the what? What did you say?
I said the rise in the greenhouse effect.
RACHEL: No, you didn’t.
Yes, I did, Rachel, okay?
The greenhouse effect makes it too hot in her room, and if the nurses would just lower the temperature to 68 degrees at 3:30…
Well, they are really busy and you are, like, the rudest person ever so…
Oh, my God, Rachel, please. Did she have her bath today?
How are the sores on her right leg?
RACHEL: They look pink.
Okay, that’s good. That’s good.
Uh, make sure you put the cream on lightly,
you did it too thick last time and it made her uncomfortable.
Oh, and I can’t be with her next Wednesday.
RACHEL: Excuse me?
-I have asked you for one night in six months, Rachel…
RACHEL: Yeah, well, my “23 And Meet” pushed to Wednesday,
and he’s supposed to be my literal chromosomal match.
Besides, you’re her favorite, so… Oh, look at that.
Mom wants to talk to you. Of course.
RACHEL: I hold the phone up.
-Hey. How you doin’ today, Ma?
I know you want it colder, they’re gonna fix it.
You’re… You’re gonna be okay.
I promise. I love you so much.
All right? You just… You tell the nurses if
your arm starts to tingle again, okay?
You point to your arm and you tell them, okay?
I love you so much, I love you, Mom, I love you.
Sorry you had to hear that.
It must bring you back.
Hey, did you ever get the nurses to anticipate
the rise in the Cauchy Hor…
I mean, the greenhouse effect.
Why do I keep saying the Cauchy Hor…
If the refraction is at 3.4, then the Cauchy Horizon…
Come on, come on, come on.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, come back, come back.
Come on. Come on.
Come on! Hello!
Hello. Can you hear me?
-WOMAN: Can you hear me?
Are you out there?
WOMAN: Are you out there?
Please be out there.
WOMAN: Fuck me? Fuck you!
-Oh, my God. Oh, my God, can…
What’s your name? Please tell me your name.
WOMAN: You first.
Oh, my God.
WOMAN: What? You sound…
You sound just like…
-Tell me your name.
-WOMAN: Polchinski’s paradox says that…
-Oh, fuck Polchinski’s fucking paradox. Tell me your name.
-WOMAN: Leah. Leah Salovaara.
And… And yours?
-I’m Leah. I’m Leah Salovaara, too!
-LEAH 2: Oh, my God. Oh, my God.
But wait, how can I know that you’re really…
LEAH 2: Yeah, I mean.
What’s something that only I… I mean, you…
Only you would know?
Uh, first kiss, no tongue.
-BOTH: Henry Chon.
LEAH 2: First kiss with tongue.
BOTH: Malorie Jackson.
-Um, uh, favorite singer?
The real one, not the one that you tell people.
-BOTH: Kelly Clarkson. Just because she’s popular
doesn’t mean she’s not amazing.
-LEAH 2: Worst nightmare?
-BOTH: Rachel deciding on my end of life care.
Love of your life?
-LEAH 2: Oh, my God. Oh, my God. [laughs]
-Oh, my God.
You’re like… You’re…
Can you hear me now?
-LEAH 2: Sorry?
-What, did you say something?
Can you hear me now? It’s like the…
The Verizon commercial.
LEAH 2: Oh, oh my God.
-You know, ’cause we finally connected,
like past and future, like getting good service.
-LEAH 2: No! No, no, no.
-LEAH 2: I can’t… Oh, my God,
I can’t believe he went to Sprint.
What a traitor.
Should we get the video working, like…
LEAH 2: Heck, yeah!
-What is your non-relativistic wave function exponent?
-LEAH 2: It is 845.64.
Oh, my God.
-You look amazing.
-Oh, my God, this is so “Parent Trap” right now,
like, like, like, how did you even…
-The Cauchy Horizon.
The curve projected at an exponent of 35,
and I finally hypothesized an upward shift.
-The Cauchy? Wow, that is like really…
It worked. Genius! And I am, like…
I’m so honored to know you.
To, like, even let alone be you.
-You sound… You sound so happy.
-Duh! I mean, we did it!
-[chuckles] We did it, we did it.
We did it with absolutely no support from the department.
-Oh, my God, Professor Marchek.
and his one paltry sentence
in our 300 page funding application.
-BOTH: “You can’t solve time travel.”
-And you know he wasn’t saying that
time travel can’t be solved.
He was saying you can’t solve time travel. Right?
Oh, my God, time travel is such a fucking boys club.
I mean, they get “Back To The Future,”
“Terminator,” “Midnight in Paris,” “Avengers: End Game,”
and we get exactly one story
about a woman traveling through time,
“13 Going On 30.” Oh, yes!
