Episode 53 Transcript
53 - Sam
By Lauren Shippen
[sfx: Sam waking up and running into the bathroom]
Mark: (through the door) Sam? Sam, are you okay?
Sam: Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine. Just- just go back to bed.
Sam: Mark, I’m fine. Please. Just. I'm okay.
[sfx: Sam opening bathroom door]
Sam: Did you— have you been sitting out here the whole time?
Mark: Um, yeah.
Sam: You didn’t need to do that.
Mark: I just wanted to make sure you were okay.
Sam: I’m fine.
Mark: Could have fooled me.
[sfx: Sam sitting next to Mark]
Sam: I— I’m just a little worn out. I haven’t been sleeping well.
Mark: Yeah, I noticed.
Sam: Sorry for waking you.
Mark: That’s alright. Sam, these past few weeks, how much sleep are you actually getting?
Mark: What’s going on?
Sam: Playing house. That’s what Wadsworth called it.
Sam: Never mind. I- I had this dream last month that I- I haven’t been able to shake.
Mark: What kind of dream?
Sam: You and me, we were, um. We were moving into a house together. And you- you wanted to hang this photo you’d taken up on the wall…
Mark: Was it any good?
Sam: No, it was terrible. You knew it was terrible and you wanted to hang it anyway.
Mark: Yeah, yeah, that checks out.
Sam: But then the dream changed and you were- you were gone. And I wasn’t even surprised. In the dream, I mean. It’s- it's what I expected. But here you are. Sleeping outside the bathroom door even though the bed is just a few feet away.
Mark: I wanted to be there if you needed anything.
Sam: You- you’re such an impossible thing. Do you know that?
Mark: I’m going to take that as a compliment.
Sam: You should. A beautiful, impossible thing. God, then the dream got even weirder. I went to England - where you used to be and then- then I started singing.
Sam: Yeah, it was bizarre. Can’t say that’s ever happened before but I guess we had just finished watching My Fair Lady so-
Mark: This was the night we had everyone over?
Sam: Yeah…what’s up?
Mark: I just— I sang that night too. In my dreams. Rose must have done it to everyone.
Sam: What— Rose?
Mark: She dreamwalked. I saw her in my dream- I must have been sharing her power or something because it doesn’t seem like anyone else noticed.
Sam: Oh. Oh wow. That’s- I didn’t realize. That’s, uh…
Mark: A little creepy?
Sam: Yeah, it’s definitely weird. To think that someone was in my head when I was sleeping and I didn’t even know it.
Mark: I mean, I can’t know for sure whose dreams she went into because it’s not like we had a whole talk about it…
Sam: That’s why you haven’t wanted to hang out with her, huh?
Mark: Yeah, I got a little freaked. She saw a lot.
Sam: What does that mean?
Mark: No, no, c’mon, nothing bad. Just- me and Joanie. Having it out, I guess. I’ve got a lot of stuff I haven’t said to her.
Sam: Right. Did you dreamwalk?
Mark: No. She woke up right when I saw her I think and then I woke up too, so there wasn’t any time. I’m definitely a little curious though.
Sam: Could you…it wouldn’t be possible for you to get stuck, right? While dreamwalking?
Mark: Jesus, Sam, thanks for that completely terrifying prospect that never even crossed my mind.
Sam: God, I’m sorry-
Mark: No, no, it’s alright. You’re always preparing for the worst, I get it.
Sam: There are just a lot of variables.
Sam: I wish you’d told me.
Mark: Sorry. I'm just- I’m never sure what’s mine to tell, you know? It’s not my ability. And, I don’t know, I guess I didn’t want to talk about my own dream.
Mark: I know. Swords. Dragons.
Mark: Sam, are you ever gonna get to the point where you’re not worried about me? Where we can just, you know, live our lives?
Sam: I’m not trying to be difficult-
Mark: I know-
Sam: If I had more information, maybe-
Mark: Would that really fix it, though? Would any amount of information make you stop worrying?
Sam: I don’t know.
Mark: Okay. Jesus, it is too early in the morning to be having such serious conversations.
Sam: Sorry for waking you up so early.
