Episode 41 Transcript

41 - Birthday
by Lauren Shippen

Sam: I’m nervous, why am I nervous. 

Mark: Do you think you’re going to-

Sam: No. No, I’m here. 

Mark: Good. It’s gonna be fun, I promise. 

Sam: I’ve just never done this before.

Mark: I know. But that’s why I’m here - to make you try new things. Haven’t steered you wrong yet, have I?

Sam: Right, yeah, you’re right. (beat) Okay, I’m gonna go put the vacuum away before anyone gets here. Can you, um, finish tidying up in here?

[sfx: Sam putting vacuum away]

Mark: Sam, it’s spotless! What- 

[sfx: Mark pouring himself a drink]

[sfx: doorbell, door opening]

Mark: Hello! Welcome, welcome, come on in guys- 

[sfx: door closing]

Chloe: Wow, the place looks great! 

Frank: It sure does.

Chloe: See, I told you when the paint dried it would look even. 

Frank: Mm, I still think I could have done a neater job. 

Mark: Oh stop, don’t be silly, it looks great.

Sam: Mark’s right. Thank you so much for helping out. 

Frank: There she is!

Chloe: Sam! Happy birthday!

Sam: Thanks, Chloe. 

Frank: Happy birthday, Sam. 

Sam: Thank you. I thought I said you didn’t need to bring gifts. 

Chloe: Too bad. It’s your birthday, you don’t get to decide. 

Sam: I’m pretty sure that’s not how it-

Chloe: Hush. 

Mark: Chloe’s right - having your birthday means having love and gifts heaped upon you whether you like it or not.

Sam: I suppose I’ll suffer through then. 

Mark: Very brave.

Frank: Is Joan coming?

Dr. Bright: Already here. Champagne anyone?

Chloe: Ooh, yes, please. 

Frank: No, none for me. I’m gonna go put this in the kitchen. 

Sam: What is that?

Chloe: You’ll see. 

Sam: Chloe-

Chloe: Here, have some champagne. Frank, can you grab more glasses?

Frank: You got it.

Chloe: Should we toast?

Sam: We don’t need-

Mark: Absolutely. Would you mind pouring me-

Frank: Here you go, buddy-

Mark: Thank you-

Dr. Bright: Aren’t you already drinking a scotch?

Mark: You can’t toast with scotch, Joanie.

Frank: Well, you’re technically not supposed to toast with water either, but…

Sam: I think it’s really the intention that counts, not the actual substance you’re toasting with. 

Mark: Right. So, um, to Sam: this last year has been, well, quite a year for you and you’ve made it to the other side. Oh, hush up everybody, I’m not gonna make it sad, stop worrying. 

Dr. Bright: We didn’t-

Mark: Chloe’s here, remember, I can hear you. Not that it would matter, you all have that “oh boy, buckle in” look on your face. 

Chloe: I think what Mark is trying to say is happy birthday. 

Mark: Right, right, yes, exactly. Happy birthday to the bravest, most resilient person that I know. Here’s to many, many happy returns. 

Chloe: And to your new house! To you and Darwin having a real home and people to share it with.

[sfx: all cheers-ing]

Sam: Thank you, everyone. Really. This is…well, it means a lot, all of you being here. 

Frank: Of course. 

Chloe: We wouldn’t miss it, Sam. 

Sam: Uh, okay, well, do you guys want a tour of the house? 

Chloe: We saw it last week, when we came over to help paint, remember?

Sam: Right, of course. Sorry, I don’t really know what you’re supposed to do at a birthday party.

Mark: Well, typically, you drink and you eat cake-

[sfx: knock on door]

Dr. Bright: Are you expecting anyone else?

Sam: I don’t think so. Unless, Chloe, is your mom coming?

Chloe: She’s out of town right now-

Dr. Bright: Well, only one way to find out. 

[sfx: opening door]

Caleb: Oh! Dr. Bright - what are you- I didn’t know you’d be here. 

Sam: Um, hi guys-

Dr. Bright: Caleb. Adam. What are you doing here?

Mark: Yeah, no offense, kiddos, but this is very much a grown-up’s party. 

