Episode 36 Transcript

36 - Patient #11-a-7 (Caleb)
by Lauren Shippen

[sfx: click of a recorder]

Dr. Bright: Caleb, would you like to sit down?

Caleb: I just- Dr. Bright, what’s going on? I don’t understand. Who’s Wadsworth?

Dr. Bright: I’ll do my best to explain, but Caleb- I don’t have to tell you. 

Caleb: What?

Dr. Bright: If you want, we can have a normal session and you can carry on with your life. You don’t have to get more tangled up in this. 

Caleb: “This” being…

Dr. Bright: My personal failings. The AM. And all that comes with it. 

Caleb:  But Adam is involved somehow, right? Like, I mean that’s what that guy - your brother - said. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t think Adam has any idea about what Mark was referring to. If I tell you, you would know something he didn’t. 

Caleb: Not for long. I’d obviously tell him. 

Dr. Bright: Maybe he wouldn’t want to know. 

Caleb: Adam wants to know everything. And it has to do with Sam and Chloe too, right? They’re my friends, I want to know if they’re in danger. 

Dr. Bright: No one is in any danger. Immediate danger that is. 

Caleb: Dr. Bright, you’re freaking me out. 

Dr. Bright: I'm sorry, Caleb:, that is not my intention. 

Caleb: Why don’t you want to tell me? Is it really that bad?

Dr. Bright: No. No, it’s not that. I- Would you like to sit?

Caleb: Oh, yeah, sure. 

[sfx: Caleb sitting]

Dr. Bright: Caleb- telling you wouldn’t be- none of what I’m about to say is ethical. This isn’t how a therapist is supposed to behave. I care about you.

Caleb: Thanks, Dr. Bright. 

Dr. Bright: And I don’t- I don’t want to see you get hurt. 

Caleb: I thought you said there wasn’t any danger-

Dr. Bright: Immediate danger. I can’t predict the future. But there are people out there who want to use people like you and Chloe and Sam. People who would hurt you. 

Caleb: The AM. 

Dr. Bright: Yes. 

Caleb: What does this have to do with Adam? Are his parents- I mean, they don’t work for The AM. They just did that one experiment. 

Dr. Bright: Did you and Adam ever wonder how they got involved in the project?

Caleb: Well they work for, like, a secret division of the Department of Defense, and isn’t The AM a secret government agency? Seems like they would go together.

Dr. Bright: How do you know they work for a secret division of the DOD?

Caleb: We may have snooped around their home office last weekend. 

Dr. Bright: You failed to mention that at our last session.

Caleb: Yeah, well, I had other things on my mind, remember?

Dr. Bright: Ah, the priorities of a teenager. How is all that going? Better since last week?

Caleb: No embarrassing disasters, if that’s what you mean. 

Dr. Bright: Caleb, I wouldn’t categorize it as a disaster. Movies and TV make physical relationships look effortless. It’s not always like that in reality. 

Caleb: Yeah, I know. Trust me. 

Dr. Bright: Are you still disappointed?

Caleb: No, I’m not- it’s not that I was disappointed. I was just- well, I guess I’d built everything up in my head too much. And it’s not like we really…you know, went all that far but it’s just- we weren’t really in sync, you know? All the emotions got to be too much and I feel like I was too stressed out to actually focus on, I don’t know, on being there I guess. Not that it was bad- I mean, we always have a good time together, no matter what we’re doing but- 

Dr. Bright: That’s what’s important. It’s not going to be perfect. But it will get better. 

Caleb: Okay, can we stop talking about this and get back to the secret government agency stuff?

Dr. Bright: Caleb-

Caleb: No, I want to know. 

Dr. Bright: Adam’s parents had a personal connection to The AM - that’s how they got the contract. 

Caleb: Yeah, this Wadsworth person? Adam doesn’t have any relatives named Wadsworth. 

Dr. Bright: It’s a code name. I knew her as Ellie Wadsworth when I worked there but her full name is-

Caleb: Annabelle. 

