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Episode 101 Pilot Written by Chris Shaffer
FADE IN: EXT. THE A.R.K. - NIGHT
Something between a loading dock and an aircraft hanger is carved out of the mountainside ahead. There’s a path leading toward its entrance made of heavily reinforced chainlinked fences straight out of a federal penitentiry. It parts the sea of protesting MEN, WOMEN, MOTHERS, FATHERS, SONS, DAUGHTERS, PEOPLE from every conceivable walk of life, including CHILDREN, all crammed against the fences mosh-pit style. This isn’t some political demonstration, although they’d certainly say politics were involved. They’d say everything’s involved because they’re protesting for their lives. A heavily armed schoolbus makes its way through the chainlinked path, which of course means we’re going to CUT TO: INT. SCHOOLBUS - CONTINUOUS TITLE: “One Hour and Twenty Eight Minutes Before Impact” Its PASSENGERS, no different demographically from the people we saw a minute ago, sit in silence. Everyone except MICHELLE MASSEY. A late forty something mother, whispering for -Catherine! MICHELLE
CATHERINE MASSEY, her teenage daughter awakens. She’s a couple rows down from Michelle. MICHELLE (CONT’D) Catherine? Get over here. But-CATHERINE
MICHELLE Get over here. Catherine gets up, but one of the armed MARINES positioned throughout the bus tells her to --
2. MARINE Please stay seated ma’am. Michelle’s husband, Catherine’s father, CARL MASSEY, early fifties recovering lawyer with a fading golf tan, wishes only the best when he tells her -CARL Stay there. MICHELLE No she’s not -CARL But the guy just told her to-MICHELLE She’s not staying there. MARINE Please remain seated ‘til we reach the A.R.K. Catherine doesn’t remain seated. She goes, quickly sitting next to Michelle, tightly gripping the other’s hands. Outside protests increase in fervor, screams piercing the air, and what’s even worse is that we don’t see a damn thing. By the looks of the Marines who can -MARINES Down! Down! Everybody down! We’re gunning it. MARINES (CONT’D) Everybody down! Semi-Automatic rifles pop. MARINES (CONT’D) Everybody down! Everybody drops. Carl covers himself over Michelle and Catherine. MARINES (CONT’D) Everybody -AN EXCRUCIATING FLASH. Carl looks up to see exactly what the fuck it--
3. But we’re tossed into the air from behind, overturning the bus to the side, shattering the windows, hailing plexiglass and passengers before we CUT TO: INT. SITUATION ROOM - SAME TIME A countdown clock’s on the wall. It’s only got about an hour and twenty some odd minutes left. counting down from an hour and twenty six minutes. Below that, windows displaying digital, granular images of the overturned bus smoldering in the chain-link path. CIVILIANS and OFFICERS clamor in chaos. At its center, OWEN LASSITER, fifties, African American, a bear of a man, is about to come to blows with JONATHAN MALKIN, early forties, beltway power-broker and a good two feet shorter than Owen. OWEN We can’t just -- are you serious? JONATHAN That’s the only other option we have. OWEN Sealing the-Yes. JONATHAN
OWEN Sealing the ARK is the only other option we-JONATHAN Sir, it’s already being done. OWEN What about the others out there? Sir? JONATHAN
OWEN The others? The other people? The people who we’d be abandoning if we were to seal the Ark? ADMIRAL JACK BERRYHILL, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Forces who’s in his fifties, comes over.
4. BERRYHILL (to Owen) Mr. Speaker. We’ve got radio contact. With whom? JONATHAN
BERRYHILL They claim to be responsible for what just took -OWEN Put them on. JONATHAN Shouldn’t we have -- Don’t we have a negotiator? Sir, we -BERRYHILL
OWEN We don’t have time. Put him on, now Admiral! CUT TO: INT. OVERTURNED BUS - SAME TIME Michelle awakens. Catherine’s atop of her. As Michelle budges free, Catherine also, albeit groggily, returns to reality. Other passengers awaken, some groaning from their injuries. Honey? Mom! MICHELLE CATHERINE
MICHELLE It’s okay, sweetheart. Followed by thier embrace each other, but Michelle can’t help but think of -Carl? Carl’s unconscious. Dad? CATHERINE MICHELLE (CONT’D)
Michelle turns him over to his side, facing up -MICHELLE (CONT’D) (beat) We need -- somebody...help! CATHERINE Dad! C’mon. MICHELLE We need -- we need a doctor. Honey could you, we need a -Bullets loudly shatter glass. It’s coming from the windshield, rattling with bullets. Passengers struggle to hide behind the vertical seat backs, gripped by terror that won’t stop, even when we CUT TO: INT. SITUATION ROOM - SAME TIME The room has given it’s attention to Owen as he speaks with a radio grained lethally affirmative VOICE. VOICE If these demands are not met, everyone who we have just detained, will be killed. OWEN (beat) And until we decide, you agree to cease fire? Yes. VOICE
OWEN You understand that what your people are asking will require time to decide. VOICE You have an hour and twenty minutes.
