Bonus Episode 9 Transcript
by Lauren Shippen
[sfx: Click of a recorder.]
Dr. Bright: Remember to grab the files from Sam’s house and, uh...sneak back the AM files that Green took. Though I suppose there’s no one to sneak them past. And I need to talk to Owen about the filing system - would it be too confusing to change the categorization now? We need to stay compliant with HQ but there’s probably a better way to do things. Collect security deposit from the building manager on Monday...oh! And pick up packing material for the clock.
[sfx: Knock on the door frame.]
Dr. Bright: Yes? Is that - Vanessa Turner?
Vanessa: Hello stranger.
[sfx: The women hug.]
Dr. Bright: What on earth are you doing here?
Vanessa: Chloe said you were closing up shop. I had to come see for myself. And would you look at that...
Dr. Bright: Excuse the mess, I’m trying to reorganize as I pack, which is a little bit more chaotic than I expected. But please - take a seat.
Vanessa: When do you leave?
Dr. Bright: End of the week. And then on Monday-
Vanessa: You’re really going back there?
Dr. Bright: Believe it or not.
Vanessa: Even hearing you say it I’m not sure I believe it.
Dr. Bright: How are you, Vanessa:? How’s Chloe?
Vanessa: She’s good, we’re both good.
Dr. Bright: You’re taking a little road trip this summer, correct? Going out to Chicago with Frank?
Vanessa: Yep. I may finally have to put old Daisy out to pasture - a thousand mile drive might be too much for her.
Dr. Bright: Are you still driving that horrible bug around?
Vanessa: Daisy’s not horrible!
Dr. Bright: It’s a bright yellow Beetle that will always smell like cannabis no matter how many air fresheners you hang.
Vanessa: She’s from a different time.
Dr. Bright: Your mother should have left her in the seventies. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean- I know that car is one of the only things you have left of her.
Vanessa: It’s okay. You’re right, it’s a piece of shit car. But she loved it.
Dr. Bright: I know.
Vanessa: I’ll always be sad that you never got to meet her. I think you would have liked her.
Dr. Bright: I’m sure I would have.
Vanessa: You could have given therapy to three generations of Turner women.
Dr. Bright: Yes, because it worked out so well for you and Chloe.
Vanessa: I think so.
Dr. Bright: Nessie, you were never really my patient and I gave Chloe all of...twenty sessions before she got so caught up in my own personal drama that we had to stop.
Vanessa: In your defense, it’s hard to keep a telepath out of your personal drama and I did raise a very dogged young woman.
Dr. Bright: That you did. Still. I’m very sorry that she was ever put in danger because of me.
Vanessa: I know, Joan. But she’s alright now. Thank god. Though if I ever see that Damien kid I’m going to throw a building at him.
Dr. Bright: I think we’ve seen the last of him.
Vanessa: Good riddance.
Dr. Bright: Agreed. I’m glad that Mr. Sandoval was able to help Chloe heal - it sounds like she had a very productive time with him.
Vanessa: Yes. Yes, he was very helpful.
Dr. Bright: Did you...did you see him again? When Chloe went out to his cabin?
Vanessa: No, I- It would have been too hard. For both of us, I think. There’s too much painful history there.
Dr. Bright: And here I am going to work with my ex.
Vanessa: I do wonder about your sanity sometimes.
Dr. Bright: Mm, me too.
Vanessa: But you and Owen...well, messy break-up to be sure-
Dr. Bright: That’s putting it lightly.
Vanessa: But you must have put it all behind you if you’re going back to work with him.
Dr. Bright: I don’t know that I’ve put it behind me...There are things that Owen’s done - and plenty of things that The AM has done - that I’ll never be able to forgive either of them for. But Owen...well, I think he’s trying to grow. He’s trying to make things right.
Vanessa: What about The AM? Are they trying to make things right?
Dr. Bright: I don’t know. As a whole? Probably not. But that’s why I need to go back. After all, I was complicit in plenty of their actions before. Now at least I have the chance to make up for it.