Caleb: Yeah, I’m getting that. We just came to drop off Sam’s present. 

Sam: You didn’t need to do that. 

Adam: Don’t be stupid. Here you go. 

Sam: What is it?

Chloe: Ooh, you’re gonna like it Sam, I promise. 

Sam: Is it from you too? Oh, no, right, of course-

Adam: Don’t spoil it! Nice new digs, by the way.

Sam: Thanks. I just moved in two weeks ago. It took a little while to sell the old place. 

Mark: Yeah, all that bad ju-ju. 

Caleb: Right. 

Sam: Mark.

Mark: Oh no, don’t feel bad. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have brought that up. Oh man, is it just me or is it getting a lot drunker in here?

Dr. Bright: What?

Sam: Mark, are you alright?

Caleb: Um, yeah no, you’re right. Things are getting a little swirly.

Adam: Oh boy. Have you guys all been drinking?

Frank: Most of us, but I don’t think anyone is drunk. (beat) Well, maybe Mark-

Adam: But now that Caleb’s here-

Chloe: Mark has the combined drunkenness of everyone here?

Adam: And so does Caleb. 

Caleb: Hey Adam, Adam, Adam…I like your face. 

Dr. Bright: Oh god. 

Adam: Okay, I need to take you home drunk-y McGee. 

Caleb: You can take me anywhere.

Adam: Yeah, it’s definitely time to go. 

Chloe: No, come on, stay for cake at least! I was just about to bring it out. 

Sam: Chloe, I told you, I don’t need a big to-do. 

Chloe: Nonsense, you haven’t had a birthday cake in ten years, of course I was going to bake you a cake. That wasn’t public knowledge was it?

Sam: I mean, no, but it was probably pretty obvious. 

Chloe: Dammit. 

Sam: Chloe, it’s okay-

Chloe: No, it’s not! I thought I was getting better at it-

Sam: Really, I don’t mind. 

Chloe: That doesn’t mean other people won’t. 

Sam: I know. 

Chloe: Well, never mind, let me go get it, everyone stay right here and drink some water! 

Mark: Don’t be sad, Sam. It’s gonna be a good cake. I taste-tested it.

Sam: What, when? She got here ten minutes ago.

Mark: In her brain - she was thinking about it. Shh don’t tell.

Sam: Don’t worry, I won’t. 

Mark: But you trust me that it’ll be good?

Sam: Yeah, I trust you. 

Mark: Good. That’s good. See? You’re not sad anymore! You like me. 

Sam: Yeah, I do. 

Adam: Jeez, how much did you guys collectively drink?

Dr. Bright: Not that much. It’s the feedback loop, I imagine. 

Adam: What?

Frank: Two empaths in a room - well, three if you count me, though I haven’t been drinking and I’m not feeling much of what they’re feeling. But they’re just bouncing off each other, making the feeling grow and grow. 

Mark: -and grow and grow. 

Adam: Yikes. Yeah, okay let’s get you home.

Caleb: Wait, no, Sam needs to open our present first!  

Mark: Ooh, presents!

Sam: Okay, okay. 

[sfx: opening present]

Sam: “An Anthropologist on Mars”…

Adam: It’s Oliver Sacks. He’s that author I was telling you about - the neurologist guy. With all the research you’re doing, I thought it might be fun to read some wacky case studies. 

Sam: Wow, thank you. Both of you. This is really thoughtful. I can’t wait to read it. 

Caleb: My boyfriend is the smartest boyfriend in the world. Did you know that? The smartest.

Chloe: Happy birth-

[sfx: Sam's phone ringing]

Sam: Oh, sorry, one sec-

Mark: Who’s that?

Sam: Um, I don’t know. Everyone I know is in this room. 

Adam: Ooh, spooky. 

Sam: Hello?

Agent Green: (through the phone) Hello, Ms. Barnes. Happy birthday. 

Sam: Agent Green?

Mark: Huh? Whatshisface?

Dr. Bright: Owen?

Sam: I’ll be right back.