6. Owen looks at the countdown clock, interesting coincidence, then at Berryhill, giving him an order with nothing more than a nod. CUT TO: INT. OVERTURNED BUS - SAME TIME The armed Marines from before exchange rifle fire with -EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - CONTINUOUS -- PARAMILITARIES, who’ve come from the now dispersed crowds. One of them stops firing, followed by another as they see their platoon commander signaling them to stop. MARINE (V.O.) Cease fire. INT. OVERTURNED BUS - CONTINUOUS MARINE Cease fire! The Marines obey expediently. Rifle bursts cease. Catherine still hides behind the seat. Michelle, unaffected by the surrounding noise, tend to Carl, stunned by the fact that none of this has yet to disturb him from his unconsciousness. END OF TEASER
7. ACT ONE
Against black, the following words will appear, then disappear “Owen” “Four Hundred and Fifty Seven Days Until Impact” FADE IN: INT. OWEN LASSITER’S OFFICE, WASHINGTON D.C. - DAY The Washington Monument can be seen outside Owen’s office, while Jonathan’s trying to make a case to Owen. Try it. Try what? JONATHAN OWEN
JONATHAN Try it right now. OWEN I don’t know what I’m supposed to try. JONATHAN Do it a few times. It’s got a ring to it. OWEN It does have a ring to it. JONATHAN And you haven’t even tried it yet. OWEN (beat) At this time I simply-JONATHAN Yes, you can Mr. Speaker. OWEN There is no conceivable way I can consider such an opportunity. Really? JONATHAN
JONATHAN What’s stopping you? Jonathan. OWEN
JONATHAN No, really? What’s stopping you? OWEN It’s not a matter of what is prevents me. JONATHAN If there was no matter preventing you, I’d be shaking your hand in congratulation. Which makes Owen smile. JONATHAN (CONT’D) I don’t have much time Mr. Speaker. OWEN I understand. JONATHAN With all due respect sir, I don’t think you do. But I’ll give you some time. Some time? OWEN
JONATHAN To better understand. OWEN I understand completely. JONATHAN I just offered you -- and mind you that you are the only person I have on our very short list -OWEN I don’t wish to take up any more of your time.
9. JONATHAN -- on the very short list of candidates for the Vice Presidency. As Jonathan leaves -JONATHAN (CONT’D) It’s got a ring to it. It does. OWEN (V.O.) CUT TO: INT. OWEN AND EULENE’S BATHROOM - NIGHT EULENE LASSITAR, Owen’s formidable wife, and Secretary of Communication of the Department of Commerce, is putting on moisturizer before going to bed. EULENE But that’s all it’s going to be. Yes. OWEN
EULENE It can be more. It is more, it’s an opportunity, it’s -OWEN By opportunity, you mean the entire turning upside down of our entire lives-EULENE (playfully) The entire ‘turning upside down’? Yes. OWEN
EULENE I’m not sure that’s even English. OWEN Or how everything we have ever done or said will be completely spun out of context only to be repurposed as entertainment for the next twenty four hour news cycle. Owen heads back into the bedroom.
10. INT. OWEN AND EULENE’S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS He’s followed by Eulene, who’s enjoying this. The phone rings. Looks at each other. EULENE It’s too late, let the machine get it. That is, unless it’s your office. OWEN (looks at the caller ID) It’s not. Protected number. (then) We’ve been here before. EULENE Many times before. OWEN May I ask why we come back so often? EULENE Frequent flier miles. I can come back to it as often as I want. OWEN I am a servant of the people. I don’t have such a privilege. EULENE You should talk to those airline lobbyists more often. The phone rings again. OWEN I -- it’s probably telemarketers. EULENE We’re on that list though aren’t we? OWEN We were but, it’s probably -(whatever) I understand your proclivities toward making my life as difficult as possible. However I have never had such difficulty diffusing them as I do now.
