"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

HOMICIDE
LIFE ON THE STREET

Episode Ten: "Every Mother's Son"

Teleplay by Eugene Lee

Story by Tom Fontana & James Yoshimura

FINAL DRAFT

Prod. #310 September 29, 1994

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Barry Levinson Tom Fontana

CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Henry Bromell

SUPERVISING PRODUCER
Jim Finnerty

PRODUCER
Gail Mutrux

DIRECTOR
Ken Fink

Please note Episode #310, "Every Mother's Son," takes place
in the Winter. All wardrobe, props, etc., should reflect the
weather conditions of the Winter season in Baltimore.

Also note that due to possible changes in the network
schedule, any of the following episodes, #309 through #313,
could air prior to Episode #308 (the Christmas episode).

Excluding the Teaser, this episode begins in the day,
continues through to the following day and ends that evening.

CAST

BEAU FELTON.........................Daniel Baldwin
JOHN MUNCH..........................Richard Belzer
FRANK PEMBLETON.....................Andre Braugher
MEGAN RUSSERT.......................Isabella Hofmann
MELDRICK LEWIS......................Clark Johnson
AL GIARDELLO........................Yaphet Kotto
KAY HOWARD..........................Melissa Leo
TIM BAYLISS.........................Kyle Secor
STANLEY BOLANDER....................Ned Beatty

DAVID SAYERS........................
PATRICE SAYERS......................Rhonda Stubbins White
RONNY SAYERS........................
JASON NAWLS.........................
MARY NAWLS..........................GAY THOMAS

THERESA COUSART.....................

ALYSSA DYER.........................Harlee McBride
STATE'S ATTORNEY MAGGIE CARTER......Helen Carey

LARRY RUNYON........................
PENELOPE SMITH-HADDON...............

JUDGE...............................

SHERIFF.............................
WOMAN #1............................
WOMAN #2............................
WOMAN #3............................
YOUNG GIRL #1.......................
YOUNG GIRL #2.......................
YOUNG MALE..........................

SETS

EXTERIORS INTERIORS

Braznell's Caribbean Braznell's Caribbean
Kitchen Kitchen
Cavalier
The Daily Grind
East Baltimore Homicide Unit
Nawls Home "The Aquarium"
"The Box"
Giardello's Office
Memorial Stadium Squad Room
Mitchell Courthouse Medical Examiner's Lab
Patterson Park Lanes Mitchell Courthouse
Entrance Way Patterson Park Lanes
Warehouse Police Headquarters
The Waterfront Restaurant Hallway
West Baltimore Lobby
Sayers Home Processing Room
Sayers Home
Hallway
Kitchen
Living Room
The Waterfront Restaurant



TEASER

FADE IN:

EXT. MEMORIAL STADIUM - NIGHT

Packed stands. Pre-game. The BAND is PLAYING. CHEERLEADERS
bounce from one end of the field to the other. The Baltimore
Canadian Football League TEAM stands along one sideline. The
Las Vegas POSSE of the CFL stands on the sideline across the
field. A couple of huge Baltimore LINEMEN look down the
sidelines, shaking their heads at KAY HOWARD, BEAU FELTON,
STANLEY BOLANDER, JOHN MUNCH, MELDRICK LEWIS, FRANK PEMBLETON,
TIM BAYLISS and AL GIARDELLO. A DOZEN UNIFORMS stand nearby
as well.

HOWARD
Gee, what the hell are we doing here?
We're Murder Police for crying out
loud. This is ridiculous.

GIARDELLO
Detective Howard, this is the City's
way of recognizing the hard working
men and women of the Baltimore City
Police Department. It's an honor
really.

LEWIS
It's a joke. A photo-op and a joke.

GIARDELLO
It's a chance for the taxpayers to
see their law enforcement personnel
face-to-face.

PEMBLETON
Face-to-face? With what? An eight
million power telescope? Those folks
in the nose-bleeds can't tell me
from Adam.

GIARDELLO
All right. Enough. We were ordered
here. Now go with the flow.

MUNCH walks behind the PLAYERS, tapping them on the shoulders
and handing out business cards.

MUNCH
Hey, fellas. I just wanted to invite
you and your friends to a great new
bar. The Waterfront. We don't short
pour and our wings are hotter than
the cheerleaders. Come on down.

FELTON stands next to a huge LINEMAN, smiling.

FELTON
Hi. How are you?

The LINEMAN ignores FELTON.

FELTON
You know I played a little high school
ball. Linebacker.

The LINEMAN gives FELTON a disdainful look, walks away.
BOLANDER sits on the end of the bench, elbows on knees, face
in his hands, thick with sad memories. He doesn't even look
up as BAYLISS sits down next to him with a water bottle.
BAYLISS squirts some water in his mouth, splattering the
front of his suit.

BOLANDER
Look at that grass.

BAYLISS
What? The grass?

BOLANDER
This soil is soaked with the sweat
and blood of... Johnny Unitas...
Alan Ameche... Tom Matte. Gino
Marchetti used to flatten Elroy "Crazy
Legs" Hirsch right there on the forty-
yard line.

BAYLISS
Stan, these guys play for us just
like all your old Baltimore Colt
heroes. Same city, same stadium,
same game.

BOLANDER
(looks at BAYLISS for
a moment)
So young... So ignorant.

BOLANDER reaches down and pulls a few blades of grass from
the hallowed field and puts them in his pocket. Suddenly,
the PA Announcer's VOICE BOOMS through the Stadium.

PA ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
Ladies and gentlemen, in the Baltimore
CFL's continuing tribute to the
special people who serve our city so
well... We are tonight honoring those
who keep Charm City safe. Would you
please stand and give a big hand to
the representatives of the men and
women of the Baltimore City Police
Department.

GIARDELLO leads his PEOPLE in a home run trot through a
channel of CHEERLEADERS. BAYLISS runs, smiling at EACH YOUNG
LADY. The OTHERS follow behind, waving at the CROWD. Then
there's BOLANDER, who trots out last in line, his hands in
pockets, unable to forget his beloved Colts. As the CROWD
roars its approval,

FADE TO:

MAIN TITLES

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

INT. PATTERSON PARK LANES - DAY

TINKLING SOUNDS. Maybe wind chimes. CU on a blue sphere.

PULL BACK to REVEAL a bowling ball. PAN ACROSS to outstretched
fingers, a wrist, an arm, a shoulder, onto the angelic FACE
of a young thirteen year old Black male. His eyes open,
surprised. An angry red pool of blood halos his head. ME
ETCHES are pulling a body bag around the TORSO of the thirteen
year old, watched by ALYSSA DYER, Assistant Medical Examiner.
PATRONS, stunned, in shock, herded behind yellow crime scene
tape. The TINKLING SOUNDS comes from automatic pin setting
machines. PEMBLETON bends down to count shell casings. BAYLISS
examines BODY.

PEMBLETON
Three shell casings. Twenty-two
caliber.

BAYLISS
Powder burns. Close contact wound.
Half-circle muzzle imprint. Someone
jammed the barrel right up against
this kid's head.

PEMBLETON
(beat, sighs)
Serious intentions.

DYER hands BAYLISS a wallet.

DYER
We found this on the boy.

BAYLISS opens it, pulls out YMCA card, reads.

BAYLISS
Darryl Nawls.

On PEMBLETON, gazing down at the dead BOY,

CUT TO:

EXT. ENTRANCE WAY/PATTERSON PARK LANES - DAY

SERIES OF SHOTS: PEMBLETON and BAYLISS interviewing WITNESSES.
PEMBLETON with YOUNG GIRL #1.

PEMBLETON
He came out nowhere?

YOUNG GIRL #1
Uh-huh.