Dr. Bright: Yes. 

Caleb: So Adam’s aunt, what? Works for The AM?

Dr. Bright: She runs it. Here, anyway. She’s the regional director. 

Caleb: Okay, but you worked for them, didn’t you? And so did Adam’s parents. And you’re all, you know, good, not dangerous people. Annabelle seemed normal. 

Dr. Bright: You met her?

Caleb: Yeah, pretty briefly. She gave me a ride home last weekend when she picked up Adam. 

Dr. Bright: What was your impression of her?

Caleb: Um, fine, I guess. She seemed cool.

Dr. Bright: I’m curious, how did her feelings feel to you? You’ve said in the past that Adam’s parents’ feelings are familiar because they have a similar quality to Adam’s. Was it the same with Annabelle?

Caleb: Um, I don’t know. I didn’t really notice her feelings. 

Dr. Bright: Okay. Did she- did she ask about you at all?

Caleb: Not really. I mean, she asked us how our day was going and about school and stuff but nothing weird. Do you think she knows that I’m an atypical?

Dr. Bright: She does. She- she’s asked me about you. 

Caleb: Wait, you talk to her? 

Dr. Bright: I do. We used to work together and we still have meetings from time to time. 

Caleb: Did you know she was related to Adam?

Dr. Bright: No. Not until very recently. Chloe figured it out. 

Caleb: Right. Last week she said Annabelle looked familiar, we just thought it was because she’d seen her in Adam’s thoughts. 

Dr. Bright: She had seen Annabelle in my thoughts as well. 

Caleb: Okay, so you and Adam’s aunt used to work together and you still hang out sometimes. What’s the big deal?

Dr. Bright: Well, it’s possible Chloe recognized Annabelle from Frank’s thoughts as well. She was involved in the experiments. 

Caleb: But that makes sense if she’s the one that got Adam’s parents involved. And I know that Frank got all messed up from those but he’s doing better now. I don’t get why everyone is freaking out. 

Dr. Bright: Wadswor- Annabelle was the one who brought my brother to The AM. 

Caleb: Wait, wasn’t your brother, like, in captivity for years?

Dr. Bright: Yes. 

Caleb: At The AM.

Dr. Bright: Yes. 

Caleb: And Annabelle what- kidnapped him?

Dr. Bright: She specifically targeted him. It is my belief that she was surveilling me and found out about Mark’s ability and lured him into The AM. And she’s the one that kept him there for over four years.

Caleb: Fuck. Fuck. That is so fucked up. 

Dr. Bright: Yes. 

Caleb: So Adam is related to some kind of evil scientist who kidnaps people and experiments on them for years?

Dr. Bright: This isn’t a movie, Caleb. 

Caleb: I know that, but how else would you say it?

Dr. Bright: Ellie is a scientist who…goes to extreme lengths for her work. 

Caleb: You don’t need to sugarcoat it for me, Dr. Bright. I can feel what’s going on - you’re scared. 

Dr. Bright: I’m worried. 

Caleb: Doesn’t feel like just worry. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t want you to draw attention to yourself. The AM knows about you but they don’t need to have any reason to look at you more closely. 

Caleb: Why would they even want me?

Dr. Bright: I don’t think they would. You’re a perfectly normal empath by their standards. 

Caleb: So why are you so scared?

Dr. Bright: Ellie is unpredictable. I’ve been wrong about her in the past, so, when she says she doesn’t have any interest in you, I’m not sure whether I should believe her. 

Caleb: What do you think she would do?

Dr. Bright: I have no idea. I just know that very few people’s lives have improved from an association with that woman. 

Caleb: So what am I supposed to do? I’m not gonna break up with Adam again because he has sketchy relatives. It’s not his fault. 

Dr. Bright: I wasn’t suggesting that at all. If Mark hadn’t said anything, I’m not sure-

Caleb: -you would've told me. 