Mark: It’s okay. It’s basically time to get up now anyways.
Sam: Oh my god, have I turned you into a morning person?
[sfx: both getting up and getting ready]
Mark: Don’t be ridiculous. I have that interview at that magazine, remember?
Sam: I thought that wasn’t until two.
Mark: It’s not, but I want to spend the morning polishing my resume and, you know, try to come up with a story that explains the five year gap in my work history.
Sam: I think “coma” is a pretty good excuse.
Mark: That’s true, that's true. I just- I don’t want any follow-up questions.
Sam: Mark, you’re gonna do great. You’re talented and smart and incredibly charming. They’d be idiots not to hire you.
Sam: And, if they are idiots, there’s always something else out there.
Mark: Right, yeah, exactly. Especially, you know, elsewhere. Out there.
Sam: Right. I thought you were looking just out of curiosity.
Mark: Yeah, well, I’m still curious. I haven’t decided on anything but I— I think I need to branch out a little bit. Get out of this city, see the country. See the world. On my own terms.
Mark: And I want you to come with me. We can take that road trip we never got to take. You, me, and Darwin.
Sam: That sounds really nice. How long do you think we’d be gone?
Mark: Do we ever need to come back?
Mark: Come on, Sam — only bad stuff has ever happened to either of us in this town. Maybe it’s time for us to go somewhere else and build something new.
Sam: But we’re building something here.
Mark: I know, and I get that, but there’s nothing to say that you couldn’t help Atypicals anywhere in the world.
Sam: But Joan—
Mark: Once we’re settled, she could join us—
Sam: There’s so much to do here—
Mark: Is there?
Sam: Well, I mean, Wadsworth—
Mark: Leave her here to rot alone. We can get away from her.
Sam: And what, just give everything up?
Mark: What is there to give up here?
Sam: Mark, this is my home, I’m not going to let Wadsworth run me out of town—
Mark: That’s not what I’m saying—
Sam: You’re asking me to retreat. I’ve done that too many times before—
Mark: Retreat? It's not a war, Sam—
Sam: It kind of is. And I have a family to protect—
Mark: I’m your family.
Sam: I— I can’t leave.
Mark: Why not?
Sam: I told you. I believe in what we’re doing.
Mark: I do too. But you can do it anywhere. We could go visit Chloe and Mr. Sandoval, learn what she’s learned, find other cities with big Atypical populations — it would work perfectly. I’m basically, like, an Atypical dowsing rod, it would be easy to find people. And you could do your research from anywhere. Time travel is still time travel even if you’re starting in a different place.
Sam: You’ve really thought about this.
Mark: Yeah, I have. I don’t see the point in staying.
Sam: I— I just bought this house. We’re only just starting to settle in.
Mark: Yeah, and this is the second house you’ve bought in six months. You can buy another house.
Sam: Caleb and Adam-
Mark: Are graduating soon.
Sam: But Frank, our chess nights—
Mark: Even Frank has been thinking about moving.
Mark: The other night he was saying he might want to go back to Chicago, where his grandmother was from. You know, now that he’s back on his feet and all.
Sam: Oh. Right.
Mark: Would it be so bad? To see more of the world?
Sam: A trip is one thing. But moving…
Mark: Come on, Sam. I know you’ve been here your whole life, but it might be time to pull up those roots.
Sam: Look you need to work on your resume and I should get to filing—
Mark: Sam, we’re going to have to talk about this at some point.
Sam: Yeah, but what if we didn’t.
Mark: Then we’ll never go anywhere.
Sam: I can’t leave them, okay?
Mark: What are you talking about? Leave who?
Sam: My parents.
Sam: If I move, I’m abandoning them. This place is all that I have left.
Mark: Sam, you haven’t lived in your parents’ house in over a decade.
Sam: That’s not the point-
Mark: Okay, we’ll make sure to come back, visit their graves a few times a year, as much as you want, as much as you need—
Sam: It’s not just that. It’s this whole city — the path we would take when they walked me to school, our grocery store, the smell of the air in the fall — they’re everywhere. And I’ve— I’ve spent so much of the past few years finally shaking up my life and it’s— it’s getting harder.
Mark: What is?
