"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 ]

"SEVEN"

by

Andrew Kevin Walker

Production Draft 8/8/94



INT. OLD HOUSE - DAY

Sunlight comes through the soot on the windows, more brown
than bright. SOMERSET, 45, stands in one corner of this small,
second-story room. He looks over the ceiling, looks down at
the worn wooden floors, looks at the peeling wallpaper.

He walks to the center of the room, continues his study,
taking his time. He halts, turns to one wall where the current
wallpaper is torn away to reveal flowery wallpaper underneath.

Somerset goes to this wall and runs his finger across one of
the pale, red roses which decorates the older paper. He pushes
the grime away, brings the rose out more clearly.

He reaches into his suit pocket and takes out a switchblade.
He flips the thin, lethal blade free. Working deliberately,
delicately, Somerset cuts a square around the rose, then
peels the square of dry wallpaper away from the wall. He
studies it in his hand.

EXT. OLD HOUSE - DAY

Somerset stands in front of the old home. He looks out at
the surrounding farms and forests. He ponders something.
Birds sing.

MAN (O.S.)
Is something wrong?

Somerset does not respond, just stares off. The MAN, 34,
wears a real-estate broker's jacket and stands beside a FOR
SALE sign in the muddy lawn.

MAN
Is there something the matter?

Somerset turns to face the man, then looks back at the house.

SOMERSET
No. No... it's just that everything
here seems... so strange.

MAN
Strange? There's nothing strange
about this place. The house'll need
a little fixing up, that's for sure...

SOMERSET
No. I like the house, and this place.

MAN
I was about to say. Cause this place
is about as normal as places get.

Somerset nods, taking a deep breath. He smiles.

SOMERSET
That's what I mean. Strange.

Somerset looks back to the beautiful landscape. The man does
not understand.

INT. AMTRACK TRAIN - LATER DAY

Somerset is in the window seat, looking out the window of
the speeding train, smoking a cigarette. He is near the back
of the car, away from the few other passengers.

Outside, farms, fields, small homes and lawns rush by. The
panorama is dappled by the rays of the soon to be setting
sun.

INT. AMTRACK TRAIN - LATER DAY

The train is almost full, moving slower. Somerset has his
suitcase on the aisle seat beside him. He holds a hardcover
book unopened on his lap. He still stares out the window,
but his face is tense. The train is passing an ugly, swampy
field. The sun has gone under.

Though it seems impossible it ever could have gotten there,
a car's burnt-out skeleton sits rusting in the bracken.

Ahead, the city waits. The sky is full of smokestacks and
huge industrial cranes.

INT. AMTRACK TRAIN - LATER DAY

The train is passing urban streets below. Slums and smashed
cars. People stand in groups in the corners. Bleak.

Somerset's suitcase is now on the window seat. Somerset has
moved to the aisle. He is reading his book. He looks up from
the book and rubs his eyes, then looks back to continue
reading, not once looking out the window.

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

Somerset carries his suitcase outside the train station.
The city demands attention: cars screeching, people yelling,
sirens blaring.

Somerset passes a family of bewildered tourists. A WEIRD MAN
has a hand on the tourist-father's suitcase.

It has become a tugging match with the Weird Man shouting,
"I'll take you to a taxi... I'll take you." Ahead, a group
is gathered on the sidewalk near two ambulances. People clamor
to get a look at a BLOODY BODY which lies on the street.

Policeman try to hold the crowd off. Ambulance attendants
administer aid to the victim, who convulses. Somerset moves
by, ignoring it all. He motions for a cab. One pulls up from
the street's stream of vehicles.

INT. CAB - NIGHT

Somerset throws his suitcase in and shuts the door behind
him.

CAB DRIVER
(about the crowd)
What's the big fuss?

Somerset looks out at the crowd, looks at the driver.

SOMERSET
Why do you care?

CAB DRIVER
(under his breath)
Well, excuse me all to hell.

The driver leans forward, checking it out. The circle of
spectators shifts suddenly. A man has shoved another man and
they're really going at it now. The swing at each other and
tear at each other's clothing. One man's flailing fist
connects and the other man's face is instantly bloodied. The
fight grows even more spastic. Policemen try to stop it.

CAB DRIVER
Crazy fucks.

The driver pulls away and the cab rages down the street.

Somerset watches the parade of neon passing on the avenue.
He slumps back in the seat and closes his eyes.

CAB DRIVER
Where you headed?

Somerset opens his eyes.

SOMERSET
Far away from here.

INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The curtains are closed. The SOUNDS of the CITY are here as
they will be everywhere in this story. A CAR ALARM is
SOUNDING, shrill and clear. Somerset's life is packed into
moving boxes, except for some clothing in a closet and
hundreds and hundreds of books on the shelves of one wall.
Somerset is lying on the bed, dressed only in his underwear.

He reaches to the nightstand, to a wooden, pyramidical
metronome. He frees the metronome's weighted swingarm so it
moves back and forth. Swings to the left -- TICK, swings to
the right -- TICK. Tick... tick... tick... measured and
steady.

Somerset situates on the bed, closes his eyes. Tick... tick...
tick. The metronome's sound competes with the sound of the
car alarm. Somerset's face tightens as he concentrates on
the metronome. His eyes close tighter. Tick... tick... tick.
The swingarm moves evenly. Somerset's breathing deepens.

Tick... tick... tick. The car alarm seems quieter.

Tick... tick... tick. Somerset continues his concentration.
The metronome's sound seems louder.

Tick... tick... tick. The sound of the car alarm fades, and
is GONE. The metronome is the only sound.

Somerset's face relaxes as he begins to fall asleep. Tick...
tick... tick...

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

SUNDAY

INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT - MORNING

Somerset picks items off a moving box: his keys, wallet,
switchblade, gold homicide badge. Finally, he opens the
hardcover book he had with him on the train. From the pages,
he takes the pale, paper rose.

INT. TENEMENT APARTMENT - DAY

Somerset stands before a wall which is stained by a star-
burst of blood. A body lies on the floor under a sheet. A
sawed-off shotgun lies not far from the body. The apartment
is gloomy.

DETECTIVE TAYLOR, 52, stands on the other side of the room,
looks through a notepad.

TAYLOR
Neighbors heard them screaming at
each other for like two hours. It
was nothing new. But, then they heard
the gun go off. Both barrels.

SOMERSET
Did the wife confess?

TAYLOR
When the patrolman came she was trying
put his head back together. She was
crying too hard to say anything.

Somerset beings walking around the apartment.

SOMERSET
Why always like this? Only after the
fact... this sudden realization,
that if you shoot someone, or stick
a knife in them, that person will
cease to exist.

TAYLOR
Crime of passion.

SOMERSET
Yes. Look at all the passion
splattered up on the wall here.

TAYLOR
This is a done deal. All but the
paperwork.

Taylor shifts his weight, impatient. Somerset looks at a
coloring book open on the coffee table. There are crayons
beside it. Somerset picks the book up, flips through the
pages.

SOMERSET
Did their son see it happen?

TAYLOR
I don't know.

Taylor closes his notebook, perturbed. Somerset looks at the
pictures of cute, crudely colored animals.

TAYLOR
What kind of fucking question is
that anyway?

Taylor walks over and grabs the coloring book to get his
attention.

TAYLOR
You know, we're all real glad we're
getting rid of you, Somerset. You
know that? I mean, it's always these
questions with you... "Did the kid
see it?" Well, who gives a fuck?
Huh?
(points)
He's dead. His wife killed him.

Taylor throws the coloring book back to Somerset and walks.

TAYLOR
Anything else has nothing to do with
us.

Taylor leaves, pushing past DETECTIVE DAVID MILLS, 31, who
is just entering. Mills is muscular and handsome. He looks
back at Taylor, then around the apartment, a bit disoriented.

Somerset puts down the coloring book. He stares at the floor,
showing no reaction to Taylor's tantrum.

MILLS
Uh, Lieutenant Somerset?

Somerset turns to see Mills.

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

A body bag is carried through a crowd of people outside the
tenement building.

Somerset follows the body bag out and Mills follows Somerset.

They walk towards the end of the filthy block, past a man
urinating on a car.

MILLS
I'm a little thrown. I just got in
town like twenty minutes ago and
they dumped me here.

SOMERSET
Since we're just starting out, I
thought we could go to a bar... sit
and talk for awhile. After that,
we'll...

MILLS
(interrupting)
Actually, if it's all the same, I'd
like to get to the precinct house
a.s.a.p. Seeing how we don't have
much time for this whole transition
thing.

Somerset keeps walking, says nothing.

MILLS
I need to start getting the feel of
it all, right? Meet the people.

SOMERSET
I meant to ask you something, Mills,
when we spoke on the phone. I can't
help wondering... why here?

MILLS
I... I don't follow.

SOMERSET
All this effort you've made to get
transferred, it's the first question
that pops into my head.

MILLS
I'm here for the same reasons as
you, I guess. Or, at least, the same
reasons you used to have for being
here before... before you decided
to... quit.

Somerset stops and faces Mills.

SOMERSET
You just met me.

MILLS
Maybe I'm not understanding the
question.

SOMERSET
It's very simple. You worked a nice,
quiet town, but you fought to get
here as if your life depended on it.
I've just never seen it done that
way before, Detective.

MILLS
Maybe I thought I could do more good
here than there. I don't know. Look,
it'd be great by me if we didn't
start right off kicking each other
in the balls. But, you're calling
the shots, Lieutenant, so... however
you want it to go.

SOMERSET
Let me tell you how I want this to
go. I want you to look, and I want
you to listen.

MILLS
I wasn't standing around guarding
the local Taco Bell. I've worked
homicide for five and a half years.

SOMERSET
Not here.

MILLS
I realize that.

SOMERSET
Well, over the next seven days, do
me the favor of remembering it.

Somerset turns and walks away. Mills stands a moment, pissed.

He follows after Somerset.

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

MONDAY

INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT - EARLY MORNING

Somerset lies asleep in bed. It is still dark outside. The
PHONE beside the inactive metronome RINGS. Somerset awakens
suddenly, startled. He looks towards the phone.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING

It is just barely becoming light outside. Mills is wide awake
in bed beside the sleeping form of his wife, TRACY, 30. Mills
looks tired. He listens to passing traffic. He covers his
eyes with his forearm.

He takes his arm away and sits up, frustrated, sits on the
edge of the bed. The room is a shambles, filled with moving
boxes.

Light coming through the window glows upon a football trophy
sticking from one box.

Large and noble, a golden player stands in frozen motion at
the trophy's pinnacle.

Mills looks at the trophy and a fond smile forms on his face.

The PHONE RINGS. Mills looks towards it. Tracy awakens. She
looks up with half-opened eyes, a beautiful woman.

TRACY
What is it?

Phone rings. Mills reaches to touch Tracy's shoulder.

MILLS
It's okay.

Mills leans to get the phone. Tracy seems frightened.

TRACY
Honey... where are we?

EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING, ALLEYWAY - EARLY MORNING

Somerset and Mills, both wearing badges, walk with OFFICER
DAVIS, a beefy, uniformed cop. They pass police cars and
head into a trash strewn alleyway. Davis hands Somerset two
flashlights.

DAVIS
Everything's like I found it. I didn't
touch anything.

SOMERSET
What time did you confirm the death?

DAVIS
Like I said, I didn't touch him, but
he's had his face in a plate of
spaghetti for about forty-five minutes
now.

They reach a rusty, side door, which Davis pulls open.

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL - EARLY MORNING

They enter a dark, ugly stairwell.

MILLS
(to Davis)
Hold on... you mean you didn't check
for vital signs?

DAVIS
Did I stutter? Believe me, he ain't
breathing, unless he's started
breathing spaghetti sauce.

MILLS
The point is, whenever you find...

DAVIS
Begging your pardon, but the guy's
sitting in pile of his own shit and
piss. If he ain't dead, he would've
stood up by now.

Mills is angry, about to speak, but Somerset heads him off.

SOMERSET
(to Davis)
Thank you, officer. We'll need to
talk to you again, after we've looked
around.

DAVIS
Yes, sir.

Davis walks out, eyeing Mills. Mills watches him go. The
rusty door slams shut behind Davis. It's very dark. Somerset
turns on his flashlight, hands the other to Mills and starts
upstairs.

SOMERSET
I wonder what exactly was the point
of the conversation you were about
to get into?

MILLS
And I wonder how many times Officer
Davis there has found a dead man who
wasn't really dead until Davis was
in the car calling it in and eating
a donut.

SOMERSET
Drop it.

MILLS
For now.

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING, HALLWAY - EARLY MORNING

Somerset comes from the stairwell, looking down the dark
hall. At the end of the hall, a door is open. The light of a
CAMERA FLASH spills out from that room every few seconds.

Mills and Somerset move on. Somerset takes out rubber gloves
and slips them on, looking at something on the floor ahead.
A yellow RECYCLING BIN sits just outside the door. It contains
many neat, string-bound stacks of issues of READER'S DIGEST.

INT. APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM - EARLY MORNING

There are lights on in this room. Lamps with dusty shades. A
few porn mags on a table. Somerset and Mills cross. A couch
against one wall is piled with yellowed, once white pillows.
It faces two small televisions, both on with no sound.

INT. APARTMENT, KITCHEN - EARLY MORNING

Somerset and Mills enter, using their flashlights in the
dark. Mills takes out a handkerchief, covering his nose.
ERIC is crouched on the floor, putting camera equipment away.

He's wearing a medical mask over his face. He hoists his bag
and moves past the detectives.

ERIC
Enjoy.

Eric leaves. Somerset sweeps the room with his flashlight...

At the stove, each burner has a used pot or pan on it. Food
has been slopped there and on the adjoining counter-top and
sink.

Used utensils are everywhere, along with empty tin cans and
jars.

Cockroaches swarm.

The flashlight beam follows a trail of dripped sauces, soups
and crumbs of food across the floor from the stove to a
kitchen table. The kitchen table is covered in soiled paper
plates which hold bits of half-eaten sandwiches, potatoes,
beef stew, donuts and many other junk foods.

The kitchen is tiny; barely enough room for three people.
The kitchen table is at the center of the room. An OBESE MAN
is slumped forward in a kitchen chair. He is face down dead
in a plate of spaghetti.

MILLS
Christ... somebody phone Guinness. I
think we've got a World's Record
here.

Mills walks to the dead man, leaning to study, without
touching.

MILLS
Who said this was murder?

SOMERSET
No one yet.

MILLS
Then, why are we wasting our time?
This guy's heart's got to be roughly
the size of a canned ham. If this
isn't a coronary, I don't know what
is.

Somerset moves his flashlight beam down the obese corpse,
stops at the man's feet. Somerset kneels.

At the obese man's pants cuff, there's a tiny bit of rope
sticking out. Somerset uses a pen to lift the pants leg.
Rope is tied around the swollen, purple ankle.

MILLS
Or not.

Somerset stands and steps back. Mills bends to take his place,
looking under the table and shining his flashlight into the
corpse's lap. The obese man's bloated hands are folded there,
bound tightly with rope.

MILLS
Still... he could have tied himself
up, to make it look like murder. I
saw a guy once... committed suicide,
but wanted to make sure his family
could collect the life insurance,
right?

Somerset does not listen. He is focused on the corpse, studies
the back of the man's head and neck. He runs his pen against
the back of the corpse's neck, combing the hair upwards.

There are small circular and semi-circular BRUISES on the
back of the obese man's head and neck, some hidden under the
hair.

MILLS
When we found him, he was lying there
with a knife in his back, so what
else could it be but homicide? Except,
I finally figured out... he held the
knife behind him... put the tip of
it in his own back and got real close
to the wall... then he shoved his
body backwards...

SOMERSET
(irritated)
Please be quiet for a while, would
you?

Mills looks up at Somerset from below. Somerset remains
focused on the bruises.

MILLS
(sarcastic)
Oh, yes, sir. Forgive me.

Mills stands and walks around to the other side of the table,
where he gets down again.

MILLS
There's a bucket here.

SOMERSET
What?

MILLS
There's a bucket. Under the table.

Somerset crouches, pulls up the cheap tablecloth on his side
of the table. A METAL BUCKET sits under the table.

SOMERSET
What is it?

Mills slides under with his flashlight, angling in the
confined space to look. He is repulsed and pulls back.

MILLS
It's vomit.

Mills stands and backs away, near the refrigerator, not
wanting to be anywhere near that bucket.

MILLS
It's a bucket of vomit.

SOMERSET
Is there any blood in it?

MILLS
I don't know. Feel free to look for
yourself, okay?

Somerset stands, stares at the obese man. He shakes his head,
perplexed. There is a KNOCK at the door. The detectives look
to see DOCTOR THOMAS O'NEILL, 52, the medical examiner, in
the doorway. O'Neill is looking at the ceiling. He flicks
the lights switch. No light, so he flicks the switch up and
down.

O'NEILL
Wonderful.

O'Neill seems a bit gone. He drops his black bag onto the
floor beside the corpse. He begins to sort through the bag,
surgical tools clinking together.

Mills turns to open the refrigerator. It's nearly empty.

MILLS
(to Somerset)
You think it was poison?

SOMERSET
Guessing at this point is useless.

The trash can beside the refrigerator is filled to the brim
with empty food containers. Mills begins to poke around with
a pen.

O'NEILL
You girls have got forensics waiting
outside. I don't know if we'll all
fit though.

MILLS
There's room. Light's the problem.

Somerset looks at Mills, then at the space limitations.

SOMERSET
Still... two is company here. And,
three is certainly a crowd.
(pause)
Detective Mills, go help the officers
question the neighbors.

Mills looks up, not pleased.

MILLS
I'd rather stay on this.

Somerset is looking at the corpse.

SOMERSET
Send one of the forensics in on your
way out.

Mills does not move. He lifts his flashlight to shine the
light on the side of Somerset's face. A moment. Somerset
looks at Mills, the light shining directly in Somerset's
eyes. A longer moment. Mills switches off the light and
leaves.

O'Neill places both hands on the dead man's head and lifts
the swollen visage from the spaghetti.

O'NEILL
He is dead.

SOMERSET
Thank you, Doctor.

INT. SOMERSET'S CAR - DAY

Somerset drives with Mills as the passenger. Heavy city
traffic.

Both stare ahead in silence. Mills is a bundle of nerves.

MILLS
You've seen my files, right? Seen
the things I've done?

SOMERSET
No.

MILLS
(looking out window)
Anyway... I did my time on door-to-
doors, and walking a beat. I did all
that shit for a long time.

SOMERSET
Good.

MILLS
The badge in my pocket says
"detective," same as yours.

SOMERSET
I made a decision, because I have to
consider the integrity of the scene.
I can't worry whether you think you're
getting enough time on the playing
field.

MILLS
Yeah, well, all I want is...
(pause)
Just, just don't be jerking me off.
That's all I ask. Don't jerk me off.

Mills looks at Somerset. Somerset keeps his eyes on the road,
but nods slightly. That said, Mills slumps low into his seat.

SOMERSET
We'll be spending every waking hour
together till I leave. I'll show you
who your friends are, and your
enemies. I'll help you cut through
the red tape and I will help you
"integrate," as the captain puts it.
However...
(pauses, clears throat)
No matter how much you beg or plead...
jerking off is something you'll have
to do for yourself.

This throws Mills. Somerset has a sense of humour?

SOMERSET
Is that clear?

MILLS
Okay... sure... It's just that, with
my old partner, you know...

SOMERSET
I just don't think we should have
that sort of relationship. We'd start
quarreling over insignificant things.

Mills lets out a nervous laugh, feels a bit of weight off
his shoulders.

MILLS
Whatever you say, Detective.
Beautiful.

INT. AUTOPSY ROOM - DAY

The room is large, cold and clean. Stainless steel and white
tile. Many pathologists work at slabs. A bone saw screams.

Mills and Somerset are with DOCTOR SANTIAGO, who stands over
the obese corpse which is pretty well dissected already.

SANTIAGO
He's been dead for a long time, and
I can tell you it was not a poison.

Santiago moves to make room for Mills to stand beside him.
Mills moves up a little, but not much, looking on in disgust.
Santiago reaches into the man's belly. We do not see.

MILLS
Ah, man... how does somebody let
himself go like that? Look at the
blubber.

