Them – S01E01 – Day 1 [Transcript]

Welcome to Compton
Them (2021 TV Series)

Original release date: April 9, 2021

* * *

[♪ Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles: “Over the Rainbow”]

♪ Somewhere ♪

♪ Over ♪

♪ The rainbow ♪

♪ Way, way ♪

♪ Up high ♪

♪ There’s ♪

♪ A land ♪

♪ That I heard of ♪

♪ Once ♪

♪ In a lullaby ♪

♪ Some…

[insects chirping loudly]

[Lucky] I think somebody wants some peaches.

Mama’s coming. [gasps]

I’m right here. Ah…

I’m right here. I’m right here.

Hey, Sarge.

[insects chirping]

[growls softly]

[Sergeant barking]

[woman] Beautiful day.

[Lucky] Yes. Yes, it is.

You’re not lost, are you?

No, no. Not lost.

Just out walking around, saw your beautiful home.

[laughs] Oh!

Sergeant, come on.

It’s all right.

Oh, look at you.

Aren’t you a good boy?

You like me, don’t you?

♪ Gone are the days ♪

♪ When my heart was young and gay ♪

♪ Gone are the toils ♪

♪ From the cotton fields away ♪

My daddy used to sing that to me.

Oh, I love that song.

Don’t you?

I don’t know it.

♪ Gone from the earth ♪

♪ To a better land I know ♪

♪ I hear the gentle voices calling ♪

♪ Old ♪

♪ Black ♪

♪ Joe ♪♪


[Sergeant barking in distance]



[Chester crying]

I’m right here. I’m right here, baby.

[woman gasps]


Is that your baby?

Yes, yes, he is.

What’s his name?

[Lucky] Chester.

[quietly] Chester.


I think you better be on your way.


My husband’s gonna be home soon.

That man left from here with two little girls about an hour ago?

Oh, we seen him.

Can I have him?


Your boy.

I’d like him very, very much.

Will you give him to me?

Go on. Go!

Give him to me.


I’m right here.

[rattling softly]



Sorry, Luck. It was just a pothole.

[exhales] Thought we left those back in Chatham.

[Gracie] This ain’t Chatham anymore, Mama.

Uh-uh, Gracie Jean. This…?

Isn’t. Isn’t Chatham anymore.


Good girl.

[♪ Fletcher Smith: “Brand New Neighborhood”]

[Gracie] “My good girls you will be.”

♪ Just left home and, boy, I’m feelin’ good… ♪

“My good…”

[Ruby] Are there many Negroes where we’re going?

[Henry] Course. You remember your cousin Hazel, don’t you?

[Gracie] I do.

You? You…


You weren’t even a gleam in our eyes, baby girl.

Cousin Hazel and a whole mess of our folks out here.

Live in Watts.

What’s Watts?

Not as nice as where we’re going…

Not as white as where we’re going.


Hazel and them don’t have a big backyard that Sarge can run around in.

Or a garage can fit not one but two whole cars.

Are we getting another car, Daddy?

[Henry] Maybe.


Whatcha say, Luck?


One day.


[Henry] That’s right.

Daddy gonna show those boys down at the plant how us Emorys do.

I’m gonna show that school what us Emorys do.

[Henry] [laughs] School won’t know what hit them,

Ruby and you get there.

And one day I’ll be a teacher, just like Mama.

How does that sound, Luck?


Sounds real good.

[♪ Isaac Hayes: “Walk On By”]

♪ ♪

[insects chirping]

♪ ♪

[Betty] Oh, no.

Did you use the cornstarch like I told you to?

[laughs] Midge, have you even seen the inside of your own kitchen?

[Midge speaking indistinctly over phone]

Well, don’t worry, I’ve got an extra in the icebox.

[laughs] Well, of course I did.

You know me.

Clarke said he and the boys will be home after league.

No, they’ll be on time.

It’s not like they’ll win. They never win.

Oh, my.

She finally did it.

Hello there.

[quietly] Oh, for fuck’s sake.

Mrs. Wendell.

[laughs softly]

Thought it would never sell.

I appreciate the vote of confidence.


Any clues?

[Helen] Daughters. Two, I think.

Detective Betty. Beat us to it.