Sam: Remembering them. It used to be so clear, you know? I was surrounded by them all the time - just me, and their things, and their neighborhood - and it made it easy to remember. My alarm clock goes off - the same one I’ve had since I was ten - and I can hear my mom’s voice telling me to get up and go to school or— or I push back the curtains that I took from their bedroom and still smell her perfume. Even the stupid egg timer that my dad would use for trivia nights - I mean, well, you use it to cook now.
Mark: Sam, I didn’t—
Sam: And that’s fine- that’s great, that’s what a timer is for even if I never used it that way but I’m beginning to forget how he would keep score when we did trivia. The memory of those nights is fading. I mean, we would sit on the living room rug and I had to throw that rug away because Damien bled all over it—
Mark: That was your parent’s rug?
Sam: Most of this is theirs! I had to get newer things when I moved into the house because I didn’t have enough but my apartment was full of their things. And it helped me remember them. Because I’ve never been able to go back. Not to the good times. Ever since I started being able to control this thing I’ve kept trying to get back to them, just to watch. Just so I can get the shape of their smiles and the sounds of their voices in my head again. But any time I try, it just takes me back to then. To the car and them being encouraging and patient and not realizing that they were about to die—
Mark: Sam, please—
Sam: So don’t you get it? I can’t lose them again. I owe it to them to remember. And if I can’t go back in time to find them, to help me remember, then I have to be here. I have to pass my mom’s office and go to the park where we would feed the ducks—
Mark: Sam, just take a breath—
Sam: And walk through that intersection as much as I can because if I don’t—
[sfx: both time travel]
[sfx: both return]
Mark: No, please, no, no, I don’t wanna go back—
Sam: Mark, just take a breath, you’re not there, we’re back in the house, we’re back in the present, just keep breathing, I’ve got you, okay, I've got you...
[sfx: Sam entering Dr. Bright's office]
Sam: Hi, Joan.
Dr. Bright: Sam. I wasn’t expecting you- I thought we were meeting at the house later.
Sam: Yeah. I just— I had to get some air.
Dr. Bright: Is everything alright?
Sam: Um, no.
Dr. Bright: What is it? What’s wrong. Where’s Mark?
Sam: Mark is headed to his interview in a bit. He’s okay. Now.
[sfx: both sitting]
Dr. Bright: What happened.
Sam: Um, we got into an argument this morning. About moving. And I— I had a panic attack.
Dr. Bright: I- I’m sorry.
Sam: Yeah. About my parents. Brings you back, huh?
Dr. Bright: It’s understandably a very difficult topic for you.
Sam: You don’t have to do that therapist speak with me. I- I’m here to talk to my friend. And because I’m worried.
Dr. Bright: What are you worried about?
Sam: I traveled. I didn’t mean to but- like you said, difficult topic. One that sent me away when I was sitting in this very office over a year ago. I guess some things don’t change.
Dr. Bright: That doesn’t mean it’s going to start happening all the time now.
Sam: No, I know, I know. I remember you telling me that just because the involuntary trips became less frequent didn’t mean I was rid of them forever. It was just- it was just surprising and very unpleasant but I’ll be okay. That’s not what I’m worried about.
Dr. Bright: What then?
Sam: Mark came with me.
Dr. Bright: I see. Has that— have you two done that before? Traveled together?
Sam: No. We’ve talked about it. You know, sorta daydreamed. About where we would go, what we would see. What it would be like to share that. But he- he hasn’t been ready. And I haven’t pushed. He’s so afraid of getting trapped again. Which I completely understand. Especially since I’m not like Camille - it wouldn’t just be his mind that gets stuck. It would be everything.
Dr. Bright: That’s not going to happen again. The fact that Camille could only travel in her mind meant she was vulnerable to threats in the present. Mark only got trapped because it was a mental time traveler.
Sam: Yeah. I guess.
Dr. Bright: How did he react? To going back?
Sam: Badly. Understandably. It all went by so quickly—
Dr. Bright: You were able to bring you both back soon after leaving?
Dr. Bright: I don’t understand.
Sam: Neither do I.
Dr. Bright: Sam.
