A Single Blade of Grass
Written by Erin Maher and Kay Reindl
Directed by Rodman Flender
Edited by George R. Potter
Air date: 24 October 1997
[Transcribed by Libby]
[A voice speaks over the flames of a fire.]
VOICE: Do not tell the white people about this. Jesus is upon earth. He appears like a cloud. The dead are still alive again. I do not know when they will be here. Maybe this fall or in the spring. When the time comes there will be no more sickness and everyone will be young again.
[Native Indian chants. A mask with an eagle's face. Native Indian men, some wearing masks, others with painted designs on their faces. One throws some decorated stones onto the earth. Two men, Joe Reynard and Daniel Olivaw sit cross-legged, facing each other, by a small fire. The decorated stones are collected up by Daniel and again cast on the ground. The stones reveal something momentous. Reynard stands and backs away. Daniel is slowly surrounded by the rest of the men - masked and dancing. He seems uncertain and a little frightened. One man wearing a skull mask, crouches down beside him. He takes off the mask - it is Joe Reynard.]
REYNARD: [Subtitles] You are the one.
[Another man brings over a rattle snake. Reynard holds a bowl and the snake is made to release venom into it. Daniel's arms are forced behind him and Reynard pours the venom-laced liquid into his mouth.]
REYNARD: [Subtitles] Go to the west. Tell us who you see.
REYNARD: [in English] Daniel. Tell us what must happens. Tell us what to do.
[Daniel falls to the ground, convulsing. The men gather round him. The camera backs away, and up some concrete steps, as Daniel cries out in pain. The door at the top of the steps leads to the lobby of a very nice hotel. As it tracks across the lobby and eventually out of the front door, we see smartly uniformed hotel staff, well-dressed guests.]
[Outside: Blackburne Hotel, New York. Full moon.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
"A SINGLE BLADE OF GRASS"
[City scape. A construction site, but instead of the usual activity, an anthropologist, Dr. Liz Michaels, is brushing earth off human bones. Hovering around, clearly frustrated by the delay, is the construction site boss, Richard Powell.]
POWELL: So, how you long people gonna be holding up construction? Day, half a day, what?
DR MICHAELS: It's an archaeological site, Powell. It takes time.
POWELL: Yeah, if you're doing it with a paintbrush and spoon.
DR MICHAELS: It's not the kind of thing you do with a backhoe.
POWELL: [sighs] Could you at least get a bigger shovel? Huh? Come on!
WOMAN: Dr Michaels? Dr Michaels!
[Dr Michaels and Powell go over to Dr. Michaels' assistant who is working on another area. Dr Michaels brushes dirt of what looks like a newly painted mask, half red, half black. She lifts it up. It has been covering the face of the man in the opening scene. She puts her hand to her face in horror. The other two turn away.]
DR MICHAELS: Well, Powell, it's not a construction or an archaeological site now. It's a crime scene.
[City scape again. Back to wire fence around construction site. Frank opens a gate and walks in.]
FRANK: Sergeant Walters?
[Sergeant Walters comes over to him.]
WALTERS: Frank Black?
[They shake hands and walk across the site.]
WALTERS: Thanks for coming. This one is too weird even for New York. I knew from the get go we'd need the Millennium Group's counsel on this one. I got a break being as you were in the area and didn't have to come all the way out from Seattle.
FRANK: I would have been here sooner only I got stuck behind a truck. It looked like it was loaded with elephants.
WALTERS: Ah, yeah. The circus has some wild west show on this week at the Garden. They got it wrong, though, they should be moving the clowns out of Manhattan.
[Frank has stopped to look at the old skeleton previously unearthed.]
WALTERS: What are you doing? That's the old one. Fresh one's over here.
[Frank gets up and goes over to the crime scene.]
WALTERS: We didn't touch a thing. I was waiting for you.
FRANK: Thank you.
[Frank crouches down and starts to move more earth away from the body. They are both repelled by the smell.]
FRANK: Been dead about a week. [looks over at the old skeleton] The one over there has been dead about 200 years.
