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210 Goodbye Charlie

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210 Goodbye Charlie

[MLM-210 [5C210]]

Written by Richard Whitley

Directed by Ken Fink

Edited by Chris Willingham A.C.E.

Air Date: 9 January 1998

[Transcribed by Libby]

"Let us go in; The fog is rising."

Emily Dickinson

Her last words. 1886.

[Over a blank screen, we hear a man's voice.]

VOICE OVER: The choice is yours. And yours alone. No-one else can make it for you..

[Now the camera pans over a painting, with superimposed shots of some of the figures in the painting. They wear classical Greek clothing, some wearing laurel wreaths. Then we see the whole painting, which depicts a rather libidinous gathering of about a dozen people. The two main characters are a woman who is taking something from a golden dish being held out to her by a man.]

VOICE OVER: Not the government, not a doctor, not even your family. It's a journey you can only travel alone.

[Hand wearing surgical gloves place glass bottles filled with colorless liquid on a table.]

VOICE: Now, Preston. What an amazing adventure you have courageously chosen.

[Next to the bottles are placed some orange tubing a IV equipment. The camera pans over a thermos flask, a telephone, and some personal belongings - a small silver-colored case with a hazard symbol, a soldier's helmet.]

VOICE: What an amazing adventure. And I'm only here to help. To point you toward your very own yellow brick road.

[Now the glass bottles have been set up in an IV stand.]

VOICE: Now you can stop this at any time. I'm about to insert a saline IV.

[The tubing has been placed around an arm, just above the elbow. The gloved hands insert the IV needle.]

VOICE: When you flick the switch in your hand Pentothol will flow into your veins, and send you into a deep sweet restful sleep.

[The man connects the IV tubes. On another table, is an ashtray with several cigarette butts and a motel room key - London Guard Motel.]

VOICE: Soon after -

[A gloved hand picks up a microphone.]

VOICE: -- potassium chloride will induce a painless, massive coronary --

[Again the IV drip. Then a figure in the painting.]

VOICE: -- while you are dreaming of a better place.

[The man switches on a karaoke machine.]

VOICE: So, here we go.

[He sings into microphone, and now we see his face. He's a pleasant-looking man, maybe in his 30's or 40's, an African-American, dressed smartly in a blue shirt and dark trousers.]

VOICE: [sings] Goodbye to you, my trusted friend. We've known each other since we were nine or ten. Together we've climbed hills and trees. Learned of love and ABCs, skinned our hearts and skinned our knees. Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die -

[Preston is lying down on the bed. His mouth has a strip of gray tape over it. His hands are also bound enclosing also a device with a press switch. He's struggling slightly and moaning softly.]

VOICE: -- when all the birds are singing in the sky --

[The man reaches over to the man's hands and presses Preston's thumb on to the switch. Preston reacts almost immediately, wide-eyed.]

VOICE: -- now that spring is in the air. Pretty girls are everywhere. Think of me and I'll be there.

[The singing continues. Liquid in the small IV bottles drips into the IV system. Preston slowly drifts into unconsciousness.]

VOICE OVER: We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time.

[fade to black]

[main titles]

[polaroid fade up]


[Lara, wearing a "Ramones" t-shirt, is engrossed in playing Freecell on the computer. Abruptly, the screen suddenly changes to the Millennium logo and the computer bleeps.]

LARA: Open the pod bay door, please, Hal.

[The screen displays the usual initial message: "Welcome Lara. There are 721 days remaining." Then the message: "Lara, should we assist to arrest this subject..?" Then: "Or assist to protect?"]

[On Frank's computer, the same messages are displayed.. Then there is a black and white image of some low buildings. Frank zooms in on one area.]

[Flash to the scene in the motel room. The body of Preston is still lying on the bed.]

GIEBELHOUSE: Let me get hit by a freight train. Evaporated in a nuclear blast. Or massive coronary.

[Frank is examining body. A police photographer is taking close-ups.]

GIEBELHOUSE: After the final touchdown when the Hawks win the Superbowl. Anything. So I don't ever have to face making this decision.

LARA: Yeah, I'd make a thing. Poetic. Go down Niagara Falls, leap into the Grand Canyon.

GIEBELHOUSE: With my luck, I'd survive the fall; I'd lie in pain while prairie dogs ran over me.

LARA: I don't believe in it. Doctor assisted, or otherwise. Life is too interesting, no matter what the problem. I can't wait to see what happens.

GIEBELHOUSE: Yeah, well, this guy's life was getting blown out in the fourth quarter. Looks like he didn't want to stick around and see the end of the game.

LARA: Preston Williams. Aged 48. Union card - Local 153 Cement Finisher.

GIEBELHOUSE: The handwriting on the suicide note matches the signatures on the drivers license and the credit cards in the wallet.

FRANK: This wasn't an assisted suicide. [pause] It was a murder.