PEMBLETON
What's "nowhere?"

YOUNG GIRL #1
He just walked in.

CUT TO:

BAYLISS with YOUNG MALE.

BAYLISS
You saw the shooter walk in?

YOUNG MALE
Just by himself. And he pulls out
this bad ass piece from his waist.

YOUNG MALE demonstrates pulling a gun from beneath his jacket
at his waistband.

BAYLISS
He say anything to this Darryl kid?

YOUNG MALE
Nope. Just strolls up, pulls his
piece out and Zip-Zip-Zip right into
the kid's head. Right in his ear.
Like an assassination or something,
y'know. He was cold.

CUT TO:

PEMBLETON and BAYLISS with YOUNG GIRL #2, who is teary-eyed.

PEMBLETON
He was cold, huh?
(beat)
But this dead kid, Darryl, didn't
have any enemies? You don't know
anyone who was out to get him?

YOUNG GIRL #2
We come here every Friday after school
'cause Darryl was teaching me how to
bowl.

PEMBLETON
Darryl didn't run with any gang?

YOUNG GIRL #2
Darryl ain't down with that stuff.
He likes being himself, y'know. In
the library with his stories. He
liked to write stories.

PEMBLETON
He wrote stories?

YOUNG GIRL #2
'Bout how he's gonna get himself out
of East Baltimore.

BAYLISS
You never saw the kid who shot him
before?

YOUNG GIRL #2
Oh, yeah, I seen him before. Name's
Ronny Sayers.

On PEMBLETON and BAYLISS, exchanging glances, as PEMBLETON
writes down the name,

CUT TO:

EXT. - THE DAILY GRIND - DAY

MUNCH and LEWIS exit, each carrying a cup of coffee. They
head toward The Waterfront. LEWIS has a folder of papers
tucked under his armpit. MUNCH furiously stirs his coffee.

LEWIS
You musta dumped half a pound of
sugar into that cup. I thought you
hated sugar.

MUNCH
I need a glucose boost.

LEWIS
You're gonna end up with the sugar
blues, John.

MUNCH
I'm gonna end up with a coronary if
we don't get some decent beverage
servers for our bar hired today.

MUNCH pauses, drains half his cup of coffee, grimaces at the
sweetness. He and LEWIS continue walking.

MUNCH
It's a watershed moment, Meldrick.
We're taking on enormous
responsibilities. We are on the
threshold of becoming what I never
imagined in my wildest dreams. We
are about to become bosses.

LEWIS
We're hiring a couple of waitresses,
John. What are you getting all wired
out about?

They arrive at the entrance of The Waterfront.

INT. THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - DAY

MUNCH and LEWIS walk in. A half-dozen WOMEN of various ages
await them, sitting at tables just inside the door.

MUNCH
Good morning one and all.

The WOMEN remain expressionless, eyeing MUNCH and LEWIS.
MUNCH and LEWIS walk down to the end of the bar.

MUNCH
Remember. Who we hire directly
reflects who we are. We proceed with
all due care and consideration.

LEWIS
Right.

LEWIS opens a folder, takes out copies of an employment
application, walks over and hands them out to the WOMEN.

LEWIS
If you would be so kind as to fill
out this paper. It concerns your
previous employment history.

WOMAN #1, a willowy, long haired brunette with translucent
skin, her eyes deep with pools of poetry, turns to LEWIS.

WOMAN #1
You got a pen?

LEWIS
Sure sure.

LEWIS reaches into his pockets, searches for a pen. No pen.
He looks back to MUNCH, motions for a pen. MUNCH searches
through his pockets. No pen.

LEWIS
Anyone here have a spare pen or
pencil?

WOMAN #2, mid-twenties, raises her hand.

WOMAN #2
I need something to write with, too.

LEWIS
Anyone else?

The other remaining WOMEN all raise their hands. On MUNCH
and LEWIS, as the business grinds to a halt,

CUT TO:

EXT. NAWLS HOME/EAST BALTIMORE - DAY

BAYLISS and PEMBLETON approach a tiny rowhouse, BAYLISS
holding the dead boy's wallet. FOUR LITTLE GIRLS, ranging in
age from seven to ten, skip double-dutch on the sidewalk.
BAYLISS RINGS the doorbell. The GIRLS stop and stare at
BAYLISS. BAYLISS RINGS doorbell again, turns to take in the
stares from the GIRLS.

BAYLISS
Howdy.

GIRLS stand mute, staring holes into BAYLISS. PEMBLETON stands
tiptoe and looks into front window of rowhouse.

HIS POV: A small, battered color TV showing cartoons.

PEMBLETON
Somebody's home.

PEMBLETON RAPS lightly on the window.

HIS POV: JASON NAWLS, small ten year old boy, leans into
view, stares at PEMBLETON for a beat, leans out quickly.

BAYLISS
Someone there?

PEMBLETON
A little kid.

The door opens. JASON stands in the threshold.

PEMBLETON
Hi.

The little BOY stands mute, staring hard, puzzled at BAYLISS.

BAYLISS
Is anyone else home?

JASON
No.

PEMBLETON
Your Mom or Dad here?

JASON
No.

BAYLISS
Do you know where they are?

No response.

PEMBLETON
Where can we find your Mom? We need
to talk to her about Darryl.

JASON
She's at work.

BAYLISS
How about your Dad?

No response.

PEMBLETON
What's your name?

JASON
Jason.

PEMBLETON
Mine's Frank. This is my partner
Tim.

BAYLISS
Hi, Jason.

JASON stares at BAYLISS.

PEMBLETON
How can I talk to your Mom or Dad?

JASON
There ain't no Dad here.

On PEMBLETON and BAYLISS, gazing at JASON,

CUT TO:

INT. THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - DAY

MUNCH and LEWIS sit at table in the dining area. WOMAN #2
walks up to MUNCH and LEWIS, holding her employment
application. She hands it to LEWIS. He scans the form.

LEWIS
Thank you.

MUNCH
Please. Have a seat.

WOMAN #2 sits, nervously shifts around in her seat. LEWIS
reads application.

LEWIS
You've had a lot of jobs.

WOMAN #2
Uh-huh.

LEWIS
You've worked Duda's, John Steven's,
Fletcher's...

WOMAN #2
Just about every restaurant and bar
in Baltimore.

MUNCH
(reading over LEWIS'
shoulder)
Is there any reason you've never
worked any job longer than three
weeks?

CUT TO:

WOMAN #3, grandmotherly-type, beehive hairdo.

WOMAN #3
One rule I don't abide by is: The
customer is always right. The customer
is never right.

MUNCH and LEWIS arch their eyebrows.

CUT TO:

WOMAN #1 has a canvas tote bag slung over her shoulder.

WOMAN #1
I'm really not a waitress.

MUNCH
Oh?

WOMAN #1 rustles through her tote bag, extracts a thick
binder, hands it to MUNCH.

WOMAN #1
I write. One-acts.

MUNCH
Hunh, one-act plays.

WOMAN #1
Read them and we'll talk about them,
okay?

LEWIS
You're a writer and you had to ask
for a pen?

WOMAN #1
My life is total irony.

MUNCH
And all in one act, huh?

CUT TO:

WOMAN #3 sits in front of LEWIS and MUNCH.

WOMAN #3
At my tables, it's a two-drink limit.
I tell 'em, you want more, there's
the door. I do not tolerate boozers,
especially those vodka drinkers.
First drink, they're so tall.
(holds hands over
head)
Second drink, they think they're
some kind of John Wayne giants. When
I hear, "Howdy, Pilgrim," I know
it's time to haul out the baseball
bat.

