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Fracture Movie Script

Writer(s) : Dan Pyne

Genres : Crime, Drama, Thriller

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                                      FRACTURE


                                     Written by

                                      Dan Pyne

               
                                Current Revisions by

                                     Glenn Gers

               

               
                                                           January 6, 2005

               

               CREDITS SEQUENCE: EXTREME CLOSE-UPS
               An unfinished mechanical device: a scaffold of thin metal
               pipes, levers, pulleys, wiring, serve-motors.
               THOMAS CRAWFORD works on it: in his 40s, well-dressed but in
               disarray, graying stubble, hair and clothes unkempt.
               Magnifying glasses distort his eyes, making them huge and
               strange.
               He sets aside a tool, takes a marble-sized ball-bearing and
               drops it into a slot at the top of the device.
               His enlarged eyes follow the metal ball -
               - as it rolls and flips and spirals through a Rube-Goldberg-
               style maze, setting off bells, clicking past turnstiles -
               - then missing a leap and clattering across the work-table.
               Eyes on the device, Crawford's hand traps the ball.
               He stays still, analyzing.
               He selects a tiny screwdriver from a neat array of metal-
               working and electronics tools. Makes a miniscule adjustment
               to a single joint. Drops in another ball.
               It rolls and flips and spirals all the way down.
               Crawford doesn't react.   Just studies the machine.
               Behind him, on a desk: a framed photograph of a beautiful
               woman in her mid-30s.
               His wife.

               


               INT. LUXURY BEACH-HOTEL ROOM - THE SAME TIME

               JENNIFER CRAWFORD is just reaching orgasm -
               - with ROB NUNALLY: mid-30s, good-looking, aging-boyish.
               They clutch each other, shuddering, lost in passion. And
               then, breathing heavily, caressing each other - Nunally rolls
               off her - slowly coming back to earth.
               Jennifer studies her lover, a quiet play of relief and
               gratitude and satisfaction on her face -
               - darkened by a troubled distance, maybe even fear.
               She is, after all, having an affair.

               

                                                                              2

               

               


               INT. CRAWFORD'S OFFICE - DAY

               Crawford stares through the grotesque lenses, motionless,
               expressionless.

               He takes a deep breath and checks his watch.   Then he stands,
               removing the glasses.

               We now see his office: large, austere. Decor and equipment
               related to aircraft engineering. Outside big windows, jets
               take off from an industrial airstrip.

               Crawford gets a brand-new bottle of Jack Daniels from a desk
               drawer, uncaps it and swigs as he opens the door to a private
               bathroom.

               He gargles, spits into the sink. He pours out more, then
               puts the half-empty bottle back on his desk.

               He collects a home-made device from the workbench: it looks
               like a PDA connected by wires to a blank credit card.

               He puts it in the pocket of his suit jacket, which he sets on
               the desk. Adjusts the placement of the open bottle, nearby.
               Crawford goes to a light-box, studying a set of large X-rays:
               dark strips of welding in a grayish fuzz of metal.

               TINA, his assistant, appears in the doorway.

                                        TINA
                           The N.T.S.B. guys are here.

                                        CRAWFORD
                                  (Doesn't look up)
                           Yep.

               She hesitates a second, glancing at the bottle.
               Crawford ignores her, pulling an x-ray off the light-box and
               grabbing his jacket -
               - which knocks over the bottle.   It skitters across the desk,
               liquor spilling.
               Crawford just walks out past Tina.

               


               INT. AIRPLANE HANGER - SOON AFTER

               The twisted, torn and burned wreckage of a large private jet
               is being reassembled on the big empty concrete floor.

               

                                                                             3

               

               
               N.T.S.B. INVESTIGATORS in shirtsleeves and AIRCRAFT COMPANY
               EXECUTIVES in suits cluster around work-boards covered with
               photographs and diagrams of a crash site.
               They look up, falling silent, as Crawford comes in carrying
               the X-ray. A few exchange surprised, concerned glances; this
               is not a man who skips a shave.
               But when he gets to them, Crawford is laser-like - holding
               the X-ray and pointing to a spot three inches above it:

                                         CRAWFORD
                            It's here.

               He hands a startled Investigator the film and strides off
               toward the giant open doors out to the airfield.
               His foot knocks a piece of the carefully-laid-out wreckage in
               passing; it clatters across the concrete, but Crawford
               doesn't slow or look back.

               


               INT. LUXURY BEACH-HOTEL ROOM - SOON AFTER

               Rob is still in the bed, naked under the sheet - watching
               Jennifer adjust the straps of her bathing suit.

                                         ROB
                            What about dinner tonight?

               She looks at him, surprised.    Smiles, comes to sit beside
               him. Gently:

                                         JENNIFER
                            We go out to dinner - we might never
                            come back.

               Beat.   Rob nods.

                                         ROB
                            Okay.
                                   (Beat)
                            I want to wake up with you.    I want
                            to...

               He gropes for words, but it's too big and he relents - scales
               back, sighing:

                                         ROB
                            ...at least see where you live.

               She regards him tenderly, feeling the same reckless yearning.
               But also fear. She rubs his hair.

               

                                                                             4

               

               

                                        JENNIFER
                           I live...here.

               She leans over to kiss him delicately on the lips.

               


               EXT. SANTA MONICA STREET - DAY

               A black Porsche speeds down a quiet street near the beach,
               pulls into a parking space.
               Crawford gets out, goes to a pay phone. He puts his cell
               phone on top of it, drops in some change and dials.

                                        OPERATOR (ON PHONE)

                           L.A.P.D.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Lieutenant Nunally, please.

               He listens to hold music and checks the time.

                                        OPERATOR (ON PHONE)
                           He doesn't come on til six. You want
                           his voice mail?

                                         CRAWFORD
                           No.  Thank you.
                                  (beat)
                           I'll see him later.

               He hangs up, grabs his cell, and takes off down the sidewalk.

               


               INT. HOTEL LOBBY - DAY

               Crawford enters. He knows where he's going - past the front
               desk and outside to the -

               


               EXT. HOTEL POOL - DAY

               Jennifer swims laps with strong, even strokes.   Rob is
               enjoying the sun in a lounge chair.
               Crawford eyes them as he passes on the other side of a low
               fence. Unnoticed, he heads upstairs.

               

                                                                             5

               

               


               INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - DAY

               Crawford stops at a room with a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the
               knob. He takes out his PDA-device and slides its card into
               the key-card slot of the lock.
               The lock clicks to green.

               


               INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

               Crawford enters, quietly closing the door behind him.
               He just stands there, taking it all in. The unmade bed, the
               ripped-open condom packet, the clothes on the floor.
               He is silent.   Very still.

               


               EXT. CRAWFORD'S STREET - LATER

               Jennifer drives her Mercedes convertible past expensive
               houses in the late-afternoon light.
               She goes up the driveway of the Crawfords' stark mordern home.
               Across the street, MR. GIFFORD is playing catch with his
               GRANDSON. He waves to Jennifer.
               She waves back, friendly but distracted, on her way to the
               front door.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               Cold. Elegant. Metal planters with bamboo trees. Glass
               doors out to a back garden. A fire in the fireplace.
               In a corner is another of Crawford's Rube Goldbergs - this
               one the size of a refrigerator. On a coffee table in the
               center of the room, a big wooden bowl of ball-bearings.
               Jennifer hurries in, dropping her keys on a table and -
               - freezes, startled.
               Crawford waits in the center of the room; despite the outer
               "disarray", he is calm and focused.

                                        JENNIFER
                           You're - home early.

               

                                                                            6

               

               

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I just felt a sudden urge.

                                        JENNIFER
                           Are you...okay?
               Crawford shrugs, smiling strangely.   He looks pained.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I could use a hug.
               Jennifer submits guiltily.   Crawford embraces her, tight.
               She waits it out, until:

                                        JENNIFER
                           Have you been drinking?
               He lets go and she steps back.   Studying him.   Scared.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I've been watching you sleep.   At
                           night.

                                        JENNIFER
                                  (Gently)
                           That's creepy.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Sometimes when I'm at work, I'll start
                           thinking about you and I'll just get -
                           just - overwhelmed.

                                        JENNIFER
                           Tommy -

                                          CRAWFORD
                           It's a dense, crushing -
                           geophysical force. Like I'm
                           pinned. At the core - where things
                           change.
                                   (beat)
                           You ever get that way about me,
                           Jen?

                                        JENNIFER
                           What are you talking about?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I'm trying to describe my feelings.

                                        JENNIFER
                           Those don't sound like feelings.

               

                                                                                     7

               

               

                                           CRAWFORD
                           No?
                                   (Beat)
                           What's the sound of one feeling...in a
                           forest?

                                        JENNIFER
                           You think you're so much smarter
                           than I am. That must make you feel
                           very powerful.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Helpless, actually.
               Silence.

                                           JENNIFER
                           Okay.     Maybe it's time to really talk.

                                           CRAWFORD
                           No.

                                           JENNIFER
                           No?
               He shakes his head.     Frayed and worn, she sighs.

                                       JENNIFER
                           Fine. Whatever. I'll make you some
                           dinner.
               He watches her turn and head for the kitchen.          To her back:

                                           CRAWFORD
                           I know.     Everything.
               She stops, exhales.    Looking down.   Afraid.    Grateful it's
               happening at last.

                                           JENNIFER
                           I'm so sorry.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Don't be. Knowledge is pain.         I'm
                           used to that.
               Jennifer winces, feeling some sympathy.     Preparing herself to
               turn and end it, to grow, to move on.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           It's not like I don't let little
                           pleasures, in return for the pain.

               

                                                                              8

               

               
               She frowns and turns - and her eyes go big with fear.
               Crawford is holding a semi-automatic pistol, aimed at her
               face. Very still.
               The gunshot explodes out of the muzzle - bright, harsh, loud.

               


               EXT. GIFFORD HOUSE - FRONT YARD - CONTINUOUS

               Gifford and his Grandson turn to look at the Crawford house.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               Crawford stands, tilting his head to watch the slow hypnotic
               curl of smoke leaking from the gun in his extended hand. The
               hand, we might notice now, wears a surgical glove.
               He lowers the gun, bends to pick up the ejected shell-casing
               from the floor. He wipes it and tosses it aside, on his way
               to Jennifer.
               He stands looking down at her: face-up on the floor, head in
               a small pool of blood, eyes and mouth open.
               The doorbell rings.

               


               EXT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

               Gifford leans on the frosted-glass panel next to the door -
               hands cupped around his eyes, trying to see in.

                                          GIFFORD
                           Tom?   Jen?   Everything okay in there?

               


               INT. CRAWFORD FOYER - CONTINUOUS

               Crawford steps in from the living room.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Everybody just LEAVE US ALONE!
               He calmly aims up at the frosted-glass transom and fires
               three times - watching Gifford fling himself away.
               Crawford collects the shell casings, wipes them, drops them
               back on the floor.
               Peeling off the rubber gloves, he crosses to the fireplace
               and throws them into the flames. They curl and blacken.

               

                                                                              9

               

               
               Crawford watches, expressionless - then looks around,
               satisfied. Waiting.

               


               EXT. CRAWFORD'S STREET - DUSK

               Helicopters overhead, SWAT teams setting up. Nearby houses
               have been emptied, gawking NEIGHBORS and media vans moved
               back to a block away.
               UNIFORM COPS pull aside the barriers as a plain-wrap sedan
               rolls through. It pulls up by the SWAT Command Truck.
               ROB NUNALLY gets out, surveying the scene. The guy who spent
               his afternoon with Jennifer Crawford in the hotel is an
               L.A.P.D. Detective.

                                        SWAT COMMANDER
                           You the Negotiator?

                                          NUNALLY
                           Yeah.    What do we know?

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - SOON AFTER

               Crawford waits, with the gun.    The phone rings.   He picks up:

                                           CRAWFORD
                           Yes?

                                                             INTERCUT WITH:

               


               EXT. CRAWFORD'S STREET - CONTINUOUS

               Nunally is standing by the open trunk of his sedan, wearing a
               Kevlar vest now - putting on his shoulder-holster over it.
               Into his cell-phone:

                                           NUNALLY
                           Mr. Crawford?

                                           CRAWFORD
                           Who is this?

                                        NUNALLY
                           My name is Lieutenant Robert Nunally.
                           I'm a hostage negotiator for the Los -
               Crawford hangs up.   Thoughtful.

               

                                                                                10

               

               

                                           NUNALLY
                           Mr. Crawford?
               Nunally grimaces, shuts his phone, shaking his head. But
               then he turns - with the SWAT Commander and everyone else -
               - as Crawford's front door unlocks and opens a few inches.
               Nunally considers this, looks at the SWAT COMMANDER.

                                         NUNALLY
                           Okay then.   Here we go.
               He pulls his suit jacket back on, then reaches into the trunk
               for his back-up gun. He tucks it into the back of his belt,
               concealed under the jacket.
               He takes a walkie-talkie and starts for the house.
               The spectators fall silent.    Radios crackle and hiss as he
               heads up the driveway.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

               Crawford watches Nunally's silhouette appear on the frosted
               glass, from across the living room.

                                           NUNALLY (O.S.)
                           Mr. Crawford?
               The door pushes open very slowly.     Nunally stays in the
               doorway.

                                           NUNALLY
                           Hey.
               Crawford studies him, staying back.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Get rid of the vampires.
               Nunally is confused; Crawford gestures at the flood-lit lawn
               outside. Nunally glances back, sees the SWAT teams and -
               down the street - the distant barricades, the media.
               He nods, steps in and lets the door shut.     Careful silence.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Do I call you Rob?

                                           NUNALLY
                           If you want.

               

                                                                             11

               

               

                                           CRAWFORD
                           Not vampires.

                                           NUNALLY
                           What?

                                           CRAWFORD
                           Not vampires.     Ghouls.   Sorry.
               Nunally nods, humoring him, glancing around. Sees the small
               pool of blood where Jennifer fell. Plays it cool.

                                        NUNALLY
                           Mr. Crawford, what do you say you give
                           me the gun - so I can pay more
                           attention to what you're saying?
               Crawford sighs.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Is that your best shot?
                                  (Beat)
                           So to speak.

                                        NUNALLY
                           I just think - maybe it would -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Tell you what: I will if you will.
               Nunally frowns, wary.
               Crawford moves to the coffee table in the center of the room,
               holds his gun out over it.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           We both put down our guns.      At the
                           same time.
               Crawford gestures to a chair across the room - by the foyer
               door, near Nunally.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           We set them down and step away.
                                  (Beat)
                           Then you can "pay more attention" to
                           what I'm saying.
               Nunally studies Crawford...and the gun, hovering above the
               coffee table. Looking for a trick, a catch. But there isn't
               one. If Crawford sets down his gun and steps away, he'll be
               standing in the open center of the room.

               

                                                                           12

               

               

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Happy ending, then.
               Nunally stares Crawford in the eyes -
               - then slowly takes his gun from his shoulder holster.
               Eyes on each other from across the room - moving very slowly -
               the two men cautiously set down their guns -
               - and step away.   Crawford smiles.
               Nunally smiles, too, reassuring and false. Begins to edge
               forward - alert to the possibility of a lunge for the gun or
               having another weapon. But Crawford stays absolutely still.

                                        NUNALLY
                           Mr. Crawford, your neighbor mentioned
                           that your wife -

                                         CRAWFORD
                           It's Tom.

                                         NUNALLY
                           I'm sorry?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           You can call me Tom.

                                         NUNALLY
                           Tom.   Your wife. Is she here?

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Yes.
               Crawford gestures to a library alcove, behind him, out of
               view.

                                        NUNALLY
                           Is she all right?
               Nunally begins to drift slowly to the side, to see.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I don't think she is.     I shot her,
                           Rob.
               Nunally's nodding, edging to look into the alcove -

                                        NUNALLY
                           You shot your wife.

               

                                                                             13

               

               

                                        CRAWFORD
                           It was like I just suddenly - snapped.
                           We were arguing - and I got the gun.

                                        NUNALLY
                           - okay - I hear you -

                                         CRAWFORD
                           And I shot her in the head.   I know it
                           was wrong.
                                  (Beat)
                           Are you listening to me?
               But Nunally is not. He's frozen - staring, shocked, at the
               back wall of the alcove - which he can now see.
               There's a big framed black-white photograph: a portrait of
               Jennifer Crawford.

                                        NUNALLY
                           Oh Jesus Christ.
               Nunally fumbles for his walkie-talkie, rushing past Crawford
               toward the alcove -
               - kneeling by Jennifer, who lies, face-up in a red puddle -

                                        NUNALLY
                                  (into walkie-talkie)
                           We need a medic in here! Get the
                           ambulance up! RIGHT NOW! NOW! NOW!
               Nunally feels her neck frantically for a pulse - looking in
               her open, vacant eyes for some sign -

                                        NUNALLY
                           Oh no - God no - I can't - get a -
               Nunally desperately starts C.P.R., his hands getting bloody.
               He stops to check her neck for a pulse now and then -
               - as Crawford slowly approaches from the living room,
               standing behind Nunally. Cold.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           You know, I think I read somewhere
                           that a good place to find a pulse is
                           the femoral artery. It's on the inner
                           surface of the upper thigh. If you
                           put your fingers - you know, right up
                           inside her dress -

               

                                                                             14

               

               
               Nunally turns and lunges up, smashing a fist into Crawford's
               face. Crawford reels backward with Nunally -
               - the two of them falling with Nunally on top, beating
               Crawford furiously, cursing -
               - as SWAT COPS burst in, grabbing Nunally, dragging him back -
               knocking into PARAMEDICS trying to get to Jennifer -
               - Nunally kicking, flailing, spitting at Crawford - who's put
               face-down on the floor, to get cuffed.
               Nunally pulls free from the SWAT cops, distraught, angry -
               going to retrieve his gun and shove it in his shoulder-
               holster, struggling to regain control.

                                        PARAMEDIC
                           Wait a second - she's not dead!
               Nunally whirls - everyone freezing, breathless, falling
               silent.
               The Paramedics kneeling around Jennifer work -
               - as Crawford lies on the floor, staring at his wife. Like
               she's a machine that defied astronomical odds and refused to
               behave according to his calculations.

               


               EXT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - SOON AFTER

               Jennifer's stretcher is loaded into an ambulance, doors
               slamming shut and sirens kicking on -
               - as Crawford, cuffed behind his back, is pushed into the
               back seat of a police car. His eyes on the ambulance as it
               pulls away, carrying his wife.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - SOON AFTER

               A DETECTIVE uses a pencil to lift Crawford's gun from the
               coffee table and carefully put it in an evidence bag.
               Nunally stands back, watching the COPS and TECHNICIANS work
               the scene - lost in his thoughts, shaken.

                                        SWAT COMMANDER
                           You all right?
               Nunally "wakes" - nods.   Absently:

               

                                                                             15

               

               

                                           NUNALLY
                           Yeah.     I'm good.
               To avoid talking more, he heads out to the glaring lights and
               chaos outside.