WALTERS: Well, like I said, you're the first one to take a look. I figured the new dead guy looking like the old dead guy in the situation here –
FRANK: What is the situation here?
WALTERS: The anthropologist thinks this is some Indian burial site. Now I got the construction company ticked off because they've been ordered to cease and desist until the site has been excavated. I got the anthropologist ticked off because the foreman's giving her grief.
FRANK: What's going on with those guys?
[Some construction workers are sitting and watching the activity.]
WALTERS: Ah, that's just a bunch of guys ticked off with the world in general. They're Indians who work construction.
FRANK: Can they account for their whereabouts over the last week?
WALTERS: They hang out at a local bar so they cover for each other.
FRANK: Do they know the victim?
WALTERS: The foreman ID'ed him as Daniel Olivaw. Worked here a couple of weeks.
FRANK: He wasn't murdered here.
WALTERS: What makes you say that?
FRANK: Signs of violence on the body. He would have bled profusely. There're no signs of blood in the immediate area.
[Some of the dirt sticks to Frank's hand. As he tries to flick it off, he gets a vision - crude outline of an animal, a wolf perhaps.]
WALTERS: You OK?
[Frank has more visions - chains - broken links.]
FRANK: He was killed indoors, somewhere nearby.
WALTERS: How do you know that?
FRANK: I don't know it. I feel it.
[More visions - snake head, skull mask, the Blackburne Hotel.]
[Blackburne Hotel - Frank and Walters and cops enter.]
WALTERS: This is one of the priciest hotels in the west side. It's like a 12 star hotel or something.
[More visions - men round fire, concrete wall.]
[Frank goes over to the door that leads into the basement. They all go down some steps. A sliding door into the basement. The walls are covered in ideographs and blood is spattered on the walls.]
WALTERS: Whoa. The Mansons take Manhattan.
[Frank reaches for Walters' flashlight.]
FRANK: Can I see that?
[Hanging from the ceiling of the basement are some chains - just as in Frank's visions.]
WALTERS: They hung the guy?
RADIO: Hey, look, I don't know Sergeant Walters' 20, but tell him that that lady anthropologist is here, is going nuts again, huh?
DR MICHAELS: I realize this is a crime scene and I'm trying to respect that. But it's an incredibly significant archaeological site. And I want that respected.
WALTERS: I told you once, I told you ninety times, Dr Michaels. This site is closed. Nobody but the coroner is touching up a damn thing.
DR MICHAELS: And I refuse to just stand around here and watch cops and coroners dig up my ancient shaman with shovels.
FRANK: Dr Michaels, my name is Frank Black. I'm assisting with this murder investigation. I'd appreciate your help.
DR MICHAELS: What's in it for me?
FRANK: What do you need?
DR MICHAELS: This body. I need it carefully excavated and removed to the museum. Not just yanked out the ground, tossed into a body bag and then thrown in some refrigerator at the morgue.
[Frank picks up a stick and marks out a circle on the ground around the skeleton.]
FRANK: There you go. You can have everything inside that line. The rest of the site stays closed until the investigation is complete. Is that a deal?
DR MICHAELS: Yeah.
[Hotel. Frank and Dr Michaels and Walters going down the steps into basement.]
FRANK: Dr Michaels, you might want to prepare yourself. This scene is very disturbing.
[They slide open the door. Police officers are also there.]
FRANK: Dr Michaels, I know you're not a detective. But do you see anything on these walls that might explain why a man was buried at that construction site. For starters, can you explain the significance of any of these symbols.
DR MICHAELS: I know most of them, yeah. They're from many different tribes. There's, there's Mohawk, and Seneca [Frank has a vision of a segmented circle], the other Iroquois tribes and Cherokee, Hopi, Navaho, Seminole, there's even Tumasch. You never see them jumbled up like this.
FRANK: It's been my understanding that North American tribes didn't practice sacrificial rituals. My grandmother's mother was Craw.
DR MICHAELS: You're more likely to see sacrifice among the South American tribes, but that's not what this is either. These, this is a mish-mash of various cultural symbols from half the tribes in the US. It's, it's nonsense.