Dr. Bright: I’m your therapist, Caleb. This entire conversation is completely inappropriate. 

Caleb: Yeah, but you’re not, like, a normal therapist. And I’m not a normal guy and I don’t have normal problems so we can’t do this normally. I’m glad you told me. Even if you hadn’t, I’m sure Chloe would have.

Dr. Bright: Maybe. 

Caleb: She tells me everything - she calls it atypical solidarity.

Dr. Bright: It doesn’t have to be an “us versus them” dynamic. 

Caleb: But it sort of is, right? I mean, they want to use people like us for experiments and whatever and I get that some people volunteer, but that’s obviously not, like, a requirement for them. And that- that just sucks. 

Dr. Bright: It- yes, it does. 

Caleb: Adam is gonna be crushed. 

Dr. Bright: What do you mean?

Caleb: I mean, Annabelle is like the one relative he really gets along with. He doesn’t have a ton of family and I don’t know, I think he looks up to her a lot. What- what are feeling right now? It feels kinda warm? Like pride but not. Sadder than that.

Dr. Bright: Annabelle was someone I used to look up to as well. I guess a part of me still remembers what that feels like. 

Caleb: Do you think she- do you think she’s, you know, like, actually evil?

Dr. Bright: Caleb, we have already spent far too much of this session talking about my past-

Caleb: Dr. Bright just. Please. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t know that anyone is just evil or just good. She’s a complicated person. 

Caleb: I thought I said not to sugarcoat it. 

Dr. Bright: I’m not. Caleb, you’re so young- 

Caleb: That doesn’t mean I don’t get moral ambiguity. Oh, don’t look all surprised, you’ve met my boyfriend. He’s always saying shit like that. 

Dr. Bright: Fair enough. 

Caleb: And even if Adam wasn’t always going on about how much he loves morally gray characters, I can feel people’s feelings, remember? When someone makes a bad choice I can feel what’s really behind it. Like the guys in school that used to bully Adam. They still pick on kids sometimes but now I know what it’s about. They’re mean but they don’t feel mean. They feel scared. They feel scared and small and I know that adults are always telling us that people are dicks because they feel bad about themselves but it’s a lot easier to believe that when you can feel it yourself. 

Dr. Bright: You’re right, Caleb. Fear is a powerful motivator. 

Caleb: Anger too. 

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry?

Caleb: Your- your brother, he’s. It’s been building the whole time and now he’s- he’s really amped up. I can feel him in the waiting room, he’s so- I thought it was fear at first and there is that but he’s so angry too. I feel like there’s something under my skin, I wanna- I wanna do something. Hit something. 

Dr. Bright: I apologize, Caleb, I didn’t realize. I’ll go talk to him-

Caleb: No, don’t. Just wait. I need to figure this- what’s his deal? Something really weird is happening, it’s like we’re looping, like something’s glitching. 

Dr. Bright: Mark can emulate the powers of other atypicals.

Caleb: What? So he is an empath?

Dr. Bright: Right now he is. 

Caleb: Ah fuck, I feel so weird. How do I get out of this? No- don’t open the door! That won’t- I don’t want to get closer. 

Dr. Bright: Okay. Okay, let’s try those mindfulness exercises. Close your eyes, and refocus on your breathing. 

Caleb: Okay. Okay, okay. 

Dr. Bright: That’s good. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Good, Caleb. Okay, now pull your ability back from the waiting room. Imagine it like a fishing line. Let the weight on the other end go and then slowly reel it back in. If it feels like you need to latch onto something else, focus on my emotions. Familiar, calm. And when you’re ready, pull the line in even further until it is contained in you. Feel your emotions and let them move freely through you. 

Caleb: Thanks, Dr. Bright. That got a bit, uh- just, thanks. 

Dr. Bright: Of course, Caleb. Can you still feel Mark’s emotions?

Caleb: No, not really. He was, uh, calming down with me. And then he just kinda dropped off or something. 