GIEBELHOUSE: No, Frank. We've been getting about two a month. In fact the last one to do it is having a funeral either today or tomorrow. The scenes are all set up the same. Same motel, different room. The victim's the one that always checks in. Always leaves a note. [quoting] "Hoo Yah!"

[Note shows "Hoo Yah! Semper Fi."]


LARA: No such thing as an ex-marine.

FRANK: This might be under the guise of assisted suicide, but it's a murder.

GIEBELHOUSE: The autopsies confirm terminal illness.

LARA: Frank, are you seeing this?

FRANK: Only the evidence. Contusions on the wrists, there's adhesive particles around the mouth and on the wrists. If his wrists were tied, how could he give himself a shot?

LARA: Maybe the victim asked for restraints.

GIEBELHOUSE: And any case, I've got plain clothes watching the motel. The lady that runs the place, and the cleaning woman, they know to alert us if they see anybody with a medical bag or anything out of the ordinary.

[Lara opens the dead man's mouth.]

LARA: Can I get a pair of hemostats, please.

[Frank hands a pair of surgical clamps to her.]

LARA: Thanks.

[she pulls out from the man's a mouth a walnut.]

LARA: They say you can't eat just one.

[Office. People are sat at desks, talking into telephones.]

DEL: Seattle Crisis Center. This is Del, may I help you. [listens] Sir, you should call 911 for that, I can connect you.

WOMAN HELPER: [whilst reading newspaper] You're not alone, Mrs Hadden. Many people get depressed during the holidays.

ANOTHER HELPER: Different things work for different people, Thomas. But the twelve-step program worked for me.

[Another helper is Steven - the man in the opening scene.]

STEVEN: Linda, Linda, listen to me. Now this is some tough love, Linda. He may say he's sorry but he will do it again, won't he. [listens] The only way to help him, to help yourself, Linda, is to never allow this to happen again. Your life is too precious, too sacred, to waste it in this vicious cycle. [listens] All right, good, good for you, Linda. Now my name is Steven and you can call for me any time. [listens] Good. God bless you, Linda. Bye bye.

[He puts down the phone. The phone rings again and he picks it up.]

STEVEN: Seattle Crisis Center. This is Steven. How may I help you. [there is music playing in the background, the caller is gasping] Look, I'm going to help you through this, but we have to talk. Who am I listening to?

CALLER: My name's Eleanor. [steven is intrigued] And --

STEVEN: You're afraid.

[The woman hangs up. Steven hits star-6-9. The phone is picked up and a man answers.]

MAN: Tattle Tale Lounge.

STEVEN: Yes. May I ask please, where are you located?

[He smiles broadly.]

[A church. An elderly woman lies in an open coffin. She is garishly made up.]

LARA: Here's my thing. I don't know why anyone would be in such a rush to get to this. I can't even get my own hair right. Just imagine what an undertaker would do. They'll have me looking like one of the B-52s and I won't be allowed to bitch about it.

FRANK: All I ask is that I go before my daughter.

[in the main part of the church, two young children leave their pew and walk hand-in-hand towards the main door.]

LARA: Frank, would you? If your diagnosis was terminal and in pain --

[The children walk past a pew where Frank and Lara are sitting.]

LARA: -- would you have a doctor assist you?

FRANK: You'd have to be there before you can answer that question, Lara.

[One of the mourners standing in front of the coffin looks back then speaks to another man beside him. ]

FRANK: In this case, I'm convinced it's a homicide. The subject may believe that he's helping, and he cares, that's why he might be here today. He is, however, excited by the fact that he's present at the moment of death. That he has control over another person's life. That's one thing I don't believe in - one person controlling another person's life.

LARA: And you work with Millennium?

FRANK: Right now, but only because they present cases like these.

[The second man now walks back through the church towards Frank and Lara.]

LARA: I don't think they're presenting us with cases, but with lessons.

MAN: Excuse me, who are you? How do you know my mother?

LARA: My name is Lara Means, this is Frank Black. Our sincere condolences to you and your family. We don't mean to intrude but we are consultants to the Seattle Police Department regarding the circumstances of your mother's passing. We're here only to observe the possible attendance of any potential suspects.

MAN: We have told the police. My mother died of complications from Alzheimer's.

FRANK: An autopsy indicates a massive coronary due to potassium chloride injection.

MAN: My mother died of complications from Alzheimer's. There'll be no suspects in attendance. Now, please, please leave. Your presence is upsetting my father.

[They both get up.]

LARA: We beg your pardon.

[As they leave, they pass a table with floral tributes. One has a card: "Now you are with us amongst the angels! Dr Steven Kiley." Frank draws Lara's attention to it.]

FRANK: Steven Kiley. Does that name ring a bell?

