The Well-Worn Lock
Written by Chris Carter
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
U.S. Air Date: December 20, 1996
[Transcribed by Maria Vitale
Edited by Libby]
MADISON PARK, WASHINGTON
[Outside, it is night and raining. A pleasant-looking white house is seen overlooking a well-trimmed lawn.]
[Inside, the television is on. The final scene from 'Miracle on 34th St. is playing.]
Doris: "Oh, no, it can't be. It must have been left here by the people that moved out."
Fred: "Maybe... And maybe I didn't do such a wonderful thing after all."
[The camera pans around the living room. A cozy fire blazes away in the fireplace as a family sits together watching the traditional holiday film on TV. A woman sits in a chair by herself as her two daughters sit on the couch with their father. The girls are wearing nightgowns. The mother has a robe and the father is still fully dressed.]
MOTHER: (sighs) Gets me every time. I'm going to bed everybody. Good night.
[She rises to leave the room.]
FATHER: Night-night, hon.
YOUNGER DAUGHTER: Night-night.
[The older daughter does not respond.]
FATHER: (To the older daughter) Did you say goodnight to your mother?
OLDER DAUGHTER: Night, mom.
MOTHER: Night, doll. (leaves)
FATHER: (sighs) That's about everybody's bedtime.
OLDER DAUGHTER: Who wants some ice cream? Sara?
SARA: (Looks to her father) Can I?
[He doesn't respond.]
OLDER DAUGHTER: I'm going to have some. How about you, Dad?
FATHER: No, thank you.
[She smiles at her younger sister and heads for the kitchen to get the ice cream.]
[In the kitchen, she nervously pounds and digs at the frozen ice cream with a spoon, bending it in two. Straightening it, she continues to scrape at the frozen ice cream.]
[As she does this, she becomes more and more anxious, then begins to have flashbacks, memories - the reason for her anxiety.]
[She remembers: (sounds of panting throughout) her father's teeth and sweaty face very close to hers; her father inside of her room, locking her door; images of him climbing on top of her bed; more images of his eyes and teeth - extreme close-ups; images of her room as seen from her bed, from an angle; more images of his face very close to hers; his smiling, grinning teeth; flashes of her struggle to push him away but then there are images of him pulling her bed covers, more grinning teeth; again he pulls on the bed covers and it is over.]
[She returns to the living room with the dish of ice cream.]
DAUGHTER: It was kind of frozen so I put lots of chocolate...
[She finds Sara sitting on her father's lap on the couch. She and her father look at one another. She offers him a bowl of ice cream.]
DAUGHTER: Here, Dad. I made you one too.
FATHER: Told you I didn't want any.
DAUGHTER: Sure you do.
[Places the bowl in his open turned-up hand.]
DAUGHTER: You always do. Come with me, Sara, honey. You can help me scoop my bowl.
[Takes her sister by the hand and leads her into the kitchen. The father stares after her.]
[In the kitchen, she hands her sister the bowl of ice cream.]
DAUGHTER: I want you to take this up to my room and lock the door and stay there.
SARA: I need to brush my teeth.
DAUGHTER: No, not tonight. Don't let anybody in. Not even Daddy, okay?
DAUGHTER: Okay, let's get going.
[The father quietly enters the kitchen as Sara goes up the stairs.]
[Sara gets to her sister's bedroom, opens the door, enters and closes the door. Downstairs, her sister had been keeping watch but was surprised by her father.]
FATHER: What are you doing with her?
DAUGHTER: Nothing. She's just going to bed.
[As she tries to turn away from him, he grabs her shoulder and notices something odd about her clothing.]
FATHER: Wait a minute, wait a minute. What is this?
[He opens the front of her nightgown and sees that she is wearing a t-shirt underneath.]
FATHER: Why are you wearing your clothes?
[He pulls up the bottom of her nightgown and finds that she's got a pair of jeans on underneath.]
FATHER: You're wearing your clothes, under your jammies? What are you up to?
[He grabs her and shakes her.]
FATHER: (shouts) What are you up to!?
DAUGHTER: (crying) Nothing!
[Sara listens to the argument from the bedroom above.]
FATHER: What the hell are you up to, huh? Where do you think you're going?
[Sara slides an old brass lock across so that it bars entry to the room as she continues to hear her father yelling below.]
[A police squad car is cruising the street. A radio call can be heard.]
RADIO: 911 for a possible disorderly near the intersection of Lamp and Terminal. Anyone in the vicinity you'll be looking for a woman wearing a nightgown or a bathrobe.
[The car is near the intersection and soon finds the woman walking in the middle of the street amidst traffic coming in both directions. She is walking along the dividing line between the four lanes of traffic on the street. Cars honk their horns and they swerve around her in order to avoid hitting her.]
1st COP: There she is.
[The squad car slows down and pulls up behind her, signaling its siren in order to get her attention. It is the daughter and she is walking on the line, without shoes, repeating the same phrase over and over to herself:]
DAUGHTER: Gotta stay on the line. Gotta stay on the line. Gotta stay on the line.
[The cops get out of their car and approach the woman.]
1st COP: Miss? Ma'am?
2nd COP: Stop, ma'am.
[She doesn't stop. She doesn't even hear them.]
DAUGHTER: Gotta stay on the line.
[They hurry over to catch up with her.]
1st COP: Miss, we're going to have to talk to you.
2nd COP: Ma'am?