[sfx: Sam leaving room]

Sam: Agent Green, why are you calling? I thought we’d moved to monthly check-ins-

Agent Green: I know but-

Sam: I haven’t used my ability in front of any non-atypicals or for any nefarious purpose.

Agent Green: I'm just-

Sam: I think you think my life is a lot more exciting than it is. 

Agent Green: I’m just calling to wish you a happy birthday. 

Sam: Oh. Why?

Agent Green: Because it’s the polite thing to do?

Sam: What do you want, Agent Green?

Agent Green: I know you’ve been snooping through our files again, Ms. Barnes. 

Sam: Wha- I didn’t- I- 

Agent Green: There’s no point in denying it, I know it was you. 

Sam: I was so careful this time, how on earth did you find out?

Agent Green: The AM doesn’t employ me simply for my personable attitude, Ms. Barnes. I know my way around a computer. And you were very careful - very fine work, I must say - but not good enough.  

Sam: What do you want?

Agent Green: I’m sorry?

Sam: I assume you’re not just calling to tell me best wishes and insult my hacking skills.

Agent Green: No. What are you doing, Ms. Barnes?

Sam: Excuse me?

Agent Green: The files you pulled - why do you want them?

Sam: I have, uh, a curious mind, Agent Green. I’m just trying to educate myself. 

Agent Green: Samantha. 

Sam: Are you going to report me?

Agent Green: I’m not sure what good it would do. 

Sam: So you’re not?

Agent Green:  I don’t want to see you arrested, Ms. Barnes. Or brought in. 

Sam: You don’t? What are you doing, Agent Green?

Agent Green: You know, I am not entirely sure. I should let you get back to your festivities- I assume you’re celebrating.

Sam: Huh? Uh, yes, yeah, we are. 

Agent Green: If Joan is there, please- never mind. Uh, I wish you all the best, Ms. Barnes. 

Sam: Thank you, Agent Green. 

Agent Green: Oh, um, and Ms. Barnes? There’s something else.

Sam: Yes?

Agent Green: Damien- Robert- uh, Damien is being released next week. 

Sam: What?

Agent Green: He’s more or less fully recovered. 

Sam: Oh, okay. And you’re not, you know, keeping him?

Agent Green: I'm afraid there's not much more we can do for him. He should be fine on his own. 

Sam: Right. Okay. Thanks for letting me know. 

Agent Green: You’re welcome. Have a good evening, Ms. Barnes.

Sam: Thanks. You too. 

[sfx: Sam re-entering living room]

Caleb: She won’t notice if there’s just a little slice missing, will she?

Adam: Oh my god, we ate before we came, how are you still hungry? 

Frank: You’ve never been drunk before, have you. 

Dr. Bright: Sam. What did he want?

Sam: We’ll talk about it later. Adam, you need to take Caleb home. 

Adam: Oh, shit. 

Chloe: What?

Adam: He drove us here. 

Dr. Bright: Can’t you drive?

Adam: He has his mom’s car and I don’t know how to drive stick shift. 

Mark: Hey, you’re a smart guy, you can figure it out.

Caleb: Exactly!

Adam: Uh…

Chloe: Yeah, that’s not a good idea.

Sam: Okay, Mark, go upstairs and sleep it off.

Mark: Yes, ma’am.

Sam: Adam, bring Caleb to the front porch and get him some fresh air. If we keep them apart, the feedback loop will stop and it should wear off. 

Frank: And that’s my cue to leave as well-

Sam: No, Frank, you don’t need to do that - I don’t think you’re contributing to the loop that much. 

Frank: No, I’ve got to get to campus. Sorry I couldn’t stay for cake - the downside of the night shift. 

Sam: That’s okay. Thanks for coming. Have a good night at work. 

Frank: Thanks. Alright boys, come on, I’ll walk you out. 

Dr. Bright: Don’t go driving anywhere until one of us checks on him. 

Adam: Yeah, okay. 

[sfx: front door opening and closing]

Dr. Bright: Well. 

Chloe: Okay, so now we know: atypical birthday parties are a little more complicated. 

Sam: Yeah, I’ll say. 

