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218 In Arcadia Ego

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218 In Arcadia Ego

[MLM-218 (5C18)]

Written by Chip Johannessen

Directed by Thomas J. Wright

Edited by James Coblenz

U.S. Air Date: April 3, 1998

[Transcribed by Libby]



11:43 PM

[A guard, Frasier, is watching a movie on a small handheld TV screen.]

WOMAN'S VOICE: I don't take care of anybody, and nobody takes care of me. I just watch out for myself. You should do the same.

[The screen shows two women in a shower. One woman starts washing the other woman's back. The TV reception deteriorates and the picture fades out to static.]

FRASIER: Damn. Come on, baby.

[He tries to get a better picture but there's only static and a woman's laughter. In the background of the office are a security monitors, one showing another guard, Jenkins, walking past a row of cells, dragging his baton across the bars. He stops outside one cell. A young woman, Janette, is wearing a short outfit and is sitting on the lower bunk with her knees apart in a provocative pose. Another woman, Sonny, is on the upper bunk under blankets. Janette smiles at the guard Jenkins.

JENKINS: My, my. You finally ready for something special tonight?

[Janette gets up and goes over to the bars and whispers.]

JANETTE: Oh yeah.

JENKINS: Something real special your pal Sonny here don't have?


[she is touching him through the bars.]

JENKINS: Now, see. That's what women want.

JANETTE: You got it. Just what I want.

[she crouches down. Jenkins is very pleased until he is suddenly grabbed and pulled tight up against the bars by Sonny.]

[The guard in the control room is still trying to pick up better reception on his small TV, but all he can see is the outside of a metal door with a grill.]

[The security monitor "Cellblock A", shows a guard and a woman prisoner approaching. The control room guard, Frasier, hits the button to release the security door. The prisoner brought in is Janette.]

FRASIER: Well, what do you know.

[Janette walks past him, languorously. He turns to keep her in view.]

FRASIER: Sooner or later, they all see the light.

[From behind him, Sonny grabs him and holds a knife to this throat. Janette starts peeling off her prison uniform.]

JANETTE: Jenkins is just fine. Keep your head, you will be too. The car keys. Come on. Clothes! Get up, take 'em off. Get up! Take 'em off now!

[He starts peeling off his clothing.]

FRASIER: Ain't you doing something pretty stupid here.

SONNY: Shut up! Come on, get 'em off!

JANETTE: Come on. Come on!

[Janette is putting on the guard's jacket.]

SONNY: Pants, now, come on. Come on! Come on! Let's go.

[As he pulls down his pants, he reveals an ankle holster. He pulls out the gun and shoots Janette who spins around and crumples to the floor.]

SONNY: Janette!

[sonny picks up a baton and hits the guard several times. She stops when she hears Janette groan.]

SONNY: Janny, honey. Janny, you all right?

JANETTE: Oh, god. Oh, my god.

[Janette looks down. The bullet hit the metal badge on Frasier's jacket that she's wearing. She pulls the squashed bullet off the badge.]

JANETTE: I think that was supposed to kill me.

[she hands it to Sonny.]

JANETTE: Now do you believe?

[sonny is amazed. The metal slug has what appears to be a face imprinted on it.]

[fade to black]

[main titles]


[A buzzer sounds and a security door opens. Warden Kellard and Frank enter.]

KELLARD: Hey, even for here Sonny's a special case. Beat her stepfather to death with a metal pipe. Used an iron on her husband.

[He slams his hand down on a counter. The man behind the metal grill passes through a folder which the Warden hands to Frank.]

KELLARD: Clubbed my guard to death. If she was a man, and she's damn close, they'd call her what she is – serial killer.

[The buzzer sounds again as the two men leave. Frank reads from the file.]

FRANK: Juliet Marie Elizabeth Palmer.

[inside the control room, there is blood spatter on the floor and furniture.]

KELLARD: Better stick to Sonny, you never know what'll set her off. When Sonny loses it, she doesn't exactly draw the line at name-calling.

FRANK: What about the other one?

KELLARD: Ah, she's strictly along for the ride. Sonny's your man. So to speak. I guess you see a lot of this.

FRANK: No, not from women.

[Frank crouches down to inspect the bloodstains.]

KELLARD: Male. Female. This is barely human.

[Frank has a vision. A gunshot, Janette falling, an image of the Virgin Mary.]

[Frank sees powder residue on the floor.]

FRANK: A shot was fired. A powder burn right here.