[The Tattle Tale Bar. Steven enters. A song is playing: "The Right Side of Wrong". He walks slowly past the customers sat at the bar, listening to their voices. He sees a woman - we only see her hand and arm. He smiles. The woman turns round - she's a bartender. She appears tired and walks stiffly.]

WOMAN: What can I get for you?

[steven doesn't answer.]

WOMAN: Come on, buddy, my shift's almost over. Clock's ticking.

STEVEN: Clock is ticking for all of us. [pause] I'd love a hot sake.

WOMAN: A what?

STEVEN: Sake. It's a Japanese drink mistakenly called rice wine but it's really a beer. It's brewed, after the kneading of steamed rice called koji , with a cultivated mold and water. It can be served hot or cold. But I like it hot.

WOMAN: Did you serve in Vietnam or something?

STEVEN: Oooh, I've been, and can take you, everywhere.

[The woman smiles.]

WOMAN: Is that right? [pause] Where are you from?

[He smiles.]

[Later. Motel reception. The receptionist takes down a key. It's the same shape as in the opening scene. She gives it to the woman from the bar.]

[Outside. Night. Steven meets up with the woman in the car park. They are being observed from inside a parked car.]

POLICE OFFICER: This is Officer Nello. Get me Detective Giebelhouse.

[inside the motel bedroom. The same as in the opening scene. The painting hangs on the wall over the bed. Steven helps the woman off with her coat, saying "May I?" and hangs it in a closet using his handkerchief around the door handle. She sits on the bed.]

WOMAN: Should we, um, go out for some beers. Some sake?

[He's taken off his jacket and hangs it up.]

STEVEN: We don't need that to remove any pain. And you are in pain, aren't you, Eleanor. [He moves over to her.] Because that's what we are all really afraid of, isn't it? Not dying, but living with pain. Which, I am so sorry, will happen to you.

[she backs away.]

STEVEN: No, not me. I would never hurt you. Such a beautiful person. There's been weight loss, jaundice, stomach pain, altered bowel habits and you can feel, if you press deeply, a hard lump.

WOMAN: I haven't told anyone.

STEVEN: I know. You're afraid to even go to your own doctor. [He embraces her, whispering] But I can tell you, Eleanor, it is inoperable.

[she is distressed.]

STEVEN: Don't be afraid. I will take the pain away. And I will keep the promise to send you anywhere you want to go. On a wonderful journey. I've been sent here.

[Computer screen showing the Millennium Intranet. Search: Steven Kiley: No names found.]

LARA: No. No doctors found by that name. Must be an alias but - I know I've heard it before.

[The phone rings. Frank picks it up.]

FRANK: Hello.

GIEBELHOUSE: [on phone] Frank. We got a possible at the motel.

FRANK: Thanks.

[Frank replaces the phone.]

FRANK: Gieb says there's a suspect at the motel.

[Motel room. As in opening scene, Steven is singing and there is an IV drip. But this time it's Eleanor lying on the bed with tape over her mouth. Stephen is singing "Goodbye Charlie".]

[Police cars arrive, followed by Frank's jeep.]

[inside, the receptionist picks up the phone. Steven is still singing when the phone rings in the motel room.]

[Outside, Frank and the others run towards the motel room. Frank listens outside the door, the karaoke system is still playing.]

FRANK: [whispering] It's him.

[Giebelhouse kicks down the door and rushes in followed by the others. Eleanor is still lying on the bed, hands and mouth taped. As Officer Nello checks the bathroom, Lara checks Eleanor's pulse.]


LARA: She's not.

[she rips off the tape over Eleanor's mouth. Eleanor coughs and spits out a walnut.]

GIEBELHOUSE: Check the perimeter.

[Frank picks up the walnut as Lara continues checking the unconscious Eleanor. Frank is puzzled by the walnut, as is Lara. Then Lara, looking up, sees the painting over the bed. Frank follows Lara's gaze. At the center of the painting a man is holding out a bowl of walnuts.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[Frank's house. Frank is looking at the walnut in an evidence bag.]

LARA: Medical examiner's report is back on Preston Williams. Although the cause of death was a coronary from potassium chloride, it was discovered that the victim had secondary diabetes. Cholelithiasis had caused the onset of gangrene in the gall bladder. Apparently he sought medical treatment, but, lacking sufficient health insurance he basically had to let it go untreated. He was ashamed and hid the disease from his family and his friends. No-one knew, but his one-time doctor.

FRANK: The physicians attending Eleanor Norris in ICU felt a tumor in her abdomen. But they wouldn't run any tests unless she came out of her coma. She hadn't seen her doctor about the problem either.

[They go over to Frank's computer. He sits down.]

LARA: [reading] "To my mom, my brother Tim and anyone else who needs to know why. Please don't be mad ... or sad ... but why put off tomorrow what you can do today? I love you all and will see you again in heaven. Love. El." She must have been aware of the problem.