As MUNCH and LEWIS stare at WOMAN #3,

CUT TO:

EXT. BRAZNELLIS CARIBBEAN KITCHEN - DAY

PEMBLETON and BAYLISS exit the Cavalier. BAYLISS opens the
rear door. JASON tumbles out of the rear seat, goes running
for the entrance.

INT. BRAZNELLIS CARIBBEAN KITCHEN - DAY

A small, twenty-seat storefront establishment. Bob Marley
Posters on the wall. A tall, thin Black woman, MARY NAWLS,
late thirties, wipes down a table. She looks up at the SOUND
of the door opening, sees JASON here. She spies PEMBLETON
and BAYLISS following on JASON's footsteps.

JASON
Momma. These two guys are detectives.

NAWLS
(to PEMBLETON)
Yes?

PEMBLETON
You're Mrs. Nawls, Darryl's mother?

NAWLS
I'm his mother.

NAWLS looks to PEMBLETON and BAYLISS, reading their faces.

BAYLISS glances away.

NAWLS
Where's Darryl? Is he in trouble?
(beat, terrified)
Is he okay?

JASON comes around to NAWLS' hip.

NAWLS
Has he been in an accident or
something?

PEMBLETON
Mrs. Nawls, I'm a Homicide Detective.

NAWLS
Homicide? What, homicide?

NAWLS folds in at her waist as if her breath has been punched
out of her On NAWLS as WE HEAR Muddy Waters PLAYING "Who Do
You Trust",

CUT TO:

INT. MEDICAL EXAMINER'S LAB - DAY

SONG CONTINUES. ATTENDANTS move about, preparing for the
autopsy on Darryl Nawls. His BODY lies on a steel table,
covered by a sheet. PEMBLETON raises the sheet to REVEAL
Darryl's FACE. NAWLS forces herself to look at Darryl's FACE.
NAWLS gently touches Darryl's eyes, turns and exits the room.

PEMBLETON's POV: NAWLS walking out into the corridor, being
met by JASON. JASON looks into the Examining Room. NAWLS
shields his face from seeing Darryl's BODY.

ON PEMBLETON, SADDENED,

CUT TO:

EXT. SAYERS HOME/WEST BALTIMORE - MAGIC HOUR

SONG CONTINUES. PEMBLETON, BAYLISS and UNIFORMS in Kevlar
vests, shotguns, sidearms drawn move quickly around the front
and back of a rowhouse. Other UNIFORMS move to cordon off
the area, redirect traffic, move PEDESTRIANS out of the way.
NEIGHBORS stick their heads out of their windows to see what's
going on. PEMBLETON crouches into a shooting position, KNOCKS
on the door.

PEMBLETON's POV: A PRESENCE throws a shadow across the window
of the front door. A pair of eyes peek out of the front door's
window. The door opens slowly.

PEMBLETON leads the charge into the rowhouse. BAYLISS and
UNIFORMS follow.

INT. LIVING ROOM/SAYERS HOME - NIGHT

SONG CONTINUES. A middle-aged woman, PATRICE SAYERS, is
knocked backwards as PEMBLETON charges in, BAYLISS behind
him. she SCREAMS. A UNIFORM pulls her out of the way. BAYLISS
charges upstairs. UNIFORMS with shotguns burst into the
bathroom.

INT. HALLWAY/SAYERS HOME - NIGHT

SONG FADES. Harshly lit, full of shadows. BAYLISS comes up
the stairs. A SHADOW moves. BAYLISS instinctively jumps away,
raising his drawn gun to aim at the SHADOW. A seven year old
boy, DAVID SAYERS, appears.

BAYLISS
What are you doing?

DAVID
I have to get something.

Unconcerned, DAVID walks past BAYLISS.

BAYLISS
Where are you going?

DAVID
To get my spelling.

DAVID walks into the back bedroom. BAYLISS glances in, sees
DAVID reach under a pile of papers on a nightstand and grab
a schoolbook.

BAYLISS
You do good in spelling?

DAVID
Yes.
(re: BAYLISS' drawn
gun)
I wasn't going to hurt you.

BAYLISS
I know that.

DAVID comes out of the bedroom, pauses as he passes BAYLISS.

DAVID
No, you didn't.

On BAYLISS, holstering his gun,

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN/SAYERS HOME - NIGHT

PEMBLETON and BAYLISS with SAYERS. DAVID sits at kitchen
table, doing his spelling homework.

PEMBLETON
Where's your son Ronny now?

SAYERS
He's with his friends.

BAYLISS
Where's his friends?

SAYERS
(to PEMBLETON)
What did he do?

PEMBLETON
We want to talk to him about a
shooting this afternoon.

SAYERS
A shooting? My Ronny?

BAYLISS
Where is he?

SAYERS
(to PEMBLETON)
Is he okay?

PEMBLETON
We need to find him.

SAYERS
He's okay, though?

BAYLISS
He may be involved in the shooting
of a thirteen year old boy this
morning.

PEMBLETON
He was identified by several witnesses
at the bowling alley where the murder
took place. Where is he?

SAYERS
He said he was going over to his
friend Henry's house after school
and then they were going to play
some basketball. How can my Ronny be
involved in any of this? He's only
fourteen years old.

BAYLISS
He's how old?

SAYERS
(to PEMBLETON)
Fourteen.

PEMBLETON
When did you see him last?

SAYERS
This morning, here at the breakfast
table. He had a bowl of cereal. Raisin
Bran. He always has a bowl of Raisin
Bran. Every morning.

PEMBLETON
Where does this friend Henry live?

SAYERS
(pausing)
I'm not sure.

PEMBLETON
How can you not-be sure?

SAYERS
Over on Eutaw Street? I think it's
on Eutaw Street.

BAYLISS
What's Henry's last name?

SAYERS
Crayton? Clawson?

On PEMBLETON, frustrated, lighting a cigarette,

CUT TO:

INT. CAVALIER - NIGHT

PEMBLETON drives, intent. BAYLISS rides shotgun.

BAYLISS
I had my gun pointed at that little
boy back there. But for the grace of
God...
(pause)
Could you slow down, Frank?

PEMBLETON
You don't like my driving?

BAYLISS
This isn't driving. This is hurtling.
You're reckless. A threat to society.

PEMBLETON
Hey, you've got something against
how I drive, you can take your turn
at the wheel. And then I'll do the
play-by-play critique and ride the
rules of the road all over your ass.

PEMBLETON slows down, exhales.

BAYLISS
All we gotta do is find this Henry
kid and then we find our shooter.

PEMBLETON stares straight ahead as he drives.

BAYLISS
Fourteen years old... When I was
fourteen, jeez, I was in the ninth
grade, and I don't remember much of
what I was doing, but I know I was
never thinking anything close to
picking up a gun and shooting another
kid.

PEMBLETON
How old should our shooter be?

BAYLISS
Not fourteen.

PEMBLETON
So if he's what, fifteen, -sixteen
years old, it makes any more sense?

BAYLISS
No.

PEMBLETON
How old should he be then? What's
the cut off age? Seventeen? Eighteen?

BAYLISS
I don't know.

PEMBLETON
When you find out, clue me in,
awright? I'd like to know when any
of this killing, at any age, from
six to sixty, makes any sense. I
love that line the papers and TV
news always run about "senseless"
violence. one time I want to hear
about a murder that makes sense.
Just one time. For any reason.

BAYLISS
I was so lucky tonight, Frank.