Santiago moves something and there is a squashy sound.

SANTIAGO
It took four orderlies and me all
together just to put this body on
the table.

MILLS
How did the fat fuck ever fit out
the door of his apartment?

SOMERSET
Yes, it's obvious he was a shut-in.
Not an enviable life, but, maybe he
still deserves a modicum of respect
in spite of that.

SANTIAGO
Are you looking here? First... see
how big this stomach is. And, see
the strange thing. Stretches. And,
here it is distended. Look at the
size of that, because of all the
foods.

MILLS
I can see what you're pointing at,
but...

SANTIAGO
Lines of distention across the
stomach, and parts have ripped open.

SOMERSET
(disbelief)
Doctor, are you saying... this man
ate till he burst?

SANTIAGO
Well, he didn't really burst. Not
all the way. But, he was bleeding
inside himself, and there is a
hematoma on the outside, on the belly.
Very large.

MILLS
He died by eating?

SANTIAGO
Yes. And, there's something else
here you have to look at and see.

Santiago goes to root through many jars on a table. Somerset
walks around the slab, looking down at the obese man's propped
up, partially shaved head.

SOMERSET
These bruises on the victim's head...

More round and semi-circular bruises have been revealed, all
about the same diameter as a dime.

SANTIAGO
I don't know what they are yet.
They...

SOMERSET
They could have been caused by a
gun. The barrel of a gun... pressed
against the back of his head.

Santiago picks up the jar he was looking for, comes to lean
and look at the obese man's head, nodding again.

SANTIAGO
If it was jammed against him hard
enough, sure. It's possible. Here...

Santiago gives the jar to Somerset.

SANTIAGO
Most of the stomach's food contents
are in the lab now... but, these...
I found these in his stomach too.

Somerset holds the jar up. Inside are many little pieces of
blue plastic. They are curled slightly, as if they are
scrapings.

Somerset hands the jar to Mills. Mills shakes it, studying.

MILLS
Plastic?

SANTIAGO
Why these are in a fat man's stomach,
I don't know.

INT. APARTMENT, KITCHEN - DAY

The room where the obese corpse was found is now lit by
fluorescent light. Two forensics, a MALE and FEMALE, are
dusting for prints. Somerset and Mills are on their hands
and knees.

Somerset holds the jar and touches the linoleum floor.

SOMERSET
Same color and texture.

MILLS
(to forensics)
Have you found any plastic scrapings
near the stove or sink? Near the
food?

MALE FORENSIC
What do you mean?

Mills and Somerset continue looking around the floor.

MILLS
(to Somerset)
This doesn't make any sense.

SOMERSET
You always have to find one singular
thing to focus on. There's always
one thing, and it may be as small as
a speck of dust, but you find it and
focus... till it's an exhausted
possibility.

The forensics watch, curious. Somerset is near the
refrigerator.

MILLS
It could be nothing.

SOMERSET
But, why would there be so many pieces
in his stomach if it were nothing?
It must have been intentional.

Somerset stops. There are deep scratches here in the linoleum.

He fingers the grooves, then takes a piece of the plastic
from the jar. He holds the piece to the floor, fiddles...
fits it into one of the scratches.

Somerset gets off the floor and looks down. These scratches
are in front of the refrigerator. It looks like they were
caused by the refrigerator having been pulled away from the
wall and pushed back into place at some time.

SOMERSET
(to Mills)
Come here.

INT. APARTMENT, KITCHEN - LATER DAY

Mills and Somerset pull the refrigerator, rocking it back
and forth away from the wall to get a clear view behind it.
They strain, pull it a few more feet, and release.

Mills leans to look at the wall behind. Shock.

MILLS
Holy shit.

Somerset comes to look. Behind the refrigerator, there is a
space on the wall where the dust has been wiped away. In
that space, the words: ONE IS GLUTTONY. The letters have
been smeared on in grease. A NOTE is pinned beside them.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, CAPTAIN'S OFFICE - EARLY EVENING

The captain's office is filled with pictures, books and
mugsheets. Piles of paperwork abound, yet the office is
meticulously well kept. The CAPTAIN, 50, sits at his tidy
desk.

He wears a white shirt and conservative tie.

He's a calm man, but whenever he is not speaking, without
fail, he clenches his jaw over and over, causing the muscles
in his neck and jaw to pulse. Somerset and Mills sit before
him.

SOMERSET
The bruises were caused by the muzzle
of a forty-five. So, there was a gun
against his head and he was given a
choice. Eat, or get your brains blown
out.

Somerset gets up to pace.

SOMERSET
He ate his fill, and was forced to
continue eating... till his body
rejected the food. The killer held a
bucket under him, and then kept
serving. He took his time. The coroner
says this might have gone on for
more than twelve hours. The victim's
throat was swollen from the effort,
and there was probably a point where
he passed out. That's when killer
kicked him in the stomach. Popped
him.

MILLS
This was one sadistic motherfucker.

CAPTAIN
That seems obvious.

Somerset picks up a photocopy of the NOTE from behind the
fridge.

SOMERSET
(reads)
"Dear Detectives, Long is the way,
and hard, that out of hell leads up
to light." It's the murderer's way
of announcing himself.

CAPTAIN
Announcing what?

SOMERSET
There are seven deadly sins. Gluttony,
wrath, greed...

CAPTAIN
So what? This victim...

SOMERSET
...envy, sloth, pride and lust. Seven.

CAPTAIN
Hey, so gluttony is one of the seven
deadly sins. But, this was a fat
guy. The killer may have felt this
was the just best way to torture
him. And, writing on the walls happens
all the time. It's like the
fashionable thing to do.

SOMERSET
One is gluttony.

The captain is disgruntled, clenching his jaw, looks at Mills.

MILLS
This is his stuff. I've been out in
the cold all day.

SOMERSET
This is a premeditated puzzle, and
it's only the beginning.

CAPTAIN
Always working up there, huh,
Somerset? Big brain's always cooking.

Somerset sits.

SOMERSET
I'm declining this case. I want us
reassigned.

MILLS
Whoa, whoa... what?!

CAPTAIN
What's this: "I'm declining this
case?" It don't work that way.

SOMERSET
This can't be my last duty here. It
will go on and on.

CAPTAIN
I know what you're thinking, okay?
You don't want to get in bed with
this every night, but it's different
now. You're retiring. In six days
you're all the way gone.

Somerset shakes his head.

CAPTAIN
You've left unfinished business
before.

SOMERSET
Everything else was taken as close
to conclusion as humanly possible.
Also... this shouldn't be his first
assignment.

MILLS
This isn't my first assignment,
dickhead. What the hell?

Mills stands, furious.

CAPTAIN
I don't have anyone else to give
this to, Somerset, you know that.
And nobody's going to swap with you.

MILLS
Give it to me.

CAPTAIN
How's that?

MILLS
There's nothing that says I have to
work with him. If Somerset wants
out, "goodbye." Give it to me.

The captain considers this.

SOMERSET
It's too soon for him.

MILLS
(to the captain)
Can we talk about this in private?

The captain looks at Somerset, then at Mills.

CAPTAIN
That's not necessary. You're in.

MILLS
Thank you.

CAPTAIN
Go start picking up the pieces. We'll
shuffle some paper and try to get
you a new partner.

Mills looks at Somerset, then leaves, closing the door.
Somerset seems deflated, staring at the floor. He looks at
the captain.

CAPTAIN
You win, Somerset. You're out.

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

TUESDAY

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

A newspaper vendor lays out a pile of tabloid newspapers at
the front of his busy newsstand.

The papers' headline is: BIZARRE MURDER!, in huge, black
print.

The vendor lays out another tabloid pile. Headline: "EAT OR
DIE" SAYS GLUTTONY KILLER!!, in big, red letters.

The vendor throws down a third tabloid stack. SICKENING MURDER --
EXCLUSIVE DETAILS INSIDE!, it reads.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - DAY

The office is old, with a single window which faces a
billboard.

TRAFFIC is HEARD from outside. There are moving boxes on the
floor. Somerset is at his desk with paperwork in two sloppy
piles. He uses a manual typewriter, filling in a yellow form.

He types hunt-and-peck, slowly. He finishes the form and
pulls it out. There is a knock at the door.

SOMERSET
Come in.

The captain pushes the door and stands in the doorway with a
PAINTER/WORKMAN at his side.

CAPTAIN
Excuse us. We have some business to
take care of.

As always, the neatly groomed captain clenches his jaw.

Somerset lines a new form in the typewriter, starts typing.

The captain strolls in. Two boxes sit on the floor with
DETECTIVE MILLS written across them. He picks up one of the
boxes and sets it on top of the other.

At the open door, the workman takes a razor blade from his
kit. He brings it against the writing on the glass of the
door: DETECTIVE SOMERSET. The workman pushes the razor to
start scraping the name away, and the razor on glass sounds
like fingernails on a blackboard.

Somerset looks up.

WORKMAN
Sorry.

Somerset turns back to the typing, hunt-and-peck. The captain
watches. The workman continues.

CAPTAIN
Have you heard?

SOMERSET
(not looking up)
No, I haven't heard.

CAPTAIN
There was a second.

Somerset stops, looks at the captain.

SOMERSET
Already.

CAPTAIN
Greed. It was written in blood.

Somerset thinks about this, then turns to type.

SOMERSET
It's none of my business anymore.

CAPTAIN
I thought you might want to be filled
in.

SOMERSET
I'm sure everyone's doing their best.

CAPTAIN
Yeah.

SOMERSET
Good.

Hunt-and-peck. The captain's jowls clamp. He steps up to
Somerset's desk, begins to straighten the two piles of forms.

CAPTAIN
Come on. What are you going to do
with yourself out there?

SOMERSET
I'll get a job, maybe on a farm.
I'll work on the house.

CAPTAIN
Can't you feel it yet? Can't you
feel that feeling...? You're not
going to be a cop anymore.

SOMERSET
What are you talking about?

CAPTAIN
You know.

Somerset reclines, facing the captain.

SOMERSET
Did you read in the paper today,
about the man who was walking his
dog? He was attacked, and his wallet
and his watch were taken. And then,
while he was still lying unconscious,
his attacker stabbed him with a knife
in both eyes. It happened four blocks
from here.

CAPTAIN
I heard.

SOMERSET
I have no understanding of this place
anymore.

CAPTAIN
It's always been like this.

SOMERSET
Really?

Somerset saddles up to the typewriter.

SOMERSET
Maybe you're right.

The captain lays the paperwork down. Both piles are now neat.

CAPTAIN
You do this work. You were made for
it, and I don't think you can deny
that. I certainly can't believe you're
trading it in for a tool belt and a
fishing rod.
(pause, walks to leave)
Maybe I'm wrong.

The captain leaves. Somerset looks up. He grabs the paperwork
piles and ruffles them back to their disheveled state. He
looks up at the workman.

The workman is looking at Somerset, has a rag in his hand to
remove the last remnants of Somerset's name.

SOMERSET
(angrily)
Try putting a little elbow grease
into it.

The workman is startled, continues his work.

INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM - LATE NIGHT

There is a dart board on one wall. THWACK -- Somerset's
switchblade hits the board and embeds.

Somerset crosses the nearly empty living room and takes the
blade from the dart board. He walks back to stand in front
of the only chair in the room. He throws the switchblade.

It embeds in the dart board. Somerset sits.

He picks a book off the floor and holds it in his lap. KIDS
can be HEARD CURSING and playing LOUD MUSIC from outside the
shuttered window. Somerset stares at the ceiling. He opens
the book and looks at the pages... stares at the pages...

He puts the book back down on the floor.

EXT. CITY STREET - LATE NIGHT

Somerset gets out of his car. He walks down the sidewalk
with a notebook in hand. THUNDER is HEARD. He takes a
cigarette out of a full pack and lights it.

He walks along the avenue. Cars race by in the street. People
walk briskly past. At a public phone, a man shouts curses
angrily into the phone, then starts pounding the phone box
with the receiver. A fire engine passes in the street, sirens,
horn and lights going full blast.

Somerset starts up a flight of massive stone stairs, past
several sleeping vagrants. One VAGRANT sits up and looks to
Somerset.

VAGRANT
Spare me a cigarette? Spare a
cigarette?

SOMERSET
Sorry, last one.

Ahead of Somerset, the library looms, a solid, powerful
structure.

INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN LIBRARY - LATE NIGHT

Somerset and GEORGE, 62, the night guard, enter the vast
space of the deserted main library.

The lamps hanging from the ceiling give off a warm, pleasant
glow over mahogany tables and chairs. To each side of this
center area are tall bookshelves. Balconies surround the
room on all four sides; three levels which overlook the
center.

Somerset is happy. This is his element, this peaceful, elegant
place. George motions to the long, empty tables.

GEORGE
Sit where you'd like.

SOMERSET
Thanks, George.

MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Hey there, Smilely.

Somerset looks up to the top balcony where TWO OTHER SECURITY
GUARDS and one JANITOR look over the banister.

SOMERSET
Evening, gentlemen.

They all say their hellos.

FIRST GUARD
Come on, George. Cards are getting
cold.

GEORGE
(to Somerset)
Duty calls.

George pumps Somerset's hand, then moves to a stairwell
leading to the balconies. Somerset walks down the main aisle,
looks around at the shelves and shelves of books.

George reaches the top balcony and the others sit at a card
table where a poker game is in progress.

Somerset puts his notebook down on one table and switches on
a green banker's lamp. THUNDER SOUNDS. Somerset looks up.

Rain is beginning to fall on the windows of the high ceiling.

SOMERSET
(shouts up)
All these books, gentlemen... a world
of knowledge at your disposal, and
you play poker all night.

UP ON THE BALCONY

George has taken a huge BOOM-BOX from a broom closet.

JANITOR
We got culture.

SECOND GUARD
(dealing cards)
Yeah, we got culture coming out our
asses.

They laugh. George sets the boom-box against the railing of
the balcony so the speakers face towards Somerset.

DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR

Somerset has gone into one bookshelf aisle. Poker table
conversation echoes from above. Somerset searches books,
reading spines. He finds one book and pulls it, continues
searching.

UP ON THE BALCONY

George hits play on the boom-box and turns the volume way
up.

GEORGE
How's this for culture?

DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR

Somerset keeps looking for books. From far away come the
strains of MOZART MUSIC filling the air. High, drifting music,
such as AIR (On the G string.) Somerset stops, listens.

He closes his eyes and soaks it in.

UP ON THE BALCONY

George sits at the card table, takes out a cigar and lights
up. He looks to the ground floor.

GEORGE
Where'd you get to, Smilely?

Below, Somerset comes out from the aisle.

DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR

Somerset looks up at George.

SOMERSET
Thank you.

INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN LIBRARY - LATER NIGHT

MUSIC CONTINUES, spinning through the air like a slow, cool
breeze.

Somerset walks, surrounded by books, carrying several. He
pulls another off a shelf and adds it to his pile.

UP ON THE BALCONY

George lays down a winning hand. The others toss in their
cards in disgust. George laughs, spouting cigar smoke.

Cigar smoke floats up in the air, thinning gracefully. Above,
rain continues dancing on the ceiling windows.

DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR

Somerset sits, opens a book on the table and reads.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM/LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

MUSIC CONTINUES, uninterrupted over this scene. Music so
pretty it is almost sad. Tracy, in a nightgown, sits up in
bed, tense, She throws off the covers and goes to the door.

She stands looking into the living room where Mills is at a
desk.

Mills sorts through paperwork and photos with his back to
Tracy.

A basketball game is on the television, but he pays it no
mind.

He sits forward, obviously frustrated, drinks coffee. He
does not know Tracy is there.

Tracy watches her husband, concerned.

INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN LIBRARY - NIGHT

MUSIC CONTINUES. Somerset has two books open. He opens his
notebook and brings a pen to bear. Writes:

SEVEN DEADLY SINS

GLUTTONY GREED WRATH LUST PRIDE ENVY
SLOTH

He crosses out GLUTTONY and GREED. Somerset picks up one
book: DANTE'S PURGATORY. Volume II of the DIVINE COMEDY.
Somerset opens it:

----------------------------------------------------------
| THE EARTHLY PARADISE |
|------------------------------------------------------- /|
| VII The Lustful /__|
| / |
| VI The Gluttonous / |
| 7 TERRACES OF / |
| PURGATION V The Avaricious / |
| and Prodigal / ______|
| / |
| / |
| / |
| IV The Slothful / |
| / |
| / |
| / |
| III The Wrathful / |
| / |
| II The Envious / _______________|
| / |
| I The Proud / |
| / |
| / |
| / THE ISLAND |
| / |
| / OF PURGATORY |
| / |
----------------------------------------------------------

UP ON THE BALCONY

George and the guys finish another hand. George looks down
at Somerset, who is writing in the notebook. George takes up
the cards and starts shuffling.

GEORGE
(down to Somerset)
You know, Smilely... you're really
going to miss us.

George shuffles again, but they flip wrong and a few go off
the table, over the balcony.

DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR

Somerset looks up at George, then looks around.

SOMERSET
I just might.

ABOVE

The cards George dropped are fluttering, flipping downwards.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - EARLY EVENING

The office is dark. Somerset is at his desk, writing:

DETECTIVE MILLS, YOU MAY WANT TO LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING BOOKS,
RELATING TO THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

DANTE'S PURGATORY
THE CANTERBURY TALES -- THE PARSON'S TALE
DICTIONARY OF CATHOLICISM

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - LATER EVENING

Somerset lays an envelope on top of the two boxes which have
Detective Mills' name on them. The envelope reads: MILLS.

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

WEDNESDAY

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - MORNING

Somerset pushes the door open and notices "DETECTIVE MILLS"
painted on the glass. Rain falls outside. Somerset goes to
his desk, but stops. All his belongings have been moved to a
small, temporary desk in the corner.

Somerset moves to open the top left drawer of the big desk.

Empty. He goes to the temporary desk and urgently searches
through the boxes of papers and files... finds what he was
looking for. He holds a small frame which fits in his palm.

Inside the frame is a PHOTO of an attractive WOMAN. Somerset
pops the frame open, looks at the picture, then puts the
picture in his wallet.

Somerset sits at the temporary desk. He begins to sort through
his papers. After a moment, he glances over his shoulder.
The envelope he left for Mills is gone.

EXT. UPSCALE CITY BLOCK - MORNING

It's raining. At one high-rent office building, many business
men and women are coming and going in a lunch-hour hurry.
Just to one side of the building, the CORONER'S WAGON drives
out from the mouth of the parking garage into the rain. People
on the sidewalk have to stop to let it cross to the street.
At the same time, a large Lincoln Towncar turns off the
street, heads into the bowels of the garage.

EXT. UPSCALE BUILDING, UNDERGROUND GARAGE - MORNING

Many police cars and news vans here, and police men and
reporters and photographers everywhere. Mills, looking
haggard, finishes a conversation with a TALL COP by the
service elevator.

MILLS
...good. Do it. I'm going back up.

Tall Cop hurries away as Mills pushes repeatedly on the
service elevator button. The elevator doors open and Mills
steps in. As the door are shutting, a COMMOTION is HEARD.
Mills stops the door and looks out.

Across the garage, the Towncar is pulling to a stop and
reporters are rushing to it. FLASHBULBS are FLASHING.

MARTIN TALBOT, 47, impressive and well dressed, steps out of
the car and faces the reporters as they start shouting
questions.

In the service elevator, Mills lets the doors slide shut.

INT. UPSCALE BUILDING, SERVICE AREA - MORNING

The service elevator opens to a dark physical plant room.
Mills exits the elevator and crosses past humming air-
conditioning vents, dripping pipes and janitor's lockers.
To a door...

INT. UPSCALE BUILDING, OFFICE CORRIDOR - MORNING

Mills comes out the service area door into a bright, ritzy
hallway. This hall and the doors along it reek of money. A
few cops are standing around. Ahead there's a police line,
which Mills ducks under on his way to stately mahogany doors.

INT. LAW OFFICE - MORNING

A huge law office. A television is on in one corner, showing
the news. Windows overlook the rain wet city. Two FORENSICS
dust for prints, whispering to each other when Mills enters.

FORENSIC ONE
(to other forensic)
...going to screw it up. I swear...
I've seen...