KELLARD: We think that Frasier was carrying an unauthorized weapon. 22 automatic, according to his friend. I didn't put in my report because I didn't want to muddy up his record, you know. His death benefits and other considerations. We never found the slug.

FRANK: You telling me they're armed.

KELLARD: Well, given a choice, Sonny would rather beat a guy to death.

[Kellard and Frank leave the control room.]

KELLARD: We got two dozen State Troopers standing by whenever you're ready.

FRANK: Well, Sonny Palmer's from Great Falls. Now, she must now this area well. They would probably have dumped that car in some rural area.

[On a rural road, a tow truck driver is attaching a rope to a car that has been driven just off the roadway by a stream. Kellard, Frank and police officers are there.]

KELLARD: You know, in ten years I've been running that place, I've never had an escape attempt.

FRANK: Then think about that. Why these two?

KELLARD: Well, to tell you the truth, I never would have picked 'em. They seemed content together. Disgusting as it sounds.

[Frank checks Sonny's records: (2). Murder - 2nd degree [bWS] Term of Sentence: 5 fixed, 15 Int. Parole eligibility date: July 27, 1998 Full term expiration: August 7, 2001 Time served to date: 2190 days Date of hearing interview: 10/1/98 Parole hearing date: 3/3/93]

FRANK: Sonny was eligible for parole in four months.

KELLARD: A lot of us would have fought it.

FRANK: But still, it's the wrong time to escape.

[A police officer comes over.]

KELLARD: Hey, Ben.

BEN: Hey, Lamarr.

KELLARD: Frank, I'd like you to meet Ben Stephens. He's gonna co-ordinate the search effort.

[Police officers are all loading their guns, to Frank's dismay.]

FRANK: [whispering] Oh, god.

STEPHENS: Those women beat a guard to death. I'm not taking chances.

[suddenly, there's a gun shot.]

MAN'S VOICE [on radio]: We got 'em.

[Two people are running through a shallow stream. There are more gun shots, men running.]

[Frank grabs Captain Stephens' radio.]

FRANK: [into radio] Hold your fire. Hold your fire.

[stephens grabs the radio back.]

STEPHENS: [into radio] This is Stephens. Proceed.

[More gun shots. The two people being chased dive behind a fallen tree trunk. Two armed officers approach cautiously, guns aimed. Behind the tree trunk are a couple of scared teenagers, wearing denim just like the prisoners.]

[The porch of a house. Sonny and Janette are outside the front door, both wearing civilian clothing. Janette is ringing the door bell.]

JANETTE: Sonny, do I look OK?

SONNY: Beautiful. You're all lit up like a Christmas tree.

JANETTE: Guess they didn't hear.

[she rings the door bell again. Sonny looks around the side the house.]

SONNY: Janette. There's no car here. Maybe this isn't the right address.

JANETTE: Yes, it is.

[They walk back down the steps.]

SONNY: Then where are they?

JANETTE: They're supposed to be here.

SONNY: Janny. Have you ever met these people? Ever talked to them?

JANETTE: I know they'll be here for us, OK? I know it.

[sonny helps Janette back into the car. She looks into the back of the car where there's a man, Mr Taylor, tied up, with duct tape over his mouth.]

[The prison. Watts walks past cells to the one shared by Janette and Sonny. Frank is in there.]

WATTS: I saw the guard station. Pretty brutal.

FRANK: I didn't call for help.

WATTS: We heard there was some friction out there today.

FRANK: I just don't feel comfortable with assassins, especially in government uniform.

WATTS: You want out?

[Frank picks up an evidence bag containing clothing.]

FRANK: Sonny placed this under the dead guard's head even though he fired shots at her. She folded it like a pillow.

[Watts takes the bag from him. Frank picks up a bible and opens it to show a bookmark: "Follow the Path".]

WATTS: I've never seen this kind of thing in a prison situation. It's more like what you see when a mother kills her own child or something.

FRANK: Exactly. Love relationship.

WATTS: You think she had a thing with the guard?

FRANK: No. By all accounts, they are completely devoted to each other.

WATTS: Remorse?

FRANK: No. I think I'm getting a fix on her stepfather she killed. He was abusing her younger sister.

WATTS: So Sonny said.

FRANK: Yeah.

WATTS: Her sister wouldn't corroborate.

FRANK: Right. Look at the second murder. She miscarried the same night. The husband was undoubtedly responsible. Look at the domestic violence report. Ten months earlier.

[Frank has Sonny's personal file: Personal Data Date of birth: 3/9/61 SSN: 348-82-9623 Birthplace: Great Falls Citizenship: USA Occupation: Freight handler Marital status: Single Complexion: Fair Height: 5'8 Weight: 180 lb Eyes: Hazel Hair: Brown Distinguishing marks: None Military: None.]