11. EULENE Then stop trying to diffuse me. OWEN And accept the nomination for the candidacy of the Vice President of the United States? Yes. EULENE
OWEN I’ll take it under consideration. EULENE Fifteen syllables more than you need to say the word no. OWEN I’m certainly not going to say yes. The phone rings again. OWEN (CONT’D) What in God’s name-(answering it) Hello? (beat) Speaking. Owen doesn't say anything for an unusually long beat, as Eulene wonders -Owen? Nothing. Owen? EULENE (CONT’D) EULENE
OWEN I’m sorry, what? As Owen looses all blood to his hand. As that loss catches up to his face, we -CUT TO: INT. SITUATION ROOM - SAME TIME Owen’s listening to Berryhill, Jonathan, and others who feel the need to chime in. TITLE:
12. “Forty Three Minutes Before Impact” OWEN What I’m asking for is-JONATHAN Pericles One, Pericles Two, Pericles Three-BERRYHILL And Perciles Four. JONATHAN All of which are options, which at this time are the most viable toward bringing as many people back as possible. OWEN As many people? JONATHAN Mr. Speaker -OWEN As many, does not imply all. JONATHAN We cannot rule out the possibility that there will be casualties. OWEN Forty three people are onboard that bus. They’re the last people to come into the A.R.K. and deserve nothing less than... How many yards away from the entrance to the -CIVILIAN Eighty Yards Mr. Speaker. OWEN Eighty Yards, and we cannot find an option where we initiate fire, causing us to needlessly loose more lives? JONATHAN There is not sir. OWEN Then we haven’t looked hard enough. CUT TO:
13. INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - NIGHT JOSHUA WARNER, mid twenties, handsome, wiry, intense, wakes up in a hospital bed. Baffled as to why exactly he’s here, Joshua gets out. Or tries to. The foot he’s using to get out of bed with has been covered in a cast. Spasms electrocute every nerve fiber he’s got. Needless to say, he’s screaming like hell. DR. HELEN PLATT, PYSD, thirties, professional, busts through the door, about to tend to Joshua, remembering that she’s supposed to lock the door behind her, but the damn door isn’t locking with the key she’s been given. She drops it, helps Joshua onto the bed again. I’m sorry. PLATT
JOSHUA Watch the -But Platt doesn’t. He screams because his cast just clanged against the side of the rail. PLATT I’m so sorry. Stop. What? JOSHUA PLATT
JOSHUA Being sorry. Which makes Platt laugh a little. JOSHUA (CONT’D) Just gemme outta here. Platt’s silent. What? JOSHUA (CONT’D)
Off Joshua, his pain steadily replaced by confusion before we CUT TO:
14. INT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT PASSENGERS on the bus gather around. Everyone’s bruised, cut, or slightly injured. No one’s nearly as much as Carl as he lies motionless with COMPSON, one of the Marines we’ve seen before. Michelle and Catherine observe Compson’s icily efficient demeanor, moving swiftly through the motions of resuscitation. As Compson gets some more equipment from a first-aid kit nearby, Carl wakes up, his breathing deeply labored. MICHELLE (hysterical) Carl? Dad? Honey!? CATHERINE MICHELLE (O.S.)
Carl coughs up blood profusely and he can’t fucking stop. Compson’s doing everything that he can do to stop Carl’s convulsions, but nothing’s enough to Michelle. MICHELLE (CONT’D) What are you doing? COMPSON Doin’ what I can ma’am. MICHELLE What exactly are you -COMPSON Stay back ma’am. Catherine holds her mother back. Compson’s injecting something into him. Carl’s convulsions cease. MICHELLE What did you just do? CATHERINE Is he going to be -COMPSON He’s going to be okay. If we get him inside, get him medical attention he’s going to be --
15. MICHELLE You’re giving him -- is this not medical attention? COMPSON Not enough ma’am, no. Not for what he’s got. CATHERINE What does he got? COMPSON He’s sustained -- during the explosion he sustained -One of the passengers finishes Compsons’s sentence -Schrapnel. PASSENGER
COMPSON Yeah. It entered through the left pulmo -- His left lung’s collapsed. Leaving a second for that to sink in. MICHELLE Is he going to... COMPSON No. It doesn’t mean that he’s going to...no. Not if he doesn't get the attention he deserves. CATHERINE Not until we get inside the A.R.K. Yeah. COMPSON
As Carl settles into a Morphine induced haze, we CUT TO: INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - SAME TIME Joshua’s in bed. Platt’s at his side. Your leg. Yeah? PLATT JOSHUA
16. PLATT You remember what happened? JOSHUA It’s coming back to me. PLATT Why did they shoot your leg? JOSHUA ‘Cause I wanted to leave. PLATT Why do you want to leave the A.R.K? JOSHUA Think I’d tell you any different from the other fifteen times you asked. PLATT I think you would if I could help you out. JOSHUA How could you help? PLATT By helping you leave the A.R.K. While Joshua considers this, we CUT TO: INT. CORRIDOR - SAME TIME Owen’s looking into a window, into -INT. INTENSIVE CARE UNIT - CONTINUOUS Machines, PERSONNEL, equipment, far more than can possibly be described as it imprisons it’s PATIENT, a man we can barely make out as -BERRYHILL Mr. Speaker. INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS Owen’s being addressed by Berryhill who’s been here for a few moments and prefers not to waste any more of them.