[Later, Frank looks at an image of the painting on his computer and zooms in on the bowl of walnuts.]

LARA: You know, I have been all over the world and I have seen some ugly motel room paintings of clowns, wheatfields, waterfall, clowns and wheatfields, but even in Athens I never saw a painting of Greeks eating walnuts.

FRANK: In Greek mythology, walnuts symbolize the gift of prophecy.

LARA: That may be the reason for the restraints. I mean, maybe the patients don't know that they're sick.

FRANK: Then it is murder.

LARA: Is it? I mean, he's somehow been right. Is it murder if he is saving them from years and years of pain, indignity.

FRANK: If they haven't had the choice for themselves, yes, it is murder.

[Photos of glass IV bottles.]

FRANK: This is his murder weapon.

LARA: Glass IV bottles. Doctors in hospitals haven't used those in nearly ten years. It's all disposable plastic now.

FRANK: A medical supply store.

LARA: Don't even carry them. I even went to those antique stores that, you know, carry old medical supplies - nothing.

FRANK: Is there such a thing as a medical dumping ground?

LARA: Yeah. My father. But he lives in St Louis.

[Frank looks at her.]

LARA: Are there any old hospitals in Seattle that have been, you know, shut down but haven't been torn down yet?

[Later. Day. Large, empty, six-story building.]

[inside the building, it's dark - presumably power has been cut off. There are sounds of dripping water. Frank's and Lara's flashlight beams show discarded packaging and other debris on the floor. Frank makes a sound of disgust.]

LARA: What?

FRANK: This is where I brought Catherine when she was in labor with my daughter.

LARA: They closed this wing about six months before they closed the entire place about, um, two months ago.

[They look through some frosted windows. There are sheets covering objects - cribs?]

FRANK: It's like looking at a loved one dying in a hospital or lying in a coffin. It's not the memory I want to be left with.

[They approach doors marked: "Morgue. No entry." Frank breaks the chain on the door and they go in and look around. There is a lot of metal racking with bottles of colored liquid. Frank picks up a bottle.]

FRANK: Private supply.

[Lara goes over to a bank of body drawers and opens one. She coughs and splutters as the drawer slides out - with a man's body on it. Frank goes over.]

LARA: Oh. Yeugh. Oh, yeah, he's been dead at least six months.

[Frank goes over to open other doors.]

LARA: Normal decomposition. Partial skeletisation. Surgical scars but in a pattern that a pathologist uses during an autopsy.

[Frank pulls out another drawer - with a woman's body on it.]

FRANK: This one died more recently.

LARA: How could they have been forgotten?

FRANK: There's a cut on her throat - a tracheotomy.

LARA: [looking at the man's body] Ground zero. Advanced liver cancer. If this is our subject's work, that's three women, two men. Most serial killers don't cross gender lines like this.

[Frank looks at the dead woman and gets visions - of Jordan. He gets another vision of the woman lying in a hospital bed, gasping.]

FRANK: It's not about gender. To him this is about the quality of a human life.

LARA: Hey, me, good book, a long autumn walk.

FRANK: Here's the subject. There's a very distinct possibility he was a doctor in this hospital. He had theories and ideas about sustaining life that were considered unorthodox, so he's rejected by his peers. He opened this body in secret, some kind of experiment. Here was his epiphany. He made an incision to save her life. Then he realized, that's not what she wanted. So from this victim forward, he tried to save lives - by taking them.

[Computer screen showing the Millennium intranet again. Search: Map - Seattle.]

FRANK: He's still in this neighborhood. He feels comfortable around here.

LARA: All right then, aside from the hospital where would you have access to terminally ill patients.

[The computer is a laptop - Frank and Lara are in Frank's car. The search shows: Crisis Center, 524 Faith Street, Seattle, Washington.]

[Crisis Center. Lara and Frank are outside. People inside are talking on the phones as Lara continues in voice-over.]

[A man is shown.]

LARA: Now, he's possible. He's very possible.

[Then another man.]

FRANK: I could see it.

[Now, a woman.]

LARA: No, it's not her.

[steven Kiley.]

FRANK: Can't count him out.

[Frank and Lara are standing next to Frank's car outside the Crisis center.]

FRANK: Move the conversation toward terminal illness. That'll be the tell.

LARA: You should have no trouble acting depressed.

FRANK: I'm not depressed. I'm just quiet.

[Lara smiles as Frank goes over to the Crisis Center. As he enters, there's a woman saying: "... anger, denial, depression, we expect them. It's grief control. You have to give in to these feelings in order to be healed, in order to move on. It's very important." A notice says: The Terminal Encounter Group. One of the people listening is the receptionist from the motel. Frank goes over to Steven Kiley.]

STEVEN: May I help you?

FRANK: Yeah, I need to talk to someone.