                                                              FADE OUT

               


               INT. WILLY'S APARTMENT - THE NEXT MORNING

               The alarm clock shifts to 6:00 am and pops on to local news
               and traffic -
               - but the narrow futon bed is already empty.
               WILLY SLOCUM works at a laptop on his second-hand desk, lit
               by a solitary lamp.
               He is in his late-20s, good-looking. Short hair, office-pale
               but athletic, wearing mis-matched sweats from Eastern
               Oklahoma State College.
               He jots a final note, sets his yellow legal pad aside. As he
               goes to the closet-sized bathroom, pulling off his sweatshirt
               and starting the tiny pre-fab shower, we linger on the laptop
               screen: rental listings for a new apartment.

               TIME CUT
               The bare overhead bulb is on, revealing the concrete floor
               and painted-plywood walls. His clothes hang neatly on a
               length of pipe suspended by ropes from the exposed rafters.
               Law school texts fill cinderblock-and-board shelves.
               The radio chatters.    Willy knots a tie in his crisp white
               collar.

               TIME CUT
               Willy methodically packs legal folders from last night's
               "homework" into his big, battered briefcase. He has to work
               to stuff all the files in.
               He pulls on his suit jacket, settles the shoulders, tugs at
               his cuffs. Uncaps a pen, leans over a one-sentence letter
               waiting on the desk. Reads it over.
               As he signs, we glimpse:
                   - hereby give notice that I will be resigning my
                   position at the District Attorney's Office as of
                   Novemb-

               

                                                                             16

               

               
               Willy savors the moment.
               Then he tucks the letter into an envelope, gets the heavy
               briefcase - goes to shut off the light and open the door -
               - which swings about six inches, then clonks into something.
               Willy grimaces.   Peeks out, goes to pound on a wall.

                                           WILLY
                           Mrs. Demello?
                                  (Beat)
                           MRS. DEMELLO!    Your CAR!
               Silence. He sighs.    Shuts the door and presses a button near
               the light-switch.
               There's mechanical grinding noise as the far wall slowly
               rolls up, letting in daylight and revealing an alley beyond
               the hanging clothes and cinderblock shelves.
               He presses the garage-door-opener button again, and hurries
               across the apartment to duck out under the closing door.

               


               EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS

               Willy straightens and takes a breath, re-settling his suit
               jacket with an irritable glance at his landlady's car, parked
               sloppily next to the garage, blocking his door.
               As he walks away, down the alley, we rise up to reveal the
               hazy sprawling landscape of L.A. - and the towers of
               Downtown, rising ahead of Willy like Oz.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Come on, Phil: I called you as a
                           courtesy, and you start looking to
                           take advantage?

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - LATER THAT MORNING

               An ancient fluorescent-lit cubby crammed with documents, case
               files, notes, reference books. Willy on the phone:

                                        WILLY
                           I'm not knocking it down to a Class C.
                           My backlog of open cases does not
                           mitigate the fact that your client
                           tried to kill his brother-in-law with -
                           oh, right, a "golfing accident"? Your
                           client owns one golf club and no golf

                                        (MORE)

               

                                                                          17

               

               
                                        WILLY (cont'd)
                           balls - and the "accident" took place
                           in the stairway of an illegal after-
                           hours gambling club. Yeah, okay -
                           I'll see you in court.
               His cell phone rings.   As he gets it:

                                        WILLY
                           Well, I won't see you in court, but
                           someone from this office will. You
                           take it up with them, I gotta go.
                                  (switching phones)
                           Willy Slocum. Oh - hey, hi, yes.
               Assistant District Attorney NORMAN CHANG (mid-30s) throws the
               door open without looking:

                                           NORMAN
                           Wooton Sims?!
               Willy holds up a finger, talking into his cell:

                                           WILLY
                           No, I didn't.     Wow.   Okay.
               Norman mouths "WOOTON SIMS?!" repeatedly during:

                                        WILLY
                           No - short notice is...fine. No, I
                           can. Black tie. Sure. What time?
                           Okay. Yes. Thank her.
               He hangs up, exhales slowly.    Looks at Norman.

                                           NORMAN
                                             Wooton - SIMS?!
                           Wooton Sims?!

                                        WILLY
                           Please stop saying, "Wooton Sims" over
                           and over. It's starting to sound like
                           nonsense words.

                                           NORMAN
                           You asshole!

                                        WILLY
                           Okay: go back to "Wooton Sims."
               As Willy gets up and goes out, past Norman -

                                        NORMAN
                           How the hell did you get a job at
                           Wooton Sims?! I can't even get an
                           interview!

               

                                                                           18

               

               


               INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - DAY

               Norman follows Willy out to a central bullpen area where the
               shared ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANTS work: MONA and GLADYS.

                                        NORMAN
                           I've been here five years. I'm your
                           supervisor. I graduated USC, summa!

                                        WILLY
                           We're just going to pretend he's not
                           talking, okay?

                          MONA                            NORMAN
                 No problem.                     I'm serious.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm really jammed-up all day, and I
                           need to rent a tuxedo - for tonight.

                                         NORMAN
                           A tuxedo?! Oh, come on!     You are so
                           full of shit.

                                        WILLY
                                  (Jotting notes)
                           There must be a place that does that,
                           right - same day? I'm also gonna need
                           a messenger to bring it here. This is
                           my suit size and my shirt size...I
                           really appreciate this.
               Mona nods, taking notes as Willy gets out a credit card.
               Other DDAs are gathering to soak up some vicarious kicks.

                                        MONA
                           What's going on?

                                        WILLY
                           Wooton Sims buys a whole lot of seats
                           to this charity opera thing every
                           year, because Bob Wooton is the
                           chairman of this committee -

                                        NORMAN
                           "Bob" Wooton?!

                                        WILLY
                                  (Enjoying, mock-helpless)
                           It's what the man told me to call him.

               

                                                                            19

               

               

                                        GLADYS
                           You're gonna need to pick out a style,
                           Willy.

                                           WILLY
                           A style.

                                        GLADYS
                           For the tuxedo.
               Willy hesitates, in over his head.   A DDA helpfully does the
               Travolta finger-in-the-air pose.

                                        WILLY
                           I don't know - I just don't want to
                           look like I'm going to the prom.

                                        GLADYS
                           You wanna go Classic.    Fix him up.

                                        MONA
                           We'll get you something Classic.
                                  (Picks up a ringing phone)
                           Willy Slocum's office.

                                        NORMAN
                           Make sure it comes with cuff-links and
                           knee-pads.

                                        WILLY
                           Oh, that's very nice: it's good to be
                           back in high school.

                                          MONA
                                    (Hanging up)
                           Willy?
               Her tone makes him - and everyone else - turn.

                                        MONA
                           God wants to see you.

                                           WILLY
                                  (Beat)
                           Our God?

                                        MONA
                           Who art on the Eleventh Floor.
               Willy, startled, looks around. Approving nods, raised
               eyebrows. He tightens his tie and heads for the elevators.

               

                                                                           20

               

               

                                        NORMAN
                           There is no justice! There is no
                           justice in the city of Los Angeles!

               


               INT. LOBRUTO'S OFFICE - SOON AFTER

               District Attorney JOE LOBRUTO, 50-ish, sits behind a massive
               oak desk, studying a thick file. Doesn't look up as a
               SECRETARY shows Willy in.
               Willy hesitates. Looks around: he's never been here. Flags,
               wood panelling, leather furniture, windows overlooking the
               city. Finally Lobruto looks up, takes Willy in.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           William No-Middle-Initial Slocum.

                                        WILLY
                           Yes sir.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           Sit.
                                  (As Willy does:)
                           Eighty-four-percent conviction rate.
                           That's remarkable.

                                        WILLY
                           Thank you.

                                         LOBRUTO
                           With a case load thirty percent higher
                           than any other first-year DDA.
                                  (Beat)
                           Of course - you also swapped more
                           cases than the rest of them put
                           together.
               Willy considers his options.   He always does.

                                        WILLY
                           I offered my losing cases in exchange
                           for two or three of anyone else's
                           possible convictions. They couldn't
                           handle their workloads, and I prefer
                           not to lose.
               Lobruto knew this; the question was would Willy admit it.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           You're going to need a middle initial.

               

                                                                           21

               

               

                                           WILLY
                           Sir?

                                        LOBRUTO
                           You're going to Wooton Sims.

                                           WILLY
                           In two weeks.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           You'll be able to afford a better
                           suit. But those guys all play squash
                           and have middle names. They go in for
                           the mother's maiden name a lot.
               Beat. Willy doesn't like the implied personal judgement, but
               the only way it shows is how calm he stays.

                                        WILLY
                           My mother didn't have a maiden name.
               Lobruto nods, unruffled by Willy's hard calm.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           So you're a bastard; sometimes I can
                           be a son-of-a-bitch. Maybe you belong
                           here.

                                        WILLY
                           I didn't work this hard to stay where
                           I belong.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           You're a street-fighter, Willy. You
                           should be in court. We can move you
                           up to better cases.

                                        WILLY
                           I appreciate the offer.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           I didn't think so.
                                  (Closes the file, stands)
                           Well - you got your litigation
                           experience. Your chops. And your
                           juicy private sector job. Anything
                           else the City of Los Angeles can do
                           for you?
               Willy's amused.    He stands, too.   As they shake hands:

               

                                                                             22

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           No, I think that's everything - thank
                           you.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           The offer stands. If you get tired of
                           carrying a spear.
               Willy nods - but Lobruto notes the tiny flicker in his eyes:
               not getting it and trying to cover. Lobruto smiles gently.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           It's an opera joke. Give my regards
                           to Bob.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - LATER

               Willy's twisting in his rented tux, trying to adjust a buckle
               on the side of the vest.
               The phone rings and he gives up, frustrated - pushing the
               plastic garment-bag aside to answer -
               - knocking a full cup of take-out coffee on to his chair.
               Which is where he left his suit.
               Willy freezes. Watching the coffee seep into the fabric.
               Into the phone, distracted:

                                           WILLY
                           Willy Slocum.

                                                            INTERCUT WITH:

               


               INT. NORMAN'S OFFICE - THE SAME TIME

               Norman's looking at a case file.

                                        NORMAN
                           I've got an Attempted Homicide.
                           Conley caught it last night, but he's
                           hung up in motions with Gardner.
                           Arraignment in Part Seven, at three
                           o'clock.

                                        WILLY
                           Three o'clock is in fifteen minutes.

                                         NORMAN
                           Thank you.   What's the temperature?

               

                                                                           23

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           I can't do it.

                                        NORMAN
                           You do still actually work here,
                           Willy, right? I mean, you're still
                           going to be cashing your paycheck for
                           another two weeks and everything?

                                           WILLY
                              Just get somebody else for this one.

                                           NORMAN
                              Everybody's booked up. Look: it's not
                              going to trial. There's a weapon with
                              prints, and a confession. Take the
                              arraignment and wait for the plea.

                                            WILLY
                                     (Beat)
                              A real confession?

                                           NORMAN
                              Spontaneous and signed.   Come on,
                              Willy.
               Willy sighs.     Looking down at his coffee-soaked suit.

                                            WILLY
                              Okay.   Here's the problem.

               


               INT. NORMAN'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

               Norman slowly smiles, listening.

                                           NORMAN
                              You know - I really wish I was going
                              to see this.

               


               INT. COURTROOM - LATER

               Willy slips self-consciously through the double-doors,
               wearing the tuxedo.
               He gets even more self-conscious when he notices a handful of
               local REPORTERS. He hurries in -
               - passing Nunally, in the back row. Nunally is making a good
               show of keeping it together...but it's only a show.
               JUDGE IRENE FELDMAN, 50-ish, looks over her half-glasses.

               

                                                                             24

               

               

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Mr. Slocum. Nice to see a man who
                           dresses for court.

                                        WILLY
                           Sorry, your honor.    Long story.
               Willy, hurrying to Prosecution Table, barely glances at the
               Defense Table -
               - but Crawford, sitting beside his PUBLIC DEFENDER in an
               orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, never takes his eyes off
               Willy, intrigued.

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Grapevine has it the punch-line is
                           Wooton Sims.

                                         WILLY
                           Yes, ma'am.

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Good for you, double-oh-seven.
                                  (Signaling the Bailiff)
                           Let's see what public service is
                           offering you by way of a send-off:

                                        BAILIFF
                           The State of California Versus Thomas
                           Crawford.
               The Defense rises; Crawford hardly pays any attention to the
               Judge - glancing back and noticing Nunally, whose eyes bore
               into him, haunted and burning.
               Crawford stares at him impassively a second, then turns to
               lean past his P.D. and watch Willy hastily skim the file.

                                          JUDGE
                           Mr. Crawford, you've been charged with
                           section 664 slash 187 of the
                           California Penal Code: Attempted
                           Murder, with additional allegations of
                           Assault With a Deadly Weapon - Penal
                           Code section 245 dash A2, with Great
                           Bodily Injury, P.C. Section 12022.07.
                                   (Beat)
                           Do you waive further reading of the
                           complaint and complete statement of
                           rights?

               

                                                                              25

               

               

                          P.D.                              CRAWFORD
                     (sotto)                    I do.     But, your honor -
                 You do.

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           And do you wish to enter a plea at
                           this time?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Not guilty. But I also want to waive
                           my right to counsel, and represent
                           myself.
               Willy looks up from the file - startled.

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Do you have a problem with your
                           appointed counsel, Mr. Crawford?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           No. I just want to do it myself.     I
                           believe it's within my rights.

                                        P.D.
                           Your honor, if I could have a moment
                           with my client -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I'm not your client. Try and keep up,
                           would you?
               The P.D. shuts up, taken aback. The Judge considers
               Crawford, thoughtful, then turns to Willy.

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Do the People have an objection or a
                           comment for the record, Mr. Slocum?
               Willy hesitates, held by Crawford's strange, amused gaze.
               Shakes it off:

                                        WILLY
                           I'm sorry, your honor: we've got the
                           weapon and a signed confession. I
                           really think Mr. Crawford needs a
                           competent attorney to - frankly -
                           negotiate a plea.
               Crawford reaches up with cuffed hands and adjusts an
               imaginary bow-tie. Willy self-consciously touches where
               Crawford indicated on his own collar, straightens his clip-
               on.

               

                                                                             26

               

               
               Crawford nods: you're welcome.    Willy turns to the Judge.

                                        WILLY
                           I - can't - this was supposed to be -
                           with a pro se defendant, this is going
                           to drag out for months - and I'm not
                           even going to be here. The People
                           request a continuance to -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Excuse me? Your honor? I'm willing
                           to waive my right to a preliminary
                           hearing and go directly to a jury
                           trial.
                                  (To Willy)
                           Does that help?

                                        JUDGE
                           You don't need to look out for Mr.
                           Slocum, Mr. Crawford. The District
                           Attorney's office can shift another
                           prosecutor to the case -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           No, I like Mr. Slocum.
               Beat.

                                         JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Mr. Slocum?   He likes you.

                                         WILLY
                           Terrific.

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Mr. Crawford seems to understand his
                           rights and responsibilities.

                                        WILLY
                           All due respect, your honor, I'm
                           worried this may turn into some sort
                           of a - circus -

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           I appreciate your concern for the
                           dignity of my courtroom, Mr. Slocum -
                           considering you're making the argument
                           dressed as a game-show host.
                           Unfortunately, the man is a tax-paying
                           citizen, entitled by our Constitution
                           to try and manipulate the legal
                           system, like everybody else.
                                  (turning)

                                        (MORE)

               

                                                                              27

               

               
                                       JUDGE FELDMAN (cont'd)
                          As for you, Mr. Crawford, I strongly
                          urge you to retain counsel. Lack of
                          same will not be grounds for appeal.

                                           CRAWFORD
                           I understand.     Thank you.

                                        JUDGE FELDMAN
                           Are the People ready to go to trial
                           without a preliminary hearing?
               Willy hesitates, irritated. Looks through the file again.
               Checks Crawford - waiting, polite.

                                         WILLY
                           Sure.   Why not.
               Crawford smiles at him, as the Judge opens her calendar.

               


               INT. PARKING STRUCTURE - LATER

               Willy, in his tux, comes out of a staircase and stops.   Rob
               Nunally is waiting by Willy's parked car.

                                        NUNALLY
                           You're supposed to be good.
               Willy takes him in - wary, seeing an edge of anger and fear
               beneath the tough controlled cop manner.

                                        WILLY
                           Is that what I'm supposed to be?

                                        NUNALLY
                           I asked around. You're supposed to be
                           top-notch - but to me it looks like
                           you've got one foot out the door, and
                           you're wiping the rest of us off the
                           bottom of the other one.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm sorry to...disappoint you.
               Nunally is silent - frustrated. The concrete walls and
               ceilings echo from distant cars.

                                        NUNALLY
                           I took Crawford's confession.

                                        WILLY
                           And now you want mine?

               

                                                                            28

               

               

                                          NUNALLY
                             I'm here to warn you. Take this
                             seriously, because it's serious. This
                             guy is stone cold - and his wife - is
                             lying in a hospital bed - with brain
                             damage...
               He struggles to keep himself under control.

                                           WILLY
                              Are you all right?

                                           NUNALLY
                              Are you gonna be on this, or what?

                                           WILLY
                              Yeah.  I'm on it.
                                     (Gently)
                              You got a confession. You took the
                              gun out of his hand. It's done.

                                           NUNALLY
                              I'm just - telling you. Is that okay?
                              Or are you too friggin' busy?!

                                            WILLY
                              No.   It's okay.
               Willy waits.    Watching the tortured cop wrestle with demons.

                                            NUNALLY
                              Forget it.
                                     (Beat)
                              It's a lock. We're good.   Put him
                              down. Bury him.
               Willy nods.    Nunally turns and walks away, down a ramp.
               Willy watches him go. Sad. Like he's watching Nunally
               drown. But he's seen people drown before...and he's not
               about to put out a hand. Might get pulled in himself.

               


               INT. CHANDLER PAVILION - LOBBY - LATER

               Willy moves uneasily among clusters of laughing, chatting,
               sparkling FORMAL-DRESSED PEOPLE.
               NIKKI GARDNER joins him, strolling alongside. She's his age,
               but her elegant dress, unlike his tux, was made for her.

                                           NIKKI
                              Are you a shark?

               

                                                                             29

               

               

                                          WILLY
                           Sorry?

                                        NIKKI
                           You've been circling the lobby for
                           half-an-hour now, like if you stopped
                           you'd die.

                                        WILLY
                           If I stopped, I'd be standing around
                           with no one to talk to. At which
                           point, death would be a relief.

                                        NIKKI
                           Why don't you talk to Bob?
               Willy stops walking, getting a little careful.

                                         WILLY
                           "Bob" is talking to the Governor.
                                  (Beat)
                           Do I know you?
               She puts a hand out, gently amused.

                                        NIKKI
                           Nikki Gardner. Senior Associate,
                           Wooton Sims.

                                        WILLY
                                  (Shakes)
                           Oh - hey, hi. It was your office that
                           called, with the invitation.

                                        NIKKI
                           On Bob's orders.

                                        WILLY
                           Listen, I don't...actually know "Bob."
                           I mean, I've only met the man once.
               Nikki nods, considering this.      And him.