FRANK: Is there even an attempt at a common theme here?
DR MICHAELS: Almost everything here represents communication with the spirit world.
FRANK: An apocrypha.
DR MICHAELS: OK, the kachina. The kachina's a Hopi figure that acts as an intermediary between the living and the dead. And, and, this right here is, the symbol's an owl.
FRANK: The symbol of death.
DR MICHAELS: Right. And in the Cree tradition the skeleton is a helping spirit.
FRANK: Like a guardian angel.
DR MICHAELS: In Native American mythology we all have a helping spirit. I'm told mine's an ant.
WALTERS: Why, you like to ruin picnics?
[Frank turns and gives a look to Walters.]
DR MICHAELS: Some tribes believe the ants carry messages from our ancestors buried in the earth and that's what I do.
FRANK: Thank you very much for your help, Dr Michaels. May I call you if I have any further questions?
DR MICHAELS: Sure. If you're ready to make deal with me about my site.
[Frank looks around and has another vision of the segmented circle.]
[Knife cutting same symbol in piece of wood.]
[Gaming table. Two dice. People playing a gambling game on a baize covered table in a bar. Frank enters and speaks to bartender.]
FRANK: How're you doing. I'm looking for some of the guys that work the construction site up the street.
[Bartender doesn't answer, carries on cleaning the bar top.]
FRANK: Primarily the foreman. Joe Reynard.
BARTENDER: You here to tell me he hit the lottery?
BARTENDER: Then I can't help you.
[Frank smiles then hears something behind him - someone in the group saying "over here". Frank goes over to the men.]
FRANK: Joe Reynard. My name is Frank Black.
REYNARD: Where are you from? NYPD? FBI? Bureau of Indian Affairs?
FRANK: Seattle. [to player] You might want to bet "Don't Come". That's a risk.
REYNARD: Shorter odds.
FRANK: Depends on your intentions.
REYNARD: Why does anyone gamble? Because they believe they are sure of the outcome. That they have some control over fate.
FRANK: Daniel Olivaw worked on your crew.
[Reynard moves further along the table.]
FRANK: Tell me about him.
REYNARD: He worked hard. Showed up on time.
[Reynard throws the dice.]
FRANK: That's it?
REYNARD: He worked for me. We weren't married.
FRANK: Was he a religious man?
REYNARD: And how would I know about that.
FRANK: Some Christians wear medals with patron saints on them. Or they put religious statues on the dashboard of their car.
REYNARD: Even if he did do anything like that, it wouldn't mean nothing to me.
[Frank takes out a pen and draws the diagram he saw in his visions.]
REYNARD: He was Mohawk and I'm Hopi. How many Catholics could tell you what goes on in a Jewish temple.
FRANK: Probably not many. But they'd probably realize it's a religion.
[He pushes the drawing over to Reynard.]
FRANK: You recognize this?
[The men look concerned. Behind them sits an Old Indian.]
[Reynard goes to put money down prior to the dice being rolled.]
FRANK: Hold it, hold it.
[Frank pulls out some banknotes and puts some down.]
FRANK: Eight - the hard way.
[One man rolls the dice.]
FRANK: [smiling] Oh yes.
[A double 4.]
[Reynard looks astonished. Frank picks up the pile of banknotes, then pulls off some and puts them into the hand of the man he's bet against.]
FRANK: Here you go. It was a sucker's bet.
[Another man holds the drawing Frank has made.]
MAN: This was not drawn on the basement wall. [He looks at the Old Indian.] How could he know of this.
OLD INDIAN: Our ancestors gave it to him in a vision. One that he does not understand yet. Ha Wen Neyu traveled west to the edge of the world and argued with the Great Protector about who created and who owns the earth. He engaged in a contest. Ha Wen Neyu won the victory but upon realizing the Great Protector's
power, the Great Protector was given a place to live in the west. He will come whenever the people call him.
REYNARD: This prophecy tells us that we're on the right path. We should continue. He said he was from the west. Daniel sent him.
