Episode 55 Transcript
55 - The AM
by Lauren Shippen
[sfx: Joan's front door opening]
Dr. Bright: Well, don’t you look terrible.
Mark: I bet you it’s not as bad as I feel.
Dr. Bright: I made breakfast. It’s in the kitchen.
Mark: Rose actually fed me. She’s a chef, remember? Makes one hell of a fry up.
Dr. Bright: Well, aren’t you lucky? Sounds like the Atkinson’s was a real resort experience.
Mark: It was actually kind of a nightmare. Being in a house with four Atypicals - one of whom is a dreamwalker - is not my ideal way to sleep off a night of drinking. I’m about seven different types of hungover right now.
Dr. Bright: Well—
Mark: I know what you’re gonna say, okay? It’s what I get for falling off the wagon, for being irresponsible, for fucking up again. That you’re disappointed in me for doing the impulsive thing when I’m upset, that you’d hoped I’ve grown out of this. What, nothing to add?
Dr. Bright: Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were carrying on both sides of the conversation, but if you’d like I could do your part. “I’m sorry, Joanie, it won’t happen again. It wasn’t my fault, Joanie. Thanks for posting bail, Joanie—“
Mark: That was one time in college—
Dr. Bright: “Look at me, I’m fine, Joanie—“
Mark: I am fine. Stop treating me like a child.
Dr. Bright: Then stop acting like one.
Mark: Look. I am sorry, okay? I made a mistake. But everyone is making fucking mistakes. I mean, Sam called Damien yesterday and you—
Dr. Bright: What? She did what?
Mark: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ll explain later but, listen, she knows, alright? She knows she fucked up and I’m— I’m handling it. But meanwhile, Agent Green is downstairs—
Dr. Bright: He’s early.
Mark: What the hell, Joan? Wasn’t exactly a pleasant surprise. I had to tell him to wait a few minutes so I could come up alone because apparently you’re expecting him.
Dr. Bright: He’s here to talk about Wadsworth.
Mark: Jesus, what happened yesterday?
Dr. Bright: She comes back from DC tomorrow and Owen wants to try and oust her before she can fire him.
Mark: Alright, I’m officially too wrecked to deal with this right now, I’m going to bed.
[sfx: Mark going into the guest bedroom]
Dr. Bright: It’s ten in the morning.
Mark: Just— why don’t you talk with your boyfriend and we’ll finish this later.
Dr. Bright: Don’t think we won’t—
[sfx: knock on door]
Dr. Bright: What?
[sfx: opening door]
Agent Green: Sorry, should I come back?
Mark: No, by all means, come on in.
[sfx: closing door]
Agent Green: I— um, I got you a coffee. You looked like you needed it.
Mark: Oh. Yeah, I do. I still hate your guts.
Agent Green: Duly noted.
[sfx: Mark going into the guest bedroom and closing the door]
Agent Green: If this is a bad time—
Dr. Bright: It’s a terrible time, but I wouldn’t count on there being a different kind in the near future so say what you need to say.
Agent Green: Here. I got you one too. Non-fat vanilla latte. That’s still your drink, right?
Dr. Bright: I rarely indulge in it these days, but yes. Thank you. Do you want to sit?
Agent Green: Thank you.
[sfx: both sitting]
Agent Green: I- I appreciate you being willing to sit down with me. I’m not here to ask for forgiveness or argue a case for myself. I- there’s no excuse. For what I’ve let happen. For what I’ve done.
Dr. Bright: But you’ve had a change of heart?
Agent Green: No. I just started listening to it. What is it about Ellie that makes you want to impress her? How does she do that?
Dr. Bright: I don’t know.
Agent Green: It was all I cared about for so long. Even when I was bitter over her promotion, I always knew she was better than me...but I’ve always known you’re better than me and it doesn’t— I like that about you.
Dr. Bright: And you were always trying to impress me too.
Agent Green: Yes, I was. And, I think I succeeded in that. At least for a little while.
Dr. Bright: You did.
Agent Green: But with her…I resented her and still I wanted to impress her. How does she do that?
Dr. Bright: It’s what makes her an effective leader.
Agent Green: It’s what makes her dangerous.
Dr. Bright: No argument here.
Agent Green: I should have been paying closer attention. I'm sorry. But it was easy to justify what we were doing and-
Dr. Bright: Was it? Running what is essentially an illegal prison was easy to justify?
Agent Green: Joan, you knew about Tier 5 before you found out that Mark was there.