On PEMBLETON, looking at BAYLISS, nodding,

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

FADE IN:

EXT. WAREHOUSE - MORNING

An abandoned warehouse area next to the Proctor and Gamble
Company. A dozen HOMELESS are clustered around a garbage can
burning wood scraps. RONNY SAYERS, a small, skinny Black
kid, dressed in a Starter's Jacket, rests fitfully against a
wall, out of the wind. A hand reaches down to rouse RONNY.
PULL BACK to REVEAL PEMBLETON hovering over him. BAYLISS
stands to the side, a couple of UNIFORMS in the background,
HENRY, another young Black teenager dressed in a winter parka,
in their grasp.

RONNY
What do you want?

PEMBLETON
Ronny, we're police.

RONNY sees BAYLISS blocking him in. RONNY scrambles to his
feet, sees other UNIFORMS coming from all sides, encircling
him. He then sees HENRY.

RONNY
Henry?

HENRY shakes his head, looks to the ground.

RONNY
Henry, you gave me up?

PEMBLETON
C'mon, Ronny, let's go.

RONNY
Go where? I'm not going anywhere.

RONNY pulls out a twenty-two caliber semi-automatic handgun
from beneath his jacket. PEMBLETON and BAYLISS back away,
reaching for their guns.

RONNY
What'd'ya gonna do, shoot me? Go
'head, shoot me.

BAYLISS
Easy, Ronny. No one's shooting anyone
here.

RONNY waving the gun around, yells at HENRY.

RONNY
How come you did this to me, man?
You're my friend.

PEMBLETON
(his gun raised halfway)
Ronny, you have to put the gun down.

RONNY
No.

BAYLISS
Please.

RONNY
What, you think I'm gonna shoot you?
Okay, back up then.

PEMBLETON
No one's backing up.

RONNY begins to wave his gun around at the UNIFORMS.

RONNY
What'd'ya want, huh?

HOMELESS STRAGGLERS rouse themselves from their places watch
transfixed for a moment, then move away as the UNIFORMS take
cover.

PEMBLETON
No one needs to get hurt here, son.

RONNY
Is that right?

RONNY puts the gun to his own head.

RONNY
I ain't going with you.

PEMBLETON
Whoa, whoa, easy.

RONNY
I can't go. You can't take me.

PEMBLETON
Put the gun down.

RONNY
Why? Cause I'm gonna hurt myself?
What'd'ya care?
(to HENRY)
Henry, you turned me out, man. You
ain't my friend.

PEMBLETON
(to RONNY)
Tell us about Darryl.

RONNY
Who's Darryl?

PEMBLETON
You know.

RONNY
I don't know any Darryl.

BAYLISS
That's the kid who got hurt in the
bowling alley.

RONNY
(pausing)
His name is Basil.

PEMBLETON
Who?

RONNY
Basil. Some punk who said he was
going to get me.

PEMBLETON
The kid who got hurt, his name is
Darryl.

RONNY
I know who got hurt. Basil.

BAYLISS
(pausing)
His name wasn't Basil.

RONNY
It wasn't?

RONNY slowly lowers his gun, confused. PEMBLETON and BAYLISS
rush in and grab the gun from RONNY and wrestle him to the
ground. On RONNY, offering no resistance,

INT. THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - DAY

LEWIS and MUNCH follow Interior Designer LARRY RUNYON,
thirties, who looks around bar, makes notes in notebook.

MUNCH
We don't want to go crazy with the
renovations.

LEWIS
The place just needs some sprucing
up... Right?

RUNYON shakes his head, not impressed, as he walks around,
making notations in notebook.

MUNCH
Talk to us, Larry.

RUNYON
Well, I love the glazed headers.

LEWIS
Excuse me?

RUNYON
(indicates back wall)
The original brick work. They used
glazed headers. It's fabulous.

MUNCH
Okay. Sure. Fabulous. What else?

LEWIS
You wanna know what I don't like?

MUNCH
Not really.

LEWIS
All this wood paneling. Makes the
place so dark.

MUNCH
It's a bar. It's supposed to be dark.

LEWIS
It's a little depressing.

MUNCH
Didn't you just say "a little sprucing
up"?

LEWIS
(re: RUNYON)
John, we have a professional present
among us.

RUNYON
(looks at walls)
We could always paint the paneling.
A nice eggshell semi-gloss. Elegant,
yet warm... I'm gonna check out the
facilities.

RUNYON exits into bathroom as MUNCH calls after him.

MUNCH
If you start talking about brass
fixtures and hanging ferns, you're
fired.

LEWIS
(to MUNCH)
We class up the joint, we broaden
our customer base.

MUNCH
This is supposed to be a cop bar.
Not some kind of cyber-singles
hangout.

LEWIS
What're you saying, cops wouldn't
appreciate a little class?

RUNYON emerges.

RUNYON
We definitely gotta do something
about the bathroom. It's like from
the Civil War or something. I think
we should rip everything out and
start from scratch.

The front door opens and PENELOPE SMITH-HADDON, genteel
Baltimore County woman, fifties, enters.

SMITH-HADDON
Excuse me? I'm looking for the new
owners.

MUNCH
You found two of them.

SMITH-HADDON
I'm from the Baltimore Landmark
Preservation Society... This building
is a historical landmark. I'm here
to protect the integrity of the site.

LEWIS
What does that mean? The integrity
of the site?

SMITH-HADDON
That means if you were planning on
making any renovations, you should
stop. Immediately.

ON MUNCH AND LEWIS, CONFUSED,

CUT TO:

INT. SQUAD ROOM/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

CU on "The Board". "N-A-W-L-S" in RED under Pembleton's name.
PAN to PEMBLETON and BAYLISS leading RONNY into the Squad
Room. RONNY is wide-eyed with anxiety. BAYLISS intercepts
GIARDELLO as PEMBLETON continues into "The Box" with RONNY.

BAYLISS
We've got the shooter, Gee.

GIARDELLO looks into "The Box", studying RONNY.

GIARDELLO
My God, how old is he?

BAYLISS
He's supposed to be fourteen, but
jeez, he looks so small.

GIARDELLO
Notify Juvenile. If this kid is the
shooter, we have to step carefully.

BAYLISS
Right.

BAYLISS grabs phone. GIARDELLO steps closer to "The Box".

INT. "THE BOX"/HOMICIDE UNIT DAY

GIARDELLO leans in.

GIARDELLO
Frank.

PEMBLETON
This is Ronny Sayers.

GIARDELLO
Hey, Ronny.

RONNY
This room smells funny.

GIARDELLO turns to PEMBLETON.

GIARDELLO
I told Tim. By the numbers on this
one.

GIARDELLO exits.

PEMBLETON
You want anything, Ronny?

RONNY glares at PEMBLETON.

INT. SQUAD ROOM/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

BAYLISS hangs up phone. GIARDELLO comes up to him.

BAYLISS
The State's Attorney office is sending
over Maggie Carter. He said held
call Juvenile for us.

SAYERS enters.

SAYERS
Someone called and said you have my
son? Where is he?

BAYLISS
Ma'am, we've placed him in custody.

SAYERS
(to GIARDELLO)
I want my son.

GIARDELLO looks over at "The Box", SAYERS heads for it.

INT. "THE BOX"/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

SAYERS rushes in, BAYLISS and GIARDELLO behind her. RONNY
and PEMBLETON look to door.

SAYERS
Ronny?

BAYLISS reaches to restrain SAYERS from entering any further.
SAYERS pushes his hand away.

SAYERS
Ronny.

RONNY
Mom?

RONNY catches himself, resumes tough-guy attitude.

RONNY
You don't have to be here.

SAYERS
Where have you been?

RONNY looks away.

SAYERS
Where have you been, dammit?

RONNY
Nowhere.

SAYERS
I've been worried sick.

RONNY
You can stop worrying, awright?

SAYERS
Your little brother's home with a
fever. He didn't sleep all night.

