A rusted Chevy El Camino drives against dissolving Louisiana
landscapes – broad, barren, pounded by the rain.
I/E. EL CAMINO, TRAVELING – DUSK
Occasional oncoming headlights illuminate the driver’s face:
Tense, course features, thick beard… He’s BUD CARTER, 31.
AN INTERSTATE SIGN PASSES ON THE RIGHT: “WHISKEY BAY”
Bud pulls onto a dirt road, into a TRAILER PARK and stops.
INT. DOUBLE-WIDE TRAILER – DUSK
TITLE IN: Denham Springs, Louisiana. 1983.
We’re staring at three sacks of sample unmounted EMERALDS,
set on a filthy counter.
SOUTHERN MAN’S VOICE O.S.
Now these here are Brazilian, from Bahia.
Deep cuts. Damn good. These is India,
paler, but also good. And this is
Columbia. From them limestone caves up in
WIDEN to reveal NADY GRACE, 35. A tattooed man with thinning
hair, leading Bud through the sale…
Now them first two, you gonna get your
(re: COLUMBIA EMERALDS)
This one here’s more expensive, but
that’s ‘cause there ain’t a nigger flaw
in one of ‘em. They hard as steel and
emerald green as emerald green fuckin’
comes. Lookit that.
That’s the real McCoy. That’s what that
Tell you what… Bag ‘em all. The
market’s got a hard-on for this shit.
I hear that.
(across the room)
Jake, get on it.
ACROSS THE ROOM are two other men — JAKE and DOUG. Ex-cons
at a table, riffing through Bud’s cash.
A CURTAIN YANKS BACK and RAY WHEELER, 29, enters. Dope-thin,
bloodshot eyes. He looks at Bud. Bud looks at him… Ray
clicks on the TV and opens a beer.
TV IN: Evening news. The storm outside alters the reception.
…And today, thirty-one year old Gary
Plauche pleaded innocent by reason of
insanity, to charges of second-degree
murder in the slaying of accused sex
offender, Jeffrey Doucett.
Bud watches Ray empty a gram of coke onto the bar. Using a
credit card, Ray starts chopping lines. The SOUND continues
throughout the scene…
…District Court Judge Frank Salia,
scheduled the trial one year to the day
after Doucett was first arrested.
Grace hefts a lock box to the counter, removes a drawer of
emeralds. Bud SEES packed carelessly underneath, uncut
What do you got there? Diamonds?
That’s thirty grand. Out the door. You
Ain’t got the scratch right now. But I am
And the volume of the TV now becomes more apparent…
…As a result of numerous threats made
weeks ago, tight security surrounded the
courthouse. However, missing from today’s
hearing, was the arresting officer.
Bud has been tuning out the TV distraction… until that last
statement. He sneaks a look.
From East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s office…
A wave of static scrambles the picture. When it clears…
…Police Lieutenant, Bud Carter.
Bud is stunned. HIS OWN FACE APPEARS ON THE SCREEN. A younger
photo of Bud, clean shaven – DRESSED IN POLICE UNIFORM.
EXT. TRAILER PARK – SAME
Rain pours. A beat-up PLUMBER’S VAN is parked in the distance.
INT. GRACE’S TRAILER – SAME
TV IN: Signal wavers. It’s archive footage of Baton Rouge
Airport. A prisoner, JEFFREY DOUCETT, escorted by police.
Doucett was being extradited to Baton
Ray does a line of coke, keeps chopping. Watches the TV.
Grace is bagging emeralds.
Jake and Doug count cash.
Bud keeps the TV in sight. Quick glances. Mind racing.
TV IN: The procession moves past a row of pay phones. At one
phone, a discreet figure, GARY PLAUCHE, turns…
The victim’s father, Gary Plauche, stood
waiting at the terminal. As Doucett
walked by, Plauche turned, raised a
Bud’s vision is suddenly obscured when Grace steps forward
with the emeralds in a satchel.
Here you go. Fifteen three-karat blues.
Wholesale. Twenty large.
Sudden GUNSHOTS and SCREAMS on the TV. Everyone turns…
TV IN: Jeffrey Doucett lies dead as POLICE wrestle Gary
Plauche to the ground amid chaos.