                                          NIKKI
                           Interesting.
               They're each conscious of an unexpected buzz of attraction.
               The lobby lights flicker, breaking the spell a little. As
               the CROWD begins to drift toward the auditorium doors:

                                        NIKKI
                           You like opera?

               

                                                                          30

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           Truth is, I haven't really had that
                           much expos-

                                           NIKKI
                           Neither do I.
               With a conspiratorial head-tip, Nikki moves toward the plaza
               doors. Willy follows.

               


               EXT. ARTS CENTER - SOON AFTER

               They stroll the emptying plaza, dressed to the nines.

                                        NIKKI
                           Bob assigned you to my team. I'll
                           supervise your case-work, steer you
                           through the office arcana, and
                           generally keep an eye on you.

                                        WILLY
                           Kind of like a mentor.

                                        NIKKI
                           Kind of like a probation officer.
               Beat. Willy nods, meeting Nikki's gaze as she looks to make
               sure he's got it.

                                           WILLY
                           Okay.

                                        NIKKI
                           Wooton Sims expects absolute loyalty
                           and a hundred-and-ten-percent
                           performance. But: you get to work on
                           legendary litigation. National,
                           sometimes global, in scope. It's high-
                           stakes. And cut-throat - even within
                           the team. We burn out associates at
                           an astonishing rate.

                                        WILLY
                           You're trying to scare me.

                                           NIKKI
                           Yes.

                                        WILLY
                           You're going to have to try harder.
               She stops walking.   Studying Willy.

               

                                                                         31

               

               

                                        NIKKI
                           Can I ask you something personal?

                                           WILLY
                           Sure.

                                           NIKKI
                           Who are you?
               Willy doesn't answer. Maybe uncertain what she means. Maybe
               not wanting her to know. Or even not knowing, himself.

                                        NIKKI
                           We have a guy in our criminal
                           division, fresh out of Yale, named
                           Calvin Tyler. One of our very rich
                           clients gets pulled over, D.U.I. -
                           which is routine bullshit, so Calvin
                           gets it. Against you. Next thing we
                           know, Calvin is fired, and Bob Wooton,
                           who has never even interviewed a
                           junior associate before - let alone
                           hired one - says you're on my team.
               Willy weighs his options.    Decides to level:

                                        WILLY
                           It was a good bust, so Calvin came to
                           me for a deal. I told him if he could
                           arrange an interview for me with Mr.
                           Wooton, I would throw the case. I
                           laid out his arguments and evidence
                           for him - and I showed him how I would
                           lose. Calvin set up my appointment
                           for the day after our court date.
                           Then he did what I had suggested in
                           court - and I wiped the floor with
                           him. Your client got the maximum.
                           Next day, I met with Mr. Wooton.
                                  (Shrugs)
                           Bob.
               Beat.

                                       NIKKI
                           Wow. You know what's brilliant about
                           that?

                                           WILLY
                           Yes.

               

                                                                          32

               

               

                                        NIKKI
                           You didn't actually do anything all
                           that wrong.

                                        WILLY
                           Well - I wasn't entirely honest with
                           Calvin.
               His cell-phone rings.    He ignores it.

                                        NIKKI
                           You gonna get that?

                                        WILLY
                           Everyone I need to talk to is here.
               They are both feeling the electricity in the air between them.
               They wait the phone out, enjoying the forbidden insanity of
               it. But then:

                                        NIKKI
                           We need to talk about your transition
                           timetable.

                                          WILLY
                           All right.

                                        NIKKI
                           Bob believes in trial-by-fire. He
                           wants you up-to-speed two weeks from
                           Tuesday, because we're getting on a
                           plane to Chicago for depositions in a
                           class-action against our biggest
                           client, Armstead Pharmaceutical.

                                          WILLY
                           No problem.
               She studies Willy, trying to make sure he understands:

                                        NIKKI
                           That's catch-up on three years' work -
                           and you haven't closed out your old
                           job yet.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm good at trials.    Even by fire.
               Beat.

                                        NIKKI
                           You know, a little bit of fear can be
                           a very healthy thing to have.

               

                                                                                33

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           I'm looking forward to when I can
                           afford the luxury of having some.
               Nikki sighs, smiles.    Enjoying him, somewhat reluctantly.

                                        NIKKI
                           I'll have them put the Armstead
                           materials in your new office.

                                          WILLY
                           Thanks.    Boss.
               He watches her head off into the night. He remains, alone,
               in his tuxedo, looking at the elegant glittering arts plaza.
               Then he checks his cell-phone.     Dials.

                                                               INTERCUT WITH:

               


               INT. FORENSICS LAB - LATER

               MARCHAND, Senior S.I.D. (Scene Investigation Division) Tech,
               works as he talks into a speaker-phone. He and Willy have
               teamed-up often, and an underlying respect lets them mock
               each other.

                                          MARCHAND
                           Marchand.

                                        WILLY
                           It's Willy Slocum.     What's up?

                                        MARCHAND
                           Your gun in that Palisades shooting is
                           no good.

                                        WILLY
                           How can the gun be "no good"?

                                        MARCHAND
                           It's a perfectly good weapon. A
                           Heckler & Koch nine-millimeter. It's
                           just no good as evidence. It's never
                           been fired.

                                        WILLY
                           It's the gun from the scene?

               

                                                                         34

               

               

                                        MARCHAND
                           Yep. Bought by Mr. Thomas Crawford
                           and registered to his wife, about a
                           month ago. Apparently a gift.

                                        WILLY
                           And between the shooting and arrest,
                           this guy was locked inside his house.

                                         MARCHAND
                            Is that a question?

                                         WILLY
                            No, I mean, just: what's the point?
                            Playing games with the gun. He's
                            alone in the house with the victim,
                            and he confessed - it's not like the
                            gun's gonna get him off the hook.

                                         MARCHAND
                            Do you have a question I can answer?
               Beat.   Willy shakes the puzzle off, irritated:

                                         WILLY
                            Look, our weapon is in that house
                            somewhere. Get a team out to search
                            it tomorrow morning.

                                         MARCHAND
                            Ya think?

                                         WILLY
                                   (Sighs, smiles)
                            Thank you.
               He shuts the phone. Takes a moment, looking around again at
               where he is. Absently tugs at his tie and vest, lets the
               case go. Heads in to the opera.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - A WEEK LATER

               Controlled chaos. A week's work has emptied the shelves and
               cleared the surfaces, but the file-cabinet drawers are all
               half-open: Willy sorts folders, neatly marking and packing
               them. White "trans-file" storage boxes are piled all over.

                                         MESSENGER (O.S.)
                            Slocum?
               Willy looks up, at a MESSENGER with another file box.

               

                                                                              35

               

               

                                         WILLY
                           Yeah.

                                        MESSENGER
                           Where do you want it?

                                        WILLY
                           The idea here is we're trying to take
                           boxes out - not bring more in.

                                        MESSENGER
                           Is that the idea?
               Willy sourly gestures to a chair; checks the label as the
               Messenger sets it down -

                                        WILLY
                           Whoa - wait a second, this is a screw-
                           up. I already have these documents.
                           I sent this box: to the Defendant, at
                           County.

                                        MESSENGER
                           I picked up at County.    Slip says
                           bring 'em here.
               Messenger holds out a clipboard. Willy reluctantly signs.
               As the Messenger leaves, Willy cuts the tape and takes out a
               folder. Opens it:
               Crawford has scrawled NO in red marker across the top sheet.
               Willy turns to the next page.     A big red NO across that, too.
               Pulls out more documents - flips through: NO - NO - NO - NO -
               red letters wriggling across the typed pages, like flip-book
               animation.
               Beat.   Disturbed, he picks up the phone, dials.

                                                             INTERCUT WITH:

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THE SAME TIME

               S.I.D. TECHS are taking the place apart: opening HVAC vents,
               pulling books off shelves, upending chairs and tables,
               removing drawers from cabinets.
               Marchand, supervising, answers his cell-phone:

                                         MARCHAND
                            Marchand.

               

                                                                       36

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           Where are we on this gun?

                                        MARCHAND
                           We can't find it, Willy.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm in trial on Monday.

                                       MARCHAND
                           I know. I don't know what to tell
                           you. I'm there now.

                                        WILLY
                           You said you'd get a team out a week
                           ago -

                                         MARCHAND
                           I'm here now. My team has been here
                           twice already.
                                  (Beat)
                           Do you really need it?

                                        WILLY
                           Do I need it?! The weapon?!
               He takes a second.   Sighs, exasperated - but honest:

                                        WILLY
                           I don't know. Probably not.
                           Defendant's a whack-job.

                                        MARCHAND
                           He went pro se, right?

                                        WILLY
                           Yeah. Just when you think they're not
                           really stupid, they defend themselves.

                                        MARCHAND
                           You've got a confession and an
                           airtight bunch of circumstantial.
                                  (Apologetic)
                           We've gone over this place top-to-
                           bottom three times now, Willy.
               Willy takes a breath.   Thinks it through.

                                         WILLY
                           Yeah, okay. Don't worry about it.
                                  (Beat)
                           Sorry - got a lot going on.

               

                                                                          37

               

               

                                        MARCHAND
                           Must be rough, figuring out what
                           you're gonna do with all that money.

                                        WILLY
                           Hey, I had to sit through an opera
                           last week.

                                        MARCHAND
                           Oh gee - lemme see if I can express
                           how much sympathy I have:
               Marchand snaps his phone shut.
               Willy smiles, hangs up. But then his smile fades, as he
               glances down again at Crawford's box of papers.
               Hundreds of pages.   Every single one scrawled NO.
               Willy considers them.

               


               INT. COUNTY JAIL - INTERROGATION ROOM - LATER

               Metal chairs. Bad light. Crawford sits, cuffed, at a table,
               waiting. Looks up as the door unlocks.
               A GUARD lets Willy in, locks the door behind him.
               Crawford watches Willy take a legal pad, files, pens from his
               briefcase, set them on the table.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           How's my wife?

                                           WILLY
                           I don't know.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I heard somewhere, I think it was on
                           N.P.R., that you're supposed to talk
                           to people in a coma. Play their
                           favorite music. Supposedly it reaches
                           them.
               Willy, now ready, lets Crawford study him.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           You represent Jennifer. The voice of
                           the victim, judicially speaking. But
                           you haven't gone to see her?

               

                                                                    38

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           Not yet.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Too busy getting up to speed on
                           Armstead Pharmaceutical?
               Beat.

                                        WILLY
                           I beg your pardon?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I'm not judging you. I think anyone -
                           coming from...what you came from -
                           then paying your way through East-Okie
                           Cowshit College and Tulsa Law by
                           writing papers for Princeton kids on
                           the internet - my God, it must have
                           eaten your liver! Sixty-thousand
                           dollars in debt, eighty-four percent
                           conviction rate: you deserve this.
               Willy tries to stay in control.

                                        WILLY
                           What the hell have you been doing.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           I'm permitted the use of a private
                           investigator.

                                        WILLY
                           Not to investigate me!

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Why not?   You're investigating me.

                                        WILLY
                           You shot your wife.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Allegedly. That's how it works,
                           right? If I can't introduce something
                           in court as evidence - it doesn't
                           exist. Legally.

                                        WILLY
                           Look - I don't want to play games with
                           you.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I'm afraid you have to.

               

                                                                        39

               

               
               Beat. Willy reconstructs his formal cool. Takes some pages
               scrawled NO from a folder, pushes them across the table.

                                        WILLY
                           Is this some form of - communication?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           You sent me a box of papers.

                                        WILLY
                           It's called Discovery.       The State has
                           a legal obliga-

                                        CRAWFORD
                           There's nothing in it, Willy. You
                           haven't 'discovered' anything. Have
                           you found the gun?
               Beat.

                                             WILLY
                           Not yet.

                                             CRAWFORD
                           No.
                                  (Beat)
                           Does it bother you that I call you
                           Willy?

                                             WILLY
                                    (Lies)
                           No.
               Crawford nods.    Pleased.    Leans forward.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I'd like you to consider becoming my
                           lawyer. I'll pay you. A lot of
                           money.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm - prosecuting you.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Yeah, but I'm offering you a chance to
                           get on the right side of this whole
                           mess while you still can.

                                        WILLY
                           Are you out of your mind?

               

                                                                             40

               

               

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I think - on advice of counsel - I'll
                           decline to answer that one.
               Willy studies him. Decides: it's an elaborate act.   Begins
               to put away his papers.

                                        WILLY
                           I don't need the gun to convict you,
                           by the way.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           She was cheating, you know.
               Willy looks at him, slightly taken aback.   He didn't know; it
               wasn't in the confession.
               As he considers whether it makes a difference - he notices
               Crawford watching, enjoying. Willy shuts his briefcase.

                                        WILLY
                           It doesn't matter what she did...Tom.
                           What you did is a crime.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Perhaps. But - maybe my so-called
                           peers will look at me and see
                           themselves. Betrayed. Frustrated.
                           Humiliated. And you and I both know,
                           Willy, that people have an infinite
                           capacity for believing in their own
                           innocence.

                                         WILLY
                           Great.   Take the stand. Tell your
                           story.   I'd appreciate it.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Not to mention the fact you have no
                           actual evidence connecting me to the
                           crime.
               Willy smiles, gets up.

                                        WILLY
                           Except your confession.
               Crawford watches him go to the door.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           My grandfather was an egg farmer.
               Willy stops, annoyed.

               

                                                                      41

               

               

                                         WILLY
                            Is this gonna be about how you had a
                            rough childhood?

                                           CRAWFORD
                            I used to candle eggs at his farm.
                            You know what that is? You hold an
                            egg up to a light, and look for
                            imperfections.
                                    (beat)
                            The first time I did it, he told me to
                            put the ones that were cracked or
                            flawed in a bucket - for the bakery.
                                    (beat)
                            He came back an hour later and there
                            were three hundred eggs in the bakery
                            bucket. He asked me what the hell I
                            was doing.
                                    (beat)
                            I found a flaw in every single one.
                            Thin places in the shell, minuscule
                            cracks.
                                    (smiles)
                            Look closely enough and you'll find
                            everything has a weak spot...where it
                            can break.

                                         WILLY
                            Looking for mine?

                                         CRAWFORD
                            No, I've found yours.

                                         WILLY
                            Illuminate me.
               Crawford considers how to put it.

                                         CRAWFORD
                            You're a winner, Willy.
               Silence.   Willy pushes the call-button by the door.

                                            WILLY
                            Huh. Well.      Joke's on me then, I
                            guess.

                                            CRAWFORD
                            Yes.   It is.

                                         WILLY
                            I'll see you in court, Mr. Crawford.

               

                                                                           42

               

               
               The door unlocks.   Crawford winks.
               Willy hesitates for a second - then leaves.

               


               INT. WOOTON, SIMS - EMPTY OFFICE - LATER

               It's big. It's got a window. It's got a sofa. Undecorated,
               except for a pile of materials & boxes marked ARMSTEAD

               PHARMACEUTICAL.
               Willy is filling out forms - tax, citizenship, benefits.   He
               doesn't notice Nikki when she comes to the door.

                                          NIKKI
                             Make sure you sign the one with the
                             devil in blood. It's not binding
                             otherwise.
               He looks up, smiles.

                                          WILLY
                             Just want to be ready for Chicago.
                             I'm all closed-out, downtown. Last
                             trial starts Monday.
               Beat.   Not pleased:

                                          NIKKI
                             You've got a trial Monday?

                                          WILLY
                             Yeah: attempted murder.

                                          NIKKI
                             That gives you three days. You told
                             me - and I told Bob - that you would
                             be ready to hit the ground r-

                                          WILLY
                             The man confessed.    And he's pro se.

                                          NIKKI
                             Willy, some but acting as his own
                             lawyer - he could drag it out for
                             months!

                                          WILLY
                             You want to hear his witness list?
               Nikki nods.   Willy is silent.     She frowns.

               

                                                                              43

               

               

                                           NIKKI
                           No witnesses?
               Willy leans in, enjoying this part - analyzing, even
               admiring, Crawford's ploy:

                                           WILLY
                              It's kind of clever: this guy is
                              trying to provoke the system into
                              declaring him insane. I think he
                              thinks we'll call in the doctors and
                              he can fake 'em out by refusing the
                              defense. He's acting out this really -
                              organized plan to appear crazy.
               Beat.   Nikki considers Willy.

                                           NIKKI
                              You're gonna miss being in court,
                              aren't you?
               He studies her, confident.    Gestures to the stacks of
               Armstead materials:

                                           WILLY
                              I'm almost halfway through these. And
                              I think I've already found about six
                              disqualifiers in Delaware, Ohio, and
                              Florida. I have to check case law in
                              each state, but it looks good. I'll
                              get the rest done over the long
                              weekend.
               Nikki sighs, smiles a little, against her will.      He's won her
               over...again.
               Willy shrugs, grins.    In the silence, the impossible
               electricity returns.    After a moment - to defuse it:

                                           NIKKI
                              You don't go home for Thanksgiving?
               Slight beat.

                                           WILLY
                              No.
               She studies him a moment, thoughtful.    Careful.

                                           NIKKI
                              If you want - you're welcome at mine.
                              My family's.

               

                                                                                44

               

               

                                           WILLY
                            Really?
               She nods. Smiling a little, knowing her family and starting
               to know Willy:

                                         NIKKI
                            I think it would be interesting.
               Beat.

                                           WILLY
                            Yeah.    Okay, thank you.

                                           NIKKI
                            Cool.
               Beat.   She leaves.    Willy doesn't go back to work right away.

               


               INT. COURTROOM - THE NEXT DAY

               JUDGE ROBINSON presiding. A mid-sized crowd, including a few
               REPORTERS. A UNIFORM COP is in the witness box, Willy stands
               in the Prosecution Table.

                                         UNIFORM COP
                            We established a perimeter around the
                            house and then waited for SWAT and the
                            Negotiator. It was strictly by the
                            book.

                                         WILLY
                            So the house was completely surrounded
                            within how long of the first shots?
               Crawford sits alone at the Defense Table. He wears an
               expensive suit and no handcuffs, but two DEPUTIES sit behind
               him. He's barely listening to the testimony - drawing on his
               legal pad: intricate, dense complex diagrams of "Rube
               Goldberg" contraptions.

                                         UNIFORM COP
                            Maybe ten minutes.

                                         WILLY
                            And when you arrived at the sc-
               Crawford noisily tears a page off his pad.     Looks up - sees
               Willy, and everyone else, turned to him.

                                           CRAWFORD
                            Sorry.

               

                                                                           45

               

               
               Willy sighs, returns to the Cop.

                                        WILLY
                           When you arrived on the scene, was
                           there a crowd?

                                        UNIFORM COP
                           Oh yeah. Neighbors, came out to look
                           soon as it started.

                                        WILLY
                           And from what you could ascertain, no
                           one went into or came out of the house
                           until SWAT and the negotiator arrived?

                                        UNIFORM COP
                           Definitely not.

                                         WILLY
                           Thank you.   No further questions.

                                           JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Crawford?
               Crawford looks up from his drawing.

                                           CRAWFORD
                           What?