RONNY
You should be at home with David
then. I'm okay.

SAYERS
Come here, baby.

SAYERS puts her arms around RONNY, who squirms to get out of
her grasp. He motions to PEMBLETON.

RONNY
Does she have to be here?

SAYERS
I'm your mother, Ronny.

RONNY bolts out of the chair, away from SAYERS.

RONNY
You can't help me. I don't want you
in here, awright? I shot that kid.

SAYERS
You didn't do any such thing.

RONNY
(to PEMBLETON)
I shot the wrong kid too, didn't I?

SAYERS
He couldn't have shot anyone. This
is my son here.
(to RONNY)
You didn't do anything. Tell them.

PEMBLETON
Ronny, you've made an admission and
I have to read you your rights.

SAYERS
What's wrong with you? Tell them you
didn't shoot anyone.

RONNY
(to BAYLISS)
Do I have the right not to have her
in here?

SAYERS
He doesn't mean it. He doesn't know
what he's saying.

RONNY
(to GIARDELLO)
Do I?

GIARDELLO
You have that right.

RONNY
Then I want her outta here.

SAYERS, crushed, lets herself be lead away by BAYLISS and
GIARDELLO. PEMBLETON turns to RONNY.

PEMBLETON
Good move.

RONNY
Hey, it's my right, okay?

PEMBLETON
I'd've done the same thing.

RONNY swings his feet up onto the table.

PEMBLETON
Comfy?

RONNY
I'm tired.

PEMBLETON
God knows.

RONNY shrugs, smiles.

PEMBLETON
You must be some kind of ballbuster
to sneak up behind someone and shoot
him.

RONNY
When do I get to go home?

PEMBLETON
Two shots right in the back of his
left ear.

RONNY
I didn't sneak up on him. I walked
right up to him.

PEMBLETON
You shot him in the back of the head.

RONNY
If I had gotten who I meant to, I
can see you coming down on me, but I
shot the wrong kid.

PEMBLETON
You just made a mistake, huh?

RONNY
Hey, if you're driving a car and you
hit someone you don't mean to, it's
an accident.

PEMBLETON
(pausing)
Ronny, you shot an innocent kid.

RONNY
Car accidents kill innocent people
all the time, don't they? How's this
any different then?

PEMBLETON
Get your damn feet off my table.

As RONNY swings his feet from the table and lays his head
down on it,

CUT TO:

EXT. THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - DAY

MUNCH and LEWIS stand with SMITH-HADDON, looking at
architecture of building.

MUNCH
Let me get this straight. We own
this bar. But we're not allowed to
renovate.

SMITH-HADDON
Renovate, yes. Preserve, yes. What
you cannot do is anything that would
destroy the historical value.

LEWIS
It's old. You want to keep it old.

SMITH-HADDON
Your restaurant is a piece of
Baltimore history, Mr. Munch. It's
assumed to be the second brick
structure built in the City. It's
over two-hundred years old.

LEWIS
If these bricks could talk, huh?

SMITH-HADDON
Surely you can understand our desire
to protect that history, especially
in connection to George Washington.

MUNCH
George Washington?

SMITH-HADDON
George Washington... In 1793, he was
traveling from Mount Vernon to
Philadelphia. He stopped here.

MUNCH
He stopped here?

SMITH-HADDON
Of course, it was a residence at the
time...

LEWIS
George Washington slept here?

SMITH-HADDON
Well, no...

MUNCH
He had dinner?

SMITH-HADDON
No.

LEWIS
So what did he do here?

SMITH-HADDON
Apparently the President, just coming
from a dinner party where he had
consumed quite a bit of wine, was in
something of a bind. He had no time
to seek out a public chamber pot.

MUNCH
Are you telling us the reason we
can't tear down the bathroom is that
it's where George Washington once
took a whizz?

SMITH-HADDON, embarrassed, can only nod.

LEWIS
I guess when you gotta go, you gotta
go... Even if you're the Father of
our Country.

On MUNCH and LEWIS, looking at The Waterfront with new
respect,

CUT TO:

INT. "THE AQUARIUM"/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

NAWLS is led into "The Aquarium" by BOLANDER. She has JASON
in tow. JASON is carrying a comic book.

BOLANDER
I'll find Detective Pembleton for
you.

JASON
I'm thirsty, Momma.

NAWLS
Wait until I talk to the detective,
Jason.

BOLANDER
I can get him something. What do you
want, Jason?

JASON turns away, shy.

BOLANDER
C'mon, I'll show you where the soda
machine is and you can help me find
the detective for your mom. You can
pick whatever soda you want. How
about a Coke?

JASON
Yeah.

NAWLS
I don't like the caffeine in it for
him.

BOLANDER
We have root beer and, I think,
strawberry soda.
(points toward Coffee
Room)
The soda machine is right over there.
Your mom will watch you the whole
way over. I like root beer. It's
been my favorite since I was your
age...

JASON looks up into his MOTHER's face. NAWLS reaches into
her purse.

BOLANDER
No, no. It's on the house.
(to JASON)
I know how to get all my sodas for
free. I got a secret way.

BOLANDER waves his hands "Houdini" style. JASON smiles, hands
his comic book to his MOTHER, heads out of "The Aquarium"
with BOLANDER.

INT. SQUAD ROOM/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

BAYLISS and SAYERS pass by BOLANDER and JASON.

SAYERS
Don't let my son say he did anything.

BAYLISS
Mrs. Sayers, that's up to him, not
me.

SAYERS
He's only a child.

BAYLISS
So was the other kid.

SAYERS
I have to be in there with my Ronny.

BAYLISS
I'm sorry.

SAYERS
You know he doesn't know what he's
saying.

BAYLISS sees Assistant State's Attorney MAGGIE CARTER entering
from the Elevator Area.

BAYLISS
You'll have to excuse me, Ma'am.

SAYERS watches BAYLISS go over and confer with CARTER. She
stands, framed by "The Board", adrift. PICK UP BAYLISS and
CARTER crossing the Squad Room, headed toward "The Box".

BAYLISS
The kid admits to the shooting.

CARTER
How'd you get this from him?

BAYLISS
He volunteered the information.

CARTER
You advised him of his rights before
he confessed?

BAYLISS
We never got the chance. He beat us
to the punch. His mother comes in
there with him, he doesn't want her
there, he cops to the shooting so
she'll leave him alone.

CARTER
The mother's here?

BAYLISS gestures to SAYERS as they cross the Squad Room.

BAYLISS
Right there.

CARTER pauses, looks at SAYERS, continues into "The Box",
BAYLISS on his heels.

INT. "THE BOX"/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

PEMBLETON sits across from RONNY as CARTER and BAYLISS enter.

CARTER
Frank.

PEMBLETON nods a silent greeting to CARTER, who approaches
RONNY.

CARTER
I'm Maggie Carter, an Assistant
State's Attorney.

PEMBLETON
This here is Mister Bad Boy and all
of fourteen years old.

RONNY
I did the shooting, didn't I?

CARTER
Ronny, I'm going to advise you not
to say another word until we have
someone here to represent you.

RONNY
Whatever.

AS CARTER LOOKS AT PEMBLETON,

CUT TO:

INT. "THE AQUARIUM"/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

SAYERS pushes through the swinging doors. NAWLS sits,
clutching Jason's comic book tightly in her fist. SAYERS
sits down, a few seats from NAWLS. SAYERS looks at NAWLS.
They exchange a polite nod of the head.

SAYERS'-POV: BAYLISS comes out of "The Box", exchanges a
look with SAYERS as he passes by.

NAWLS
You okay?

SAYERS
My boy.

NAWLS
He's in trouble?

SAYERS
He was missing for a day and now...