The other forensic clears his throat, getting back to work.

Forensic One shuts up. Mills notices this, weary.

MILLS
How's it coming?

FORENSIC ONE
Nothing yet.

Mills watches them a moment, then turns his attention to
another part of the office. A leather chair sits in an open
area.

The chair and the carpet under it are covered in a goodly
portion of brown, dried blood.

There is a trail of dripped blood from the chair to a large
desk.

On a cleared off section of the desk, a two-armed, counter
balance SCALE sits, also blood stained. The desk has been
dusted. Behind the desk, GREED is written on the wall in
blood, near a modern art painting.

Mills stands staring at this area. The TELEVISION is HEARD:

ANCHOR (V.O.)
(from television)
...going cut in live downtown right
now, where Defense Attorney Eli Gould
was found murdered in his office
late last night. District Attorney
Martin Talbot is taking questions
from reporters...

ON T.V., Talbot comes on screen, a powerful presence, with a
gold tooth in the front of his mouth. It's from down in the
garage.

A REPORTER (V.O.)
(from television)
...a small conflict of interest here?
I mean, your prosecutors have lost
more than a few very high profile
cases to Mister Gould and his defense
team...

TALBOT (V.O.)
(from television)
Now, that's ridiculous to the point
of almost being offensive. There's
no conflict of interest whatsoever,
and any claim that there would be,
or could be, is irresponsible.

Other reporters begin to shout questions, but Talbot's not
done.

TALBOT (V.O.)
Now, hold on... I want to address
that. I've just come from a meeting
with law enforcement officials, and
they've assured me they put their
best people on this thing.

Mills turns to looks at Talbot on the screen.

TALBOT (V.O.)
You just wait and see how quickly we
get a handle on it. This will be the
very definition of swift justice.

Mills walks to turn the t.v. off.

MILLS
(quietly to t.v.)
Shut the fuck up.

He turns and looks to see the forensics looking at him. The
forensics look away.

Mills walks away from the t.v., to a picture frame on the
floor.

The frame has been placed specifically in the center of the
room, facing the doors.

It is a photo if a falsely pretty, middle-aged woman, smiling
and wearing pearls. On the glass of the frame, two circles
have been drawn with blood around the woman's eyes.

Mills sits on the floor, stares at the photo.

INT. MILLS' CAR - MORNING

Mills gets in and slams the door. He is alone with the sound
of the rain. He wipes water from his face and looks at his
tired eyes in the rear view mirror. He leans over to the
glove compartment and takes out two newly purchased
paperbacks: The Canterbury Tales and Dante's Purgatory.

Mills makes a face and opens Dante's Purgatory to a bookmark.
He rests the book on the steering wheel. He reads.

He bites his lip, leaning close to the words.

He is really concentrating, mouths some of the words to
himself. He finally shakes his head and closes the book, not
understanding a word of it. Pause. He starts pounding the
book against the steering wheel with all his might.

MILLS
Fucking, Dante, goddamn, poetry-
writing, faggot motherfucker...

Mills throws the book against the windshield, then puts his
head back and closes his eyes, trying to calm. A long moment.
Quiet.

BANG, BANG, BANG -- there's a loud BANGING on the window and
Mills looks up, startled...

Tall Cop is at the window in rain gear. Mills rolls it down.

Tall Cop hands a wet paper bag through.

MILLS
Good work, Officer. Good work.

Mills rolls the window up, rips the bag open. Inside: Cliff
Notes for Dante's Purgatory and for The Canterbury Tales.

MILLS
Thank God.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - DAY

It still rains outside. Somerset sits at the big desk which
is now Mills'. He fills out form by hand as Mills enters
with a ton of his own paperwork. Somerset looks up.

SOMERSET
(gathers his things)
Let me get out of your way.

Mills sets his paperwork on the desk. He is beat. Somerset
moves to the temporary desk. They both sit and settle in,
organizing, not looking at each other.

Both attend to their work. Here are two men, about five feet
apart, each trying not to acknowledge the other's presence.

Mills takes his Cliff Notes out, looks to see Somerset is
occupied, and hides them in a desk drawer.

Somerset finishes one form, flips it and looks at Mills.
Mills sorts through photos from the greed murder. Somerset
continues writing. PHONE RINGS. Both men look at it. Phone
rings again.

SOMERSET
It's a package deal. You get the
phone with the office.

MILLS
(picks up, into phone)
Detective Mills here.
(listens, lowers voice)
Honey... I asked you not to call me
here. I'll call you back...
(listens)
What? Why?

Mills is very confused.

MILLS
(into phone)
Why? Okay... okay, hold on.

Mills clears his throat and holds out the phone to Somerset.

MILLS
It's my wife.

SOMERSET
What?

Mills shrugs. Somerset stands, takes the phone.

SOMERSET
(into phone)
Hello?
(listens)
Yes, well... it's nice to speak to
you.
(listens)
Well, I appreciate the thought...
but...
(listens)
Then, I guess I'd be delighted.
Thank you very much. Yes... goodbye.

Somerset hangs up, shakes his head.

MILLS
Well?

SOMERSET
I'm invited to have a late supper at
your house. And, I accept.

MILLS
How's that?

SOMERSET
Tonight.

Mills is lost. Somerset goes to sit back down.

MILLS
I don't even know if I'm having dinner
there tonight.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM/KITCHENETTE - NIGHT

Food is cooking on the stove. Tracy is in the living room
area carefully setting the table with good silver and china.

The door to the apartment is HEARD OPENING and CLOSING. Mills
and Somerset come down a short hallway. Mills carries a brand
new briefcase.

TRACY
Hello, men. You made it.

MILLS
Hi, honey.

Mills gives Tracy a kiss, then presents Somerset.

MILLS
I'd like you to meet Somerset.

SOMERSET
Hello.

Somerset shakes Tracy's hand lightly.

TRACY
It's nice to meet you. My husband
has told me a lot about you... except
your first name.

SOMERSET
Oh... um, William.

TRACY
It's a nice name. William, I'd like
you to meet David.
(to Mills)
David... William.

Mills smiles and nods this off, heading across the room.

MILLS
Great... I'm, uh, just going to put
these things away.

Mills moves to the adjoining bedroom. Somerset stands with
his hands folded in front of him.

SOMERSET
It smells good.

TRACY
What? Oh, yes. I mean, thank you.
(motions to the table)
Please, sit down.

Somerset takes off his jacket. Tracy goes to check on the
food.

TRACY
You can put that over on the couch.
You'll have to excuse all the mess.
We're still unpacking.

Somerset notices something on Mills' desk. It's a medal, in
a small, clear case amongst the papers and pens.

SOMERSET
I hear you and Mills were high school
sweethearts.

TRACY
High school and college, yes. Pretty
hokey, huh? I knew on our first date
this was the man I was going to marry.
God... he was the funniest man I'd
ever met.

SOMERSET
Really?

Somerset has to think about that one for a second. He picks
the medal up: a medal for valor from the Police Department.

SOMERSET
Well, it's rare these days... that
kind of commitment.

He puts the medal down. Tracy is looking at the gun strapped
under Somerset's arm as Somerset starts to unstrap it.

SOMERSET
(about the gun)
Don't worry. I don't wear it at the
dinner table.

TRACY
No matter how often I see guns, I
still can't get used to them.

Somerset lays the gun with his jacket.

SOMERSET
Same here.

Tracy smiles. Somerset goes to the table and transfers a
small notebook from his breast pocket to his pants pocket. A
piece of paper falls to the floor, closer to Tracy.

TRACY
Anyway... what girl wouldn't want
the captain of the football team as
their lifetime mate? Here... you
dropped something...

Tracy picks it up. It is the pale, paper rose. She looks at
it as she hands it back to Somerset, who is self-conscious.

TRACY
What is that?

Somerset looks at the rose, then puts it away.

SOMERSET
My future.

Tracy tilts her head, looking at Somerset.

TRACY
You have a strange way about you...
I mean interesting. I'm sorry. It's
really none of my business. It's
just nice to meet a man who talks
like that.
(goes back to stove)
If David saw that paper, he'd say
you're a fag. That's how he is.

SOMERSET
(smiles)
I guess I won't be showing it to him
then.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM - LATER NIGHT

A record player on a moving box PLAYS QUIET MUSIC. Tracy,
Mills and Somerset are eating. Mills has a beeper beside his
plate and occasionally fingers it absently.

TRACY
Why aren't you married, William?

MILLS
Tracy... what the hell?

Somerset pokes at the napkin, thinking.

SOMERSET
I was close once. It just didn't
happen.

TRACY
It surprises me. It really does.

SOMERSET
Any person who spends a significant
amount of time with me finds me...
disagreeable. Just ask your husband.

MILLS
Very true.

Mills grins, but he means it.

TRACY
(to Somerset)
How long have you lived here?

SOMERSET
Too long.
(drinks)
What do you think so far?

Tracy glances immediately to Mills.

MILLS
It takes time to settle in.

Somerset can see it is a sore subject.

SOMERSET
Well, you can get numb to it pretty
quickly. There are things in any
city...

A LOW RUMBLING is HEARD. Plates on the table begin to clatter.

MILLS
Subway train.

The dishes clatter more. Coffee cups clink against their
saucers. Tracy holds her coffee cup to stop it and smiles at
Somerset to act like it's nothing, but she is clearly
bothered.

TRACY
It'll go away in a minute.

They wait. The rumbling grows louder, knocks something over
in the sink. Somerset continues eating, fiddles with his
food. The record player skips, then plays on. The clattering
dies down.

Mills seems uncomfortable.

MILLS
This real estate guy... this miserable
fuck, he brought us to see this place
a few times. And, first I'm thinking
he's good, really efficient. But
then, I started wondering, why does
he keep hurrying us along? Why will
he only show us this place for like
five minutes at a time?

Mills laughs lamely.

TRACY
We found out the first night.

Somerset tries to stay straight, but he can't help laughing.

SOMERSET
The soothing, relaxing, vibrating
home. Sorry...

He laughs harder, covering his mouth. Tracy and Mills laugh.

MILLS
Oh, fuck.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM - LATER NIGHT

The record player plays another album. Tracy brings over a
pot of coffee and pours. Mills and Somerset have beers.

TRACY
I don't think I've ever met anyone
who doesn't have a television before.
That's... weird.

MILLS
It's un-American is what it is.

SOMERSET
All television does is teach children
that it's really cool to be stupid
and eat candy bars all day.

MILLS
What about sports?

SOMERSET
What about them?

Tracy brings over a plate of cookies and puts it on the table.

MILLS
You go to movies at least?

SOMERSET
I read. Remember reading?

MILLS
I just have to say, I can't respect
any man who's never seen "Green
Acres."

Somerset gives a blank stare. Tracy walks across the room.

MILLS
You've never seen "The Odd Couple?"
This is sick. "The Honeymooners?!"

SOMERSET
I vaguely recall a large, angry man,
and someone called Norton.

Tracy turns the record player down further, then goes into
the bedroom and shuts the door behind her.

Somerset and Mills look a the closed door. A long moment.
They look at each other, then sit for a time. Somerset puts
down his beer, sighs. He looks around.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM

The only sounds are from the city outside. The living room
table has been cleared and its surface is now covered with
various forms, reports and 8" by 10" photographs. Mills and
Somerset are both standing. Mills guides Somerset through
the photos.

MILLS
Our guy got into office, probably
before the building closed and
security tightened up. Gould must
have been working late.

SOMERSET
I'm certain. He was the biggest
defense lawyer around. Infamous,
actually.

MILLS
Well, his body was found Monday night,
okay? But, get this... the office
was closed all day Monday. Which
means, as long as the gluttony killing
was done before the weekend, our
killer could've gotten in here on
Friday. He could've spent all day
Saturday with Gould, and all day
Sunday.

Mills picks up one photo and shows it to Somerset. Long shot:
it shows the greed murder scene. Gould sits dead in the
leather chair, near the desk where the counter-balance scale
sits.

MILLS
Gould was tied down, nude. The killer
left his arms free and handed him a
big, sharp butcher's knife. See...
the scale here.

Mills pulls another photo. Close up: the two-armed scale. In
one suspended plate is a one pound weight. In the other is a
hunk of flesh.

SOMERSET
A pound of flesh.

Mills digs, comes up with a photocopy of a hand-scrawled
note.

SOMERSET
(reading note)
"One pound of flesh, no more no less.
No cartilage, no bone, but only flesh.
This task done... and he would go
free."

Mills takes out one photo showing the note pinned to the
wall beside where "greed" is written in blood.

MILLS
The leather chair was soaked through
with sweat.

SOMERSET
(nods, grim)
All day Saturday, and all day Sunday.
(pause)
The murderer would want Gould to
take his time. To have to sit there
and decide. Where do you make the
first cut? There's a gun in your
face... but, what part of your body
is expendable?

MILLS
He cut along the side of his stomach.
The love handle.

Somerset's still studying the photos.

SOMERSET
He must have left another puzzle
piece.

MILLS
Look, I appreciate being able to
talk this out, but, uh...

SOMERSET
This is just to satisfy my curiosity.
I'm still leaving town Saturday.

Mills is very tired. He rubs his eyes, then walks to take
one more photo from his briefcase. It is the photo of the
framed picture of the falsely pretty woman with her eyes
circled in blood.

MILLS
Gould's wife. She was away on
business. If this means she saw
anything, I don't know what. We've
questioned her at least five times.

SOMERSET
And, if it's a threat.

MILLS
We put her in a safe house.

Somerset nods. He puts down the photos he's holding. He begins
spreading all the pictures out.

SOMERSET
Look at these with fresh eyes. Don't
see what the killer wants you to.
Don't let him guide you...

While he speaks, Somerset keeps shifting the photos, for
example: covering the corpse in one with the edge of another.

SOMERSET
Even if the corpse is right there...
it's almost like looking through it.
Editing out the initial shock. Look
at the room.

In the photos, there's the scale. The note on the wall.
Shelves of books. The Modern Art painting.

GREED written in blood.

SOMERSET
He's preaching.

MILLS
Punishing.

SOMERSET
The sins were used in medieval
sermons. There were seven cardinal
virtues, and then seven deadly sins,
created as a learning tool, because
they distract from true worship.

MILLS
Like in the Parson's Tale, and Dante.

SOMERSET
Did you read them?

MILLS
Yeah. Parts of them. Anyway, in
Purgatory, Dante and his buddy are
climbing up that big mountain...
seeing all these other guys who
sinned...

SOMERSET
Seven Terraces of Purgation.

MILLS
Right. But there, pride comes first,
not gluttony. The sins are in a
different order.

SOMERSET
For now, let's just consider the
books as the murderer's inspiration.
The books and sermons are about
atonement for sin. And, these murders
have been like forced attrition.

MILLS
Forced what?

SOMERSET
Attrition. When you regret your sins,
but not because you love God.

MILLS
Like, because someone's holding a
gun on you.

Mills runs his hands across his face, walks to the fridge to
get beer. Somerset keeps looking at photos and papers.

SOMERSET
No fingerprints?

MILLS
Nothing.

SOMERSET
Totally unrelated victims.

Mills nods, drinking from a beer.

SOMERSET
No witnesses of any kind?

MILLS
None. Which I don't understand. He
had to get back out.

Somerset sits in a chair, picks up the photo of the wife.
Runs his fingers over the eyes circled in blood.

SOMERSET
In any major city, minding your own
business is a perfected science.
There's a public crime prevention
course offered at the precinct house
once a month. The first thing they
teach is that you should never cry
"help." Always scream "fire," because
people don't want to get caught up
in anything. But a fire... that's an
evening's entertainment. They come
running.

Looking at the wife's photo.

SOMERSET
This is the one thing.

MILLS
I know.

SOMERSET
(holds photo up)
What if it's not that she's seen
something? What if she's supposed to
see something, but she just hasn't
been given a chance to see it yet?

MILLS
Okay. But, what?

INT. SAFE HOUSE - NIGHT

The room is like a hotel room. Mills stands beside the woman
from the picture, MRS. GOULD. Mills shows her photos from
the murder scene. The photos have been covered in sections
to hide the Mr. Gould's corpse. Mrs. Gould is crying. Somerset
is on the other side of the room, holding more photos.

MILLS
I'm sorry about this, Mrs. Gould. I
really am.

MRS GOULD
I... I don't understand.

Mills helps her flip through the photos. He isn't too keen
to put her through this.

MILLS
I need you to look at each one
carefully... very carefully. Look
for anything that seems strange or
out of place. Anything at all.

MRS GOULD
I don't know why... why now?

MILLS
Please, I need you to help me if
we're going to get who did this.

Mrs. Gould sobs quietly, wipes her tears.

MILLS
Anything... anything missing or
different.

MRS GOULD
I don't see anything.

MILLS
Are you absolutely certain?

MRS GOULD
I can't do this now... please.

Mills looks to Somerset, looks at the photos Somerset holds.

MILLS
Maybe we better wait.

Somerset looks at the photos in his hand. These show Mr.
Gould's corpse in the chair, not covered in any way.

SOMERSET
It should be now. There may be
something we're not seeing.

MRS GOULD
Wait. Here...

MILLS
What is it?

Mrs. Gould points at the modern art painting on the wall in
one photo. The painting is just splattered paint, abstract.

MRS GOULD
This painting...

MILLS
What?

MRS GOULD
Why is this painting hanging upside-
down?

Mills turns to look at Somerset.

INT. LAW OFFICE - NIGHT

Where the greed murder took place. Somerset, wearing gloves,
reaches to take the modern art painting off the wall. Mills
near, watching.

SOMERSET
You're sure your men didn't move
this?

MILLS
Even if they did, those photos were
taken before forensics.

Nothing on the wall behind the painting. Blank space.

MILLS
Nothing.

SOMERSET
It's got to be.

Somerset puts the painting down, resting it on its bottom
edge.

The painting is backed by a thick sheet of brown papers
stapled into the wooden frame. Somerset points to where the
wire's eye screws used to be screwed into the frame, and to
where it has been re-screwed.

SOMERSET
He changed the wire to rehang it.

Somerset takes out his switchblade. Mills is surprised.

MILLS
What the fuck is that?

SOMERSET
A switchblade.

Somerset cuts along the edge of the brown paper to get to
the hollow space between it and the back of the canvas. He
cuts out the entire sheet. Mills helps pull it away. Nothing.
Empty.

Mills looks at both sides of the paper, then tosses it away.

MILLS
Nothing. Damn it!

Somerset lays the painting face up on the floor. He pokes
his finger on the painted surface. He brings the flat of his
blade against the painting, tries to peel some of the paint.

MILLS
The killer didn't paint the fucking
thing. Give it up.

Somerset pushes the painting away, frustrated.

SOMERSET
There must be something.

MILLS
We're screwed. He's fucking with us.

Somerset backs away from the wall, staring at the space where
the painting hung. There is only a nail. He turns, looking
around the office, then crosses.

Mills puts his hands to his temple, furious, picks up a lamp
and throws it to the floor, venting.

MILLS
Motherfucker!

Across the room, Somerset falls to his knees and pulls open
a forensics kit. He takes out a fingerprint brush, examining
the bristles. Mills sees this.

MILLS
What?

SOMERSET
Bear with me.

Somerset goes back to the wall where the painting was. He
pulls over a chair, gets on it and starts brushing near the
nail.

MILLS
Oh, yeah, sure. You got to be
kidding?!

SOMERSET
Just wait!

Somerset brushes with a few wider strokes. He leans close,
studies the powder residue. Leans closer still. Pause.

SOMERSET
Call the print lab.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM - NIGHT

Tracy is asleep, dressed, with the lights still on. She stirs,
then awakens and sits up slowly. She squints from the light,
sweaty and uncomfortable. She looks around and listens. All
she hears is traffic.

EXT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

FROM OUTSIDE, looking into the apartment, we see Tracy come
in from the bedroom. She sees Mills and Somerset are gone.
She comes to open a window, then goes to the kitchen area.

We're still LOOKING IN at her as she starts the dishes in
the sink. The RUMBLING of the SUBWAY TRAIN is HEARD starting.
The room begins to rattle, as before.

Tracy looks out into the living room, ill at ease.