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Your witness, Mr. Crawford.
               Crawford takes in the Uniform Cop.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           No questions for this witness.
               Willy watches Crawford return diligently to his doodles.

                                                            DISSOLVE TO:

               

               CLOSE-UP: THE DEFENSE TABLE - LATER THAT AFTERNOON
               It's a mess of loose legal-pad pages torn from Crawford's
               pad, each covered in madly intricate schematics. He works on
               yet another, head down, intent.
               Dr. MARION KANG is on the stand, using a marker on a big
               diagram of a head:

               

                                                                             46

               

               

                                        DR. KANG
                           - through the frontal cortex and the
                           temporal lobe, coming to rest against
                           the back of the skull.

                                        WILLY
                           So this bullet inflicted serious
                           injury?

                                        DR. KANG
                           It inflicted serious and irreparable
                           injury.
               Willy nods, allowing the jury time on this. He checks a note-
               card, glances at Crawford. Considers his options.

                                        WILLY
                           Dr. Kang, is it safe to say that
                           someone inflicting this kind of wound
                           intended to kill?
               Judge Robinson gives Willy a warning look.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Crawford, you might want to
                           object. The witness can't know your
                           state of mind.
               Crawford doesn't even look up from his drawing.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           No thank you, your honor.
               Willy gives Judge Robinson an I-told-you-so shrug.     Turns to
               Dr. Kang.

                                        KANG
                           I would say so, yes.

                                        WILLY
                           Thank you, Dr. Kang.
               Crawford tears off the page, starts another.

               


               INT. COURTROOM - LATER

               Nunally on the stand.    Focused, professional.   Crawford
               draws, ignoring him.

                                        WILLY
                           So after you put down your gun, what
                           did Mr. Crawford do?

               

                                                                             47

               

               

                                        NUNALLY
                           He confessed to shooting his wife.

                                         WILLY
                           He confessed.
                                  (Beat)
                           Did Mr. Crawford appear confused or in
                           any way intoxicated, impaired?

                                       NUNALLY
                           No. Not at all. He knew what was
                           going on.

                                        WILLY
                           What did Mr. Crawford say?
               Nunally looks at Crawford, enjoying the fatal blow:

                                        NUNALLY
                           He said, "I got the gun and I shot my
                           wife. God help me, I shot her in the
                           head. I know it was wrong."

                                        CRAWFORD
                                  (low, still drawing)
                           Objection.
               Everyone turns, surprised.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           I'm sorry - Mr. Crawford, did you say
                           something?
               Crawford sets aside his pen for the first time.   Looks up.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Yes.   I want to object.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           On what grounds?

                                           CRAWFORD
                           I don't know.

                                           WILLY
                           Your honor -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I don't know what you'd call it. They
                           - it wasn't the first time, either,
                           but - I don't know the legal term.

               

                                                                            48

               

               

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Why don't you just explain it in
                           layman's terms.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Fucking the victim.
               Uproar in the court.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Crawford -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           You said layman's terms -

                                          WILLY
                           Your honor -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I'm sorry - what would you call it -
                           legally - when the officer who
                           arrested you has been having sexual
                           intercourse with your wife?
               Utter silence. Willy whirls a look at Nunally.     The cop
               meets his eyes - a deer in headlights.

                                           WILLY
                                  (Low)
                           Oh - shit.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I think it's objectionable - maybe I'm
                           wrong.

                                           WILLY
                           Your honor...

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Detective Nunally?
               Nunally looks down, silent.    Shaking his head.

                                           CRAWFORD
                           Rob?

                                        WILLY
                           Your honor, the People request a -
               Nunally suddenly launches himself over the witness box rail
               to attack Crawford - as the Deputies leap forward to stop him -
               all of them flailing and cursing in a tangle -

               

                                                                          49

               

               
               - spectators screaming, fleeing, gawking.   Chaos.

               


               INT. JUDGE ROBINSON'S CHAMBERS - SOON AFTER

               The Judge grim, Willy panicked, Crawford calm.

                                        WILLY
                           He had my witness list.   He should
                           have filed to suppress.

                                        CRAWFORD
                                  (Shrugs)
                           My mistake. Sorry.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Crawford, I warned you about
                           representing yourself.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           What about the fact that it's true?
                           I mean, isn't that the point here: to
                           get to the truth?

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Slocum - is it true?

                                        WILLY
                           I don't know. I only heard about it
                           five minutes ago.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Put him back on the witness stand if
                           you don't believe me.

                                        WILLY
                           We can't put him back on now! Not
                           after what the jury just saw. Your
                           honor, I told you this would turn into
                           a circus. First he provokes the
                           witness with an outrageous allegation -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           My Dick has evidence.
               The Judge and Willy look at Crawford like he's truly insane.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Excuse me?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           My investigator. I call him Dick. I
                           guess I should call him as a rebuttal

                                        (MORE)

               

                                                                                50

               

               
                                         CRAWFORD (cont'd)
                           witness? He's got phone records,
                           credit receipts, photographs,
                           videotapes - all documenting the
                           affair. In graphic detail.
                                  (Beat. Mildly:)
                           Dick is good.
               The Judge looks at Willy.    This is bad.    Thinking fast:

                                        WILLY
                           Okay - um: I'll stipulate that my
                           witness was less than forthcoming
                           ...and that can more or less cancel
                           out the fact that the defendant
                           withheld a crucial -

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Slocum - your witness was intimate
                           with the victim, and he assaulted the
                           defendant during the arrest.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Actually, while obtaining my so-called
                           "confession."
               Willy stares at Crawford, shaken.    Understanding the trap.

                                         WILLY
                           No way.   Your honor -

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           He's got a point. They were alone in
                           the house. The confession is no good.

                                        WILLY
                           Oh - come on!

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Is this a legal argument?       "Oh come
                           on"?

                                        WILLY
                                  (Whirls on him)
                           You want to get into it?!
               Crawford raises his eyebrows. Awkward silence.         Willy takes
               a deep breath. Turns to the Judge.

                                           WILLY
                           Sorry.
                                  (Beat)
                           He dictated and signed his confession,
                           after that incident.

               

                                                                              51

               

               

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           In police custody. Arguably, in fear
                           for his life. I'm sorry, Mr. Slocum -
                           it's all 'fruit of the tainted tree.'
                           We have to exclude all versions of the
                           confession and any evidence collected
                           by Lieutenant Nunally or by other
                           police officers on the night he was
                           present.

                                        WILLY
                           This is insane!

                                        CRAWFORD
                           It's Biblical, isn't it?   The fruit
                           and the tree and -

                                        WILLY
                           He set this up! Don't you see what
                           he's doing?!

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Yes, I do. And I don't like it. But
                           it's done, so we have to deal with it.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Do you think I could go home today,
                           your honor? With Thanksgiving around
                           the corner -

                                         JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Don't push it, Mr. Crawford.
                                  (Beat)
                           What we're going to do is give Mr.
                           Slocum a few days to regroup and come
                           up with new evidence. If he doesn't -
                           then you can go home. That's going to
                           put us into the long weekend. We
                           reconvene Monday morning.
               Willy just stands there: blind-sided, shell-shocked.
               Crawford smiles at him.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - THAT EVENING

               The end of a bad, bad day.   Willy flips on the lights as he
               comes in, shaken.
               A package is on the empty desk. Addressed in red marker.
               The return address: TC, County Jail.
               Willy just stands looking at it.

               

                                                                              52

               

               


               INT. COUNTY JAIL - THE SAME TIME

               Crawford sits on the metal bunk in his prison jumpsuit.
               Alone. Looking down.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - RESUME

               As Willy takes a letter-opener from the desk drawer - the
               phone rings. He answers it, eyes still on the package:

                                           WILLY
                           Willy Slocum.

                                                             INTERCUT WITH:

               


               INT. GLAMOROUS BAR - THE SAME TIME

               Crowded with UPSCALE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS.    Nikki is on her
               cell-phone, hand over her other ear:

                                        NIKKI
                           Well - you've gotta admire the
                           cleverness of it.
               Willy begins cutting open the package as he talks:

                                           WILLY
                           Do I?

               


               INT. COUNTY JAIL - CONTINUOUS

               Crawford very slowly raises his eyes, until he is looking
               directly at us.

                                        NIKKI (V.O.)
                           Come on, Willy - give the devil his
                           due.

                                         WILLY (V.O.)
                           Yeah. I'm just trying to figure out
                           what that is.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE/GLAMOROUS BAR - RESUME


                                        NIKKI
                           Okay: then listen - I checked with Bob
                           on how he wants you to handle this.

                                        (MORE)

               

                                                                             53

               

               
                                        NIKKI (cont'd)
                           Has LoBruto tried to take you off the
                           case yet?

                                           WILLY
                           No.

                                        NIKKI
                           Well, he pretty much has to if he's
                           gonna save any face. So here's the
                           strategy: you let him.
               Willy cautiously lifts the box's flaps - pulls aside tissue
               paper - to reveal:
               A single eggshell.   Broken, empty.

                                           WILLY
                           I let him?

               


               INT. COUNTY JAIL - CONTINUOUS

               Crawford begins to smile.

                                        NIKKI (V.O.)
                           Yeah, damage control. Stop getting
                           your face on TV. As it is, I had to
                           talk Bob down from cancelling your
                           contract.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE/GLAMOROUS BAR - RESUME

               Willy is staring down at the broken eggshell, barely
               listening to Nikki.

                                        NIKKI (CONT'D)
                           But we've got to move fast and get out
                           from under. Otherwise, and I quote:
                           "Stick a fork in this kid's ass and
                           turn him over, he's done."

                                        WILLY
                           I can't just - walk away.

                                        NIKKI
                           Willy: today, you got killed. The
                           issue now is saving your new life.
               Willy can't take his eyes off Crawford's "gift."

                                        WILLY
                           I guess...that would be the smart way
                           of looking at it.

               

                                                                                   54

               

               


               INT. COUNTY JAIL - CONTINUOUS

               Crawford stares right at us.       Smiling.   Ice cold.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE/GLAMOROUS BAR - RESUME

               Nikki is sympathetic, misunderstanding Willy's quiet:

                                           NIKKI
                              You want to come out and get drunk?

                                           WILLY
                              No. Thank you. I've got some stuff
                              to take care of.

                                             NIKKI
                              All right.    Don't beat yourself up.

                                             WILLY
                              I won't.
               He hangs up.    Considering the empty eggshell.       But then he
               looks up:
               District Attorney Lobruto is in his office doorway, trying to
               decide whether to be angry.

                                           LOBRUTO
                              You don't look into who the victim
                              was sleeping with?
               Willy burns, ashamed.       But unable to admit it.

                                           WILLY
                              He - threw me off.
                                     (Frustrated)
                              Look, Crawford knew he'd be the prime
                              suspect, so he gave us everything -
                              but he made it all radioactive. The
                              night this went down, it was over.

                                           LOBRUTO
                              But you still walked   it into court,
                              Willy. We might not    have a case...but
                              it didn't have to be   a public
                              humiliation for this   office and the
                              police department.
               Silence.

               

                                                                    55

               

               

                                       WILLY
                          Are you taking me off?

                                       LOBRUTO
                          You're leaving anyway.

                                       WILLY
                          I'm starting to get a sense of this
                          guy.

                                       LOBRUTO
                          That's not new evidence.

                                       WILLY
                          I can take him now: he thinks he's
                          smarter than I am.

                                       LOBRUTO
                          It's not about you, Willy.

                                       WILLY
                          Yeah, it is. He made it that way.
                                 (Shows him the egg)
                          He likes me.

                                       LOBRUTO
                          What is that - some kind of Oklahoma
                          insult?

                                       WILLY
                          Let me do this. I won't make you look
                          bad.
               Beat.

                                         LOBRUTO
                          No. You won't. That's what I need to
                          make sure you understand. I remove
                          you now: I'm covered, I took some
                          action.
                                  (Beat)
                          If you go on with this, when you lose -
                          blame has to come down. And it'll
                          come down on you. I'll have to
                          investigate you for improprieties,
                          incompetence - anything I can. In
                          public. I'll hang you out to dry.
                          For the good of this office.
               Silence.

                                       WILLY
                          If I lose.

               

                                                                             56

               

               

                                           LOBRUTO
                             What?

                                          WILLY
                             You said "when."
               Lobruto grimaces.     He shakes his head.    Sighs.

                                           LOBRUTO
                             All right.   It's yours.
               Willy nods.   Stubborn.    Scared.

               


               INT. MOTEL ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT

               Local news on the TV: Willy pushing past media outside the
               courthouse; official photo of Nunally; footage from the
               standoff at Crawford's.
               The sound is low, and Nunally isn't watching. He's sitting
               on the edge of the bed...looking down at his gun, in his
               hands.
               A knock on the door "wakes" him. Beat. He sets the gun
               aside, goes to peek out the curtains. Lets Willy in.

                                          WILLY
                             You're not easy to find.      I had to
                             call Internal Affairs.

                                          NUNALLY
                             Yeah - they put me on a desk - 'til
                             this gets...sorted out.
               He uncomfortably watches Willy glance around at the half-
               empty liquor bottle, the mismatched suitcases and paper bags
               full of balled-up clothes. And the gun on the bed.

                                          NUNALLY
                             Got home - my wife already took the
                             kids to her folks. Press is all over
                             our front lawn. Friggin' vampires.
               He falters, haunted by the echo.      Willy doesn't notice:

                                          WILLY
                             What the hell were you thinking.
                             You're on the job and you get called
                             to your girlfriend's house -

               

                                                                            57

               

               

                                       NUNALLY
                          I didn't know it was her house.      I'd
                          never been there.

                                           WILLY
                              It was her name!

                                           NUNALLY
                              I didn't know her name!
               Willy waits.    Nunally explains, reluctant to expose himself:

                                           NUNALLY
                              No last names. Her rules. We met at
                              the same hotel room, twice a week - no
                              phone calls, no questions. She didn't
                              want us to know too much about each
                              other. She said it was like...travel
                              in a foreign country. No baggage -
                              from our lives. Just us. Escaping.

                                           WILLY
                              Did you get the feeling she had rules
                              because she had done it before? With
                              other guys?

                                            NUNALLY
                              No.  I don't know. Maybe.
                                     (Thinking, remembering:)
                              No. It was all just this...crazy
                              thing. For both of us. It was...
                              real. You know? We didn't expect
                              that, when we started. We didn't know
                              where it was going. I had cheated so
                              many times, I was numb - but she was
                              ...new. And she made me feel like
                              there was - some chance. To change.
                              We were scared. It was like we were
                              afraid to go forward, but we couldn't
                              go back.
                                     (Beat)
                              You always think you have time. To
                              work it out. Or make things right.
                                     (Angry)
                              What was I supposed to do?!

                                           WILLY
                              You were supposed to tell me!

                                             NUNALLY
                              I'm married!    I have kids!

               

                                                                               58

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           You thought nobody knew - so maybe you
                           could just walk away clean.

                                        NUNALLY
                           No! I didn't think HE knew! OKAY?!
                           Even - after. I thought it was just -
                           massively fouled-up...bad luck. Like -
                           God - telling me - something.
                                  (Anguished)
                           I'm there. My mind is going crazy. I
                           know the confession won't hold if
                           anyone finds out.
                                  (Beat)
                           I thought the guy was a whack!

                                            WILLY
                              Yeah?   Well, he's not.
               Nunally won't look at Willy.      He just sits there, numb.

                                           WILLY
                              Is there anything else you can give
                              me. Anything that might get us some
                              evidence.
               Nunally shakes his head.      Willy grimaces.   Goes to the door.

                                           NUNALLY
                              I...tried to warn you.
               Willy stops.    Looks back.

                                           WILLY
                              You warned me he was smart. You
                              didn't warn me you were stupid.
               Nunally winces. Takes it. Willy feels a little badly.         Two
               guys in a shabby motel room, in terrible trouble.

                                           NUNALLY
                              How do we get the confession back in?

                                             WILLY
                              We don't.

                                           NUNALLY
                              What are you gonna do?
               Willy shakes his head.     Walks out.

               

                                                                             59

               

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THE NEXT DAY

               A massive search is under way.
               Marchand's S.I.D. Team has been doubled, back-up by a dozen

               SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES -
               - passing hand-held metal detectors along the furniture -
               - taking pictures down from the walls -
               - turning over mattresses - patting-down every item hanging
               in the closets -
               - wriggling into crawlspaces - poking into light fixtures
               recessed into the ceilings -
               - opening the air-conditioning unit, up on the roof -
               - ripping out Crawford's high-end home-theater system -
               - taking apart the Porsche in the garage.
               Willy paces the edges of the action, restless, edgy.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER

               Willy stops in the doorway - watching a DEPUTY shut the
               stainless-steel freezer, open a wired-glass cabinet and poke
               around.

                                          WILLY
                             Shake the boxes.

                                          DEPUTY
                             Huh?

                                          WILLY
                             The cereal boxes - shake 'em. And
                             there's a chicken in the freezer.
                             Thaw it out, check inside.
               The Deputy stares like he's nuts. Willy doesn't blink.    The
               Deputy goes to shake the boxes, eyes on Willy: okay?
               Willy nods.   Moves on.

               


               EXT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - FRONT DOOR - LATER

               Hours have passed.

               

                                                                             60

               

               
               Willy steps out of the front door, because he's going stir-
               crazy inside. Stands watching two TECHS walk the lawn and
               flower-beds with metal detectors.
               He notices, past the S.I.D. vans and Sheriff's Dept. black-
               and-whites parked in the driveway:
               Nunally, in his parked car, across the street.
               He meets Willy's eyes.    Worried.
               Willy can't give him any news. So he pretends he didn't see
               the question in Nunally's eyes, looks away. Takes a breath,
               turns and goes back in to work.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DUSK

               It's getting dark out. Techs pack equipment cases, carry
               them out. The place is a disaster area.
               Marchand watches Willy pace the living room.

                                          WILLY
                           The garage?    Washer-dryer?

                                        MARCHAND
                           And the tool shed, and the roof, and
                           the H.V.A.C. ducts.

                                        WILLY
                           What about the door frames?    The
                           floors?

                                        MARCHAND
                           What did he do: rip open a door frame,
                           hide the gun inside and re-plaster the
                           wall before SWAT showed up?

                                        WILLY
                           What about the neighbors' property?
                           He could have thrown it over the
                           hedges.

                                         MARCHAND
                           We checked.
                                  (Beat)
                           He might have passed it off to
                           somebody, Willy. Had an accomplice,
                           waiting, out the back.
               Willy shakes his head, grim.    Pacing.

               

                                                                            61

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           This isn't an accomplice sort of guy.
               He slows. Looking across the room at the big Rube Goldberg
               device. As he moves toward it:

                                        WILLY
                           This is a...guy who likes to show off.
               He examines the intricate workings, eyes travelling the
               clutter of metal and wires and motors.
               Checks Marchand - who shakes his head.

                                         WILLY
                           You sure?