Dr. Bright: I didn’t know the specifics. I didn’t know the extent of it.
Agent Green: But you worked in Tier 4. Those people may have eventually been let go, but most of them weren’t there voluntarily. You knew that.
Dr. Bright: And that’s why I went looking for Tier 5 in the first place. I was skeptical, I didn’t think what we were doing was right—
Agent Green: I know. You expressed those concerns to me and I told you that’s just how it was. But I should have listened to you.
Dr. Bright: Yes, you should have.
Agent Green: But here’s the thing, Joan— none of it is illegal. Ellie is right about that. There’s nothing in any federal or state law against it—
Dr. Bright: Imprisoning people indefinitely without due process—
Agent Green: Come on, you know that the government has done plenty of that.
Dr. Bright: Experiments, illegal drug trials, conditioning, kidnapping—
Agent Green: Yes, all technically against the law but Atypicals aren’t recognized entities by the United States government. Not officially. They’re separately categorized. In fact, I’m not sure they’re categorized at all.
Dr. Bright: But there still has to be something in place about how Atypicals are treated. It’s not like we were given free range to do whatever we wanted - we were trained to help people.
Agent Green: I know, I know. But I think it’s a culture thing - more…best practices rather than hard and fast rules. I’ve spent the past few months digging into the bylaws of The AM— you know how they tell us in orientation that it’s a secret arm of the US Intelligence Community?
Dr. Bright: Yes.
Agent Green: Well, that would mean that it’s under the jurisdiction of a federal department, right?
Dr. Bright: Not necessarily. The CIA is an independent agency, isn’t it?
Agent Green: Yes, but it still answers to the federal government. The AM doesn’t.
Dr. Bright: What are you talking about?
Agent Green: The AM was founded in 1936. Or, so they say. But there are no founding documents. There’s no paper trail connecting it to the federal government at all.
Dr. Bright: Then who oversees it?
Agent Green: That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I made some requests at the archives and I just got the files yesterday—
Dr. Bright: They let you do that?
Agent Green: Well, not exactly. I have a friend. Do you remember Agent Plum? She was in the same recruitment group as Ellie and I.
Dr. Bright: Yes, vaguely.
Agent Green: Well, she runs the AM archives now. She was always a bit too bookish to be doing our work but she’s a very good person and respects some healthy historical curiosity.
Dr. Bright: That’s what you told her this was about? Historical curiosity?
Agent Green: I may be trying to change my ways but lying still has its uses, I guess.
Dr. Bright: You’re not wrong. What did you learn?
Agent Green: Well…
[sfx: Agent Green slamming papers onto the coffee table]
Agent Green: That’s what I’m hoping you can help with.
Dr. Bright: She sent you all of this?
Agent Green: There’s actually three more boxes in my car.
[sfx: guest room door opening and closing]
Mark: What- I thought we got rid of these…Joanie, your file boxes are multiplying.
Dr. Bright: They’re not mine.
Mark: Oh. You’re still here.
Agent Green: Would you like some tea? There’s a fresh pot.
Mark: What is it with you and hot beverages?
Dr. Bright: We were just taking a break.
Mark: From what?
Dr. Bright: Owen is trying to help us find some leverage over Wadsworth.
Mark: Well, you’re in luck. Hi, I’m leverage. First hand account of all the shady shit that woman has done.
Agent Green: Oh, trust me, you’re a part of what I’m putting together. I want to reveal everything that she’s been doing to headquarters but it would good to have evidence that she’s broken some concrete laws as well.
Mark: Ah, right. Because I don’t exist.
Agent Green: More or less, yes. And I’m not familiar enough with the leadership at HQ to know if Ellie is an anomaly or toeing the party line.
Mark: So that’s what all this is about?
Dr. Bright: We’re trying to figure out whose jurisdiction the AM is even under. As Director of an AM division, Wadsworth operates independently from the government, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t beholden to some set of rules. We just haven’t found them yet.
Mark: Sounds thrilling. You should call Sam. She loves this kind of stuff.
Dr. Bright: I wasn’t sure you’d want to see her.
Mark: I always want to see her. Even when she does stupid shit like call Damien.
Dr. Bright: Owen, we’ve sailed right past lunch time. Would you mind going out and picking something up?
Agent Green: Yes, of course. I’ll be back.
[sfx: Agent Green leaving the apartment]
Dr. Bright: What happened?