Dr. Bright: Do you mind if I check on him?

Caleb: Yeah, that’s fine. I think I’m- I’m good now. 

[sfx: footsteps and opening door]

Dr. Bright: He’s asleep. 

Caleb: Really? Wow, I wish I could fall asleep that easily.

[sfx: closing door] 

Dr. Bright: He’s had a tiring day. 

Caleb: Right. Is he gonna be okay? With everything that The AM did to him it felt- it felt bad. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t know, Caleb. 

Caleb: I’m sorry you’re sad. 

Dr. Bright: It’s fine. He’s home. That’s what matters. I’m sorry this session has been so irregular. 

Caleb: What am I gonna tell Adam?

Dr. Bright: You don’t have to tell him anything. 

Caleb: Of course I do. He’ll be upset but- I mean, he was upset when he found out about his parents but we got through it. He knows I’m here for him no matter what.

Dr. Bright: That’s wonderful, Caleb. I’m very glad you two are so supportive of each other. 

Caleb: Me too. I, uh- sometimes, lately, I feel like everything is gonna come crashing down. 

Dr. Bright: What do you mean by that?

Caleb: I don’t know it’s just- the past few weeks have been weird, you know? Like, weirder than normal. Meeting Sam, and hanging out with her and Chloe and then now meeting your brother and seeing Damien again, it’s just, I don’t know, sometimes I forget that there’s a world outside of me and Adam, you know? Especially since things have been so, well, intense with us recently, it’s just been- it's just been kinda nice to live in that little bubble. But I keep meeting all these people like me and it’s cool and I care about them, but- well, Sam and Chloe are my friends but their lives are complicated. And it makes my life complicated and I want to be a part of it because I want to have people in my life who are like me but at the same time I kinda wish I could pretend that whole part of my life doesn’t exist. Does that make sense?

Dr. Bright: Yes, it does. 

Caleb: And now Adam’s wrapped up in it- even more than before and it’s just. Other high schoolers don’t have to deal with kinda shit, you know? With mind readers and time travelers and creepy government agencies. And I guess sometimes I don’t know how to deal. 

Dr. Bright: From where I’m sitting you’re dealing with all of it extremely well. 

Caleb: Thanks, Dr. Bright. I just don’t want anyone to get hurt. 

Dr. Bright: Neither do I. 

Caleb: So, what are you gonna do? About Annabelle and your brother and me?

Dr. Bright: You don’t factor into it, Caleb. I don’t want you to be involved. At all. 

Caleb: But Adam-

Dr. Bright: He shouldn’t be involved either. 

Caleb: But he is! Alright? He is. His favorite aunt held your brother hostage!

Dr. Bright: And now my brother is safe and we can all go back to our lives. 

Caleb: Just like that?

Dr. Bright: Sometimes the only thing to do in life is move forward. 

Caleb: You’re angry. I- I’ve never felt that from you. Not really. Now you’re surprised. 

Dr. Bright: I’ve been angry for a long time now. I assumed you’d felt that before. 

Caleb: No, I only just noticed it now because it feels like your brother’s- well, not exactly, it’s not exactly the same emotion but it’s like…

Dr. Bright: People who are related have similar qualities to their emotions. Like with Adam and his parents.

Caleb: Right, exactly. Or Alice and my parents. And Mark’s anger, it had this edge to it. And yours has that too. Except your anger, it’s like a- like a whirlpool? Or something? Like it’s spiraling down instead of pouring out like Mark’s and it’s- oh, you’re angry at yourself. That’s why it feels different. 

Dr. Bright: That’s not an emotion you’ve felt before?

Caleb: Um, not really. I mean, Adam gets down on himself sometimes - and so do other people - but it’s closer to sadness or disappointment. Like it’s less active, or something. Yours is- why are you so mad at yourself?

