Loin Like a Hunting Flame
Written by Ted Mann
Directed by David Nutter
U.S. Air Date: January 31, 1997
[Transcribed by Maria Vitale
Edited by Libby]
[A poster is seen showing a close up of the devil's face. The camera pulls back to reveal more of the poster. We see the rest of the devil as he stands over a kneeling naked woman before him, her head turned up towards him in submission. He has one clawed hand resting on her shoulder. The other is outstretched before his open mouth, fangs visible. The title above the poster which has been plastered on a wall, along with other such banners, reads: 'XS XS XS - ENTER THE RAVEZONE' ]
[The camera continues to pull back to show passersby on a street as a young man hands out small flyers.]
WEDNESDAY, 11:11 AM
MAN: Hey, guys, check this out, man! Number to call's on the back.
[Three young women begin walking past the young man. He hands them a flyer.]
MAN: Excuse me, ladies. How are you? This evening is tonight. Enjoy.
1st WOMAN: Wanna go?
2nd WOMAN: Yeah!
[Two more young men walk past. He hands them a flyer and makes his pitch again.]
MAN: Hey, guys. The number to call is on the back, man. Call before ten for location.
[A young couple walk past. The young man, Mel Dodd, is wearing a blue jacket with the word 'COLORADO' stitched across the back. His girlfriend, Lesley, is clinging to him due to the cold weather. The man hands them a flyer.]
MAN: Hey, check it out, man. Go timeless, lose form.
THURSDAY, 2:23 AM
[Outside, an alley outside of a non-descript building, the rave is going on as people continue to arrive and filter in through an open door past two large men acting as bouncers, providing security to the evening's happening. The young couple, Mel and Lesley, enter the rave.]
[Inside, we continue to follow the young couple as they hand money to a man in a red robe at an inner door in order to gain access to the rave.]
[Further inside, dance music can be heard blaring, disco balls slowly turn and reflect moving spotlights around the room as a young woman dances up on a platform. She is wearing little more than some kind of panty and bra outfit but her body has been painted with neon glow paint. In her hands are two glow sticks. Some of the other kids dancing on the floor also have them as well as some glow bracelets.]
[We watch as Mel and Lesley make their way through the crowd of others, down some stairs and towards one end of the room to check their coats. We then see a lone man, Art Nesbitt, leaning against a pillar who is watching everyone in the room.]
[He turns towards the rear of the room and notices the young couple as Mel helps Lesley remove her coat. They are both young, in their early twenties. He is slightly shorter than she is. They kiss. We continue to see them, but now through Nesbitt's eyes.]
[He sees them as if they were moving in slow motion, isolated against the backdrop of the others in the room. He watches as they kiss but then he sees them differently. He sees the 'new Mel' as taller, more handsome, older. The 'new Lesley' seems older as well as sexier. He watches as they make their way onto the floor to dance. He follows them, never taking his eyes from them.]
[He continues to see this 'new' couple as a young woman walks up to them. She is wearing black makeup around her eyes resembling a mask and has a studded collar with a ring around her neck. The 'new' couple play with the woman's hair and the ring until she notices Nesbitt approaching them.]
[The woman moves off as the couple turns to face Nesbitt. He holds up the index finger of his left hand as if telling them to give him a minute and then digs into the pocket of his jeans for two gray capsules.]
[A flash of white light as we are now in an undisclosed location as we watch Mel and Lesley as they normally appeared earlier. Both are kissing. They look up at Nesbitt as he adjusts a lamp he's just turned on above them, a video camera is in his hand. He intends to film them as they make love. We again see the 'new' couple as through Nesbitt's eyes, older, sexier. The 'new Mel's' arms are covered with tattoos.]
[Nesbitt walks around the room, turning on more lamps, screwing in more light bulbs, as the couple continues to kiss and moan. He continues to see them as the 'new' sexier couple.]
NESBITT: Okay. That's it. It's time to do it.
[As he moves past them to one side, we again see the couple as they normally appear. Both look to be high on the pills he has given them at the rave.]
[Nesbitt opens the drawer of a cabinet in the room, removes a small bottle with yellow liquid inside and a syringe. He places them both on the counter top. He picks up his camera again, turns back towards the couple, crouches down and begins filming them.]
[We see what he sees through the view screen of his camera. He sees the 'new' couple in black and white as they kiss and begin making love.]
NESBITT: Oh yeah. Yeah.
[Nesbitt is getting more excited by their love-making. He then fantasizes and hears them say the following to him.]
NEW LESLEY: Why won't you be with us?
NEW MEL: Don't you want?
[They continue kissing.]
NEW LESLEY: I want you both.
NESBITT: Later you'll have it all.
[Nesbitt mounts the camera onto a tripod. We can see the young couple as they normally appear, still kissing, reflected in the camera lens as we then watch as Nesbitt inserts the syringe into the bottle and extracts some liquid from it.]
NEW LESLEY: What's that?
NESBITT: It's special.
NEW MEL: Special.
[Both have removed their clothes now and continue to kiss. Nesbitt prepares the syringe, testing it by pushing the plunger and having some of the liquid squirt out of the needle.]
[Later that night, Nesbitt opens a compartment of the camera which is still mounted on the tripod. The video chassis inside automatically extracts from the camera and releases the video cassette which Nesbitt then removes from the camera and reaches into a cupboard for an empty case in which to store the tape. The cupboard is filled with dozens of other such video cassettes.]
[The camera pans away from Nesbitt and across the room at the young couple lying on a mattress on the floor, presumably dead. Nesbitt turns to face them and sees them as they normally appear, the fantasy no longer necessary.]
[fade to black]
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast."
[polaroid fade up]
THURSDAY, 7:46 AM
[Scene opens on finely trimmed lawn outside of a house and a sprinkler as it automatically turns on. Inside, Art Nesbitt can be seen having breakfast as he sits at a table. He looks at his watch, then puts his hand to his head, momentarily lost in memory of the previous night's activity. He returns to his breakfast when his wife, Karen, appears in a robe with a pot of coffee and sits down at the table to join him.]