The lone female led entry in the time travel canon
is a 2004 romantic comedy
starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo.
And it’s not her brains that send her forward in time,
it’s magic fucking wishing dust.
And it’s like…
Yeah, but I mean,
it’s not like the only female time travel story.
-I’m pretty sure it is.
-Um, well, like what about “Contact”?
Jodie Foster time travels…
Well, I mean, like…
Through wormholes in that so…
-And “Doctor Who.” Jodie Whittaker
is such a badass.
After 13 seasons? Like…
-Well, I mean, like what about “Kindred”?
And “Outlander”? And “Happy Death Day”?
-Can you just, like…
let me have my strong feelings about “13 Going On 30”?
Fuck magic wishing dust.
Fuck magic wishing dust!
-And, you know what? Fuck you, Professor Marchek!
It’s so good
to say to someone who understands.
Should you get that?
Ah! I’m sorry!
Can you just, like, hold on…
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, be you.
-Hey. No, no, no, no, no, Mom,
don’t worry, don’t worry, it’s fine. What’s up?
-LEAH: Listen, you’ll be fine, Mom, okay?
I can’t come in, I can’t right now,
but, um, but everything’s gonna be fine.
You’re gonna be fine, I promise.
I love you. I love you so much.
Mom, I lo… Um, Mom, um…
I just want to let you know that work’s going really good.
Like, I’m… I’ve had some really exciting
developments in my project.
Yeah. So, um…
So I just… I’m gonna be pretty busy tonight,
so if you try to get in touch with me and you can’t,
it’s just… I… I just want you to know that I’m okay.
Okay? Like, everything’s fine.
Hey, what was that, Ma?
-I… I… Okay.
Um… all right, get some rest, Ma.
I love you.
So, like, what’s it like?
-Are you okay?
-Yeah! Oh, yeah, I’m fine. Sure.
But, like, what’s it like where you are?
Sorry, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know.
I can’t… Yeah, I mean…
I can’t know ’til I get there, so, um…
Let’s do this.
-LEAH 2: Like… Like right now?
-Yeah. Yeah, like, right now.
I’ve only been searching for you for five years.
-LEAH 2: Don’t you want to, like…
pee first or tell Mom? I mean, like really tell her?
-Shouldn’t you, like, tell Mom? She’d be worried.
I mean, I guess I… I could tell her for you.
I think. I don’t know. I hope she’d remember.
LEAH 2: Yeah.
-Where are you?
In our basement.
No, but I mean, like…
like, when are you?
-I thought I was talking with the future, not the past.
I… I thought you sounded happy.
I thought that we were in the future,
and we were happy again, but you… you’re in 2019?
You’re not happy, you’re just dumb!
-Don’t. Don’t say girl. It’s just like… Ugh!
I need to get out of here.
-LEAH 2: Yeah, come to 2019. Oh, my God.
We can have the craziest 30th birthday party,
’cause I’m pretty sure 2020 is gonna be my year.
You are so naive! You are so unaware.
I mean, how long have you even been trying to travel?
Like, if it’s 2019 and you’re in our basement lab,
that means you’ve been trying since…
-This morning. It’s beginner’s luck. Right?
-Rachel was right. We really can be a lot sometimes.
-Rachel is not right. Rachel is never right!
Do you understand?
Um, I think I understand
a lot more than you do.
You are 29!
You are a child, you’re an infant,
you’re an embryo, you’re a fucking seed!
-Wow. I did not anticipate future me being such
a condescending bitch.
Tch, tch, tch!
-Oh! Are you just gonna, like, not talk to me now?
Are you just gonna give me
the interdimensional silent treatment?
Okay, that’s cool, that’s great. Yeah, no, totally.
-Okay, so, in order to run
a reverse dimensional location search,
I need to know what
the interdimensional VIN is on your computer.
Oh, now you want me.
Need, not want.
-And why should I tell you?
-Because I want to communicate with the future.
-Oh, well, I already am communicating with the future,
and she’s a miserable old hag.
-I am a very tired 34.
You are… Oh, God. Fine!
Leah, I will make you a trade.
If you tell me the code, I will tell you something,
anything, about the future.
How does “Game of Thrones” end?
You said any question
I wanted, so I want…
Leah, not well.
Daenerys loses her shit,
and just a two-episodes-prior sane
and brilliant young queen,
and suddenly, a bloodthirsty, pathetically convenient tyrant.
Now… What is the dimensional VIN?
It’s not working.
-Do not fuck with me right now, Leah.
Are you sure you gave it to me correctly?
-Um, I was a fucking Fulbright Scholar, Leah.