Dr. Bright: Owen- why was he calling?

Sam: Oh, he- he called to wish me a happy birthday. 

Dr. Bright: What?

Sam: Well, not actually. That was his cover reason, I think. He- uh, he knows I hacked them again. 

Chloe: You hacked them again? 

Sam: Maybe?

Chloe: Wait, how did I not know this?

Sam: What?

Chloe: When did you do this?

Sam: Uh, a few weeks ago. 

Chloe: I’ve seen you tons in the past few weeks. And you’ve been thinking about your research, I think. How did I not pick up on that? Wait, what about Dam-

Dr. Bright: Chloe, have you been having continued trouble hearing thoughts?

Chloe: I didn’t think so but…I mean, things have been a little quieter recently, but it’s been the holidays, I haven’t been at school and I just assumed…I don’t know, I mean it’s not like it’s been totally silent. That never happens, you know that. 

Sam: Have there been any other symptoms? Anything else out of the ordinary?

Chloe: I get headaches sometimes. But that’s not that unusual, I got headaches in the beginning. No, both of you stop that- stop worrying about me, I’m fine. 

Dr. Bright: Chloe, it’s been-

Chloe: Almost two months, I know. But really, I’m okay. 

Dr. Bright: Chloe, I know that you’re not my patient anymore, but you can still come to me with this sort of thing. If you gave me a detailed report of the past few months and how you’ve been feeling, we might be able to identify the problem. 

Chloe: I don’t need to identify the problem, there isn’t a problem. Wait, Sam, that’s why you went digging in The AM? For me?

Sam: Partly, yeah. I mean, we were so ill-equipped in November. If any of us got hurt again there’s nowhere to turn. I just- I want to be prepared. 

Chloe: Sam, I’m fine. Really. I don’t want you doing illegal things for me. 

Sam: It’s already done. I don’t know how useful it’s going to be - I haven’t had the chance to look through all the files yet - but it can’t hurt. 

Chloe: Except for you getting into trouble. 

Sam: He said he wouldn’t report me. 

Dr. Bright: He did?

Sam: Yeah. 

Dr. Bright: That’s odd. 

Sam: Hey, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. 

Dr. Bright: Fair enough.

Sam: That wasn’t all. He also- he told me that Damien is being released. 

Chloe: What?

Dr. Bright: They’re letting him go?

Sam: Agent Green said they’d done all they can for him

Chloe: What does that mean?

Sam: I don’t know.

Chloe: Should we be worried?

Dr. Bright: Ellie wouldn’t let him out if he was a danger to Adam. 

Chloe: Doesn’t mean he’s not a danger to us.  

Sam: Yeah. I’m gonna go check on the boys.

[sfx: Sam going outside]

Sam: Jesus, I didn’t realize how cold it was out here. How are you guys doing?

Adam: We’re okay. Caleb’s got a bit of an empathy hangover.

Sam: I’m sorry, Caleb. I wish you’d told me you were coming by - we would have held off on some of the merriment. 

Caleb: Yeah, that’s just what a guy wants to hear: we’ll hold off on the fun until you’ve come and gone. 

Sam: You know that’s not what I meant. It was nice of you guys to come by. But do your parents know you’re here?

Caleb: Yeah. 

Sam: Really?

Caleb: I told them we were going to a friend’s birthday party. They didn’t ask which friend. I’m not going to stop hanging out with the only atypicals I know, just because my parents-

Sam: Joan doesn’t want you to-

Caleb: I know, but it’s not Dr. Bright’s choice, okay?

Sam: Adam, would you go grab Caleb some more water? You guys shouldn’t be out here in the cold for much longer. 

Adam: Yeah. Sure. 

[sfx: Adam going inside]

Sam: Are you okay?

Caleb: I thought we weren’t allowed to be friends. 

Sam: Caleb. 

Caleb: Sorry. My head hurts. 

Sam: Caleb, I- Um-

Caleb: What is it, Sam? Wait, why are you nervous all of sudden?

Sam: I’m not-

Caleb: Bullshit. Just spit it out, whatever it is. 

Sam: So that was Agent Green calling.