Of course.

One-woman welcome wagon.

[Nat] Ooh.

What’d you find out?

Well, for starters, purple’s not her color.

[♪ Judy Garland: “Get Happy”]

[indistinct chatter]

♪ Forget your troubles, come on, get happy ♪

♪ You better chase all your cares away ♪

♪ Shout hallelujah, come on, get happy ♪

♪ Get ready for the Judgment Day ♪

♪ The sun is shining, come on, get happy ♪

♪ The Lord is waiting to take your hand ♪

♪ Shout hallelujah, come on, get happy ♪

♪ We’re going to the promised land ♪

♪ We’re heading across the river ♪

♪ To wash your sins away in the tide ♪

♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side…

[Henry] Uh-oh, girls.

Look over there.

Looks like the old Bela Lugosi picking rubbish out of that trash can.


Who’s Bela Lugosi?

Your daddy watches too many pictures.

♪ Forget your troubles, come on, get happy ♪

♪ Chase your cares away ♪

♪ Hallelu, get happy ♪

♪ Chase your cares away ♪

♪ Shout hallelujah, come on, get happy ♪

♪ Get ready for the Judgment Day ♪

♪ Sun is shining, come on, get happy ♪

♪ Lord is waiting to take your hand ♪

♪ Hallelujah, come on, get happy ♪

♪ We’re going to the promised land ♪

♪ Heading ‘cross the river… ♪

[Henry] Here we are, girls.

♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side ♪

[distorting] ♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side ♪

♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side ♪

♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side ♪

♪ It’s all so peaceful… ♪

[bell dings]

♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side ♪

♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side ♪

♪ It’s all so peaceful ♪

♪ On the other side ♪

[dog barking in distance]

[Henry] You ready?

[laughs softly]


[Betty] Honey, you just got to get yourself down to Mornings on a Tuesday.

[Nat] They’re here.

[gasps] Ooh, I hope they have one Tommy’s age.

[phone ringing]

Could use a friend.


[Midge speaking indistinctly over phone]


Midge, slow down, I can barely…


Come on.

Come on.

Mr. and Mrs. Emory.

[whispers] Oh, my God.

[Midge] [over phone] Betty?


[phone clangs]

And these must be your beautiful daughters.


This is Ruby Lee, this is Gracie Jean.

Girls, say hello.




[Henry] Hey, cool it, Sarge.

[Helen] And these are all yours.

Thank you.

Gracie Jean, be careful now.

It’s pretty.

It’s a long drive, huh?

Yes, yes.

Five days.


Long time.

[Gracie] Here, Sergeant.

[Helen] It was freshly painted.

[Henry] All right.

[Helen] And we’re gonna get these done.


All right?

[Ruby] Sergeant! Come here.

♪ ♪

[Ruby] Sergeant, come here, boy.

[Sergeant barking]

Come on, girls.

[door closes]

[Helen] The electricity has been turned on.

Oh, and Sears delivered your mattresses this morning.

I had them put in your rooms.


That’s real kind.

Daddy, can we go look at our room?

Of course, baby girl.

[Helen] I can show you.

Mind your sister.

Go on.

It’s right over here.

Bigger than it looked in the pictures.


You can see the whole place from here, though.

[Ruby] Oh, these are really cool.

[Henry] Which is good.

[Helen] Nice, huh?

[Ruby] Oh, my God, Gracie, look.

It’s pretty nice.

“It’s pretty nice.”

[both laugh]


[Helen] There’s this one.

There’s another one.

This one’s even bigger.

[closet door opens]

[Sergeant barking]

Get back here!


[barks, growls softly]


What are you looking at?

[Sergeant whining]

[door creaking]

[Sergeant growling]


Stop it.


[cries out]

[Henry] Gracie Jean, what you doing back there?

Nothing, Daddy.

Oh, she found it. You really lucked out.

Basements are rare in these parts.

Gracie Jean, come away from there.

[Helen] There’s a family two blocks over, and…

[continues indistinctly]

[Ruby] Can we, Daddy? Can we, please?

[muted chatter]

♪ ♪

[Lucky] Excuse me, but what is this?

[Helen] Oh, that’s nothing to be concerned about.

“No persons of Negro blood”?