                                         MARCHAND
                           I'm sure.
               Willy grimaces.   Fuming, relentless:

                                        WILLY
                           It's a physical object. It can't just
                           vanish. We're missing something -
                           some step in the story.
               He begins walking through the crime, "the stations of the
               cross" - re-enacting it, starting from the front door,
               methodical, reciting it to himself:

                                        WILLY
                           The neighbor sees her get home. He's
                           already inside. She lets herself in.
                           A minute or two later: blood-pattern
                           says she's standing over there - he's
                           somewhere around here.
               Willy stands where Crawford was.     Raises a finger-gun.

                                         WILLY
                           Boom.
               As Willy goes to where Jennifer fell:

                                        MARCHAND
                           But then he carries her back there.
                           Why?
               Willy walks along the path defined by the drops of blood:

               

                                                                             62

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           Because he's gonna need time. To
                           confess. When she's alone with the
                           cop.
               Willy stops in the alcove, looking down at the dried blood,
               the discarded paramedic-supply-wrappers.

                                        MARCHAND
                           Neighbor comes to the door.
               Willy nods, comes out - crosses to the foyer:

                                        WILLY
                           Crawford shouts, "Leave us alone" and
                           fires three more rounds: boom-boom-
                           boom.

                                        MARCHAND
                           So everybody knows he's dangerous -
                           and she might still be alive.

                                         WILLY
                           So they'll call the Negotiator.
                                  (Beat)
                           Now he's got about ten minutes.
               And that's it. He stands there with the imaginary gun in his
               hand. Looking around. Trying to think like Crawford.
               He can't.

                                        MARCHAND
                           I'm sorry, Willy.
               Willy won't respond - because accepting the apology means
               admitting he's got nothing left.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LATER

               It's night. The house is empty. Except for Willy, turning
               on lights as he gets to each room, turning them off as he
               leaves.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Do you dare stay out?
                           Do you dare go in?
               Studying framed photos: Jennifer - now and then with Crawford -
               in Italy, Bermuda, Colorado. Always a bit posed and formal
               when they're together.

               

                                                                             63

               

               

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           And IF you go in -
                           Should you turn left or right?
                           Or right and three-quarters?
                           Or maybe not quite.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - BATHROOM - SOON AFTER

               Checking the contents of the medicine cabinet.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           You can get so confused that you'll
                             start in to race,
                           Down long wiggled roads at break-
                             necking pace
               No longer really looking for the gun.   He's looking for
               insight. Contact. A way in.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - DRESSING ROOM - SOON AFTER

               Willy wanders through Jennifer's spacious dressing room.

                                         WILLY (V.O.)
                           And grind on for miles across weirdish
                             wild space,
                           Headed I fear, toward a most useless
                             place.
               He idly surveys the vanity, cluttered with cosmetics, skin-
               care products. Lifts her perfume, sniffs.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           The Waiting Place...
                           For people just waiting.
                           Waiting for a train to go
                           Or a bus to come, or a plane to go
               Notices a storage box on the floor, left partly-open in the
               search. He shifts the lid aside.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Or the mail to come, or the rain to go
                           Or the phone to ring, or the snow to
                           snow
               A high-school yearbook. An old photo album. A teddy bear.
               A snow-globe. A well-worn book by Dr. Seuss.

               

                                                                             64

               

               

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Or waiting around for a Yes or No
                           Or waiting for their hair to grow.
                           Everyone is just waiting.
               Willy stares down at the souvenirs of a lost life.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL - I.C.U. - NIGHT

               The room is dim, and silent except for the hiss-click of the
               respirator, the monotonous beep of the heart monitor.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Waiting for the fish to bite
                           Or waiting for wind to fly a kite
                           Or waiting around for Friday night
                           Or waiting perhaps for their Uncle
                             Jake
               Jennifer Crawford lies with her head wrapped in gauze, eyes
               shut, plastic tubing down her throat held in place with tape.
               Willy sits beside her bed, reading Dr. Seuss:

                                        WILLY
                           Or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
                           Or a string of pearls, or a pair of
                             pants
                           Or a wig with curls...
                           Or Another Chance.
               He stops reading a moment.   Watching her:

                                        RESIDENT (O.S.)
                           What are you doing?
               Willy turns. A work-weary RESIDENT comes past him to check
               the I.V.'s and monitors. He's about Willy's age.

                                        WILLY
                           I heard it might - help - if somebody
                           talked to her.

                                        RESIDENT
                           Who told you that?

                                        WILLY
                                  (Reluctantly)
                           The man who shot her.
               The RESIDENT looks up at Willy - who shrugs, uncomfortable.

               

                                                                     65

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           Is there any chance...she might come
                           out of this?

                                        RESIDENT
                           Are you a member of the family?

                                         WILLY
                                  (Getting out ID)
                           Sorry. I'm with the District
                           Attorney's office.
                                  (Beat)
                           We don't have any other witnesses.

                                        RESIDENT
                           This woman had a bullet plow through
                           her brain.

                                         WILLY
                           I know. But you hear about people
                           waking up from comas. After everybody
                           said pull the plug - they wake up.
                                  (Beat)
                           You hear stuff like that all the time.

                                         RESIDENT
                           You hear about Elvis and Aliens, too.
                           All the time.

                                        WILLY
                           It's not impossible, though. Is it?
                           I mean - why else are you keeping her
                           like this?
               Beat.   The Resident sighs.

                                          RESIDENT
                            No. It's not impossible. But even if
                            she did, she might not remember how to
                            talk - let alone anything about how
                            she was shot.

                                         WILLY
                            When I was here alone before, she
                            moved a little.

                                         RESIDENT
                            Are you just going to keep asking the
                            same question in different ways until
                            you hear the answer you want?
               Beat.

               

                                                                              66

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           That's how it works with the law.

                                        RESIDENT
                           I knew I should have gone to law
                           school.
               Willy watches the Resident go out. Then he looks back down
               at Jennifer. Listening to the machines.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD OFFICE - THE NEXT DAY

               Willy wanders.   Tina, the assistant, waits in the doorway.
               He's trying to conceal the fact that he's on a fishing
               expedition.

                                        WILLY
                           So this is all exactly how he left it.

                                         TINA
                           Yes.
               Browses a wall of framed photos: Crawford at crash sites,
               universities, engineering test-labs - awards, certificates,
               articles from industry publications lauding Crawford as the
               Go-To-Guy for investigating mechanical failures of aircraft.

                                        WILLY
                           And he was - distraught.

                                        TINA
                           He was drinking. The past few weeks.

                                        WILLY
                           But he was working on this.
               He stands over unfinished Rube Goldberg device.   Tools laid
               out on the work table - meticulous, organized.

                                        WILLY
                           All distraught and everything.
               It's not evidence.

                                        TINA
                           Do you want coffee.    He said I should
                           ask.
               Willy turns, a little rattled.    Beat.

               

                                                                          67

               

               

                                         WILLY
                            Tell him I said no thank you.

               


               INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

               The room where Jennifer and Nunally met. Cleaned-up now,
               anonymous, empty. Willy stands looking at it.
               There's nothing to see. He grimaces, nods - heads out, past
               the ASSISTANT MANAGER waiting in the doorway.

               


               INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

               As Willy comes out of the room - he slows, noticing the
               little gray plastic surveillance-camera-ball in the ceiling.

                                         WILLY
                            How long do you keep the tapes?

                                             ASSISTANT MANAGER
                            A month.
               Willy considers it.     He's got nothing else to try.

                                         WILLY
                            Can I get a copy of October 9th?

                                         ASSISTANT MANAGER
                            I'll have it for you Friday.

                                         WILLY
                            I'm kind of under the gun here.

                                         ASSISTANT MANAGER
                            We're short-staffed tonight and
                            tomorrow.
               Beat.   Seeing Willy's confusion:

                                             ASSISTANT MANAGER
                            Thanksgiving?
               Willy nods, trying to pretend he hasn't forgotten:

                                             WILLY
                            Right.   Okay.

               

                                                                             68

               

               


               INT. GARDNER HOUSE - DINING ROOM - LATER

               A faux-Tudor Hancock Park dining room.   Wealthy, but lived
               in.
               JUDGE LEWIS GARDNER, your basic Henry Fonda/Jimmy Stewart-
               type patriarch, carves a turkey at the head of a long table,
               wearing a worn and gravy-splattered apron. Platters
               circulate in both directions among Nikki's older siblings
               (BURTON and SANDRA), their spouses, their children.
               Willy sits next to Nikki, who is high-stylish despite the
               fact that she's dressed "casual."

                                        GARDNER
                           White or dark, Willy?

                                        WILLY
                           Anything is fine, your honor.

                                        GARDNER
                           I'm off-duty, you can call me Lew.
               While Gardner piles turkey on a plate and passes it:

                                        WILLY
                           So - is everyone in this family
                           involved in the law?

                                        SANDRA
                           Well, Nikki's not.

                                        NIKKI
                           Ha ha.
                                  (To Willy:)
                           Burton's a counsel for Sierra Club,
                           and Sandra's ACLU - so they use the
                           holidays as an opportunity to give me
                           a hard time, because I can buy and
                           sell them.

                                        SANDRA
                           We're not actually for sale, Nick.
               Nikki gives Willy a did-I-tell-you? look.

                                        GARDNER
                           Nicole decided early-on that black
                           sheep was the most effective role in
                           which to distinguish herself from her
                           siblings.

               

                                                                     69

               

               

                                         NIKKI
                            You know of any other family in
                            America where the corporate lawyer
                            who's going to make partner by thirty-
                            five is the "black sheep"?

                                         GARDNER
                            Well - you may be lost beyond
                            recovery, but maybe we can still
                            convince Willy that defending giant
                            corporations against injured citizens
                            is not the best use of his skills.

                                         WILLY
                            I don't think so, sir.
                                   (smiles)
                            It's where the money is.

                                         GARDNER
                                   (Scolding mildly)
                            I believe that phrase refers to banks.
                            And it was coined by a thief.
               Beat.   Willy remains polite, but won't back down.

                                         WILLY
                            Times have changed.

                                         NIKKI
                                   (To Willy)
                            You don't have to do this.

                                          WILLY
                            I don't mind; I get this kind of thing
                            now and then.
                                   (to Gardner)
                            Almost always from people with money.

                                         GARDNER
                            Appearances can be deceiving, Willy.
                            I grew up with eight brothers and
                            sisters on a farm up in Fresno, and I
                            promise you I saw my share of hard
                            times.
               Willy considers his options.

                                         WILLY
                            My mom OD'd fairly frequently, so they
                            put me in a Group Home. My younger
                            sister is dead and my older brother is
                            doing twenty-five-to-life.

               

                                                                       70

               

               
               Awkward silence.

                                             GARDNER
                             You win.
               Beat.   Willy looks down, begins to eat again.

                                             WILLY
                             I usually do.

                                            GARDNER
                                      (Gently)
                             Yes.    I see that.

                                          BURTON
                             I don't know if you will against the
                             wife-shooter, though.
               The click of silverware.

                                             SANDRA
                             Whoops.

                                             NIKKI
                             Nice, Burton.
               Beat.   Willy looks up at Burton, steady.     Shrugs.

                                          WILLY
                             It's not over 'til it's over.

                                          BURTON
                             That looked pretty over.

                                          NIKKI
                             Anyway, Willy's been taken off the
                             case.

                                          GARDNER
                             It might not seem like it now, but
                             that's a blessing in disguise, Willy.
               Willy nods.   Beat.     To Nikki, uncomfortable:

                                             WILLY
                             I wasn't.
               Nikki looks at Willy.

                                             NIKKI
                             What?

               

                                                                          71

               

               

                                         WILLY
                           Taken off.

                                        NIKKI
                           That...doesn't make any sense.
                           Lobruto has to do some kind of damage
                           control -

                                         WILLY
                            I asked him not to.
               Silence.   Nikki is staring at him.    Angry.

                                         NIKKI
                            You are really stupid, did you know
                            that?
               Willy doesn't know how to handle this; everyone else tries to
               be polite, eating and pretending not to notice.

                                         WILLY
                            I'm - getting new evidence -

                                         NIKKI
                            Where? The Evidence Store?! Oh,
                            that's right - they open early the day
                            after Thanksgiving. You're gonna be
                            fine!

                                         WILLY
                            Did it ever occur to you I might be
                            good enough to still win?!

                                          NIKKI
                                        Who cares?!
                            Win what?

                                         WILLY
                            The man shot his -

                                         NIKKI
                            You wanted corporate, right?! You
                            wanted to play in the big leagues?!

                                         WILLY
                            Yeah, I'm just -

                                         NIKKI
                            You go to all that trouble getting
                            yourself in - and then you just pay no
                            attention to wh-

               

                                                                             72

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           Look - I'm sorry - can we not talk
                           about this here?!
               Nikki stops. Refusing to look around.     Ashamed at losing
               control, turns back to her food:

                                        NIKKI
                           Fine.

                                        WILLY
                           Thank you.
               Everyone eats in silence a moment - then Nikki tosses down
               her napkin:

                                        NIKKI
                           I need to talk with you.
               She gets up and walks out of the room. With an awkward
               glance around, Willy excuses himself and follows her.

               


               EXT. GARDNER HOUSE - FOYER - CONTINUOUS


                                        WILLY
                           Look, I'm sorry I didn't tell you -

                                        NIKKI
                           Did you hear me, when I said Bob
                           wanted you gone as soon as this thing
                           broke?! Did you hear me say I went
                           out on a limb to convince him -

                                        WILLY
                           Wouldn't it be better than damage
                           control if I actually turn it around?

                                        NIKKI
                           And what if you don't?
               Willy has no answer. He doesn't think that way. And she
               sees that. She sees a young man from Oklahoma, in way over
               his head. Desperate to get through:

                                         NIKKI
                           You don't get it at all, do you?! You
                           pulled a stunt to get yourself this
                           job. Fine: you're a hot-shot!
                                  (Beat)
                           Wooton Sims does not need hot-shots.
                           Because you don't win. The firm wins.
                           Bob wins.

                                         (MORE)

               

                                                                           73

               

               
                                          NIKKI (cont'd)
                                   (Beat)
                            And you just put yourself head-to-head
                            in conflict with Bob.
               Silence.   Shaken:

                                         WILLY
                            What am I supposed to do?

                                         NIKKI
                            We told the man you're getting on a
                            plane to Chicago, Tuesday.
               Painful silence.

                                            WILLY
                            Yeah.   Okay.
               Nikki watches him dealing with it, sympathetic. The
               impossible feelings always running under the surface for them
               have developed a darker, aching tone. If anything, stronger.

                                         WILLY
                            I think maybe I'm gonna go now.

                                          NIKKI
                            All right.
                                   (Beat)
                            Call if you want.
               He nods. Neither one moves. Judge Gardner enters cautiously
               from the dining room - breaking the spell.
               Nikki nods goodbye to Willy, and goes out quickly without
               meeting her father's eye. Awkward pause.

                                         WILLY
                            I've got some work to do.
                            I need to call a cab.
               Gardner nods respectfully, but doesn't move quite yet.
               Studying the torn-up young man.

                                         GARDNER
                            You know what nobody understands about
                            certain kinds of underpaid public
                            service work? Now and then you get to
                            put a fucking stake in a bad guy's
                            heart. We're not supposed to talk
                            about that when we visit a third-grade
                            class on Career Day, and it doesn't
                            get you very far into the country-club
                            locker room - but it's hard to beat
                            when you actually get to do it.

               

                                                                               74

               

               
               Willy looks at the kindly old judge, a little surprised.
               Gardner shrugs: my two cents.      He goes to a side-table, finds
               the Yellow Pages.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT

               Empty.   Dark.   Willy lets himself in.
               He looks for the light-switch - finds only a complex
               computerized dimmer-panel. He tries it.
               Accent lights come on, buried in the living room planters.
               He can't get any other pre-sets to work.
               The crime scene is creepy, lit like that. The dried blood is
               black. Shadows stretch up the walls, strange.
               Willy grimaces, moves through it - sees another panel by the
               French doors to the garden. Goes over -
               - and jumps back, startled -

                                          WILLY
                            Shit!
               - by Nunally, on the other side of the glass.
               Catching his breath, Willy stares. He unlocks the French
               doors and Nunally steps in, uneasy, haggard.

                                         WILLY
                            The hell are you doing here?
               Nunally looks around - taking a pint bottle from his overcoat
               pocket, uncapping it.

                                         NUNALLY
                            We need to talk.
               He drinks, then offers the bottle.     Willy hesitates, takes
               it. As he drinks:

                                         NUNALLY
                            We have to find the gun.
               Willy winces at the liquor and the remark, hands back the
               bottle.

                                         WILLY
                            Thank you, Professor Einstein. It
                            would also be good to find a couple of

                                         (MORE)

               

                                                                                 75

               

               
                                        WILLY (cont'd)
                           eyewitnesses. If one could be the
                           Dalai Lama, it would be even better.

                                           NUNALLY
                              No - Willy: we need to find the gun.

                                           WILLY
                              I've had three different teams here -

                                            NUNALLY
                              He didn't leave between the shooting
                              and when we took him out in cuffs.
                              The gun is here.
                                     (beat)
                              So we have to find it.

                                           WILLY
                              Well - we can't! You want to move on?
               Nunally tosses something from an inside pocket of the coat -
               - Willy catches it.       A Heckler & Koch nine-millimeter in a
               plastic bag.
               Willy stares down at it. Then at Nunally, who holds up: a
               bullet, deformed by impact.

                                           NUNALLY
                              There's a guy in the Evidence Room,
                              owes me a favor. Well - it's not so
                              much a favor as I know stuff about
                              him. He can trade this for the bullet
                              from Jennifer, give us a ballistic
                              match.
               Beat.

                                             WILLY
                              It's a crime.

                                           NUNALLY
                              So who's gonna get away with a crime -
                              this asshole, or us?
               Willy sighs.    Tosses the gun back.

                                             WILLY
                              Go home.

                                           NUNALLY
                              What else have you got?!

                                           WILLY
                              I'll find a way.

               

                                                                                  76

               

               
               Beat.

                                           NUNALLY
                           No you won't.
               Willy watches Nunally stalk out through the big, strangely-
               lit room. The front door opens, and slams.
               A little worried, Willy takes a deep breath.       Gets to work.
               He still has three days to break this open.
               Walking through the crime again.
               Playing it out in his mind. Standing in different places,
               getting different perspectives.
               Willy stands in the alcove.    Looking around.
               There's something here.     But he can't get it.
               His eye falls on the Rube Goldberg device.       Moves closer,
               peering into the mechanism.
               Turns away: no gun. But now he's facing the big wooden bowl
               of ball-bearings, sitting out in the middle of the room on
               the coffee table.
               Hide in plain sight.
               He walks over - pushes his fingers in, feels around.
               Nope. He sighs. Takes a ball-bearing, rolls it in his hand.
               Goes to the device - drops the ball in the slot.
               The machine is amazing. The ball rolls and leaps and
               clatters - lights flash, elevators rise and fall, at one
               point the ball lifts on a jet of compressed air - then it
               spirals out of sight and reappears somewhere unexpected -
               - until at the end the ball suddenly catapults out and sails
               across the living room -
               - to land neatly back in the bowl on the coffee table.
               Willy grimaces.   This guy is really good.