Vanessa: You were complicit in the sense that you worked there, but, come on Joan, you didn’t really know what was going on.
Dr. Bright: True. But that wasn’t because I couldn’t know. I chose willful ignorance.
Vanessa: We all have choices we regret making. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have to be made.
Dr. Bright: I suppose. Why did you make the choice to end things with Lee? I know it was decades ago, but I’ve never heard you even so much as mention another man in all the time I’ve known you. I never really understood why it didn’t work and the fact that you trusted him to take care of your daughter...well.
Vanessa: I thought you weren’t my therapist.
Dr. Bright: I’m not. This isn’t therapy, it’s gossip.
Vanessa: Oh, is that why you chose a job where people tell you their life stories? Can’t resist the gossip?
Dr. Bright: What can I say, I like to know things. I did refrain from asking Chloe about it. Though I imagine she’s gathered a fair bit from your thoughts.
Vanessa: Mm, it’s hard to say. I think she knows we were together at one point, but not the specifics. I’ve become pretty good at repressing what I need to.
Dr. Bright: Hm. In what ways does that repression- Sorry. Sometimes the therapist mode is hard to turn off.
Vanessa: I can’t complain. You’re still one of the best listeners I know. Important quality in a therapist, yes, but also a really nice thing to have in a friend.
Dr. Bright: Is that why you came by? To have someone to listen?
Vanessa: What, am I not allowed to visit an old friend? Fine. Yes. I guess I wanted to get out of the house - Chloe just got back and we’re planning the trip and she keeps talking about maybe visiting Lee along the way and I’m just...I’m not ready.
Dr. Bright: Why can’t you just tell her that?
Vanessa: Chloe...well. We’re close. We’ve always been close. She’s my whole world. But there’s a lot about me that she doesn’t know. That I don’t want her to ever know. She finally found out who her dad is. Was. I still think about him from time to time and she looked him up...
Dr. Bright: I was never sure how to ask and Chloe never talked about him in our sessions-
Vanessa: He wasn’t around for very long. He was a guitarist. Total rockstar. As in: sex, drugs, rock‘n roll - the whole thing.
Dr. Bright: I always thought that was your scene too.
Vanessa: Just because you and I spent your twenties drinking and doing bad karaoke does not mean I was ever deep in the hard rock‘n roll lifestyle.
Dr. Bright: Yes, well, when I was in my twenties, you were a young mom, so I assumed I was getting a tamed version of Vanessa.
Vanessa: You’ve met Chloe, right? You think that girl tamed me?
Dr. Bright: Fair point. Though it sounds like she got at least some of her free spirit from her father.
Vanessa: That’s true. Though I hope not too much of it. We were only together for a month or two and then he went on tour and I found out I was pregnant...
Dr. Bright: And he stayed on tour?
Vanessa: No, I- well. I never even told him. And I know that’s wrong, I know he deserved to know. But we were never very serious and he didn’t seem like the father type. Still. I should have given him that choice. It’s one of the biggest regrets I have.
Dr. Bright: What happened to him?
Vanessa: He died a few years after Chloe was born. Heroin overdose.
Dr. Bright: And Chloe found that out?
Vanessa: Google is an amazing thing.
Dr. Bright: Indeed.
Vanessa: We had a good talk about it. And I think things are fine now but...I just hate that she found out that way. She should have heard it from me.
Dr. Bright: So don’t you think it’d be a good idea to talk about whatever went on with you and Lee?
Vanessa: Lee isn’t a public figure, she can’t Google that.
Dr. Bright: I’ll be honest, knowing that you don’t want to see him - I wondered if maybe Lee was...
Vanessa: Chloe’s father? No. No, she came a few years after everything happened with Lee. Though...Well. Did Chloe ever tell you about her sister?
Dr. Bright: Her- Oh. Yes. Yes, she did. In her first session, as a matter of fact.
Vanessa: That’s what I figured. Chloe overheard me thinking about her sister which is how I knew Chloe was telepathic. Or, why I suspected at least.
Dr. Bright: The baby, she...she died.