Mark: After she talked to you, she panicked and called him to try and get information. She’d been jumping back into the past to try and figure me out and…god, I’m so pissed at her.
Dr. Bright: You’re not the only one.
Mark: Yeah, she said you two got into it yesterday. Are you sure you want to see her?
Dr. Bright: She is good with this kind of stuff. We could probably use her help. And, well, I’m already working with Owen, so it’s not like I’m being picky with my allies. Not that— it’s not the same with Sam. She— she went down a bad path but I— I understand it. I should have been paying closer attention.
Mark: Jesus, Joanie, it’s not your job to take care of everyone. When are you going to realize that?
Dr. Bright: Knowing it and feeling it are two very different things.
Mark: Do you think you and Sam will be okay?
Dr. Bright: I think so. There’s no shortage of bad decisions between us, but nothing so broken it can’t be fixed. Will you two be okay?
Mark: I don’t know.
Dr. Bright: Well at least everything’s in the open now. Keeping secrets from each other never seems to end well. I don’t know why we keep doing it.
Dr. Bright: While we’re on the subject…Wadsworth told me something when she stopped by the other week. Something about you. And I’ve been trying to find the right moment—
Mark: She used me to make herself immune, didn’t she?
Dr. Bright: What? How—
Mark: Yeah, I kinda thought as much. When you said that you had a theory about how she did it, I started thinking about what that could be. You didn’t get all the brains in the family, Joanie. Most of them, sure. But not all.
Dr. Bright: Why didn’t you say anything?
Mark: Why didn’t you?
Dr. Bright: I wasn’t sure how to bring it up. Or when.
Mark: And what better time than when I’m sad and hungover. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. That’s why I didn’t ask what your theory was or if you’d managed to prove it. But it’s true, isn’t it?
Dr. Bright: She pretty much confirmed it, yes.
Dr. Bright: Couldn’t have said it better myself. You’re being uncharacteristically calm about this.
Mark: I’ve spent so much of the past few years falling apart, there’s no more pieces of me left to break. Now I’m just…I’m fucking furious.
Dr. Bright: Me too.
Mark: I want to help.
Dr. Bright: What?
Mark: With whatever Green and you are doing here. I don’t trust the guy—
Dr. Bright: Neither do I—
Mark: —but if he wants to make sure Wadsworth never does anything like this ever again, I’m on board.
[sfx: knock on door]
Dr. Bright: Come in.
[sfx: front door opening]
Sam: Hey guys.
Dr. Bright: Sam, good. You can start in on that pile.
[sfx: front door closing]
Sam: Oh. Okay, sure. Hi.
Sam: Are you—
Mark: Yeah, I’m good. Are you?
Sam: Yeah, yeah, fine. Guess I’ll just get to work then. Seems like we’re on a bit of a clock?
Dr. Bright: Yes. Ellie comes back tomorrow morning and, well—
Agent Green: I think it’s very likely that she’ll fire me. She knows I’ve been starting to express my doubts to HQ and if it came up at all while she was there…well, tomorrow could very easily be my last day. And then I lose access to the facilities and all the files and I want to make sure we have our ducks in a row before that happens.
Sam: Right. Does someone wanna catch me up? What exactly are we looking for?
Dr. Bright: If we can figure out who oversees the AM, we can determine which, if any, laws Wadsworth has broken.
Sam: And then what?
Agent Green: And then I take it to headquarters.
Sam: And you think they’ll listen? They must be aware of what Wadsworth is doing. If they haven’t shut her down already…
Agent Green: That’s what I thought at first too. And I’ve talked to some of my colleagues at other divisions - no one seems to be as extreme as Ellie but…
Dr. Bright: They’re also not all squeaky clean.
Mark: So then it’s likely whoever’s on top is okay with what Wadsworth’s been up to.
Dr. Bright: Or at the very least, willing to turn a blind eye. But if we can find who oversees The AM…
Sam: Then we can go over HQ’s head.
Agent Green: Or blackmail them. Whichever gets us the results we want.
Mark: Wow, look who’s starting to grow a spine.
Agent Green: Yes, well, I learned a few things dating your sister for three years. Even if I’d forgotten a lot of them in the three years since.
Sam: Anyway…do we have any idea who those people might be?
Dr. Bright: I thought it would be the Department of Justice but we haven’t found anything to support that.
Sam: But they’d care anyway, right? I mean, the Supreme Court would have a field day with this.
Agent Green: At the risk exposing the Atypical community to the public? There’s a reason the AM’s ties with the American government are tenuous. It’s easier to keep a secret when so few people know it.