Lieutenant Carter was unavailable for
TIGHT ON RAY’S EYES, intense, watching the footage.
As Bud stuffs the satchel in his coat, WE SEE what Ray
TV IN: Bud, POLICE BADGE AROUND HIS NECK, arresting Plauche.
ON RAY, slow burn realization as he looks from the tv to Bud.
And again. EYES LOCK, THEY BOTH KNOW.
Motherfucker, he’s a cop.
Bud yanks a .45.
And everything happens at once.
A SUDDEN GUNSHOT and Jake FIRES again.
Wood splinters as Bud FIRES back.
Jake is HIT in the throat. A SECOND SHOT in the forehead – he
SLAMS against the window, cracking it…
INT. PLUMBER’S VAN – SAME
Among surveillance equipment, sits Bud’s crew: TODD SHEPARD,
DAVID MARANDINO and DALE COBB.
Fuck! Go! Go!
Marandino, behind the wheel, SLAMS his foot on the gas.
INT. GRACE’S TRAILER – SAME
A SHOT ZIPS across Bud’s back; he SPINS off the table.
On his knees, Doug is firing a .32. BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM.
Bud FIRES a burst through Doug’s chest, dropping him.
A HOLE EXPLODES beside Bud’s head — Grace FIRING a .45 — as
Ray SCREAMS and runs out the door.
EXT. TRAILER PARK, VAN – SAME
Marandino winds through gears, as Ray hits the yard
POV THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: Marandino swings the wheel hard,
SLAMS INTO RAY — launching him through trash bins, into the
Cobb jumps from the van and pounds Ray into handcuffs.
Simultaneously, Shepard sprints for the trailer door…
EXT. GRACE’S TRAILER PARK – SAME
Grace explodes from the back door, bolting across the yard.
I/E. GRACE’S TRAILER – SAME
Bud scrambles on the floor of the demolished trailer. .45
held tight, he runs out after Grace.
ACROSS THE YARD
the chase rages.
MOVING WITH GRACE
as he jumps a link fence, lands and trips into a roll of
chicken wire. His sleeve catches, rips as he pulls free…
MOVING WITH BUD
at a searing pace. He slips in the mud. Staggers up. SEES
Grace disappear in the shadows.
Grace throws himself against the side of a power unit. Eyes
darting. Wheezing hard… Tries to slow his breath. Then
turns the corner…
GRACE’S POV: A SHOVEL swings from around the corner, WHAM!!!
The blow sends Grace sailing back. He SLAMS on the ground,
with a blood-covered broken face. As he tries to get up…
Bud’s gun is there. And like that, it stops.
INT. SOUTHDOWN’S BAR – AFTER HOURS
At a table, the METRO SQUAD: Bud, Shepard, Marandino, Cobb
are drinking. A bartender (SHERRY) is wiping down glasses…
Think I broke a knuckle on that guy’s
He only had one tooth.
Well I got it, didn’t I?
(to the bartender)
Another round, Sherry.
Bud blows smoke, distant from the others.
Bud, we all supposed to be celebratin’.
‘Been workin’ this case for months. And
you ain’t said shit.
They had a lot of weight. Too much.
It’s a ring. Organized burglary.
You saw them guys. You think that half
ass crew was organized?
They shit their pants in unison.
What are you gettin’ after, Bud?
You think it was someone else’s score.
Sherry arrives with shots of whiskey, moves on.
I think its a part of somethin’ bigger.
Bud takes his shot.
Tomorrow morning we put our friends under
the lamp. If they know this “someone
else”, we’ll know him too.
EXT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH JAIL – ESTABLISH – NEXT DAY
A dark, stone monolith off the 110 highway.
INT. OBSERVATION ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH JAIL – DAY
Bud smokes, standing with Shepard in semi-darkness. They’re
looking through a two-way mirror into an INTERROGATION ROOM,
where Cobb interviews Ray Wheeler.
I told you… I keep tellin’ you… I
don’t know nothin’. That’s it.
That’s not it. We’ve been here all
morning. We’ll stay here all night.