NAWLS
But they found him alright?

SAYERS turns to NAWLS, then sees the comic book.

SAYERS
What're'ya reading?

NAWLS
This is my little boy's comic. He's
with one of the detectives.

SAYERS
He's in trouble, too?

NAWLS
Oh, no. He went to get a soda.
(opens the comic book)
I don't know what he reads these
days.
(reading the cover)
What's this X-Men?

SAYERS
My littlest one reads that. He's
home probably going through one of
those right as we speak.

NAWLS
(glancing through the
pages)
Super heroes who fight Evil in the
world. We could use some real X-Men
in this town.

SAYERS
Don't I know it.

SAYERS scoots over next to NAWLS, offers handshake.

SAYERS
I'm Patrice.

NAWLS
Mary.

They shake hands. SAYERS motions to Squad Room.

SAYERS
This is the first time I've ever
been in this place. I imagined it to
be a lot noisier.

NAWLS
I thought it'd be bigger somehow.

On SAYERS and NAWLS, shy smiles,

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT TWO

ACT THREE

FADE IN:

INT. SQUAD ROOM/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

CARTER, GIARDELLO and BAYLISS huddle outside the open door
of "The Box". THERESA COUSART, mid-thirties, Public Defender,
comes up to them.

CARTER
Theresa.

COUSART
Ed.

CARTER
Al. Tim. This is Theresa Cousart,
out of the Public Defender's office.

GIARDELLO
We've met.

COUSART
Is Juvenile here?

CARTER
Waiting on 'em. I put the call in.

COUSART
I'm on City pension before they get
here.

COUSART leans around them, peeks into "The Box".

HER POV: RONNY, asleep, his head leaned back against the
back of his chair.

INT. "THE BOX"/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

COUSART enters. GIARDELLO, CARTER and BAYLISS follow.

PEMBLETON is leaning up against the mirror. RONNY slowly
wakens, irritated.

RONNY
What?

COUSART
Ronny? Theresa Cousart. I'm a Public
Defender here to provide you with
legal representation.

RONNY
I was sleeping, y'know.

COUSART
(to GIARDELLO)
I'd like some privacy to consult
with my client.

RONNY
What for? I've already told 'em what
they want to know.
(to PEMBLETON)
Clue the lady in, will ya?

PEMBLETON
(to COUSART)
Ronny here has made a statement.

COUSART
Ronny, it'd be in your best interests
not to say anything in front of these
officers.

RONNY
My "best interests"? Ain't you too
cool, lady.
(to PEMBLETON)
You tell her.

PEMBLETON
It's not for me to say, Ronny.

RONNY
Do I have to have her in here, too?

CARTER
Hey, kid, you've got a serious charge
facing you.

RONNY
What, that I shot that kid?

COUSART
Ronny.

RONNY
Hey, what's the deal? I meant to
shoot this other kid. I made an honest
mistake. You can't blame me for that.

As COUSART leans back, her work cut out for her,

CUT TO:

INT. "THE AQUARIUM"/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

NAWLS and SAYERS sit side-by-side.

SAYERS
Where are all the men these days,
that's what I'd like to know.

NAWLS
Well, there's Gerald, he lives two
houses down from me. He's twenty-
six. And then there's Marcus. He's
gotta be eighty years old. That's it
in my neighborhood.

SAYERS
I think there's one guy, maybe he's
in his thirties, just around the
corner, but I haven't seen him in
awhile so I don't know, maybe
something happened to him... How
many kids you got?

NAWLS
(hesitates)
Two. I had two. Darryl and Jason.

SAYERS waits.

NAWLS
Darryl was shot. He was killed.

Sympathy floods SAYERS' face.

SAYERS
I'm sorry... Was Darryl the oldest?

NAWLS
(nods)
Jason's a quiet fella, but Darryl
was the one for adventures. He says
to me just the other day, "Momma,
I'm gonna join up with something,
the Army, the Navy, and I'm gonna
see the World." He tells me he's
gonna go see people in Japan and
Ireland and Italy, see how they all
live...

SAYERS
I'm trying to get my two boys out
the city, but every place I can think
of takes money. Ronny and David.

NAWLS
Excuse me?

SAYERS
That's their names. My sons.

NAWLS
Those are nice names.

SAYERS
Thank you.
(beat, sighs)
Maybe I could get Ronny and David to
Canada. Get away from all this
killing.

NAWLS
I've been to three funerals this
year for Darryl's friends. It's almost
like this is how we have our socials
now.

SAYERS nods, lost in thought.

SAYERS
My Ronny... He's a country boy living
in the city. He teaches me how to
tell if rain is coming. The leaves
on the trees, especially the sugar
maples, these leaves would turn over
so's to take up all the rain so that
the rain wouldn't fall onto the ground
and wash away the topsoil.

Pause.

NAWLS
Canada, huh?

SAYERS
I don't know a thing about it except
it's supposed to have a lot of snow
and cold. Maybe they don't kill each
other so much up there. Maybe the
cold keeps a lid on things. Do you
think?

NAWLS
Could be.

As SAYERS and NAWLS share a small smile,

CUT TO:

INT. SQUAD ROOM/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

PEMBLETON and BAYLISS lead RONNY out of "The Box". RONNY is
now handcuffed. CARTER and COUSART huddle with GIARDELLO.

CARTER
He's fourteen, so he's at the magic
cutoff point. He could go juvenile,
but with this kid's attitude I'm
strongly inclined to get him charged
as an adult.

COUSART
Ed, he doesn't realize the severity
of what he's done. He thinks he's
innocent because he shot the wrong
guy.

CARTER
He's given a "resgesti" statement.
He's waived his rights.

COUSART
He doesn't know what he's saying.

GIARDELLO
So what are we supposed to do? Let
him go? Then next week, next month,
next year, we haul his ass back in
here for another murder?

PICK UP PEMBLETON and BAYLISS as they lead RONNY across the
Squad Room. JASON passes them with BOLANDER, holding a bag
of potato chips and a can of root beer.

INT. "THE AQUARIUM"/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

SAYERS gets up with a startled expression as she spies RONNY
being escorted by PEMBLETON and BAYLISS.

NAWLS
What's the matter, Patrice?

SAYERS hurries out.

INT. SQUAD ROOM/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

SAYERS hurries toward PEMBLETON, BAYLISS and RONNY, panicked.

SAYERS
Ronny. What's going on?
(to PEMBLETON)
Where are you taking my boy?

NAWLS comes out of "The Aquarium".

PEMBLETON
(to SAYERS; without
slowing his steps)
Ronny is going to Processing. He's a
big boy now. He's confessed to murder.

NAWLS
Detective Pembleton? I came to see
you.

JASON comes up to NAWLS, holding up potato chips and the
root beer.

JASON
Momma, see what the detective got
me?

PEMBLETON
Mrs. Nawls, it'll be awhile.

BAYLISS
We have to take him down for
processing.

SAYERS
Ronny didn't shoot that boy.

NAWLS
What boy?

THEY all pass through the swinging door.

INT. LOBBY/POLICE HEADQUARTERS - DAY

PEMBLETON and BAYLISS lead RONNY through the swinging door
out of the Squad Room, NAWLS and SAYERS right behind them.

NAWLS
This is the bastard who killed my
Darryl?
(turn on SAYERS)
He's your boy?

Elevator doors open. BAYLISS and PEMBLETON lead RONNY into
elevator. SAYERS gets on elevator, starts to face NAWLS again,
quickly turns away. Elevator doors close.

JASON
Momma, momma, look what I got...