[She still does not respond other than to continue repeating the same phrase.]
DAUGHTER: Gotta stay on the line. Gotta stay on the line.
[fade to black]
"The cruelest lies are often told in silence."
Robert Louis Stevenson
[polaroid fade up]
[Outside the Black residence. Sunny day, early morning. The phone can be heard ringing. Inside, the Black bedroom. The phone rings again, waking Frank. He reaches and answers the phone.]
FRANK: Hello. Just a minute.
[Catherine has awoken by now. Frank reaches over and hands her the phone.]
FRANK: It's for you.
[Catherine can be seen walking through a narrow, crowded hallway. Police officers and other people are milling about the public building. She heads toward her office as she passes a sign in the hall: 'VICTIM ASSISTANCE.']
[She enters the office where she works. The outer office is crowded with people. She enters the inner office where a colleague tells her about the people waiting for her and points toward her private office.]
[In the office is the distraught woman from the night before. She sits, nervously picking at her fingers. Catherine finally enters her office and introduces herself.]
CATHERINE: Hi, I'm Catherine Black. I'm a clinical social worker. Are you Connie Bangs?
CONNIE: Yes. This is my brother Larry and my sister Ruth.
CONNIE: Sorry about all this.
CATHERINE: Sorry about what?
CONNIE: The bother, that it's causing everybody.
[She nervously twists and twirls the end of her clothing.]
LARRY: This woman is here to help you.
CATHERINE: If there's some way I can help you, Connie, that's what I want to do. If you want to talk to me now, here, or alone - it's your choice. Whatever we talk about is just between us, okay?
[Connie looks to her sister Ruth, who nods.]
CONNIE: Did they tell you anything about my problem?
CATHERINE: I was told it isn't your problem; it's your father's.
CONNIE: (laughs) Oh!! Nobody's going to believe that.
CONNIE: Because of who he is. Joe Bangs - 'Mr. Chamber of Commerce' - all that.
CATHERINE: What won't they believe?
CONNIE: (whispers) That it's been so long.
CATHERINE: How long has he been doing it, Connie?
CONNIE: Oh, um, 23 years. (begins crying) Here I am, I'm 32 and I haven't even told anybody.
CATHERINE: People keep secrets for all kinds of reasons, Connie. Everyone who knows you and loves you understands that.
[Her brother takes her hand and tries to comfort her.]
LARRY: We want to do what's right here. We want to stand by Connie.
[Her sister Ruth is silent and just stares silently ahead of herself.]
CATHERINE: Do you want to talk about it?
CONNIE: Part of me does.
CATHERINE: Which part of you?
CONNIE: The part of me that wants him dead.
[Assistant District Attorney Rhonda Preshutski's office. Catherine is there to discuss Connie Bangs.]
A.D.A.: Not in a hundred years with two ten-foot poles. I've seen cases like these come through here now and again. Nobody wants them, not even the good ones and this isn't one.
CATHERINE: This is a felony crime we're talking about.
A.D.A.: And it damn well should be but state law has a statutory limitation of three years after the complainant's 18th birthday. Your victim is about ten years too late.
CATHERINE: Then prosecute it as rape.
A.D.A.: They did a rape kit on her last night. The results were negative.
CATHERINE: But this has been going on since she was eight years old.
A.D.A.: I'm sorry. I really am.
CATHERINE: Do you have any idea the secrets that she's been living with for over 20 years? Do you know what it takes to keep all that inside?
A.D.A.: Has she opened up to you at all?
CATHERINE: It takes time.
A.D.A.: Did she tell you about any kind of mental health history?
CATHERINE: No. Look, my job is to support the victim. I am doing my job. I just want you to do yours.
A.D.A.: Let me give you the most plausible scenario. We start prosecuting and the defense'll find a way to relabel it a case of family dysfunction - if they don't get a motion to dismiss. The defendant gets three years probation and we've wasted a lot of taxpayers' money.
CATHERINE: What does that have to do with the victim?
A.D.A.: You want the sad facts? This is a nice middle-class family. The father's a local businessman. Who's going to believe that a 32-year-old woman couldn't have just walked out? Have you asked yourself that?
CATHERINE: No, because I know the answer. And it's why you're going to help me prosecute this case, or I'll go over your head and get a Grand Jury convened, because if that woman's father isn't put away, then this is going to go on for the next 20 years. Or somebody's going to die.
A.D.A.: I'll schedule a psychiatric evaluation for the victim.
CATHERINE: (sighs) Thank you.
[Lt. Bob Bletcher drops by Catherine's office for a visit.]
CATHERINE: Hi, Bob. Thanks for coming down.
[They shake hands.]
CATHERINE: I'm sure you're busy.
BLETCHER: No, I was kind of worried about you - how you sounded on your message.
CATHERINE: Well, it's one of those cases, you know? Just hits a nerve.
[He says the word so strangely that it calls Catherine's attention.]
BLETCHER: Uh, the guy, the father, do you know anything about him?
CATHERINE: Joe Bangs?
BLETCHER: Yeah. He's kind of a town booster. Ran for city council a few years back. Not an unpopular guy.
CATHERINE: What are you saying?
BLETCHER: I'm just saying - I talked to the assistant DA about it. She doesn't like this case.
CATHERINE: It's a horrible case, Bob! But Joe Bangs has an 8-year-old daughter living at home with him. That's the same age that Connie was when he started molesting her.