Caleb: Right. That’s the- the AM guy, right?

Sam: Yeah. 

Caleb: What did he want?

Sam: Damien is being released. 

Caleb: What?

Sam: Next week. 

Caleb: How- why? Is he okay?

Sam: I guess. Agent Green said he was “more or less” recovered. 

Caleb: What the fuck does that mean?

Sam: I don’t know. But Caleb - you can’t go looking for him, okay?

Caleb: What?

Sam: And if he- if you see him at all, if he shows up, you call us right away.

Caleb: Why do you think I’d go looking for him?

Sam: I know you feel bad and that you’re also still angry and I get that, I do. I know that you might want to, I don’t know, get closure. But it’s not a good idea. 

Caleb: Hey, I’m the empath here so don’t you go telling me how I feel. 

Sam: I’m not trying to tell you how you feel. It’s just that the past couple of times Mark and I have seen you, he’s picked up on some stuff- 

Caleb: I’m not gonna go after Damien, okay, I’m not dangerous-

Sam: Caleb, that’s not at all what I’m suggesting-

Caleb: I’m feeling a lot better so I’m gonna go wait in the car. 

[sfx: Caleb leaves]

Sam: Caleb-

[sfx: Adam comes back outside]

Adam: What happened?

Sam: I- I’m not really sure. 

Adam: He get angry and storm off?

Sam: Yeah. 

Adam: Yeah, he’s been doing that a lot recently. His moods have been- well, things have just been tough.

Sam: I’m sorry. 

Adam: I don’t think he likes his new therapist very much. 

Sam: Right. Are you guys okay?

Adam: Yeah, I mean- yeah. Nothing like your boyfriend beating up someone to protect you to really tighten the bond, you know?

Sam: Adam. 

Adam: We’re okay. We’ll be okay. 

Sam: The AM is letting Damien go. That’s why Caleb is- well, I thought he deserved to know, but I don’t think he’s taking the news very well. 

Adam: Oh. 

Sam: You didn’t know.

Adam: No.

Sam: She didn’t tell you? 

Adam: She doesn’t tell me anything. I still haven’t talked to her since- well, I’m not allowed anymore. Just convincing my parents that Caleb was safe was hard enough. My mom- she and Annabelle have had fights before but nothing like this. I don’t know that they’ll ever talk again. 

Sam: I’m sorry. 

Adam: You don’t have to pretend to care about her for me. 

Sam: I’m not- I just- family is important. I’m sorry that yours is- well, that things are hard right now.

Adam: Annabelle made her choice. My mom tried to talk some sense into her, get her back on the, you know, moral and scientific integrity train, and I guess that shipped has sailed. Alright, we should get going. 

Sam: Yeah. Drive safe and text me when you get home, okay?

Adam: Yeah, I will. Happy birthday, Sam. 

Sam: Thanks, Adam. 

[sfx: fade out and fade into new scene]

Chloe: -and so Frank is chasing Roger around the cabin, trying to catch him, which just makes Roger run more, so before we know it, every room is covered in little multicolored footprints. 

Sam: Oh my god…

Chloe: Yes.

Dr. Bright: You named the cat Roger?

Sam: I'm sorry, that’s what you’re focusing on? Not the image of Frank, Marine extraordinaire, chasing a paint-covered cat?

Dr. Bright: It’s just a funny name for an animal!

Chloe: Roger was already Roger when my mom rescued him. I mean, come on, do you really think the woman who gave her daughter “Persephone” as a middle name would call a cat Roger?

Sam: Okay, that’s a very good point. How many cats does your mom have now?

Chloe: That makes four, I think.

Dr. Bright: You think?

Chloe: Well mostly they’re outdoor cats that come and go as they please. Roger’s the first indoor pet she’s had in a long time. With me back in the dorms for the semester and Frank moved out, I think she wanted something else in the house. 

Sam: I’m glad the three of you got away for a few days. It sounds like it was really nice. 

Chloe: It was! Even if we’re not getting back the security deposit on that cabin, though we did get rid of most of the paint. But it was worth the splurge. New Year’s Eve in a big city is really hard for Frank. 