-So was I, Leah, and it’s not working, so…
You know what? Fuck it.
-What are you doing? Leah, come on.
Honestly, this is crazy.
Like, why do you even want to travel to the future anyway?
You need to stop talking.
-No, no, no, no, no, don’t touch that!
Just… Just, like… Ugh!
Can you just be happy where you are?
Leah. Leah! Stop!
-LEAH 3: Hello?
-Oh, my God. Oh, my God! Hi!
Yes! Yes! This is… This is you.
I mean, this is me, this is Leah from the past.
It is a privilege to meet you.
Let me video you in. Hold on.
-LEAH 3: Oh, my God. Oh my God!
Oh, my God.
I did it! That was even easier than, like, “13 Going On 30”!
Oh, my God.
No, no, no. No, no, no, no, no.
Leah, when are you calling from?
-But that’s impossible. I moved just 10 years in
the opposite direction of Past Leah,
so… [stammers] if you’re also 2019,
then that means that you’re…
-LEAH 3: Ooh!
LEAH 2: Hi, Leah.
LEAH 3: Hey, girl!
-LEAH 2: Don’t say girl. It’s just…
-Why? Why would you pretend to…
LEAH 2: I had to.
LEAH 2: To stop you.
To stop me? From what?
-How are we not documenting this? -How interesting.
I don’t… I don’t… When…
-2029, five years in your future.
-Uh, why do you look younger than her?
-In the future, we are very… rich,
and, um… I read somewhere that Karl Lagerfeld
had a facialist come over every night
to drain his lymph, so…
-Okay, okay, can we all just focus, please?
-O-Only future Leah.
I’m begging you. You’ve got to get me out of here.
Leah, stop. Just stop.
Just… No, it wouldn’t be fair.
-Fair? Fair, fuck you. Fuck you!
Give me the algorithm.
It doesn’t work like that.
-Could you just tell me how to get out of here?
Why do you want to travel to the future, Leah?
-Well, first of all, fuckin’ Marchek.
Just Past Leah.
-Just 2024 Leah.
-For my research.
So I can prove Marchek wrong.
LEAH 3: Right?
LEAH 2: Tell me why.
-So I can be the first. The first to do it, the…
the maverick, the pioneer.
-Because I want to watch the fucking
“Game of Thrones” prequel.
-Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. There’s gonna be a prequel?
-Tell me why.
She doesn’t need to know.
LEAH 3: Know what?
LEAH 2: Leah.
-Once we take it from her, -LEAH 3: Excuse me.
-It’s gone. And no matter how far back she travels…
-She will always know that it’s coming.
-There’s no play here, Leah.
I need you to tell me why you want to travel to the future,
and I need the truth.
-I’m so sorry. Um…
I want to travel to the future…
so that I can find a cure.
-A cure for what?
Um, she gets sick.
-Why? What’s, uh… What’s wrong with her?
What’s gonna be wrong with her?
-She’s gonna fall off her bike -No.
-In summer, July, a couple of years from now for you.
You move home, you drop out of school,
Carl will dump you over it,
and it just…
You care for her night and day.
Night and day, night and day,
and it just gets worse and worse.
-LEAH 3: Is she in pain?
-Here I am. You happy now?
-Why do you want to travel to the future, Leah?
I just told you.
Just told you.
-Why are you so sure
that there’s a cure for ALS in only five years?
Why not travel 10 years ahead or 20 or 100?
I don’t know, I just…
LEAH 2: No?
-I just assumed that in five years there would be…
-LEAH 3: What is she talking about? Why is she…
-I don’t know, she’s acting crazy.
-You are a terrible liar. Mom always said so.
-Don’t even speak about her.
-Why do you want to travel
to the future, Leah?
I told you.
-What was the doctor’s prognosis?
Don’t you… I told you…
Say it. Why, Leah?
Why do you want to journey the space time continuum
and land five years in the future?
-Because I need her to be gone!
Because I need it to be finished!
Five years, that’s her prognosis, okay?
Five years, they give her five years,
but the thing is, every day feels like a year.
And there have been so many days and…
tests and surgeries and last rites,
there have been so many last rites and so little mercy.
And so much loss of movement and memory in her,
and the slurred speech and the only Leah understands,
only Leah does it right, she only wants Leah,
only Leah can…
I love her so much and I need it to be done.
She’s right. I’m lying.
By the time Mom gets her diagnosis,
it’s too late for a cure.
-And because of the Butterfly Effect,
you can’t change that without destroying everything else.
-The truth is…
is that I need her to be a thing of the past
so that I can be a thing of the future.
Is that what you wanted?
You happy now?
-Nothing about this makes me happy.