Bud paces to a neighboring INTERROGATION ROOM where Marandino
is questioning Grace (bruised face, swollen, broken nose).
The stones you were fencin’ belonged to
an Amsec wall safe in “Kay’s Jewelers”.
The rest from a vault in Bocage. Both
owners can verify their belongings, and
Who you fencin’ for?
Man, I ain’t sayin’ fuckin’ shit.
Then your name’s on a dozen other jobs,
just like it.
No, that’s a promise.
Bud, sipping coffee, paces back to Ray’s interview…
We got a series of burglaries in the
area. All over the last six months. All
still open. You don’t talk, it’s on you.
Well I ain’t got nothin’ to do with that.
Any idea who does?
No! Okay? Fuck no.
Bud sets down his coffee, calm.
INT. GRACE’S INTERROGATION ROOM
Marandino sits across from Grace, clearly frustrated.
…Answer the question.
MAN FUCK THIS! AND FUCK YOU! Y’ALL CREW’S
JUST FAGGOTS IN MATCHING JACKETS!
The door blasts open. Bud charges in, throws Grace against
the wall, then slams his face onto the table, pushing down.
Try this. I know you’re too fuckin’ dumb
to be any more than a courier. I know
you’re coverin’ for someone else. NOW
TELL ME WHO THAT SOMEONE IS!
I ain’t a rat!
YOU AIN’T A RAT?!
Bud twists his broken nose. Grace SCREAMS.
Easy, Bud. Go easy.
STOP THIS SHIT! STOP HIM!
Marandino puts a hand on Bud’s shoulder; Bud shoves him off.
LOCK THE DOOR!
Marandino locks it. Bud turns Grace’s nose even harder,
nearly rips it off his face.
I’ll teach you what commitment is… I’ll
throw you in an eight by nine and have
you fucked in the ass by every inmate in
the state of Louisiana– AND THAT’S THE
REST OF YOUR LIFE!
Grace, spitting blood now. Choking. Bud twists. Bone cracks.
GIVE ME A NAME!
He’s from Whiskey Bay–!
–GIVE ME A NAME!!
EXT. CLAYTON STREET – NIGHT
An unmarked chevy is staked down the block from a tract home.
Jesse Wheeler. Thirty-one.
INT. CHEVY – NIGHT
Bud’s in the front seat, looking through a file. Shepard at
the wheel. Coffee cups and junk food litter the dash.
Two tours in ‘Nam. ’69 and ’71. He’s a
jump marine. Weapons trained, explosives.
(turns the page)
Seven and a half out of a twelve year
stint for federal robbery. Two in Angola.
A year in DeQuincy. Three in El Reno with
a transfer to Lewisburg. Then Marion with
a brief stopover in Leavenworth. Released
from Oxford, 1981.
Jacket’s the size of the bible.
Through the windshield, across the street, a tract home
His stay at Marion, they kept him in “H”
H block? That’s home to forty top murder
Yeah, life sentences. Jesse only had
Bud likes it.
He ain’t just woodwork.
Night passes and the dawn arrives…
EXT. WHEELER’S HOUSE – DAWN
Front door opens and the shadowy figure of JESSE WHEELER,
whose face we cannot see, emerges.
Jesse fires up his ’74 battered green PICK-UP TRUCK. He backs
from the driveway and proceeds down the street.
Alright. Give him room.
Bud’s car starts and we move off with them…
EXT. STREETS – MINUTES LATER
In the rain, Bud and Shepard tail Jesse from a distance.
They pass an alley where a waiting BUICK falls in behind the
Chevy; Marandino and Cobb are inside.
INT. CHEVY – CONTINUOUS – THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD:
We see the truck slowing, angling into a TEXACO STATION.
He’s turnin’ off.
Let’s take him in the car.
Wait’ll he’s stopped. Watch your
INT. JESSE’S PICK UP – MOMENTS LATER
Jesse stops at a pump. Suddenly, Bud appears at the window
and jams a SHOTGUN against Jesse’s head.
Don’t move. You motherfuck, I’ll blow
your head clean off.
Reflecting in the side-view: Bud’s BADGE swings from his
neck. Jesse’s eyes resign to relief. Bud SEES this…
Shut the car off slowly.