KAREN: The sprinkler system came on time, finally.
ART: Good. That's good. (pauses) Well, I'm off. Do you plan to go out today, honey?
KAREN: It would only be to the market. But I think I have everything I need for dinner.
ART: Well, if you do go out, be cautious.
[He stands up.]
ART: And when you come home, let the garage door close before unlocking the car doors, right?
KAREN: Same way I've been doing it for 18 years, Art.
[He walks over to his wife, kisses her on the cheek before turning to leave.]
[Elsewhere, a group of school children are on a tour of a botanical garden. The ceiling consists of glass and is, in essence, a large greenhouse where the plants are grown and displayed. Sunlight streams in through the glass above. A guide can be heard telling the children about the plants they are seeing as they move along through the garden.]
GUIDE: The Botanical Garden has over 2000 different kinds of plants from all over the world. And this is what the Garden of Eden might have looked like. All the flowers and plants you'll see grew between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers in Mesopotamia - what we think of today as the 'Cradle of Civilization.'
[The group of children can be seen making their way along a path through the garden of palm trees and plants as the tour continues.]
GUIDE: Now, can any of you guess what kind of trees we don't have here in our Garden of Eden?
[A number of children call out answers.]
GIRL: A banana!
2nd BOY: Fruit trees.
2nd GIRL: An apple tree?
GUIDE: That's right, an apple tree.
[Two children walking on ahead from the group, reach a clearing off from the main path and come across two bodies. Both are naked and their genitalia are covered with large leaves. They are Mel and Lesley, the young couple from the previous night.]
[Later that night, some police detectives and techs are examining that same area of the garden. The bodies have been covered with a brown tarpaulin. Lights have been set up in the area so that they can do their work as it is now quite dark. Another officer takes photos of the scene. A man, Detective Thomas, stands off to one side. He has his badge pinned to the lapel of his overcoat and he chews on an unlit cigar as he watches the others do their work.]
[He turns around and walks toward Frank Black and a woman who is with him as they approach the crime scene.]
THOMAS: Frank Black?
[He introduces the woman with him.]
FRANK: Maureen Murphy.
THOMAS: Thomas, Boulder PD Homicide. Ex-LAPD. Wasn't my idea to squeal for help. Not now. Probably not ever.
[He walks them over to the crime scene, leading the way.]
THOMAS: A male and a female in their 20s. A school field trip came across them.
[Frank walks over to the covered bodies. A detective is kneeling beside the bodies. He is wearing a mask, rubber gloves and has been taking notes.]
FRANK: May I?
[The kneeling detective nods, stands up and moves off to give Frank room. Frank crouches down and pulls back the tarpaulin.]
THOMAS: Naked as Adam and Eve.
[Frank looks at them and has a brief vision: the couple as Art Nesbitt saw them, older, sexier; flashes of light; they are embracing, kissing; the arms covered with tattoos; the woman looking directly at the camera; about to make love; caresses, more embraces, kisses; more flashes of light; ending in a bright flash of white light and a very over-exposed brief flash of the young couple as they normally appeared.]
[Frank replaces the tarpaulin and turns to face Maureen Murphy.]
FRANK: Their genitalia, the woman's breasts - covered with leaves. Probably from elsewhere in this exhibit.
MAUREEN MURPHY: (to Thomas) Did you find any indication of recent sexual activity, detective?
[Another detective calls out to him.]
DETECTIVE: I found this.
[He shows Thomas an apple. There are bite marks on either side of the apple.]
MURPHY: (to Frank) Bite marks.
[The second detective stares at Maureen Murphy so she introduces herself.]
MURPHY: I'm Maureen Murphy.
THOMAS: She's one of the Millennium people.
[Frank stands up and walks over for a closer look at the apple which remains held in the detective's gloved hand.]
FRANK: The victims' teeth are going to match the dental pattern on the apple. There are pieces in the mouth but you'll find no apple in the stomach.
THOMAS: What makes you use the term 'victim'?
[Frank, Maureen Murphy and Thomas follow the bodies as they are removed from the garden.]
FRANK: They were killed somewhere else, brought here, posed.
THOMAS: I don't see why. Could be one of those moony, calf-love, teen suicide pacts.
MURPHY: The Garden of Eden, the apple with two bites, the nakedness covered - it's atypical, meticulous.
[The trio exit the botanical gardens where the name of the building can now be seen: 'BOULDER CONSERVATORY' ]
FRANK: Never seen a double suicide staged this way. Never heard of one.
THOMAS: My lieutenant says that, uh, that you specialize in sexual predators. Is that so?
THOMAS: And you think this is a homicide?
FRANK: Yes, I think killing is new for the perpetrator. I think he's lost his innocence. He's ashamed.
THOMAS: Maybe. We haven't found any more, uh, new dead kids in our Garden of Eden here.
MURPHY: Do you recall any events similar to this, detective?
THOMAS: A couple abducted in a bar. They may have been doped. The abductor, uh, had them perform sexually. It was nothing like this. No murder, no staging.
FRANK: If you can put them into contact with Maureen...
THOMAS: It's your time to waste, Mr. Black.
[Morgue. Detective Thomas is about to show the body of the young man, Mel Dodd, to his parents for identification. The body is in another room. The parents, Thomas, Frank and Murphy are in a viewing area. There is a window between the two rooms and it has its blinds drawn.]
THOMAS: I'll, uh, tap on the glass, the blind will open and you'll see the shoulders and face of the deceased.
MR. DODD: And, and if it's our boy, if it's Mel...
THOMAS: You just nod and I'll close the blind.