Dr. Bright: Which means we have to find the people who know it.
Sam: Alright. Guess I’ll start reading.
[sfx: Sam picking up papers]
Mark: The Order…
Mark: I’m looking at some stuff from the forties and they keep referencing “The Order”. With both words capitalized. Is that anything?
Agent Green: The Order…does that sound familiar to you, Joan?
Dr. Bright: It does…
Sam: Sounds like a secret society or something.
Dr. Bright: Or a religious order.
Mark: What with like monks and stuff?
Agent Green: That’s it!
Sam: …it is?
Dr. Bright: No, you’re right, that’s why it sounds familiar. There was a kind of urban legend that would make its way through the AM every time a new class of agents or scientists came through.
Agent Green: Yes, a piece of AM lore about how the organization began.
Dr. Bright: I always assumed it was mostly fabricated. An order of monks who have studied Atypicals for centuries helping to start a government intelligence agency always seemed like a bit of a stretch.
Sam: But you think it might be true?
Dr. Bright: Maybe not the monk bit, but a group that founded the AM…Mark, what does it say about the Order?
Mark: Um…it’s all pretty vague. It’s a report from a case in 1944. Talking about how “an ambassador from The Order” brought over some information from the…“Registre Des Phénomènes Inhabituels”. God, it’s been a long time since high school French.
Dr. Bright: The…register of unusual phenomena?
Sam: That sounds like the AM. Just, you know, French. Does the the AM work with international organizations?
Agent Green: Of course. We share intelligence with our allies like any other US agency.
Sam: And is there usually a go between? An ambassador?
Agent Green: I don’t know. That’s not my department.
Sam: Then who communicates with foreign intelligence?
Agent Green: There’s a position in each Division specifically for working with other agencies.
Dr. Bright: A single position, right? It’s not a whole department.
Mark: That’s kind of weird, isn’t it?Sam: Who has that position now?
Agent Green: No one. No one in our division. The last person to fill that role left 6 or 7 years ago. They said they were going to find a replacement, but we’ve just been reporting directly to DC. Or we’ve been reporting to Wadsworth and she’s been reporting to DC. Whenever we need information from other agencies, we request it from HQ or Division 3. They’re the closest branch to us geographically.
Dr. Bright: What if that position was some sort of oversight? What if whatever the Order is, it’s still in operation?
Mark: And you guys think that this Order is what founded the AM?
Dr. Bright: That was the story. If they still exists, they might be the people in charge. They might be able to do something.
Agent Green: It feels a bit like a hail Mary, but we don’t have any other options.
Dr. Bright: Okay, so we look for everything that mentions the Order. See if we can find out if it’s still operating.
Mark: There is another way. Might be faster.
Agent Green: What?
Sam: I- I didn’t want to suggest it. Given, you know, everything.
Mark: Look, if you don’t want to—
Sam: It’s not that. I just- I don’t…I don’t know where the line is.
Dr. Bright: Wherever it is, they crossed it first.
Sam: That doesn’t mean I don’t want to know where our lines are. Mine was certainly much farther than I’m comfortable with and I- I don’t want to make that mistake again.
Dr. Bright: We can argue ethics later, but right now we only have so much time to find something that will scare Wadsworth: enough to bring her down. Knowing what she’s done doesn’t give us anything over her, but knowing who to take that information to might.
Sam: Fine. I’ll get going then—
[sfx: Sam and Mark standing]
Mark: No, Sam, come on, if you don’t want to, that’s fine, you don’t have to leave—
Sam: No, that’s not— I’ll go. I’ll see what I can find out. But I’m not- I’m not doing it here. Not with you around.
Sam: I can’t risk it. Are you sure you’re okay with this?
Mark: Yeah. Are you?
Sam: Okay enough. I can’t promise I’ll be able to find anything—
Dr. Bright: We’ll keep looking here. And then tomorrow, we’ll work with what we have.
[sfx: Wadsworth's office door opening]
Wadsworth: Ah good, Agent Green. I was just about to come see you, I have some news.
Agent Green: Director—
Wadsworth: Don’t worry, Green, I think you’re going to like it.
Agent Green: There’s someone here to see you.
Wadsworth: Can it wait?
Agent Green: No, Ellie. It can’t.
Wadsworth: Oh. Oh, I see. Oh, the time has come, has it? I assume you think you’ve found whatever smoking gun you need to bring me down.