Sam: I lost control. We got there - to the past - and it was the accident again, of course, and I was too upset to pull us back so I thought maybe I could pause everything like I had before but I didn’t have to.
Dr. Bright: What do you mean?
Sam: Mark moved us.
Dr. Bright: He brought you back?
Sam: No. He moved us. To a different place. A different time. I don’t think he even meant to do it. I’ve never jumped that much that quickly - I’ve never even traveled while already on a trip. I didn’t know that was possible. It’s always been a two-way journey. I go there, I stay for a little or a lot, I come back. This had- this had stops.
Dr. Bright: How many?
Sam: A dozen, maybe? At least? I didn’t even get a good look at some of them, we were moving so fast.
Dr. Bright: And Mark was doing this?
Sam: I don’t know that he was fully in control, but yes.
Dr. Bright: Perhaps having two Atypicals share one ability accelerated it somehow, increased the potency—
Sam: No, it was definitely Mark. We kept going to places that were specific to him. And it was- it felt different.
Dr. Bright: How do you mean?
Sam: My ability has a feeling. It’s a feeling I know better than anything else in the world. Even when I don’t choose it, when I’m not the one in control, it’s a part of me. As natural as breathing and as painful as suffocating. But this— this was someone else. I could feel Mark using my ability as his own. He wasn’t just piggybacking, he was steering. I can’t really describe it, but I just—I know. It wasn’t just mine anymore.
Dr. Bright: Are you okay?
Sam: I don’t know. It wasn’t a bad feeling, not really. Just unexpected.
Dr. Bright: I can imagine.
Sam: It’s not how I pictured it going. Us traveling together for the first time. I hoped it’d be nice. This was not nice.
Dr. Bright: Because of the places you went?
Dr. Bright: Can I ask where?
Sam: I didn’t recognize most of them. I think maybe I saw your parents. You look like your dad.
Dr. Bright: Yes. I do.
Sam: It was just a quick flash of them. And then all of a sudden we were in a motel room somewhere and I was watching Mark watch himself lying on some bed, staring at the wall like he wasn’t even there. I can- I can guess when that was.
Dr. Bright: Indeed.
Sam: And then the AM. That was- that was the worst. And the longest.
Dr. Bright: How long were you gone? In total?
Sam: Half an hour maybe? In the other times, I mean. We were at the scene of the accident for five minutes at least and then in the AM for fifteen probably. He- he couldn’t seem to shake that one off.
Dr. Bright: You got him out?
Sam: Eventually. He was in bad shape.
Dr. Bright: But he’s okay now?
Sam: As okay as you can be after something like that. I— I brought him down a bit. We— well, we’ve worked out a sort of system.
Dr. Bright: What do you mean?
Sam: We both have nightmares a lot. Most of the time we just handle them on our own but sometimes it turns into a full blown, you know, post-traumatic episode or what have you, um, and we know how to calm each other down. Or, at least, weather the storm.
Dr. Bright: That’s good. I’m glad you two have each other.
Sam: I am so scared, Joan.
Dr. Bright: Of Mark?
Sam: No. For him. I didn’t know he could do that. Take over an ability like that - I mean, I guess a part of me knew? Because he took over Damien’s power but I just- what if he has a nightmare and wakes up into a panic attack and snaps away without me? I mean, is that possible? Could he use my power while I’m asleep? I don’t know why I thought we needed to do it together to make it work, but I’ve been just sleeping next to him this whole time like I’m not a danger to him. But I am. Time is huge. What if he went without me and I woke up alone and couldn’t find him and he couldn’t get back because I’m not with him and—
Dr. Bright: Sam, Sam, it’s okay. Breathe.
Sam: Just— this is a new dragon I wasn’t expecting.
Dr. Bright: What?
Sam: Nothing, forget it, it’s just— I’ve been working so hard to protect him, I never thought that I could be a threat.
Dr. Bright: Sam, you’re not a threat. You’d never do anything to hurt Mark. I know you. I’d also never have let you near him if I thought you’d be trouble.
Sam: Always the older sister, huh? That’s- that's good. He needs that.
Dr. Bright: He needs you too, you know?
Sam: Aren’t you worried? About his ability?