INT. LAW OFFICE - NIGHT

The male forensic from the gluttony murder scene is here. He
has a magnifying glass which he's using to study a very clear
fingerprint in black powder on the wall.

MALE FORENSIC
Oh, man...

MILLS (O.S.)
Talk to me.

The male forensic bites his lip, still studying.

Mills and Somerset are watching the forensic who works O.S.

MILLS
(to Somerset)
Just, honestly... have you ever seen
anything like this... been involved
in anything like this?

SOMERSET
No.

MALE FORENSIC (O.S.)
Well, I can tell you, boys...

The forensic steps down from a stool. Behind him, where the
painting once was, are fingerprints, clear and distinct. The
prints have been left, one after the other, to form letters
which form words: HELP ME.

MALE FORENSIC
...just by looking at the shape of
the underloop on these, they are not
the victim's fingerprints.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, PRINT LAB - NIGHT

Dark. A TECHNICIAN sits before an old computer. The computer's
green screen shows enlarged fingerprint patterns being
aligned, compares, and then rejected: whir - click - whir -
click - whir - click. Mills and Somerset watch, bathed in a
green glow.

MILLS
He just may be nuts enough.

SOMERSET
It doesn't fit. He doesn't want us
to help him stop.

MILLS
Who the hell knows? There's plenty
of freaks out there doing dirty deeds
they don't want to do. You know...
little voices tell them bad things.

Somerset doesn't buy it. The technician adjusts a knob, then
turns to the detectives.

TECHNICIAN
I've seen this baby take as long as
three days to make a match, so you
guys can go cross your fingers
somewhere else.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, HALLWAY - NIGHT

Somerset and Mills come out from the Print Lab. A janitor is
mopping the hall. The computer is HEARD WHIRing AND CLICKing
onwards. Somerset sits with a groan on a couch outside the
lab door. Mills flops beside him.

SOMERSET
You meant what you said to Mrs. Gould,
didn't you? About catching this guy.
You really want to believe that,
don't you?

MILLS
And you don't?

SOMERSET
(laughs, very tired)
I wish I still thought like you.

MILLS
Then, you tell me what you think
we're doing.

SOMERSET
All we do is pick up the pieces. We
take all the evidence, and all the
pictures and samples. We write
everything down and note what time
things happened...

MILLS
Oh, that's all.

SOMERSET
We put it in a nice neat pile and
file it away, on the slim chance
it's ever needed in a courtroom.
(pause)
It's like collecting diamonds on a
desert island. You keep them just in
case you ever get rescued, but it's
a pretty big ocean out there.

MILLS
Bullshit.

SOMERSET
I'm, sorry, but even the most
promising clues usually lead only to
other clues. I've seen so many corpses
rolled away... unrevenged.

MILLS
I've seen the same. I'm not the
country hick you seem to think I am.

SOMERSET
In this city, if all the skeletons
came out of all the closets... if
ever hidden body were to suddenly
rise again, there'd be no more room
for the living.

Somerset slumps back, takes out a cigarette and lights it.

MILLS
Don't tell me you didn't get that
rush tonight... that adrenalin, like
we were getting somewhere.

Mills sits back on the couch, closes his eyes.

MILLS
And, don't try to tell me it was
because you found something that
would play well in a courtroom.

Somerset looks at Mills, who crosses his arms to sleep.
Somerset puffs the cigarette.

The computer is heard: whir - click - whir - click...

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

THURSDAY

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, HALLWAY - EARLY MORNING

Mills and Somerset are fast asleep on the couch, leaning
against each other. People pass and look at them strangely.
A man steps in front of the couch. He reaches with both hands
to slap their faces simultaneously.

It's the captain leaning over them.

CAPTAIN
Wake up, Glimmer Twins. We have a
winner.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, READY ROOM - EARLY MORNING

A windowless classroom. The captain stands at a podium in
front with a white screen at his side. A mug-shot of a man,
VICTOR, 25, is projected onto the screen from a slide
projector.

CAPTAIN
He goes by the name Victor, as many
of you know, and his prints were
found on scene by Detectives Mills
and Somerset.

FIVE hardened POLICE OFFICERS, four men and one woman, sit
in chairs facing the captain. The all wear bullet-proof vests
with the word POLICE spray-painted across them.

Somerset and Mills sit in back, drinking coffee, still asleep.

CAPTAIN
Now, this guy's a real beauty. He
has a long, long history of serious
mental illness. According the head-
shrinkers, it seems his parents gave
him a very strict, Southern Baptist
upbringing, but somewhere along the
line he dropped his marbles.

Two of the cops in the front row are talking.

CAPTAIN
Hey, you two can shut-up now!

The two cops separate like huge, embarassed school children.

CAPTAIN
Thank you, fuckheads. Now, Victor
spent a couple of months in prison
for the attempted rape of an eight
year old boy, but his lawyer made
sure he didn't stay long. Before
that, he dabbled in drugs, armed
robbery and assault. We've been doing
our best to keep an eye on him, but
he's been out of circulation for a
while.

FEMALE COP
If he disappeared, what do you want
from us?

CAPTAIN
His last place of residence is still
in his name. A search warrant is
being pushed through the courts as
we speak.

A red-headed cop, CALIFORNIA, raises his hand.

CALIFORNIA
So, have the housing cops walk up
and ring the doorbell.

The cops laugh. The captain is clenching his jaw, angry.

CAPTAIN
Listen, California. When you go in,
if Victor isn't home, one of his
buddies might be house-sitting, so
you go in guns first. Besides using,
Victor deals, and we know what kind
of crowd he runs with.

There is some chatter amongst the cops.

CAPTAIN
This is what the D.A. has a hard-on
for right now, Ladies and Germs, so
we do not question why.

Mills leans to Somerset while the captain continues the
briefing.

They whisper.

MILLS
Does this make it with you?

SOMERSET
Doesn't seem like our man, does it?

MILLS
You tell me. I'm new in town.

SOMERSET
He doesn't have the desire somehow.
Our killer seems to have more purpose.
More purpose than Victor could ever
conceive of.

MILLS
The fingerprints.

SOMERSET
Yes. They were there... so, it must
be.

MILLS
We'll tag along.

Somerset wants no part of that.

SOMERSET
Why would we?

MILLS
(smiles)
Satisfy our curiosity?

INT. MILLS' CAR - MORNING

Mills drives, follows a police van. Somerset rides shotgun.

Mills seems pumped and ready. Somerset takes two Rolaids off
a fresh roll and chews them.

MILLS
You ever take one?

Somerset takes out his gun, opens it to check the load.

SOMERSET
Never in my twenty-four years, knock
on wood. I've only ever taken my gun
out five times with the actual
intention of using it. Never fired
it though. Not once.
(closes his gun)
You?

MILLS
Never took a bullet. I pulled my gun
once. Fired it once.

SOMERSET
And?

MILLS
It was my first one of these. We
were a secondary unit, and I was
pretty shaky going in. I was still
considered a rookie.

Mills takes a corner, tires screeching.

MILLS
We busted the door, looking for this
junkie, right? The geek just opened
fire. Another cop was hit in the arm
and he went flying... like in slow
motion.
(pause)
I remember riding in the ambulance.
His arm was like Jello. A piece of
meat. He bled to death right there.

A pause.

SOMERSET
How did the fire fight end?

MILLS
I got him. I got the son-of-a-bitch.
See, I was doing really good up till
then. Lots of street busts. I've
always had this weird luck...
everything always went my way, but
this was wild.
(pause)
I got him with one shot... right
between the eyes. Next thing I know,
the mayor's pinning a medal on me.
Picture in the paper, whole nine
yards.

Somerset unrolls the window, feels the air across his face.

SOMERSET
How was it?

MILLS
I expected it to be bad, you know. I
took a human life... but I slept
like a baby that night. I never gave
it a second thought.

SOMERSET
I think Hemingway wrote somewhere...
I can't remember where, but he wrote
that in order to live in a place
like this, you have to have the
ability to kill. I think he meant
you truly must be able to do it, not
just faking it, too survive.

MILLS
Sounds like he knew what he was
talking about.

INT. SLUM BUILDING, STAIRWELL - MORNING

The five cops from the briefing, fully geared up and ready,
rifles and handguns out, move quickly up the stairs in single
file. Somerset and Mills follow, guns out. Somerset is
sweating bullets. Mills is wild eyed, juiced.

Crack viles and hypodermic needles on the stairs crunch under
the cops' heavy boots.

INT. SLUM HALLWAY - MORNING

The cops enter the dank hall. The move cautiously. A man is
lying on the floor, looking up, helpless, with dead eyes.

A door opens and a woman peeks out. The female cop points
her gun and the door slams. California, leading the group,
steps up to apartment 303. He has a search warrant scotch-
taped to the front of his bullet-proof vest.

CALIFORNIA
(to black cop)
This is it. Give it up.

The black cop hoists a heavy battering ram to California.
The other cops get on both sides of the door. Somerset and
Mills hang back a few feet, watching their backs.

BLACK COP
(points to Mills)
Cops go before Dicks.

Many people are sticking their heads out of doors in the
hall.

CALIFORNIA
Police! Open the door!!

California brings the ram forward with a splintering THUD --
once -- twice -- the door flies open. The cops storm in.

INT. SLUM APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM - MORNING

The apartment is incredibly dusty. The cops charge down the
short hall into this room where a bed sits against the far
wall.

California moves up to the bed. Someone lies under the sheets.

Three other cops move, all training their weapon on the bed.

CALIFORNIA
Good morning, sweetheart!

A blond cop goes into another room. California moves closer
to the bed, gun up.

CALIFORNIA
Get up, now, motherfucker! NOW!

INT. SLUM APARTMENT, ADJOINING ROOM - MORNING

The blond cop enters, gun trained, looks around in confusion.

The room's tables, chairs and floor are covered with hundreds
of colorful, plastic air fresheners.

INT. SLUM APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM - MORNING

Mills and Somerset enter. Somerset looks at the cops around
the bed, then looks at a nearby wall. His mouth drops in
horror. On the wall, written in excrement: SLOTH.

SOMERSET
Jesus...

California kicks the bed, enraged.

CALIFORNIA
I said get up, Sleepyhead!

He pulls the sheets off the bed and reveals the shriveled,
sore-covered form of a man who is blindfolded and tied to
the bed with a thin wire which has been wrapped time and
time again around the mattress and bed frame. Tubes runs out
from a stained loincloth around the man's waist and snake
under the bed.

CALIFORNIA
Fuck me!

Mills pushes past the other cops.

MILLS
Holy shit.

The cops recoil from the stench. Somerset steps up, putting
his gun away.

SOMERSET
Victor?

BLACK COP
What the hell...?

CALIFORNIA
(to Somerset)
Check this out, Dick...

California points with his gun to the end of the man's right
arm.

The hand is gone, severed at the wrist long ago.

MILLS
It is Victor.

SOMERSET
(points to a cop)
Call an ambulance.

The blond cop enters from the other room.

BLOND COP
What the fuck is this?

CALIFORNIA
Somebody call a hearse, more like.

The female cop has gone to one wall where a sheet is pinned
up. She pulls the sheet down. Pinned behind the sheet are
fifty-two Polaroid pictures; all pictures of Victor tied to
the bed, with a date written at the bottom of each picture.
It is a visual history of Victor's physical decay.

BLOND COP
What is going on?

Mills sees the female cop looking at the pictures.

MILLS
Hey, California, get your people
out.

Somerset takes out rubber gloves and puts them on.

CALIFORNIA
You heard him. Hit the hall, and
don't touch anything.

Somerset replaces the sheet over Victor, but not over his
head.

The cops file out and Mills goes to examine the pictures.

California stays by the bed with Somerset.

CALIFORNIA
It looks like he's some kind of
friggin' sculpture or something.

Somerset places his finger along Victor's throat.

MILLS
Somerset, you... you better look
here.

Mills looks at the photos in awe. Somerset joins him.

MILLS
All pictures of Victor tied to the
bed.
(crouches, points)
The last one is dated three days
ago.

Somerset looks at the first photo. In it, Victor is bound
and gagged, but he is healthy.

SOMERSET
The first one... it's dated one year
ago. To the day.

Somerset wipes his pale face.

Californian stands by the corpse, behind Somerset and Mills.
He lifts the sheet on the bed to look under it.

CALIFORNIA
Mother...

Mills kneels and lifts the sheet which had covered the
pictures off the floor. There is an open shoebox underneath.

MILLS
What...?

On the side of the box: TO THE DETECTIVES, FROM ME.

California leans close to Victor's gaunt, blindfolded face,
examining with morbid curiosity.

CALIFORNIA
You got what you deserved, Victor.

Somerset leans down beside Mills. Mills looks through the
shoebox. Inside are plastic, zip-lock bags.

One contains small clumps of hair. One contains a yellow
liquid...

MILLS
(looking at bags)
A urine sample, hair sample... stool
sample. Finger nails...
(looks to Somerset)
He laughing at us.

California is still close to Victor's face, when suddenly
Victor's lips twist open and Victor lets out a loud, guttural
bark.

California jerks back, shouting in fear, falling over a chair
to to the floor.

Mills and Somerset reel. They see California on the ground,
scared out of his mind, pointing.

CALIFORNIA
He's alive!

Somerset and Mills look towards the bed.

Victor's lips move feebly as he lets out a sick, gurgling
moan.

CALIFORNIA
He's still alive!!

EXT. SLUM APARTMENT BUILDING - MORNING

A crowd has gathered at the entrance. Mills' car, the police
van and two ambulances are parked on the sidewalk.

INT. SLUM HALLWAY - MORNING

The cops are in the hall holding neighbors at bay.

INT. SLUM APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM - MORNING

Three ambulance attendants are at the bed, working on Victor.

One attendant uses wire cutters to clip Victor's bonds.

INT. SLUM STAIRWELL - MORNING

Mills and Somerset are standing in the middle of one flight
of stairs. Both are highly agitated.

SOMERSET
The way this has gone till now, I
wouldn't have thought it was possible,
but we may have underestimated this
guy.

MILLS
I want him bad. I don't just want to
catch him anymore. I want to hurt
him.

SOMERSET
Listen to me. He's all about playing
games.

MILLS
No kidding! No fucking kidding!

SOMERSET
We have to divorce ourselves from
emotions here. No matter how hard it
is, we have to stay focused on the
details.

MILLS
I don't know about you, but I feed
off my emotions.

SOMERSET
He'll string us along all the way if
we're not careful.

Mills is looking at the floor, still burning. Somerset grabs
him by the jacket.

SOMERSET
Are you listening to me?

Mills pushes Somerset's hand off.

MILLS
I hear you.

There is a sudden, brilliant FLASH OF LIGHT and the SOUND of
a CAMERA ADVANCING. Mills and Somerset look.

Down the stairs, a REPORTER has his camera up, pointed at
them.

REPORTER
Say cheese.

He take another picture, flashbulb flashing.

Mills goes down the stairs, grabs the reporter, a balding,
almost silly looking man with thick glasses and wrinkled
clothing.

MILLS
What the fuck are you doing here?

The reporter squirms, holds up a laminated press pass on a
cord around his neck.

REPORTER
I have a right, Officer. I...

Mills shoves him, and the reporter stumbles a few steps,
then falls to the landing below with a thud.

MILLS
That doesn't mean anything! This is
a closed crime scene!

Somerset comes to pull Mills back. The shaken reporter stands
uneasily.

REPORTER
You can't do this! You can't...

MILLS
Get the fuck out of here!

The reporter scrambles down the nest flight, out of sight.

REPORTER (O.S.)
The public has a right to know!

Somerset yanks Mills back harder, till Mills sits on the
stairs.

MILLS
How do those cockroaches get here so
quick?

SOMERSET
They pay cops for the inside scoop,
and they pay well.

MILLS
(calming)
Sorry about that... I just...

SOMERSET
(sarcastic)
Oh, it's alright.

Somerset starts back up the stairs.

SOMERSET
It's always impressive to see a man
feeding off his emotions.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

Somerset and Mills are with DOCTOR BEARDSLEY. Victor lies
inside an oxygen tent with tubes running into him. The room
is dim.

DOCTOR
A year of immobility seems about
right, judging by the deterioration
of the muscles and the spine. Blood
tests show a whole smorgasbord of
drugs in his systems; from crack to
heroin... even an antibiotic which
must have been administered to keep
the bed sores from infecting.

Mills looks into the oxygen tent.

MILLS
He hasn't said anything, or tried to
express himself in any way?

DOCTOR
Even if his brain were not mush,
which it is... he chewed off his own
tongue long ago.

Mills winces, moves away from the bed.

SOMERSET
There's no way he'll survive?

DOCTOR
Detective, he'd die right how of
shock if you were to shine a
flashlight in his eyes.

Silence for a moment, then the doctor lets out a chuckle.

DOCTOR
It's funny to think... he's
experienced about as much pain and
suffering as anyone I've
encountered... give or take... and
he still has hell to look forward
to.

He chuckles again, engrossed in some information on a
clipboard.

Mills looks to Somerset like, "this guy's nuts."

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - DAY

A blackboard is nailed to the wall. Written in chalk:

1 gluttony (x) 5 wrath
2 greed (x) 6 pride
3 sloth (x) 7 lust
4 envy

Somerset and Mills are at their paperwork covered desks.

SOMERSET
(reading one sheet)
Victor's landlord says an envelope
of cash was in the office mailbox
each month. He says, quote, "I never
heard a single complaint from the
tenant in apartment three-o-one, and
nobody ever complained about him.
He's the best tenant I've ever had.

MILLS
A landlord's dream tenant: a paralyzed
man with no tongue.

SOMERSET
Who pays the rent on time.

Somerset turns to the typewriter, types. Mills fills out a
form by hand. He make an error and tries to erase, but the
paper rips. He curses, crumples the paper and throws it.

MILLS
I'm sick of sitting around, waiting
for him to kill again.

SOMERSET
This is the job. It's not an Easter
egg hunt.

MILLS
There must be something in this pile
of garbage we can follow. I mean,
Christ... do we have to let this
lunatic make all the moves.

SOMERSET
It's too dismissive to call him a
lunatic. We can't make that mistake.

MILLS
Oh, blah, blah, blah. The guy's
insane.

SOMERSET
It's a fine line between insane and
inspired.

MILLS
Hey, Freud, what brand of bullshit
are you shoveling, huh? Right now
he's probably dancing around his
room in a pair of his mommy's panties,
singing show tunes and rubbing himself
with peanut butter...

SOMERSET
No.

MILLS
Sooner or later his luck's going to
run out.

SOMERSET
No. He's not depending on luck. You've
seen that. We walked into that
apartment exactly one year after he
first tied Victor to the bed, to the
day. To the day! Because he wanted
us to.

MILLS
We don't know for sure...

SOMERSET
Yes we do. Here...

Somerset picks up the photocopy of the first note.

SOMERSET
This quote... his first words to us.
I looked it up. It's from Milton's
Paradise Lost. "Long is the way, and
hard, that out of hell leads up to
light... "

MILLS
And so what?

SOMERSET
Well, he's been right so far, hasn't
he?

MILLS
Just because the bastard has a library
card, it doesn't make him Einstein.

SOMERSET
Just, realize... this is not some
common lunatic. The type of intestinal
fortitude it must take... to keep a
man bound for a full year. To connect
tubes to his genitals. To sever his
hand and use it to plant fingerprints.
He's methodical and exacting, and
worst of all, he's patient.

MILLS
What does all that matter anyway?
It's not our job to figure him out,
is it? All we have to do is catching
him.

Something clicks for Somerset. He looks away, thinking.

Mills watches him.

MILLS
What?

Somerset sits. Ponders, staring off into space.

MILLS
What is it?

Somerset stands back up, takes money out of his pockets.

SOMERSET
How much money do you have?

MILLS
I don't know... like fifty.

Somerset picks up the phone and dials, still sifting through
his own money. Mills doesn't know what's going on.

SOMERSET
(to Mills)
I propose a field trip.

INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY - DAY

Somerset walks through the busy main library, goes to a group
of computer terminals. Mills follows, wound up. Somerset
sits at one computer and works the keyboard, hunt-and-peck.

MILLS
Somerset... what the fuck?

Several people turn to shush him. Somerset takes out a
notepad.