[They both nod. Thomas taps once on the glass. The blind is opened. Mel's face can be seen in the foreground from inside the next room. His parents' faces can be seen as they look down on him through the glass. Mr. Dodd nods. Thomas taps twice on the glass and the blinds are closed again. Mrs. Dodd is overcome with emotion and buries her face in her husband's shoulder.]
THOMAS: I'm very, very sorry.
[Frank and Murphy look on silently in the background.]
THOMAS: If there's anything I can do for you, you have my number.
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
FRIDAY, 11:25 AM
[Frank and Thomas are on their way to Mel's dorm room to interview his roommate. They discuss the case along the way.]
THOMAS: Pathology says they both took an Ecstasy hybrid orally, unusually pure. But they can't tell us what, if anything, was injected into both of them.
FRANK: I sent tissue and blood samples to my people. It should be helpful.
THOMAS: (sighs) Are you, uh, comfortable working a case like this with a woman?
FRANK: I'm not comfortable working a case like this.
THOMAS: In my opinion, for what it's worth, they don't understand male sexuality worth a damn. Any more than we do theirs.
[They have reached the dorm building. A sign inside the building reads: 'APACHE HALL STUDENT RESIDENCE'. A student holds open one of the doors for Frank.]
FRANK: Thank you.
[They enter the building and head up a flight of stairs. ]
FRANK: You said you worked sex crimes in Los Angeles. You never worked with a woman, did you?
THOMAS: No. How'd you know that?
FRANK: If you'd had, you'd have learned to value their insights more.
[They've reached Mel's dorm room. The number on the door is '25'. Music is blaring from inside the room. Thomas pushes open the unlocked door. Inside, a young couple are making out on the bed.]
THOMAS: Hey! You Mel Dodd?
YOUNG MAN: No, I'm not.
THOMAS: No, you're just, uh, what, having a go in his bed?
YOUNG WOMAN: Who are you? We're friends of Mel and have permission to be here.
[He shows them his badge while Frank walks over to the stereo and shuts it off.]
THOMAS: You know where Mel was the other day? Who was with him?
YOUNG WOMAN: My roommate, Lesley.
THOMAS: And where'd they go?
YOUNG MAN: A club, I guess. I don't know which one.
THOMAS: Say you and, uh, your girlfriend here were found dead...
YOUNG WOMAN: What?
THOMAS: Would you want Mel to, uh, try to remember where you might have gone, huh?
[Both kids looked shocked at the news of their friends' deaths.]
[Night, outside the same doorway where the rave was held. Music can be heard pouring out from inside as patrons enter through the doors past the two men guarding the open doorway.]
[Inside, blue lights tint the dance floor as Frank and Thomas enter and look around. Thomas shows his badge to the man who wore the red robe the previous night.]
RED ROBE: Yeah, I see it. Put it away, will ya?
THOMAS: You run this place?
RED ROBE: I guess. I rent the building, collect the money at the door, pay for the sound, the light package, band sometimes.
THOMAS: You sell any drugs? You sell 'X'?
RED ROBE: No, it's just a business. Look, it's safe. There's no violence. If they want to get high and sex out, what do I care. It's their lives. It's my living though.
THOMAS: Can I look in your pockets?
[He turns to face Thomas and allows himself to be frisked.]
[Meanwhile, Frank makes his way through the club, looking at the kids who are dancing all around him. He walks down the flight of stairs and onto the dance floor. He sees the dancers painted with neon glow paint on their bodies and looks around at the kids. He stands by the same pillar that Art Nesbitt leaned against when he first spotted Mel and Lesley. He has a brief flash: Mel and Lesley as they were by the coat-check area, where Nesbitt first noticed them; more images of Mel and Lesley as they kissed; then 'new Mel and Lesley' as Nesbitt saw them in his fantasies.]
[Frank pauses as he looks over to the area on the dance floor where Nesbitt approached them. He flashes briefly on 'new Lesley's' face, then on Lesley herself; then again on 'new Mel and Lesley'.]
[Frank then turns and heads back up the stairs to find Thomas.]
THOMAS: The Maitre d' here thinks he saw the kids leave with someone. He's going to come down and work with the artist.
FRANK: (to Red Robe) Give us a minute, would ya?
[He and Thomas move off to one side.]
FRANK: The person we're looking for, he's providing opportunity, drugs.
THOMAS: And what do these, uh, victims, give him in exchange?
FRANK: A window into sexuality. The way he wants it to be. Perfect - uninhibited, guiltless. His actions will follow the development of his fantasies.
[They both look down on the kids still dancing on the floor.]
[Outside a private home where several cars have been parked as their owners gather inside for a swingers party.]
[Inside the house's living room, several women are wearing blindfolds as the party's host walks from one to the next, with a bowl in his hand. He presents it to each woman so that they may each draw a random set of car keys from the bowl. The men are quietly standing about the room.]
HOST: You're first.
[He guides the woman's hand to the bowl. She removes a set of keys and then her blindfold as he moves on to the next woman.]
HOST: I think you're next.
[He does the same with the second woman. She draws a key ring and removes her blindfold too as the host moves on.]
HOST: Ah, your turn.
[They begin to pair off as the keys are drawn. The host moves on to the next woman.]
HOST: Your turn.
[Then Art Nesbitt can be seen peeping through vertical blinds of the window, watching the party get underway. The host has moved on yet again to another woman.]
HOST: You're next.
[The host then approaches the final two women. The women remove their blindfolds and then one of them takes a set of keys from the bowl. It is unclear whether another set of keys remains in the bowl or if these two women are meant to be together with one of the men in a threesome.]
[Outside, Art Nesbitt moves about to look in through another window in the house - this time, one of the bedrooms. He watches as the last two women enter the bedroom with the host. He sees the women differently though. His fantasies take over again. He sees them as sexier, younger women who begin to kiss the host.]
NEW SYLVIE: I want champagne.
