Episode 54 Transcript

54 - Telephone #3
by Lauren Shippen

[sfx: phone ringing]

Mark: (on his voicemail) You’ve reached Mark, for some reason. It’s 2017, last I checked - just text me. Or, you know, leave a message if you must. 

[sfx: voicemail tone]

Rose: (through the phone)  Hi, Mark, it’s Rose. I got your text. I texted you back a couple times but I don’t know if you saw, um…anyway, I’m at a trivia thing kinda near Sam’s place and I- well, Emily doesn’t get out of class for another hour, so if you wanted to come and get a drink or something. I mean, obviously, I can’t drink but I’m having a coffee…anyway, I’d like to talk, I guess. Alright, I’ll just be here. 

[sfx: Mark leaving through the front door]

[sfx: phone ringing]

Sam: Yes?

Agent Green: Ms. Barnes? We need to talk.

Sam: I’ve had a very long day, Agent Green, now is not the time. 

Agent Green: I’m sorry, Ms. Barnes. But this is urgent. I’ve tried calling Joan several times but, well, she doesn’t typically pick up my calls. 

Sam: What do you want?

Agent Green: I want to help. 

Sam: Help with what?

Agent Green: With what you and Joan are doing. 

[sfx: ringing phone]

Dr. Bright: What do you want, Sam? We’ve both had long days and—

Sam: (through the phone) Look, I’m really sorry about earlier and we’ll talk about it, I promise. But Agent Green just called and— have you talked to him recently?

Dr. Bright: No. I’ve been dodging his calls. 

Sam: Yeah, he said. 

Dr. Bright: Is that why he called you? I swear, that man does not understand boundaries. 

Sam: No, I know. And listen, I’m not trying to push you to talk to him or anything but he— he wants to defect, for lack of a better word. 

Dr. Bright: What does that mean? 

Sam: He wants to come to our side, I guess. Leave the AM and help us with our project. 

Dr. Bright: Really. 

Sam: That’s what he said. I guess Wadsworth is in DC at headquarters and he’s worried she’s going to come back and fire him. 

Dr. Bright: So we’re his life raft?

Sam: No, I don’t think he meant it like that. He sounded - I don’t know, he sounded pretty sincere. 

Dr. Bright: He usually does. You want to fish him out of the water, don’t you?

Sam: I mean, there have been worse ideas. 

Dr. Bright: Worse ideas than working with my ex who kept my own brother’s kidnapping a secret from me?

Sam: Okay, you have a point. 

Dr. Bright: How do we know that this isn’t some plot orchestrated by Wadsworth?

Sam: I guess we don’t. I just thought— he offered to bring along AM files. Ones that we don’t have. We could use that research. And, I know he’s not exactly the most moral person in the world, but it might be, you know, good to have another perspective.

Dr. Bright: What did you say to him? When you talked?

Sam: That I needed to talk to you about it. 

Dr. Bright: He must know that I would be a hard sell on this. 

Sam: But do you really think it’s not worth at least looking into?

Dr. Bright: No, it probably is worth looking into. How are you and Mark doing? Are you alright after what happened earlier today?

Sam: Um, no. We got into a pretty big fight and then he stormed out. 

Dr. Bright: What?

Sam: Yeah, I’m sure he’ll be walking through your door any second. Agent Green called just as he left and then I called you so…

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry, Sam. 

Sam: No, I’m sorry. I— today was not my finest moment. 

Dr. Bright: You and Mark have had arguments before. As have you and I. We’ll all get through it. 

Sam: How do you do that?

Dr. Bright: Do what?

Sam: Stay so diplomatic. You’re allowed to be angry with me, you know. You and Mark both you just— you bury it, try to spare peoples’ feelings but who is it sparing, really?

Dr. Bright: Oh, are you the psychology expert now?

Sam: Hopefully I’ve learned something in the past year. 

Dr. Bright: I am angry with you, Sam. But I’m angry with a lot of people and you don’t even crack the top five. 

Sam: I don’t know whether to be insulted or relieved. 

Dr. Bright: I’d choose relieved if I were you. You’d know if you were in my top five. 

Sam: I’ll take your word for it.

Dr. Bright: I’ll text you when Mark gets here. Let you know he’s safe. 

Sam: Thanks, Joan. 

Dr. Bright: We’ll talk later. Bye, Sam. 

Sam: Bye.

[sfx: phone ringing]

Mark: (on his voicemail) You’ve reached Mark, for some reason. It’s 2017 last I checked - just text me. Or, you know, leave a message if you must.