[One of the others hands him a small cloth bag. He takes from it the carved stones which he throws onto the table.]
REYNARD: He is. He is the other one.
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
[City scape. Day. Swing music. Exterior shot of Office of Chief Medical Examiner.]
[Inside. Morgue. The Coroner is dancing around and humming along with the music. Frank enters, startling her.]
FRANK: The Squirrel Nut Zippers.
[Frank switches off the music.]
CORONER: Um, yeah. You know 'em?
FRANK: Who doesn't. You by any chance listen to Bobby Darin?
CORONER: Oh, yeah - Gidget Goes Hawaiian.
FRANK: That's James Darren. I'm Frank Black, by the way.
[They shake hands.]
CORONER: Oh, yeah, the forensics guy?
CORONER: Do you want to take a look at this?
[They go over to the corpse. She pulls back the sheet to show the head and shoulders.]
CORONER: He was dismembered with flint and then his limbs were reattached with fishing line. Three pound on the line unless I miss my guess. It's a good weight for trout. There are several lacerations around the torso, the waist, and the neck, but no petechiae.
FRANK: Hung post-mortem. What was the cause of death?
CORONER: Poison. Mostly made up of peptides and proteins rich in enzymes with an incredibly low molecular weight.
FRANK: Snake venom.
CORONER: Timber rattlesnake. The venom has a high LD50. It takes a lot to kill you.
FRANK: No edema. Probably ingested. Small doses over a period of several hours.
CORONER: Well, there are several puncture marks on the body. Probably from the hooks. But no bite marks. I did find these contusions on the throat.
[She pulls the sheet further back. Frank looks closely at the body. He has a vision - a snake's head, then a human mouth.]
FRANK: They force-fed him.
[Frank uses tweezers to pull out a thread of fishing line.]
[Similar scene but now in Dr Michaels' lab. She uses tweezers to pull out a thread from the older body.]
DR MICHAELS: You see most of the stitching material has just rotted away.
PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY LAB
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
FRANK: From the marks here on the shoulder, it looks as if this body underwent some of the same post-mortem mutilation as Daniel Olivaw's body. The arms and legs removed and then re-attached. Does this look like one of those South American sacrificial rituals?
[Dr Michaels is working on the first skeleton which is housed in a large wooden crate. There's a metal tray balanced on the side of the crate in which she puts the extracted threads.]
DR MICHAELS: Oh, no, this isn't a sacrifice. This is an attempt at resurrection.
DR MICHAELS: Yeah. There's an ancient Seneca myth in which an attempt was made to revive a corpse by taking it apart and putting it back together again. It usually followed an unsuccessful attempt by the victim to reach and return from the spirit world.
FRANK: So in order to converse with his ancestors he would have to bring himself to the brink of death. By ingesting poison, for instance. Instead of bringing back a message from his dead ancestors, he becomes one.
DR MICHAELS: These people believed, and still do believe, in another plane of existence. People actually died from the heart squeeze - a myth in which a Seneca sorcerer committed murder by psychically squeezing a victim's heart.
FRANK: Victims of curses die from their own fears.
DR MICHAELS: But they're still dead.
FRANK: Rituals may work. But not the way you expect.
DR MICHAELS: You know, everybody gets hysterical when Nostradamus appears to vaguely predict an earthquake. And our culture ignores the fact that the Hopi predicted the railroads, the arrival of longhorn cattle, the stripmining of Hopi land.
[Dr Michaels has taken the metal tray over to a bench and has her back to Frank. Frank is continuing to study the skeleton, then has a vision of a wolf-like animal.]
DR MICHAELS: The Native American lands appear to have access to an elevated plane that no matter what I do or how much I think I understand, I just can't get there.
[Frank has vision of birds flying towards a wooden barn.]
[Dr Michaels now turns back to face Frank.]
DR MICHAELS: Do you believe in that plane? I mean, do you think that any of us could really get to it?
[A segmented circle symbol is being painted on a piece of wood. Men are chanting.]