NEW ANNE: Liquor stores close in 20 minutes.
NEW SYLVIE: (to host) We'll be right back.
[The host laughs as the two women leave the room.]
[The two women are driving in their car toward town and the liquor store. Another car comes up behind them. A flashing red light can be seen through the windshield. Then a police siren wails briefly to get the women's attention. The driver, the brunette as she normally appears, turn her head to look at the car behind them.]
[The blonde woman also turns to look at the car. Both women are older than Art Nesbitt fantasizes them to be. The driver pulls the car over to the side of the road. The car following them does the same and stops directly behind them. Both women wait nervously for the 'police officer' they expect to see.]
[The driver rolls down her window as a man approaches with a flashlight and shines it onto their faces. We again see the 'New Sylvie' and 'New Anne' because the 'police officer' is really Art Nesbitt who again envisions the women in his own way.]
NEW ANNE: What would you like us to do wrong, officer?
[He stares at them as his fantasy continues. He sees them smiling at him as the scene fades out.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[Scene opens from the lobby looking in through the glass doors of an office area. A graphic on the glass reads: 'BOULDER POLICE - SAFETY - SERVICE' with an etching of a mountain as an emblem. Inside, several officers are going about their daily routine.]
[Detective Thomas' office. He is with the husbands of the two women who went for champagne the night before. One of the men is the host of the party. Frank and Murphy are also present.]
SATURDAY, 9:04 AM
THOMAS: They hadn't returned from the liquor store as expected for two hours.
1st MAN: Yes.
2nd MAN (Host): Right.
THOMAS: How, uh, far is this liquor store from the house where the, uh, the party was held?
[The two men look at one another before one of them answers.]
1st MAN: About, uh, half a mile.
THOMAS: So, two hours later you noticed your wives hadn't returned.
[Neither of the men responds. The first one nods, then they both look rather embarrassed. A long pause follows.]
THOMAS: I mean, did you go look for them?
THOMAS: Hmm? Did you call us? Did you make a report? No.
[Thomas walks around the room and ends up behind the two seated men. Then he leans down to talk to one of them, the first man, directly.]
THOMAS: You look a little nervous to me, Vic.
VIC: Look, this, this is embarrassing.
THOMAS: Not to me, it isn't.
VIC: It was a kind of a swing type of party. I mean, they could have been in one of the bedrooms.
THOMAS: Wife swapping. You two are into that, are you? Group sex? Are you proud of that, huh?
FRANK: I don't think pride is what's at issue here, detective.
[Thomas angrily moves from the men to where Frank is standing at the opposite end of the office.]
HOST: We just want our wives back.
THOMAS: Yeah, so you can trade them up.
MURPHY: (to the two men) Are these events advertised?
VIC: Word of mouth, mostly in the swing community or some magazines.
HOST: There's an Internet site. But it's discreet.
THOMAS: Any screening? Well, like say to keep out like fat people, maybe?
VIC: The host usually meets perspective new guests.
[Thomas grunts and turns back towards Frank.]
FRANK: (to Thomas) Cut these guys loose, detective. They're going to need some time.
THOMAS: What for?
FRANK: Their wives are most likely dead.
[Outside, day, it is raining heavily. A man with a red umbrella and a brief case is walking through a park area. As he walks past a park bench, he notices two women sitting there. Their heads are touching as the bodies have been posed so that both women would remain upright by supporting each other. The man stops to look at the women and we see that they are the same women from the party. Both appear to be dead. As the man realizes this, he begins shouting for help.]
MAN: Hey! Hey! Hey, somebody!
[He begins running through the park, trying to find some help. He drops his red umbrella and continues running and shouting.]
MAN: Hey! Hey, somebody! Somebody help! Help! Help! Hey, somebody!
[Later, Boulder Police have arrived on the scene. Techs are looking through the trunk of the women's car still parked on the side of the road.]
[Frank is sitting inside the car, in the driver's seat, looking at two photos of the two women - presumably the same photos which their husbands must have given to the police when they reported them missing. He then looks to his right through the window and has a brief vision: a flash of bright light; the daylight is then replaced with night as the window is rolled down; and a flashlight's glare can be seen.]
[We see Frank again as the vision continues: the 'New Brunette Woman' as Nesbitt saw her through the open window with the flashlight's shining in her face, in the corner of the screen her drivers' license can be seen as she held it up for the 'police officer' to see; then the 'New Blonde Woman' can be seen as the light shone on her face; then as she normally appeared; also the brunette as she normally looked as they both turned to look at the 'police' car behind them after hearing the siren and seeing the flashing red light.]
[Frank returns to the photographs of the women smiling broadly in happier times. He again envisions the two women the way Nesbitt fantasizes about them: the 'New Blonde Woman' and the 'New Brunette Woman' both acting very seductively, hugging each other, posing, licking their lips - all the while looking directly at the camera which is meant to be Nesbitt's POV.]
[Then Frank is interrupted from his vision by someone who taps on the window with a device used in bondage and dominant type of sexual play. It is a ball attached to a leather strap. Frank opens the car door and Detective Thomas leans in to speak with Frank. Thomas is wearing rubber gloves.]
THOMAS: A, uh, penny for your thoughts.
FRANK: Same guy, pulled the women over, probably impersonating a police officer. I don't think the device is important.
THOMAS: Well, it's important to someone. Maybe those two sophisticates back at the, uh, station, huh?
FRANK: You might want to call Maureen and see what she thinks.
THOMAS: I don't want to know what Maureen thinks.
[He steps away from the car and Frank.]
[Later, back at the police station, an artist is making a sketch based on what the man from the rave, Red Robe, is describing. It is pretty close to what Art Nesbitt looks like but not quite.]
RED ROBE: I know it's what I described but it's how I described it but it's not. I think the guy had, uh, short hair, close-cropped. (sighs) I don't know.
[Frank is looking on as the artist tries to fix the sketch.]