Dr. Bright: Everything about Mark has me worried all the time. That comes with the older sister of it all.
Sam: I just need to know more. I need to make sure that nothing like what happened today ever happens again.
Dr. Bright: We’ll figure it out together, Sam. You, me, and Mark.
Sam: You say that, but you don’t know. Not even the AM, with all their controlled environments and careful research procedure had any idea. I mean, they never even focused on how his ability worked with Camille’s. They just used the two of them to get information from the past - spy on people-
Dr. Bright: What? How do you know that? Mark has never mentioned what the intention of those experiments was. Not to me.
Sam: No, I know. He- I had to look.
Dr. Bright: Sam-
Sam: I thought maybe he’d want to try traveling together soon so I had to know. I had to know how he and Camille did it so that I didn’t make the same mistake. And it wasn’t what I thought - they weren’t using her to figure out how Mark’s ability worked. They just wanted more eyes on the past. They thought two Atypicals at once might help them actually affect the past. That’s what they were trying to do with Camille when she died. They were giving her something to try and see if she could become corporeal in the past and it didn’t work, of course. And it killed her.
Dr. Bright: Sam, how much have you-
Sam: Just a few times. And only recently. I don’t stay for long, I'm- I’m never able to but I- I needed to know.
Dr. Bright: Mark won’t be—
Sam: I know, okay? But I’d rather he be pissed at me then…this is what I mean! The AM was so careful but they had this enormous blindspot when it came to his ability. And he got lost. For years. Without even trying.
Dr. Bright: I don’t need reminding, Sam.
Sam: I know, I know, I’m sorry, I’m just— I’m freaking out. If he really wants to move away, then that’s fine, I’ll support it. Even if I- but we don’t know what’s out there. He could hurt himself or someone else or get taken again—
Dr. Bright: He’s a grown man, Sam.
Sam: That’s a bit rich coming from you. Sorry, sorry. It’s just— he won’t talk to me and you won’t talk to me— I mean, when are you going to tell me about whatever Wadsworth said to you that has you so cagey—
Dr. Bright: I need to talk to Mark first—
Sam: I know and I get that but that means I’m just left worrying about what could go wrong because neither of you seem to want to confront the fact that he’s not just different from other people, he’s different from other Atypicals—
Dr. Bright: I have spent most of my adult life confronting that fact—
Sam: And you still weren’t able to protect him!
Dr. Bright: Is that really the path you want to go down?
Sam: No. No. You’re right, I should leave.
Dr. Bright: I didn’t say that.
Sam: I— my head is all over the place. And I’m- I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to- I’ll talk to you later.
[sfx: Sam leaving Dr. Bright's office]
[sfx: phone ringing]
Damien: (through the phone) Hello?
Damien: Who is this?
Sam: It’s Sam.
Damien: What do you want? Is Mark okay?
Sam: He’s okay. He will be anyway. He’s- he's been doing better, on the whole. Since…
Damien: Since I left.
Damien: Well, then tick one off in the win column for you, I guess.
Sam: It’s not a competition.
Damien: Oh, isn’t it? I’m assuming that’s why you’re calling- to further stake your claim.
Sam: He’s not a arcade prize, Damien. God, you’re insufferable.
Damien: Then why the hell are you talking to me?
Sam: Because I’m worried.
Damien: I’m gone. I’m out of your lives for good, just like Mark wanted.
Sam: I’m not worried about you. I’m worried about him.
Damien: I thought you said he was doing okay.
Sam: He— something happened earlier today and I don’t know what to do about it.
Damien: So you called me? What the fuck am I supposed to do?
Sam: I need more information. I need to know what you know about his time at the AM, what you know about Wadsworth, and when he took over your ability. I need to know what happened.
Damien: I thought I was bad news. Why call me?
Sam: Because, Damien, I have no one else. Listen, I don’t like you, I think I’ve made that very clear—
Damien: Yeah, a punch in the face as an introduction sends a pretty strong message—
Sam: But I need your help. You know Mark, as much as I hate to admit it. Or, at least, you know a part of him that I don’t.
Damien: So, what, we’re buddies now?