[Frank shows Watts photographs taken of Sonny who has a badly bruised face.]

WATTS: The neighbors had to call it in.

FRANK: See, when it's just about Sonny, she's silent. She doesn't cross over into violence unless she's protecting someone. A sister, a child. She had a deeply unhappy life. She was beaten down almost from the day she was born.

[Frank sits down on the lower bunk and looks around. There's a photograph of Sonny and Janette taped to the underside of the upper bunk, alongside a faded rose.]

FRANK: Whatever love, whatever joy she found, she found it right here with Janette. Look at this. Although you know what I don't understand is, if she's got four months to parole, why would she risk it all?

WATTS: Sonny's parole would split them up. Maybe it was a crazy way of trying to stay together.

FRANK: I think she was protecting something.

[sonny is sat in a motel room, looking thoughtfully at the squashed bullet.]

[Janette is in the bathroom. She pulls back the shower curtain. The bound man, Mr Taylor, is lying in the bath. Janette smirks at him.]

JANETTE: Night, night.

[she pulls the plastic curtain across.]

[Janette goes back into the main room. She's wearing a long T-shirt. She places both hands on her abdomen and smiles at Sonny and wiggles her hips. Sonny smiles lovingly at her. Janette switches off the light and climbs onto the bed next to Sonny who puts her arm around her.

JANETTE: Sonny. I love you so much.

SONNY: Love you more.

JANETTE: Sonny, put your hand right there.

[she puts Sonny's hand on her abdomen.]

JANETTE: You feel it kicking? I can feel it. I can feel it. With us right now. Can you?

SONNY: Yeah. Yeah, I think so.

[Fade to black.]

[Fade in from white.]

[Outside the motel. It's day. Inside an empty motel room, a cleaner is having difficulty opening the door into the bathroom. Plastic sheeting has caught under the door. As she pushes the door open, she sees the bound man, Mr Taylor, in the bath.]

[interview room.]

KELLARD: The woman you stopped for was an inmate. How could she be pregnant?

TAYLOR: I don't know how. She just was.

KELLARD: High school girls give birth at the prom and no-one knows. But we got group showers here.

TAYLOR: I know what I saw.

[Frank is in attendance. Watts walks in.]

TAYLOR: She was pregnant. It was obvious when she got her baggy clothes off.

[Frank goes over to Watts.]

FRANK: What's up?

WATTS: You were right. Protecting.

FRANK: Well, he says he was taken to another location before the motel.

WATTS: The baby's father?

FRANK: I don't know.

WATTS: How far from the motel?

FRANK: His estimate – twenty minutes.

WATTS: Doesn't sound like they're on the run.

FRANK: Something is keeping them here. Maybe that house. All their actions seem to be around the baby. Janette keeping her pregnancy a secret all those months. I have to ask myself, what is the first thing a woman thinks about when she finds out she's pregnant.

WATTS: I'll start canvassing the area clinics.

[Frank gives Watts the photograph of Janette and Sonny together.]

FRANK: Peter. I don't want to see them hurt.

TAYLOR: … thanking the almighty if they get in, splattered in a thousand pieces on that motel shag.

[Frank goes back to Kellard and Taylor.]

KELLARD: All I know is that I gave two people in need a ride and it turns into this nightmare.

FRANK: Well, the nightmare's over, Mr Taylor, you can go home.

[Mr Taylor gets up.]

FRANK: It's tough being a good samaritan. Were you looking to get lucky?

[Mr Taylor walks away.]

KELLARD: Surprised he lived to tell.

FRANK: They had him tied up all night and he hasn't got a bruise on him. He had nothing to fear from them. He's mainly afraid that his wife will find out.

KELLARD: I'll get the inmates ready. One's got to know about this pregnancy thing.

FRANK: Not the inmates. The guards. One of them is the father.

[Clinic. Sonny and Janette enter. Sonny sits down while Janette talks to the receptionist who hands her forms to fill in. Janette smiles at a little boy sitting next to her, but his mother doesn't like this and pulls him closer. Sonny and Janette exchange smiles – Janette is looking very happy. Sonny opens a newspaper, "Great Falls Gazette". The front page story is "Guard killed during prison break".]

[Prison. Guards' locker room. Frank and Watts are present. Kellard enters.]

KELLARD: Just so you understand – even if one of my men was involved.

FRANK: One was.

MAN: Well, that leaves forty-seven that weren't. And I don't want my guys treated like cons.