RED ROBE: There were a lot of people at the club that night.
FRANK: You might want to go back and start again. I know it's tedious.
[Thomas whispers to Frank.]
THOMAS: This guy's a jerk.
[They both move off to another area of the room. Murphy joins them.]
THOMAS: He doesn't have a clue.
FRANK: Maybe. But the man he's describing, the man we're looking for, is going to be harder to find because of his appearance. He's unremarkable.
MURPHY: That he's a predator, he will belie his physical size, looks...
THOMAS: He could be anybody.
FRANK: To him, the victims are unreal - erotic figments to be manipulated. He kills them to prevent them from existing outside his fantasies.
MURPHY: Until the two women, the targets were heterosexual couples, conventional activities.
THOMAS: Conventional?! What, you think doping these people, watching them have sex and then murdering them - that's conventional?!
FRANK: Maureen is referring to the expansion of his interest into possible gay-lesbian sex.
THOMAS: This conjecture could be worse than useless. It might leads us down the wrong road altogether.
MURPHY: Do you have a suggestion, detective?
THOMAS: Yes. I'm going to get that, uh, lousy description we have and compare it with all the locally known registered sex offenders - which is what we should have been doing all along.
[He then leaves.]
BOULDER COUNTY MORGUE
[View from outside the building. Then it shifts to inside the morgue where Frank and Maureen Muphy stand beside a table where one of the women rests with a sheet over her body covering all except her head and shoulders. Peter Watts arrives and greets them both. He has an envelope in his hands.]
WATTS: Frank, Maureen.
[The trio moves over to another area of the room.]
FRANK: Peter, what have you got?
WATTS: Some additionally developed toxicology from blood and tissue. In addition to the synthetic MDMA, the hybrid to 'Ecstasy,' we found trace amounts of triphetamine and dilavtin.
WATTS: A trace this slight this might suggest an inadvertent contamination of the 'Ecstasy.' Possibly it was deliberate.
FRANK: Anything on the injection?
WATTS: Some unusual metabolites. Our tentative conclusion is that the substance that was injected was succlynocide. A dose large enough to be lethal but difficult to detect because of the way the body breaks the drug down.
MURPHY: It's pretty fancy shooting.
FRANK: The guy's a marksman.
[A man is using a chemist's scale to measure a dose of a yellow chemical. He takes a portion of this powder and adds it to mortar which contains some purple and white chemicals. Using a pestle, he grinds the chemicals down to make them finer and to blend them together. He then pours the powder mixture over a tray with numerous holes in which half capsules have been placed. This is the hybrid 'Ecstasy' being made as Art Nesbitt, pharmacist, prepares another batch by filling and completing the capsules.]
[We then see him and his drug store as the camera pulls out. We also see a young couple enter the store and approach the counter. He hears them walking and talking. He turns to face them. When he does, he fantasizes about the girl. It takes his breath away as his excitement grows. He turns away from them as they ring the bell for service.]
ART: I'll be right over to help you.
[He regains his composure and turns to see what the couple needs.]
RANDY: We need a prescription filled. We're kind of in a hurry.
LAURA: We're getting married tomorrow and we're going to Bali.
RANDY: Doctor Kenton wants us to well, we don't want to run the risk of getting the trots on the honeymoon.
LAURA: Really, Randal!
ART: Right. Well, I could fill this right now, if you could wait. I think you should take it right away, so it can be effective.
RANDY: Okay. Hey, thanks.
[He turns back to the 'Ecstasy' capsules he just made and takes two of them, places them into a plastic cup which he intends to give to the young couple.]
[Meanwhile, Watts answers some questions for the Boulder detectives based on the information he's just shared with Frank and Maureen Murphy in the morgue.]
DETECTIVE: These type of drugs - they couldn't be made by bathtub chemists?
WATTS: Very complicated to produce relative to their illegal equivalents - speed and heroin.
FRANK: These particular drugs have a legitimate point of origin. The killer had legitimate access to them.
DETECTIVE: And your Millennium people, they're running down the D.E.A. records?
WATTS: (nods) Yes.
FRANK: I think the killer takes the drugs himself. His could be a substance-related paraphilia.
DETECTIVE: What the hell is that?
MURPHY: The violence is drug-related - prescriptive, allowing him to act on recurrent intensely sexually arousing fantasies.
FRANK: Fantasies the killer makes real.
DETECTIVE: So why now?
MURPHY: He's moving toward the consummation of an act that he is incapable of consummating. Not with his wife. Not with anyone.
THOMAS: You think this guy is married?
MURPHY: Yes. Possibly for many years. A great possibility there never has been sexual consummation. His wife probably blames herself. She's deferential, attentive, supportive - probably come to value other qualities in her husband.
MURPHY: Dependability, maybe. Kindness.
[The Nesbitt's house. Nesbitt is sitting on one corner of the bed in their bedroom with a dozen red roses in a clear plastic box tied with a large red bow. He waits for his wife, Karen, to finish her bath and come out from the bathroom. Startled, she gasps when she first sees him. He rises and walks over to her.]
ART: Karen, I want you to know that I realize that the, while the physical side of our marriage may not have been...
KAREN: (interrupts) These are beautiful flowers, Art. I, I want to get them into water right...
[She takes the flowers from his hands and tries to walk away from him but he stops her by touching her shoulder with his hand. She turns back to him.]
ART: It, it didn't go so well - you know, that first time. And maybe since it's our anniversary, I was wondering, if maybe, you wouldn't like to try again?
KAREN: If that's what you'd like, Art. I want you to be happy.
ART: Then, um, I was wondering, when you might like to try having relations?
KAREN: Any time you like, Art.
ART: Is, is there any reason we couldn't tonight?
KAREN: No. Really that, that would be fine.