17. BERRYHILL We need you in the situation room. CUT TO: INT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT Michelle leaves the group. Catherine’s the only one to notice. Mom? CATHERINE
Michelle isn’t listening. CATHERINE (CONT’D) Mom, what are you-EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - CONTINUOUS Michelle stands at the demolished windshield of the bus where a couple of Paramilitary stand guard. She looks at them, at their guns, at the sealed entrance to the A.R.K. Looking at it all, trying to conceive of some way to -Mom! CATHERINE (O.S.)
RAMIREZ, a female marine who can’t be much more than twenty one years old, comes from inside, approaches. RAMIREZ Ma’am, you can’t stay here. CATHERINE Mom, C’mon! RAMIREZ Ma’am. Please you can’t -Michelle’s not budging, if anything, she’s hypnotised as she tells them -MICHELLE We have to get him inside. RAMIREZ We will get him inside, we just have to--
18. MICHELLE (crying, screaming) We have to get him inside! Michelle struggles with Ramirez and Catherine. It’s more than enough to get the attention of the Paramilitary guards who see nothing other than Ramirez’ rifle. Aiming their rifles toward them in response as -MICHELLE (CONT’D) (crying) Let me go! Off the chaos -END OF ACT ONE
19. ACT TW0 Against BLACK, the only thing we hear is CARL (V.O.) She’s not even a child. Carl. FREDDY (V.O.)
MICHELLE (V.O.) She’s still considered a minor. Michelle. ALICE (V.O.)
CARL (V.O.) Which makes it all the more her choice. TITLE: Amidst the voices, we see the words -“Carl and Michelle” -- as we FADE IN: INT. LEVY, STERN & HEWES - DAY The conference room of a prestigious New York City Law Firm. FREDDY Carl, please if we can-Carl, fully conscious and alert, sits presented well with his lawyer, FREDDY GARCIA, and Michelle, who sits with her lawyer, ALICE SILVERMAN. TITLE: “Four Hundred and Fifty Seven Days Before Impact” CARL I’m just saying-FREDDY That’s what you’re paying me for. To say for you. Carl stops saying.
20. FREDDY (CONT’D) It is very clear that my client would like to alter this custodial agreement. MICHELLE She’s sixteen years old. Michelle. ALICE
MICHELLE That’s two years younger than eighteen Carl. Carl is silent. MICHELLE (CONT’D) Anything else you’d like to add Carl? FREDDY (to Alice) When you have control of your client we will resume. ALICE Michelle, please. MICHELLE Control of -ALICE (controlling) Michelle. MICHELLE Can you believe this? How am I supposed to have control? You’re taking my daughter away from me and I’m supposed to be the very last thing I could possibly be. CARL You’re the one who’s deciding to live with-MICHELLE I’m not living with -- it’s over! CARL Yet you’re the one who decides to leave.
21. FREDDY Carl. I insist, if you can just-MICHELLE What does that matter? ALICE Michelle, if we may-CARL I’m not taking her away from you. MICHELLE Yes you are. CARL You’ve already taken her away from us. You took us away from us. As Michelle gives up on piecing together the shards of her dignity-RAMIREZ (V.O.) Why don’t you get back in the bus and sit? CUT TO: EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT Exactly where we left Michelle, Catherine, and Ramirez, a few other Passengers have joined them to help. MICHELLE How can I possibly sit? The seats are on the wall and my husband is dying? PARAMILITARY (raising his gun) Just stand back. RAMIREZ (to the Paramilitary) She’ll stand back in a second! (to Michelle) Ma’am, these guys aren’t-MICHELLE What’s he gonna’ do? RAMIREZ Ma’am, you don’t want to know.
22. MICHELLE So, he’s going to shoot me? CATHERINE (crying) Mom, please. PARAMILITARY It’s been a second. MICHELLE ‘Cause if he’s going to shoot me, that’s something I want to know. RAMIREZ He’s going to shoot you! Get back on the bus. Be with your husband. Be with your daughter. Don’t get us killed! And with that, Michelle comes back in, making her way back into the bus with the others as we CUT TO: INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - (LATER THAT) NIGHT Joshua couldn’t be more tired of talking to Platt. TITLE: “Thirty Seven Minutes Before Impact” JOSHUA Because they’re going to kill me. PLATT Seriously, Joshua, why -JOSHUA I am being serious. They’re going to kill me, and they’re going to kill you too. PLATT There are approximately two hundred and fifty million people in this country, let alone the other five and half billion people in the world, who want the opportunity you have by being here. You can’t blame me for wanting to know why you want to leave.