Dr. Bright: The fireworks?

Chloe: Yeah. Peace and quiet was good for all of us. Even Roger, I think.  

Dr. Bright: Speaking of cats, where’s Darwin?

Sam: Oh, who knows. He gets a bit overwhelmed when there are lots of people around. He’s still not used to having company. Kind of like his owner, I guess. 

Chloe: Don’t sell yourself short. I’d say this was a pretty successful birthday-slash-housewarming, even if it did quickly become just the three of us eating cake and drinking champagne. 

Dr. Bright: There are certainly worse things in the world. 

Sam: Well, it was definitely the best birthday I’ve had in a really long time. So thank you both. 

Chloe: Why are you- what are you worried about?

Sam: Huh?

Chloe: I’m getting little squiggly lines from you-

Dr. Bright: Squiggly lines?

Chloe: Things have been a little more abstract recently. That plus the bubbly- Sam, why are you worried?

Sam: I’m always worried. 

Chloe: Sam. Oh. Mark.

Sam: Yeah. I’m just gonna- I’m gonna see if he wants any cake. 

[sfx: Sam going upstairs, opening door]

Sam: Hey-

Mark: Hey. 

Sam: How are you feeling?

Mark: Fine. 

Sam: Oh, there you are, Darwin. 

Mark: He’s keeping me company. 

Sam: I see that. Looks like he has a new favorite, the little traitor. 

Mark: I’m sorry I spent your party getting drunk and then empathy drunk.

Sam: It’s okay. 

Mark: No, it’s not, Sam. You deserve more than that. 

Sam: Hey, you gave me an amazing day and cooked a wonderful dinner and if anyone is going to be sympathetic to leaving a party to go cuddle with a cat, it’s me. Not to mention, I’m the one who told you to come up here in the first place. 

Mark: Is Caleb okay?

Sam: He’s fine. Adam takes good care of him. 

Mark: Looks like Caleb and I are both pretty lucky in the significant other department. What? What are you smiling about?

Sam: Nothing, it’s just- I have a house that I don’t associate with someone’s death or injury and tonight that house was full of actual, real life friends who know who I am and I got to eat birthday cake that someone else baked for me and the secret agent that spies on me isn’t gonna arrest me and now there’s a cute boy and a cat in my bed and just, all in all, this has been the best birthday. 

Mark: You have really weird standards for things. 

Sam: Yeah, I guess I do. 

Mark: Wait, secret agent, what- oh, yeah, that’s right, what did Agent Green want?

Sam: To wish me a happy birthday. 

Mark: You’re kidding. 

Sam: I’m not. I mean, he was also calling to scold me about the hacking and to- well, to tell me that Damien is being let out. 

Mark: What? Is he- what- is he okay?

Sam: Okay enough to be on his own. 

Mark: But The AM doesn’t want to keep him?

Sam: I guess not. 

Mark: That’s- I don’t trust that. 

Sam: Oh, that’s the face. 

Mark:  What face?

Sam: The worried rabbit look that Joan talks about. 

Mark: Shut up. 

Sam: Oh come on, it’s cute. 

Mark: You’re cute. 

Sam: Ouch, harsh burn. 

Mark: Shut up and come here. 

[sfx: kissing]

Sam: Mark, are you- did you keep- did you bring the scotch up here with you?

Mark: Uh, no, I- what? No, of course not-

Sam: Then why-

Mark: Hey, um, can I stay here tonight?

Sam: Of course. You know you’re always welcome. 

Mark: You’re the best. I’m gonna go to sleep then, because I’m pretty beat-

Sam: Mark-

Mark: Unless- do we need to clean up? I’m happy to leave Darwin here and make myself useful.

Sam: No, that’s okay, there’s not much to do. You just- stay here and get some sleep. 

Mark: Thanks, Sam. 

Sam: Sweet dreams.

[sfx: fade out and fade in on new scene]

[sfx: doing dishes]

Sam: Thanks for clearing up. You didn’t need to do that. 

Dr. Bright: Sam, sometimes it’s okay to let people do things for you. 