[sfx: Dr. Bright entering the room]
Dr. Bright: Yes, we have.
Wadsworth: Oh, look at that. Back together again. I really didn’t think you’d forgive him, Joan.
Dr. Bright: This isn’t about forgiveness. This is about setting things right.
Wadsworth: And what exactly do you think you’ve set right?
Agent Green: Headquarters should be calling you any moment now. They’ve been made aware of everything you’ve been doing.
Wadsworth: I know. I just got off the phone with them actually. Your timing really is perfect. A sudden, sharp pain in my back and here you are, the people who have driven the knife through it.
Dr. Bright: Good lord, Ellie, do we really need all the dramatics?
Wadsworth: Finding out my right hand has been staging a coup feels fairly dramatic.
Agent Green: Oh, I’m your ‘right hand’ now?
Wadsworth: Not a very good one apparently. But that’s alright. You’ll continue to fail upwards, I've no doubt.
Agent Green: You can stop with the jabs. It’s over, Ellie.
Wadsworth: I know that. What do you think the boxes are for?
Dr. Bright: You’re leaving. Just like that?
Wadsworth: When I left DC yesterday, the higher ups couldn’t have been happier with the results that I’ve been getting. I finally had a prototype of the immunity drug to show them and, let me tell you, they were thrilled. Still are in fact. So much so that General Bay suggested that I be promoted.
Agent Green: Excuse me?
Wadsworth: Well, it wasn’t entirely his suggestion, I’ll admit. More my suggestion through him. See, the General doesn’t have the most spotless record either and he was more than willing to take my call last month when I started to think it would be prudent to make a move. DC agreed.
Dr. Bright: Then they must have been very disappointed when they received the file we sent to them.
Wadsworth: It was inconvenient, yes. But they understood where I was coming from. And, well, given that part of my promotion was the recommendation that this branch be put under review, I don’t think anyone was too shocked to hear that my number two wasn’t exactly happy with me.
Agent Green: What are you saying?
Wadsworth: I’m saying that you may try to play the board like the rest of us, Owen, but I will always be a move ahead of you. I’m relocating to Washington. I won’t be the boss anymore, but it’s a small price to pay for working at headquarters. I knew it was only a matter of time before you tried to undermine me and once Joan made it clear that she wouldn’t be my backseat driver, I decided it would be smart to get into a different car. Let someone else steer for a little while.
Dr. Bright: Which means what exactly.
Wadsworth: That I’m going to be a deputy director at headquarters. Get a broader picture. Work with atypicals less—
Dr. Bright: That’s a relief—
Wadsworth: Keep an eye on the whole organization. But don’t worry, there are a lot more people holding me accountable. I know that’s something the two of you worry about.
Agent Green: But we told headquarters what you’ve up to. Surely—
Wadsworth: What, they can’t still promote me because I made a few bad decisions?
Dr. Bright: You broke several of The Order’s bylaws, we proved that—
Wadsworth: And I’m certainly not the first Director to do so. I’ve worked for the AM for over ten years, they’re not going to throw that away because of a hiccup or two. Just like we didn’t cast Joan out when she broke protocol quite spectacularly.
Dr. Bright: I wasn’t exactly grateful for that.
Wadsworth: But you still did good work. You helped your patients, alerted us to new Atypicals, even sent some through our program here. To great success, I might add.
Agent Green: And you think you can still do good work?
Wadsworth: Yes, I do. I am smart enough to admit that maybe there are other ways to get results. Better ways. And I’m willing to try.
Dr. Bright: One promotion and you’re suddenly reformed?
Wadsworth: I don’t need to be reformed, Joan. I don’t regret anything I’ve done. But I’m open to alternatives.
Dr. Bright: I don’t buy that for a second. You’re just going to poison the entire organization from the center, hurt even more people—
Wadsworth: Oh, Joan, ye of little faith. There was a time when you admired me and my work. Maybe you should try to remember why. There must have been a reason for it. Now, why don’t you go out and wait with Mark and Sam — yes, I know they’re here, of course I know — I need to talk to Owen. Alone.
[sfx: Mark pacing in the parking lot]
Sam: Are you sure you don’t want to leave? I can drop you off somewhere and come back to pick up Joan—
Mark: No, no, it’s fine. It’s…it’s weird. Being here in the daylight. It looks so normal.
Sam: Yeah, it does.
Mark: I guess you’ve seen it in the daylight though, huh? More recently than I have.