23. JOSHUA You think being in here’s even going to matter? Platt thinks less about the question’s answer than the question itself, when we CUT TO: INT. CORRIDORS - NIGHT Owen’s moving with Berryhill. Jonathan joins them. JONATHAN We don’t have much time. Mr Speaker. OWEN As I’ve been made aware. JONATHAN I don’t question your awareness. OWEN Then it is clear, that I cannot go a minute without repeated interruption-JONATHAN Because we may not have a minute sir. OWEN (back to Jonathan) That’s funny. For some reason I was under the impression that we had thirty seven of them. JONATHAN You think that’s funny sir? OWEN I didn’t think-JONATHAN Because if that’s your idea of funny -OWEN What you and everyone else in the room has proposed is as worthy of as much awareness and consideration that I can give. (MORE)
24. (beat) OWEN (CONT'D)
JONATHAN Then Mr. Speaker will you at least consider the lives of everyone inside here? OWEN Do you believe they have at any point been outside the criterion of my consideration? JONATHAN For this sir, I believe they have. Owen won’t dignify that with response... JONATHAN (CONT’D) Jack, will you go over-OWEN Commander Berryhill need not go over anything. (to Berryhill) Commander, Re-establish radio contact. Yes sir. BERRYHILL
They enter a series of guarded entrances, which would seem completely unnecessary if they weren’t entering -INT. SITUATION ROOM - CONTINUOUS Owen takes his seat not quite at the head, but toward one seat to the side. The head of table being left intentionally vacant. OWEN (to Berryhill) Do we have him yet? BERRYHILL Not yet sir. JONATHAN Don’t you understand that -OWEN I am entirely capable of understanding what you’re saying.
25. JONATHAN Isolating the targets-OWEN Is that what you’re calling it? JONATHAN That’s what the room is calling. OWEN Despite, that is something I refuse to call it. In fact the only thing I could possibly call it is murder. JONATHAN These people are responsible for the murder of thous -- these people believe that what’s going to happen in less than an hour is God’s way of bringing his children back to Earth. Killing everyone inside here’s just another fifty thousand to ship back! OWEN Do you really believe that the same people outside, that those people are identical to those that thwarted every possible effort we made to stop what’s going to happen in thirty seven minutes? Yes. JONATHAN
OWEN Then why is it that they are holding twenty two people hostage to save the lives of three hundred people including half of the hostages themselves? A long beat. For once, Jonathan doesn’t have the answer. OWEN (CONT’D) Killing the hostage takers and saving our people will not save our people. If anything it will put them into even greater danger, if not kill them. Rephrasing that into four different scenarios will not --
26. BERRYHILL Mr. Speaker. (having the attention of the room) We’ve got em. OWEN Thank you. Put em on. Berryhill puts him on as we CUT TO: INT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT The blunt roar of something outside causes everyone in here to drop. Then looking toward where the sound’s coming from. EXT. THE A.R.K. - CONTINUOUS A few MARINES steadily file out of the hanger which has just opened up again. The Marines are just enough to equal --- the paramilitary men outside of the bus. Over the paramilitary’s radios we hear the lethal voice from before. VOICE Stand down. Stand down. What? PARAMILITARY #1
PARAMILITARY #2 Stand down! Off them as they ask themselves -INT. OVERTURNED BUS - CONTINUOUS MICHELLE What the hell’s going on? EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - CONTINUOUS While the Paramilitaries listen to -VOICE Attention group leaders. Our demands have been accepted. Standby for further instruction. Over. END ACT TWO
27. ACT THREE
INT. CROSSROADS CHURCH - DUSK We’re looking down onto a pool of placid water disturbed by Joshua. No caring about the fact that he’s fully clothed as he sits on an underwater bench. A PASTOR is with him. TITLE: “Joshua” “Four Hundred and Fifty Six Days Before Impact” PASTOR Do you understand and do you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and died for your sins? Yes. JOSHUA
PASTOR Do you accept and do you believe in The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit and let him into your heart? I do. JOSHUA
He dips him back to the water, submerging him completely, bathing him in every instance imaginable, sitting inside until he comes up, taking his first breath of air as a saved soul. CUT TO: INT. HOLDING CELL - NIGHT TITLE: “Twenty Seven Minutes Before Impact” PLATT I’ve known you for an hour and a half Joshua and I have yet to hear you say something that didn’t have an undercurrent of meaning. JOSHUA Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
28. PLATT What isn’t going to matter a whole lot? JOSHUA Nothing isn’t going to matter a whole lot. Joshua-PLATT
JOSHUA (smiling) Dr. Platt. (off her smile) I’m just feeling lots of posttraumatic stress. Gets me saying things all jumbled. PLATT I told you what my day job is right? JOSHUA More like what your day job was. (off Platt) You think you’re going to be seein a whole lotta day in here? PLATT That’s true, we’re not. JOSHUA You’re not. PLATT Do you remember what it is? My day-JOSHUA America Trauma something something. PLATT American Trauma Victims Association. JOSHUA You guys sound like real baskets of sunshine.