STEVEN: Of course. Um, Russ.

[steven stands up and ushers Frank over to another desk.]

STEVEN: I'm sorry, sir, I'm off to my second job. This is Russ Ketteringham. And he is wonderful with people.

[Russ offers his hand to Frank. He's the first man Frank and Lara saw while observing the Center from outside.]

RUSS: What's your name?

FRANK: Frank.

[He sees Steven leaving.]

FRANK: Hi, Russ. [sits] Russ, I'm not feeling too good.

RUSS: In what way, Frank.

FRANK: My wife and I are separated and my daughter's living with her. I have these nightmarish visions, that are the manifestation of pure evil.

RUSS: Huh, huh.

[View from outside of another helper on a phone saying: "What did you do about that?" Russ and Frank are talking in the background. Lara is outside on the phone. These two conversations are interwoven.]

LARA: Dropped him like a bad habit. Now I'm alone, no prospects. My life is just my work.

FRANK: I have a brain tumor.

RUSS: Is it operable?

LARA: Doctors said there was nothing they could do.

OTHER HELPER: Have you considered alternative medicine.

FRANK: What do you mean, like acupuncture, coffee enemas.

RUSS: Well, I was thinking more of --

OTHER HELPER: Visualization, prayer?

[Lara hangs up. Frank looks through the window at Lara. Lara shakes her head at him. Frank stands up.]

FRANK: You know, this is gonna sound kinda silly, but this guy that was sat at that desk, uh, Steve?

RUSS: Right, Kiley, yeah.

FRANK: Where else does he work?

[A hospital corridor. A trolley is being pushed along. The pusher is humming a tune. As the trolley stops at an elevator, a hand is seen hanging over the side of the trolley. A gloved hand pushes the "B" button as a nurse runs up.]

NURSE: Hold it --

[but the elevator door closes. It has Hospital Personnel Only on it.]

NURSE: -- please.

[inside the elevator is Steven Kiley. He wipes away a tear, then reaches and pulls back the sheet over the body exposing the face of a man.]

STEVEN: [to corpse] ALS. Lou Gehrig disease. You know, I was kind of curious. Lou Gehrig died of an incurable disease, Babe Ruth died of an incurable disease, Mickey Mantle - sometimes I wonder if it's really the Red Sox that are cursed.

[He looks at the body.]

LARA: [VO] If Eleanor Norris and Preston Williams were patients of Kiley --

[Frank and Lara are in Frank's car.]

LARA: -- then Kiley could have had access to their medical history, which would explain his prophecy.

FRANK: Very good.

LARA: Yeah.

[Frank starts his car and drives off.]

[back in the elevator.]

STEVEN: I can only imagine the pain you must have endured. From waking up one morning, muscles stiff and aching, to eventual paralysis to the point where you couldn't even swallow on your own. All that time your brain remained alert, lucid, trapped in a nightmare you couldn't wake up from. You didn't have the publicity and press agents of a Stephen Hawking. You didn't have his fanshy- smanshy voice modulator and his PBS specials, no. You suffered in anonymity, and it was all for nothing, Gary. I could have relieved your unrelenting pain, and propelled your soul on to the other side. If God in his infinite wisdom wouldn't come for you, you could have gone to God.

[Frank and Lara run into the hospital.]

LARA: We're looking for a nurse named Steven Kiley.

NURSE: He should be in the morgue.

LARA: Great. Thanks.

[They run on, Frank calls back down the corridor to Giebelhouse who has just arrived.]

FRANK: Giebs.

[Giebelhouse follows them at a run.]

[Morgue. Steven is writing on a clipboard. He hears running feet. Giebelhouse opens the door.]

GIEBELHOUSE: Steven Kiley. Three guesses who I am. The first ain't Marcus Welby.

LARA: [to Frank] That's where I heard the name before - James Brolin on "Marcus Welby".

STEVEN: [continuing with his form-filling] If you are here to arrest me, may I ask that you please do so. You see, I have diagnosed myself as having developed a hematopoietic malignancy from leukemia. [pause] There is so much to do. And I haven't much time.

[Fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

LARA: Graduate of Harvard med school, barely. Interned at Chicago County Hospital. Pursued an unsuccessful career in theoretical and experimental medicine. Seven, seven papers were rejected by the New England Journal of Medicine.

[interview room.]

STEVEN: I was a published researcher.

LARA: Ladies Home Journal?

[He smiles at her sarcasm. Frank looks on.]

LARA: You did your residency here in Seattle at Memorial. Resigned suddenly and without warning five months ago. [leans closer to him] Were they about to catch you with something?

[He laughs.]

LARA: Why would you go from being a doctor to a nurse. Ellsworth.

[He looks serious at the mention of his real name.]

STEVEN: I don't like doctors any more. Nurses are fine, they help people. [pause] Who?

LARA: Your real name is Ellsworth Beedle.