You might have read this over the phone and saved us a few thousand miles.

It’s like I told you, Mr. Emory.

Covenants are no longer legally enforceable.

You knew.

It doesn’t mean anything.

It meant enough not to tell me.

A little red ink and those words disappear.

This house is yours.

[Helen] Great. Thank you, Mr. Emory.

[Henry] Of course.

Thank you very much.

[♪ Michael Jackson: “People Make the World Go ‘Round”]

♪ People ♪

♪ Round and round and around ♪

♪ People make the world go round ♪

♪ Round and round and around ♪

♪ La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la ♪

♪ Round and round and around ♪

♪ La-la-la-la, la-la ♪

♪ People ♪

[ammunition loading]

♪ La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la ♪

♪ Round and round and around ♪

♪ La-la-la-la, la-la ♪

♪ People ♪

♪ La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la ♪

♪ Round and round and around ♪

♪ La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la-la ♪

♪ Round and around ♪♪

Can’t sleep?

It’s midnight, and there are five crackers outside that window.

So no.

You could have told me, Henry. No Negro blood?

Don’t worry.

It’s a little too late for that.

What good would it have done?

Could’ve gone somewhere else.

Watts. Been near family.

You think Hazel and them chose Watts?

No. That’s exactly where they want us.

Who said Compton’s theirs, huh?

Think everything’s theirs.

Yeah, well, that shit stops here.

I’m tired of running when they want us to run.

One of them motherfuckers out there gets squirrely…

…they ain’t getting a warning.

You look good when you’re pissed.

You’re a damn fool.


But this fool got a job and a house that any Negro would kill to have.

And might.

It’s not gonna come to all that.

When we got this, it came with a promise.

They will never take from us again.

My girls are gonna have what my girls deserve.

This house is ours.

You hear me?

I’m gonna need to hear you say it, Luck.

The damn house is ours.


♪ Hearts ♪

♪ Made of stone ♪

♪ Will never break ♪

♪ For the love you have for them ♪

♪ They just won’t take…

[Nat] Oh, he’s just the most.


♪ And all of your love ♪

♪ Is there to take… ♪

I forgot. He’s only got eyes for Betts.

♪ No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no ♪

♪ Now everybody knows… ♪

Ugh, it’s so hot.

Pace yourself, sweetie. It’s gonna be a scorcher.

[Midge] I cannot believe you roped me into this.

[Betty] What? We’re just having a little fun.

[Marlene] Is it only us?

Shoot, I hope not.

I dialed Dottie like you asked.

She said she’d round up some of the gals from the PTA.

It’s not like they have something better to do.

They’ll show.

[woman] Good morning, ladies.

[indistinct chatter, laughter]


[chatter continues]

[radio static crackles]

♪ Oh, bongo, bongo, bongo ♪

♪ I don’t want to leave the Congo ♪

♪ Oh, no, no, no, no, no ♪

♪ Bingo, bangle, bungle, I’m so happy in the jungle ♪

♪ I refuse to go ♪

♪ Don’t want no bright lights, false teeth ♪

♪ Doorbells, landlords… ♪

Dumbass bitch.

[Sergeant growling]

That’s right, Sarge.

She’s a dumb-ass bitch.

[deliveryman] Excuse me, Mr. Emory?

[man] [over radio] It’s only going to get warmer out there, as we edge close to a hundred…

[♪ Andrea Litkei and Ervin Litkei: “Chica Mejicanita”]

Furniture’s assembled in the rooms.

I still need a signature.

Have a great day.


[volume increases]

The coast is clear.

Daddy, the water’s freezing.

We’ll get it fixed, baby girl. Come on.

The bus leaves in 30.

I know, I know.

Let’s go.

I-I can’t find any clothes.

Use your eyes, Ruby Lee.

[music continues faintly in distance]


You were right… what you said last night.

No more running.

No more runnin’.

I’m proud of you, Henry Emory.

I’m proud of us, Livia Emory.

You’re gonna be okay.

Can call the plant, see if I could start in a few days.

That won’t change anything.

Besides… you can’t lose a job before you start it.

Knock ’em dead, Mr. Emory.