Sam: It’s not like I traveled back to stand in the parking lot. I was mostly inside. In, you know…
Mark: Tier 5.
Mark: Right. The land of no windows.
Sam: I don’t— I don’t know how you survived it honestly. It was one thing to hear about it from you, but to see it— I’m sorry, I shouldn’t—
Mark: No, it’s okay. In a weird way, it’s…I don’t know, it’s sort of a relief that- that you know. Makes some things easier.
Sam: Yeah, I get that.
Mark: I’m still pissed that you went back without talking to me.
Sam: I know.
Mark: And that you called Damien.
Sam: I know. Oh, shit— I forgot to tell you. Chloe ran into him the other day.
Sam: She’s on her way home and they— they stopped at the same roadside diner.
Mark: You’re kidding.
Sam: I know. And I genuinely think it was just a coincidence.
Mark: What was he doing there?
Sam: I think…I think he may have been coming back to see you.
Sam: Well, when I talked to him on the phone, he seemed…he seemed worried? But he turned around I’m pretty sure. Chloe talked to him and, I don’t know, I think he realized it was a bad idea. That- that you wouldn’t want to see him.
Mark: Thank god.
Sam: You wouldn’t?
Sam: Want to see him?
Mark: No. No, I don’t think I would. I don’t— I don’t want anything bad to happen to him but I don’t ever want to see him again. Being around him, his power, it could feel good, you know? There was something about him. But it’s like going to take a sip of scotch and it ends up being bleach. You think it’s gonna be something that tastes good and get you drunk but it’s just poison. Chloe’s okay?
Sam: Yeah, she’s good. She’ll be home soon.
Mark: Good. Do you think, uh…
Mark: Lose his number.
Mark: You’ve been keeping tabs on him.
Sam: I won’t ever call him again, I promise—
Mark: I know, that’s not why— I just don’t— I want to be done with him. For good.
Sam: Are you sure? I mean, what if he—
Mark: There are AMs all over the country - all over the world apparently. And we don’t even know if he’ll ever get his power back. He’s not our problem anymore. I don’t want him to be our problem anymore.
Mark: I love you. I should have said that before— I should have said it a long time ago. I love you.
Sam: Even though—
Mark: Yes. Look, I don’t know if that’s enough. There’s— there’s still a lot that we need to talk about. And…you’re right. There’s a lot to worry about. With me. Spending a night in a house full of Atypicals showed me that—
Sam: Did something happen?
Mark: No. No, not really. It was just overwhelming. And it’s given me a lot to think about. And...I’m not saying everything’s fine but I just. I needed you to know.
Sam: Okay. Thank you.
[sfx: AM door opening]
Mark: Is that Joan?
Sam: Yeah, I think so. Why isn’t Agent Green with her?
Mark: I don’t know.
Sam: It had to have worked, right?
Mark: Yeah. Yeah, it definitely worked. I mean, there’s no way the folks on top can ignore what she’s doing. Especially after we told them that we’ll tell the Order if they don’t do anything.
Sam: Yeah, but we still don’t know if that actually means anything. I mean, yes, the Order was clearly in charge at one point but who knows what it’s like now. It’s not like we found a contact number for them.
[sfx: Joan walking up to them]
Mark: Yeah, but the AM doesn’t need to know that. Joanie, what happened?
Dr. Bright: That remains to be seen.
Sam: What do you mean?
Dr. Bright: Ellie is being promoted.
Dr. Bright: It seems that she’d secured a new job when she was down in DC and, uh, what we told HQ didn’t change that.
Sam: How is that possible?
Dr. Bright: They think she could still be valuable, under supervision.
Mark: Are you fucking kidding me? That viper imprisoned and experimented on people for years and she’s getting a fucking raise?
Dr. Bright: She knew this was coming. She knew we would try something so she got ahead of it. Admitted her own wrongdoing before we could, making her look trustworthy. Self-aware.
Sam: And they reward that with a shiny new position?
Dr. Bright: It’s clearly an imperfect system.
Mark: No fucking kidding.
Sam: What about the Order?
Dr. Bright: I don’t think the AM wants to tell the Order about Ellie- apparently this isn’t the first time that someone in the organization has gone rogue. It seems they like to handle it internally.
Sam: Okay, then we’ll tell them—
Dr. Bright: If we can find them.
Mark: This is bullshit.
Dr. Bright: Yes. It is.