Sam: The irony of that statement coming from you…Where’s Chloe:?

Dr. Bright: She had to grab the bus. Early classes tomorrow. 

Sam: Right. 

Dr. Bright: She didn’t want to interrupt so she left you a note - it’s on the table. 

Sam: Aw, it’s a little drawing of Darwin. Did she just do this? 

Dr. Bright: She did. It was fun to watch her draw - artistic people never cease to amaze me. Mark used to do the same thing - leave me notes with all sorts of doodles on them. I would try to reciprocate but…

Sam: Can’t draw?

Dr. Bright: Nope. 

Sam: Me neither. Listen, I got you something. 

Dr. Bright: What? Sam, it’s your birthday-

Sam: I know, I know, but it’s also - it’s been almost exactly a year since we met so I just- think of it as an anniversary present of sorts. I know people don’t really do anniversaries with their therapists or their friends, but most people aren’t friends with their former therapists so the thing is sort of strange and, you know, I’m trying to lean into my strangeness. So, anyway, here you go. 

[sfx: unwrapping present]

Dr. Bright: It’s…a hard drive?

Sam: I’ve been taking trips for the past few months - at least once a day. 

Dr. Bright: You have?

Sam: Yeah. And between the atypicals I’ve tracked down in the past and the info I’ve…borrowed from The AM, I think I’ve got a working taxonomy going. I know The AM has their own system, but they’ve only been around for a few decades. I’ve learned a lot of things that I don’t think they know and I’ve put it all on that hard drive for you. 

Dr. Bright: Sam, this is wonderful, but-

Sam: Why? 

Dr. Bright: Yes. 

Sam: Because I think we could actually do it. I know you’re on the fence about it, but I really think we could build something.

Dr. Bright: Sam-

Sam:  It won’t be like them. Because it’s us. We won’t make the same mistakes. Between your experience and my access, plus the fact that I actually know what it’s like to be atypical, we could do things right. 

Dr. Bright: We don’t have the resources they have, the money-

Sam: I know. But we could get started. We could help. Really help. Just- look it over and think about it, okay?

Dr. Bright: Okay.

Sam: Thank you. 

Dr. Bright: I feel a bit foolish. You got me invaluable research for your birthday and I just took you to a showing of Rogue One. 

Sam: That was a great gift. Watching you watch scifi movies is my new favorite thing. And, besides, my birthday hasn’t meant anything to me in a really long time. But meeting you a year ago, that means something. I just- I need you to know that. I mean, all the bad aside, all the, you know, the-

Dr. Bright: Lying and secrets?

Sam: Yeah. On both of our parts - I know that I’ve been hard on you-

Dr. Bright: Sam-

Sam: But putting all that aside, you changed my life. If I hadn’t met you, I would’ve never learned to control my ability and actually do something with it, I would never have met Mark, and I would have spent this birthday trying not to think about what was missing from my life. So thank you. I’m just- I’m really glad to know you, Joan. 

Dr. Bright: Me too, Sam.

Sam: A toast, then: to saying goodbye to a pretty mixed bag of a year. Hopefully this one will be full of only good things.

Dr. Bright: I’ll drink to that. Cheers. 

[sfx: clinking glasses]

[music & credits]

Lauren Shippen: Episode 41 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. In this episode you heard the voices of  Lauren Shippen as Sam, Andrew Nowak as Mark, Anna Lore as Chloe, Phillip Jordan as Frank, Julia Morizawa as Dr. Bright, Briggon Snow as Caleb, Alex Gallner as Adam, and Ian McQuown as Agent Green. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. The Bright Sessions is made possible through listeners like you. If you’d like to support the show and get access to special behind-the-scenes content, please visit patreon.com/thebrightsessions. The Bright Sessions would like to thank Elizabeth Laird, Anna Lore, Elizabeth and Matthew Harrington, Ken Hertz, Ilyssa Adler, Oswaldo Rossi, and Authentic. We’d also like to say happy birthday to all of our listeners who have birthdays today - apparently there are a lot of you. The Bright Sessions will return in two weeks, on November 1st with Episode 42. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.