[overlapping songs blaring]


♪ ♪

[overlapping songs blaring]

[Lucky] Y’all ready for school?

Are they playing music for us, Mama?

Nice of them to serenade us, ain’t it?

“Isn’t” it.

[laughs softly]

How long are they gonna do this?

[Lucky] I suppose until they tire themselves out.

Or until your mama beats their asses.


Now come here.

Why are you my Ruby?

Because I sparkle.

That’s right.

And why are you…

…my Gracie?

‘Cause when Daddy first saw me he said “Amen.”

[laughs] He sure did.

Now listen to me.

We’re only gonna do this once, and never again, you hear me?

[♪ Marsha Hunt: “Oh, no! Not the Beast Day!”]

♪ Oh, no, no, no, not the Beast Day ♪

♪ Oh, no, no, no, not the Beast Day ♪

♪ Oh, no, no, no, not the Beast Day ♪

♪ Oh, no, no, no, not the Beast Day ♪

♪ Kamalama, kumulama, kumula Beast Day ♪

♪ Kamalama, kumulama, kumula Beast Day ♪

♪ Kamalama, kumulama, kumula Beast Day ♪

♪ Kamalama, kumulama, kumula Beast Day ♪

♪ Let’s get the rhythm with the hands ♪

♪ Now we got the rhythm with the hands ♪

♪ Let’s get the rhythm with the feet ♪

♪ Now we got the rhythm with the feet ♪

♪ Let’s get the rhythm with the hips… ♪

[Lucky] Help you girls with something?

♪ Let’s get the rhythm, let’s get the rhythm ♪

♪ Let’s get the rhythm of them all… ♪

♪ ♪

[receptionist] Yes, sir, please hold.

Sir, I still have him holding.

Three more minutes, yes, sir.

Good morning, ma’am. My name is Henry Emory.

Kitchen’s on the third floor.

Oh, I’m afraid Mr. Fredrickson’s at the Dallas plant this week, but if you’d like his number there, I can…

I am so sorry to bother you, ma’am.

But today’s my first day, I’m looking for directions to…

Kitchen’s on the third floor, past Accounting. Can’t miss it.

[phone button clicks]

Tanner, pl…

Oh, why, Mrs. Winters, I’m quite sorry.

It’s been such a day.

I’ll patch you through to your husband immediately.


As I was saying, sorry to bother, but today’s my first day, and I’m here to see a Mr. Stuart Berks.

In Engineering.

Ms. Greta, I’m headed that way, I can handle this for you.

Calvin, please, would you?

I’m quite sure I don’t have time for anything like this today.

[Calvin] It’s no problem, miss. Come on, now.


[Calvin] I’ll get you where you’re going.

[clears throat]

[overlapping songs blaring]

[indistinct chatter]

[Calvin] Where they got y’all staying at?

[Henry] Well, my family and I, we’re in East Compton.

[Calvin] Boy…

Y’all better be careful out there, for real.

[Nat] I thought Negroes were supposed to like music.

Not like this.

It’s enough to drive you crazy, isn’t it?

[laughter in distance]

[Calvin] Heard them white folks in Compton straight-up evil, man.

Drove some brother and his wife upside down and crazy.

Wife lost her damn mind.

Dumbass bitch.


…this you.

Go on.

Now you better show these ofays how we do it.

[muffled chatter]

[laughs softly]


[low whispers]

Miss Vera says to be a good little girl.

Always mind our teachers, too.

[Lucky] What you doing, Gracie Jean?

[shushes] Mama. I can barely think with those white ladies outside.

Now, who you shushing?

Sorry, but Miss Vera says good little girls always mind their teachers.

I want to go to real school already.

Soon, baby.

Kindergarten starts in a few days.

Do you miss school?

I miss my students every day.

But I have the smartest little girl sitting right here, so this teacher’s doing just fine.

I already got a teacher.

“Have,” baby. You already have a teacher.


[chuckles] You do, huh?

Miss Vera’s just in your book, baby.

You’ll have a teacher soon.

But she taught me a song, Mama.

Oh, she did, did she?

What song?


I’m ready, baby.