[Night. Half moon. Car drives up to the construction site. Floodlights are lit and the wooden markers with police tape attached are pulled out. Men are digging, unearthing bones which are thrown into boxes. Maybe a dozen men digging.]
[Back at Dr Michaels' lab, Frank passes his hand over the dirt around the skeleton. He has a vision of the circle symbol again. He digs his hand into the soil.]
DR MICHAELS: Hey, what are you doing? You can't –
[He pulls out something - a piece of wood.]
DR MICHAELS: How did you know that was there?
[He hands it to her.]
DR MICHAELS: It looks like a prayer stick.
[She starts brushing dirt off it.]
DR MICHAELS: But this one's different.
FRANK: In what way?
[There are symbols carved on it.]
DR MICHAELS: Well, early researchers thought that the prayer stick was a kind of Indian rosary. The top and bottom represent heaven and hell and the symbols in between normally suggest specific prayers that the stick's owner might say, but, this one, it, it's just different. It's like, like a series of events that lead up to an ultimate event.
[Frank points to the segmented circle symbol.]
FRANK: I keep seeing this symbol.
DR MICHAELS: You've seen that before?
DR MICHAELS: Frank, I have never seen that before.
FRANK: Could this be a resurrection symbol one would carry if sent to the other world? And if this messenger was carrying one, Daniel Olivaw must have been carrying one too.
[Construction site. They've got the digger working as well. Frank and Dr Michaels enter.]
DR MICHAELS: Oh my god. Oh my –
FRANK: Mr Powell, what's happening.
POWELL: Look, I know all about the Graves Protection Act. And I followed all the regulations. The rule is, we can't continue to build until an institution or an archaeologist removes the artifacts.
FRANK: That's right.
POWELL: Well I notified the department at a university in Albany. And they came down and properly removed the remains and transferred them to their facility upstate. And we are back to work.
DR MICHAELS: But everything was supposed to remain in here.
POWELL: All I'm doing is following the rules, Dr Michaels. It seems your gripe is now with the college up in Albany, not me. I don't know how these things should be studied.
DR MICHAELS: You have destroyed the memory of a people so you can build an office.
POWELL: The past is gone, Dr Michaels. You can dig 'em up, study 'em all you want, it ain't gonna bring them back!
REYNARD: You're wrong, Mr Powell. There was a prophecy to this field. The white people took the bones, then, we'd return.
POWELL: Enough of this! This is not my problem. I did the right thing.
DR MICHAELS: You are just trying to convince yourself of that.
FRANK: They wanted Daniel's body to be found. Reynard wanted the bones removed to continue their prophecy.
FRANK: Yes, prophecy.
POWELL: Yesterday they were all on the war path. Today, that's what they want. [to Reynard] I don't know what your game is, mister, but I have done my bit. I followed the rules.
DR MICHAELS: Followed your own rules.
POWELL: Oh, my heart bleeds for you, lady. You know something? You're as bad as me. You're digging them up, too. And don't tell me you have the right to –
DR MICHAELS: I have a responsibility.
POWELL: To a bunch of science journals. To a group of people as far-out and left-field as that guy [pointing to Reynard].
[He clutches his arm. Frank goes to help him.]
POWELL: No! My responsibility now is to make up all the time I lost because of this and I don't want to hear about it, any more! You hear me! I don't want to –
FRANK: You're going to give yourself a coronary.
[Powell is gasping, in pain.]
FRANK: Sit down.
REYNARD: [subtitle] It's the heart squeeze.
[Frank grabs Powell.]
FRANK: Come on, sit down.
[Powell on ground, difficult breathing.]
FRANK: [to Dr Michaels] Call 911.
[Reynard goes over slowly, as Frank loosens Powell's tie and collar, starts CPR but then checks for a heart beat.]
REYNARD: Is he dead?
FRANK: Yeah, he's dead.
[Frank, angry, gets up and moves towards Reynard. Reynard holds him off.]
REYNARD: It always starts this way. With a single blade of grass.
[Reynard walks off, leaving Frank standing by Powell's body.]