[Art leans forward and kisses his wife on the cheek. She shuts her eyes tight as he kisses her. He then leaves for work. She turns to watch him go but remains looking confused by their 'date' for sex.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
SUNDAY, 10:44 AM
[Outside, across from a pharmacy. A car pulls up and parks at the curb across from the pharmacy. In the car are Frank, Watts, Maureen Murphy and the detective. Thomas walks over to the car to speak with the occupants.]
THOMAS: The pharmacist's name is Art Nesbitt. He's married and bought that business about eight years ago. Okay.
[The detective opens the car door and steps out of the vehicle. He then runs over to the pharmacy to check it out. Thomas leans in through the open car door window to speak with Frank.]
THOMAS: So, what did you get on this guy?
FRANK: We've run the names that dispensed dilavtin and triphetamine by pharmacy. The findings aren't complete but we've had eleven hits so far.
WATTS: Nesbitt has taken receipt of both drugs four times but he has not filed the appropriate paper work with the F.D.A. for dispensation by prescription.
[The detective returns to the car, Frank's side, to tell them what he's found.]
DETECTIVE: He's not here. He left sick this morning. The young kid filling in says he thinks Nesbitt went home.
FRANK: That's our guy.
[Nesbitt's home. Thomas and Frank stand near the door. Thomas uses the knocker on the door. A hand pulls back a curtain to look at Frank. Frank nods at Thomas. Then Karen Nesbitt opens the door. Thomas holds up his badge and ID for her to see as he introduces himself.]
THOMAS: Detective Thomas, Boulder P.D. Are you Mrs. Nesbitt?
KAREN: Karen Nesbitt, yes.
FRANK: Is your husband home?
KAREN: No, not yet. Why?
FRANK: May we speak to you? May we come inside?
KAREN: All right.
[She steps away from the open door, allowing them to enter. She leads them into the living room. Thomas, Maureen Murphy, the other detective, Frank and lastly, Watts, enter the house.]
KAREN: We can talk right in here.
THOMAS: Uh, Mrs. Nesbitt, there's, uh, some confusion about possible discrepancies in your husband's prescription records at the pharmacy.
KAREN: Oh, oh, please, call me Karen.
KAREN: Well, if Art was here, I'm sure he could straighten this out right away. My husband is a very methodical man. Meticulous, really.
[Thomas turns to look at Maureen Murphy.]
KAREN: Almost to a fault.
KAREN: I think I know my husband. We've been married 18 years.
MURPHY: 18 years? That's wonderful.
[While Karen's attention is occupied, Frank and Watts slip off to look around the house.]
MURPHY: Do you have any children? I'm Maureen Murphy, by the way.
KAREN: No, Maureen.
[Thomas drops his false smile and looks sideways at Maureen Murphy – probably unhappy about her taking over the questioning.]
[Meanwhile, Frank enters the garage. A car is parked in the garage. Frank tries the door but it is locked. There's space enough for another car that could be parked in the garage. Frank then looks around the room. Various tools are neatly stored on the walls. A six-pack of something called 'ZUX' is on top of a cabinet.]
[Elsewhere, Watts opens a closet door in a bedroom. He finds Art's suits and shirts - all neatly stored, all exactly alike. The shirts are kept in see-through plastic bags and hung beneath the suits.]
[Back in the garage, Frank notices a pulley with a heavy chain fastened to it suspended from the ceiling.]
[Back upstairs, Watts enters a bathroom. He lifts the toilet seat cover and notices the blue disinfectant in the water. He removes the tank lid to look inside when he sees something on the other side of the lid and stares at it.]
[We return to the living room where Maureen Murphy questions Karen.]
MURPHY: Does your husband have any hobbies, Karen?
KAREN: Hobbies? No, no, I don't think he has time with work. Um, we, we watch TV, periodically. And he used to work on the car sometimes. He changed the motor by himself once. A long time ago.
MURPHY: Do the two of you go out much?
KAREN: We have dinner at my sister's most Thanksgivings. And Art has his drives.
MURPHY: By himself?
KAREN: Mm-hmm. He likes to drive around. Think and, and look at things, sometimes after work.
MURPHY: I know this must be difficult for you. I wouldn't ask these questions unless there was a good reason.
KAREN: I don't talk to people much. Um, my sister sometimes. We don't talk about, well, things.
[Upstairs, Watts flips over the lid cover to show Frank what he has found. A magazine has been placed inside of a plastic bag and it has been clipped to the underside of the lid cover. Frank pulls back his jacket sleeves, opens one of the clips and removes the magazine from the bag. They both look at the cover.]
[Downstairs, Maureen Murphy continues questioning Karen.]
MURPHY: How often have you been having relations with your husband, Karen?
KAREN: What? Why?
MURPHY: It's important.
KAREN: We were going to try again to make it right.
MURPHY: In what way, make it right?
KAREN: Art wants to try.
[Frank and Watts have returned to the living room.]
FRANK: Excuse me, Mrs. Nesbitt. Have you seen that magazine before?
[He hands her the magazine they found upstairs in the bathroom. The title reads: 'SNAZZ' There is a picture of a scantily leather clad girl on the cover. A headline next to her reads: 'TANTALIZING TATIANA! THE SNAZZ BABE OF THE MONTH.' Karen opens the magazine and flips through the pages. There are photos of nearly nude women.]
KAREN: No. It's, it's, it's old. It looks, uh. Is it smut?
FRANK: That copy is from 1978. You mentioned that's when you and your husband were married.
FRANK: We found it upstairs, Mrs. Nesbitt, clipped under the lid of the toilet tank in the master bathroom.
KAREN: I don't know what to say.
[She puts the magazine down on the coffee table and stands up. She becomes emotional as her confusion grows. She turns to face Maureen Murphy.]
KAREN: This is what you were talking about, isn't it? The good reason for asking the questions? He's done something. He's done something horrible, hasn't he?
[No one responds to her questions. Karen becomes more emotional and begins crying.]