               


               INT. MARCHAND'S OFFICE - S.I.D. - SUNDAY AFTERNOON

               A mess of courtroom exhibits, copies of evidence, lists,
               depositions, photos, diagrams, take-out food containers and
               coffee cups.

               

                                                                            77

               

               
               Marchand surveys it.    The bleary end of a long day - sifting
               clues, dead-ends.

                                           MARCHAND
                           Willy.     There's nothing here.
               Willy has barely slept all weekend. He shakes his head,
               reviewing the hotel surveillance tapes on a VCR/TV, stubborn.

                                        WILLY
                           Guns don't just walk out of crime
                           scenes.
               Marchand waves copies of Crawford's evidence - stills printed
               from home-video Dick took at a hostage negotiation: Nunally
               doing his job, his methods, his routine.

                                        MARCHAND
                           Two months before he shot his wife,
                           this guy had his investigator watching
                           the cop at work. He knew exactly how
                           it would go down - and he didn't leave
                           any loose ends.

                                        WILLY
                           Then what is this:
               Willy uses the remote. On the TV, in black-and-white:
               Jennifer and Nunally come out of their room and head for the
               pool - indistinct figures zip jerkily in and out of rooms on
               fast-forward -
               - until he slows it: Crawford comes to let himself in.

                                        WILLY
                           Hotel surveillance.     From that day.
                           He was there. Why?
               Marchand watches over Willy's shoulder.    Shrugs.

                                        MARCHAND
                           Had to see it for himself.

                                           WILLY
                           See what?     They were out at the pool.

                                        MARCHAND
                           The unmade bed. Her panties. Man's
                           gonna shoot his wife in the head, he
                           needs to get himself all worked up.
               Willy stares at the grainy black-and-white figure emerging
               from the room, walking away down the corridor. Unconvinced:

               

                                                                               78

               

               

                                           WILLY
                           Yeah.     Worked up.
               Marchand gets his jacket, pulls it on.

                                        MARCHAND
                           Willy, go home. Tomorrow you go back
                           into court and take your lumps - then
                           you start your cushy new life, and you
                           forget all about this one.
                                  (Hoping to get a smile:)
                           And then you can lend me money and
                           shit.
               Willy says nothing.    Runs the tape back and then slow-motions
               it forward again.
               Marchand goes out.    Leaving Willy alone, watching Crawford.

                                                             DISSOLVE TO:

               


               INT. WILLY'S APARTMENT - VERY LATE THAT NIGHT

               Willy stands over crime scene photos and diagrams spread out
               on his narrow futon. "Walking the scene" again, on paper.
               The whole apartment is an array of law books, notes,
               exhibits, marked-up depositions.
               He's staring at evidence he's already stared at a hundred
               times.
               He grinds the palms of his hands into his eye sockets, a dull
               moan rising into a yell -
               - as he sweeps everything off his bed in a storm of paper -
               throwing books - tearing up printouts - pulling out drawers,
               emptying them, smashing them on the desk -
               - yelling in a frenzy until his throat is hoarse, his shabby
               garage apartment is trashed, and he's sitting, exhausted, in
               his chair.
               There's a knock on the door.
               Willy frowns, checking the clock: it's two-thirty a.m.   He
               goes to open it -
               - revealing Nunally, standing in the darkness, a haunted
               shadow of the boyish confident cop we met making love to
               Jennifer Crawford.

               

                                                                             79

               

               

                                        NUNALLY
                           It's done. In the tool shed: taped to
                           the blade, inside the lawn-mower.
               Before Willy can say anything - Nunally walks away.
               Willy doesn't move.   Watching the tormented cop disappear
               down the alley.

               


               INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - BULLPEN - THE NEXT MORNING

               Willy - in a clean suit and crisp suit, carrying his
               briefcase - hurries through, paying no attention to the
               SECRETARIES and OTHER D.D.A.s who watch like he's on his way
               to his own execution.
               At his office door, he gestures for Mona to come in with him.
               Surprised, she gets up - taking with her an envelope with a
               messenger-receipt taped to the front.

               


               INT. WILLY'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

               Mona watches Willy shut the door behind her.

                                           MONA
                           You okay?

                                         WILLY
                           Yeah.  Maybe.
                                  (Hesitates)
                           Can I ask you to do something for me
                           this morning?

                                           MONA
                           Sure.

                                        WILLY
                           Write down your cell number.
                                  (As she does)
                           Once my trial is in session, wait
                           outside. I might call - and just hang
                           up. If I do, I want you to come into
                           court and whisper to me that we got a
                           tip about the murder weapon.

                                           MONA
                           You found it?
               Beat.

               

                                                                             80

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           I haven't decided yet.
               Mona studies Willy - then accepts it's don't-ask-don't-tell,
               hands him her number. Willy nods, grateful.
               Turning for the door, she remembers the envelope in her hand.

                                        MONA
                           Oh: this came for you.
               He takes it, and as she leaves, checks the return address:
               Wooton Sims.
               Willy grimaces, opens it. Inside are an airline ticket to
               Chicago - first class - and a handwritten note, on Wooton
               Sims stationery:
                             We only win the favor of the Gods
                                   by making a sacrifice
                                      See you tomorrow
                                           - Nikki
               He stands in his empty office, considering the ticket and the
               note.

               


               INT. COURTHOUSE - CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

               Willy steps off the elevator, into a crowd of REPORTERS AND
               SPECTATORS outside the courtroom.
               He's startled for a moment: it's worse than he expected - the
               dense buzz of talk in the marble corridor and all the eyes
               tracking him like he's walking into an arena - a freakshow
               performer -
               - but he doesn't slow, ignoring the comments and questions,
               avoiding eye contact -
               - until he sees Nunally by the courtroom doors, his eyes
               fixed on Willy.
               Willy meets Nunally's gaze...moving on, giving back nothing.
               Nunally watches Willy disappear into the courtroom, stares at
               the closing doors - uncertain, on edge. Lost, no matter
               which way this goes.

               

                                                                             81

               

               


               INT. COURTROOM - SOON AFTER

               Mr. Gifford, the Crawford's neighbor, is on the stand.   Willy
               questions him, standing by the Prosecution Table.
               Behind him, the court is standing-room-only. REPORTERS,
               SKETCH ARTISTS, SPECTATORS. Nunally, sitting near the front.
               Lobruto, standing at the back.
               Crawford writes intently on a legal pad, filling pages with
               dense scribble.

                                        WILLY
                           So - between the time you heard the
                           first gunshot and called 911, and the
                           time of Mr. Crawford's arrest - you
                           had the Crawford house in view?

                                       GIFFORD
                           Yes. I was very concerned about
                           Jennifer. She was a lovely woman.

                                        WILLY
                           No one but Thomas Crawford came in or
                           out?

                                        GIFFORD
                           That's correct.

                                        WILLY
                           Thank you, Mr. Gifford.    No further
                           questions.

                                           JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Crawford?
               Crawford glances up at the Judge. Then at Gifford, as if
               he's just noticed him up there. Beat. Without getting up:

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Did you see the guy run out the back
                           door?

                                           GIFFORD
                           What..."guy"?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           The other guy. The one who shot my
                           wife. Did you see him run out the
                           back of the house, carrying the gun?
               Willy closes his eyes.   Gifford grimaces.

               

                                                                           82

               

               

                                        GIFFORD
                           I couldn't see the back of the house.
                                  (Trying to salvage it:)
                           I believe...the police went around
                           back when they arrived.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           No further questions.
               Willy immediately stands:

                                        WILLY
                           Re-direct, your honor.
               But Crawford is standing too - with his handful of pages:

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I've also written a motion to dismiss.

                                        WILLY
                           Objection - I'm on re-direct!
               The Judge hesitates.   Both men standing.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           On what grounds, Mr. Crawford?

                                        CRAWFORD
                           The prosecutor doesn't have any actual
                           evidence.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm in the middle of presenting -

                                        CRAWFORD
                           All of his witnesses are going to
                           testify to the same facts: that my
                           wife was shot and that I was,
                           tragically, in the house at the time
                           ...a witness - and, in a way, a victim
                           myself. I'll stipulate to Mr.
                           Slocum's entire witness list right
                           now, a request a directed verdict or
                           dismissal, per California versus
                           Collier, 1982, and the Appellate court
                           decision, v. Watrus, 486.19.
               Willy stares at Crawford, stunned. As the Judge reluctantly
               nods to the Bailiff to collect Crawford's pages and opens a
               law book:

               

                                                                                 83

               

               

                                        JUDGE
                           Your legal skills seem to have
                           improved over the long weekend, Mr.
                           Crawford.
               While the Judge checks the citations, Crawford glances at
               Willy. Amused.
               Beat. Willy looks down - reaches into his briefcase, moves
               his cell-phone out from under some papers. To where he can
               get it easily.
               Looks back up at Crawford.   Smiles slightly.

                                         JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Slocum?
               Willy and Crawford turn to the Judge.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Have you got any new evidence?
               Beat.

                                        WILLY
                           May I have a moment, your honor?
               The Judge nods.
               Willy nods down. Trying to focus. He's got nothing, and
               everyone in the room knows it. He can hear it, he can feel
               it. There's a restless, hungry edge to the crowded
               courtroom.
               He stares into his open briefcase: the cell phone.
               Next to it: the first class ticket and Nikki's note.
               Willy glances back at the gallery. Nunally's eyes burn into
               him. In the back: Lobruto frowns, concerned.

                                         JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Slocum?
               Willy turns back to his briefcase.     He breathes.   Press the
               MENU button - selects SPEED DIAL.
               On the tiny screen, a list of names.    Selected: MONA/CELL.

               

                                                                                84

               

               


               INT. COURTHOUSE - CORRIDOR - THE SAME TIME

               Mona sits on a bench, a few steps down the corridor from the
               courtroom doors. Cell phone in her hand.

               


               INT. COURTROOM - CONTINUOUS

               Willy stands at the Prosecution Table.       Hearing his own
               pulse.
               Crawford studies Willy, curious.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Your honor? Can we signal the
                           prosecutor from here on planet Earth?
               Willy's fingertip hovers over the cell phone keypad.       Press,
               and a path is chosen. Possibly for life.
               Next to the cell-phone, the ticket and the note.       See you
               tomorrow.
               Nunally sits forward.    Lobruto is watching intently.
               Willy doesn't move.

                                           JUDGE ROBINSON
                           Mr. Slocum?     Now or never.
               Willy won't look up.
               Nunally stares, agonized.
               Willy grimaces slightly, as if he feels his soul burning up,
               turning to ash and blowing away -
               - nods, closing the cell phone, sliding it under Nikki's
               note. Shuts the briefcase. Looks at the Judge.

                                        WILLY
                           I have no further evidence at this
                           time, your honor.
               Crawford begins to smile.
               Lobruto looks down.    A buzz rises in the gallery -
               - as Nunally gets up, furious - stalks to the doors, slams
               out.

               

                                                                              85

               

               
               Judge Robinson looks at Willy a moment - then at Crawford,
               who has been waiting, calm and polite. Very reluctantly:

                                         JUDGE ROBINSON
                            Motion to dismiss is granted.
               Uproar.   The Judge bangs his gavel -

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                            Order! The jury is released, with our
                            apologies -
               - practically shouting over the chaos - REPORTERS hastily
               heading for the doors, pulling out cell phones -

                                         JUDGE ROBINSON
                            - and the Defendant is free to go.
               Crawford gives the Judge a gentlemanly bow of the head.
               Willy begins to pack his papers into the briefcase.   Refusing
               to look up.
               The Judge and the Bailiff might be saying other things, but
               no one is listening - SPECTATORS swarm up the aisles, out to
               the hallway - and the Court starts to close down.
               Crawford comes over to Willy, holds out a hand.
               Willy looks him in the eye.   Doesn't move.   Crawford shrugs.

                                         CRAWFORD
                            Even a broken clock gets to be right
                            twice a day.
               He winks, and heads up the aisle.
               As Willy watches Crawford go out the doors into a clamor of
               lenses, hand-held mikes, white-hot halogen glare and flashes -
               - he hears a buzzing noise. Looks down at his briefcase,
               moves the papers aside: his cell phone is vibrating.
               Willy stares at it, as if he'd forgotten the thing could be
               used for an incoming call.
               The caller ID reads: WOOTON SIMS.   He picks up -

                                                             INTERCUT WITH:

               

                                                                              86

               

               


               INT. WOOTON SIMS - NIKKI'S OFFICE - THE SAME TIME

               Nikki sits at her beautiful desk with stellar views out the
               windows behind her.

                                            NIKKI
                              Hey, you.

                                            WILLY
                                      (It's an effort)
                              Hey.

                                           NIKKI
                              What did you think - I wasn't keeping
                              tabs?

                                           WILLY
                              I don't know what I thought.
               Awkward silence.      She tries to get past it:

                                           NIKKI
                              Listen: what do you say I take you out
                              tonight and get you completely
                              trashed? Tomorrow's just a travel da-
               - there's a gun shot outside the courtroom.
               Willy turns.    Shocked.    Screams and shouting in the corridor.

                                            WILLY
                              Hang on -
               We move with Willy as he shuts the phone and heads for the
               doors - faster, pushing out -

               


               INT. COURTHOUSE - CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

               - into the echoing chaos of the corridor - trying to move in
               the crowd -
               - shoving through to where people are yelling and clustered
               around a figure lying on the floor.
               Willy pushes closer, until he catches glimpses of:
               Nunally.   Lying on the marble floor. His gun in his lifeless
               fingers.   Blood all over, from his head.
               Willy stops pushing. Won't let himself look away - the
               screams and commotion around him retreating into a numb blur.

               

                                                                             87

               

               
               Then suddenly Willy looks up - as if he's been called -
               - to find Crawford, standing very still, in the crowd, on the
               other side of the body. Everyone else is moving, talking,
               gawking at the body or averting their eyes -
               - except Crawford.   He's looking straight at Willy.
               Pleased.   Triumphant.
               Willy stares into Crawford's eyes.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - LATE THAT NIGHT

               The life support system clicks and hisses and beeps.
               Jennifer is curled into a fetal position, despite the tubes
               and wires.
               Willy sits by her bed. Still in his suit from court, the
               jacket off, the tie loose.
               He's been there a while.   But now he speaks.

                                           WILLY
                            Your husband said something...that I
                            can't seem to shake loose of. He said
                            I'm a winner.
                                    (Beat)
                            And he's right. I can't lose. I
                            can't stand people who lose.
                                    (Beat)
                            I may have been working so hard to put
                            some distance between me and...people
                            like you - that maybe I messed up. I
                            don't know if did anything wrong.
                            Or what I should have done. I really
                            don't know, any more...what I'm
                            supposed to do.
                                    (Beat)
                            But I feel like I let you down.
                            Somehow in the...process. And if I
                            did, I'm sorry. That's all. I just -
                            I hope you...have...just, some...
                                    (Beat)
                            Anyway.
               He feels stupid. Takes a breath.     Looking at her pale,
               drawn, comatose face.
               He stands, goes to get his jacket, lying folded on a table by
               the door. Pulls it on, settles the shoulders, tugs at his
               cuffs. Gets his briefcase.

               

                                                                            88

               

               
               He goes to the door, and as he opens it - he looks back.
               Freezes.
               Jennifer's eyes are wide open.
               She's staring at him.   Willy stands, breathless, watching
               her.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR - LATER

               Sliding glass doors suck open, Willy walks with the Resident
               from the other night:

                                        WILLY
                           She was looking at me.

                                        RESIDENT
                           Yeah, I understand -

                                        WILLY
                           No, she was looking at me.

               

               CLOSE UP - JENNIFER'S EYEBALL
               A beam of light slides across it.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               The Resident tucks his flashlight in a pocket, draws a pin
               from his lapel. Gently sticks Jennifer's cheek. Willy
               winces, watching.

                                        WILLY
                           She's reacting.
               The Resident ignores him. Pricks her forehead - her chin -
               her big toe. Each time she twitches. He runs his thumb
               along the sole of Jennifer's bare foot. It arches up.

                                         WILLY
                           You see?

                                        RESIDENT
                           The normal reflex goes downward.   Up
                           indicates brain trauma.

                                        WILLY
                           She's in there. She was looking at
                           me.

               

                                                                            89

               

               
               The Resident sighs.   Sympathetic, but plain:

                                        RESIDENT
                           Sometimes we have to tape their eyes
                           shut. They all move - they make
                           sounds, they twitch. You think
                           they're dreaming. But they're not.
                           It's just what's left of the system,
                           sending broken signals.

                                        WILLY
                           Can we do other tests? Like an M.R.I.
                           or something? And I want a coma
                           specialist to see her.

                                        RESIDENT
                           You're not authorized to order tes-

                                        WILLY
                           I'll get you authorization.      First
                           thing tomorrow.
               The Resident studies Willy.   Reluctantly:

                                        RESIDENT
                           You get the paperwork, I'll do what I
                           can.
               Willy nods, grateful. As the Resident heads out, Willy sits
               by Jennifer's bed - protective, intent.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL - LOBBY - THE NEXT MORNING

               Crawford comes in through the lobby: rested, well-dressed.   A
               free man. He slows, surprised -
               - seeing Willy come off the elevators. Willy hasn't left
               Jennifer's bedside. He's in the same suit and carrying his
               briefcase from the courthouse.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Mr. Slocum.

                                        WILLY
                           Just...visiting.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           This isn't like you at all.

                                         WILLY
                           No?

               

                                                                      90

               

               

                                          CRAWFORD
                             You haven't got anything to gain.

                                           WILLY
                             Oh - right. That's my weak spot.
                                    (Beat)
                             Ever think about what yours might be?
                             Your flaw?

                                          CRAWFORD
                             Of course I have.
                                    (Leans in)
                             The truth about me is, Willy...I'm
                             really not very nice.
               Willy nods.    Concealing the ace up his sleeve.

                                          WILLY
                             You sure do know a lot, though. Got
                             everybody all figured out, everything
                             set up, like one of your contraptions.
                             Then you just sit back and watch it
                             all fall right where you want it to.
                             Must be kind of...boring. At that
                             point.

                                           CRAWFORD
                             Not an ounce of sympathy, Willy?
                                    (Beat)
                             Imagine it - imagine she was yours.
                             And you knew you were losing her.
                                    (beat)
                             Imagine days. Weeks. Going through
                             her desk. Her purse. Her closet.
                             Alone. Staring at her clothes. Her
                             shoes. Knowing this is what it will
                             be like. After.
                                    (beat)
                             Do you have any idea how hard it was
                             to go on living - with her - every
                             day, knowing?

                                          WILLY
                             But you had to, right? You needed
                             time to set it all up...your "crime of
                             passion."

                                          CRAWFORD
                             There are many kinds of passion,
                             Willy.

               

                                                                              91

               

               

                                          WILLY
                            Yeah.  There are.
                                   (Beat)
                            So - thank you.
               Crawford frowns.     Starting to feel wary.   Willy sees it.
               Enjoys it.

                                          WILLY
                            For sharing your wisdom. All your
                            little helpful bits of information.
                                   (Beat)
                            You were right.