29. PLATT As somebody specializing in trauma it’s safe to say that I know a little something about posttraumatic stress. You are not experiencing post-traumatic stress. You sure? JOSHUA
PLATT I couldn’t be more. JOSHUA So, when I said before that they were going to kill me... Yes. PLATT
JOSHUA That isn’t some post-traumatic stress of -- I don’t know. PLATT Actually you do know. And yes it’s coming from stress, but as a result of well -- somebody who’s out to kill you. JOSHUA You believe me? PLATT Why shouldn’t I? JOSHUA Somebody tells you that there people out to kill them, and you believe them? PLATT You’re not just somebody Joshua. You are somebody who wants to, for all intents and purposes, abandon the only chance he has toward surviving the most cataclysmic event humanity has ever faced. (beat) If anything, when you told me that they were going to kill you, that was probably the most sincere thing you told me in the past hour and a half. (MORE)
30. PLATT (CONT'D) (beat) You’re not just somebody Joshua. Feeling he’s told her all she needs to know, he can’t help but ask -JOSHUA Can I go now? Platt continues to look into Joshua. It’s not going to be that simple. CUT TO: EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT Catherine strives not to panic as she and other female passengers get their bags of luggage out of the bus. The crowd, seeing them and the other hostages emerge from the bus makes them go wild. Catherine? MICHELLE (O.S.)
Catherine dismounts from the top of overturned bus. She’s about to head back inside but can’t because she’s distracted by -Screams of families being separated. To one side: women and children. On the other: fathers and husbands. Between them are sets of paramilitary guards, making sure the demands are followed exactly. Women and children selected by the paramilitary guards from behind the chain-linked fence join the others from the bus. As Catherine reacts -I can’t. CATHERINE (V.O.)
INT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT Michelle holds onto a shallowly breathing Carl. Compson’s doing his best with what he’s got here. Catherine’s standing above them. I know. MICHELLE
31. CATHY No, I mean I can’t and you can’t either. COMPSON Ladies, you need to join the others. CATHERINE I can’t go! MICHELLE If we can’t get him inside -- then I don’t want to be inside either! If not -CATHERINE
COMPSON You’ve got less than twenty minutes. You can’t be out here when it happens! MICHELLE You think I want my husband to be out here? I can’t just leave him. CATHERINE Then you won’t leave me either. A beat as Michelle looks at her daughter, at the consequence of what she just said. MICHELLE No sweat pea. Mom, I-CATHERINE
MICHELLE You can’t be out here. CATHERINE I can’t be without you, or Dad. As much as Michelle wants to protest -- unlike every single time before, she actually sees where her daughter’s coming from. CUT TO: INT. HOLDING CELL - NIGHT Platt’s still with Jeffrey. She’s on the phone.
32. PLATT Thank you for the update. -Alright, bye. She hangs up. JOSHUA What was that? A cigar. PLATT
JOSHUA Hilarious. You got an update? I did. PLATT
JOSHUA And you thanked them for it? PLATT It was a very informative update. A solid beat with Joshua and Platt before-JOSHUA You know, for a shrink you’re -- I don’t know... PLATT Neither do I. JOSHUA Neither do -- what? PLATT Whenever you say, you don’t know -which you say a lot-JOSHUA You don’t know either. So you say-PLATT Neither do I. (beat) I’m trying to be funny. JOSHUA You should try harder. PLATT It was funny to me. (beat) (MORE)
33. PLATT (CONT'D) You know you can stop it. You don’t have to run away. JOSHUA From your sense of humor? PLATT No. You can’t run from that. JOSHUA You mean stop... PLATT The people who’ll make staying in the A.R.K. matter less. Yeah. JOSHUA
PLATT You can stop them, you can -JOSHUA (pause) It’s not as simple as that. PLATT You think getting out of here would be simple? JOSHUA Yeah. Unlock the door. Open the door. I walk about the door. Then you lock the door again. Simple. PLATT That would be simple. JOSHUA Yeah, it would. PLATT It’s not going to be that simple. JOSHUA Of course not. PLATT After the hostages get in here, those doors will be sealed for the next five years-JOSHUA The hostages. They’re in here?
34. PLATT That was the update. JOSHUA But you said that -- God-Joshua stops himself from using The Lord’s name in vain, grunting painfully as he can’t take the dread of what this means. CUT TO: INT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT MICHELLE (screaming) You have to. CATHERINE I’m not going. MICHELLE Sweetheart! Catherine can’t decide because -CATHERINE (crying) It makes no sense. MICHELLE (beat) I know it doesn’t. CATHERINE No, I don’t even know Mom. You had the ticket, you got him to...and this happens. We can’t even be together? MICHELLE Sweethea-(Sounds from Carl) Oh, God. Carl? Carl? CARL (barely able to say)
Michelle, Catherine, and even Compson, look to Carl. CARL (CONT’D) If I can’t but you can... Go.