[sfx: voicemail tone]

Dr. Bright: (through the phone) It’s me. I just got off the phone with Sam: and she…well, I assume you’re spending the night here. I’m about to order food - Italian - so text me if you want anything. Okay, I’ll see you soon. 

[sfx: phone ringing]

Sam: Hey Chlo! 

Chloe: (through the phone) Sam! God, it’s good to hear your voice. 

Sam: Likewise, it’s been a little while. 

Chloe: I know, I know, I’m sorry. Alex and I went camping last week and cell service was terrible. 

Sam: Ooh, camping? That’s kind of romantic. Are you guys getting back together?

Chloe: No, no, it wasn’t like that. We’re just friends. It was really nice actually. 

Sam: Good, I’m glad. 

Chloe: And actually- I’m currently on my way back. 

Sam: From camping?

Chloe: No, my way back home. 

Sam: Really? You’re coming back?

Chloe: Yep! Probably a few days away at the moment - I’m in the middle of absolutely nowhere right now. At this weird little diner off the highway…I saw the first gas station in eighty miles and thought I should take advantage. 

Sam: Oh yeah, I know that feeling. What’s the diner called? 

Chloe: Um…the Mirage Diner, looks like. 

Sam: I think I’ve been there. It’s, like, the only place on that one stretch of highway going East.

Chloe: Yeah, exactly.

Sam: So you’re feeling totally better?

Chloe: Yeah, I am. Even better than before actually. I think I just needed some time to heal and focus on myself, you know? Not try to do so many things at once. 

Sam: Chloe, that’s amazing. 

Chloe: Yeah, I mean, I know it won’t be perfect - there’s definitely going to be a big adjustment once I’m back in the city, but I think I’m ready for it. 

Sam: I can’t wait to see you. And hear everything about the past few months—

Chloe: Sam, I’ve been giving you weekly updates. 

Sam: I know, I know. I just- I missed you. And- well, I haven’t been doing so great recently. I- I think I really messed up with Mark. 

Chloe: What? What are you talking about?

Sam: Today was so bad, we—

Chloe: Oh my god. 

Sam: What? 

Chloe: You will never guess who just walked in. 

Sam: Who?

Chloe: Damien. 

Sam: What? 

Chloe: Yep. 

Sam: You’ve got to be kidding me. Has he seen you?

Chloe: Not yet. 

Sam: Jesus, twice in one day…

Chloe: What do you mean?

Sam: I talked to him earlier. 

Chloe: What? Oh god, he spotted me. 

Sam: Don’t hang up. 

Chloe: Obviously. 

[sfx: phone being put on the table]

Damien: Well, well, well. 

[sfx: Damien sliding into the booth]

Chloe: What are you doing here?

Damien: At a gas station? Why, I’m getting gas. 

Chloe: You own a car?

Damien: “Owning” is a strong way of putting it. I don’t exactly have the registration for it - Sam wasn’t kind enough to include that in her witness protection packet.

Chloe: You really expected her to help you keep a car that you stole?

Damien: Hey, it was given to me. 

Chloe: Mm, I’m sure. 

Damien: So. This is a bit of a weird coincidence, huh? 

Chloe: The way you say that makes me think that you’ve been following me. 

Damien: Nah, I don’t have the time for that anymore. I’ve gone legit, remember? It’s amazing how time consuming being a functioning non-atypical adult is. 

Chloe: Then what are you doing here?

Damien: I told you, getting gas. And some pancakes, ideally. Love me a good brinner. 

Chloe: Yeah, me too. 

Damien: I can see that. French toast - daring choice for a roadside diner. 

Chloe: So, what, are you just gonna sit here and watch me eat?

Damien: Yeah, pretty much. At least until I get my own grub.

Chloe: I wouldn’t hold your breath on the waitress coming back. It took fifteen minutes for her to come over and now she’s…oh, she’s hooking up with the cook in the back. Ugh. God, I don’t wanna be hearing this.

Damien: What does that even sound like? People’s thoughts when they’re…you know, doing that.

Chloe: You don’t want to know. There we go. 

Damien: What?

Chloe: I just— I turned it down a bit. 

Damien: You can do that?

Chloe: I’ve learned a couple things since you last saw me. 

Damien: Can you— I mean, now that I can’t— can you hear my thoughts?

Chloe: No. Unfortunately. Or fortunately. I don’t know. 

Damien: Right. 

Chloe: It must still be there. Somewhere. 

Damien: Yeah. Maybe. Why are you still sitting here? 

Chloe: What? 

