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INT./EXT.

ANGIE’S SUV - DAY

A factory pre-owned Hyundai Tucson idles in front of a


nondescript grey building. Inside, an NPR PROGRAM drones on.

ANGELICA 'ANGIE' LEONE (40s, White) taps her hands on the


steering wheel. A quick layer of foundation settles into the
cracks of her tired eyes.

She pops open the glove compartment where a Glock 19 sits


atop a folded brown envelope.

Angie considers them both. After a beat, she takes the envelope.

INT. JADE GARDEN AMUSEMENT HALL - MAIN FLOOR - DAY

To call The Jade a ‘casino’ would be a compliment. Operating


in the grey fringes of the law, it overflows with CHAIN-
SMOKING DEGENERATES at Craps, Blackjack, and Pai-Gow tables.

Angie winds through the tables, her yoga pants and black New
Balances designed for comfort, not style.

ANGIE
Tony, how are you, sweetie?
(to another)
I see you too, Vince. Lookin’ good.

Angie seems to know everyone and everyone seems to know her.

RICO, playing at a blackjack table, calls to her with a


BOOMING BARITONE.

RICO
Yo Angie, thought you said you
weren't coming around here no more?

ANGIE
Just dropping something off. If my
little girl asks, I wasn't even here.

A cell phone RINGS from Angie’s pocket. A FaceTime call.

ANGIE
Ears must’ve been burning.
(realizes)
Shit.

Angie looks around for a place to answer the call.


2.

INT. BATHROOM - DAY

Angie’s iPhone continues to CHIME. She spots her reflection


in the mirror. Unsatisfied, she ties her frizzy hair into a
quick ponytail.

The screen lights up with the face of VIRGINIA WALKER (14,


Mixed-race). Her brown curls and bright smile are flipped.

ANGIE
My Sweet Virginia! Why are you upside down?

VIRGINIA
Flip me over.

Angie flips the phone backwards. Virginia now faces the wall.

ANGIE
Now I can’t see you at all.

VIRGINIA
(sighs)
Other way, mom.

Angie flips it back, Virginia’s face now upright.

ANGIE
I'm just messing with you, relax.

VIRGINIA
Sure. Are you on your way?

ANGIE
I’m on my way soon. Has your dad
said anything yet?

Virginia GROANS in annoyance.

VIRGINIA
Mooooom.

ANGIE
Alright alright. I’m running a
quick errand then I’ll be there.

VIRGINIA
(suspicious)
What kind of an errand?

ANGIE
If you must know, you caught me in
the restroom.
3.

VIRGINIA
Restroom where, mother?

ANGIE
In the palace of shits and pisses.
Mind your business. I’ll be there
before the guests arrive.

Virginia turns the camera to show a few party guests.

VIRGINIA
Too late.

ANGIE
It's a very different world when a
woman can get scolded by her daughter
through a little computer in her hand.

VIRGINIA
Whatever.

ANGIE
Whatever. Love you.

Virginia ends the call. Angie stares at her own tired eyes in
the reflection of the black screen.

INT. POKER ROOM - DAY

Room manager SAM HUANG (40s, Chinese) flashes a chubby-


cheeked smile as he waves Angie over. His bulging torso tests
the limit of a single button on his pinstripe suit.

SAM
Angie! Just the lady I needed.

ANGIE
Bet you were. I got it, don't
worry.

She holds out an envelope to Sam.

SAM
Nah, we’ll worry about that later.
Your boy’s looking good up there.

He points up at a news program mounted TV.

ON THE SCREEN: With his pressed grey suit and perfectly edged
hair, MICHAEL WALKER (40s, Black) is groomed for success. The
headline below reads: “Manhattan A.D.A. Michael Walker
promises crackdown on gangs, police corruption, opioids.”
4.

SAM
How did a schlub like you get a
shooting star like that for a
husband, huh?

ANGIE
Not sure I’m the best one to ask
since he’s my ex-husband.

SAM
I guess that's true. You're still a
piece to me.
(leans in, hushed)
We need to talk.

ANGIE
I already told you, I have your money.

She holds out the envelope again.

SAM
And I told you we’ll worry about
that later. This is more important.

ANGIE
(sarcastic)
There’s something more important
than paying a debt to Sam Huang?
Did I wake up in some kind of
alternate universe this morning?

SAM
Only because I know you can truly
appreciate its magnificence.