♪ Gone are the days ♪

♪ When my heart was young and gay ♪

♪ Gone are the toils ♪

♪ Of the cotton fields away ♪

♪ Gone from the earth ♪

♪ To a better land I know ♪

♪ I hear their gentle voices calling ♪

♪ Old Black ♪

♪ Joe ♪


♪ I’m coming ♪

♪ I’m coming, for my head ♪

♪ Is bending low ♪

Gracie Jean, that’s enough of that.

♪ I hear their gentle voices ♪

♪ Calling Old Black Joe ♪

Gracie, stop.

Goddamn it! Stop. Why won’t you stop?

Mama, you’re hurting me!

Who taught you that terrible song?

It’s not a terrible song! It’s a good song!

Not for a little girl like you to be singing.

Who taught you to sing like that?

Miss Vera.

Miss Vera is just in your book, Gracie Jean.

Who taught you the song?

I told you already, stupid.



I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

It’s okay.

You’re not crazy anymore, right, Mama?

I’m fine.

Mama’s doing just fine.

[music playing faintly in distance]

♪ ♪


♪ ♪

[latch clicks]

[music playing faintly over radio]

[women laughing]

[Midge] Hey, get your fingers out of there!

Someone order lemon meringue?

[Midge] Hello, Betts.


[Betty] Hi.


[Midge] And everything I put out is store-bought.

That’s hardly any bother at all.

The boys are in the garage.

Uh, wait, you girls aren’t intending to make this disappear before we get some, are you?


With my hips? Just the smell of it…

We made you fellas some sandwiches.

Don’t get too tight before dinner.

Who, me?


It’s good.

[soft laughter]

Bye, girls.

[Marlene] I have nothing against the coloreds individually.

I have a colored maid.

If I were one of them, why would I move some place I wasn’t wanted?



Marty says they only moved here because they were encouraged, by the NAACP.

You know what Marty says that stands for?


“N*ggers Are Actually Colored People.”

[stifled laughter]

[Betty] Didn’t you see how exhausted she was?

Beaten down, when they got here?

How can you tell if colored people look tired or not?

[Midge] Betts, don’t sweat it.

Dale says they’ll be out easy.

I’m not sure Dale’s right.

They’re exhausted because they came from some place worse.

They always come from some place worse.

Which means they really want to be here.

And if they really want to be here, getting them out won’t be easy.

We’ll have to make this place worse.

What’s worse than worse?

We all paid the same for our houses.

How could Negroes afford a house that costs $11,000 anyway?

[Betty] They can’t afford it.

That realtor, Helen, sold it at a loss.

Well, we’ll all be selling at a loss soon.

You know what those people do to property values.

We really should get that pie in the fridge before it melts.

Or you could run to Von’s and get something else from the case.

I’ve been busy.

Because there’s something more pressing than them?

On our street?

[over radio] ♪ It’s a woman’s world, but only… ♪

Well, I knew you’d figure it out is all.

[laughs softly]

I’d just be lost without you, Midge.


Will you help me get this beast in the fridge?


♪ It’s a woman’s world ♪

[Marty] I’m with Dale. Rock, right through the fucking window.


Come on, fellas. There’s kids in there.


It could hit one of them.

[Marty] Notwithstanding, keep the pressure on.

We’re not stopping until they’re out.


I read about how they got those Negroes out over in, uh, over in Bell.

Thumbtacks, up the driveway.

Drive over those would be, uh, pretty annoying, right?


Because of flat tires.

[Dale] Jesus Christ.

[Dale] Sergeant Betty’s got the girls ready for combat, and you’ve got…



Start with the fucking dog is what.

Toss a bleached bone into the yard.

[Earl] See, that’s the line of thinking.

[Dale] You know what worries me? The girl.

The older one.

How old do you think she is?

Anywhere from eight to 30.

[soft laughter]

Who can tell with them?

[Marty] In heat, probably.

Swishing around the high school.

Well, I’m not gonna wait for Little Earl to show up with some fucking mud-baby.

Earl’s 11. Come on.

Big for his age, though.

[soft laughter]

[Marty] It’s not gonna get that far.

Come on, let’s put our heads together, fellas.

I mean, all we got to do is come up with an idea worse than thumbtacks.

[Earl] Well, uh… I like the dead mutt idea.

That’s real good, Marty.