BLETCHER: Why can't Child Protective Services go in there?
CATHERINE: Until they get a psych evaluation of the victim, they don't feel they have enough for probable cause.
BLETCHER: (sighs) What, uh, would you like me to do?
[Inside the Bangs residence. The doorbell rings. No one answers although someone can clearly be seen, quietly standing near the door. There is knocking heard.]
[Outside the Bangs residence. The doorbell again is rung. Catherine and Bletcher can be seen standing at the door.]
[Inside again, Catherine tries knocking on the door again. This time some footsteps can be heard as someone approaches the door. Someone whispers:]
VOICE: Go away.
[Mrs. Bangs finally opens the door. She stands at the door, holding it partially open as she stands in the doorway talking to Catherine and Bletcher.]
MRS. BANGS: Yes?
CATHERINE: Mrs. Bangs?
MRS. BANGS: Yes.
CATHERINE: I'm Catherine Black from the Seattle Victims Assistance Program. This is Detective Bletcher.
[Bletcher takes out and shows Mrs. Bangs his badge.]
CATHERINE: Is your husband home?
MRS. BANGS: No, he's not here.
BLETCHER: Are you expecting him back soon?
MRS. BANGS: I can't quite say really.
CATHERINE: Do you know why we're here, Mrs. Bangs?
MRS. BANGS: Why you're here?
CATHERINE: Is your daughter Sara here?
MRS. BANGS: No.
[Suddenly Joe Bangs pulls the door open wide, revealing that he'd been standing there all along.]
BANGS: Get off my property!
BLETCHER: Mr. Bangs...
BANGS: We've got nothing to say to you!
CATHERINE: Mr. Bangs...
BANGS: Leave us alone!
CATHERINE: ... I need to speak with Sara.
BANGS: You bring shame to my family. You've got no right! Now get off my property! (shouts) Get out of here!!
[He slams the door with such force that it breaks one of the glass panes.]
[Bletcher sighs and tries knocking on the door once more as Catherine heads away from the house and towards her car.]
BLETCHER: Mr. Bangs?
[He continues knocking as Catherine walks around the driveway.]
BLETCHER: Come on, Mr. Bangs. Open up.
[She looks up and sees Sara in her bedroom. She is standing by an open window, looking down at Catherine.]
BLETCHER: (knocks) Open the door, Mr. Bangs.
[Just then Joe Bangs reaches out his hand from behind Sara and pulls the window shut and draws the curtain.]
[Inside the bedroom:]
BANGS: (To Sara) Do you know what they're doing? Huh? Do you know what they want?
[Sara is crying.]
BANGS: Your sister is trying to hurt Daddy. Do you want to hurt Daddy?
[A creaking of some floorboards can be heard out in the hallway. As Joe Bangs turns he sees that it is his wife. She looks at him. He stares at her until she turns and leaves.]
[The ADA's office. Catherine and Bletcher arrive to speak with her about Joe Bangs.]
A.D.A.: (on the phone) I'd like to see the full report as soon as possible. Thanks.
[She hangs up the phone.]
A.D.A.: You don't waste any time pissing people off, do you?
CATHERINE: Beg your pardon?
A.D.A.: I just got a call says you were out at the Bangs house - put a hole through the door.
BLETCHER: You got to be kidding.
A.D.A.: I'm sure there's a whole lot more to the story.
BLETCHER: Yeah, like some reality.
A.D.A.: The fact is no charges have been made and until they are, you're not making my work any easier.
CATHERINE: How could your work be any easier?
A.D.A.: The psychologist just got finished with Connie Bangs.
A.D.A.: She's not going to have a full report for a few days but there was something she found, something you're going to want to know about.
A.D.A.: The younger daughter, Sara, there was a strong impression she's Connie's.
BLETCHER: (confused) Who's the father?
A.D.A.: The father.
CATHERINE: Joe Bangs.
BLETCHER: (slow realization) Oh, God.
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
SEATTLE SOCIAL SERVICES
[Catherine's office. Papers are scattered all over her desk, evidence of a long night's hard work. The lamp is still turned on.]
[Frank enters the outer office, looking for Catherine. He sees the desk, the empty chairs and turns to leave.]
[As he opens the door he sees a pair of stockinged feet. He enters the other office and finds his wife, fast asleep on a couch, a case file still clasped in her arms.]
[He kneels by her side and touches her face.]
CATHERINE: (awakens) What are you doing? Oh, Frank.
[Frank takes the file from her and sits beside her on the couch.]
CATHERINE: What time is it?
CATHERINE: I was just going to close my eyes. I was working.
FRANK: I was so worried.
CATHERINE: Where's Jordan?
FRANK: Next door at the Merediths'. She's fine.
CATHERINE: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to worry you.
FRANK: It's all right. I just woke up and you weren't there.
CATHERINE: It's this case.
FRANK: I understand.
CATHERINE: We're trying to find a legal angle to get the younger daughter out of the house. It's just very hard to get the court to do that.
FRANK: What about a psychiatric evaluation of the father?
CATHERINE: I can't push for that until I get what's called 'validation' of the claims based on the victim's own psychiatric evaluation.
FRANK: What about the woman, the victim? Will she testify?
CATHERINE: She's reluctant but only because it's so hard.
[She looks at Frank's watch, sees the time and jumps up trying to pull herself together.]