                                           CRAWFORD
                            About...?

                                         WILLY
                            Talking to her.
               Beat.   Willy winks.    He goes past Crawford and out the doors.
               Crawford doesn't move - except to turn and watch Willy.
               Uncertain, for the first time since we've met him.

               


               INT. WOOTON SIMS - RECEPTION - LATER THAT MORNING

               Willy - still unshaved, unslept, in yesterday's suit - comes
               off the elevator, fishing out ID as he passes a RECEPTIONIST:

                                         WILLY
                            Hi, I'm just -
               - going directly to the key-card slot by the glass double-
               doors to the rest of the floor. He swipes his card and pulls
               the handle -
               - but it stays locked.     Willy swipes his card again.   No go.

                                         WILLY
                            Excuse me - I'm new, I just started -
                            and there's something wrong with my
                            card. Can you buzz me in?

                                         RECEPTIONIST
                            Who are you here to see?

                                           WILLY
                            I work here.    Willy Slocum.    I'm new -
               He stops, realizing how he must look.

               

                                                                             92

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           Nikki Gardner. Willy Slocum, for
                           Nikki Gardner.
               As he calls in, Willy sees Nikki through the doors - one of
               a half-dozen ASSOCIATES trailing in the wake of BOB WOOTON.
               They all carry expensive business luggage, except Wooton -
               who is powerful, perfectly groomed, and two decades older.

                                        WILLY
                           Wait a second - never mind, here she
                           is, thank you.
               Willy goes toward the glass doors as Wooton comes through -
               nodding deferentially to the boss, semi-apologetic:

                                        WILLY
                           Hey...Bob -
                                  (To Nikki)
                           Can I talk to you for a second?
               Wooton glances back at Nikki, eyes saying: don't take long.
               She nods as Wooton and the team continue to the elevators -
               staying back by the glass doors to talk with Willy:

                                        WILLY
                           You let him know what happened last
                           night?

                                         NIKKI
                           I told him.

                                        WILLY
                           Great - who do I work with on it while
                           you're gone?

                                        NIKKI
                           You don't work with anyone.

                                        WILLY
                           Nikki: the man has power-of-attorney
                           and a health-care proxy, he can
                           disconnect her life-support whenever
                           he wants. If we don't move fast -
               Nikki explodes - but quietly, not wanting the team to hear:

                                        NIKKI
                           Jesus, Willy, wake up! It's over!
                           What is wrong with you - it's first
                           year law: that woman could fully
                           recover and swear he shot her and it

                                        (MORE)

               

                                                                           93

               

               
                                       NIKKI (cont'd)
                          wouldn't matter. Double jeopardy!
                          You can't take him back into court!

                                        WILLY
                           I told you - we bring a civil suit -

                                        NIKKI
                           You've got no standing.

                                        WILLY
                           It doesn't have to stick: we just need
                           to get a court order for now - to keep
                           Crawford from pulling the plug! With
                           all the brain-power here, I'm sure
                           somebody can come up with a pretext or
                           call in a favor. Then we can tie this
                           up in court while we arrange a state-
                           appointed conservatorship - so we can
                           protect her while we fight him on -

                                        NIKKI
                           What's the point, Willy?

                                           WILLY
                           The point?!
               Willy stares. Because she's drawn a line in the sand. One
               he already crossed, without truly understanding...and now
               he's standing out there alone - feeling the sand slither away
               under his feet.

                                        WILLY
                           This man is going to kill his wife.

                                           NIKKI
                           Yeah.
                                  (Beat)
                           What does that have to do with Wooton
                           Sims?
               Willy just breathes.   Vulnerable like we have never seen him
               before.
               He looks across the big reception area, at Wooton and the
               team of associates. Some look away.

                                           NIKKI
                           I warned you.

                                        WILLY
                           No, this is insane.

                                        NIKKI
                           It's what it is.

               

                                                                                94

               

               
               Ding!   The elevator.    Nikki grimaces, frustrated - and sad:

                                            NIKKI
                            I warned you.
               She starts for the elevators, Willy following -

                                         WILLY
                            You're not really just gonna let this
                            happen, are you?!

                                         NIKKI
                            Oh I'm supposed to lose my job over
                            your problems?!

                                         WILLY
                            My problems?! Wait a second - this is
                            not about my anything any more -
               Willy grabs Nikki's arm to stop her, turn her around - and
               she shoves him away, hard, tears welling in her eyes -
               - Willy letting her go - as the Receptionist quietly calls
               for help -
               - and Nikki hurries into the waiting elevator.     The Associate
               holding the doors lets them go.

                                          WILLY
                            This is about taking a couple of
                            goddamn weeks off to try and save a
                            woman's life!
               The doors begin to close. Willy stands facing the cluster of
               lawyers in expensive suits, their expressions ranging from
               pity to contempt -
               - except Nikki, whose eyes are full of shame and guilt and
               defensive anger.
               As the doors shut across them.
               Willy doesn't move.     Confused, humiliated, frustrated.
               He turns when a bunch of OTHER LAWYERS emerge from the
               offices, ready to act as bouncers. People gawk from behind
               the glass doors.
               Beat.   Willy holds up his palms.

                                            WILLY
                            Don't bother.     I got it.

               

                                                                               95

               

               

               

               
               He bangs open the paddle-sign on the stairway door, setting
               off the fire alarms as he stalks out.

               


               INT. WOOTON SIMS - BUILDING STAIRWAY - SOON AFTER

               Willy runs down the stairs furiously -
               - the clanging alarm, several floors above now, a little
               fainter.
               He suddenly stops - clinging to the railing, bent over.    He
               sways, dizzy, gasping -
               - backs up until he's against the concrete wall. Presses
               himself against. Listening to his own ragged breathing.
               Scared out of his mind.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DUSK

               Crawford stands by the bed, glancing over a set of forms on a
               metal clipboard.
               DR. LUNT, a senior neurologist, and a HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATOR
               wait. The machines hiss and click, keeping Jennifer alive.
               Crawford signs the forms, expressionless.

               


               EXT. COURTHOUSE - THE SAME TIME

               Willy's walking alongside Judge Robinson, as they leave the
               building. The Judge is wearing his "civilian clothes."

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           What do the doctors say?

                                        WILLY
                           People wake up out of these things.

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           What did the doctors say, Mr. Slocum?

                                        WILLY
                           They said...there's no way to really
                           know. I'm trying to get them to run
                           more tests - but I was there, and I'm
                           telling you.

               

                                                                             96

               

               

                                        JUDGE ROBINSON
                           I'm sorry. I have no probable cause
                           to issue a court order against Mr.
                           Crawford - and he's protected agai-

                                        WILLY

                           WHAT ABOUT HIS WIFE?!   WHAT'S

                           PROTECTING HER?!
               The Judge stops - giving Willy a hard eye: I'm sympathetic,
               but yelling at me is not a smart approach.
               Willy looks at the Judge a second - hapless, frustrated,
               scared - then nods and shakes his head and turns away -
               hurrying off through the homeward-bound crowds.
               The Judge watches him go.   Grimaces.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - KITCHEN - THAT EVENING

               Crawford is carefully preparing an elegant, solitary meal.
               Music plays on his state-of-the-art sound system.
               He stops, noticing a pair of Jennifer's reading glasses,
               folded up by a note-pad and pen next to the telephone. He
               picks them up. Stylish, feminine.
               He goes to the trash, steps on the pedal to flip open the
               lid, and drops the glasses in.
               Goes back to cooking.

               


               INT. LOBRUTO HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT

               Lobruto - at the dinner table with his family - looks up,
               surprised, as the doorbell rings. He excuses himself -
               - goes to open the door. Willy's outside: apologetic but
               urgent, near the end of his rope.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm sorry - but nobody else seems to
                           give a damn that sooner or later this
                           guy is gonna finish what he started.
               Beat.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           Have you been home at all today,
                           Willy?

               

                                                                            97

               

               
               Willy looks down at himself: he's unshaven, in the same
               rumpled clothes he wore to court yesterday. Exasperated:

                                        WILLY
                           No - I've been trying to get some-

                                        LOBRUTO
                           There's a court order out against you.

                                         WILLY
                           What?

                                         LOBRUTO
                           A restraining order.
                                  (Beat)
                           You were at the hospital?       Talking to
                           her doctors?
               Willy nods. Lobruto looks out at the confused, frantic young
               man - truly sorry that he can't help Willy fight his way back
               toward doing some good in this mess.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           Crawford hired a lawyer this time.
                           They saw Judge Gorman this afternoon.

                                         WILLY
                           Against me.

                                         LOBRUTO
                           You need to stay away from him, and
                           his wife, and the hospital. He can
                           have you arrested if you don't.
                                  (Beat)
                           I'm sorry.
                                  (beat)
                           I can't help you. I told you how it
                           would go.
               Willy stares a second, slowly understanding his situation.

                                        WILLY
                           Can you do anything for her?
               Beat.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           I don't see how.
               Willy grimaces.   But nods.   Turns away.

               

                                                                             98

               

               


               EXT. LOBRUTO HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

               We move with Willy out to the quiet street. The windows of
               the houses he passes seem warm and safe - and very far away.
               Behind him, Lobruto watches from his lighted doorway.
               Willy walks, shaken, determined, into the night.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL - I.C.U. - THE NEXT MORNING

               A NURSE checks Jennifer Crawford's vital signs. She then
               begins to gently wash Jennifer's face, where it's not taped
               or bandaged.
               The monitor beeps, the ventilator hisses.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THE SAME TIME

               Crawford knots his necktie, studying himself in the mirror.
               Expressionless.

               


               EXT. GARDNER HOUSE - DRIVEWAY - SOON AFTER

               Judge Gardner pulls his car out to the street -
               - swerving hastily, as Willy's car skids alongside and forces
               him to the curb, horn honking.
               Willy pulls to a stop, blocking Gardner's way, and gets out
               of the car - holding up both palms: just wait.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR - LATER THAT MORNING

               Dr. Lunt takes a chart from the I.C.U. Nurses' Station.

                                        DR. LUNT
                           Has Mrs. Crawford been prepared?

               


               INT. CRAWFORD'S CAR - SOON AFTER

               Crawford drives, wearing a dark suit, sunglasses.   Calm.

               

                                                                             99

               

               


               INT. JUDGE GARDNER'S CHAMBERS - SAME TIME

               Willy watches GARDNER'S SECRETARY bring in a document, fresh
               off the laser-printer. As Gardner signs:

                                        WILLY
                           Can I use your fax machine?

                                        GARDNER
                           These have to be served in person.

               


               INT. PARKING STRUCTURE - DOWNTOWN L.A. - CONTINUOUS

               Willy brakes as he drives around a corner and sees a DRIVER
               wrangling with the BOOTH GUY. He grimaces, looks around -
               - backs up, tires squealing, heading for another exit.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               Dr. Lunt stands by Jennifer's bed, supervising the Nurse and
               an Orderly as they prepare her.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL - LOBBY - CONTINUOUS

               Crawford walks in, goes toward the elevators.

               


               INT. WILLY'S CAR - INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS

               He floors it, racing under a light going red - narrowly
               misses getting broad-sided.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               Dr. Lunt looks up from making notes on Jennifer's chart, as
               Crawford enters the room.

               


               EXT. EMERGENCY ROOM ENTRANCE - CONTINUOUS

               Willy pulls into a NO PARKING zone and jumps out, papers in
               hand - tossing the keys to an ORDERLY smoking a cigarette -

                                        WILLY
                           Move it if you need to!
               - running through the automatic doors.

               

                                                                            100

               

               


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               Standing beside Dr. Lunt, Crawford watches, expressionless -
               - as the Nurse and the Orderly work, efficient and silent,
               disconnecting the oxygen tubes, unplugging the monitor -

               


               INT. HOSPITAL LOBBY - SOON AFTER

               Willy dodges people, coming to the elevators - which open.
               Too crowded.

               


               INT. HOSPITAL STAIRWAY - SOON AFTER

               Willy gasps a little as he hurries up the stairs -

               


               INT. HOSPITAL - CORRIDOR - SOON AFTER

               - comes out of the fire stairs, hurrying toward I.C.U. -

               


               INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - CONTINUOUS

               - and into Jennifer's room, where he stops.     Shocked.
               The bed is being stripped, the equipment rolled out.
               Willy stares, breathless, overwhelmed.

                                           NURSE
                              You just missed her.

                                           WILLY
                              What?

                                           NURSE
                              She just went on up.
               Willy struggles to control his emotions.     Looks down.

                                           WILLY
                              How long ago...did she die?

                                          NURSE
                           What?
                                  (Beat)
                           The roof.
                                  (Beat)

                                          (MORE)

               

                                                                           101

               

               
                                        NURSE (cont'd)
                           Medevac transfer. Out to a long-term
                           care facility up in Santa Barbara.
                           They just left, you can probably still
                           catch 'em.
               Willy tries to understand her.   With growing horror.

                                        WILLY
                           He's - moving her by helicopter?

                                        NURSE
                           Nothing but the best.
               We hear the surge of a jet engine -
               - as Willy runs out of the room.

               


               EXT. HOSPITAL ROOF - HELIPAD - LATER

               A Sikorsky S-76 Medevac chopper is preparing to take off,
               very loud and windy.
               Through the open doorway and the thick windows, we can
               glimpse Crawford sitting beside Jennifer, who is strapped on
               to a gurney. She's connected to life-support equipment.
               The MED TECH is outside, checking a few last supplies and
               giving Crawford a moment alone with his wife.
               Crawford moves. He may be whispering to her.    Or adjusting
               her pillow. Hard to tell.
               As he climbs out of the chopper -
               - he sees Willy across the roof, arguing with Dr. Lunt, who
               is skimming the court documents, shaking his head.
               Crawford, curious, walks toward the two men.

               


               EXT. HOSPITAL ROOF HELIPAD - WILLY - THE SAME TIME

               Dr. Lunt hands Crawford the court order. As Crawford reads
               them, Lunt and Willy shout over the helicopter engine:

                                        DR. LUNT
                           This orders him not to take her off
                           life support! He's not! We can't
                           stop the man from -

                                        WILLY
                           Then just hold it - for a couple of
                           hours! Have it inspected!

               

                                                                            102

               

               

                                        DR. LUNT
                           You're talking about a phenomenally
                           expensive delay, Mr. Slocum - when the
                           man has every right to move his wife!

                                        WILLY
                           She's not gonna get there!
               He looks at Crawford: reading - amused, thoughtful.

                                        WILLY
                           This man is a mechanical engineer with
                           expertise in air crashes! He has
                           access to airfields and he knows
                           exactly how to make it look like an
                           accident! You know what he did! You
                           know why she's like this!
               Lunt hesitates, feeling a tiny edge of doubt.
               Crawford checks his watch.   Looks into Willy's eyes -
               - then gestures for Willy to join him, and turns back to walk
               across the pad to the helicopter. Climbs in.
               Willy stares, stunned.
               Lunt looks at him: case closed. The rotors whirl faster,
               engine noise rising to a scream.
               From the open chopper doorway, Crawford looks at Willy again
               and gestures for him to get on.
               Willy doesn't know how to react.   Slowly, he starts to walk
               toward the helicopter.

               


               INT. HELICOPTER - CONTINUOUS

               Willy bends, coming to the door - wind-whipped, flinching.
               Crawford holds out a hand to help him in.
               Willy doesn't move.   The PILOT glances back.
               Crawford's eyes are locked with Willy's.
               Willy stares at Crawford, scared. But unable to back down
               from the crude, plain challenge. Which Crawford is clearly
               counting on.
               Angry, at himself, Willy climbs in without taking Crawford's
               hand. As he nervously figures out how to buckle himself in -

               

                                                                               103

               

               
               - the Med Tech secures the door, the Pilot turns to face
               front - and they lift off.

               


               EXT. ABOVE LOS ANGELES - SOON AFTER

               Looking directly down at the Sikorsky as it glides over a
               picturesque mapscape of streets and freeways, gray and terra-
               cotta rooftops, blue kidneys and rectangles of pool.

               


               INT. HELICOPTER - SAME TIME

               Willy watches Crawford, who stares back at him.       Calm.
               Glances uneasily at the Pilot, bug-headed in sun-goggles and
               headphones. Flying them, calm.
               The Med Tech, adjusting Jennifer's portable ventilator.
               Calm.

               


               EXT. ABOVE LOS ANGELES - SOON AFTER

               The Sikorsky glides over cross-hatched parking lots, a pale
               swath of beach -
               - and the white foaming edge of the Pacific.

               


               INT. HELICOPTER - CONTINUOUS

               Willy looks up from the view.       Scared.   Yells to the Pilot.

                                        WILLY
                           Why are we going out over the ocean?

                                           PILOT
                           Less traffic.
               Willy looks at Crawford.

               


               EXT. ABOVE THE OCEAN - SOON AFTER

               Deep dark vast blue.   The Sikorsky flies over.      Small.

               


               INT. HELICOPTER - SOON AFTER

               Willy stares into Crawford's eyes.

               

                                                                            104

               

               
               Then he looks around at the vibrating metal box carrying him
               hundreds of feet above the earth. The sunlight glare in the
               scratched windows. The blur of the rotors against the empty
               sky. The edges of the door frame. The rivets in the roof.
               Crawford's eyes.   Amused.
               Willy unbuckles his seat-belt, lurches toward the Pilot -

                                        WILLY
                           We have to turn back!

                                        PILOT
                           Get in your seat!

                                        WILLY
                           He's doing something - we have to turn
                           back!

                                        PILOT
                           Who's doing something?
               Willy points to Crawford, who's just sitting there -

                                         WILLY
                           He is!   You have to get us DOWN!

                                        PILOT
                           Get back in your goddamn seat!

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Willy, I'm not doing anything.
                           Everyone can see that.

                                        WILLY
                           I'm TELLING you, we have to TURN BACK!
                           He's DOING SOMETH-
               An alarm begins to shriek - on the ventilator.
               Everyone turns as the Med Tech hastily kneels next to it -

                                        WILLY
                           What's happening?!

                                         MED TECH
                           I don't know - I'm - there's a -
                           malfunction -
               - Willy whips around to look at Crawford, with fury in his
               glare: oh, you bastard.
               Crawford almost smiles.

               

                                                                         105

               

               
               The Med Tech is flipping switches, checking wires -

                                        MED TECH
                           I can't do anything with this, up
                           here.
               The Pilot turns - steeply, Willy falling over, the Med Tech's
               supplies spilling - as the Med Tech hastily removes
               Jennifer's breathing tube and prepares to begin C.P.R. -

                                          CRAWFORD
                           She's D.N.R.
               The Med Tech looks up - startled.     Confused.

                                          WILLY
                           What is it?

                                          CRAWFORD
                           Check.
               Willy watches, wide-eyed, as the Med Tech grabs up his
               paperwork, searching it -

                                          WILLY
                           What?
               The Med Tech looks up at Willy, scared.

                                        MED TECH
                           She's Do Not Resuscitate.
               Willy turns on Crawford.   He shrugs.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           It's in her living will.
               The Med Tech looks at Willy, paralyzed.