SOMERSET
At the top of the list, we'll put
Purgatory, Canterbury Tales...
anything relating to the seven deadly
sins. Now, what the killer might
research. What would he need to study
to do the things he's done? What are
his other interests? For example...

INSERT -- COMPUTER SCREEN

Somerset types. On the screen:

SEARCH: JACK THE RIPPER.

EXT. HOT DOG WORLD - DAY

The restaurant's sign reads: HOT DOG WORLD, HOME OF THE
WORLD'S BIGGEST DOGS. A MAN is trying to give out paper
advertisements.

People walk out of their way to avoid him.

MAN
(to people)
Take one, you stupid fucks! Here...
take one! It's a fucking coupon!
Take it!

INT. HOT DOG WORLD - DAY

Mills and Somerset are in a booth, both on the same seat on
the same side of the table. They look over their list of
books.

Mills goes to eat a hot dog, but Somerset stops him.

SOMERSET
They had about fifty health violations
during the last inspection.

Mills throws the dog down, looks at his watch.

MILLS
Could you at least sit across from
me? I don't want people to thing
we're dating.

Somerset watches a GREASY MAN, wearing a black suit, enter.
The man's hair is slicked back.

SOMERSET
Give me your money.

Mills hands his money to Somerset.

MILLS
I'm handing you this, and for some
strange reason, I have the idea I
should know what the fuck we're doing.

Somerset folds the money with his own into the list of books.
He holds the list in his lap, under the table. Greasy Man
comes to sit at the table.

GREASY MAN
Hey, Somerset. How are you? I didn't
know this was going to be a menage-a-
trois.

SOMERSET
It's not a problem.

GREASY MAN
Only for you do I do this. Big risk
here... so I figure we'll be even-
up. All fair and square.

Greasy Man has his hands under the table. He gets up to leave
with his hand in his pocket. He picks up Mills' dog.

GREASY MAN
About an hour.

Greasy Man leaves, eating the hot dog.

MILLS
Well, that was money well spent.

SOMERSET
Let's go.

INT. PIZZA PARLOR - DAY

Mills and Somerset sit with a pizza before them.

SOMERSET
By telling you this, I'm trusting
you more than I trust most people.

MILLS
It be best if you got to the point,
cause I'm about ready to punch you
in the face.

Somerset leans closer to Mills, speaks quietly.

SOMERSET
It's probably nothing, but even if
it is, it's no skin off our teeth.
The man at Hot Dog World is a friend,
in the Bureau.

MILLS
Him?

SOMERSET
For a long time, the F.B.I.'s been
hooked into the library system,
keeping accuate records.

MILLS
What? Assessing fines?

SOMERSET
They monitor reading habits. Not
every book, but certain ones are
flagged. Books about... let's say,
how to build a nuclear bomb, or maybe
Mein Kampf. Whoever takes out a
flagged book has their library records
fed to the F.B.I. from then on.

MILLS
You got to be kidding.

SOMERSET
Flagged books cover every topic the
Bureau deems questionable... communism
to violent crime.

MILLS
How is this legal?

SOMERSET
Legal... illegal. These terms don't
apply. I don't applaud it.

Somerset takes a bite of pizza.

SOMERSET
They can't use the information
directly, but it's a useful guide.
It might sound silly, but you can't
get a library card without i.d. and
a current phone bill.

Mills is starting to warm to it.

MILLS
So they ran our list.

SOMERSET
If you want to know who's been reading
Paradise Lost, Purgatory, and say...
The Life and Time of Charlie Manson,
the Bureau's computer will tell you.
It might give us a name.

MILLS
Yeah. Some college student who's
taking English 101 and just happens
to be writing a paper on Twentieth
Century Crime.

SOMERSET
Yeah, well... at least we're out of
the office. We've got pizza.

MILLS
How do you know all about this?

SOMERSET
I don't. Neither do you.

Somerset looks up. Greasy Man is entering the pizza parlor.

INT. SOMERSET'S CAR - DAY

The car is parked with Somerset at the wheel and Mills beside.
They're looking through pages of connected computer paper.

MILLS
This is a waste of time.

SOMERSET
We're focusing.

MILLS
I know, I know... focusing on one
little thing.

SOMERSET
(reading aloud)
The Divine Comedy. A History of
Catholicism. A book called Murderers
and Madmen.

He hands the sheets to Mills. Mills looks them over.

MILLS
(reading)
Modern Homicide Investigation. In
Cold Blood. Of Human Bondage. Human
Bondage?

SOMERSET
It's not what you think it is.

MILLS
(reads)
The Marquis de Sade and Origins of
Sadism.

SOMERSET
That is.

MILLS
(reads)
The Writings of Saint Thomas Aqu...
Aquin...

SOMERSET
Saint Thomas Aquinas.
(starts the car)
He wrote about the seven deadly sins.

INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL/HALLWAY -- DAY

Somerset and Mills walk up the stairs and turn a corner into
this long hall. Somerset is looking at the computer sheets.

MILLS
You're sure you're reading that right?
John Doe?

SOMERSET
That's what it says. Jonathan Doe.

MILLS
This is stupid. It'd be just too
easy.

SOMERSET
We'll take a look at him. Talk to
him.

MILLS
Sure. Uh, excuse me... are you by
any chance a serial killer? Oh, you
are? Well, come with us then, if
it's okay.

They reach a door, apartment 6A. Somerset knocks.

MILLS
What are you going to say?

SOMERSET
You do the talking. Put that old
silver tongue of yours to work.

MILLS
Who told you about my silver tongue?
You been talking to my wife?

Mills knocks on the door, hard.

MILLS
This is really lame.

A CREAK is HEARD O.S. Somerset turns to look towards it...

A male figure, JOHN DOE, is standing at the stairwell, wearing
a hat and standing in shadow, looking towards them. Stark
still.

Somerset furrows his brow.

The John Doe reaches into his coat, lifts his arm, pointing...

SOMERSET
Mills...!

BLAM -- GUNFIRE SOUNDS, deafening, as a bullet slams into
door 6A, just missing Somerset as he and Mills hit the floor.

John Doe fires again...

The bullet blows a huge hole in the wall, throwing plaster.
A third bullet follows, just above Mills and Somerset, and
John Doe is heard running back down the stairs.

The gunfire's still echoing, ringing, as Mills gets up and
unholsters his gun.

MILLS
Jesus Christ...

Mills scrambles down the stairwell...

IN THE STARWELL

Mills bounds down stairs, turns a corner and leaps down
another flight. He halts on the landing, listening. John Doe
can be HEARD still RUNNING, below.

IN THE HALL ABOVE

Somerset rolls and takes out his gun. He stands, dazed.

MILLS (O.S.)
(from in stairwell)
What kind of gun was it?

IN THE STAIRWELL

Somerset comes into the stairwell.

MILLS (O.S.)
(from below)
Damn it, Somerset... what kind of
gun?! How many bullets?

BELOW, IN THE STAIRWELL

Mills hurries down more stairs.

SOMERSET (O.S.)
(from above)
I don't know. Might've been a
revolver.

Voices echo. Mills loses his footing, falls...

Mills hits the next landing hard, dropping his gun.

MILLS
Fuck!

Mills gets back up and picks up his gun and keeps going.

ABOVE IN THE STAIRWELL

the stairs, breathing hard.

MILLS (O.S.)
(from below)
What's he look like?

SOMERSET
Brown hat. Tan raincoat... like a...
like a trench coat.

BELOW IN THE STAIRWELL

ready, moves to peer over the railing, down into stairwell's
center... in shadow, aiming his gun straight up... a SHOT is
FIRED from below and the bullet is

ABOVE

Somerset splinters into a million pieces, sends Somerset
ducking for cover.

Far below -- the bullet is HEARD RICOCHETING

BELOW

waiting as the gunshot echoes.

MILLS
(to himself)
Five... that's five...

Continues down the stairs...

INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, LOWER HALLWAY - DAY

And into a hallway, falling to one knee, his gun one direction --
empty hallway. Other direction, gun hand shaking, catches a
glimpse of John Doe just as he disappears around a corner.
Mills gets up, looking back to the number 2, shouting back
towards the stairwell...

MILLS
Second floor! Second floor!

FOLLOW him, tearing ass... run, full speed ahead, bringing
his gun up...

John Doe's running...

Mills takes aim...

Ahead, between John Doe and Mills, a tenant in t-shirt and
underwear comes out an apartment, looking towards John Doe,
blocking the line of fire...

MILLS
Get down! Move...!

The tenant turns to Mills, confused. Mills pushes angrily
past...

Ahead, John Doe makes an abrupt halt. A woman tenant is
looking out her door and John Doe grabs her and throws her
into the hall.

She falls as John Doe shoves his way into her apartment.

BACK AT THE STAIRWELL

Somerset comes down the stairs, tired. He runs.

AROUND THE CORNER, IN THE OTHER HALLWAY SECTION

Mills reaches the apartment Doe entered, bursting in...

INT. TENEMENT APARTMENT - DAY

Mills enters, gun up. It's a railroad apartment, with all
the rooms adjoining in a row. At the far end of the apartment,
John Doe can be seen moving out one room's window onto a
fire escape just as that room's door is swinging shut.

Mills charges through the apartment, full on...

He bashes through the closed door...

EXT. TENEMENT BUILDING, FIRE ESCAPE - DAY

Mills leans out the window over an alleyway. BLAM -- GUNSHOT.

The window above Mills' shatters and Mills pulls back.

Mills leans back out, fanning with his gun, searching.

Below, John Doe runs out the alleyway's mouth and rounds a
corner, gone.

Mills curses, scrambling out onto the fire escape, running a
few steps and then vaulting the rail... crashes down on the
roof of a car parked below. The windshield cracks. Mills
jumps off and continues the pursuit...

MILLS
(to himself)
That's six...

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

Mills rounds the alleyway corner into people packed streets.

Several people are running, heading several different
directions.

Mills comes to a halt, his focus confused, searching
desperately. Others run upon seeing his gun. Woman scream
and grab up their children. Mills can't see far down the
sidewalk because of all the people. He moves forward...

He jumps atop a fire hydrant, gripping a street sign for
balance, trying to see further down the street.

MILLS' P.O.V. -- There he is! John Doe can be seen, far off,
moving across the street, through traffic, to the opposite
sidewalk.

ON THE STREET, Mills runs, into traffic, avoiding cars, down
the center line. Angry drivers scream at him.

Ahead, John Doe glances back, ducking into an alley.

Mills gets to the other sidewalk, yelling for people to get
out of the way...

EXT. CITY ALLEYWAY - DAY

Mills comes to this tight alleyway. It's dark, with a long,
tall, vertical sliver of daylight far ahead. Mills runs...

Charging hard onwards...

A two-by-four swings out from a hidden nook along the side
of the alleyway -- slamming Mills in the face with a THWACK!!

Mills' gun hits the alley wall and clatters into a puddle.

Mills hits the dirt, on his back, nose broken and split,
face bloodied. He cries out, rolling to his side, clutching
his face.

The two-by-four is dropped. John Doe's feet cross a short
distance. Doe's hand reaches to pick up Mills' gun. (We never
see John Doe's face.)

Mills still lies on his side, stunned, spitting blood and
cursing, when he feels the barrel of his gun against the
side of his face. Mills freezes.

John Doe moves the gun slowly across Mills' face, till the
barrel reaches Mills' mouth. The barrel is inserted between
his lips.

The gun's hammer is pulled back.

Mills quakes, tries to open his eyes, but he's blinded by
the blood from his broken nose. For an instant, there is a
sudden, BRIGHT FLASH of LIGHT.

After a long moment, the gun withdrawals. From O.S., the
bullets fall out of Mills gun onto his chest.

The gun is dropped. John Doe runs towards the sliver of light.
He's gone.

Mills lies for a long moment, gasping. At the alleyway's
entrance, Somerset appears.

SOMERSET
Mills...

Mills rolls, shaken, feeling to pick up the bullets and trying
to rub the blood out of his eyes with his shirt sleeve.
Somerset arrives.

SOMERSET
Are you alright?

MILLS
I'm fine.

SOMERSET
What happened?

Mills gets up, collects his gun and pockets it, then walks
past Somerset, heading back.

SOMERSET
Mills... ?

Mills starts running. Somerset runs to follow.

INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL/HALLWAY - DAY

Mills moves from the stairwell, driven, his nose still
bleeding, heading for apartment 6A. Somerset takes Mills
arm, but Mills pulls away and keeps going.

SOMERSET
Wait... just wait.

MILLS
It was him.

SOMERSET
You can't go in there.

Somerset grabs Mills again and Mills shoves him off.

MILLS
The hell I can't! We get in there
and we can stop him.

SOMERSET
We need a warrant.

MILLS
We have probable cause now.

Somerset grabs Mills and shoves him against the wall.

SOMERSET
Think about it...

MILLS
What the fuck is wrong with you?

SOMERSET
Think about how we got here!

Somerset holds the computer paper, now crumpled in his hand.
He waves it in Mills' face as Mills struggles.

SOMERSET
We can't tell anyone about this. We
can't tell them about the Bureau, so
we have no reason for being here.

Mills stops struggling, breathing hard, seething, trembling.

MILLS
By the time we clear a warrant someone
else is going to be dead.

SOMERSET
Think it through. If we leave a hole
like this, we'll never prosecute.
He'll walk.
(pause)
We have to come up with some excuse
for knocking on this door.

MILLS
Okay... okay... get off.

Somerset releases Mills. Mills looks around the hall, then
goes right to door 6A and KICKS IT IN -- the door jam
splinters and the door swings open to darkness for a moment
before swinging back, half-shut.

SOMERSET
You stupid son of a...

MILLS
No point in arguing anymore...

Mills strides down the short end of the hall, towards a
window.

MILLS
(pointing back)
Unless you can fix that.

Mills stops, looking out the window. It overlooks a weedy,
overgrown courtyard where a THIN VAGRANT lies asleep on the
concrete. Mills turns, looking back to Somerset.

MILLS
How much money do we have left?

INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL - EARLY EVENING

On a stairwell landing, Somerset watches the thin vagrant
from the courtyard talk to a uniformed POLICEMAN who writes
on a clipboard, taking the statement.

THIN VAGRANT
So, I... I noticed this guy going
out... going out a lot when those
murders were happening. So... so
I...

The vagrant's clinging to the rail, drunk and out of it.
Mills is down further on the stairs, high strung, chomping
at the bit to get this over with.

MILLS
So, you called Detective Somerset,
right?

THIN VAGRANT
Yeah, I... I called the detective.
Because, because this guy seemed...
creepy. And... and...

MILLS
(urging him on)
And...

THIN VAGRANT
And, one of the murders was over
there... over... nearby here. I... I
called the cops...

The vagrant wipes drool from his lips. Mills comes to grip
him so he doesn't fall, searching the policemen's face for
suspicion.

MILLS
I told you the rest. You got it?

POLICEMAN
(still writing)
Yeah, whatever.

SOMERSET
Have him sign it.

The policeman holds the clipboard and pen out to the vagrant.

Mills takes the pen and guides the vagrant's hand, almost
signing it for him.

MILLS
Great. Is that it?

The policeman nods. Mills grips the vagrant and leads him
down the stairs in a hurry, around a bend. Mills looks up to
be sure they're out of the policeman's sight, takes out a
wad of cash and shoves it in the vagrant's pocket.

MILLS
Go drink yourself happy.

Mills quickly guides the vagrant on his way, then turns and
rushes up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM - EARLY EVENING

Mills pushes door 6A open, putting on rubber gloves. He steps
in with Somerset behind. Somerset turns back to the policeman.

SOMERSET
(to policeman)
Wait outside.

Somerset closes the door most of the way. Mills hits a switch
on the wall and a lamp illuminates a desk. The desk is in
the center of the room, facing them. The room is bizarre,
with some areas cluttered and others barren. All the walls
are painted black. All the large, curtainless windows are
painted over.

Somerset puts on his gloves. Mills walks to the desk.

The desktop is rather tidy. The only blatantly strange thing
is a set of notches carved into the wooden surface: three
notches. A candle has been allowed to burn down at one corner
of the desk and the wax trail goes all the way to the floor.
Mills opens the middle desk drawer. It's empty except for
The Holy Bible.

Somerset moves along shelves of books, looking at the spines.
Lots of thick, oversized art volumes. A HISTORY OF THEOLOGY.
HANDBOOK OF FIREARMS. HISTORY OF THE WORLD. SUMMA THEOLOGICA.
UNITED STATES CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW.

At the desk, Mills opens another drawer. It's filled with at
least forty empty aspirin bottles. He opens the next drawer
and finds a rosary and several boxes of bullets.

Somerset comes to look at John Doe's "bed." No mattress.
It's only a metal frame and springs with a sheet spread across
it. The sheet is sweat stained and dotted by stains of rust
at many points where springs have worn through.

Somerset walks around the bed to a narrow table not far away
against the wall. The table contains a strange tableau, like
a mini stage, hand-made of cardboard and pasted Communion
wafers. A human hand immersed in a jar of liquid is the
centerpiece.

SOMERSET
(quiet, to himself)
Victor.

Above this, on the wall, there's a clutter of pinned up
articles about the seven deadly sins, pages from art books,
pencil drawings of Christ, all tight together and overlapping.

Mills picks up a small piece of paper from a letter holder.
It's a pink receipt from WILD BILL'S LEATHER SHOP.

Written: CUSTOM JOB. $502.64. PAID IN FULL. Mills puts the
receipt back down on the desk.

Somerset walks to a black door. Opens it.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO - EARLY EVENING

Somerset enters. A ceiling light is on. Bare bulb. There are
bookshelves on three walls, filled with notebooks. Thousands
and thousands of notebooks.

Somerset takes one notebook down. It is a thick composition
book with an unlabeled cover. Inside, the pages are filled
with small handwritten sentences, thumb-nail sketches and
blurry, glued in photographs; small photos, seemingly cut
from contact sheets. The sketches, pictures and writings
takes up ever single inch.

Somerset takes down another notebook and flips through the
pages. Same as the first, filled to the brim.

Somerset crosses to another shelf and pulls another notebook.
Same deal. Somerset looks around.

SOMERSET
Jesus.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM - EARLY EVENING

Mills moves from the desk to a hall. He tries a light switch,
but it does nothing. He walks...

It's dark. A rather long hall. The only light is a red glow
seeping from under the bottom of the closed door ahead.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO - EARLY EVENING

Somerset walks to a 16mm film projector. It sits facing a
battered white screen. Somerset turns the projector on,
backing away to switch off the bare bulb above.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, HALL - EARLY EVENING

Mills reaches the door at the end of the hall. He turns the
knob and pushes the door open. He's bathed in red light.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, BATHROOM - EARLY EVENING

Mills enters. He looks around, slowly. Stunned.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO - EARLY EVENING

The projector is clattering in the dark, running a piece of
film through. The film is spliced to run as a non-stop loop.

Somerset watches the screen, light strobing across him.

The screen shows a bright image of clouds drifting, with
strange superimposed angels in flowing robes floating jerkily.
It's like a weird, old Hollywood version of Heaven.

The images switch abruptly to fire and tormented souls
laboring around a pit of molten goo, where more tormented
humans squirm. Like Heaven, it's a scratched piece of film
from Hollywood's early days.

MILLS (O.S.)
Somerset!

Somerset is engrossed in the images.

MILLS (O.S.)
Somerset... come here!

Somerset hears him.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, HALL/BATHROOM - EARLY EVENING

Somerset comes down the hall.

MILLS (O.S.)
We had him, damn it.

Somerset reaches the bathroom where Mills stands looking up
at the wall. The room has been converted into a dark room
lit by red bulbs, with strips of film hanging from the
ceiling.

SOMERSET
What are you talking about?

MILLS
We had him.

There are hundreds of prints on the walls and hanging from
drying wires. Somerset looks around, trying to understand...

Pictures of John Doe's victims, alive and dead. Grotesque
photos, of their pleading faces, and their dead bodies. Close
shots of eyes, fingers and mouths.

Mills sits on the closed toilet, throwing something into the
nearby sink and resting his head in his hands.

MILLS
The pass was a fake.

In the sink -- it's a laminated press pass on a neck cord.

On the walls, more pictures: of the crime scenes, but from
the outside looking in. Long shots. Police cars. Ambulances.