[sfx: AM door opening]
Sam: Head’s up- Agent Green and Wadsworth—
Dr. Bright: Mark—
Mark: God, how dare she—
Sam: Mark, remember where you are. You can’t do anything.
Dr. Bright: We should go.
Mark: No. She looks like she wants to talk to us, so let her talk to us.
Dr. Bright: I don’t think that’s wise. We’ll go home, re-strategize—
Mark: Fuck that. We’re having this out, right here, right now.
[sfx: Agent Green and Wadsworth walking up to them]
Wadsworth: Oh look, the whole gang is here. Samantha. Byron. Good to see you.
Mark: Oh really? We’re gonna play that game, Annabelle Whitney? What, like your own nephew doesn’t know your real name? Or did you forget that we know each other.
Wadsworth: Still petulant as ever, I see.
Dr. Bright: Why don’t you walk away, Ellie.
Wadsworth: I just wanted to say goodbye. I leave for DC in a week and, while I’m sure I’ll be back to visit my family, I can’t imagine I’ll be making social calls at the Bryant household anytime soon.
Mark: Too fucking right.
Sam: What are you going to do there?
Wadsworth: I’m sorry?
Sam: Let’s just cut to the chase. You somehow squirreled your way into a promotion - what are you going to do with it?
Wadsworth: The work.
Wadsworth: I’ll do what I need to to advance the field and protect American lives. Within a system of checks and balances of course.
Dr. Bright: Oh, of course.
Wadsworth: My goodness, for a group of people who have done many questionable things themselves, you sure are awfully high and mighty. So you’re allowed to change and grow and I’m not? Is that it?
Dr. Bright: Are you going to change, Ellie? Or is this just another power play?
Wadsworth: Why can’t it be both?
Mark: Forgive me if I don’t exactly trust you.
Wadsworth: I am sorry, Mark. For treating you the way I did. I’m sorry that it was necessary.
Sam: It wasn’t necessary—
Wadsworth: Of course it was. We needed to learn more—
Mark: Oh, and you needed to make yourself immune?
Wadsworth: Yes, in fact, I did. It makes me more effective at my work.
Mark: I don’t believe you. How do you not see anything wrong with what you did—
Wadsworth: Of course I do. I understand where you’re coming from. I just don’t agree. And that’s fine. You need that for progress - Joan will tell you — you need people who disagree. That’s how you move forward. Get better. I’m sure Sam and Joan here haven’t agreed on every aspect of how to run their little pet project—
Sam: That’s completely different. We’re never physically harming anyone. We both want to help people. We agree on that. And that’s all that matters. What we build won’t use people.
Wadsworth: But you’re building something using research that I conducted. You haven’t physically been there, but you’ve still benefited from what I’ve done. Dozens of people have. Do you think Mr. Sandoval would have known what to do with Chloe without the AM’s research? That Damien would have survived Caleb’s assault? The information we get from Tier 5 is invaluable for the wellbeing of all Atypicals.
Sam: Most of us have gotten on just fine without you.
Wadsworth: You know, Samantha, we’re quite close to developing a drug that would regulate Class D abilities. Something only made possible by the work we did with Camille—
Mark: How dare you talk about her—
Wadsworth: Can you imagine what your life would be like if you’d had access to resources that could have helped you manage your ability from the moment it presented? Your parents may still be alive, Samantha. No other AM facility was doing the kind of cutting edge work that I did. I’m the one who’s taken the steps to change things. You can look down your noses at it, but you’ll all be thanking me in the future.
Mark: None of that justifies torturing people.
Wadsworth: A small number of people. Many of whom are not exactly upstanding citizens.
Sam: Is that truly how you see all Atypicals? As dangerous?
Wadsworth: No, Samantha. But as Mark will confirm, most of his floor mates were the very dregs of humanity.
Mark: Camille was a good person.
Wadsworth: Camille used her ability to travel back into people’s pasts and then blackmail them.
Mark: So what, anyone who lives a less than perfect life gets to go into your Wonka factory of superhumans?
Wadsworth: What about Trevor, who used his telekinesis to squeeze the air out of his victim’s lungs or Casey, who trapped people in their worst nightmares? What would you have done with them?
Dr. Bright: And where exactly did taking Mark - and I imagine many other innocent individuals - fit into this?
Wadsworth: Mark would have become dangerous eventually.
Dr. Bright: Don’t pretend to believe that. He always had excellent control.
Wadsworth: Did he? He nearly burned down his dormitory senior year and was almost discovered numerous times throughout his college years.