CATHERINE: Oh, damn it! I'm supposed to meet with her at her sister's house in half an hour. I'm sorry. I just...
[Frank hands Catherine her shoes.]
CATHERINE: I'll call you.
[She begins to leave but turns back to Frank.]
[He hands her the case file that she's forgotten.]
CATHERINE: Tell, oh. (takes the file.) Tell Jordan I miss her and I gotta go.
[It is raining as Catherine arrives in her blue Dodge Caravan at the house of Connie Bangs' sister. She runs up and knocks on the door. Connie's sister Ruth opens the door.]
CATHERINE: Hi. I'm sorry I'm late.
RUTH: No, I was wondering if you'd run into Connie or something.
CATHERINE: Run into her?
RUTH: Yeah, she went for a walk about a half hour ago. She knew you were coming and everything.
CATHERINE: Maybe she got caught in the downpour, waiting for a break.
RUTH: Yeah, but I don't think she had any phone money with her or anything.
CATHERINE: You want to go out looking for her?
RUTH: Well, let's... No. No, I don't want her to think she's gone right from one control freak to another, you know?
CATHERINE: Has she told you much?
RUTH: Not much she has to tell me.
CATHERINE: How long have you known?
RUTH: Since I was about eight.
CATHERINE: I'm sorry.
RUTH: I know the story, all right. How it starts. How he confuses you and makes you think you're the special one because you're too young to know what he's doing. Because you think it's just Daddy and he loves you.
CATHERINE: How did you make it stop?
RUTH: I got sick, really sick and they… I, had to go away to a special hospital. And when I came back, he didn't want me any more.
CATHERINE: Can I ask you something? Where was your mother in all this?
[Ruth exhales but doesn't reply. She hears a car pulling up in the driveway, goes to the window.]
RUTH: Oh, God.
[She sees her mother's car and inside are her mother, Connie and Sara. Connie kisses Sara, gets out of the car and waves good-bye as she heads for the house.]
[Ruth hurries to open the door for her.]
RUTH: Connie, what were you doing?
CONNIE: I was just out for a walk. Mom and Sara came by and picked me up.
RUTH: What did she say to you?
RUTH: Well, you're soaking wet. You're going to get yourself sick.
CATHERINE: Are you okay, Connie?
RUTH: I'll get you a change of clothes.
CONNIE: It's okay, I can do it.
CATHERINE: Do you want to talk, Connie?
CONNIE: I'm not really feeling like talking right now. I'm just going to go be by myself for a while.
[Connie leaves the room and goes upstairs to a bedroom.]
RUTH: I don't know what to say.
CATHERINE: It's okay. I, just worry about time, about Sara. Maybe this isn't the best place.
RUTH: No, no, I'll talk to her. I will. I'll do my best.
[The ADA's office. Joe Bangs, along with his attorney, and the ADA are present. Bangs is upset, very upset.]
BANGS: This is McCarthyism!
[He pounds his fist on the ADA's desk to emphasize his point.]
BANGS: You're ruining my good name! You're out to get me.
[He begins impatiently pacing back and forth.]
A.D.A.: No one's out to get you, Mr. Bangs. Our job is to prosecute the law.
BANGS: 'Persecute' is more like it! That's what this is - the persecution of my family.
A.D.A.: Can you calm down, Mr. Bangs? All we'd like is your cooperation.
BANGS: I'm not giving any evaluation.
[He finally settles into a chair.]
BANGS: Next thing I know, you're going to tell me I'm the crazy one.
A.D.A.: Are you saying your daughter is crazy, Mr. Bangs?
BANGS: It runs in the women. Ruthie had to be hospitalized. Connie is even worse, but her mother protects her. She doesn't go out of the house most days.
A.D.A.: Did you know Connie's allowed us to give her a psychiatric evaluation?
BANGS: What did it say?
A.D.A.: We don't know yet.
BANGS: Either you know or you don't. Now, who are you B.S.'ing here?
BANGS' ATTORNEY: Where can we get the results?
A.D.A.: We're waiting for the examiner to complete her findings.
BANGS: It's a load of crap!
[He heads for the door.]
ATTORNEY: All right, Joe.
BANGS: That's what it is.
A.D.A.: I did hear one thing that came out of the evaluations, Mr. Bangs.
BANGS: Yeah, what's that?
A.D.A.: I can't say yet. I wouldn't want to persecute your good character.
BANGS: Yeah, well, you just go right on believing it - whatever it is - but when lies pass for the truth, then the whole world will have gone crazy and there won't be a damn thing that matters. Lady, there are things you just don't know.
[Outside the Black residence. The rain has stopped. Catherine pulls into her driveway. As she enters the house, Jordan runs up to greet her.]
JORDAN: Mommy, Mommy, you're home!
CATHERINE: Hey, you!
[She picks her up and carries her.]
CATHERINE: Oh, I missed you!
JORDAN: I missed you too. Where were you last night?
[She twirls her around in her arms and finally settles her down on the counter.]
CATHERINE: I was working.
JORDAN: On what?
CATHERINE: Something very hard. Where's Daddy?
JORDAN: He's in the living room talking with Mr. Bletcher.
[Catherine carries Jordan into the living room.]
FRANK: Hi, honey.
BLETCHER: Hi, Catherine.
CATHERINE: What's going on?
FRANK: Bob has something he wants to talk to you about.
CATHERINE: Wouldn't have something to do with the Bangs case, would it?