JASON tugs at NAWLS' blouse, trying to get her to see his
soda pop and potato chips. As NAWLS stares at the elevator
doors,

CUT TO:

INT. GIARDELLO'S OFFICE/HOMICIDE UNIT - DAY

NAWLS charges in, dragging JASON behind her, confronts
GIARDELLO behind his desk. Her face is a mask of pure rage.

NAWLS
You the boss?

GIARDELLO
On a good day, yes.

NAWLS
I want him dead. Now.

GIARDELLO
Who?

NAWLS
That bastard that shot my son.

GIARDELLO
You're the mother of the boy Ronny
Sayers shot?

NAWLS
I want him dead. Cold as my boy.
Cold in the ground.

GIARDELLO
Ronny will have to stand trial.

NAWLS
What good are you people? You can't
protect us, least you can do is make
things right. I want justice. Kill
him, do you hear me?

JASON gapes at NAWLS, as she takes a swing at GIARDELLO.

JASON
Momma?

NAWLS
(in a rage)
Kill him, kill him. Kill the
sonofabitch--

BOLANDER, concerned, leans into the office.

BOLANDER
You alright, Gee?

GIARDELLO waves BOLANDER away.

NAWLS
My son is dead.

As JASON stares at NAWLS, clutching his soda and potato chips,
tears in his eyes,

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY/POLICE HEADQUARTERS - AFTERNOON

PEMBLETON leads RONNY toward the Processing Room as BAYLISS
holds off a distraught SAYERS.

SAYERS
He didn't kill anyone. Tell 'em,
Ronny. Explain things. Ronny, tell
'em. Tell 'em.

RONNY remains stone-faced. They reach the Processing Room.

PEMBLETON
Mrs. Sayers, you're gonna have to
wait here.

SAYERS starts ripping at PEMBLETON and BAYLISS, claws at
them to reach RONNY.

SAYERS
Give me back my boy. Give me back my
boy.

BAYLISS restrains her. On PEMBLETON, leading RONNY off,

CUT TO:

INT. THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - AFTERNOON

LEWIS and MUNCH sit around table, drinking beers.

LEWIS
George Washington. Huh.

MUNCH
So the guy who owns what used to be
this house, Cumberland Dugan--

LEWIS
Cumberland Dugan? That's his name?

MUNCH
Cumberland's sitting having dinner
with his wife and kids and he gets a
knock on the door. Who is it? It's
George Washington. It's the President
of the United States. And he wants
to tap a kidney in his bathroom.
That'd be kind of an honor, I guess.
To have your porcelain christened by
the pee of a prez.

LEWIS
Maybe we should have that printed on
our napkins. "Come drink where George
Washington drained."

MUNCH
(raises glass)
Here's to George.

LEWIS
To George. And his lovely wife, Dinah.

AS THEY CLINK GLASSES, DRINK,

CUT TO:

INT. PROCESSING ROOM/POLICE HEADQUARTERS - AFTERNOON

A PROCESSING OFFICER wipes RONNY's fingers free of fingerprint
ink. RONNY is then walked over to two Holding Cells. one is
filled with three ADULT ARRESTEES. The PROCESSING OFFICER
opens the empty cell. RONNY takes a step in. The PROCESSING
OFFICER stops him, unbuckles RONNY's belt, takes it from
him. PEMBLETON stands at RONNY's side.

PEMBLETON
We're gonna put you here in isolation,
Ronny. Away from the adults.

The ADULT ARRESTEES stir in the next cell.

RONNY
I ain't scared of them.

O.C., the ADULT ARRESTEES laugh, send up CATCALLS and
THREATENING GESTURES to RONNY and PEMBLETON. RONNY poses
defiant to the ADULTS. PROCESSING OFFICER kneels next to him
and removes RONNY's shoelaces.

RONNY
What'd'ya doing? Leave me my laces,
man.

PEMBLETON
We don't want you trying to hurt
yourself again.

RONNY
I should've done it when I had the
chance.

The PROCESSING OFFICER finishes removing RONNY's shoelaces,
takes RONNY by the arm and sets him inside the cell, then
closes the cell door.

RONNY
This is the "big time," huh?

PEMBLETON
Your life is over, Ronny.

RONNY
Naw.

PEMBLETON
Get clear, kid. This is no joke
anymore. If it comes down that you're
charged as an adult, you're gonna
have to realize that you'll probably
die in a cell just like this one.

RONNY
Better than on the street.

PEMBLETON
(pausing)
You figure you're safer in jail?

CUT TO:

RONNY
Well, ain't I?

On PEMBLETON, looking away,

CUT TO:

INT. SQUAD ROOM/HOMICIDE UNIT - AFTERNOON

As a HAND erases "N-A-W-L-S" in RED on "The Board" and
rewrites it in BLACK,

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

INT. MITCHELL COURTHOUSE - AFTERNOON

PEMBLETON and BAYLISS watch from back of courtroom. RONNY
stands facing JUDGE with COUSART. CARTER also stands. SAYERS
sits nearby, listening attentively.

CARTER
Your Honor, given the severity of
the crime, and the fact that the
defendant made a confession and shows
no signs of remorse, State asks that
he be denied bail.

COUSART
Your Honor, my client is only fourteen
years old. We move that he be remanded
to the custody of his mother. Given
his age and his lack of financial
resources, we do not consider him a
flight risk.

JUDGE studies papers, considers.

JUDGE
Despite the defendant's youth, the
crime he's accused of committing is
a capital offense. Defendant is hereby
denied bail and will remain
incarcerated until trial.

SAYERS bows her head, defeated. PEMBLETON turns to BAYLISS.

PEMBLETON
I'll be right back.

PEMBLETON walks over to RONNY, who's being escorted away by
UNIFORMS. SAYERS also approaches.

PEMBLETON
Ronny.

RONNY glances up. PEMBLETON looks at UNIFORMS, signals them
to back away.

PEMBLETON
Mrs. Sayers, I'd like a moment alone
with your son.

SAYERS hesitates, backs off.

RONNY
What'd'ya want?

PEMBLETON
You kept me awake last night. I resent
that. I need my sleep.

RONNY
Sorry for nothing.

PEMBLETON
I didn't sleep, but I had nightmares.
Kids your brother's age singing "Ring
Around the Rosey." Only they didn't
have any faces.

RONNY stares at his feet.

PEMBLETON
You know now, don't you?

No response.

PEMBLETON
You got the fear, don't you?

RONNY nods.

PEMBLETON
Keep to yourself. Don't be a
politician. Don't be a warrior. You
understand?

RONNY nods.

PEMBLETON
You like to read?

RONNY shrugs.

PEMBLETON
Then read. Go out with your mind.

RONNY gives PEMBLETON a long look, then turns and walks to
waiting UNIFORMS. SAYERS approaches.

SAYERS
Ronny?

RONNY glances at her, all boldness gone, for once a fourteen
year old boy.

RONNY
Goodbye, Momma.

UNIFORMS lead him off. SAYERS gazes after him. On PEMBLETON,
not sure where to put his feelings,

CUT TO:

EXT. MITCHELL COURTHOUSE - AFTERNOON

PEMBLETON and BAYLISS walk down the front stairs.

BAYLISS
We should find out when Darryl's
funeral is.

PEMBLETON
You know, the wife and I were talking
the other day about children. About
maybe having a kid.

BAYLISS
You, a father?

PEMBLETON
Something wrong with that?

BAYLISS
No. No, I think it'd be great.

PEMBLETON
How do I bring a child into this
world when we have to charge children
with first-degree murder?

BAYLISS
Ah, but it'd be different for you.

PEMBLETON
Different?

BAYLISS
Yeah. You... y'know...

PEMBLETON
What?

They head off toward the parking lot. BAYLISS shrugs.

BAYLISS
You know...