35. A long beat before -MICHELLE (to Catherine) Get our bags from -- the thing. Catherine doesn’t say the question, but need only use her eyes to ask if she thinks it’s what it means. MICHELLE (CONT’D) Do what your father says. END ACT THREE
36. ACT FOUR: INT. SITUATION ROOM - NIGHT TITLE: “Twelve Minutes Before Impact” JONATHAN Call them back! OWEN Which will be-JONATHAN Call them back in. OWEN Every one of them? Yes. CIVILIAN
OWEN It may be a little late now. CIVILIAN #2 It’s never too late to-CIVILIAN We can’t negotiate with terrorists! OWEN Any other cliches they’d like to get out of their system? Owen’s Chief of Staff, JENNIFER MOORE, interjects -JENNIFER This is the last chance to save as many people as possible, and to guarantee them-JONATHAN -- our own demise. Silencing everyone. Demise? OWEN
JONATHAN Yes. When, The President recovers--
37. OWEN Whether he recovers or not I cannot possibly deny that the decision I made saved the most lives we could possibly save given the current set of circumstances. JONATHAN And what of the people who made it inside, without security clearances, background checks? My God, we’re not even checking to see if they have weapons when they come in here. JENNIFER All of which will be taken care of at the appropriate time. JONATHAN Being that a time has yet to be considered appropriate makes everyone in this entire room feel that much more comfortable. OWEN And the fear you have is of even greater comfort? JONATHAN Fear? I think everyone has the right to have fear, right now-OWEN Is that so? JONATHAN It couldn’t be more so. OWEN If we wish to have a chance at survival, if humanity has ever wants a chance of survival, it will only have such when we dispose of fear, not by upholding it. Nothing more from the room. Owen leaves the situation room as we CUT TO:
38. INT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT Catherine’s holding Carl and she can’t stop. Nothing could break this moment more than-RAMIREZ (screaming) C’mon let’s go! MICHELLE C’mon honey. As much as she’s supposed to do it, she can’t pull her daughter away. Only the sound of -CARL Ooohhhhhhhhh! -- should do it. Matt’s sitting by them, struggling not to be affected by the weight of the emotions around him. Honey. MICHELLE
CATHERINE (to Carl) I love you. CARL I love you too. Catherine cries, embracing her father. CARL (CONT’D) Go with your mother. MICHELLE I’ll be out there honey. CARL Sweetheart-MICHELLE I’ll be just a second. CATHERINE I’m not going ‘till you go. MICHELLE Okay. Just -(to Compson) Could you give us a minute?
39. COMPSON MICHELLE
Yeah. Thank you.
Compson gives them a minute, moving away -RAMIREZ We’ve got no time ladies, let’s go! MICHELLE Just a (fucking) minute! Ramirez, much less any United States Marine Corpsmen -- could have got that one. She backs off, or at much as one can, given what’s going on. MICHELLE (CONT’D) I need to tell you something. We begin to hear the sound of something that sounds a lot like the sky’s being stormed by a hundred jets going Mach 4 above. It’ll steadily grow through the rest of the scene. MICHELLE (CONT’D) (can’t think of just one thing) I’m-It’s okay. CARL
MICHELLE No, it’s not. CARL Michelle, it is. (beat) I forgive you. I know you’re sorry. I’ve always known you’re -Carl’s breathing becomes too labored. He can’t finish the sentence, words no longer necessary for its completion. Compson reappears with something, it looks like a board of some kind, with another one of the male passengers from outside. MATT (to the Passenger) You get the other end.
40. MICHELLE What are you doing? PASSENGER We’ve got to get him out of here. MICHELLE Okay. Just don’t -Carl screams as he is moved onto the board. Michelle can’t take it, and neither can -EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - NIGHT -- Catherine, who’s with Ramirez outside. The roar we’ve been hearing is even more deafening out here, silencing the crowd, gathering their attention toward the brightest star, which coincidentally also happens to be the one moving the most quickly. It’s followed by a sinister trail of ash visible against the ebony sky. RAMIREZ Move. We’ve got to go now! Michelle emerges from the overturned bus, waiting for Compson and Carl -CATHERINE (screaming)
Michelle sees Catherine, then behind her as Ramirez holds a gun aiming toward her direction. No! Ramirez fires. Michelle, Compson and the Passenger drop with Carl. When we turn around, we see that they’re warning shots from the marines toward the people who were behind the gates just a few minutes ago. They’re trying to get past the bus and into the closing doorways of the A.R.K. C’mon! RAMIREZ MICHELLE
Michelle runs with Catherine, holding her, toward the slowly closing doors behind ahead. Ramirez can’t hold them off anymore.