WATTS: Maybe you and I should conduct the interview. I'll follow your lead.

KELLARD: Uh-huh. Let's go.

[He taps one guard on the shoulder who follows Kellard and Watts into an adjoining room. Frank stays behind and carefully observes the remaining prison guards. While he's looking at one guard, a black man with the nametag "Shiffer", he has a brief vision of the blood-stained floor, then Janette. Frank goes over to the man.]

FRANK: Hi. I'm Frank Black. Hey, Shiffer, why don't we talk?

[Later, Frank knocks on the door of the room where Kellard and Watts are interviewing the first guard. Kellard comes over and opens the door.]

KELLARD: Keep your pants on. We're just getting into it.

FRANK: What about this guard, Shiffer?

KELLARD: Yeah. He may have had some problems on his last job.

[interview room. Frank is interviewing Ernie Shiffer while Watts looks on.]

FRANK: Take your hat off, Ernie. We're going to be here for a while. You know, I'm reading your personnel file.


FRANK: Yeah. I was wondering why were you fired from a correctional institution in Montana?

SHIFFER: Doesn't it say?

FRANK: I want to hear it from your mouth.

SHIFFER: I left my post.

FRANK: What?

SHIFFER: Look, it's in there. Disciplinary proceedings under Section 72 paragraph 5.

FRANK: You raped a female inmate!

SHIFFER: The Board said I left my post.

FRANK: Did you rape Janette, too? Did you threaten her or her baby if she said anything? What did you do that made them run away?

SHIFFER: What is this? I want my union rep now!

FRANK: He wants his union rep.

WATTS: Officer, we have biological samples taken from her cell which can prove who the father is beyond a doubt. Now we can wait until the test results come in, or if they are going to point to you, you have an opportunity to help yourself out here.

SHIFFER: I didn't do it!

[Frank and Watts go to leave the room.]

SHIFFER: I mean, it's not like you said. I mean, I didn't threaten anybody, mind. She don't even know that it was me.

FRANK: What does that mean?

SHIFFER: I did her in the infirmary. She was out cold. Post-op from some wisdom tooth thing. I mean, what? She's a dyke! It was supposed to be a joke.

[Watts leaves. Frank sits down again.]

FRANK: Why don't you get the hell out of here, Ernie.

[Ernie puts on his hat and leaves.]

[Clinic. Newspaper ad: "Live the Dream". A real estate advert. Sonny smiles. Then her attention is caught by the story continued from the front page: "Guard killed". She hurriedly folds up the paper then rolls it up.]

[Clinic room. A sonographer is carrying out an ultrasound scan of Janette's abdomen.]

JANETTE: Is it a boy or a girl?

SONOGRAPHER: The legs are hiding that right now. Do you know your conception date?

JANETTE: No, not exactly. I'm hoping it's gonna take after its father though.

SONOGRAPHER: And, have you been feeling all right? Any bleeding, or contractions?

JANETTE: No, I've never felt better.

[sonny comes in. She's still holding the newspaper, looking worried.]

JANETTE: Hi, Sonny. [to Sonographer] In fact this is the happiest time of my life. [laughs]

SONOGRAPHER: You're Janette's partner?

SONNY: Uh-huh.

SONOGRAPHER: Why don't you wait here with her. I'd like Dr Lee to take a look at this, OK? I'll be right back.

[she leaves. Sonny and Janette are alone. Janette sees that Sonny is troubled.]

SONNY: Janny. The guard died.

JANETTE: Oh, no.

[Police station. A few people are working at a long table. One woman has just taken a phone call.]

WOMAN: Mr Watts? I may have something.

[Watts goes over and takes the phone.]

WATTS: Yeah, Watts.

[Frank and Kellard are looking at a map pinned on a wall.]

FRANK: Two women hiding like animals. Because of a rape.

KELLARD: They killed a guard.

FRANK: None of this would have happened if Janette hadn't found herself pregnant.

WATTS: Great Falls Womens Clinic. They were just there. 1070 Speedway Drive.

KELLARD: Notify the Highway Patrol.

FRANK: No, wait. I need some assurance of their safety.

[Kellard doesn't respond and leaves.]

FRANK: [to Watts] 1070 Speedway?

[Frank pushes in a pin on the map.]

WATTS: Janette's pregnant all right. The clinic guesses about eight months which would coincide with Ernie Shiffer's visit to the Infirmary. But that's not all. The nurse spotted a total placenta previa blocking the birth canal on the ultrasound. The doctor confirmed. It means she'll bleed out in about three minutes if she tries to deliver outside of a hospital.