STEVEN: I didn't name myself that. [sigh] My choice was to name myself Steven Kiley.

FRANK: Steven Kiley is a fictional name. On a fictional television show. Is that how you see yourself?

STEVEN: [smiling] No. I just like the name. It was a good show, though.

FRANK: Do you know why you're here, Steven?

STEVEN: I am told that they believe I murdered several people. It's rather fantastical.

FRANK: Why do you suppose you're under suspicion.

STEVEN: I have no idea. I was just doing my job and, bang, zoom. Goodbye Charlie.

FRANK: Goodbye Charlie.

STEVEN: It's an expression when you're leaving, um, it's been a slice, happy trails, auf wiedersehen, goodbye Charlie.

FRANK: "Goodbye Charlie" is the song that was playing in the room when we found Eleanor Norris.

STEVEN: Bobby Darin was one swinging cat. [smiles] Either of you into Bobby?

[Lara sighs. Steven laughs.]

STEVEN: I knew it. But, you know, Bobby Darin changed his name. He was born Walden Cassotto. He was sick his entire life, had rheumatic fever when he was a child, they didn't expect him to live past the age of sixteen.

FRANK: But if he had called it quits when he was sixteen there would have been no Mack the Knife or Somewhere Beyond the Sea - you know, that one. There would have been no Academy Award nomination either, for, um --

STEVEN: Captain Newman.

FRANK: Captain Newman MD.

STEVEN: But, you see, he developed congestive heart disease. He had multiple heart surgeries which really had no effect. So he made a choice to stop having them. Knowing that he would not live much longer after making that choice. He died dignified and remembered, at the age of 37.

LARA: Would you perhaps be indicating your belief in doctor-assisted suicide by telling us that little story.

STEVEN: Oh, I don't think we need doctors. I think with a little education we could all help each other out when the time comes.

LARA: Then perhaps you'd be willing to explain how you assisted Eleanor Norris?

FRANK: Preston Williams?

STEVEN: I don't anyone alive by that name.

LARA: Do you know anyone dead by that name?

STEVEN: See, I don't even subscribe to the notion of dead. There's only alive, or elsewhere.

FRANK: Where is elsewhere?

STEVEN: Isn't that what you both are looking for? [pause] Isn't that really why you're here.

FRANK: This other plane that you go to. Is that how you know people are ill?

STEVEN: Other cultures understand what I'm telling you. They know that plane. The Tibetan Book of the Dead speaks of a calm preparation for death as a glorious part of life. In West Africa several years are spent planning their own funerals. Mexico has a day of the dead. But in America death is fought with healthcare dollars spent mostly in the last months of life, and it's not for the benefit of the dying patients, it's for the doctors. Their convenience and their wallets.

FRANK: What if everything you're saying could be proved, absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt. There is still the law. Without the law, there's chaos. The end of order is the end of the world.

STEVEN: Obeying immoral laws is the end of the world.

[steven smiles.]

STEVEN: But at least you're getting warmer, Frank.

[Frank sighs.]


LARA: Tell me, Steven, so I can know. So that I can grow closer. So that I can grow. How did you get to that other plane?

STEVEN: One night on call, making my rounds, eager to get home, a patient, in her eighties she was, her body was racked with arthritis, she had congestive heart disease, pneumonia had set in, her entire body was jaundiced, skin stretched paper thin over a fluid-filled abdomen swollen five times the normal size. I entered her room, I could hear her gasping for air, and I remember thinking, you know how clear your mind can be in an emergency [Frank nods], I thought why don't you push the call button, she's done it before. I moved to her. She couldn't breathe, and without even considering her, I inserted a surgical tool and began a tracheotomy.

[Lara and Frank exchange a look.]

STEVEN: Then I saw her, her teeth yellow, surrounded by chapped, parched lips. She stared up at me with eyeballs sunk into her sockets, and those eyes spoke, her eyes did, begging: let me go.

FRANK: And did you?

STEVEN: She found the other plane. And so did I.

[He sits back. Frank and Lara are silent.]

[A knock at the door. Frank gets up and goes through to the room the other side of the one-way mirror.]

GIEBELHOUSE: His fingerprints aren't anywhere, not in any of the motel rooms.

[Lara has joined them and they watch through the window as Steven stands up.]

GIEBELHOUSE: There's no evidence in his apartment or his car. Not a hypodermic, an IV bottle, piece of tubing --

[steven has walked over the mirror and is checking his appearance.]

GIEBELHOUSE: -- there's nothing out of place. None of the victim's family members will come forward.

LARA: We nearly had him with the woman's body in the hospital.

FRANK: He won't confess.

GIEBELHOUSE: We've got nothing to hold Kiley on. We're gonna have to let him go. His record's cleaner than mine.

[steven is now looking out the window.]