He points at the table in the furthest corner. The light there


is lower, but the chip-stacks are much higher. High value chips
splash onto the felt like the fountains of the Bellagio.

ANGIE
What am I looking at?

SAM
You’re whale-watching, baby girl.
Peep seat three.

Seat 3 holds THE WHALE (50s, Chinese), a tiny man who’d die
if his massive chip stack collapsed on top of him. He taps an
obnoxiously long Super Slim into an ash tray.

SAM
A fish so big you’ll need two nets
to carry all your chips.
5.

ANGIE
Looks like he’s doing pretty well
for a fish.

SAM
Nuh uh. He's down at least five
large. Bought in for twenty.

ANGIE
What happened to two grand max?

SAM
Rest of the players okayed it, so
management okayed it. Best of all,
it’s ripe for the plucking for a
nit like you.

Angie watches the action a moment longer. She shakes it off.

ANGIE
You know I’m off it. Besides, I've
got places to be today.

She holds the envelope out again to Sam. He clasps his hand
around Angie’s. Hard.

SAM
Angie, listen. I hate to bring this up,
but there's a lot of talk right now.

ANGIE
Yeah? Talk about what?

Sam nods to a table where COBB (40s, Black) laughs at a joke he


just told himself. To put it simply, he is a big fucking dude.

Cobb catches Angie’s stare. His expression sours. His massive


biceps flex with detest.

SAM
Last I heard, you still owe Cobb
six and judging by the white-girl-
thin envelope you’re handing me,
you've got another couple thou
still outstanding with yours truly.

ANGIE
Sam, like I said, I’m off it.

Angie tries to let go of the envelope. Sam squeezes tighter.

ANGIE
What the hell are you--
6.

SAM
If you were to owe money to someone
like Cobb and someone like Cobb were
to find out you passed up on that
Golden fucking Goose over there, then
someone like Cobb probably wouldn't
be too happy. And neither would
someone like me. You understand?

ANGIE
I don’t even think you understood
that Dr. Seuss bullshit.

SAM
I'm fucking serious. Don't fuck me
over on this.

ANGIE
You of all people, Sam?

SAM
(shrugs)
Just business, sweetheart. Even if
I do like your skinny ass.

ANGIE
I'm not your sweetheart.

Another tense moment, then she relents.

ANGIE
Fine.

Sam releases his grip on her hand.

ANGIE
But I’m not staying long. If this
guy doesn't start bleeding chips
right away, I'm out.

SAM
(smiles)
That’s all I ask, sista. Let’s get
you some chips.

Sam punches in the passcode for the Cashier’s Office. He counts


out some chips. Slides them under the partition to Angie.

ANGIE
There’s like five grand here. What
are you doing?
7.

SAM
Told you he lifted the buy-in. You
can’t go in there with some limp-
dick stack. He’ll run all over you.

ANGIE
I can’t lose this much.

SAM
Then don’t lose it.

Sam SLAMS down the CLOSED WINDOW partition. Angie stares down
at her new chips.

INT. POKER ROOM - LATER

The game is in full swing around Angie. Her chip stack a bit
smaller than her original buy-in.

The Whale tosses in a bet. Around him, OTHER PLAYERS muck


their cards in frustration.

To Angie's right sits CLYDE (80s), whose wrinkled arm shakes


into Angie as he struggles to check his cards.

ANGIE
You think I could get a little room
here, sir?

Clyde folds and turns up his hearing aid. He leans in toward


Angie.

CLYDE
What did you say?

Angie turns to the player on her left, DAX (20s, White). Dax
tugs down on his baseball cap.

ANGIE
You’d think they’d have rules about
gambling away your Social Security.

DAX
Aren’t you guys like the same age?

ANGIE
Me and him?

Angie looks unsure whether to laugh or break the kid’s nose.

ANGIE
Yeah, good luck, kid.
8.

She peeks down at her cards. A PAIR OF KINGS (K♠K♦). She


lets the cards drop and casually tosses in a raise.

THE WHALE
Someone finally comes out to play.

The Whale stares Angie down through his dark sunglasses.

ANGIE
Looks like it.

The rest of the players fold. The Whale faux-bows to the DEALER.

THE WHALE
We await our fates.

The Dealer knocks on the table, burns a card, then flops


three more onto the felt: 10♠ 3♥ 8♣.

THE WHALE
Two thousand.