KAREN: Eighteen years. Eighteen years.
FRANK: Do you have any idea where we can find your husband, Karen?
KAREN: He's at work. Isn't he?
[Meanwhile, Art is at work - with the young couple from the pharmacy. In the same room we saw him use with the first couple from the club, the pair is again kissing and about to engage in sex while Art watches. Both are on the mattress on the floor. All of the lights have been turned on and are focused on the mattress as Art prepares the rest of his fantasy. He opens a box which contains a wedding gown.]
[As he removes the veil from the box, he envisions Karen in the dress. She is crying. Her mascara is running down her cheeks. He can hear her crying yet he has a small smile on his face.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[Outside Delmonico's Restaurant, night.]
SUNDAY, 8:23 PM
[Inside, Frank and Maureen Murphy are already sitting at a small table as Detective Thomas joins them and sits down.]
THOMAS: The photos are in circulation. All hands on deck. What do we do now?
FRANK: Try and figure him - figure his mind.
THOMAS: Did he know we were on to him? He can't have. So he must have, uh, took himself off work for another reason. What, did he grab someone? Where the hell does this guy go?
[Maureen Murphy rises from the table and tries to walk past Thomas but there isn't enough room. The seating in the restaurant is a bit tight. She stands beside him, waiting for him to move but he doesn't notice her.]
MURPHY: Excuse me.
MURPHY: Can I get past you... ?
THOMAS: Oh, yeah.
MURPHY: ...for the restroom?
[Thomas stands up and moves his chair, allowing her room to walk by.]
THOMAS: I'm sorry.
[He seems flustered as he watches her walk away from the table.]
THOMAS: I, uh, sort of got off on the wrong foot with you. Well, well, with both, both of you. I mean, I can see that she's a pretty good investigator. I mean, I can see that.
FRANK: I'm glad.
THOMAS: Yeah. I, uh, I haven't exactly been comfortable with this case.
FRANK: Yes, I noticed.
THOMAS: I worked a lot of sex crimes when, uh, when I was on the job in LA.
[Frank leans forward and listens more intently to what Thomas is saying.]
THOMAS: Some of that stuff got pretty rough. So I was, uh, I was married then.
FRANK: But no more?
THOMAS: I, uh, well, I felt I was, uh, contaminated or something. And then I found that, uh, I couldn't make love to my wife. It started driving me nuts. She didn't say anything about it. And, and, you know, then I, I started going to porno movies trying to cure myself. It got worse. I got a divorce. I moved here. We don't get much sex crime.
[Frank seems distracted, as if something Thomas has said has made him think of something.]
THOMAS: I don't, uh, usually handle this kind of thing. I haven't for a while.
[Frank sees Maureen returning to their table and he rises from his seat.]
THOMAS: I haven't done it very well.
[She notices the look on Frank's face.]
FRANK: Something Karen Nesbitt told you about her husband - that they hadn't had sex for the last 18 years, and now suddenly he wants to try again.
MURPHY: You think he's going back there.
THOMAS: I hope so. I mean, I got men all over the area.
FRANK: No, I think he's way ahead of us.
[Meanwhile, back at the undisclosed location where Art Nesbitt is still with the young couple he met at the pharmacy - the couple is dressed up for a wedding. The man is wearing a light blue tuxedo and the girl is wearing a white wedding dress. These are presumably Art and Karen's clothes from their own wedding 18 years before.]
[Art walks around the couple, making last minute adjustments to some lights. The girl's dress is undone and open at the back, partially hanging on her right shoulder. The boy isn't wearing a tie and the top shirt button is open. Art's holding a small hand held video camera is his hands as he kneels in front of them.]
ART: Say the words.
[He, and we, look through the view screen of his camera and see Art and Karen instead of the young couple. Then we see Randy and Laura as they normally appear. Both have been drugged and do whatever Art wants them to do. Randy begins to speak. His speak is slow and slurred.]
RANDY as ART: (to Laura) Karen, I love you.
[Art again looks at the couple through the camera's view screen and sees himself and Karen in place of the young couple. He hears Randy's words but envisions himself as he spoke them to Karen long ago.]
RANDY as ART: This will be the first of many blissful nights. I want it to be special, Karen.
ART: What do you say, Karen?
[Still viewing them as 'Karen and Art'.]
LAURA as KAREN: Make love to me.
ART: Art. Call him Art.
LAURA as KAREN: Art.
ART: Art? It's time for you to make love to Karen.
[Randy awkwardly leans forward to kiss his fiancée.]
[Meanwhile, Frank, Thomas, Maureen Murphy and another detective are driving back to the Nesbitt home.]
THOMAS: So what is it that sets this guy off now?
MURPHY: An important date, his anniversary functioning as a stressor.
FRANK: He's recreating sexual experiences he feels he should have had before marriage. He killed, froze his victims in death at what he believes to be the happiest, most perfect moment of their lives.
[They arrive at the Nesbitt home.]
THOMAS: Do you really think he's going to come back here - back to this house tonight?
FRANK: He wants to make his marriage work. I don't know where else he'd go.
[They all leave the car and enter the garage. A car, presumably Karen's, is still parked in the garage as it was earlier. They quickly glance around the area. Thomas places a hand on the car to see if it is warm. It doesn't appear to be so.]
FRANK: If he's here - and I think he's here - where is his car? And why isn't it parked where I'm standing?
[Frank looks down at the ground and notices a panel. He walks over to one of the cabinets and takes a bottle with some liquid in it from the counter top. He returns to the floor panel, removes the pump from the bottle and pours the liquid onto the panel. He watches as the liquid goes down a crevice along the side of the panel.]
FRANK: Maureen, open the garage door. (to the other detective) We're going to need an ambulance.
[Frank lies down on the ground and places his ear on the panel.]
FRANK: (to Thomas) Give me that hook there, will you?