Uniformed officers putting up police barrier ribbons outside
buildings. The coroner's wagon.

Somerset stares at them, taking them in, realizing...

MILLS
We had him and we let him go.

In the backgrounds of the pictures: Somerset and Mills. In
another: Mills crossing the street. In another: Somerset and
Mills getting out of Somerset's car.

One photo, close shot, shows Mills and Somerset on the
stairwell of the building where Victor's body was found. It
is the picture taken by the balding, almost silly looking
reporter.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- NIGHT

A male forensic uses tongs to remove Victor's hand from the
jar of liquid. He places the hand in a clear plastic evidence
bag.

The forensic walks away with the hand, past a FEMALE SKETCH
ARTIST who puts the finishing touches on an accurate drawing
of the balding, almost silly looking reporter who wears thick
glasses, now known as John Doe.

SKETCH ARTIST
You're sure this is him?

Mills stands over the sketch artist. Two deputy detectives,
SARA and BILLY, are at work along with two other forensics
searching, photographing and dusting.

MILLS
Just put it in circulation.

SKETCH ARTIST
You got it. Tomorrow morning, this
city's good citizens will be on the
lookout for Elmer Fudd.

SARA
(coming to Mills)
We can't find anything to hang on
to. No paystubs, no appointment books
or calendars. Not even an address
book. And, you're not going to believe
this...

MILLS
Keep looking.

SARA
It's just... we haven't found any
fingerprints yet. Not a single one.

MILLS
You know, you're right, I don't
believe you. Keep looking.

Mills walks away.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO - NIGHT

Somerset and three uniformed officers are looking through
the notebooks on the shelves. Somerset squints at the notebook
in his hand, shaking his head as he reads. Mills enters.

Somerset looks up and closes the notebook.

SOMERSET
We could use about fifty more men
here.

MILLS
I'm trying, alright? Just tell me
what we've got.

Somerset pauses briefly at Mills' abruptness.

SOMERSET
Well, there are at least five thousand
notebooks in this room, and near as
I can tell, each notebook contains
two hundred and fifty pages.

MILLS
Then, he must write about these
murders.

SOMERSET
(opens notebook, reads)
"What sick, ridiculous, puppets we
are, and what a gross, little stage
we dance on. What fun we have, dancing
and fucking, not a care in the world.
Not knowing that we are nothing. We
are not what was intended."

Somerset turns a few pages.

SOMERSET
(reads)
"On the subway today, a man came to
me to start a conversation. He made
small talk, this lonely man, talking
about the weather and other things.
I tried to be pleasant and
accommodating, but my head began to
hurt from his banality. I almost
didn't notice it had happened, but I
suddenly threw up all over him. He
was not pleased, and I couldn't help
laughing."

Somerset closes the notebook.

SOMERSET
No dates indicated, placed on the
shelves in no discernible order.
It's just his mind poured out on
paper. I don't think it's going to
give us any specifics.

MILLS
Looking around... I've got a bad
feeling these murders are his life's
work.

A PHONE is HEARD RINGING in another room. Mills looks.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM - NIGHT

Everyone's looking around, and at each other, trying to find
the source of the RINGING. Mills and Somerset enter, baffled.
Mills looks to Sara. She shrugs and shakes her head.

Everyone searches. PHONE RINGS.

Mills gets on his hands and knees.

MILLS
Here...

Mills crawls under John Doe's "bed." He comes back out with
a rotary phone. Someone throws him a micro-cassette recorder.

Mills turns the recorder on, makes sure it's running, then
picks up the phone with the recorder to the earpiece.

MILLS
(into phone)
Hello.

JOHN DOE (V.O.)
(from phone)
I admire you. I don't know how you
found me, but imagine my surprise. I
respect you detectives more every
day.

MILLS
(into phone)
Okay, John, let's...

JOHN DOE (V.O.)
(from phone)
No, no, no! You listen. I'll be back
on schedule tomorrow, even with this
setback. I just had to call and
express my admiration. I'm sorry I
had to hurt you today, but I didn't
have a choice. You will accept my
apology, won't you?

Mills says nothing, containing his anger.

JOHN DOE (V.O.)
I feel like saying more... but I
don't want to ruin the surprise.

John Doe hangs up. Mills puts down the phone.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO - LATER NIGHT

Mills and Somerset stand in the dark, watching the continuous
loop projector's strange images of Heaven and Hell.

MILLS
You were right.

Somerset looks at Mills.

MILLS
He's preaching.

SOMERSET
(nods)
These murders are his masterwork.
His sermon to all of us. To all us
sinners.

The door opens and light bursts in. The captain stands there,
looking them over.

CAPTAIN
It's been a long day, kids. Go home.
Just make sure you sleep with the
phone between your legs.

INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, BEDROOM -- NIGHT

Somerset winds his metronome. PHONE RINGS. Somerset does not
want to answer it, but does.

SOMERSET
(into phone)
Hello.

TRACY (V.O.)
(from phone)
Hello, William? It's Tracy.

SOMERSET
(into phone)
Tracy, is everything alright?

TRACY (V.O.)
Yes, yes, everything's fine.

SOMERSET
Where's David?

TRACY (V.O.)
He's in the shower, in the other
room. I'm sorry to call like this.

SOMERSET
It's alright, I guess.

TRACY (V.O.)
I, um... I need to talk to you. I
need to talk to someone. Can you
meet me somewhere... maybe tomorrow
morning?

SOMERSET
I really don't understand.

TRACY (V.O.)
I feel stupid, but you're the only
person I know here. There's no one
else...

SOMERSET
I just...

TRACY (V.O.)
Can't you get away, for a little
while?

SOMERSET
I don't know, with this case.

TRACY
If you can, please call me. Please.
I have to go now... goodnight.

Tracy hangs up. Somerset looks at the phone, wondering.

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

FRIDAY

INT. COFFEE CAFE - MORNING

Somerset sits in the window booth with Tracy. The cafe is
noisy.

Tracy stares into her coffee while she stirs it.

TRACY
I mean, you known this city. You've
been here for so long.

SOMERSET
It's a hard place.

TRACY
I don't sleep very well.

Somerset is trying to be understanding, but sneaks a look at
his watch.

SOMERSET
I feel strange being here with you...
without David knowing.

TRACY
I'm sorry, I only...

Two young punks step up to the window outside and look in at
Tracy. One flicks his tongue rapidly. Tracy looks away.

Somerset takes out his badge and holds it against the window.

One punk gives the finger and the other spits on the window.

They leave, laughing. Tracy tries to smile.

TRACY
Perfect example.

SOMERSET
You have to put blinders on sometimes.
Most times.

TRACY
I don't know why I asked you to come.

SOMERSET
Talk to him about it. He'll understand
if you tell him how you feel.

TRACY
I can't be a burden, especially now.
I know I'll get used to things. I
guess I wanted to know what someone
who's lived here thinks. Upstate, it
was a completely different
environment.
(pause)
I don't know if David told you, but
I teach fifth grade, or did.

SOMERSET
He mentioned it.

Tracy seems very upset, near tears.

TRACY
I've been going to some of the
schools, looking for work, but the
conditions here are... horrible.

SOMERSET
You should look into private schools.

TRACY
I don't know...

Tracy looks up, wipes at her eyes.

SOMERSET
What's really bothering you?

Tracy bites her lip.

TRACY
David and I are... going to have a
baby.

Somerset sits back, the expression of soothing concern on
his face disappearing.

SOMERSET
Oh, Tracy... I have to tell you, I'm
not the one to talk to about this.

TRACY
I hate this city.

Somerset sighs. He takes out a cigarette, but thinks better
of it and puts it back. He looks out the window.

SOMERSET
If you're thinking...
(pause)
I had a relationship once, very much
like a marriage. And, she was going
to have our child. This is a long
time ago. She and I had decided we
were going to make the choice
together... whether to keep the baby.

Tracy looks at Somerset.

SOMERSET
Well, I got up one morning and went
to work... just like any other day,
except it was my first since hearing
about the baby. And, I... I felt
this fear and anxiety washing over
me. I looked around, and I thought,
how can we raise a child surrounded
by all this? How can a child grow up
here?
(pause)
So, that night, I told her I didn't
want us to have it, and over the
next few weeks, I convinced her it
was wrong. I mean... I wore her down,
slowly.

TRACY
I want to have children. It's just...

SOMERSET
I can tell you now, I know... I'm
positive I made the right decision.
I'm positive. But, there's never a
day that passes that I don't wish I
had decided differently.

Somerset reaches and takes Tracy's hand.

SOMERSET
If you... don't keep the baby, if
that's what you decide, then, never
tell him you were pregnant. I mean
that. Never.
(pause)
The relationship will whither and
die.

Tracy nods, tears welling up again. Somerset smiles a bit.

SOMERSET
But, if you do decide to have the
baby, then, at that very moment,
when you're absolutely sure, tell
David. Tell him at that exact second,
and then spoil that kid every chance
you get.

There are tears in Somerset's eyes.

SOMERSET
That's all the advice I can give
you, Tracy. I don't even know you.

He smiles again, wipes his own tears.

TRACY
William...

Somerset's beeper begins BEEPING. He takes it out and stands,
wanting to leave. Tracy gets up and kisses him on the cheek.

TRACY
Thank you.

Somerset starts to back away.

TRACY
Keep in touch after you're gone,
William. Please.

Somerset nods, raises a hand to say goodbye as he leaves.

INT. WILD BILL'S LEATHER SHOP - DAY

Mills and Somerset are on one side of the counter and WILD
BILL is on the other. Wild Bill is shirtless and covered in
tattoos.

He has a thick scar running down the center of his forehead
and down his cheek. Leather belts, whips and jackets hang on
the walls and from the ceiling.

WILD BILL
Yeah, he picked it up last night.

Wild Bill holds the pink receipt from John Doe's apartment.

MILLS
This was definitely him?

Mills points to the rendering of John Doe he holds.

WILD BILL
Yeah, John Doe. Easy name to
remember.

SOMERSET
What was this job you did for him?

WILD BILL
I got a picture of it here. It's a
real sweet piece...

Wild Bill pulls a box from behind the counter, digs in it.

WILD BILL
I figured he must be one of those
performance artists. That's what I
figured. Like one of those guys who
pisses in a cup on stage and drinks
it. Performance art.

Wild Bill hands a Polaroid picture to Mills. We do not see
the picture yet.

MILLS
Oh... give me a break.

WILD BILL
I think I undercharged him.

SOMERSET
(looks at photo)
You built this for him? You build
this?

WILD BILL
I've built weirder shit than that.
So what?

A POLICEMAN enters the store.

POLICEMAN
Detectives... we have a situation.

Mills and Somerset follow the cop out.

WILD BILL
Hey, my picture...!

Wild Bill watches them go, scratches his thick scar.

WILD BILL
Fucking pigs.

EXT. THE HOT HOUSE MASSAGE PARLOUR - DAY

It's a madhouse outside The Hot House, a bright red storefront
bordered on both sides by porno theater after porno theater.
A crowd is gathered around a police action in progress.

Cops have formed a barrier, holding back the crowd and
creating an aisle from the entrance of The Hot House to the
back of a jail-van. Cops and detectives are escorting various
men, women and transvestites into the large vehicle. The
crowd, consisting of the dregs of society, is shouting. Some
people are spitting and throwing trash at the cops.

INT. THE HOT HOUSE, RECEPTION AREA - DAY

TWO COPS are in front of a glass and steel cage. Inside the
cage is a fat, BALD MAN with a wall of sex toys behind him.

BALD MAN
Just wait! Just wait!

One cop pounds his nightstick against the glass.

COP
Get out of the fucking booth!

BALD MAN
Just wait! I'll come out, just wait!

INT. THE HOT HOUSE, CORRIDORS - DAY

All the lights are red and the walls are painted red. Mills
and Somerset follow a THIRD COP through the twisting
corridors.

POLICEMEN can be HEARD SHOUTING and MAKING ARRESTS. ROCK
MUSIC PLAYS, throbbing. They come to a door.

THIRD COP
I don't want to go in there again.

INT. RED ROOM - DAY

Mills and Somerset enter. ROCK MUSIC CONTINUES, LOUD. A strobe
light flashes from the ceiling. TWO AMBULANCE ATTENDANTS are
in the room. The first attendant is placing a sheet over a
bed, hiding the corpse of a blonde woman. The second attendant
is trying to examine the pupils of a CRAZED MAN, 55, who is
naked and wrapped in a sheet. A SWEATING COP holds crazed
man down.

CRAZED MAN
He... he... he made me do it!

SECOND ATTENDANT
I have to look at you. I have to
look at you!

LUST is scratched into the red paint on the wall in big
letters.

Mills and Somerset move towards the covered body.

FIRST ATTENDANT
(to Mills and Somerset)
You're not going to want to see this
more than once.

CRAZED MAN
He had a gun! He made me do it!

The sheet is lifted for the detectives. They grimace at what
they see. We do not see. Somerset closes his eyes and turns
away. The first attendant replaces the sheet.

Mills steps back, takes out his handkerchief and sucks on
it. He looks at the crazed man. The crazed man jerks around
while the second attendant preps a needle.

SECOND ATTENDANT
He's in shock, man. He's gone.

CRAZED MAN
Take this thing off me... take it
off! Please, take this thing off me!

The sweating cop keeps his controlling grip on the crazed
man.

CRAZED MAN
Get it off... oh, God!

SWEATING COP
(to Mills and Somerset)
You're the detectives, right? Right?
Well, you'd better see this!

Somerset's facing the wall. Crazed man's still yelling.

SWEATING COP
Hey... you better see what's strapped
onto this guy!

Mills turns to the cop.

MILLS
We've already seen it!

INT. SANATORIUM, WHITE ROOM - DAY

A Polaroid photograph on a white table. It is the photo Wild
Bill gave to Mills. It's a picture of a belt, made with extra
leather straps so it can be worn securely around the groin.
It is a strap-on phallus, except there is no plastic
protuberance.

Instead, there is a metal knife -- it's a strap-on butcher's
knife.

CRAZED MAN
And... and... and he said... he asked
me if I was married. And, I could
see he had a gun in his hand.

SOMERSET
Where was the girl?

CRAZED MAN
What? What?

SOMERSET
Where was the prostitute? Where was
she?

The crazed man leans forward in his chair.

CRAZED MAN
She was... she was on the bed. She
was just sitting on the bed.

SOMERSET
Who tied her down? You or him?

CRAZED MAN
He had a gun. He had a gun... and he
made it happen. He made me do it!
(sobbing)
He made me put that... that thing
on. Oh, Christ! He made me wear it...
and... and he told me to fuck her.
He had the gun in my mouth.

The man slides to the floor and hides his face in his hands.

CRAZED MAN
The gun was in my throat!

Somerset looks up at the mirror in his room. He stands and
picks up the Polaroids as two men in institutional uniforms
enter to collect the crazed man from the floor.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, INTERROGATION ROOM - DAY

Mills stands in this dirty room with the dirty, bald man
from The Hot House's reception area booth.

MILLS
You didn't hear any screams? Nothing?
You didn't notice when this man walked
in with a package under his arm?!

BALD MAN
No, I didn't.

MILLS
You didn't notice anything wrong?
Nothing seemed strange to you?

BALD MAN
Everybody who goes in there has a
package under his arm. Some guys are
carrying suitcases full of stuff.
And, screams? There're screams coming
out of there everyday. It goes with
the territory, little boy!

MILLS
You like what you do for a living?
You like the things you see?

The bald man smiles strangely.

BALD MAN
No. No, I don't. But, that's life.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - EARLY EVENING

THE BLACKBOARD:

1 gluttony (x) 5 wrath
2 greed (x) 6 pride
3 sloth (x) 7 lust (x)
4 envy

Somerset and Mills are shell-shocked, silent, seated at their
desks. Somerset is looking at the blackboard. Mills is looking
at the billboard out the window.

INT. SPORTS BAR - NIGHT

Somerset and Mills sit with a full pitcher of beer. The
jukebox plays for the other customers. The walls of the bar
are covered with trophies, plaques and other victory symbols.

SOMERSET
The irony is, after a day of the
type of work he did, he'd come home
and read me these morbid crime
stories. Murders in the Rue Morgue.
Le Fanu's Green Tea. My mother would
give him hell because he was keeping
me up till all hours.

MILLS
Sounds like a father who wanted his
son to follow in his footsteps.

SOMERSET
One birthday he gave me this brand
new hardcover book, "The Century of
the Detective," by Jurgen Thorwald.
It traced the history of deduction
as a science, and it sealed my fate,
because it was real, not fiction.
And, that a drop of blood or a piece
of hair could solve a crime... it
was incredible to me.

Somerset drinks, then pours more beer.

SOMERSET
You know... there's not going to be
a happy ending to this. It's not
possible anymore.

MILLS
If we get him, I'll be happy enough.

SOMERSET
No. Face it now. Stop thinking it's
good guys against bad guys.

MILLS
How can you say that? Especially
after today?

SOMERSET
Don't try to focus on things as black
and white, because you'll go blind.
There's no winning and losing here.

MILLS
You're the oldest man I know,
Somerset.

SOMERSET
You tell me, then... you walk into
an apartment, and a man has beaten
his wife to death, or the wife
murdered the husband, and you have
to wash the blood off their children.
You put the killer in jail. Who won?

MILLS
You do your job...

SOMERSET
Where's the victory?

MILLS
You follow the law and do the best
you can. It's all there.

SOMERSET
Just know that in this case there's
not going to be any satisfaction. If
we caught John Doe and he were the
devil himself, if it turned out he
were actually Satan, then, that might
live up to our expectations. No human
being could do these things, right?
But, this is not the devil. It's
just a man.

MILLS
Why don't you shut the fuck up for a
while? You bitch and complain... if
I thought like you, I would have
slit my wrist already.

Somerset sits back, looking at Mills.

MILLS
You think you're preparing me for
the hard times ahead? You think you're
toughening me up? Well, you're not!
You're quitting, fine... but I'm
staying.

SOMERSET
People don't want a champion. They
just want to keep playing the lottery
and eating hamburgers.

MILLS
What the fuck is wrong with you?
What burnt you out?

SOMERSET
It wasn't one thing, if that's what
you mean. I just... I can't live
here anymore. I can't live where
stupidity is embraced and nurtured
as if it were a virtue.

MILLS
Oh, you're so much better than
everyone, right? No one's worthy of
you.

SOMERSET
Wrong! I sympathize completely,
because if you can't win... then, if
you don't ignore everything and
everyone around you, you... you become
like John Doe. It's easier to beat a
child than it is to raise it, because
it takes so much work to love. You
just have to make sure you don't
stop to think about the abuse, and
the damage, because you'll risk being
sad. Keep ignoring.

MILLS
You're talking about people who are
mentally ill. You're...

SOMERSET
No I'm not! I'm talking about common,
everyday life here. If you let
yourself worry about one thing, you'll
worry about the next, and the next,
and it never ends. In this place,
ignorance isn't just bliss, it's a
matter of survival.

MILLS
Listen to yourself. You say, "the
problem with people is they don't
care, so I don't care about people."
But, you're already here. You've
been here a long time. So, there's a
part of you that knows, even if
everything you say is true, none of
it matters.

SOMERSET
That part of me is dead.

Mills stands.

MILLS
You want me to agree with you: "Yeah,
you're right, Somerset. This is a
fucked place. Let's go live in a
fucking log cabin." Well, I don't
agree with you. You're giving up,
and it makes me sick, because you're
the best I've ever seen.

Mills throws some money on the table.

MILLS
Thanks for the beer.

Mills leaves, other patrons watching him.

Somerset takes out a cigarette and goes to light it. The
lighter will not light, and when it does, Somerset's hand is
trembling.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM - NIGHT

Mills comes quietly into the dark bedroom. Tracy is asleep
on the bed. Mills takes off his suit jacket, puts it down.
He sits on a chair and unties one shoe, takes it off, then
looks at Tracy. Looks at her a long moment.

He puts the shoe on the floor and goes to get on the bed. He
kisses his wife's forehead, kisses her cheek, then wraps his
arms under and around her. He holds her tight, kisses her
again. Tracy stirs.

TRACY
Honey?

Mills runs his fingers along her face.