Mark: I was always careful.
Wadsworth: Your “careful” clearly wasn’t good enough. I’m sorry that you couldn’t see it, Joan, but your brother was always on the brink of exploding and exposing all Atypicals. We couldn’t have that. And look at him now. Not perfect, but his control is much improved. We did that.
Dr. Bright: Don’t pretend to know my family better than me, Ellie.
Wadsworth: Oh, but I do, Joan. You have always had the same problem - you care too much. Your love for people blinds you.
Sam: She sees her patients as people, not things to be exploited.
Wadsworth: Oh really? My, how things can change in a year. And look at where your patients are now, Joan. Most of them aren’t even in therapy anymore. You grew attached and you complicated their lives and that’s not the way it's supposed to be. I may seem cold and unfeeling but that is what makes me good at my job. I couldn’t do what I do if I cared the way Joan cared.
Dr. Bright: HQ must be thrilled to be gaining such an impartial mind.
Wadsworth: I think they are. I have solutions. Maybe we won’t need to use them — I hope we won’t — but HQ understands that it’s important to have someone who can…how do I put it?
Dr. Bright: Put down the rabid dog?
Wadsworth: Yes, exactly. But that doesn’t mean we’re not going to at least try and cure the rabies first.
Sam: What about the Order? Based off of everything I’ve seen, they won’t be happy with this. With you.
Wadsworth: That may be true. But you’ve given me a gift in that regard. The Order will be made aware that they haven’t had an ambassador in this Division for the past 7 years - an unfortunate oversight, I’ll admit. They’ll be brought up to speed on what’s been going on - all the missteps. And this branch will be placed under review and properly reformed. Their attention will be here.
Dr. Bright: And meanwhile you’ll be off imprisoning “dangerous Atypicals” in DC?
Wadsworth: Actually, no. HQ doesn’t have outpatient or inpatient facilities. It is pure bureaucracy. You would love it, Green, if you weren’t such a terrible politician. Speaking of, I need to get back to the office, I’ve got a call in ten minutes.
Dr. Bright: Ellie.
Wadsworth: I- I am sorry, Joan. For hurting you. And you, Mark, for what it’s worth. You may be a bit unnatural, but that doesn’t mean you deserved to be trapped in the past for two years. That was unfortunate—
Mark: Fuck you.
Wadsworth: That’s fine. Make me the bad guy. But I am done meddling in your lives. You’ll still be registered with the AM, of course, but I won’t recommend you for further examination.
Dr. Bright: Are we supposed to be grateful for that?
Wadsworth: You can feel however you want about it. It’s an olive branch. Take it or don’t. I know my intentions. I believe in what I’m doing and I have more important things to focus on now. That’s what matters.
Mark: I will take you down someday, Annabelle. I will make sure that you can’t hurt anyone ever again.
Wadsworth: You’re welcome to try, Mark. But let’s be clear. I’m giving you a free pass. All of you. But that doesn’t mean I won’t intervene if you put the larger population at risk. If you put people in harm’s way or risk revealing Atypicals to the public eye, I will stop you. But for now, I guess this is goodbye. I hope someday you’re able to see things from my perspective.
Dr. Bright: I wouldn’t count on it.
Wadsworth: No. I suppose I won’t.
[sfx: Wadsworth walking away]
Mark: Fuck. Fuck.
[sfx: Mark collapsing against the car]
Sam: Are you okay?
Mark: My legs feel like jelly.
Dr. Bright: Come on, we should get you home.
Mark: Do you really think she’ll leave us alone?
Agent Green: Yes. I think she will.
Sam: Jeez, I forgot you were there.
Dr. Bright: Yes, you’ve been awfully quiet.
Agent Green: Yeah, sorry. The conversation I had with Wadsworth left me a bit…well.
Dr. Bright: What? What did she say to you? Did she fire you?
Agent Green: No. No, she didn’t. She gave me her old job. I’m the new Director.
[music & credits]
Lauren Shippen: Episode 55 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. In this episode, you heard the voices of Julia Morizawa as Dr. Bright, Andrew Nowak as Mark, Ian McQuown as Agent Green, Lauren Shippen as Sam, and Alex Marshall-Brown as Wadsworth. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. As we start to move into the next phase of the show - with bonus episodes starting this summer and our first spin-off coming out next spring, our supporters on Patreon are more vital than ever. 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, please visit patreon.com/thebrightsessions. The Bright Sessions will conclude on June 13th, with our series finale. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.