♪ ♪

[women laughing in distance]

[Clarke] Night.

[door closes]



Well, I guess the, uh, meringue was a success.

You won’t even have to wash this.

Midge doesn’t care.


I can tell.

And with you fellas at work all day, I… I can’t do this alone, Clarke.

You girls are doing a fine job, Betts.

Just don’t be so hard on yourself.

Remember the very first day we moved in?

Weren’t more than four other families on the block.

Sidewalks had barely been walked on.

You’d never seen sidewalks so clean.

It’s our home, Clarke.

And I want it to stay that way.

Well, everyone feels the same, just, um…

It’s the best way to go about it, is all.



All the money they’ve put into that house, you’d think she’d want to protect it.

Just-just don’t let it get you crazy, Betts.


What’s mine?

Me, me, me.

Let’s go inside.

♪ ♪

[♪ Bob Gaddy: “Slow Down, Baby”]

♪ Hold on, baby ♪

♪ You’re traveling at a breakneck speed… ♪

[Gracie] Daddy, you’re spoiling it!

[Henry chuckles]

[Ruby laughs]

[Henry] Fine. Fine.

I might not be able to carry a tune to the other side of the room, but I was quite the stepper in my day.

Wasn’t I, Mrs. Emory? Huh?

[girls chuckling]

What y’all know about the Hucklebuck, huh?

I swept… Why are you laughing?


I swept you.

I swept your mama off her feet with these moves.

Huh. Ooh. Watch out now.

♪ I wanna help you, baby ♪

♪ Take a hold of my hand ♪

♪ You’re mine forever ♪

♪ I wanna be your man ♪


♪ Slow down, baby ♪

♪ I’m coming, honey ♪

[dog collar jingling]

[Gracie] Sergeant?


[dog collar jingling in distance]


[jingling continues]



[soft jingling]

[ragged breathing]

♪ ♪

[gasps softly]

♪ ♪

[scream echoes]

[maniacal cackling]

♪ ♪

[birds chirping]

♪ ♪

Baby? Baby?

[whimpers softly]

Baby girl, what happened?


Gracie Jean, who did this to you?

Mom, what is it?

[gasps softly]

♪ ♪

She took Sergeant.

Luck, what’s going on?

Someone’s in the house. Someone’s in the house, and they hurt Gracie Jean.

[Gracie] She took him, Mama.

Nasty old Miss Vera took Sergeant.

♪ ♪


[Lucky] Baby? What is it?

Don’t come out here.

Keep the girls right there.

[breathing heavily]

Henry, where is he?

[dog collar jingling]

[door creaking]

♪ ♪

Don’t come down here!

Daddy, where is he? Daddy?

[Gracie crying]

You stay here.

[girls crying]

No, Gracie.



[Ruby and Gracie crying]

[Henry shushing]

No more running. No more running.

[Gracie] No!

[Henry shushing]

[Ruby crying]


[muffled song playing]


Stay away from my fucking home!

Stay away!


[muffled shouting]

♪ ♪

Stay away from my home!

Stay away from my fucking home!

Stay away from my family!


♪ ♪


♪ Calling Old Black… ♪

[♪ Diana Ross: “Home”]

♪ When I think of home, I think of a place ♪

♪ Where there’s love overflowing ♪

♪ I wish I was home ♪

♪ I wish I was back there ♪

♪ With the things I been knowing ♪

♪ Wind that makes the tall trees bend into leaning ♪

♪ Suddenly the snowflakes that fall have a meaning ♪

♪ Sprinkling the scene ♪

♪ Makes it all clean ♪

♪ Maybe there’s a chance for me to go back ♪

♪ Now that I have some direction ♪

♪ It would sure be nice to be back home ♪

♪ Where there’s love and affection ♪

♪ And just maybe I can convince time to slow up ♪

♪ Giving me enough time in my life to grow up ♪

♪ Time be my friend ♪

♪ Let me start again ♪

♪ Suddenly my world’s gone and changed its face ♪

♪ But I still know where I’m going ♪

♪ I have had my mind spun around in space ♪

♪ And yet I’ve watched it growing ♪

♪ A world full of love ♪

♪ Like yours, like mine ♪

♪ Like home ♪


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