MILLS
I love you.

Mills holds her tighter. She wraps her arms around him. They
lie together, clinging, holding tighter still.

INT. MILLS' APARTMENT BUILDING/STREET - NIGHT

Through the window of the apartment, we can see Tracy and
Mills on the bed. CAMERA MOVES from this window, to the
street.

CAMERA CONTINUES down the night street, to a car far from
Mills' building. Inside the car, John Doe sits, looking up
at Mills' window. Doe looks as plain as white bread. He
adjusts his thick glasses, sips from a coffee cup.

INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, BEDROOM - NIGHT

Somerset is in bed. The metronome is sounding; tick... tick...
tick... The SOUNDS of the CITY are LOUD.

Somerset closes his eyes, concentrating on the metronome.

Tick... tick... tick... TWO MEN are HEARD from outside,
YELLING at each other. Somerset rolls over, restless. Tick...
tick... tick...

GLASS is HEARD SHATTERING. Somerset opens his eyes. MORE
GLASS, bottles being smashed. Somerset sits up. He reaches
over, grabs the metronome and throws it against the wall.

INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM - LATER NIGHT

THWACK. Somerset's switchblade hits the dartboard on the
wall and the blade embeds.

Somerset crosses the room, still dressed for bed. He is tense.
He takes the switchblade from the dartboard, paces back across
the room, turns, holds the blade, then throws. The blade
sticks.

Somerset paces back to the dartboard, pulls the blade, paces
back, throws the knife. THWACK. He goes to the board, gets
the blade, paces, turns, throws. THWACK.

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

SATURDAY

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM - DAY

A clock on the wall says 12:30.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO - DAY

Three deputy detectives are reading John Doe's notebooks.
PHONE RINGS from the other room.

INT. JOHN DOE'S APARMENT, MAIN ROOM - DAY

One deputy enters. He goes to the phone near the bed. The
phone's been hooked into recording device with a speaker and
tracing equipment. The deputy turns everything on, answers.

JOHN DOE (V.O.)
(through speaker)
I've gone and done it again.

INT. LUXURY APARTMENT, BATHROOM - DAY

Somerset is looking around this femininely decorated bathroom
with a forensic, GIL. Both wear rubber gloves.

At the sink, objects covered in blood: a pair of scissors, a
hypodermic needle, first-aid tape and gauze bandages, a bottle
of anesthetic, a straight razor and a tube of super glue.

GIL
He really did a number on her, didn't
he?

Gil opens the plastic shower curtain and looks into the tub.
The tub and shower wall are splattered with blood. The tub
has a few inches of water in it. The water is cloudy red. A
few bits of tape and gauze float in it. Gil jiggles the
drain's knob. Some bubbles pop up from the clogged drain.

INT. LUXURY APARTMENT, BEDROOM - DAY

PRIDE is written in lipstick on a full length mirror. Below
that: I DID NOT KILL HER. SHE WAS GIVEN A CHOICE.

Mills and Dr. O'Neill are in the room. O'Neill goes through
his black bag. They're by a bed where a WOMAN lies dead under
a blanket. The woman's head is sloppily bandaged with heavy
white gauze and tape. The gauze is stained by spots of blood.
Only the eyes and mouth have been left uncovered. A zoo's
worth of stuffed animals have been placed across the bed.
The woman holds a stuffed unicorn.

Somerset enters from the bathroom as Mills reaches to take
the unicorn from the woman's grasp. There is a cordless phone
in her left hand, and her and clings to it.

Her right hand holds a bottle of prescription pills. Mills
tries to open the fingers of this hand with a tongue
depressor, but they are super-glued to the bottle. Mills
turns the woman's hand slightly so two red pills roll out
onto the blanket.

SOMERSET
Sleeping pills.

Mills examines the left hand. The phone is glued into it.

O'Neill steps up, holding a thin pair of silver scissors.
He leans to slide the scissors under the woman's bandage
mask, starts cutting.

Somerset goes to a dresser where the woman's purse sits open.
He takes out the driver's license and looks at the photo.
The woman in the picture is stunningly beautiful.

SOMERSET
You see what he did?

Mills is watching the doctor work.

MILLS
He cut her up and dressed the wounds.

SOMERSET
(holds up his left
hand)
Call for help, and you'll live.
But, you'll be disfigured.
(raises right hand)
Or, put yourself out of your misery.

O'Neill removes the bandages. Mills looks away. We do not
see.

O'Neill looks to the detectives.

O'NEILL
He cut off her nose to spite her
face, and he did it very recently.

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

Mills' car pulls up in front of the precinct house. Mills
and Somerset get out. They wade through cars towards the old
precinct house building.

SOMERSET
I've decided to stay on this, till
it's over. Till it's either done or
we can both see it's never going to
finish.

Mills remains impassive.

MILLS
Oh, you want to stay now?

SOMERSET
One of two things will happen. We're
either going to get John Doe, or
he'll finish his series of seven,
and this case will go on for years.

MILLS
You think you're doing me a big favor
by staying?

SOMERSET
I'm requesting you keep me on as
your partner a few more days. You'd
be doing me the favor.

Mills walks on.

MILLS
You knew I'd say yes.

SOMERSET
No, actually, I wasn't sure at all.

Somerset and Mills climb the steps of the precinct house.

Behind them, in the street, John Doe's car pulls up and parks.

Cars behind begin BEEPING. People behind begin cursing and
screaming for him to move.

John Doe steps out, his brown work boots, pants and shirttails
are splattered with blood.

He walks towards the precinct house, hands in his pockets,
like he's out for a stroll. People on the sidewalk stop on
seeing him, avoid him.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, RECEIVING LOBBY - DAY

Mills and Somerset walk past booking cubicles and benches of
handcuffed low-lifes. Junkies are being led through by
uniformed cops. The place is swimming with activity. The two
detectives head to the wide duty desk at the end of the room.

SOMERSET
As soon as this is over, I'm gone.

MILLS
Big surprise.

They pass through a gate and Somerset goes towards a staircase
leading upstairs. Mills stops at the duty desk. Other cops
are vying for the DUTY SERGEANT'S attention.

MILLS
Mills and Somerset are on the
premises.

SERGEANT
Wonder-fucking-ful.

Another PLAIN CLOTHES COP behind the duty desk leans over to
hold out a few phone-message note to Mills.

PLAIN CLOTHES COP
Your wife called this morning. Do us
a favor and get yourself an answering
machine, how bout it?

Mills nods and wave dismissively, pocketing the messages
without looking at them and walking to follow Somerset.

JOHN DOE (O.S.)
Detective.

Mills heads toward the stairs.

JOHN DOE (O.S.)
Detective!

Mills looks back... stops.

John Doe stands inside the precinct house doors. He gives a
very slight smile.

JOHN DOE
I know you.

Somerset stops, looks back down the stairs.

Mills is staring at Doe, not comprehending.

Doe holds up his arms as if to say, "Presto, here I am."
All eyes go to the blood-soaked figure of John Doe. There
comes a sudden, near-silence in the room.

One UNIFORMED COP takes out his gun, points it at John Doe.

UNIFORMED COP
It's him!

Several other cops drop what they're doing and draw weapons.

Mills, still off balance, takes out his own gun, walking
back through the gate. He points the gun at John Doe.

MILLS
Get down. Get down on the floor.

Cops move slowly in on Doe from all sides.

ANOTHER COP
You heard him, fuckface. Get down!

Somerset comes back through the gate.

SOMERSET
Be careful!

John Doe gets down on his knees, hands in the air. Mills,
pulse pounding, steps up, gun in both hands. Not too close.

MILLS
Down! Face on the floor!

ONE COP comes from behind and nudges Doe with his foot.

ONE COP
Spread your legs and get your hands
out in front of you!

John Doe lies on his stomach, obeying. Mills comes up and
puts his gun right against Doe's head.

MILLS
Don't move. Don't move an inch.

One cop begins frisking Doe. Another comes to put on cuffs.

Somerset comes to Mills' side.

SOMERSET
I don't believe it.

JOHN DOE
(to Somerset)
Hello.

The cop putting on the handcuffs looks up at Somerset and
Mills.

COP
What the fuck is this...?

The cop holds up Doe's cuffed hands. Doe winces. Every single
one of Doe's fingers has a bandage wrapped around it.

John Doe tries to muster a smile, his face pressed against
the floor, glasses askew, gun at his temple.

JOHN DOE
(to Mills)
I want to speak to my lawyer.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, OBSERVATION ROOM - DAY

Mills holds a fingerprint card. The black ink prints are
just useless blobs, smeared with blood.

Mills, Somerset and the Captain stand in darkness. Mills
looks up from the print card through a two-way mirror into
an interrogation room.

In the interrogation room, John Doe sits, handcuffed to the
wall.

This is not some superhuman serial killer.

He looks more like an eccentric college professor, not
seething with anger, but looking around with calm, almost
lazy eyes. The lawyer, MARK SWARR, sits taking notes and
talking with Doe.

CAPTAIN
He cuts off the skin if his
fingertips. That's why we can't find
a single usable print in the
apartment. He's been doing it for
quite a while. Keeps cutting before
the papillary line can grow back.

MILLS
What about the trace on his bank
account and the guns? There must be
something to connect him with a past.

CAPTAIN
So far it's all dead ends. No credit
history. No employment history. His
bank account's only five years old
and it started as cash. We're even
trying to trace his furniture, but
for now all we know is he's
independently wealth, well educated
and totally insane. We may never
know how he got that way.

SOMERSET
Because he is John Doe, by choice.

MILLS
When do we get to question him?

CAPTAIN
You don't. It goes to court now.

MILLS
He wouldn't just turn himself in.
It doesn't make any sense.

Somerset moves from the window, crossing the room to sit.

CAPTAIN
Well, there he sits. It's not supposed
to make sense.

SOMERSET
He's not finished.

MILLS
He's pissing in our faces again and
we're just taking it.

CAPTAIN
You're wound too tight, Mills. Let
it go.

The captain walks. Mills is furious. He presses his fingers
against the two-way-mirror, pushes to crack his knuckles
loudly.

MILLS
(to Somerset)
You know he's fucking us.

SOMERSET
You and I are, probably for the first
time ever, in total agreement. He
wouldn't just stop.

MILLS
Well... what the fuck, man?

SOMERSET
He's only two murders away from
finishing his masterpiece, right?
Can you even conceive of what's going
to happen next? I mean, can you even
imagine how he'll try to finish it?

Mills looks in at John Doe. Somerset comes to stand beside.

MILLS
No.

SOMERSET
I can tell you this. I recognize his
lawyer. His name's Mark Swarr.

Mills looks at Somerset.

SOMERSET
He's the one who got Victor out.
(pause)
We'll wait for John Doe's plea.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE - DAY

Mills is at the desk, feet up. He stares at the blackboard.

1 gluttony (x) 5 wrath
2 greed (x) 6 pride (x)
3 sloth (x) 7 lust (x)
4 envy

Clock on the wall says 4:45. Somerset is packing books into
boxes, preparing for his eventual departure.

The captain steps into the office and clears his throat,
looking like there is something making him very unhappy.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, CAPTAIN'S OFFICE - DAY

Mills and Somerset stand together. The captain is behind his
desk with Martin Talbot, the D.A., seated in front of him.
Mark Swarr is addressing them all, seems nervous but in
control.

SWARR
My client says there are two more
bodies... two more victims, hidden
away. He will take Detectives Mills
and Somerset to these bodies, but
only Detectives Mills and Somerset.
Only at six o'clock today.

Talbot wipes his moist brow with a handkerchief.

TALBOT
Oh, Christ.

MILLS
Why us?

SWARR
He says he admires you.

SOMERSET
(to captain)
This is all part of his game plan.

SWARR
My client claims that if the
detectives do not accept this offer,
these two bodies will never be found.

CAPTAIN
Frankly, counselor, I'm inclined to
let them rot.

TALBOT
We don't make deals, Mr. Swarr.

Mills gets in Swarr's face.

MILLS
How is it working for a scumbag like
this? You proud of yourself?

CAPTAIN
Ease back, Mills.

SWARR
I'm required by law to serve my
clients to the best of my ability,
and to serve their best interests.

Mills back off.

CAPTAIN
Well, we're going to have to pass.

SWARR
My client... he also wishes to inform
you, if you do not accept, he will
plead insanity, across the board.

TALBOT
(to no one in
particular)
Let him try! I'd like to see him
try!

SWARR
Come now, Martin. We all know, with
the extreme nature of these crimes,
I could get him off with such a plea.

Talbot considers this, wringing the handkerchief in his hands.

Mills looks at Somerset. Somerset looks at him.

TALBOT
I'm not letting this conviction slide,
I can tell you that right here and
right now!

SWARR
He says, if you accept, under his
specific conditions, he will sign a
full confession and plead guilty...
right here, right now.

Talbot glares at Swarr.

CAPTAIN
(to Mills)
What do you think?

MILLS
I'm in.

SWARR
It has to be both of you.

SOMERSET
If he were to claim insanity, this
conversation is admissible. The fact
that he's blackmailing us with his
plea...

SWARR
And, my client reminds you, two more
are dead. The press would have a
field day if they found out the police
didn't seem too concerned about
finding them... giving them a proper
burial.

SOMERSET
If there really are two more dead.

The captain picks up a sheet from his desk.

CAPTAIN
The lab report came up from downtown,
They did a quickie on Doe's clothing
and fingernails. They found blood
from Doe, from him cutting his own
fingers... there was blood from the
woman whose face he cut off, and
blood from a third party. As yet
unidentified.

TALBOT
(to Somerset)
You would be escorting an unarmed
man.

Somerset thinks it over. He looks to Mills.

MILLS
Let's finish it.

Somerset looks at the floor, then at Swarr.

SOMERSET
(to the captain)
Well... get the fucking lawyer out
of the room and we can talk about
how this whole thing's going to go
down.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, BATHROOM/LOCKER ROOM - DAY

Somerset's hand reaches to the sink to pick up a razor.

Somerset and Mills are at the sinks, looking at themselves
in mirrors, shirtless. They have shaving cream spread across
their chests. Somerset flicks his cigarette in the sink,
then brings the razor up to start shaving the hair off his
chest. Mills is already doing the same.

SOMERSET
If John Doe's head splits open and a
U.F.O. flies out, I want you to have
expected it.

MILLS
I will.

They continue shaving.

MILLS
If I were to accidentally cut off
one of my nipple, would that be
covered by workman's compensation?

Somerset smiles just slightly.

SOMERSET
I suppose so.
(pause)
If you were man enough to actually
file the claim, I'd buy you a new
one out of my own pocket.

Mills finishes shaving, washes and wipes his chest off with
a towel. He turns dead serious.

MILLS
Listen, Somerset... I uh...

Mills pauses, sighs. Somerset stops shaving and looks at
him.

SOMERSET
What is it?

MILLS
Well, I have to tell you...
(pause)
I think I've fallen in love with
you.

SOMERSET
(shakes his head)
Slut.

MILLS
(laughs, walking out)
Kiss me on the lips.

SOMERSET
(still shaving)
Give me a break.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, READY ROOM - DAY

Somerset and Mills have their shirts open. A female technician
tapes a small radio transmitter and microphone to Mills'
chest.

Somerset is already wired up, pressing the adhesive to make
sure it'll hold.

The technician finishes prepping Mills. Somerset buttons up
his shirt. The technician packs up her kit, leaving. The
room is quiet. Somerset picks up his bullet-proof vest, slides
into it.

Mills looks at his watch. He puts on his own vest, fastening
it tight. He looks at Somerset.

Somerset takes out a roll of antacids and pops a few.

Mills holds out his hand and waits for an antacid. Somerset
looks at him, flicks a few into Mills' palm. Mills chews
them.

SOMERSET
Stay as cold as ice.

Somerset picks up his gun off a chair. Mills picks up his
gun.

They both check them out and close them up. They lay the
guns in holsters at the small of their backs.

They look at each other. Somerset holds out his hand. Mills
shakes it.

INT. CITY STREET, PRECINCT HOUSE FRONT - DAY

The street is full of shadows as the sun is falling low. At
the front of the precinct house, a throng of reporters shifts
anxiously. A line of policemen holds them back.

Martin Talbot steps out of the precinct house, cops on either
side of him. The press swarm lurches forward, flashbulbs
exploding. Talbot holds out his hands, preparing to speak.

EXT. CITY STREET, PRECINCT HOUSE REAR - DAY

At the rear of the precinct house, Somerset's car pulls out
of the fenced in parking lot. The car speeds up on the street
and turns a corner, heading into the grim city.

EXT. SKYSCRAPER ROOFTOP - DAY

California is dressed in full battle gear, looking through
binoculars to the city below. The wind blows hard.

A PILOT, holding two helmets, comes up behind California. A
sleek police helicopter sits on the roof's helipad.

CALIFORNIA
Is this wind going to hurt us?

PILOT
Just makes the ride more fun.

The cocky pilot grins.

INT. SOMERSET'S CAR - DAY

Somerset is at the wheel. Mills is in the passenger's seat,
looking back at John Doe through protective wire mesh. Doe's
in the back seat. His handcuffs are attached to ankle cuffs
by a length of chain. He is dressed in gray pants and a gray
shirt, looking out the window, sweaty but placid.

SOMERSET
Who are you, John? Who are you really?

John Doe looks to Somerset's eyes in the rearview mirror.

JOHN DOE
What do you mean?

SOMERSET
I mean, at this point, what would it
hurt if you told us a little about
yourself?

JOHN DOE
(pause)
It doesn't matter who I am. Who I am
means absolutely nothing.
(looking out, to
Somerset)
You need to turn left here... at the
traffic light.

MILLS
Where we headed?

JOHN DOE
You'll see.

Mills looks at Doe for a long time in silence.

MILLS
We're not just going to pick up two
more bodies, are we, Johnny? That
wouldn't be... shocking enough.
Wouldn't keep you on the front page
of the newspapers.

JOHN DOE
Wanting people to pay attention, you
can't just tap them on the shoulder.
You have to hit them in the head
with a sledgehammer. Then, you have
their strict attention.

MILLS
What makes you so special that people
should pay attention?

JOHN DOE
Not me. I'm not special. I'm not
exceptional.
(pause)
This is, though. What I'm doing.

MILLS
I hate to burst your bubble, but
other than the fact that you're
especially sadistic, there's nothing
unusual about these precious murders
of yours.

JOHN DOE
You know that's not true.

MILLS
In two months, no one's going to
even remember this happened.

Doe looks down for a moment, then looks up, almost shyly.

JOHN DOE
You can't see the whole... the whole
complete act yet. Not yet. But, when
this is done, it's going to be...
so... so...

MILLS
Spit it out.

JOHN DOE
It's going to be flawless. People
will barely be able to comprehend
it. It will seem almost surreal...
but it will have a tangible reality,
so they won't be able to deny it.

Doe looks down, licking his lips. He clenches his hands into
fists, digging his bandaged fingertips into his sweaty palms.

JOHN DOE
I can't wait for you to see. I can't
wait...
(pause, looks to Mills)
It's really going to be something.

MILLS
Well, I'll be standing beside you
the whole time, so you be sure to
let me know when this whole, complete
reality thing is done. Wouldn't want
to miss it.

JOHN DOE
Oh, don't worry. You won't...

INT. POLICE HELICOPTER - DAY

The helicopter is in flight above the city. California is
strapped in, hanging out the door. He holds a high powered
automatic rifle, wears goggles and a helmet/headset.

JOHN DOE (V.O.)
(through headset)
...you won't miss a thing.

Two other armed cops sit in the belly of the chopper.
California leans in and looks up towards the pilot.

CALIFORNIA
(into helmet microphone)
Head over the bridge and keep them
in sight. Just keep your distance.

The pilot looks back and nods.

EXT. CITY SKY - DAY

The chopper dips, flying like a bullet over the polluted
city, heading towards the setting sun.

EXT. CITY STREETS - DAY

Somerset's car moves along a highway at river's edge. Heading
for a huge suspension bridge filled with speeding traffic
ahead.

INT. SOMERSET'S CAR - DAY

John Doe has his head against the window, looking up at the
bridge, excited. He sits back, glances out the back window,
then faces front, bites his lip, fidgety, like a kid on
Christmas Eve.