[Frank and Dr Michaels walk towards his car and get in. As Frank adjusts the rearview mirror he sees something in the back of the car - the red and black mask.]
[fade to black]
[polaroid fade up]
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
[Night. Inside, a sleeping security guard is suddenly awoken by the sound of a door closing. He switches on his torch and goes to investigate, walking past statues and other artifacts.]
[Dr Michaels' lab. Frank is looking through a book.]
FRANK: This is the head of the Iroquois' false face. It's identical to the one found on the body of Daniel Olivaw.
DR MICHAELS: The red half symbolizes the east, the black half the west. And the mask represents half-human bodies with the power to walk between the real and the spirit worlds.
FRANK: Half human.
DR MICHAELS: Well, not literally.
FRANK: Whoever dismembered Daniel Olivaw's body took it literally. Daniel was buried with a mask that represents the ability to contact the dead.
[Dr Michaels has uncovered a piece of wood with the segmented circle symbol painted on it.]
[Museum. The security guard is looking around, walking down a corridor, shining his flashlight on each door in turn.]
[Dr Michaels' lab.]
DR MICHAELS: I believe the symbol may belong to a lost tribe of the Iroquois. You see, when the Seneca were put on the first reservation back in the 1790s the bond between the five Iroquois tribes was severed. The other tribes ended up on reservations with the exception of this one, which apparently died out.
FRANK: Or scattered. The symbols left at the murder scene were from different tribes. What if the members of the lost tribe hid themselves among other tribes, and were so successful that the white man completely overlooked their existence. Daniel was a Mohawk. The others were Hopi, Cheyenne, Navaho. But in the beginning, their place was here. They've been hiding for centuries. Until a prophecy told them to reunite. Through separation and time, the original prophecies have been lost or forgotten. The men who killed Daniel Olivaw have been taking from other tribes and filling in the blanks.
[Museum. Shadowy figures run past behind the guard. He hears something and turns round.]
[Dr Michaels' lab.]
DR MICHAELS: See, the carvings tell the story. The grass will grow over the white man, the ancestors will be resurrected, and the buffalo will return. That's ghost dance. At the end of the last century Wovoka told the Indians to dance the ghost dance, and the white man would be eradicated. Only it was the Indians that were massacred at Wounded Knee.
FRANK: The prophecy. This is a blueprint for another culture's apocalypse.
DR MICHAELS: You can't believe that. It, this is just symbolic. Like the Book of Revelation or any other religious apocrypha.
FRANK: The Book of Revelation may be portrayed allegorically but the over-arching idea of the apocalypse is real. Everything starts with one blade of grass. These events, to them, are coming true.
[Museum. The guard still looking round. In his torch beam appears a wolf - it's an exhibit. Behind him a door opens, there's a thump and a sound of him falling to the ground.]
[Dr Michaels' lab.]
FRANK: You said this image prophesizes the destruction of the earth, the return of the ancestors. Well, that's already happened.
[Dr Michaels looks puzzled.]
FRANK: When Powell's men unearthed the grave site.
[Museum. Several figures are running past statues, etc., then upstairs.]
[Dr Michaels' lab. Dr Michaels points to another symbol – an animal, possibly a coyote – on the prayer stick.]
DR MICHAELS: This symbol represents a messenger.
[Frank has vision - he sees Daniel's face.]
FRANK: The murder victim, Daniel, was sent to the west, to the land of the dead, to speak with his ancestors.
DR MICHAELS: It could be. I'm still not sure what this lower figure is supposed to mean.
[Frank has another vision - himself standing behind the fire in the basement, a setting sun just touching the horizon, the black and red mask, himself by the fire again, and the sun now sinking further below the horizon.]
FRANK: It's me.
[Figures running in the museum. A door closing.]
[Dr Michaels' lab.]
FRANK: Daniel was sent to the west, I came from the west.
[Dr Michaels looks incredulous.]
FRANK: They think I came here because I was summoned. My death, my reunion with Daniel, will open the door with the east.
DR MICHAELS: Frank, people have researched this, I have studied myths ever since I can remember, and I don't understand all this.