[Catherine puts Jordan down and Frank takes her over to sit with him on the stairs.]
BLETCHER: The DA's office is getting a lot of pressure from City Hall. They called the Chief of Police about our visit to the Bangs house. They want this matter cleared up.
CATHERINE: Cleared up or swept under the carpet?
BLETCHER: I'm not going to kid you, Catherine. Your job's in danger.
CATHERINE: For what?
BLETCHER: Your obsession with this case.
CATHERINE: For my obsession?
BLETCHER: You're rattling the wrong cages, is what I'm trying to say.
CATHERINE: So I'm the bad guy because I'm trying to do what's right?
BLETCHER: They think you're driving this forward against all good sense.
CATHERINE: Don't you see what's going on here, Bob?
[Frank and Jordan have been listening the whole exchange and suddenly Jordan gets up and whispers something in her father's f. Frank holds her.]
CATHERINE: Just because it's hard to imagine or hard to accept, people don't want to deal with this because it's easier to believe that it couldn't really happen.
BLETCHER: I'm just telling you what they're saying. I didn't come here to tell you what to do.
CATHERINE: Thank you. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take a shower.
[She walks past Jordan and Frank and continues up the stairs.]
BLETCHER: (to Frank) Tell her I'm still on her side, will you?
[Frank acknowledges that he will and Bletcher leaves.]
[Frank holds Jordan away from him, looks at her, then holds her close again.]
[The Bangs residence. Joe Bangs sighs deeply and walks down the corridor toward his daughter's bedroom. He tries to turn the knob but the door is locked.]
BANGS: Sara, open the door.
[Inside the room, Sara lies on the bed listening to her father jiggling the doorknob, but not responding or moving from the bed. She is holding a pillow in front of herself.]
BANGS: Open the door, Sara. It's Daddy.
[She has a flashback, memories of him panting, struggling with what appeared to be her sister Connie in the hallway, forcing himself on her, turning and realizing someone (Sara?) had been watching him.]
[She continues to hear the doorknob rattle.]
[Another doorknob rattles. This time it's Connie's bedroom at her sister Ruth's house. Connie is screaming in her sleep and Ruth rushes in to see what's the matter.]
CONNIE: No! Oh, Sara!
RUTH: It's okay!
CONNIE: No, Ruthie!
[She tries to calm her down by stroking her hair.]
RUTH: What's wrong?
CONNIE: Mom said that Daddy would hurt Sara if I did anything against him.
RUTH: No, no, he wouldn't hurt Sara.
CONNIE: She said he would kill himself too.
[Connie sobs in her sister's arms.]
[Meanwhile, back at the Black household, Catherine is in bed, thinking and working on the case. Frank enters.]
CATHERINE: Did you put Jordan to bed?
FRANK: Yeah. She wanted to know why I didn't protect you.
CATHERINE: Protect me?
FRANK: From Bob.
CATHERINE: What did you tell her?
FRANK: I told her that you didn't need protecting. That you knew how to protect yourself.
CATHERINE: Thank you.
FRANK: (chuckles) It's true. Everything you said down there was true. Bob knew it too. He said he's on your side.
CATHERINE: Tell me honestly, Frank. Am I going too far?
FRANK: We live in a world where too many people won't go far enough, won't do what they know is right, what they believe. I don't know how or why it got this way but the world has become so complicated that to involve yourself in someone else's problems is to invite them needlessly on yourself.
[The phone rings. Catherine answers it.]
CATHERINE: Hello. (listens) Oh, my God.
CATHERINE: I'll be right there.
[She hangs up the phone.]
FRANK: What is it?
CATHERINE: Joe Bangs has disappeared with his daughter Sara.
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[Outside, the Bangs residence. It is night. Across the street is a realty 'SOLD' sign with Bangs' photo. It reads: 'Glen Rock Realty. 'Personal Service you can Trust!'' Radio transmissions can be heard.]
1st RADIO: Three union five. E.T.A. two minutes.
2nd RADIO: Dispatch, you can release Trial Six.
[Two patrol cars are in the Bangs driveway, lights flashing.]
3rd RADIO: Incident 936 summoned. Two males, one armed. Citizen reporting.
[Frank and Catherine drive up in his red Jeep.]
3rd RADIO: Three point four, domestic violence. 354 Northeast 55th Street.
4th RADIO: Three point four, copy that.
[Inside the Bangs house, police are everywhere. Bletcher is taking notes as Catherine and Frank enter.]
BLETCHER: (to another detective) Thanks a lot. (to Catherine) Hey.
CATHERINE: What have you found out, Bob?
BLETCHER: The father said he was taking the little girl shopping at about 7 PM. The mother waited dinner on them till 9 PM. Waited another 2 hours to call 911.
[The mother is seen sitting calmly at the dinner table, lighting a cigarette.]
CATHERINE: Does she have any idea where he might have taken her?
BLETCHER: Nope. But for a woman whose daughter is missing, she sure doesn't seem that upset.
[Catherine walks toward Mrs. Bangs.]
BLETCHER: How quickly things change.
FRANK: Yeah. You mind if I look around?
BLETCHER: By all means.
[While Frank walks around the house, Catherine sits down to talk to with Mrs. Bangs.]
CATHERINE: I'm sorry this is happening.
MRS. BANGS: Could have been avoided.
CATHERINE: How do you mean?
MRS. BANGS: I think you know.