Sam: Don’t push your luck. We’re in love with the same man, I think that’s enough common ground without trying to call us friends.
Damien: I’m not in—
Sam: Don’t be stupid, Damien.
Damien: What do you want to know?
Sam: Just— whatever you know! You’re the one who was obsessed with learning how his ability worked—
Damien: Why don’t you just ask him?
Sam: He doesn’t like talking about it.
Damien: Well, can’t you just go back in time?
Sam: I— I have. Not often but— it’s only part of the picture. And the way he- when he took over your ability. I need to know what happened there.
Damien: What, he wouldn’t explain it to you?
Sam: He did, but I need to know what you were feeling. If there was a way you could’ve stopped it.
Damien: If there was, don’t you think I would have done it? I didn’t exactly relish being on the other side of the equation.
Sam: Mm, I bet.
Damien: Did you go back to then? To when it happened?
Sam: No. No, of course not.
Damien: What, can’t bear the sight of me, even in the past?
Sam: I don’t want to spy.
Damien: But you’ll go back and watch him in the AM?
Sam: I haven’t made a habit of it.
Damien: Looks like Mark’s perfect girl isn’t so perfect after all.
Sam: I never claimed to be.
Damien: But he doesn’t know you’re poking your head in on his past.
Damien: So why not keep doing it? What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him, right?
Sam: It still feels wrong. I- I know he wouldn’t like it.
Damien: But calling me is totally hunky-dory with him, I’m sure.
Sam: It’s- it’s the lesser of two evils…
Damien: My favorite nickname.
Sam: Oh my god, what am I doing?
Damien: Very ineffectively asking for a favor.
Sam: This isn’t— I’m not this person. I don’t want to be this person.
Damien: And what person is that?
Sam: The kind that tries to make decisions for other people. I can’t do this.
Sam: I’m- I shouldn’t have called—
Damien: Wait, wait, Sam-
Damien: He’s okay?
Sam: Do you actually wanna know?
Sam: He’s still hurting. A lot happened has to him— before you, before me. But I’m doing what I can. To take care of him.
Sam: Goodbye, Damien. I- I won’t call again.
Damien: Yeah. Okay.
[sfx: fade in on chili simmering]
[sfx: Sam entering the kitchen]
Sam: Smells amazing in here.
Mark: Did you get my text?
Sam: Yep. And I swung by the store—
[sfx: Sam putting bags on the counter]
Sam: I wouldn’t come home on chili night without cornbread. I have met you. What?
Mark: Nothing. Just— deja vu.
Sam: Um, we need to talk.
Mark: Yeah, I know. Today…
Sam: Today was bad.
Sam: How’d the interview go?
Mark: Oh, I totally bombed it.
Sam: I’m sorry.
Mark: It’s not your fault—
Sam: Of course it is. I shouldn’t have walked into that conversation this morning, I was already on edge from my nightmare and I- I should have known that a panic attack was imminent.
Mark: That’s not how they work and you know that.
Sam: Still. I’m so sorry. That- that you had to go through all of that.
Mark: Hey, I wasn’t the only one. I never should have pushed you—
Sam: No, no, you were just being honest about what you wanted—
Mark: And I’m sorry I lost control. I didn’t— your ability is different and I didn’t know what to expect and it— it got on top of me a bit.
Mark: Thank you.
Sam: What? For what?
Mark: For bringing me back. Again. For sitting on your bedroom floor for an entire hour, just holding me. Not saying anything. That’s— not many people would do that. It means a lot.
Sam: It’s what I would have wanted. In those times when things were…it’s what I would have wanted.
Mark: I wish I could have been there for you all those years. To do that for you. Help you through it all.
Sam: You’re here now.
Mark: Yeah. I’m here. And I’m not going anywhere. Not without you.
Sam: I have to tell you something.
Mark: What is it?
Sam: I freaked out today.
Mark: Sam, it’s okay, you’re allowed to do that, especially when it comes to your parents—
Sam: No, I don’t mean that. I mean, afterwards. I went full tilt control freak. I went to see Joan, to tell her what happened—
Mark: Yeah, she mentioned you stopped by. I called her after my interview.