FRANK: What does she feel about that? What does Sonny think about that?

WATTS: They don't know. They ran out before the doctor could tell them.

FRANK: I've been thinking about the house.

WATTS: Where they went before the motel?

FRANK: Yeah. No-one was home. I wonder if they keep circling, checking in. This is the only highway between the motel and the clinic.

WATTS: You think that house is on it?

FRANK: Yeah. Twenty minutes from the hotel is here.

[Frank puts another pin the map.]

[Road. A police car goes by. Frank is parked by a row of mail boxes. He gets out and starts checking the mailboxes. One has a sticker: "Follow the Path". The mailbox is labeled: Bayton, John and Jennifer, 1225 Magdaline Rd.]

[The house. It's evening, the porch lights are on. Frank rings the door bell, then bangs on the door. He peers through a window. On an easel is a picture of the Virgin Mary, with the legend "Follow the Path". Frank has a vision – a gunshot, Janette falling, the face of the Virgin Mary.]

[A car starts up. Frank runs along the porch and leaps over the rail onto the road. He shouts and waves at the oncoming car. Janette and Sonny are in it, Sonny driving.]

JANETTE: Oh my god!

[sonny wrenches the steering wheel over to avoid Frank who leaps out of the way.]

JANETTE: What are you doing?

SONNY: It's OK, it's OK.

JANETTE: It's not OK. We almost killed him too!

[Janette starts groaning.]

SONNY: What? What's the matter?

JANETTE: Oh, my god, I think that was just a contraction. I think we're having the baby.

SONNY: Well, I'm right here.


[sonny turns the car onto the road and speeds off.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[board showing photographs of Janette and Sonny, the house, the mailbox.]

WATTS: County records show the house was purchased approximately eight months ago by its current owners, John and Jennifer Bayton, who moved here from California. As far as we can determine they have had no involvement with either woman.

KELLARD: What's this "Follow the Path"? Some kind of cult?

WATTS: None that we'd ever heard of.

STEPHENS: What I want to know is why weren't we told about this house?

FRANK: We didn't know. I was just following a hunch.

STEPHENS: Your hunches aren't exactly longshots, is what I've noticed.

[Frank and Watts exchange a look.]

STEPHEN: Look, I'm not griping about chain of command. That house, whatever it was, to them is blown. That means they're twice as volatile, twice as dangerous.

FRANK: It was my error. We didn't know the women would be there.

KELLARD: Well, I'll have my guys check prison correspondence. See if there's something to or from that address.

STEPHENS: Let's all try to stay in the loop from here on in.

[Kellard and Stephens leave.]

FRANK: He's right about one thing – their plan is shot to pieces. If that house is their reason for staying, they're going to bolt.

WATTS: State Troopers have the road sealed. They know about that.

FRANK: Yeah. Sonny worked for about a year loading freight at the train yard in Great Falls.

WATTS: You think she'd hop a train?

[Train yard. A printed schedule has several trains listed. Fingers trace one particular train – listed for Calgary, Alberta Canada, 3:05PM, #23. Frank is checking the schedule then looks at his watch – 4 minutes before 1 pm. He looks out at the line of wagons.]

[Alongside one track is a plate fixed to the ground, reading "23". Frank is walking between the lines of wagons, then notices a water tap that's been left on. He turns it off, then moves cautiously to a nearby wagon, where he overhears voices.]

SONNY: Here you go.


SONNY: Yeah. Here's some water.

[Janette and Sonny are sitting against the far wall of the wagon. Sonny hands Janette a plastic container from which Janette drinks.]

SONNY: Better?

JANETTE: Yeah. Thanks.

[sonny hears a noise and looks around anxiously.]

JANETTE: What? What is it?

SONNY: I'm just hoping you're not in too much pain, that's all.

JANETTE: Actually I'm not feeling much pain right now. I'm just wondering what it's thinking in there. If it's really painful in there. What's it feel like.

[Frank is attacked from behind. It's Sonny, with the gun from the guard. Frank puts up his hands.]

FRANK: Uh. I'm not armed.

[sonny drags him backwards.]

FRANK: Sonny. I know this is not your fault.

SONNY: Shut up! Hands against the wall!

[sonny frisks him and takes his cellphone.]

FRANK: I know who raped Janette. It was Ernie. Ernie Shiffer confessed.

[sonny hits Frank who falls down. She picks up an metal bar. She hits it again and again onto the ground next to Frank.]

FRANK: Sonny!

[she starts hitting out at the nearby wagons.]