PEMBLETON
Spit it out, Tim.

BAYLISS
You know what I'm saying.

PEMBLETON
But let me hear you say it.

BAYLISS
It would just be different. You have
different... circumstances.

PEMBLETON
Because I don't live in the ghetto?
'Cause I'm not living in Ronny's
neighborhood?

BAYLISS
Well, don't you have the means to
give a child a better chance?

PEMBLETON
My kid would be safe. That's what
everyone believed about drugs. It
won't happen in my neighborhood.
AIDS came along, same thing. It won't
happen in my neighborhood.

They pass a County Prison Bus parked by the side entrance of
the courthouse, a line of PRISONERS in County Jail jumpsuits
boarding. They're locked down in hand and leg irons and
attached to a chain. A County Jail OFFICER pushes RONNY onto
the bus. SAYERS watches from the side entrance.

PEMBLETON
That ain't a school bus Ronny's going
on.

As RONNY stares back at SAYERS,

EXT. THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Establishing. A crudely-lettered "Under New Ownership" sign
is posted on one of the windows.

INT. THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Stacks of cocktail napkins, beer coasters, jars of maraschino
cherries and green olives line the bar. The bar has been
polished. The floors have been washed down. A liquor DELIVERY
MAN trucks in cases of beer and bourbon. MUNCH and LEWIS are
in casual day-off clothes. They push selection buttons on
the jukebox.

MUNCH
This place doesn't need renovation.
It needs a theme.

LEWIS
A "theme"? This is a bar, not a prom
night.

MUNCH
I've asked the fellas on the Unit
and they voted for Country 'n Western
on the jukebox. That could very well
be the determining factor on what
the theme of this bar is.

LEWIS
I ain't having my jukebox in my bar
play any cracker-assed music.

MUNCH
Hey, my sentiments exactly, but
business is business and Country 'n
Western, that's what punches up the
old cash machine in this town.

BAYLISS enters, stops, smiles, stunned by the progress of
the bar.

BAYLISS
Hey, we're almost ready for the grand
opening. Everyone wants to come. I
heard even the brass. Gee says to
save him a seat at the bar.

MUNCH
Glad you could join us, Tim.

LEWIS
We're discussing musical selections
for the jukebox.

BAYLISS
How 'bout maybe a little blues, a
little Koko Taylor, maybe some Billie
Holiday, Etta James or Buddy Guy?

MUNCH
We need songs which remind our
customers that it's better to be in
here than out there. We need someone
singing ditties about a cheatin,
wife. We want our customers crying
into their beers.
(beat, brightens)
Whatever the music, we play it loud.

BAYLISS
I don't want our place to turn into
a headknocker's bar.

MUNCH
The louder the music, the more people
drink. I've done my research.

LEWIS
(beat, smiles)
Well, then we'll crank up the speakers
until their ears bleed.

A Deputy City SHERIFF enters, mid-thirties, the workout king
of Baltimore, fit and tanned.

SHERIFF
Evening. May I speak to the owners,
please?

LEWIS
You're looking at all three of 'em.

SHERIFF walks over to the bar.

SHERIFF
You're the owners?

MUNCH
We're the new owners. Bright-eyed-
and bushy-tailed.

SHERIFF
Well, I got old news for you new
owners. I'm gonna have to shut you
down.

SHERIFF extracts an inch-thick envelop of documents.

SHERIFF
I'm the Deputy City Sheriff and I'm
here to serve papers of delinquency
on back taxes on the building.

MUNCH
Back taxes? But we complied with
every rule and regulation in the
contract.

SHERIFF
Well, I don't know what to say to
you boys, but obviously someone didn't
do a thorough enough search on the
property for you.

LEWIS
Look, we're Police officers, just
like you. Maybe there's some way you
could help us out on this...

SHERIFF
You're cops? The three of you?

MUNCH
We work Homicide.

SHERIFF
Well, then you have no excuse. You're
detectives and you should have
investigated the building more
aggressively.

BAYLISS
We have our life savings invested in
this bar.

SHERIFF gestures to framed liquor license.

SHERIFF
That'll have to come down. You'll
have to hand it over to me.

MUNCH
Have a heart.

SHERIFF
I do. This pains me to no end,
'specially knowing you guys are fellow
officers, but I got my job. You go
down, settle with the City Property
Tax Division, and you're back in
business in a month, six weeks.

MUNCH
By that time, the tourist season is
over.

SHERIFF
You have a point. You really do.
(beat, smiles)
But it's so much nicer when them
tourists ain't around. Tell me that's
not the truth.

On MUNCH, BAYLISS and LEWIS, blood pressure rising,

CUT TO:

INT. BRAZNELL'S CARIBBEAN KITCHEN - DAY

Filled with DINERS. A fresh fruit display of mangoes and
melons graces the counter. NAWLS clears a table of dirty
dishes. JASON wipes the table down, setting silverware and
paper placemats. REVEAL SAYERS walking in, her son DAVID at
her side. NAWLS looks up, sees SAYERS. NAWLS picks up dirty
dishes, busing them to the counter. Pause.

SAYERS
I asked the detectives how I could
find you.

NAWLS says nothing, keeps working. JASON and DAVID eye each
other.

SAYERS
I wanted to tell you how... "Sorry"
isn't enough of what I need to say
to you...

NAWLS
(beat)
I thought you'd be in Canada by now.

SAYERS
Oh no. I'm stuck here in Baltimore...

The moment is broken by laughter. SAYERS and NAWLS look up
to see JASON and DAVID goofing around with the fresh fruit
display. JASON holds up a mango, places it on his head, trying
to balance it. DAVID laughs, imitates JASON, picking up
another mango and holding it on his head.

NAWLS
He's a fine-looking boy.

SAYERS
Thank you.

JASON and DAVID begin to wrestle playfully. SAYERS looks at
them, alarmed.

SAYERS
David what are you doing?

DAVID pauses.

SAYERS
Stop it. You tell that little boy
you're sorry.

DAVID
We're only playing, Momma.

JASON
We're not fighting, Momma.

SAYERS grabs DAVID by his collar, hauls him away from JASON.

SAYERS
You don't play rough.
(to NAWLS)
He didn't mean it.

NAWLS
No, it's okay. Kids are kids and
kids hafta play...

SAYERS lets go of DAVID. He drifts back toward JASON.

NAWLS
How's your son Ronny?

SAYERS
I don't know. They won't let me see
him 'til Sunday. I'll take him some
food.

SAYERS reaches into her jacket pocket, pulls out a wide
envelope, holds it out to NAWLS.

SAYERS
I bought this Mass card for your
Darryl. NAWLS doesn't know what to
say.

SAYERS
Take it. Please.

NAWLS takes the card, gazes at it.

NAWLS
I know my son is in a good place.
It's not Canada, but still... I don't
think they shoot each other in Heaven.

The TWO WOMEN look deep into each other's eyes.

NAWLS
Thank you for the mass card.

Again, the sound of laughter. JASON and DAVID toss a melon
back and forth, pretending to shoot three-pointers with it.

NAWLS
They like-to play with each other,
don't they?

SAYERS
(pausing)
They do.

NAWLS
(calling to JASON)
Jason, we've got tables to clean.

NAWLS turns to clear another table of dirty dishes.

SAYERS
Maybe they could get to know each
other.

NAWLS
And what would they do if they did
that? What would happen if they got
to know about each other's older
brother?

NAWLS turns and walks off.

SAYERS
David, let's go. I mean it.

SAYERS walks to the door. DAVID trots after her. On JASON
and DAVID, exchanging smiles and laughs, making goofy faces
at each other as the distance grows greater between them,

FADE TO BLACK:

THE END

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