Damien: I mean, you haven’t gotten up and walked away. 

Chloe: I want to finish my french toast. And, honestly, you don’t really scare me anymore, Damien. Or whatever your name is officially now. 

Damien: It’s Damien, actually. Officially. Sam— Sam is a better person than me, I guess. 

Chloe: Yeah, no kidding. 

Damien: She’s not perfect though. 

Chloe: No one is. 

Damien: Looks like Mrs. High-and-Mighty has come down to earth a little bit. 

Chloe: Some people grow up, Damien. You should try it sometimes. 

Damien: You know, maybe if you’d had the “no one is perfect” stance when we’d first met, you wouldn’t have been such a jerk to me. 

Chloe: I— Okay, that’s fair. 

Damien: What?

Chloe: I was a jerk to you. I wrote you off right away. And, I mean, you ended up proving a lot of my worst suspicions right but it’s not good to judge people that quickly. Even if you were acting pretty creepy.

Damien: Hey, I was just trying to make a friend. 

Chloe: Yeah, and you suck at it. 

Damien: Maybe you should have given me a chance. 

Chloe: Don’t you think you’ve had plenty of chances?

Damien: Sure, but you never gave me one to begin with. 

Chloe: That’s true. And I’m sorry for that. 

Damien: Thank you. And I’m sorry for hitting you with a lamp. 

Chloe: Okay. 

Damien: Does that mean you forgive me?

Chloe: You broke my brain, Damien. I don’t have to forgive you.

Damien: Fair enough. I didn’t actually want to hurt you. 

Chloe: Yeah, but you did. 

Damien: Yeah. 

Chloe: What are you doing here, Damien? Where are you going?

Damien: Oh, I was…I thought I might…I don’t know. 

Chloe: Okay…

Damien: Have you talked to Sam recently?

Chloe: Yeah…

Damien: Did she tell you about Mark? I mean, I guess he’s not doing well and I- I don’t know. 

Chloe: You were going back to check on him?

Damien: It was a dumb idea. I’m not— he wouldn’t want that. He made that very clear last time we spoke. 

Chloe: So what are you still doing here?

Damien: Taking in the scenery, I guess. Yeah. I should probably be getting back. 

Chloe: Back where?

Damien: Nah, not falling for that. I’m not telling you where I’m living these days. 

Chloe: Believe it or not, Damien, I don’t have immediate plans to come knocking on your door. 

Damien: Guess this is goodbye for good, then. 

Chloe: Guess so. 

Damien: Glad you’re feeling better. Not all of us can be so lucky to recover from our assaults. 

Chloe: Well, you’re lucky that I did. I’m pretty sure Frank would have killed you if you’d done permanent damage. 

Damien: And yet no one’s lining up to hold Caleb responsible. 

Chloe: Do you really want to have this argument, Damien? Did you ever think to look at this as an opportunity? 

Damien: Oh yeah, what a great opportunity. 

Chloe: I’m serious. My ability was all scrambled after you knocked me out and I decided to do something with that. Take the time to learn myself - stop invading people’s heads all the time, spilling secrets. And I’m not going to pretend that it was easy or that I’m totally perfect now but I’m trying. Maybe you should see what happens if you tried. 

Damien: Thank you for the advice, but I’m doing just fine. 

[sfx: Damien sliding out of the booth] 

Chloe: Good.

Damien: Goodbye Chloe. 

[sfx: Chloe picking up the phone] 

Chloe: Well, that was weird. 

Sam: I’ll say. You think he was headed back here?

Chloe: It sort of sounded like it, right? But it seems like he probably changed his mind. 

Sam: Good. That’s the last thing Mark needs. Not that I- I’m not trying to make decisions for him. I don’t know what he needs. But he has seemed better since Damien left. Lighter. 

Chloe: That’s good. Sam, is everything okay?

Sam: It’s really, really not. 

[sfx: phone ringing] 

Mark: (on his voicemail) You’ve reached Mark, for some reason. It’s 2017 last I checked - just text me. Or, you know, leave a message if you must.

[sfx: voicemail tone]

Chloe: (through the phone) Hey, Mark, it’s Chloe:. I, uh, I just talked to Sam and she- well, she filled me in a bit on what happened today and I just wanted to make sure you’re okay. I know that you’ve been nervous to time travel again so I can’t even imagine…anyway, I’m here if you want someone to talk to. Someone that isn’t your sister or your girlfriend. Take care of yourself, Mark. Okay, I’ll talk to you later. 

[sfx: phone ringing]

Frank: (through the phone) This is Frank. 