FRANK: I see it, Liz. That other plane? How you wished it were true. How you wanted it to be there. When I'm here, touching this earth, I sense it. I'm in that plane. I can't call it up, I can't control it, I can't understand it. I have an ability that I thought I'd lost. I was told that it would change in ways I wouldn't understand. It's happening now.
[Vision: Wooden building among trees and grass. Day.]
FRANK: A door opens in the west. A rough hewn building.
DR MICHAELS: That's an Iroquois long house.
[Frank laughs. Vision: crows flying towards building.]
FRANK: Crows, fly in.
DR MICHAELS: That could be the dead ancestors returning.
[Frank is getting distressed.]
FRANK: A coyote turns and he looks at me.
DR MICHAELS: He's a contradictory creature. He manages to be both the trickster and, in the southwest tradition, a creator of the universe.
FRANK: I see myself walking on a road.
[Vision. Figure disappears into fog.]
FRANK: And then I fall into the earth.
DR MICHAELS: That could be the spirit road.
[Frank picks up the message stick. Vision of the segmented circle symbol again.]
FRANK: This represents heaven.
[Dr Michaels nods.]
FRANK: Phases of the moon.
DR MICHAELS: What? I don't – [shakes her head]
FRANK: Full moon, first quarter moon, new moon, third quarter moon.
DR MICHAELS: I don't understand, what –
FRANK: It's a calendar. Telling them when to act.
[Power goes out. It's dark except for moonlight coming through windows.]
DR MICHAELS: It's, it's OK. The emergency lights will kick in, in a minute.
FRANK: Stay here.
[He goes off. Dr Michaels stays put and then hears a crash.]
DR MICHAELS: Frank?
[More noises and light flashes.]
DR MICHAELS: Frank?
[She finds a torch and switches it on.]
DR MICHAELS: Frank! Frank!
[She stumbles and falls. Crawls forward shining her torch. There are figures running away.]
DR MICHAELS: Frank!
[The lights come back on. She looks around the lab.]
[Now Dr Michaels is running down a corridor. She trips on something and falls. Then she sees the dead guard. She runs outside the building, and sees no sign of anyone. She cries out in exasperation. Then she looks up and sees the half moon. She remembers the message stick which she had put in her back pocket. She looks at the symbol on the message stick then back up at the moon.]
DR MICHAELS: The time is now.
[fade to black]
VOICE: Long ago there were two brothers, one red, the other white. The great spirit gave them a stone tablet with the sign of a circle upon it. Each brother took half of the tablet, half of the circle. The white brother went west to develop the power of reason. The red brother stayed behind to develop the power of spirit.
[Frank is tied up, his arms pinned behind his back. There is a cloth around his head.]
VOICE: When Pahana, the lost white brother, returns, he will bring together both halves of the circle. Spirit and reason will become one. And at last we will have a paradise on earth.
[The men are preparing the snake venom as they did for Daniel.]
REYNARD: Once you have joined Daniel on the spirit road, the circle will be complete.
FRANK: I'm not the white brother. Killing me won't bring you paradise on earth.
REYNARD: You are honored. You have been chosen to deliver the prophecy from the ancestors in the other world. You will tell us what to do. You, the single blade of grass.
FRANK: You invented this apocalypse. You created it, this ritual, out of old prophecy that never came true. These interpretations are out of your own desperation. It's what you wish it to be. You're seeing what you want it to be, Joe. The grass will not grow over the white man.
[Reynard gets up, holding the bowl. Frank struggles.]
FRANK: No. No.
[They force him to drink.]
[Lobby of hotel. Bellhop drinks from a carton. Dr Michaels, Sergeant Walters and cops enter, go over to door to basement. The basement is empty.]
WALTERS: I told you. They'd be stupid to return to the scene of the crime.
DR MICHAELS: His disappearance has something to do with the rituals. Events that happened in this area. Frank saw it.
WALTERS: If he's being used like Daniel Olivaw, we'd better check that construction site.
DR MICHAELS: I know.
[The ritual scene. The decorated stones are cast onto the ground in front of Frank.]