Sam: I was awful to her. I’ve been awful to you all day, for a few weeks now actually—
Mark: Sam, I literally just said—
Sam: No, okay, not awful to you. More about you. You’re not a thing for me to figure out and control. But you scare me.
Mark: I scare me too.
Sam: I went back. A few times. To the AM. I wanted to understand- wanted to know what went wrong when you got trapped.
Mark: What? You went back to when-
Sam: Yes. Yeah. And I’m so sorry, I know that’s not okay but you’ve been talking about wanting to try traveling—
Mark: Yeah, well, I think after today we can safely say that won’t be happening again for a little while—
Sam: And I started panicking. I started worrying what would happen if we went on a trip and got separated in the past. So I looked.
Mark: What did you see?
Sam: You and Camille. Mostly Wadsworth talking to other AM people about you and Camille.
Mark: Learn anything interesting?
Sam: Wadsworth was focusing on completely the wrong thing.
Mark: Sam, you can’t just go doing that.
Sam: I know.
Mark: I’m- I'm worried about you.
Sam: I know.
Mark: You’re starting to- you’re starting to scare me, too, honestly. I appreciate what you’re trying to do here but I think you’re starting to lose yourself in it a little bit.
Sam: I know, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. Today- what happened today sent me into a tailspin and I suddenly realized-
Mark: What did you go back to?
Sam: No, no that’s not it, I didn’t take a trip. I- I called Damien.
Sam: I wanted to know what happened with you— what you did with his ability. Because what happened today…
Mark: I went over all of that with you and Joan. I don’t know what happened—
Sam: But I never got his side of things. So I called, hoping he could, I don’t know shed some light.
Mark: What, you’re worried I’m gonna do something to you? To your ability?
Sam: What? No. I’m worried I’m going to do something to you without meaning to. That you’re going to use my ability without realizing it and get stuck again—
Mark: Sam, that’s not gonna happen—
Sam: How do you know? You didn’t mean to use Damien’s ability but that happened anyway. And at least with that it was something that kept you here, kept you safe. I’m not safe.
Mark: So you decided to consult with the least safe person we know?
Sam: I hung up. I realized what I was doing—
Mark: And what were you doing? Calling him, what were you thinking?
Sam: I wasn’t thinking, okay? I told you, I got carried away—-
Mark: Yeah, no fucking kidding—
Sam: You won’t talk to me—
Mark: Why do you need to know every little thing about what’s happened to me and to every other atypical?
Sam: Because then I won’t fuck this up! If I know what I’m dealing with, I’ll know how to do it right.
Mark: Do what right?
Sam: Love you! I don’t know how to love you, Mark. I never learned how. I mean, we met in the most messed up way possible and then the whole thing with you and Damien had me so confused—
Mark: Sam, we’ve been over this—
Sam: And I get it! I do. You didn’t have to be perfect for him. You could let all the ugly stuff out. And maybe that’s why I called him, I don’t know— it was a mistake, this has all been a mistake—
Mark: Don’t say that, don’t say that you regret us—
Sam: No, no, god no, not us. Thinking I could help people. Thinking that Joan — Joan, the person who manipulated me when I was her patient, who would have done anything to save you no matter who she hurt…and then me, someone who kept secrets from you when I first met you, who doesn’t know the first thing about people…why did I think that it was a good idea for the two of us to try and fix people.
Mark: Sam, I’m not going to pretend that you’re perfect, but you do have a good heart.
Sam: I have an inexperienced heart.
Mark: I wouldn’t exactly say inexperienced - you’ve been through a lot, Sam—
Sam: But I hid! Always! I mean, today, about my parents, I realize how that sounded, I do. It’s like what I said to Joan when I first met her - I’m just a ghost, haunting this city, moving their things from house to house like some sort of shrine. That’s— I know. I know how bad that is. I’ve been living with the dead for so long - in my house, in the past, in my own head and I— I didn’t know what it would be like.
Mark: What what would be like?
Sam: Caring about people. People who are alive. How wonderful and terrifying it all is. I didn’t know that my actions could have consequences because they never did before. Not since…well. I never had an effect on the world around me. And I got used to that. But that hasn’t been true for a while now and I’m not- I'm not adjusting to this new version of my life.