Dr. Bright: I have also made a number of decisions based on fear. Those types of decisions are usually not good ones. Okay, Caleb, we should move on. Get to some actual therapy-

Caleb: Dr. Bright, it’s fine. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t want you bogged down in my emotions. That’s not helpful to anyone. 

Caleb: Yeah. Okay. 

Dr. Bright: How is school going? Midterms must be soon, correct?

Caleb: Um, yeah. Yeah, they’re coming up but honestly I haven’t even had a chance to think about them with college applications and everything…

[time passes]

Dr. Bright: Alright, Caleb, anything else you want to discuss in these last few minutes?

Caleb: Not really. Just- I know that it’s not really cool with the whole doctor-patient thing, but will you tell me if you find out anything else sketchy that’s gonna affect my life?

Dr. Bright: Caleb-

Caleb: C’mon, Dr. Bright. I’m practically an adult. I need to know these things. I need to be prepared. 

Dr. Bright: Prepared for what?

Caleb: For anything. If I do end up going away for college, I need to know what to look out for with The AM. They’re in other cities, right? I don’t want to fall into some kind of trap. 

Dr. Bright: Caleb, I don’t think that will happen-

Caleb: Just, promise. Promise that you won’t keep these huge things from me. 

Dr. Bright: Caleb, I promise that I will do whatever I have to to keep you safe. 

Caleb: Me and Adam?

Dr. Bright: Yes. 

Caleb: If- if The AM knows who I am, they probably know who my family is, right?

Dr. Bright: Most likely, yes. 

Caleb: Shit. 

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry, Caleb. 

Caleb: Don’t be. It’s not your fault. I would be in this exact situation whether or not I knew you. What?

Dr. Bright: I- that might actually be true for once. 

Caleb: Yeah. At least now I know about it. 

Dr. Bright: Call me anytime if you ever need help, okay? If you ever feel in the slightest bit of danger. 

Caleb: Yeah, I will. 

[sfx: both standing]

Dr. Bright: See you next week?

Caleb: Yep. 

[sfx: opening door]

Caleb: Wow, he’s still sleeping. 

Dr. Bright: I guess he needed the rest. 

Caleb: Bye, Dr. Bright. 

Dr. Bright: Goodbye, Caleb. 

[sfx: outer door closing]

[sfx: dialing phone]

Sam: Hey, Joan. 

Dr. Bright: How did it go?

Sam: Fine. I sort of yelled at Damien a bit. 

Dr. Bright: But he’s home safe?

Sam: Yeah, he’s- he listened to us. He did what we told him to. 

Dr. Bright: Without complaint?

Sam: Not exactly. It’s like he was aware that certain wants weren’t his own but he couldn’t fight it. Is that- is that supposed to happen?

Dr. Bright: Certainly not. Damien’s ability does take a little time to wear off, so it’s possible that by spending time away from Mark, he’ll get back to normal. 

Sam: How does this even happen? How does someone just, hijack someone else’s power?

Dr. Bright: I don’t know. 

Sam: Well, Chloe and I are at dinner - do you and Mark want to join? We can talk about it?

Dr. Bright: Mark is asleep, actually. I think I’m just going to take him home. Figure out the rest tomorrow.

Sam: Okay. Will you- just tell him hi from me, okay?

Dr. Bright: I will, Sam. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. 

Sam: Bye, Joan. 

[sfx: click of a recorder]

[music & credits}

Lauren Shippen: Episode 36 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. The voice of Dr. Bright is Julia Morizawa. The voice of Caleb is Briggon Snow and the voice of Sam is Lauren Shippen. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. The Bright Sessions was recently nominated for a Webby Award. If you’d like to vote for us please go to thebrightsessions.com/vote from now until April 20th.You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on tumblr, and on twitter @brightpodcast. The Bright Sessions would like to thank Elizabeth Laird, Anna Lore, Elizabeth and Matthew Harrington, Ken Hertz, Ilyssa Adler, Oswaldo Rossi, and Authentic. The Bright Sessions will return in two weeks, on April 26th with Episode 37. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.