[Frank takes a crowbar and scrapes at the edge of the panel revealing a loop possibly made of rope or wire.]
[He takes the hook which is attached to the heavy chain and set up on the pulley which is by the wall. He places the hook in the loop.]
FRANK: One man should be able to do this easily.
[Thomas begins pulling on the chain as it raises the concrete slab. Frank remains on the ground pressing his face down so that he can peer into the opening.]
[Frank looks down into the opening and sees the young couple on the mattress below. Art's hiding place is beneath the garage. The girl has passed out. The boy is trying to revive her. Both are naked.]
RANDY: Laurie? Laura, you okay? Laurie?
[Maureen shines a flashlight down on the couple. Randy notices the light and looks up at Frank.]
RANDY: Please! Let us go!
[Frank begins climbing down a ladder which is fastened to one side of the opening.]
FRANK: You're safe.
RANDY: (crying) Please! Whoever you are, please, get us away from here!
FRANK: No one is going to hurt you now.
[Randy leans down and whispers in Laura's ear.]
RANDY: It's going to be okay.
[Frank finally reaches the couple. He removes a flashlight from his jacket pocket and looks into the boy's eyes. He then takes the girl's pulse by pressing his fingers against a vein in her neck. She is still alive. He lifts one of the girl's eyelids.]
FRANK: She's all right. You're freezing.
RANDY: I thought we'd die here. He gave us pills.
[Frank looks around the room and finds a blanket and some clothes. He wraps them around the boy.]
RANDY: Thank you.
FRANK: When was the last time you saw Nesbitt?
RANDY: Maybe an hour ago. There's a door over there.
[Frank pushes open a part of the wall to reveal another area.]
FRANK: It's an old bomb shelter. The tunnel was probably added on. This leads into the house.
[Meanwhile, upstairs in their bedroom, Art and Karen have finally made love. She is wearing a nightgown while he wears some boxer shorts. He holds a syringe in his right hand.]
ART: When we made love, we gave each other a little piece of our souls. We became fuller, more complete people. And I've arranged it so that nothing can ever change.
[As Frank and Maureen rush up the stairs to the bedroom, they move past Det. Kent who is standing in the darkened living room.]
MURPHY: (to Kent) Call Thomas. Nesbitt's upstairs.
[Back in the bedroom:]
ART: We will never, never be unhappy again. We will be together forever, Karen. That is what marriage is.
[Just then Frank kicks open the bedroom door.]
[He moves over to the bed and slaps the syringe out of Nesbitt's hand to the floor across the room. He then pulls Karen off the bed and over to the door near Maureen.]
ART: Hey, no! No, you don't understand! That is my wife! I am married now! I am married now! That's my wife!
[He looks down and sees the syringe on the carpet. It contains some yellow liquid. He lunges for the syringe, picks it up and stabs it into his right thigh.]
ART: (groans) Oh...
[Frank kneels beside him.]
ART: Oh. Karen, I'll be there. I'll wait for you. I'll be faithful. We're married now.
[He begins to lose consciousness. He slumps to the floor. Frank catches his head before it touches the ground. He can do nothing to save him. Thomas finally enters the room.]
MURPHY: Come on, Karen.
[Maureen escorts Karen from the room. Thomas looks to Frank who shakes his head as Art Nesbitt dies. He then lowers Art's head gently to the floor.]
[Later that night, Thomas is driving Frank back to his motel.]
FRANK: Maureen will be staying a few days.
THOMAS: Yeah, she said. Is she married?
FRANK: Ask her.
THOMAS: Maybe I will. I, uh, I told you about working in LA, Frank. But I didn't tell you everything. Besides my, uh, marriage breaking up and all, I had this, uh, reaction to the squalor, the carnage of the work. And instead of working up a drinking problem like a normal guy, I, I had a nervous breakdown.
[Frank doesn't say a word but just stares at Thomas as he speaks.]
THOMAS: Something is wrong, Frank. You know, in this day and age, people are carrying on wild as ever, maybe more so. Regular folks, they're doing drugs, acting nuts.
FRANK: Sex and death have commingled in one inseparable impulse. Risk feeds sensation. Sensation makes risk acceptable. We're headed toward...(sighs)
[They're reached their destination. Thomas pulls the car over to the curb and parks as Frank unfastens his seat belt.]
THOMAS: Toward what, Frank?
FRANK: Something perhaps we'd do better to avoid.
[He opens the car door and touches Thomas' arm before getting out.]
FRANK: Take care, Thomas.
[We watch as Thomas' car pulls away into the night.]
[fade to black]
Lance Henriksen (Frank Black)
Megan Gallagher (Catherine Black)
Terry O'Quinn (Peter Watts)
William Lucking (Detective Thomas)
Hrothgar Mathews (Art Nesbitt)
Harriet Sansom Harris (Maureen Murphy)
Barbara Howard (Karen Nesbitt)
Malcolm Stewart (Vic)
Doug Abrahams (Detective Kent)
Barry Greene (Mark)
Michael Buie (Randy)
Derek Hamilton (New Mel)
Natassia Malthe (New Lesley)
Peg Christopherson (Sylvie)
Crystal Cass (New Anne)
Fawnia L. Mondey (Laura)
Dawn Madsen (Lesley)
Eric Olsen (Mel Dodd)
Carrie Davis (Anne)
Jaclynn Grad (New Sylvie)
Dorion Davis (Sherrie)
Rafe McDonald (Tim)
Michael Sunczyk (Doorman - Red Robe)
Laurel Gray (The Pathologist)
Jon Ratt (The Husband)
Tyler Labine (Gavin)
Jenny Mitchell (Kim)
Kelly Irving (Ron)
Music by Mark Snow
Editor: Chris Willingham, A.C.E.
Production Designer: Mark Freeborn
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 Ted Mann
Directed by David Nutter
Executive Producer: Chris Carter