FRANK: Sonny! Listen to me. There's something else. Janette has a serious medical condition.


FRANK: If she tries to have that baby outside of a hospital, she'll bleed to death. And so will the baby.

[sonny looks at the squashed bullet.]

SONNY: That's God's child. It's our miracle baby, uh? All the signs are there! You say anything, anything to Janette, so help me, I will beat you to death! Now get up! Get up!

[Police station. Kellard is looking at the map.]

KELLARD: Getting into the minds of two crazy-assed freaks has got to hurt.

WOMAN: Excuse me, sir?

KELLARD: Oh, nothing.

[Kellard picks up Sonny's file. He sees that Sonny was previously employed at the train yard. He goes back over to the map and checks the position of the yard. Watts comes in.]

KELLARD : You two have been jerking me around.

[in the wagon, Sonny pushes Frank up against the wall. She points her gun at him while he starts winding duct tape around his wrist.]

SONNY: Do it! Do it!

[she grabs the tape and ties his hands together around one of the wooden slats.]

[Janette cries out in pain from a contraction.]

SONNY: Hold on, honey!

[The contraction eases.]

JANETTE: Oh god. That's better.

FRANK: When was the last one?

SONNY: I said shut up!

FRANK: Listen. I know what I'm talking about.

[Janette yells.]

FRANK: That baby's coming.

JANETTE: Oh god! Oh my god, I'm bleeding everywhere. Sonny! I'm bleeding everywhere!

SONNY: Just a little blood, honey. It's normal. It's all right.

JANETTE: It's not normal before the baby comes.

SONNY: It's all right, Janette.

[Janette whimpers.]

SONNY: I'm taking you to the hospital.

JANETTE: No! No, they'll get us.

SONNY: It's a clinic. We'll slip in, we'll have the baby, we'll slip out. Everything'll be all right.

JANETTE: I don't think I can walk.

SONNY: I'll carry you to the car. We're going to the hospital.

JANETTE: I can feel it right now. Can you feel it?

SONNY: Yeah. Yeah.

JANETTE: I love you, Sonny.

SONNY: I love you more.

[Police cars are arriving fast at the train yard. Sonny hears them. She goes to look. She slides open the door. Armed officers aim their guns.]

SONNY: You brought them here!

FRANK: No, I didn't.


[sonny shouts to the officers outside.]

SONNY: Get away from this car! I'll kill him! I'll blow his brains out!

[she slams the door closed and aims her gun at Frank.]

[fade to black]

[polaroid fade up]

[More police cars arrive. Watts gets out of one of them and goes over to Stephens and Kellard.]

WATTS: I reached an FBI hostage specialist from Great Falls. He'll be here shortly. We'll establish contact, let the train pull out on schedule, whatever they want. We'll pick them up rolling after everything's cooled down.

STEPHENS: They're not going anywhere.

[Watts turns away. He dials a number on his cellphone.]

[inside the wagon, Frank's cellphone rings. Sonny pulls it out of her pocket.]

FRANK: Push "send".

WATTS: Hello? Is anyone there? Hello? This is Peter Watts.

SONNY: We, we need a doctor.

WATTS: Who needs a doctor, Sonny?

SONNY: Janette!

WATTS: [to cop] Get the Great Falls Clinic on the line now.

SONNY: Not on the phone. I want a doctor here!

WATTS: She in labor?

SONNY: I said I want a doctor here now! And an ambulance.

WATTS: We're working on that, Sonny, we just want to get the Clinic on the phone until the ambulance gets here.

WATTS: [to police officer] Patch 'em through.

[The clinic.]

JUDY: Sonny, this is Judy Tynan. I'm the nurse who did Janette's ultrasound.

SONNY: You're not listening! I said a doctor.

JUDY: Doctor Lee is with me here and he'd like to talk to Janette. We're worried about bleeding.

[in the wagon, Janette groans.]

SONNY: Honey. Honey, there's a doctor here. He says he can help.

[sonny holds the phone for Janette.]


JUDY: Hi, Janette. It's Judy from the Clinic.

JANETTE: Yeah. Sorry we ran out on you.

DOCTOR LEE: How are you feeling?

[Janette doesn't answer.]

JUDY: Janette. That was Doctor Lee. Look, I know this is awkward for you, but we need you to tell us exactly what's going on. You can talk to us, Janette. We're on your side. We know the whole story, we know how that guard did this to you.

[Watts realizes that's the wrong thing to have said.]

JANETTE: What are you talking about?

JUDY: That guard, Shiffer, raped you.