With several law enforcement shotguns now leveled at him from
all directions, Jesse turns off his engine.
EXT. JESSE WHEELER’S HOUSE – MORNING
Bud, Shepard, Cobb and Marandino, vests and shotguns, move in
unison around the house.
Bud and Cobb stay to the shadows, down a side yard…
Shepard, Marandino reach the front door. Locked. A tv plays
quietly inside. No one in the windows.
Shepard signals to Marandino…
INT. JESSE WHEELER’S HOUSE
THE FRONT DOOR IS KICKED DOWN. Shepard and Marandino spill
in, guns ready…
A pregnant woman in the kitchen… LYNN WHEELER, 30s. She
SCREAMS, curses. Hurling dirty dishes fly like frisbees.
GET OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE!
MA’AM, CALM DOWN! CALM DOWN!
WE GOT A WARRANT!
FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU!
Lynn suddenly gasps agitatedly, sinks to the floor. A GUSH OF
FLUID soaks through her dress.
Help… My baby…my baby…
Bud and Cobb enter from a back door, hurry towards Lynn. Bud
lowers Lynn to the floor.
CALL AN AMBULANCE! NOW!
BEDROOM – TIME CUT
A door slams open to reveal…
A NAZI IRON EAGLE BATTLE FLAG. Draped across the far wall.
Windows taped over. Walls painted black.
Military surplus on every shelf and surface. Helmets.
Uniforms. Body armor. Bayonets.
Bud in the doorway. Shepard joins him.
SMASH CUT TO:
Several COPS(now on scene) ransack the house. Ripping open
cabinets, drawers, tossing everything to the floor…
Cobb flips a switch. A lamp illuminates a workbench.
Alright, I want everything seized!
Cabinets, lockers and tool boxes slam open. Cops stop cold,
blown away by what they see: GUNS. Everywhere.
COP #1 feels behind a couch. He finds a .38, then a COLT .25
below a chair cushion.
COP #2 removes the toilet’s basin cover. With a pen, he
removes a dripping .357.
Several STATE TROOPERS lead Jesse in, cuff him to a table.
Floor peels back. Flashlights illuminate: AMMUNITION BOXES.
ASSAULT RIFLES. GRENADES. BONDS and COUNTERFEIT PLATES.
Motherfucker’s got a general store.
Cops talk excitedly over one another. Shepard leans over a
mounted A.C. He finds a string and very slowly pulls up a
ziploc bag filled with DIAMONDS.
God damn…there’s some weight.
Bud takes a seat at the table…
For the first time, we get a good look at Jesse Wheeler: Cold
eyes. Handlebar mustache. Covered in tats. With a
boilermaker’s build, he looks what he is… DANGEROUS.
I’m Detective Lieutenant Bud Carter, of
the East Baton Rouge Parish Precinct.
So how you like Baton Rouge?
Jesse’s stare drifts to Bud. It’s deadly.
Cabinets slam open and closed. Dishes hit the floor.
What happened to my wife?
Water broke. She’s en route to the
COP #3 is searching the refrigerator. Jesse watches as if
he’s seen something we haven’t… Cop #3 moves on…
Jesse sees Bud’s eyes. They connect with his own…
Bud opens the fridge. He scans condiments then stops. From
inside a bag of HOT DOG BUNS, several sealed VIALS.
This is new.
Bud examines a vial’s label: “CYANIDE.”
What’s the cyanide for, Jesse?
Bud, right with him, grins.
Impurities from what?
Jesse, calm. Deadpan.
You’re in a bad situation here, pal.
I’ll make bond.
Bud looks in Jesse’s eyes and believes it.
Shepard, searching the room. Drawers, cabinets. Then leans
down to peer under the bed…
…stops, stunned when he SEES: a row of live Goex charges in
packing, boldly marked: EXPLOSIVES
(top of his lungs)
OUT! EVERYONE OUT! GET THE FUCK OUT!
INT. CAPTAIN’S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DAY
MIKE BRADDOCK (40s), Captain of Detectives, enters his
office. Bud tows, carrying files.