Vanessa: Yes. Two months old. I never...I never thought I wanted children. And I was so young, I had just started working at the university and was finally starting to figure out my telekineses and then I met Lee-
Dr. Bright: Ah.
Dr. Bright: So you and he...?
Vanessa: We were so in love. I mean, we were just kids but it felt so much bigger than either of us. And then it was. It was bigger than us - suddenly we were bringing this whole new life into the world and it was beautiful and terrifying and the best thing that had ever happened. We loved her so much.
Dr. Bright: I’m so sorry.
Vanessa: I almost brought a whole building down. After it happened. The grief was so...world-shattering. Up until that point I’d only ever made small objects move - picking up a cup across the room with my mind, shifting a couch a few inches. Losing Hannah...It’s like it broke me open and power just poured out.
Dr. Bright: That isn’t unusual. I see a lot of Atypicals affected strongly by trauma - it can trigger the start of an ability or make it more potent. In rare cases it can stop an ability completely for a time.
Vanessa: “More potent”, yeah, that’s a good way to put it. I didn’t know that telekinetics could cause earthquakes.
Dr. Bright: Is that what happened?
Vanessa: I was in my apartment, trying to find the will to get out of bed and face everything and then...the earth moved. And I could feel it, in my body. I hadn’t used my ability at all since Hannah died and then it was like it started using me.
Dr. Bright: You caused an earthquake?
Vanessa: There’s probably articles about it that you could dig up - earthquakes aren’t exactly common in this part of the country. You’ve never heard of that happening before?
Dr. Bright: Not with a telekinetic, no. When we first met, I thought you had remarkable strength and control but I had no idea that you were that powerful.
Vanessa: Yeah, imagine my surprise. I can’t do it anymore. Well, maybe I can but I’ve never tried. And it’s never happened again. Thankfully. I would appreciate it if you kept that a secret from your new employer.
Dr. Bright: Trust me, I will. They know you exist of course, but as far as they’re concerned you’re a run-of-the-mill telekinetic.
Vanessa: Are you nervous?
Dr. Bright: Of course. But it’s...it’s the right thing to do I think.
Vanessa: Take the beast down from inside the belly?
Dr. Bright: Or tame it.
Vanessa: Then for your sake, I hope The AM is easier to tame than me.
Dr. Bright: It might be the wrong decision. But I won’t know until I try it. And if there’s something - anything - I can do to steer The AM in the right direction, I have to try.
Vanessa: How does Mark feel about that?
Dr. Bright: It’s...complicated, I think. He won’t be visiting me at the office any time soon, but I think he understands that I’m doing it partly for him.
Vanessa: Your own form of vengeance.
Dr. Bright: I suppose, in a way, yes. I can’t actually burn The AM down for what they did to him, but maybe I can help turn it into something that will never hurt anyone that way again.
Vanessa: I hope so. Though burning it down might not be the worst thing in the world.
Dr. Bright: Yes, well, maybe if I were an Atypical, I would have destroyed the place long ago. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to suggest- I know Atypicals aren’t destructive. I just think...well, I know I can never understand what you went through with Hannah, but loving someone so much that losing them causes you to break something...that I think I do understand. If I had had a power I couldn’t control when I found out what they were doing to Mark...who knows what I would have done.
Vanessa: I get that. When Chloe got hurt...that’s the only time I’ve ever been worried I might get destructive again. I haven’t been that scared in a very long time.
Dr. Bright: How’s your control now?
Vanessa: Good as ever. Very...”run-of-the-mill” as you said.
Dr. Bright: You and I both know that’s not true. You’ve always had beyond exceptional control. Even by AM standards.
Vanessa: Which is why I appreciate you...cooking the books on me, as it were.
Dr. Bright: And me going back to work for them won’t change that. The AM has plenty of telekinetics working for them, but I have no doubt they’d love to add one as skilled as you to their roster.
Vanessa: Don’t I know it. I appreciate you looking out for me, Joan.
Dr. Bright: Of course. So when you said earlier that you’d throw a building at Damien...