Somerset's watching him through the rearview mirror.

SOMERSET
What's so exciting?

JOHN DOE
It's not too far away now.

JOHN DOE
(long pause)
I... I doubt I enjoyed it any more
than... Detective Mills would enjoy
some time alone with me in a room
without windows.
(looks to Mills)
Isn't that true? How happy would it
make you to hurt me, with impunity?

MILLS
(coy mocking)
Now... I wouldn't do something like
that, Johnny. I like you. I like you
a lot.

JOHN DOE
You wouldn't because you know there
are consequences. It's in those eyes
of yours, though... nothing wrong
with a man taking pleasure in his
work.
(pause, shakes his
head)
I won't deny my own personal desire
to turn each sin against the sinner.
I only took their sins to logical
conclusions.

MILLS
You only killed a bunch of innocent
people so you could get your rocks
off. That's all.

JOHN DOE
Innocent? Is that supposed to be
funny? Look at the people I killed.
An obese man, a disgusting man who
could barely stand up... who if you
saw him on the street, you'd point
so your friends could mock him along
with you. Who if you saw him while
you were eating, you wouldn't be
able to finish your meal. After him
I picked the lawyer. And, you both
must have been secretly thanking me
for that one. This was a man who
dedicated his life to making money
by lying with every breath he could
muster... to keeping rapists and
murderers on the streets.

MILLS
Murderers?

JOHN DOE
(ignoring)
A woman...

MILLS
Murderers like you?

JOHN DOE
(ignoring, louder)
A woman... so ugly on the inside
that she couldn't bare to go on living
if she couldn't be beautiful on the
outside. A drug dealer... a drug
dealing pederast, actually.
(laughs at that one)
And, don't forget the disease
spreading whore. Only in a world
this shitty could you even try to
say these were innocent people and
keep a straight face.
(getting worked up)
That's the point. You see a deadly
sin on almost every street corner,
and in every home, literally. And we
tolerate it. Because it's common, it
seems trivial, and we tolerate, all
day long, morning, noon and night.
Not anymore. I'm setting the example,
and it's going to be puzzled over
and studied and followed, from now
on.

MILLS
Delusions of grandeur.

JOHN DOE
You should be thanking me.

MILLS
And, why is that?

JOHN DOE
You're going to be remembered, and
it's all because of me. And, the
only reason I'm here right now is
because I wanted to be.

MILLS
We would have gotten you eventually.

JOHN DOE
Really? Just biding your time, then?
Toying with me. Is that it? Letting
five people die until you finally
felt like going out and hauling me
in?

Doe sits forward, slowly getting to Mills.

JOHN DOE
(angrily)
Tell me what it was that gave me
away. What was the piece of evidence
you were going to use against me
right before I walked up to YOU and
put my hands in the air.

MILLS
I seem to remember knocking on your
door.

JOHN DOE
And, I remember breaking your nose.
(leans further forward)
You're only alive because I didn't
kill you.

MILLS
Sit back.

John Doe doesn't sit back, staying very close to the wire
mesh.

JOHN DOE
I spared you, and you're going to
have to remember that every time you
look in the mirror at that nose on
your face for the rest of your life.
Or, I should say, for the rest of
what life I've allowed you to have.

Mills slams his fist against the mesh, fed up, furious.

MILLS
I said, sit back, freak. Sit back
and shut your fucking mouth!

Doe sits back, taking a deep breath and letting it out.

In the front seat, Somerset shoots a concerned glance at
Mills, then looks up into the rearview mirror.

IN THE MIRROR: Doe, calm, gives Somerset a smile.

Doe then turns his attention back out the passenger window,
watching the world pass by, his face pressed to the glass.

Mills sits forward in his seat, letting his anger come down.
Doe keeps staring out the window. A long pause.

JOHN DOE
Don't ask me to pity the people I
killed. I don't mourn them anymore
than I mourn the thousands who died
in Sodom and Gomorrah.

Mills almost lets this pass, but can't. Blunted anger:

MILLS
You fuck. You really think what you
did was God's good work?

Pause. John Doe is pressing his forefinger into the tip of
his thumb, causing blood to drip from under the bandage.

JOHN DOE
The Lord works in mysterious ways.

EXT. SKY - EARLY EVENING

The helicopter flies over huge, blackened industrial parks,
past smokestacks spewing soot. The sky is turning crimson.

INT. POLICE HELICOPTER - EARLY EVENING

California leans way out looking back at the city.

EXT. INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset's car comes down this rocky, deserted strip, towards
the industrial parks. The car tosses dirt into the air where
it is captured on the wind.

EXT. SKY - EARLY EVENING

The chopper roars, low, close to the stretch of industrial
road.

This is the only road through vast swampy fields. The
industrial parks are far behind.

INT. POLICE HELICOPTER - EARLY EVENING

California still leans out, gun poised, looks over the fields.

CALIFORNIA
There ain't no ambush out here. There
ain't no fucking nothing out here.

PILOT (V.O.)
(through headset)
We got about two minutes before they
come up behind us.

CALIFORNIA
Go high. Way up. In sixty seconds,
cut to the west.

EXT. SKY - EARLY EVENING

The chopper climbs, really moving.

EXT. INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset's car comes down the road, surrounded by marshlands.

The car slows, then stops. Mills gets out and goes to extract
Doe. Somerset gets out, looking east to the industrial parks
and city beyond. The sky is darkening.

Somerset walks and looks to the west. The sky is red. Very
far away, a passenger train moves towards the hidden sun.

Somerset watches the train, walking to the edge of the
roadway. He looks down and steps back from what he sees.

A dead dog lies in the weeds, old and moldering.

Somerset turns to the car, where John Doe stands with Mills.
Doe points with his cuffed hands to the dog, grins.

JOHN DOE
I didn't do that.

EXT. MARSHLANDS - EARLY EVENING

The wind howls, pounding on John Doe as he walks through the
swampy field. He walks slowly, encumbered by the deep muck
and by the short chain between his ankles. Mills is with
Doe, disgusted by the ooze covering his shoes and pants cuffs.
He looks ahead, cautious. Somerset walks behind them.

Doe keeps looking back towards the car on the industrial
road.

MILLS
What are you looking for?

Doe looks forward.

JOHN DOE
What time is it?

SOMERSET
Why?

Somerset looks at his watch. It's one minute after seven.

JOHN DOE
I want to know.

Mills gives Doe a shove.

Somerset looks back towards the industrial road, worried.

MILLS
Just keep leading the way.

JOHN DOE
It's close.

SOMERSET
Mills!

Mills and Doe look back at Somerset. Somerset is facing the
industrial road, pointing. A van is coming, dust flying.

Somerset looks at Mills. Mills looks at Somerset. They take
out their guns. Somerset starts towards the road.

SOMERSET
Stay with him.

MILLS
Wait!

SOMERSET
There's no time to discuss it!

Somerset runs to head off the van.

John Doe begins walking to follow Somerset.

JOHN DOE
There he goes.

Mills levels his gun at John Doe's head.

EXT. MARSHLANDS, NEAR INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset runs, breathing hard, opening the top of his bullet-
proof vest to speak into his hidden microphone.

SOMERSET
There's a van... coming down the
industrial road. Coming from the
east.

INT. POLICE HELICOPTER - EARLY EVENING

The chopper is circling in the air, far from the marshlands
with the sun behind it. Another cop is in the hatchway beside
California, looking through binoculars.

SOMERSET (V.O.)
(from headset)
The van is coming from the east. I
don't know what it is. Come around.
Come around.

EXT. MARSHLANDS, NEAR INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset continues, charging through the mire.

SOMERSET
Just get ready for anything and wait
for my signal. Wait for me.

EXT. MARSHLANDS - EARLY EVENING

Mills keeps the gun on John Doe, watches Somerset far off.

JOHN DOE
It's good we have some time to talk.

Doe starts walking again.

MILLS
Get down. Get down on your knees!

Mills grabs Doe and pushes Doe's knees out with his foot,
making Doe kneel in the brown water.

Mills positions himself behind Doe so that Doe is between
him and the road. Now, Mills can keep the gun on Mills and
still watch Somerset.

EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset comes up on the road, near his car. He signals for
the van to stop, then fires a warning shot in the air. The
van is about one hundred yards away, still coming.

Somerset walks towards it, breathless, pointing his gun.

SOMERSET
Stop the van! Stop!

The van brakes, wheels sliding on the loose roadway. Stops.

Somerset moves up to it, staying about ten feet away.

SOMERSET
Get out! Get out with your hands on
your head! Do it now!

The driver of the van, a DELIVERYMAN, pushes the door open
and slides out, slow, takes off his sunglasses.

DELIVERYMAN
Jesus Christ, man, don't shoot me!

SOMERSET
Turn around. Hands on your head!

DELIVERYMAN
What the hell's going on?

SOMERSET
Who are you? What are you doing out
here?

DELIVERYMAN
I'm... I'm just delivering a package.

INT. POLICE HELICOPTER - EARLY EVENING

California listens as the chopper spins over industrial parks.

DELIVERYMAN (V.O.)
(through headset)
It's just a package for this guy...
David. Detective David Mills.

CALIFORNIA
Motherfucker.

The pilot looks back at California.

PILOT
Let's do it.

CALIFORNIA
No! Wait for Somerset!

EXT. MARSHLANDS - EARLY EVENING

Mills and Doe can see Somerset keeping his distance from the
deliveryman. The deliveryman moves to the back of the van
and opens the van's rear door.

JOHN DOE
When I said I admired you... I meant
what I said. I do admire you.

Mills keeps his eyes on the van, but steps up to place his
gun at the back of Doe's head. Pulls the hammer back.

MILLS
Shut up.

EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

The deliveryman takes a brown package, about a foot square,
from the van.

DELIVERYMAN
This guy paid me five hundred bucks
to bring it out here. He wanted it
here at exactly seven o'clock.

SOMERSET
Put it down. Put it on the ground.

DELIVERYMAN
Okay...

He puts it on the road and backs away, holding up his hands.

Somerset glances into the field to see Doe on his knees with
Mills behind him. Somerset looks at the package. Written on
top: DETECTIVE DAVID MILLS -- HANDLE WITH CARE.

SOMERSET
(to deliveryman)
Go. Get out of here!

The deliveryman backs off, then scrambles into the van.
Somerset pulls back his bullet-proof vest and speaks into
the mic.

SOMERSET
There's a package here. It's from
John Doe.

The van tears away. Somerset doesn't know what to do. He
walks around the package, reholsters his gun.

SOMERSET
I don't know... I don't know...

He looks out towards Doe and Mills.

INT. HELICOPTER - EARLY EVENING

California waits, listening, looking into the blood-red sky.

SOMERSET (.O.)
(through headset)
I'm going to have to open it.

EXT. MARSHLANDS - EARLY EVENING

Mills watches Somerset kneel beside the package on the road.

JOHN DOE
I wish I could have been a normal
man like you. I wish I could have a
simple life.

MILLS
What the fuck is going on here?!

EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset pulls his switchblade, clicks it open.

He cuts across the top of the box, hands shaking, cuts
quickly.

He pulls the box open, pulls at some bubble-wrap inside.

INT. POLICE HELICOPTER - EARLY EVENING

The pilot grits his teeth.

PILOT
(into helmet mic)
Let's go!

CALIFORNIA
We are going to wait!

California listens.

SOMERSET (V.O.)
(through headset)
Oh, Christ... oh Christ...

EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset stumbles backwards, away from the open box. He is
white as a sheet, eyes filled with numb fear. He leans against
his car for support, wretches, sick, holds the back of his
hand to his mouth.

SOMERSET
No...

EXT. MARSHLANDS - EARLY EVENING

Mills is watching Somerset, grabs John Doe by the shirt.

MILLS
Get up. Stand up! Let's go!

Doe stands, tries to walk. Mills is walking quickly, towards
Somerset. Doe can't keep up.

JOHN DOE
You've made a good life for
yourself...

MILLS
Shut up!

Doe falls and Mills starts dragging him through the reeds.

EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD - EARLY EVENING

Somerset wipes saliva from his lips and tears from his eyes.
He takes a deep breath, looks to see Mills dragging Doe.

SOMERSET
Oh, fuck, no...

Somerset straightens, tries to pull himself together. He
swallows, draws his gun.

SOMERSET
(into hidden mic)
Listen... listen to me. Whatever you
do... don't come in here. Stay away.
No matter what you hear, do not move
in!
(starts towards Mills)
John Doe has the upper hand.

Somerset picks up his switchblade and flips the blade back
in.

He enters the marsh.

EXT. MARSHLANDS - EARLY EVENING

Mills sees Somerset coming and pulls Doe so that Doe stands.

JOHN DOE
(quietly, watching)
Here he comes.

MILLS
(shouts to Somerset)
What the fuck is going on?

JOHN DOE
(to Mills)
I want you to know, I wish I could
have lived like you do.

Somerset starts running towards Mills, mud splattering.

SOMERSET
Mills... put down your gun! Throw it
away!

Mills leaves Doe behind, walks towards Somerset, gun down.

MILLS
What?

Somerset is fifty yards away and closing.

SOMERSET
Throw your gun down now!

MILLS
What are you talking about? What
happened?

JOHN DOE
Are you listening to me, Detective
Mills? I'm trying to tell you how
much I admire you... and your pretty
wife Tracy.

Mills freezes, turns to Doe. Doe smiles. Somerset is close.

SOMERSET
Throw your weapon, detective! Now!

MILLS
(to John Doe)
What did you say?

JOHN DOE
It's surprising how easily a member
of the press can purchase information
from the men in your precinct.

SOMERSET
David... please...

JOHN DOE
I visited your home this morning,
after you left.

Mills is filled with an aching terror.

JOHN DOE
I tried to play husband... tried to
taste the life of a simple man, but
it didn't work out. So, I took a
souvenir.

Mills turns to look at Somerset with pleading eyes. Somerset
holds out his hand.

SOMERSET
Give me the gun.

JOHN DOE
Her pretty head.

MILLS
Somerset...

JOHN DOE
Because I envy your normal life.
Envy is my sin.

Somerset can't hold back tears.

Fury rises in Mills and he turns to level his gun at John
Doe.

Somerset raises his gun and points it at Mills.

SOMERSET
No!

Mills sees Somerset's gun, raises his gun to Somerset.

MILLS
Tell me it's not true.

SOMERSET
I can't let you do this...

Mills steps forward, enraged.

MILLS
Put your gun down!!

SOMERSET
Don't do this... please...

MILLS
Put the gun down, Somerset!

A pause. Somerset's gun hand is trembling. The wind whips
across them. The HELICOPTER can be HEARD distantly. Somerset
throws his gun down.

SOMERSET
David, listen to me...

Mills goes to grab John Doe by the throat and puts the gun
to Doe's forehead, blind with rage.

Somerset holds his hand behind his back, opens his
switchblade.

SOMERSET
He wants this! He wants you to do
it!

Doe is staring into Mills' eyes with wild expectation.

JOHN DOE
Kill me.

Doe lowers his head, waiting for execution.

Mills holds the gun at Doe's head, undecided, furious.

Somerset edges towards them.

MILLS
(looks to Somerset)
Stop it! You stay away!

Somerset moves the switchblade so he's holding it by the
blade, ready to throw, keeping it hidden.

SOMERSET
I can't let you do this!

Mills kicks Doe and throws him backwards on the ground. The
HELICOPTER is CLOSER.

Mills stands over Doe and points the gun.

JOHN DOE
She begged for her life, and for the
life of your baby inside her.

Mills' face fills with confusion -- then a wave of horror.

Doe's eyes register shock.

JOHN DOE
You didn't know.

SOMERSET
NO!

Somerset brings his hand out to throw the blade, but Mills
reacts to the movement, turns on Somerset and fires -- BLAM!

Somerset flies backwards in the air, bullet exploding into
his shoulder, just above the bullet-proof vest's opening.

Somerset hits the ground, crying out, bloody, writhing.

Mills turns the gun on John Doe.

INT. POLICE HELICOPTER - EARLY EVENING

The chopper is over the marshland. California is leaning out
with his rifle. He cringes from the sounds as FROM HIS HEADSET
is HEARD: BLAM -- BLAM -- BLAM -- BLAM -- BLAM.

INSERT -- TITLE CARD

TWO WEEKS LATER

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

Somerset sits in a wheelchair. He is dressed in a hospital
gown.

His upper chest and shoulder are wrapped in bandages. He
stares out the window at the city's buildings.

CAPTAIN (O.S.)
Hey there, Somerset.

Somerset turns to see the captain. Somerset looks weak, older.

SOMERSET
Hello.

The captain walks in, carrying something behind his back.

CAPTAIN
How you feeling?

SOMERSET
I can breathe without pain now, so I
guess I feel great.

Somerset musters a lame smile. The captain sits on the bed.

CAPTAIN
The guys at the precinct heard you're
getting out today. Anyway, we all
chipped in...

The captain takes a big tool belt full of tools from behind
his back. He hands it over. Somerset looks at it and lays it
on his lap. He smiles for real.

SOMERSET
Thank you. Tell them, thank you.

CAPTAIN
We figure you need all the tools you
can get to fix up that piece of shit
you call a house.

SOMERSET
Yeah, that's true.

Somerset continues examining the tools.

CAPTAIN
They're hoping you stop and say
goodbye before you go, but I told
them not to expect it.

SOMERSET
(not looking up)
It would be too hard.

The captain stands.

CAPTAIN
I have to get going, but... there is
one more thing.

Somerset looks up. The captain takes a letter from his pocket.

CAPTAIN
I don't know if you're going to want
it. It was down front. It's from
Mills.

Somerset pauses, then puts out his hand to take it.

CAPTAIN
He's being arraigned tomorrow.

SOMERSET
I read about it in the paper.

Somerset just looks at the letter.

CAPTAIN
I guess... decide for yourself. I
don't know what it says. I'm going
to go.

SOMERSET
I'll see you.

The captain nods and walks into the hall.

Somerset wheels back to the window. He looks at the letter.

Pause. He opens it. Unfolds the paper inside.

The note reads: YOU WERE RIGHT. YOU WERE RIGHT ABOUT
EVERYTHING.

Somerset closes the note, upset.

INT. HOSPITAL, MAIN NURSES' STATION - DAY

Somerset is in street clothes. He signs a form at the busy
front desk. A NURSE takes the form and hands Somerset a large
manila envelope.

NURSE
There you go, Mister Somerset.

"Mister" causes Somerset to look strangely at the nurse.

NURSE
Yes?

SOMERSET
Nothing.

EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY

Somerset comes down the stairs, slowly, tired. He holds the
manila envelope and a small suitcase. The streets are busy
with pedestrians and traffic.

He walks down the sidewalk.

He puts down the suitcase and opens the manila envelope to
look inside. He sorts through the contents, takes out his
keys and puts them in his pocket.

He reaches in the envelope again, and takes out the square
of wallpaper with the pale, red rose on it. There is some
dried blood on the paper. Somerset lays the envelope on the
ground beside the suitcase.

He looks at the rose, tries to scratch off the blood.

He looks up, squinting from the sun, at the city bustling
around him. At the tight canyon formed by the buildings.

At the cars, buses and taxis racing in the streets.

At a man, talking to himself, who lies on the sidewalk,
surrounded by garbage.

At the people, miserable people, walking past him.

Somerset takes out the note from Mills: YOU WERE RIGHT. YOU
WERE RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING.

A father passes by, holding his young son's hand. Somerset
turns to watch them pass. The father reaches to pick the son
up and carry him in his arms. The boy laughs and holds tight.

The father hugs his son to him, kisses him on the cheek. The
boy returns the kiss with great affection.

Somerset watches them disappear in the mass of humanity. He
looks back at the two papers in his hands. He lets out a
sigh.

SOMERSET
(to himself)
Oh... man...

He sighs again, drained.

He puts the pale paper rose inside the note from Mills. He
folds them together.

He tears them both up, into little pieces.

EXT. PRECINCT HOUSE - DAY

Cars roll by in the street. Cops come and go.

Somerset walks up the stairs, into the precinct house. The
doors shut behind him.

THE END

Contact | Disclaimer
Copyright © WeeklyScript.com | Scripts Copyright © their respective owners