WATTS: [to cop] Cut 'em off. Cut 'em off.

JANETTE: You're wrong. This is God's child that I'm having.

[sonny takes the phone.]

JANETTE: Is that what they think? Is that what they're saying – that that guy Ernie did this to me?

SONNY: There's five hundred people out there, there's got to be at least one paramedic.

JANETTE: Because it's not true!

SONNY: We need help now!

JANETTE: Not true!

[sonny throws the phone down and holds Janette.]

JANETTE [sobbing]: Oh my god. Oh my god.

[Watts goes over to Stephens.]

STEPHENS: What? What'd they say?

WATTS: Why they escaped in the first place. Janette's pregnant. No apparent father.

STEPHENS: You mean they think it's theirs?

WATTS: No, they think it's God's. They think it's a virgin birth.

KELLARD: It's gonna hit the fan when she pops out Ernie's mulatto.

WATTS: It already has. They just found out.

KELLARD: We got to get your friend out of there.

STEPHENS: Dodeck, Johnson. Put your paramedic gear on. You're going in.

STEPHENS: Virgin birth.

[inside the wagon.]

FRANK: Breathe. It'll help the pain.

SONNY: Shut up.

FRANK: Breathe! One! Two! Three!

[sonny points the gun at Frank.]

SONNY: Shut up!

[Janette yells.]

JANETTE: Sonny. Sonny, look at me. You listen to me. I know this baby's not Shiffer's baby. I know. It's really important that you believe it, too. It's really important.

[The phone rings. Sonny answers it.]

SONNY: What!

WATTS: Sonny. There are two paramedics coming in. So let's work together here. Let's take it one step at a time, OK?

SONNY: Fine! Send them in.

[she throws the phone down, then slides the wagon door open.]

ARMED COP: All right. I got a clean frontal coming in here. She's holding the weapon.

STEPHENS: Let's get this over.

[Just as Sonny moves into the gun's sights, Frank warns her.]

FRANK: Stay away from that door. If they get a shot, they'll take it.

[she ducks back out of range.]

JANETTE: Oh, god.

[Janette yells]

[sonny goes over to Frank with a knife. She cuts the duct tape.]

FRANK: Thank you. You've got to check that medical kit too. Don't let them in till you do. Watch that door.

[Janette yells. Frank goes over to her. The two 'paramedics' approach.]

SONNY: [to 'paramedics'] Stop right there. Put the bags inside.

[The men do so.]

ARMED COP: Sir, we got a problem here.


JANETTE: Somebody help me!

[Frank and Sonny empty the bags. There's a gun inside. Frank grabs it. Sonny looks at Frank fearfully.]

FRANK: Wait a minute, look, we don't need this.

[He pulls out the magazine.]

SONNY: Oh, please. Please help her.

[Frank turns to Janette.]

FRANK: Hey, how are you making out? Come on. How you making out?

JANETTE: Do you believe in miracles?

FRANK: Yeah.

SONNY: Just rest, Janny. Just rest.

JANETTE: Cos I'll tell you a miracle. My child. They called me 'battered woman syndrome'. Crazy, basically. And I must have been because I was in prison for five months and I didn't say one word. But Sonny, she pulled me out of that. [looks at Sonny] And you fixed me, so complete. Right now, as crazy as all this is, I know it's not me. It's them out there. See, they don't believe God would waste his time making a miracle for two people like Sonny and me. But he did.

[Outside, Watts is checking a document - "Ernie Shiffer - No match - Probability of paternity: 0.00%". Janette continues as armed officers continue to aim their weapons at the train.]

JANETTE: (VO) This baby was conceived by a miracle and saved from a bullet. Another miracle. Because he loves us. And I believe in that love just as sure as I believe in the love between Sonny and me. Even though right now, Lord, I'm trying to understand, I know you didn't bring us this far to abandon us now. [to Frank] So now you're part of his plan. So, you have to promise me that you'll get our baby to a good place.

FRANK: I promise.

JANETTE: And you'll never let them have it?

FRANK: I promise.

JANETTE: Ok, I think it's happening.

FRANK: Breathe. Breathe!

[Janette yells]

SONNY: Come on. Come on, you can do this.

JANETTE: Oh, god.

FRANK: You can do it. Push. Push.

JANETTE: I can't.

FRANK: No, you can do it. Here's its head. Push! Push!

[Janette pants.]

JANETTE: Oh, it's out.

[The baby cries.]

FRANK: Give me a piece of tape. Rip it into strips.

[sonny does does and Frank ties the umbilical cord.]