Vanessa: Oh yeah, I meant it. A literal building. I would throw a literal building at him. He gave my baby girl a concussion, he’s honestly lucky to be alive.
Dr. Bright: If it makes you feel better, he almost didn’t survive that night.
Vanessa: Oh, I know. And yes, it does make me feel better. I’m not the kind of person to wish harm on someone else but...
Dr. Bright: I know what you mean.
Vanessa: I’ve had to stop Frank a few times from marching out the door and carrying out vigilante justice.
Dr. Bright: Really? I know Frank is no stranger to combat but I would have thought...
Vanessa: He definitely wouldn’t relish it. That man has seen enough violence for a lifetime, but he’s almost as fiercely protective of Chloe as I am. If I were ten years younger...
Dr. Bright: Oh, so it is like that. I was wondering, especially after he moved in with you two for a little while-
Vanessa: It is not like that, thank you very much. He’s my daughter’s friend-
Dr. Bright: Though he’s seven years older than her-
Vanessa: Still too young for me, Joan.
Dr. Bright: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dating a younger man.
Vanessa: There’s nearly two decades between us, I think that’s a bit too young.
Dr. Bright: Fair enough. I’m glad you found each other though. Regardless of what the relationship is, it seems like its been good for all of you.
Vanessa: It has. Frank is part of the family. And I know that he wants to be with his real family now that he’s back on his feet but still...I’m going to miss him.
Dr. Bright: Chicago isn’t too far.
Vanessa: I know.
Dr. Bright: At least Chloe is back now.
Vanessa: Though she keeps talking about going away again - she loved staying with Lee and seeing more of the country and now with Frank moving out and your brother going on the road, I think she’s gotten the bug.
Dr. Bright: I guess that makes you and I the old ladies who sit at home and wait for our loved ones to return.
Vanessa: Kill me now.
Dr. Bright: At least we have our good friend, scotch, to keep us company.
Vanessa: How true. Speaking of...where is it? I know you have an office bottle...
Dr. Bright: All packed away I’m afraid.
Vanessa: You mean you finished it.
Dr. Bright: ...yes. Sam got me some very nice scotch as a farewell to the office gift and it seemed rude to bring it with me to the new one!
Vanessa: Oh, of course, you wouldn’t want to be rude to the scotch-
Dr. Bright: Exactly.
Vanessa: God, how fast did you drink it?
Dr. Bright: It was a small bottle.
Vanessa: Alright, well that settles it, we’re going to the Eagle & Crown.
Dr. Bright: Oh god...
Vanessa: Come on, we’ll relive your grad school days.
Dr. Bright: How is that place even still open?
Vanessa: One of the great mysteries of life.
Dr. Bright: I have to finish packing-
Vanessa: I’ll come back tomorrow with more boxes and pack everything up all at once-
Dr. Bright: There’s a system-
Vanessa: You are not getting out of this. You and I haven’t truly hung out in years and we’re going to change that right now. We are going to get you out of this office and onto a bar stool and you and I are not going to be the old maids left behind.
Dr. Bright: I really did miss you, Nessie.
Vanessa: Damn straight, you did. Now, let’s go raise some hell.
[sfx: click of recorder]
[music & credits]
Lauren Shippen: The Bright Sessions was created by me, Lauren Shippen. Julia Morizawa is the voice of Dr. Bright and Mia Drake was the voice of Vanessa. This episode was written, directed, and sound designed by me. The Bright Sessions is sound designed by Mischa Stanton. All our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. Though this is the last bonus episode, we’re not done with the Atypical world. Six months after the events of the The Bright Sessions conclude we begin again with The AM Archives, a Luminary exclusive series that tracks Dr. Bright as she tries to reform the institution that once betrayed her. Along with time-traveler and former patient Sam Barnes and ex-enemy and ex-boyfriend Owen Green, Dr. Bright helps Atypicals learn how to use their abilities. But in an effort to defang The Atypical Monitors, the three of them come face to face with a patient unlike any other. For more information, go to luminary.link/archives. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.