CATHERINE: Are you at all aware how your daughters feel about their father, Mrs. Bangs?
MRS. BANGS: Everything seemed quite all right for the past 35 years. Now you're an expert?
CATHERINE: Did you ever have a secret, something you didn't want to tell because you were afraid someone might use it against you?
MRS. BANGS: No.
CATHERINE: We all have secrets, Mrs. Bangs.
MRS. BANGS: Maybe that's what they're best kept as.
[She stubs out her half-smoked cigarette and reaches for another.]
[Meanwhile, upstairs, Frank opens the door to Connie's bedroom. The bed where Sara had been laying is a mess. He enters the room and closes the door. Then opens it again. He looks from the doorknob to the brass lock above. As he reaches up to slide it across he envisions what has been happening in that room to Connie.]
[He hears her crying and yelling throughout. He sees Connie in her bed, terrified, pulling the covers over herself. He sees Joe Bangs' hands trying to hold her head down as she tries to fight him off. Then he sees Connie's face grimacing in pain. Finally he sees Joe Bangs' hand cupping a doll's face.]
[Visions over, Frank walks into the room, noticing a photograph on the nightstand. It is of the three elder siblings some years ago. They are playing together in the snow. Larry is pulling by rope Ruth and Connie who are sitting on a sled. It was taken somewhere rural, outside of the city.]
[Frank picks up the photograph looks closely at the two girls.]
[Frank, Catherine and Bletcher are on the road, traveling.]
FRANK: Family had a cabin that they rented every winter during Christmas break.
BLETCHER: What makes you think he'd take her there?
FRANK: His need for control would dictate that he choose a place he knew, a place he felt safe. Somewhere secluded enough that he wouldn't be discovered.
CATHERINE: Mrs. Bangs said he threatened to hurt Sara or himself.
FRANK: According to the son, he's got a gun. But it wasn't in the usual hiding place.
CATHERINE: Oh, God!
FRANK: I don't think he'll hurt her, or he would have done it at home.
[Catherine sighs, heavily.]
BLETCHER: You can't put this on yourself, Catherine. You didn't cause this. You just flushed him out.
CATHERINE: (sighs again) I know.
[They continue to drive out to the cabin. They are accompanied by three squad cars.]
[When they finally arrive at the location, the officers fan out to cover the area and search for the missing pair. Thunder can be heard as it begins to rain heavily.]
BLETCHER: You guys take the rear.
[As they move toward the rear of the cabin, Bletcher removes his gun from its holster and touches Frank's shoulder, to remind him to stay clear of the line of fire.]
[Frank stands off to the side as Bletcher and several officer open the basement door and take a look inside. Bletcher finds a trap door which leads into the main living area of the cabin. He cautiously opens it and looks around. As they move carefully through the darkened cabin, they find it deserted but Bletcher finds bread, peanut butter and milk in the refrigerator. He opens and sniffs the milk. It is fresh.]
BLETCHER: He was here.
[Meanwhile, Frank is still outside in the pouring rain and bends down to look at some tire tracks in the mud. They are fresh. He follows them in the direction they came from.]
[Off to one side, he finds a mass of branches, leaves - camouflage. He pulls down the branches and finds a vehicle - Joe Bangs' car. The engine starts, Frank turns and runs as the car bears down on him. Frank runs through the water-soaked wooded path and finally into some trees out of Bangs' reach. Bangs slams on the brakes, puts the car in reverse and floors the gas. Frank now gives chase to the fleeing vehicle.]
FRANK: Hey! Hey! Hey!
[Back inside the cabin, Bletcher glances out of a window and sees Bangs' car speeding past in reverse.]
BLETCHER: Cover the road! Cover the road!
[The rain has stopped. Frank continues to chase after Bangs. Bletcher and the other officers try to block the car, weapons drawn.]
BLETCHER: Stop the car! Hold it!
[He fires a single round into the air but Bangs does not stop. He doesn't even slow down. He just plows the line of officers standing in his way, sending them all running for their lives.]
[Bangs again slams on the brakes, this time turning the car around and shifting into drive. He again speeds away from his pursuers.]
BLETCHER: Hold your fire! Hold your fire!
[Bletcher and the officers run after Bangs' car, on foot. Frank is just catching up with the chase.]
[Bangs turns his head to check on their progress behind him and fails to see Catherine coming up ahead of him in Frank's Jeep. He slams the brakes but still manages to hit the Jeep fairly hard on the passenger side.]
[The others all come running up on the scene, including Frank, who runs to see how Catherine is.]
MAN: Get the driver! Get the driver!
[He opens the car door for her.]
CATHERINE: I'm okay, Frank.
[The others go to Bangs' car.]
BLETCHER: Get out of the car! Get out of the car! Come on!
CATHERINE: Frank, I'm okay.
[Frank embraces her.]
CATHERINE: Where's the girl? Where's Sara?
[She pulls herself away from him and rushes over to Bangs' car.]
[An officer opens the side door of Bangs' mini-van and Sara climbs into Catherine's arms.]
CATHERINE: It's all right. It's all right.
[Off to one side, Joe Bangs is being roughly handcuffed by Bletcher.]
BLETCHER: Come on. Read him his rights and get him out of here.
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT HOUSE
[Sunny, bright day, outside of the courthouse. A television reporter is doing her coverage of the events taking place inside.]