This was you reaching out to me, wasn’t it?
LEAH 2: Yeah.
-LEAH 2: Because you need to accept…
you can’t fix it.
-LEAH 2: Leah,
there is nothing you can do to escape this.
I know because I tried. I jumped and…
and I won the Nobel Prize,
and I’m Time’s Person of the Century,
and I’m friends with Mark Ruffalo,
-LEAH 2: But none of it matters.
I left her…
I left her in that beige hospital room to die.
I did what you want to do, I came here,
and now I’m nowhere.
And it would be the same for you.
You’d leave and and you’d still feel the weight,
the heaviness of having made the choice to survive,
and you’d realize far too late
the gift that you had with her every day.
Every day is a year.
Every day with her, time stands still,
and you won’t be able to live with yourself
for ever having wanted it to speed up.
The reason I am here now…
is because I need you to stay.
And I need you to forgive me for going.
I can’t fix… I mean… [clears throat]
I get why I left, but I can’t seem to…
And I thought if you can forgive me,
forgive us for leaving,
then I can live and you can just…
stop and, like, just be there,
just… just… just be with her like I couldn’t, Leah.
-I really didn’t… solve it?
-No. I didn’t use the Cauchy Horizon.
Of course, I forgive you.
I didn’t touch anything.
-You solved time travel your way,
and I’ll solve it mine.
The Cauchy Horizon works.
I don’t love that name.
Dimensional VIN is 4.5514.
Leah, what are you doing?
You input that into
the computer, okay? And then you travel as far into the future
as you need to until -Leah, no, no, no, no, no!
There’s a cure for Mom.
Stop, stop, stop.
-Don’t listen to her, listen to me.
The Butterfly Effect.
You can still save her
in your timeline. You find the cure.
-If you save someone who is meant to die…
-All other timelines will cease. You will destroy both of us.
-You find it and you travel back
to July, 2019, before she gets sick,
and you give it to her, and… and you solve time travel,
and become famous and wealthy…
She will live
and the two of us will disappear.
You live a happy life.
Do you understand? A good life.
A life without pain or regret with Mom.
-Leah, I c… I am not ready. I… I… No, I…
-And you never will be. But it’s time.
-LEAH 2: No, you can’t. Don’t… No. No!
You fucking traitor!
-Can you hear me now?
-Why are you doing this? Why?
-I can’t leave Mom in that beige room
with no hope and no us, and I can’t make Mom and us
go through all that pain again and again and again,
so… we gotta make way for a new future.
-No, no, no. Listen, Leah, Leah, Leah,
listen to me, listen to me.
Mom, she wouldn’t want us to sacrifice our lives for her.
I know. Wasn’t she the best?
No, no, no, no, no.
I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die, Leah.
-Well, you’ve still got time. I’d get to work, though.
You’re smarter but…
No, Leah, Leah…
Yeah, yeah, I’m great. I’m, uh…
I, um… I just had to call ’cause, uh…
It’s so small,
do you remember that night during Hurricane Felix?
I was like five, and, um…
you got me and Rachel out of bed,
and you carried us down to the basement, and…
and, uh… it’s just…
Sorry, I just… I remember that the… the wind got really…
And the thunder started, and Rachel was asleep,
but I… I couldn’t sleep. Um, I was crying and I was, uh…
I was really scared.
[sobbing] And you, um…
You just held me and… rubbed my back,
and you were humming this song and you said to me
that it was a song that Grandma had sung to you,
and… and so I just, I…
I’ve been trying to remember that song,
and I can’t remember it and it’s driving me crazy.
And, um, I’m just… I had to call and… and…
How does it go, Mommy? How does it go?
-MOTHER: [humming tune]
♪ There’s a truck out on the four lane ♪
♪ A mile or more away ♪
♪ The whinin’ of his wheels ♪
♪ Just makes it colder ♪
♪ He’s an hour away from ridin’ ♪
♪ On your prayers up in the sky ♪
♪ Ten days on the road ♪
♪ Are barely gone ♪
♪ There’s a fire softly burnin’ ♪
♪ Supper’s on the stove ♪
♪ But it’s the light in your eyes ♪
♪ That makes him warm ♪
♪ Hey, it’s good to be back home again ♪
♪ Sometimes this old farm ♪
♪ Feels like a long lost friend ♪
♪ Yes, ‘n, hey it’s good ♪
♪ To be back home again ♪
♪ There’s all the news to tell him ♪
♪ How’d you spend your time? ♪
♪ What’s the latest thing the neighbors say ♪
♪ And your mother called last Friday ♪
♪ Sunshine made her cry ♪
♪ You felt the baby move just yesterday ♪