                                          MED TECH
                           She's D.N.R.    She signed it.

                                        WILLY
                           There's a restraining order - she's
                           protected - I'm authorizing you to do
                           it!
               The Med Tech turns to Crawford, uncertain -

                                      CRAWFORD
                           No extraordinary measures.
                                  (Turns to Willy)
                           Unless your court order specifies

                                      (MORE)

               

                                                                                  106

               

               
                                      CRAWFORD (cont'd)
                           contravening her living will. But I
                           don't think it would. I think you got
                           one that forbids me from disconn-
               Willy throws himself at Crawford - attacking him, as the Med
               Tech grabs him, drags him back -

                                        PILOT

                           WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON BACK THERE?!
               - the Med Tech holding Willy down on the floor by Jennifer's
               stretcher - Willy struggles furiously -

                                          WILLY
                           Wait!    WAIT - LOOK!
               Willy is pointing at Jennifer - shocked -
               - as the Med Tech lets him up and they kneel by her, the Med
               Tech taking her pulse - Willy, staring down at her, intent:
               She's breathing.

                                             WILLY
                           Yes.     Yes.
               Willy whirls around to Crawford.        Who's frowning.

                                        WILLY
                           You messed up. With all your plans
                           and games.
               Willy turns back to Jennifer. Delicately strokes the side of
               her face. Her eyes flutter open -

                                          WILLY
                           Shhhh.    It's okay.       It's all right.
               - she stares into Willy's eyes. He takes her hand.        Silent
               awe in her eyes. Yearning. Fear.

                                        WILLY
                           You're gonna be okay?
               She squeezes his hand.      Very weakly.
               Crawford is looking daggers: die, bitch.
               Jennifer's eyes - fixed on Willy - roll back.        She fights it.

                                             WILLY
                           Jennifer?       Hang on.
               Something sad in her wordless gaze.        As it starts to fade.

               

                                                                                107

               

               

                                           WILLY
                           Jennifer?!     JENNIFER?!
               She's slipping. Her eyes gone empty.        Her hand becoming
               lifeless in his.

                                           WILLY
                           No.     Come on, Jennifer.    Fight back.
               Tears well up in Willy's eyes, but he struggles against them -
               feeling Crawford's gaze, refusing him the satisfaction.

                                           WILLY
                           Don't let go.
               But she's gone. He stares down. Mourning her. Letting his
               grief slowly burn into rage. He gently reaches up and closes
               her eyes.
               Then he looks up at Crawford, who smiles sympathetically.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           You pushed it, Willy. We didn't have
                           to be here.
                                  (Beat)
                           But now you're my witness. You saw:
                           I didn't touch anything, I didn't do
                           anything. The machine went down.
                           Anybody asks - you'll have to tell
                           them. What you saw.
                                  (Beat)
                           That's really kind of perfect, isn't
                           it?
               Willy stares into his eyes. Cold.        Then he looks away.    Out
               the window, into the sun-glare.

                                                               SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

               


               INT. WILLY'S APARTMENT - A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER

               The garage door is open, letting in daylight. We can see the
               alley especially well, because there are only empty hangers
               on the clothes-bar, and the cinderblock shelves have been
               taken apart, stacked on the floor.
               Willy is packing.    He's wearing jeans, an old t-shirt.
               He carries a heavy pile of legal textbooks out to the trash
               bins, throws them away.

               

                                                                         108

               

               
               As he turns to go back in - he sees Lobruto coming along the
               alley, wearing a suit. Surprised, waits.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           You're not answering your phone.
               Beat.

                                        WILLY
                           That's kind of an answer in itself,
                           isn't it?
               Willy heads back in, starts to pack again.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           Where are you headed?

                                        WILLY
                           Haven't decided yet.    Just someplace
                           else.
               Lobruto nods.   Willy packs.

                                         LOBRUTO
                           I shouldn't have let it get so far out
                           of control.
                                  (Beat)
                           We all lose, Willy.

                                         WILLY
                           Yep.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           We just have to live with that, and
                           keep fighting the good fight.

                                        WILLY
                           That's not what I was doing.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           You belong in a courtroom.
               Willy packs, thinking about that.   Shakes his head.

                                        WILLY
                           I need to - get to know myself better.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           You're a good lawyer. All this may
                           have even made you a better lawyer.
                           Don't waste it.
               Willy turns on him - angry, confused, bitter:

               

                                                                            109

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           I didn't just lose a case!     I let a
                           man get away with murder.
               Lobruto nods. Respecting his pain.     Shrugs, accepts the
               decision, with regret.
               Willy nods his thanks, and turns back to packing.
               Lobruto starts to leave.    But from the alley door:

                                        LOBRUTO
                           If it makes you feel any better -
                           technically, you let a man get away
                           with attempted murder.
               Willy doesn't respond.    Keeps packing.
               Lobruto goes out.
               After a moment, Willy stops.    Looking up.   Something turning
               over in his mind.

               


               EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS

               Lobruto is walking toward his car when Willy steps out of the
               garage and calls after him:

                                        WILLY
                           His wife is dead!
               Lobruto turns.   Uncertain what Willy is getting at.

                                        WILLY
                           We can still get him.    We can take him
                           back to court.

                                        LOBRUTO
                                  (Gently)
                           Willy...
               Willy comes toward him - excited, insistent:

                                        WILLY
                           Double jeopardy doesn't apply! We
                           bring a new charge - of homicide.

                                         LOBRUTO
                           Willy - what happened to you, on the
                           helicopter - we don't even know if we
                           could prove -

               

                                                                                  110

               

               

                                         WILLY
                           No: he shot her and she died. The
                           fact that it took time - the fact that
                           he went to trial in between, just for
                           shooting her - doesn't matter. He
                           fired a gun and caused her death, and
                           that's murder.
                                  (Beat)
                           If he can twist the law around - then
                           so can we.
               Lobruto thinks it out.    Wary.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           A second indictment on the same
                           incident?

                                        WILLY
                           A man burns down a house; we charge
                           him with arson. There were people
                           sleeping upstairs - and after weeks in
                           the hospital, they die. We'd charge
                           him with murder. Right?
               Lobruto nods. On the fence, but seeing it now.         Impressed
               with the young man's fervor, and his logic.
               But he shakes his head.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           All your evidence is still toxic.      The
                           confession, the arrest - it's all
                           still inadmissible.
               Willy grimaces.    Looks down.    Thinking, intense.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           I'm sorry, Willy. It was a good idea,
                           but -

                                        WILLY
                           I'll get something new.

                                          LOBRUTO
                           How?
               Willy looks up at him.    Calm now.

                                        WILLY
                           You don't want to know.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           Willy, you can't -

               

                                                                            111

               

               

                                         WILLY
                           I don't work for you.
                                  (Beat)
                           Right?
               Beat. Lobruto sighs, as Willy nods and turns to start back
               to the garage. With work to do.

                                        LOBRUTO
                           Don't do anything crazy.

                                        WILLY
                           What else have we got left?
               Willy disappears inside.

               


               INT. S.I.D. LAB - LATER

               End of the day. Marchand pulls on his coat, shuts down his
               computer. He turns to go -
               - Willy is standing in his doorway.

                                        WILLY
                           I need a favor.

               


               INT. POLICE EVIDENCE WAREHOUSE - SOON AFTER

               Willy follows an EVIDENCE CLERK along an aisle between floor-
               to-ceiling steel shelves of boxes marked with case numbers.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           These are from that thing at the
                           courthouse, right?

                                          WILLY
                           Uh-huh.
               The Clerk stops, checking a number against a slip of paper in
               his hand - pulls down a box for Willy.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - THAT NIGHT

               Crawford is building a new Rube Goldberg device, tools and
               parts laid out precisely on a table.
               Eyes enlarged by the glasses, he silently connects two tiny
               pieces of metal -

               

                                                                            112

               

               
               - when a French door suddenly implodes, a metal lawn chair
               hurled in from the backyard smashing through it.
               Crawford stands, taking off the glasses -
               - as Willy walks in over the broken glass, carrying Nunally's
               gun.

                                         CRAWFORD
                            Very dramatic.
               Willy crosses the room to the alarm panel on the wall.

                                         WILLY
                            You ain't seen nothin' yet.
               He presses the POLICE emergency button, then turns to
               Crawford.

                                         WILLY
                            I want the gun.

                                          CRAWFORD
                            Why?   You've already got one.

                                         WILLY
                            I want the gun you shot your wife
                            with. Now.
               Crawford doesn't move.
               Willy raises his gun, points it at Crawford's face.

                                         WILLY
                            One way or another, I'm going to see
                            to it you receive justice tonight.
               Crawford studies Willy.

                                         CRAWFORD
                            You're serious, aren't you.

                                          WILLY
                            Oh, yes.

                                         CRAWFORD
                                   (A smile dawning)
                            Willy. You got religion, didn't you?!
                            You care. That's...priceless.
               He laughs.   Willy keeps the gun aimed at him.

               

                                                                         113

               

               

                                        CRAWFORD
                           No, it's very sweet. Really.

                                        WILLY
                           Gonna be a whole lot less funny in
                           about a minute.
               Crawford nods.    Considering the game.   Unruffled.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           Getting it like this: is that going to
                           hold up in court?

                                        WILLY
                           I don't work for the D.A. any more.
                           I'm just a guy who broke into your
                           house. When the police arrest me -
                           they'll inventory anything in my
                           possession. If that happens to be
                           crucial evidence in another case,
                           well: some prosecutor just got lucky.
               Silence. Crawford studies Willy's eyes, over the muzzle of
               the gun between them.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           It takes a very special kind of person
                           to look right into someone's eyes and
                           pull the trigger. It takes a unique
                           kind of strength.

                                        WILLY
                           I guess you'd know that.

                                          CRAWFORD
                           Yes.    I would.
               Willy cocks the gun.
               Crawford shakes his head.    Eyes on Willy.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           I don't think so.
               Willy doesn't lower the gun.    But he doesn't pull the
               trigger, either.

                                        WILLY
                           You don't know me.

                                           CRAWFORD
                           No?

               

                                                                         114

               

               
               Beat.   Crawford smiles slightly.

                                         CRAWFORD
                            Then I'm in for a - rude awakening.
               Willy glares over the gun.     Crawford shrugs.

                                           CRAWFORD
                            Tick-tock.
               Willy's angry.   Frustrated.    Trapped.
               His bluff called.     Refusing to back down.

                                         CRAWFORD
                            Where did you even get yourself a gun?

                                         WILLY
                                   (Bitter)
                            It's Nunally's.
               Crawford is thrown by this - but conceals it well.

                                           CRAWFORD
                            Nunally's.    Really.
               Willy grimaces, over the gun still aimed at Crawford's face.

                                           WILLY
                            Yeah.    Really.
               He has backed himself into a corner, and he's getting scared.
               Because all of a sudden the threat he came to fake Crawford
               out with -
               - is starting to seem like his only way out.
               Even Crawford sees it. In Willy's eyes. The uncertain edge
               of the idea. He could just do it. End the game. Blow
               Crawford's brains all over the wall.

                                         WILLY
                            There I was, with a perfectly good
                            weapon just sitting in the evidence
                            warehouse.
               It would be so easy. With his life already a shambles.   With
               everything already lost. At least he would have this.

                                           CRAWFORD
                            Willy.    Put it down.

               

                                                                         115

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           I thought you might appreciate the
                           ...irony.
               Willy's finger tightens on the trigger.

                                         CRAWFORD
                           Willy.   Think.
               And Willy does.   Hesitating.
               Distracted, by a thought.
               Lowering the gun slightly, looking at it - remembering:

               


               INT. S.I.D. LAB - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

               Marchand, on the phone - holding the gun Crawford
               surrendered, in its plastic EVIDENCE bag:

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           "A perfectly good...Heckler and Koch
                           nine-millimeter."

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)

               Crawford is getting edgy, watching Willy study Nunally's gun:

                                        CRAWFORD
                           The police will be here very soon.

                                        WILLY
                           The exact same type of gun you bought
                           your wife, a month before.
               He looks up at Crawford.    Getting it.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (FLASHBACK)

               Nunally setting down his pistol on the chair - as Crawford,
               across the room, sets down his on the table.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)


                                         CRAWFORD
                           If they see you with a gun in your
                           hand - they're not likely to ask a lot
                           of questions.

               

                                                                            116

               

               

                                         WILLY
                            That's why you went to the hotel.

               


               INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR - DAY (FLASHBACK)

               Surveillance-cam view: Crawford lets himself into the room -

                                         WILLY (V.O.)
                            That's why you went into the room.

               


               INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY (FLASHBACK)

               Crawford quietly closes the door behind him.     Stands, taking
               it all in -

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)

               Willy looks at Crawford.    Stunned.

                                         WILLY
                            You took his gun.

               


               INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY (FLASHBACK)

               Crawford checks the dresser drawers, the night-table - finds
               Nunally's badge, holster and gun.

                                         WILLY (V.O.)
                            And you left him yours.
               Crawford replaces Nunally's gun with his own matching pistol,
               which was tucked into the back of his belt.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)

               Beat.   Crawford shrugs - arrogant:

                                         CRAWFORD
                            I gave it back.

                                           WILLY
                            Yes you did.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - (FLASHBACKS - VERY QUICK)

               Crawford fires at Jennifer - Crawford shoots at the transom -

               

                                                                            117

               

               

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           After you'd used it.
               Crawford holds out the gun, to Nunally: making the offer -

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Then you told Nunally you'd put it
                           down - if he put down his.
               Nunally setting down his pistol on the chair, as Crawford,
               across the room, sets down his on the table.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)

               Willy turns, looking into the alcove:

                                        WILLY
                           That's why you moved her back there -

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (FLASHBACK)

               Nunally rushes past Crawford to kneel by Jennifer - shocked,
               frantic -

                                        CRAWFORD (V.O.)
                           The truth is I could have done it
                           right in front of the man and he
                           wouldn't have noticed.
               - ignoring Crawford behind him.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)


                                        CRAWFORD
                           He had...other things on his mind.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

               Nunally's calling for help on the walkie-talkie, desperately
               starting C.P.R. -
               - as behind him, Crawford picks up the murder weapon,
               (Nunally's gun) from the table -
               - and walks over to the chair where Nunally left Crawford's
               gun (from his holster).

               

                                                                           118

               

               

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           And all you had to do was switch the
                           guns back - in the commotion -
               Crawford picks up his gun and sets the murder weapon on the
               chair in its place.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           - and then wait -
               He then comes back to put his gun on the table, where it will
               be mistaken for the murder weapon. Straightens, done.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (FLASHBACKS)

               Nunally grabs up the murder weapon from the chair, upset,
               distracted - puts it in his holster -

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           - until Nunally walked the murder
                           weapon right out of the house.
               A Detective drops Jennifer's gun into an evidence bag -
               - as Nunally walks out.

               


               INT. CRAWFORD HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - (RESUME)

               Willy stares at Crawford.    In real wonder.

                                           WILLY
                           Brilliant.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           You know, this is really kind of fun.
                           It's like showing some caveman a
                           cigarette lighter.
               Willy looks down at the gun in his hand.    Thoughtful.

                                        WILLY
                           This caveman's gonna put you in prison
                           for the rest of your life.

                                        CRAWFORD
                           It's still not evidence, Willy.
                           There's no prints left by now.
                           Nothing ties that gun to me.
               Willy smiles, slow...    Enjoying himself, at last.

               

                                                                               119

               

               

                                        WILLY
                           No. That would be true.        Except for
                           all those eggs.

                                            CRAWFORD
                           Those what?
               Willy nods to himself, going to the wooden bowl of ball-
               bearings - selecting one, carrying it to the Rube Goldberg
               machine:

                                        WILLY
                           With all those little cracks and weak
                           places. Like Nunally. Shooting
                           himself, right there in the
                           courthouse. I didn't think he was
                           going to do that. Did you?

                                            CRAWFORD
                                   (Wary)
                           No.
               Studying the complex device, toying with Crawford:

                                        WILLY
                           I mean, we all knew he was going to
                           fall apart sooner or later. That was
                           part of your plan, right? Like a bank
                           shot, on a pool table: you kill your
                           wife - and destroy her lover. With
                           one bullet.
                                  (Turns)
                           Well: four bullets, actually. Right?
               Crawford frowns.   Trying to see what Willy's getting at.

                                        WILLY
                           First bullet goes into your wife.

                                                       INTERCUT QUICK FLASHBACKS:
               Crawford fires at Jennifer -

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Then three more out the front of the
                           house, to get some attention.
               - and fires three times at the transom.

                                        WILLY
                           Then while you're waiting for the show
                           to begin - you have to reload
                           Nunally's gun.

               

                                                                          120

               

               
               Crawford pushes new bullets into the clip -

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           I mean, you don't want him wondering
                           where the hell four bullets went,
                           considering he never fired his gun
                           that night.

               - and slides the clip back into the gun, pleased.
               Willy nods, thinking it out.   Sure of himself.
               He sets the ball-bearing into the slot at the top of the
               machine -

                                         WILLY
                           And I'm betting you didn't worry about
                           fingerprints.

               Crawford reacts.
               CLOSE: Crawford's fingers, putting the bullets in the clip.
               Willy lets the ball go - watching it begin rolling down the
               ornate tracks.

                                        WILLY
                           I mean, why would you? Nobody's going
                           to be looking at his gun.

               The ball tumbles and clatters - flipping and clicking through
               the ingenious, precise, heartless machinery -

                                        WILLY
                           And sooner or later, life goes on,
                           those four incriminating bullets would
                           get used, and be gone forever.

               - and Crawford is recognizing, slowly, his one mistake.
               The gun in Nunally's limp dead fingers, glimpsed on the
               marble courthouse floor, through the crowd.

                                        WILLY (V.O.)
                           Except Nunally only fired one of those
                           bullets. Into himself.

               Willy turns from the machine -
               - which continues clattering and working, beside him.

               

                                                                              121

               

               

                                         WILLY
                           Which means there are still three left
                           with your fingerprints on them - Tom.
                           In this clip.

               He holds the gun up.     Savoring Crawford's growing fear.
               They can hear a car rolling up the driveway. Red and blue
               lights sweep the frosted glass by the front door.

                                        WILLY
                           Everybody has a weak spot, right?
                           Some place they break.

               Without looking, Willy gently pushes the machine, moving it a
               fraction of an inch on the floor -
               - as the ball catapults out - sailing across the living room
               in a perfect, graceful arc -
               - that misses the bowl.

               Outside, the police car doors open and then slam.
               Crawford, going pale, watches the metal ball roll off the
               coffee-table and across the floor toward him.
               Crawford doesn't move.     Trying to focus.    His mind working.
               The ball comes to rest against Crawford's shoe.
               The doorbell rings.

               Crawford looks up.     Meeting Willy's eyes.
               Smiling slightly, Willy tucks Nunally's gun into his belt and
               puts his hands in the air.
               And gives Crawford a wink.
               Crawford is staring at Willy, frozen - panic and hatred and
               fear curdling in his eyes -
               - as behind him, the police begin pounding on the front door.

               

               

                                             THE END