41. But the other MARINES at the door can. They won’t because Michelle and Catherine are still running toward them. As they run for their fucking lives. END OF ACT FOUR
42. ACT FIVE INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - NIGHT Silence among Joshua and Platt. PLATT I’ll let you go. JOSHUA (beat) No, you won’t. PLATT No, I will. Joshua looks around the room for something, then -JOSHUA You have crutches or something -PLATT One more question. JOSHUA Of course you’ve got one more question. (beat) Shoot. Platt’s about to ask, but -JOSHUA (CONT’D) Wait a sec. Huh? PLATT
JOSHUA Didn’t you say the doors are sealed, or something. PLATT I didn’t say you can’t, I just said that it would be difficult. That’s not relevant though. What is, is that I can help you. Joshua looks at Platt, “okay.”
43. PLATT (CONT’D) If what you’re telling me is true, it must also be true that there is nothing we can do to stop it. Is there? (beat) JOSHUA
Platt inhales another patient breathe. PLATT If they succeed, and we all die for whatever reasons they have for doing what they wish to do, is there any possible way you can live with that? Joshua thinks about it as we CUT TO: INT. CROSSROADS CHURCH - DAY Joshua, damp from his baptism, watches on a television screen outside with a crowd of congregation members in the hallway tuned to CNN. Joshua? PLATT (V.O.)
INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - CONTINUOUS JOSHUA It won’t matter. Why not? PLATT
JOSHUA ‘Cause I’ll be dead. INT. A.R.K. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS Michelle holds Catherine as they are crammed with other WOMEN and SOLDIERS in a freight elevator descending into the shelter of the A.R.K. PLATT (V.O.) I beg to differ.
44. INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - CONTINUOUS PLATT It matters a great deal. If you were to stay, you could be -- no, actually you would be, our only chance at stopping them. Silence. INT. MICHELLE AND CARL’S HOME - CONTINUOUS As Carl and Catherine are fixed on their television together. Catherine’s on the phone. PLATT (V.O.) Do you have any idea how many people are in here? INT. MICHELLE’S NEW CONDO - CONTINUOUS Michelle’s on the other end. The stuff is still in boxes, bu her television’s unpacked, watching as though she was with her family. ON SCREEN is CNN: with the headline “Breaking News” and the White House Press Secretary; whom we recognize as Jennifer. JENNIFER Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States. Before we get so much as a clear shot -INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - CONTINUOUS PLATT There are fifty thousand, three hundred, and twenty six people here. At least that was the number an hour ago. That might have changed now. The point I’m trying to make is... INT. WHITE HOUSE PRESS ROOM - CONTINUOUS Where Owen, CABINET MEMBERS, and SENATE LEADERS, are gathered, watching the Press Conference take place. PLATT (V.O) ...if your people succeed --
45. JOSHUA They’re not my people. At least, I’m not one of those people. Not anymore. PLATT If they were to succeed.... INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - CONTINUOUS PLATT All fifty thousand, -INT. OWEN LASSITAR’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS Which we recognize -- despite the well appointed decor -- as being inside the A.R.K. Owen still dressed, holding Eulene in bed, bracing for what is to come. PLATT -- three hundred, and twenty six people -INT. INFIRMARY ROOM - CONTINUOUS PLATT -- will die. Including me. (beat) Our chance for hope, our children’s chances for life, and whatever chance humanity has to survive the impact winter will all be gone because..it doesn’t matter to you. Beat. PLATT (CONT’D) It may not matter that you will be dead, but that doesn’t keep it from having matter. (beat) Do you still want to go? Another long beat. Joshua summons something he’s never quite felt before as he tells Platt -No. JOSHUA
46. Off Platt, relieved yet painfully afraid of the commitment and obligation upon which they have both agreed. CUT TO: EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - DAY Whiteness slowly evaporates to -Compson, the men from the bus, various others from the other side of the gates, and Carl on the makeshift stretcher. All admiring the surreal light of the receding dusk. A rumble, a thousand times more powerful than an electrical storm, grows in volume, but doesn’t stop. As the earth begins to quake -INT. A.R.K. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS -- it ceases the function of the elevator brimming with its frightened payload, INT. OWEN LASSITER’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS -- it tests the reinforced concrete of the ceiling and walls, above Owen and Eulene, EXT. OVERTURNED BUS - CONTINUOUS -- and causes the guys to stumble to their feet. Carl’s looks up from the shaking, seeing what the others don’t want to see. We can’t see it either, but from the rising incandescence of fire reflecting from the sky to Carl’s blood drained face, it’d be pretty fucking hard not to say -Oh God. END OF EPISODE CARL
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