Dr. Bright: Frank, it’s Joan. I’m so sorry to call so late—

Frank: That’s alright. Is everything okay?

Dr. Bright:  Everything’s fine. I just wanted to see if you’d heard from Mark at all tonight? I know he sometimes stops by to keep you company on your shift. 

Frank: Nope, haven’t seen him. Did he say he was coming by?

Dr. Bright: No, it’s just that— well, he left Sam’s over an hour ago and I thought he was coming here but…

Frank: Are you sure everything’s alright?

Dr. Bright: He probably just went for a walk. He’s a grown man, I shouldn’t worry so much. 

Frank: I think your worry is understandable. 

Dr. Bright: Thank you, Frank. But I’m sorry for interrupting your evening with my own anxiety. 

Frank: That’s okay. It’s a quiet night here anyways. Most students are already hunkering down for finals so the campus is pretty dead. 

Dr. Bright: Well I guess you should enjoy the peace while it lasts. I imagine things get decidedly more hectic when exams are over. 

Frank: Yes, they do. But I don’t mind that much. Sometimes it’s the quiet nights that are hard to stomach. Too much like being out on patrol. 

Dr. Bright: How do you mean?

Frank: Well, a whole lot of nothing can put you on edge more than seeing action does. Because when nothing’s going on, there’s always the chance of something. If something’s already happening, you’re not thinking about how it could get worse. 

Dr. Bright: The fear of the unknown. 

Frank: Yeah. That plus the waiting.

Dr. Bright: Maybe you should ask to switch to the day shift. Might be a little more something. 

Frank: Maybe. I’m still trying to find a balance. Daytime means people which means lots of emotions. Most the time, the quiet is better. Just sometimes, well, it can be nice to have someone else there. That’s why your brother comes by. Sam too. 

Dr. Bright: Really?

Frank: They don’t often come together, but yeah. Mark usually brings cards and Sam brings tea, maybe once a week. They- they understand. It’s not the same as having my unit with me but it’s something like family. 

Dr. Bright: I’m very glad to hear that, Frank.

Frank: It’s gotten me thinking about some of my own family. I’ve still got some distant cousins in Chicago and I was thinking maybe I’d like to go and see them. 

Dr. Bright: I think that sounds like a wonderful idea. 

Frank: You don’t know any good therapists out that way, do you? The one you sent me to here has been working out great and, well, I’d like to keep it up. 

Dr. Bright: I’m guessing that means a visit to Chicago might end up being a bit permanent?

Frank: Could be. 

Dr. Bright: I’ll look into it for you. 

Frank: Thank you. Alright, I should probably get back to it. 

Dr. Bright: Of course. It was good to talk to you, Frank. 

Frank: You too. I’ll let you know if I hear from Mark. 

Dr. Bright: I appreciate that. Have a good night, Frank. Call if you— well, if you ever need some company as you’re walking around campus. 

Frank: I’ll do that. Thank you, Joan. 

[sfx: phone ringing]

Mark: (on his voicemail) You’ve reached Mark, for some reason. It’s 2017 last I checked - just text me. Or, you know, leave a message if you must.

[sfx: voicemail tone]

Frank: Hey man, it’s Frank. Just thought I’d give a ring and see what you’re up to. Pretty quiet night here tonight and I’m bored as hell. Would love if you dropped by. Okay. Talk to you later.  

[sfx: phone ringing]

Agent Green: Owen Thompson speaking. 

Dr. Bright: (through the phone) Hello, Owen. 

Agent Green: Joan! What are you— hi— I’m glad you called. 

Dr. Bright: I wasn’t sure this number would still be in service. 

Agent Green: Yeah, well, just because I don’t have much of a personal life doesn’t mean I don’t need a personal number. 

Dr. Bright: Very aspirational of you. 

Agent Green: Have to hope for something. 

Dr. Bright: You’ve been harassing Sam. 

Agent Green: I haven’t been harassing her. But you wouldn’t return my calls. 

Dr. Bright: What is it you want?

Agent Green: Well, I- I want to talk to you about Ellie. 

Dr. Bright: What about her?

Agent Green: I’ve grown concerned. 

Dr. Bright: Oh, you’ve just now grown concerned?

Agent Green: Better late than never, right?

Dr. Bright: That remains to be seen. 

Agent Green: Listen, I know that we have a lot of bad blood between us, but I need your help. 

Dr. Bright: Yes, Sam said you wanted to come work with us. Forgive me for being skeptical. 

Agent Green: I do. You have every right to be. But I meant what I told Sam. I would like to help you with your endeavor. Eventually. 