REPORTER: We are standing outside chambers where a special grand jury has been convened here in downtown Seattle, awaiting word on the indictment of local businessman, Joe Bangs, on a charge the District Attorney's office will not reveal but is almost certainly related to Bangs' arrest last night for reckless child endangerment.
[Along with the reporters and other onlookers, Catherine, Frank, Bletcher, Ruth and Larry wait for Connie to emerge from her testimony before the grand jury. The doors to the chambers open.]
BLETCHER: Here we go.
[The reporters gather around, snapping photos, shouting questions at Connie. ADA Preshutski stands at her side.]
2nd REPORTER: What's your reaction to the indictment?
[Connie is timid, bothered by the bright flashes. Catherine goes to her.]
CATHERINE: How you doing?
[Catherine pulls her closer and says softly in her ear:]
CATHERINE: You're going to be okay.
[Larry and Ruth have joined them.]
CATHERINE: You're going to be just fine. Inch at a time. An inch at a time.
CONNIE: What about Sara?
CATHERINE: She's going to be fine too.
[Reporters continue to try to get her to speak to them.]
3rd REPORTER: One comment, Ms. Bangs.
2nd REPORTER: Just one comment, please.
[Scene fades to black and fades in on the Black residence. It is late at night.]
FIVE MONTHS LATER
[Frank comes down the stairs and finds Catherine sitting on the living room couch, reading the newspaper.]
FRANK: You're going to fall asleep in court and miss everything.
[She sighs and puts down the paper. The headline reads: 'Bangs Trial Winding Down.']
CATHERINE: I'm just nervous.
[Frank sits down beside her.]
FRANK: About what?
CATHERINE: The DA's office. They're backpedaling. They've offered a plea to Joe Bangs' attorney.
CATHERINE: They think he's presented a strong case. They think because Connie's early psychiatric records show no evidence of sexual abuse it's eroded the jury's certainty.
FRANK: What you're really worried about is Connie, isn't it?
CATHERINE: The DA's office doesn't have confidence in her ability to give a convincing testimony.
FRANK: She's done it before.
CATHERINE: Five months ago, before a grand jury, without her father there.
CATHERINE: The plea would reduce the maximum prison term to eight years. He'd be eligible for parole in three.
FRANK: Sara would be 11 or 12.
CATHERINE: It's a huge gamble. After how far we've come. After everything we've put Connie through.
[Frank takes her hand in his.]
CATHERINE: As much as I believe in her, sometimes I think there's no light that can penetrate the darkness of where she's been.
FRANK: You're doing the right thing. I have a strong feeling about it.
[The courtroom. The doors open and Connie Bangs enters the room. Frank is present among the spectators, sitting at the rear of the room. Catherine sits up front near the prosecutor's desk. She rises to greet and offer her support to Connie.]
[They shake hands.]
CATHERINE: You look great. We're all here for you, Connie.
[Larry and Ruth are also present. Ruth waves at Connie who then waves back before sitting.]
CATHERINE: (to the A.D.A.) How she doing?
A.D.A.: She's okay.
[Connie looks across the table at her father. He stares at her, menacingly.]
BAILIFF: All rise. The Honorable Judge Ruby presiding. (The judge sits.) Be seated.
JUDGE: May I have counsel up here?
[Both the ADA and Joe Bangs' attorney approach the bench.]
JUDGE: (softly) Before we go forward, I would like to know if you've exhausted your avenues of compromise?
BANGS' ATTORNEY: No bargains. No pleas. We want an acquittal here. Nothing less.
JUDGE: Then let's finish up and get this to the jury.
[Catherine turns around to look at Frank who winks at her.]
JUDGE: Is prosecution ready with its final witness?
ATTORNEY: I want to recall my client first.
A.D.A.: For what?
ATTORNEY: Your honor, this man has been a pillar of the community. His name is being smeared with no foundation to the charges.
JUDGE: All right. (to the jury) Okay, a slight change here. The defense would like to recall Joe Bangs to the stand.
[The ADA heads back to her table.]
CATHERINE: What are they doing?
[The ADA just shakes her head without responding, clearly frustrated.]
[Joe Bangs takes the stand.]
ATTORNEY: Mr. Bangs, you learned something last night. Something that you've suspected for a long time, is that right?
BANGS: For over 30 years.
ATTORNEY: Something that your wife wouldn't admit to you - about your daughter, Connie?
[Mrs. Bangs can be seen sitting in the courtroom, behind her husband.]
BANGS: That Connie was the product of her union with another man.
[The spectators react, murmuring among themselves. Connie is confused and upset by the revelation, as are her brother and sister.]
A.D.A.: Objection. Objection, your honor.
[Catherine rises and reaches out to touch Connie's shoulder.]
CATHERINE: You're strong, Connie.
[The judge pounds his gavel to quiet the room.]
JUDGE: Let's have some order, please!
[He continues to pound his gavel as the noise has not ceased.]
JUDGE: Let's have order.
A.D.A.: Objection, your honor.
[The room finally quiets down.]
JUDGE: Objection sustained. The jury will disregard those statements from the defendant. And I will admonish counsel from making any further prejudicial statements.
ATTORNEY: Nothing further, your honor.
[Joe Bangs steps down from the stand.]
JUDGE: Witness for the prosecution.
A.D.A.: Connie, I'm sorry. Are you ready?
A.D.A.: (rises) We'd like to call Connie Bangs.
[Connie rises and tentatively walks toward the stand. Her father never takes his eyes off of her.]