Angie glances down at her chips. She pushes them all forward.

ANGIE
I’m all in.

THE WHALE
(nonchalant)
Yeah sure, whatever.

He tosses the chips in to call and flips over A♥8♣.

Angie flips her Cowboys over with a smile. The Whale wags a
finger at the pair of kings.

THE WHALE
Don’t count your chips yet.

The Dealer burns and turns a 2♣. Angie still leads.

THE WHALE
(singsong)
Here he comes.

He points at the table. The Dealer flips the river: an 8♦.


Other players GROAN and MUTTER as the card is shown.

Angie SLAPS the table in anger.

THE WHALE
Ta da!
9.

The Whale pulls in the chips from the pot. He stacks more
towers in front of him.

A pissed-off Angie WHISTLES at Sam. She signals “five” with


her hand. Sam brings them over for her.

THE WHALE
Ooh yummy, more chippies.

The Whale mimes chopsticks in the air toward Angie’s stack.

ANGIE
Why don't we just shut up and play?

THE WHALE
Whatever you want.

CLYDE
(half-asleep)
Deal me... out...

The Dealer hesitates. They look at The Whale. Unsure. Then


deal the next card over to Angie.

The Whale looks down at his newly dealt pocket cards. He


dances a little as he tosses the chips in the pot.

DEALER
Six hundred.

The action comes back around to the visibly frustrated Angie.


She throws in a call with K♥Q♥.

Dax calls as well. The rest of the players fold.

THE WHALE
Look, They want to play with daddy!

He picks a piece of food from the bowl next to him and holds
it down toward the ground. An over-groomed PEKINGESE chomps
the food from his hand.

The Dealer flops the next three cards: J♥ 2♠ 5♥. A flush draw
for Angie. The Whale bets a thousand.

Angie studies him. She throws in a call. Dax also makes the
call. Angie watches only The Whale. The Dealer flips the
turn, an 8♣. No good for Angie.

THE WHALE
Daddy hits everything.
10.

He splashes $1,500 into the pot. The flying chips cause the
other players to clamor.

DEALER
(calms them)
Bet is fifteen hundred.

Angie tosses in the call. Dax calls behind her. The Dealer
flips the river: 9♥. Angie hits her flush.

THE WHALE
(points)
I bet whatever they have.

Angie barely thinks. She pushes the remainder of her chips in


the middle. Dax follows immediately behind.

THE WHALE
Three boys, just like I like it.

He flips over two black Jacks (J♣J♠) for a set. Angie GUFFAWS
and flips her own cards over to reveal her flush.

ANGIE
Don't have me this time.

The Whale flushes with anger and narrows his eyes at the
Dealer. Angie shrugs & reaches for the chips.

DAX
(hesitant)
Uhh, I was in the hand too.

Dax flips over A♥10♥. A higher flush, the only hand better.
Angie is stunned. She stands from the table, fazed. Dax
scoops up his bounty.

THE WHALE
I guess we’re all going to take
your money tonight, pig.

ANGIE
What did you just say?

THE WHALE
You heard me. Oink oink.

ANGIE
Who the fuck do you think you are?

THE WHALE
I’m your biggest fan.
11.

The Whale gestures at the lack of chips in front of Angie.

THE WHALE
Too bad you have to go now.

ANGIE
Deal me out, I’ll be back.

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

Angie grabs the sink for support. She stares at her pallid,
sweat-glazed face in the mirror. Eyes bulged, face flushed.

She pulls out her phone. Six missed calls from Virginia.

ANGIE
(sotto)
You’ll make it up to her. Just get
it back.

She checks the balance on her bank app: $419.52.

ANGIE
Shit!

Angie shakes the trembles from her hand. She throws a rage-
filled PUNCH and SMASHES the paper towel dispenser.

ANGIE
Fuck!

Angie gulps air. She flexes her pained hand. Tries to calm
then RIPS OFF the dispenser completely. Total rage.

INT. WALKER HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Unicorn theme decorations bedeck the upscale brownstone.


Birthday girl Virginia snoozes at the table. Cake left uncut.

Her dad Michael pulls down streamers and other colorful


adornments. He looks over at Virginia, both hurt.

He pulls out his phone and sends a text.

INT. POKER ROOM - SAME

Angie’s stack has grown. She plays fast with less players here.
The Whale’s spot is one of the empty seats.