Dr. Bright: Eventually. 

Agent Green: There’s something we need to do first. 

Dr. Bright: If you’re going to try and convince me to bury the hatchet— 

Agent Green: No, not exactly. More…put a knife in Wadsworth’s back. 

Dr. Bright: Owen. That’s uncharacteristically ruthless of you.  

Agent Green: Yes, well, maybe that is a bit much, but I do think a regime change is in order. She’s gone completely rogue, Joan, and I don’t think she can be pulled back onto the straight and narrow. 

Dr. Bright: What would you suggest?

Agent Green: I’ve been compiling evidence. I want to bring it to DC and suggest disciplinary action. Have the whole branch put under review. 

Dr. Bright: What do you need me for?

Agent Green: I’m not sure the evidence will actually be enough. But I've recently acquired some information that I think will make the case airtight. I need your help sorting through it. I can’t give DC any excuse not to accept it. 

Dr. Bright: And you’re sure they will? Ellie may have done reprehensible things, but she still did them under the auspices of the AM. DC is as responsible as she is. 

Agent Green: So hold them accountable. 

Dr. Bright: What kind of information do you have? 

[sfx: phone ringing]

Sam: Hello?

Rose: (through the phone) Sam, hi! Sorry to call so late, I just— I wasn’t sure who to call. He really doesn’t want me call his sister—

Sam: Who?

Rose: Mark. 

Sam: You- you’re with him? Is he okay?

Rose: Yeah, yeah, he’s fine. Well, mostly. 

Sam: Rose, what’s going on?

Rose: He- he texted me saying that he’d told you about what happened last night and- I’m sorry about that, I really am—

Sam: Rose—

Rose: Anyway, he came to meet me and Emily at this trivia thing and he had a couple of drinks and then he just—

Sam: Oh god-

Rose: I kept telling him to slow down but—

Sam: Rose, it’s okay, it’s not your fault. He’s with you now?

Rose: Yeah.

Sam: Okay, um, can you bring him here?

Rose: Um, I don’t think that’s gonna fly. 

Sam: Then can you take him to Joan’s— Dr. Bright’s?

Rose: Yeah, that’s definitely not gonna fly. Listen, I was just gonna take him home with me. Aaron’s drunk friends are constantly sleeping it off in our living room, my parents won’t mind—

Sam: Rose—

Rose: I just wanted to let you know where he was and he really didn’t want me to call Dr. Bright. But you’ll let her know?

Sam: Yeah, I’ll tell her. Are you sure about this?

Rose: Yeah, I think it’s what he wants. 

Sam: Okay. Thanks- thank you for calling. And let me know if you need anything. 

Rose: I will.

Sam: Good. 

Rose: I’ll make sure he calls you in the morning. 

Sam: Yeah. Thanks. 

Rose: Alright, I should go, I think Emily’s getting tired of propping him up—

Sam: Jesus—

Rose: It’s gonna be fine, Sam. This isn’t my first rodeo. And, well, I think I owe him. I’m sorry about—

Sam: It’s okay. Normal hazard of who we are, I guess. 

Rose: Yeah. I’m so used to my brother reading my brain and my mom predicting my future that I forget not everyone is okay with having their lives invaded. 

Sam: Yeah…okay, go help Emily. And seriously - call if you need anything. 

Rose: I will. Bye, Sam. 

Sam: Bye, Rose. 

[sfx: phone ringing] 

Mark: (on his voicemail) You’ve reached Mark, for some reason. It’s 2017 last I checked - just text me. Or, you know, leave a message if you must.

[sfx: voicemail tone] 

Dr. Bright: (through the phone) I know you won’t get this until the morning but I just want it on the record that I’m very angry with you right now. Just because you had a fight with your girlfriend doesn’t mean you can go off and get drunk with underage girls who then have to carry you home—

[sfx: phone ringing]  

Mark: (on his voicemail) You’ve reached Mark, for some reason. It’s 2017 last I checked - just text me. Or, you know, leave a message if you must.

[sfx: voicemail tone] 

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry. That was unfair. Just. Please be safe, Mark. I can’t lose you again. 

[music & credits]

Lauren Shippen: Episode 54 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. In this episode, you heard the voices of Andrew Nowak as Mark, Alanna Fox as Rose, Lauren Shippen as Sam, Ian McQuown as Agent Green, Julia Morizawa as Dr. Bright, Anna Lore as Chloe, Charlie Ian as Damien, and Phillip Jordan as Frank. 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 30th with Episode 55. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.