BAILIFF: Raise your right hand. Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
[She sits down.]
A.D.A.: You told me this morning, Connie, that your life has been two lives. The first 32 years and the last six months. But that you've hated both lives because they were so painful. I know that it's painful here today. To tell the terrible truth about the man who's caused you all that pain, isn't it Connie?
[Connie looks around the courtroom, finally settling on her father's face before replying.]
A.D.A.: Part of the pain is knowing that it's hard to believe that you couldn't stop it, couldn't just leave. Isn't that what you told me?
[Connie's sister Ruth shares her anguish.]
A.D.A.: Then I need you to tell me - to tell those people here - who might not want to believe - how your father made it impossible for you to take control of your life.
[She pauses again, fearfully looking around the courtroom and begins to break down crying.]
[She shakes her head. The ADA looks to the Judge.]
JUDGE: Do we have someone from Victims' Services in the courtroom?
[Catherine stands up.]
CATHERINE: Yes, your honor.
JUDGE: Could you come up here, please?
[Catherine and counsel approach the bench. Connie is visibly upset, crying.]
JUDGE: I need you to talk to the witness. I need you to do whatever you need to do to get her testimony.
JUDGE: Overruled. We don't have her testimony - we don't have a trial.
[Catherine walks over to Connie's side and takes her hand.]
CATHERINE: Connie, you're not a victim, you're a survivor.
[Connie calms down and keeps holding Catherine's hand.]
A.D.A.: Connie, tell me how your father kept you his prisoner.
CONNIE: He told me that I was his special one, that he loved me more. And that he had this special way of showing it. And he said that if I told that he would kill himself. And he had a gun. He would take it out with us every time.
[This triggers a memory for Connie. She sees herself and her father, years younger, driving in his car. Her father places the gun against his own forehead, threatening to pull the trigger.
Bangs:I'll do it. I'll do it!
Then he lets go of the wheel, inviting them to crash, until she moves over to take the wheel, leaning against him.]
CONNIE: He told me to steer, to stay on the middle line or else we would crash and we'd both die.
[The painful memory ends. Connie is near tears.]
A.D.A.: But when you got home, you told me it was worse than death, what he did for 23 years.
[She pauses, looks to her father. He doesn't raise his eyes to meet hers. She looks at Ruth and at Frank. Her hand is still being held by Catherine. She continues:]
CONNIE: He put a lock on my door.
[Images of the lock being slide into place.]
CONNIE: He said it was to keep me safe.
[Images of Bangs in Connie's room, removing his belt, locking the door, shirt removed and climbing on top of her on the bed, Connie's voice, as a child, screams.
Connie: Daddy, stop it!
[Images of the bed bouncing and Connie's hand by the edge of the bed. He is raping her. ]
[Again the lock being slid into place. More images of her as a child, playing hopscotch, then of Bangs close-up kissing her. ]
[Connie is crying.]
A.D.A.: But it was to keep his secret safe, wasn't it?
[Connie nods, in tears.]
CONNIE: He was supposed to be my protector.
[Frank reacts to the words, as does Catherine.]
CONNIE: He was supposed to love me with his heart.
[Even Joe Bangs finds it difficult to listen to, not out of guilt, but resentment.]
CONNIE: Why couldn't you just love me for me, Daddy? What kind of man does this?
[Mrs. Bangs rises to her feet, screaming at her daughter.]
MRS. BANGS: Shut up! Shut your mouth! Shut up!
[The courtroom reacts to her outburst. The judge tries to regain order by pounding his gavel.]
JUDGE: Let's have some order, please!
[The room is still noisy. The judge pounds again and the room falls silent.]
MRS. BANGS: (in tears) Shut up.
[Connie is sobbing.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[A reservoir. It is a beautiful clear day. Connie is there with her daughter/sister Sara. Catherine walks up to meet them.]
CATHERINE: I brought something for you.
[She hands Connie the lock from her bedroom door.]
CONNIE: Thank you.
[She and Sara walk over to the spillway. And Connie tosses over the lock. They both watch the water carry their past away from them.]
[fade to black]
Lance Henriksen (Frank Black)
Megan Gallagher (Catherine Black)
Brittany Tiplady (Jordan Black)
Bill Smitrovich (Lt. Bob Bletcher)
Paul Dooley (Joe Bangs)
Michelle Joyner (Connie Bangs)
Christine Dunford (A.D.A. Rhonda Preshutski)
Lenore Zann (Ruthie Bangs)
Sheila Moore (Clea Bangs)
J. Douglas Stewart (Larry Bangs)
Shaina Tianne Unger (Sara Bangs)
Campbell Lane (Joe Bang's Attorney)
Jim Fletcher (Bailiff)
Steve Oatway (The Judge)
Story Editor: Charles Holland
Music by Mark Snow
Editor: Stephen Mark
Production Designer: Sheila Haley
Director of Photography: Robert McLachlan
Associate Producer: Jon-Michael Preece
Consulting Producer: Ted Mann
Consulting Producers: James Wong & Glen Morgan
Co-Producer: Ken Dennis
Co-Producer: Chip Johannessen
Co-Producer: Frank Spotnitz
Co-Executive Producer: Jorge Zamacona
Co-Executive Producer: Ken Horton
Co-Executive Producer: John Peter Kousakis
Written by Chris Carter
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Executive Producer: Chris Carter