SONNY: It's a girl, hon. It's a beautiful, beautiful girl.

FRANK: Give me that towel.

[Frank puts the baby into the towel Sonny is holding.]

[The baby is white – showing to them that Shiffer is not the father.]

JANETTE: Oh, my baby.

FRANK: Wait, wait.

[He wraps the towel around the baby. Sonny puts the baby in Janette's arms. The baby is crying.]

JANETTE: I know. Oh, I know. Hi, baby.

[Frank leans back against the wall.]

JANETTE: I can feel it. I can feel Him with us right now. [to the baby] Oh, you're so pretty.

[she hands the baby back to Sonny, who gazes at the baby and smiles.]

JANETTE: I love you, Sonny.

[Janette closes her eyes. Sonny looks at her as she loses consciousness.]

SONNY: Janny? Janny? Janny! Oh, Janny, don't go!

[Frank takes the baby from Sonny. Sonny cradles Janette in her arms. She weeps as she hold Janette for a long time.]

[Later. The wagon door slides open. The marksman switches his gun to "semi" and is ready to fire. A bloodstained hand grasps the edge of the doorway. Sonny walks into view. The marksman has her in his sights as she wearily starts climbing down from the wagon.]

[inside, lying on the floor is the gun the "paramedics" brought in and the gun Sonny had taken from the prison guard. Frank is sitting beside the body of Janette, holding the baby.]

[Outside, Sonny has climbed out of the wagon, her right hand in her pocket.]

STEPHENS: Stop right there! Move your hands slowly away from your body! Over your head!

[sonny doesn't comply. She looks up at the sky.]

SONNY: Love you more.

[she pulls her hand out of her pocket. Three shots ring out hitting her. Inside the wagon, Frank flinches. Sonny falls to her knees, her head slumps forward, her right hand opens to reveal what she was holding – the squashed bullet. Stephens, Kellard and others go over to her. She's still in the same position – kneeling, head bowed. There's a distorted view of the scene as if someone is looking down at her from above.]

[Hospital. Frank watches through a window as the baby is checked over. Watts approaches.]

WATTS: We ran paternity tests on the amniocentesis samples that were taken at the clinic.

FRANK: No known father.

WATTS: Not among the prison personnel who we know had contact. St Augustine said miracles are not contrary to nature, only to what we know about nature.

FRANK: This should have ended better.

WATTS: The doctors say you saved that baby's life – that's a lot. Janette's family said no to adopting her.

FRANK: I guess Social Services will decide.

WATTS: They've indicated that they're open to suggestion.

[He pats Frank on the shoulder and leaves. Frank continues to look at the baby.]

[The house. The front door is opened by Mr and Mrs Bayton, a young black couple.]

FRANK: Hi. My name is Frank Black. I'm here because of Juliette Palmer and Janette Viti.

JENNIFER BAYTON: Well, we've been praying for them.

JOHN BAYTON: We pray for all the girls at the prison, by name, as our lord god knows and loves us. Forgotten people. The ones who most need his helping hand.

[Jennifer Bayton walks down to a car parked in their drive.]

JOHN BAYTON: But, Juliette and Janette – we had the strongest feelings about them.

[A woman has got out of the car, holding the baby.]

JOHN BAYTON: Excuse me.

[He starts down to the car.]

JOHN BAYTON: Well, the lord works in mysterious ways.

[Frank looks inside the open door and sees the picture of the Virgin Mary with the legend "Follow the Path". He hold up the squashed bullet and compares the imprint of a face on it with that in the picture.]

FRANK: Yes, he does.

[He turns away and stands on the edge of porch, watching the people by the car. Mrs Bayton is holding the baby.]

[fade to black]

[end credits]

Lance Henriksen (Frank Black)

Megan Gallagher (Catherine Black)

Also Starring:

Terry O'Quinn (Peter Watts)

Guest Starring:

Missy Crider (Janette)

Mary-Pat Green (Sonny)

David Jean-Thomas (Captain Stephens)


Ed Lauter (Warden Kellard)


Sean Campbell (Second Guard)

R. Nelson Brown (First Guard)

Ronald Selmour (Ernie Shiffer)

Steve Oatway (Chris Taylor)

Frances Flanagan (Nurse)

Marina Dufort (Warden's Assistant)


Dean McKenzie (John Bayton)

Wanda Wilson (Jennifer Bayton)

Music by Mark Snow

Editor: James Coblentz

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 Chip Johannessen

Directed by Thomas J Wright

Executive Producers: James Wong and Glen Morgan

Executive Producer: Chris Carter

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