GIEBELHOUSE: His employers love him. He is an exemplary employee, for working two jobs, he's never been late to either one, he's never taken a sick day, although he is sick, terminally - our physicians confirmed it.

[steven is now back at the mirror.]

GIEBELHOUSE: The guy is a damn saint.

FRANK: Or worse.

[Outside the motel. Night. The receptionist comes out. A car draws up and someone gets out. The receptionist smiles with relief.]

RECEPTIONIST: We were worried.

STEVEN: I'm so sorry. I was detained. Better late than never.

[They walk over a bungalow. Inside, she puts her hand over Steven's eyes and guides him into a sitting room. He smiles. Inside the sitting room, she takes away her hand and he opens his eyes and looks around. Then smiles again.]

STEVEN: As Henry James said on his deathbed: Here it is at last, the distinguished thing.

[The people grouped there are sitting on sofas, armchairs, holding cups and plates - despite the dark outside this looks more like afternoon tea. Next to each person is an IV kit.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[iV bottles.]

STEVEN: In the old days, nobody would leave a note. Few people knew how to read or write.

[He's handing out clipboards and pens to the five people there.]

STEVEN: But besides, if someone confessed to having taking their own life, they would be dragged through the streets and the body pitched on a stake and their family's possessions taken away. Imagine that - how far we've come. Now, in my humble opinion, I think it's polite and only fair to your family and friends, and fair to yourself, to leave a few last thoughts before you go.

[They all start to write.]

STEVEN: Anne Sexton, Pulitzer prize winning author, did not leave a note, but --

[He kneels down in front of one of the women.]

STEVEN: -- in a poem she wrote: "Death's a sad bone, bruised, you'd say, and yet she waits for me, year after year, to so delicately undo an old wound, to empty my breath from its bad prison."

[He smiles at the woman.]

LARA: [VO] Here's my thing.

[Frank and Lara are exiting an elevator in the police station.]

LARA: If a pack of predators can somehow detect the weak or the sick if they're hurt, couldn't Steven Kiley be functioning on the same primal instinct? We've seen serial killers pick their victims this way.

FRANK: It is difficult to fit him into the psychological profile of a serial killer. His killings are organized yet he crosses gender lines - doesn't fit.

[back in the motel sitting room, Steven is collecting the clipboards.]

STEVEN: This thrill ride does not discriminate. It can be taken by the old, by the young, the black, the white, people with heart problems, back problems, all you need is a ticket.

[He holds up a walnut. The people place them into their mouths.]

STEVEN: It is the gift of prophecy, like a map, to help guide you on your path when you reach the other side.

[Police station.]

FRANK: He believes his acts are altruistic yet his victims are bound.

[steven tearing off a strip of tape. He gives the strip to the receptionist, Mabel, who places it over her mouth. We see now that Mabel has been wearing a wig, which she has removed, showing her to be completely bald.]

[Police station.]

FRANK: This is a matter of control.

LARA: Right.

FRANK: Under the guise of helping other people to die, he actually holds their lives in his hands.

[sitting room. An IV pump switch is in someone's hand.]

STEVEN: Sometimes the body has a reflex which can cause you to remove your finger from the switch.

[steven is binding tape around someone's hand.]

[Police station.]

FRANK: Now he has been diagnosed, terminally. He doesn't even have control over his own body.

LARA: Or time.

[sitting room. They all have tape over their mouths.]

STEVEN: Interrupting the solution flow would only cause you to lapse into a coma and you'd be right back where you started.

[Police station.]

FRANK: We had control over him today. In order to relieve that anxiety, that helplessness, he'll have to help others - his way.

[An IV drip.]

STEVEN: If you think you'll have some difficulty pushing the switch, let me know beforehand - I'll give you a little push.

[Frank's car pulls up outside the motel next to Officer Nello's car.]

OFFICER NELLO: Detective Giebelhouse reports none of the surveillance officers have seen him - not at the hospital, crisis center, not at home. And I haven't seen him.

FRANK: [to Lara] Let's get more aggressive. We do a close-up visual inspection of the rooms in case he's slipped into one of them.

[sitting room.]

STEVEN: Now your emotions at this time are entirely your own, no-one else's. You learn so much about yourself at a time like this. I've seen marines cry and waitresses accepting and peaceful. Everyone is different.

[He holds up an IV hypodermic and looks at it.]

STEVEN: Isn't that beautiful?

[Frank and Lara enter the motel reception.]

FRANK: Hello? Anybody around?

[He goes behind the desk and looks into the office beyond. Lara checks a calendar on the wall.]

LARA: The last few weeks at this time are marked "Encounter".

FRANK: They have terminal encounter groups at the crisis center.

LARA: She's his assessor.

[Frank grabs the phone.]

VOICE: [on phone] Seattle Crisis Center, my name is Russ --

FRANK: Is Mabel Shiva at the encounter group tonight?