Mark: I think you’ve been adjusting pretty well, considering.
Sam: Oh so you’re fine with me calling Damien for information about you?
Mark: Well, no, but Sam—
Sam: You can be mad! I want you to be mad—
Mark: Oh, trust me, I am. But we can’t both be flying off the handle right now so I’ll take my turn later.
Sam: I keep doing things wrong. I thought I could do anything as long as no one died. That is my metric for behavior— as long as I’m not accidentally killing my loved ones, then I’m okay, right? But I pressured Joan into starting this thing with me, I’ve been spying on people in the past and I hurt you. I hurt you and that was the last thing I wanted to do.
Mark: I know.
Sam: I love you so much. Do you know that? No, I mean, how could you, it’s not like I’ve ever told you. I love you and it’s…it's like having a stomach ache all the time. And I keep doing things to try and make it less painful and none of it works. Because you’re you and I’m me and our lives are just filled with uncertainty and danger. And so I’m- I'm just stuck. But I don’t want to wait anymore. I want to move forward with you but I have no idea how. So I just keep pretending. I keep pretending that I know what I’m doing, that I’m confident in my decisions, that I know how to help. I keep pretending that I don’t have nightmares all the time, that I didn’t spend this morning hyperventilating on the bathroom floor. But I can’t pretend anymore.
Mark: I don’t want you to pretend.
Sam: I know. I know you don’t. I’m just- I'm not sure I’ve ever been this lost. Talking to Damien earlier it was like- like I traveled outside of my own body for a moment. And then it was like the last few months were just on instant replay and I realized I’ve just been grasping at anything that I could use as armor even if it meant leaving somebody else defenseless. And I- I don’t want to be that person. I never want to hurt you again.
Mark: Look, I know that I freaked out on you earlier today and I get it, my ability is scary, but you can’t just—
Sam: What? No, no, that’s not what I meant. I’m not scared of you. I want to share my ability with you. God, I mean, being able to share it with you might be the one good thing my ability has ever done. I’m scared for you. I just want to keep you safe.
Mark: That’s not— that’s not something you get to control. And I’ve had enough people trying.
Sam: I know. That’s why I’m telling you that I screwed up. I thought I could do it all on my own. And that isn’t fair - not to me, not to you, not to anyone. I don’t want to do this alone anymore. I lose all perspective when I’m alone. And I’m not going to apologize for wanting to keep you safe, but I am sorry for trying to do it without you. I had no right.
Mark: No, you didn’t. You’re not alone, Sam. You haven’t been.
Sam: I know.
Mark: But you’ve been keeping me at arm’s length this whole time—
Sam: I know. But I’m- I'm ready now.
Mark: For what?
Sam: To live. And to stop pretending, stop worrying about everything that could go wrong, stop being a ghost. I’m so tired. I just want to be with you. You’re one of the only things that’s made me feel alive and here and solid and I’ve been so focused on protecting that, I started to become someone I don’t want to be. I don’t know how to do this, how to love you. But I want to try. Even if it means leaving all of this behind, I think— I want to try. I’m ready.
Mark: Sam, I- I want that too. But I can’t take another person going behind my back and trying to fix me.
Sam: I’m not—
Mark: Yes, you are. I know you want to keep me safe but I’m not your test subject—
Sam: I would never—
Mark: I know, but you have. I- I think I need to take a walk.
[sfx: Mark turns off the stove]
Mark: Nope, nope, nope, it’s my turn now. We’ll talk about this later, I promise. I just. I need a little time to process.
[sfx: Mark leaves]
[sfx: phone ringing]
Agent Green: (through the phone) Ms. Barnes? We need to talk.
[music & credits]
Lauren Shippen: Episode 53 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, Julia Morizawa as Dr. Bright, and Charlie Ian as Damien. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. This podcast would not be possible without the support of our strange and unusual family on Patreon. If you’d like to help us make the show and get a behind-the-scenes look, including monthly Q&As with myself and cast & crew, visit patreon.com/thebrightsessions. The Bright Sessions will return on May 16th with Episode 54. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.