REYNARD: [to Frank] Who? Who do you see?
FRANK: The tribe dissolves.
[They force him to drink more.]
[Vision - waterfall, water going backwards.]
[The construction site which is now deserted except for Dr Michaels and Sergeant Walters.]
WALTERS: Hey, what did you mean back there when you said Frank saw it.
DR MICHAELS: I don't know. He just said he could this, this area, an Iroquoian longhouse. Now, they're about 50 yards long, so if Daniel opened a door to the west there, in the hotel where he was killed, then Frank is intended to fulfill the prophecy by opening the door to the east. So, there's somewhere between 25 and 75 yards [points left] from the hotel [points right] in that direction.
FRANK: I've had these visions before, you know.
FRANK: The tribe reunites.
REYNARD: Tell us, Pahana. How does it happen? What do we do?
[Outside. Moon in sky. Dr Michael is running down street. She meets up with Sergeant Walters and other police officers.]
WALTERS: Hey, what the hell's going on down there?
[Down the road there are emergency vehicles with flashing lights.]
COP: I don't know. An accident or something.
[Frank's vision is of buffalo.]
FRANK: The buffalo will return here.
REYNARD: When. Tell us when.
FRANK: The prophecy has been fulfilled. You're just too blind to see it.
DR MICHAELS: The ancestors return. A messenger. The spirit road divides. [sighs] Falling into the earth. [whispers] Falling into the earth. [looks down] Hey, guys, this isn't steam, this is smoke! From a fire. They're down here.
[They lift up a manhole cover.]
[Ritual scene. Daniel picks up the bowl and begins to force Frank to drink again. Shadowy figures run in.]
DR MICHAELS: Frank!
COPS: Hey, stop!
[Shouting and torch beams. The Indians run off as the cops run in. Dr M stops by Frank. Sergeant and cops run after them. Someone shouts "I know a way out."]
DR MICHAELS: It's OK. Walters' men went after him.
[More shouts as the Indians climb up a metal ladder. Outside, a manhole cover is moved. Reynard climbs out and runs off. Frank climbs out of another manhole cover followed by Dr Michaels. There's a sound of running hooves.]
DR MICHAELS: Frank!
[They see buffalo running down the street. Reynard is standing there, smiling.]
REYNARD: They did return.
[Frank looks stunned. The cops grab hold of Reynard. There's whistling from down the street. A group of people are running after the buffalo. Another Indian points at them and speaks to Frank.]
OTHER INDIAN: Those were clowns.
[Voices, sirens, radio transmissions. Frank and Dr M sit on the kerb.]
DR MICHAELS: The prophecy. It came true.
FRANK: Part of it. But not the part they really want, I guess. I wonder what's out there that's been said that will one day come true, will be part of what we really want.
[Pan up to the half moon.]
[fade to black]
Lance Henriksen (Frank Black)
Megan Gallagher (Catherine Black)
Amy Steel (Dr. Liz Michael)
Michael Greyeyes (Joe Reynard)
Floyd Red Crow Westerman (Old Indian)
Garry Chalk (Richard Powell)
Doug Abrahams (Sgt. Manny Walters)
Rondel Reynoldson (Coroner Hutson)
Byron Chief-Moon (Fenton)
James Nicholas (Ernie)
Music by Mark Snow
Editor: George R Potter
Production Designer: Mark Freeborn
Director of Photography: Robert McLachlan
Executive Story Editor: Michael R Perry
Associate Producer: Julie Herlocker
Associate Producer: Kathy Gilroy-Sereda
Associate Producer: Jon-Michael Preece
Consulting Producer: Chip Johannessen
Consulting Producer: Darin Morgan
Co-Producer: Robert Moresco
Co-Producer: Paul Rabwin
Producer: Thomas J Wright
Co-Executive Producer: Ken Horton
Co-Executive Producer: John Peter Kousakis
Written by Erin Maher & Kay Reindl
Directed by Rodman Flender
Executive Producers: James Wong & Glen Morgan
Executive Producer: Chris Carter