RUSS: [on phone] She was supposed to be here but it was cancelled when no-one showed up.

[Tubing is being tied around an arm, the skin is swabbed and an IV hypodermic and line inserted. The telephone rings. Mabel flinches.]

MABEL'S ANSWERPHONE: Hello, this is Mabel Shiva. I'm not home at the moment, or will I ever be again.

[steven smiles at this.]

STEVEN: [to Mabel] You little devil, you.

[Frank slams down the phone.]

FRANK: Call Giebs. They're there.

[He runs out of the office.]

[sitting room.]

STEVEN: We haven't much time.

[Frank's car: Lara is on the phone.]

LARA: Request paramedics to attend to six possibly seven individuals exposed to injection of potassium chloride.

[Frank's car screeches round a corner.]

[sitting room. Music: Seasons of the Sun. ]

STEVEN: [singing] Goodbye to you my trusted friend, we've known each other since we were nine or ten

[He kneels down in front of one woman, she nods and he presses the switch.]

STEVEN: together we've climbed hills and trees,

[Moves to a man who holds up his hand and presses the switch himself. Steven gives him a thumbs up.]

STEVEN: learned our ABCs, skinned our hearts and skinned our knees.

[Kneels in front of another woman. She clicks the switch. He pats her knee.]

STEVEN: Goodbye my friend, it's hard to die,

[Kneels in front of another woman and clicks the switch. He pats her arm.]

STEVEN: when all the birds are singing in the sky, now that spring is in the air.

[Moves over to Mabel. She clicks the switch and he puts his hand to her face.]

STEVEN: pretty girls are everywhere. Think of me and I'll be there.

[Frank's car speeds round a corner. Police car and ambulance drive into the road behind him.]

[sitting room.]

STEVEN: We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun.

[Cars, lights, sirens, traveling fast.]

[sitting room]

STEVEN: but the hills that we climbed were just seasons out of time.

[Cars, ambulance, still traveling.]

[sitting room. It's now quiet. Steven sits down in an armchair that is covered in plastic sheeting. The people are unconscious now. Steven picks up a clipboard and starts to write. The same painting of the Greek party is on the wall.]

[Frank and the police have now arrived. Cops run from the cars, followed by Frank and Lara.]

COP: Seattle PD!

[Cops, guns drawn, enter the house, followed by paramedics and Lara and Frank. They look on as the paramedics check the people: "No pulse here". They realize they are too late. Lara sees an armchair - the one Steven had sat in - is empty. Frank kneels down by Mabel and picks up her clipboard.]

LARA: [to cop] Comb the neighborhood. alert the officers arriving on the scene that we're looking for an African-American male, 48, strong build, driving a gray '78 LeBaron, Washington plates, John Indigo Oscar one five seven.

[Frank looks around, then gets up and goes over to the painting. A piece of paper is stuck to it.]

[The cops and paramedics leave.]

LARA: I thought for sure he would have gone with them.

FRANK: Look at this.

[Lara goes over. They look at the note: "It wasn't my choice. xxoo, Steve". In the painting, there's a figure with a laurel wreath - it looks just like Steven.]

[Outside, moving from a view of inside the sitting room to Lara and Frank walking down the path outside.]

LARA: Frank, how would you answer the question.

FRANK: What question.

LARA: The Millennium Group's question. Should we have arrested, or assisted?

FRANK: I don't think that's a question they really want answered.

[He opens the car door for her and she gets in. He gets in the driver's side. He switches on the cassette recorder - "Goodbye Charlie". Lara looks at Frank quizzically.]

FRANK: How else are you going to get to know a guy like this? Besides, it's a cool song.

[He starts the engine.]

LARA: All right, so what's the question they really want answered.

FRANK: Was he from heaven, or hell.

[The car drives off as the song continues.]

[fade to black]

[end credits]


Lance Henriksen (Frank Black)

Megan Gallagher (Catherine Black)

Also Starring:

Stephen J. Lane (Det. Bob Giebelhouse)

Guest Starring:

Kristen Cloke (Lara Means)

Tucker Smallwood (Steven Kiley)

Deanne Henry (Eleanor Norris)


Bethoe Shirkoff (Mabel Shiva)

Stefan Arngrim (Delbert)


Allison Warren (Officer Nello)

Dave Hurtubise (Russ)

Gina Stockdale (Tammy)

David Mackay (Jeff Lubo)


Dan Weber (Preston)

Music by Mark Snow

Editor: Chris Willingham A.C.E.

Production Designer: Mark Freeborn

Director of Photography: Robert McLachlan

Executive Story Editor: Michael R. Perry

Associate Producer: Julie Herlocker

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 Richard Whitley

Directed by Ken Fink

Executive Producers: James Wong & Glen Morgan

Executive Producer: Chris Carter

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