What more do you want? You got a two time
felon on multiple counts. You got
robbery, B&E, you got an all-you-can-eat
felony fuckin’ possession. All on top of
an organized burglary ring.
INT. PROCESSING ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DAY
ON A CAMERA FLASH. Mug shots of Jesse’s front and profile.
The man’s in custody, Bud. Fucked for
life. It’s finished.
Jesse’s inked fingers are rolled onto an exemplar sheet.
INT. CAPTAIN’S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DAY
There’s more, I know it.
Bud slaps a file on Braddock’s desk, to a crime scene photo:
An Asian JUDGE sits dead in the front seat of his car.
Remember him? Ten months ago, a judge
gets popped with a .357. Well I got a
Ruger from Wheeler’s toilet and rushed it
It’s a solid match! Dead on.
There’s a dozen ways Wheeler could’ve got
that burner. It don’t prove a thing.
(drops another file)
A stack of bonds taken from the home of a
The crime photo: A black MINISTER and wife shot in bed.
Murdered. He and his wife. Looked like a
robbery gone to shit then; I want it
opened back up.
INT. ANTE ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DAY
A nude Jesse steps before a DOCTOR and gets a cursory exam.
I still got tests pending. More guns.
More cases. This guy ain’t crazy, Mike.
He’s a ticket to somethin’ big. Somethin’
INT. CAPTAIN’S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DAY
So who’s backin’ him?
I don’t know; I do know they’ll post his
bond. That’s why I need a price they
can’t come up with overnight.
Braddock listens. Bud keeps it on track…
I’m right about this, Mike.
When a guy’s lookin’ at two hundred years
and he ain’t upset… It’s like when your
wife is accusing you of fuckin’ the
neighbor, but she don’t know you’re
fuckin’ her sister too. You’re pretty
calm about it, right?
Braddock smiles slightly.
It’s ‘cause we hit the wrong nerve. The
guns, the other shit, the time… He can
have that conversation. And he is. And he
ain’t upset. He’s makin’ eye contact,
‘cause we’re fallin’ short.
(the bottom line)
This guy knows things. He knows where
Braddock, thinks; Then–
I’ll bounce it up to the D.A.
Bud grins, SLAMS his hand on the desk.
INT. HOLDING AREA, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DUSK
Two GUARDS escort Jesse. He’s bound in chains, orange scrubs.
INT. HOLDING CELL
End of the hall. A BLACK PRISONER waits, arms slung over the
crossbars with a cigarette. Jesse is brought forth.
A Guard unlocks the cell. The Black Prisoner steps back,
joining TWO OTHERS: All black, looming in the darkness.
Jesse steps in. Guards unlock his shackles. Chains hit the
floor. Behind him, the bars slam home.
SILENCE…LONG, DRAWN SILENCE. THEN:
My name is Jesse Wheeler… I’m now in
charge of this cell. Any y’all don’t like
it, step your black ass forward, line up.
A MOMENT. Cued by Jesse’s challenge, each of the prisoners
slowly rise, vehemently approaching…
CUT ABRUPT TO:
INT. BUD’S HOUSE – NIGHT
And the phone RINGS…
MALE VOICE (OVER)
Bud? Charlie Bowers.
WIDEN. Bud’s house is sparsely furnished. Books on firearms
and police work in stacks. As he reaches for a file…
Charlie… You had an inmate in ’75,
named Jesse Wheeler.
INT. OFFICE, MARION PENITENTIARY, ILLINOIS – NIGHT
CHARLIE BOWERS, on an official phone. At Jesse’s name, he’s
Charlie, you there?
What’s your interest in this guy, Bud?
Well, we got him on weapons and burglary.
But I got a feelin’ there’s more.
Damn straight, a lot more. Race riots.
Smuggling. Extorting a guard. I had a few
run-ins with him myself.
INT. BEDROOM, BUD’S HOUSE – PRE DAWN
Bud lies in bed, wide awake. The PHONE CONVERSATION carries
You could say this is where he peaked.
KITCHEN – DAWN
Coffee pours into a mug. Then a shot of Irish Whiskey.
He’s a white supremacist. The worst kind,
if there is one.
Bud, dressed now. The table is covered with various reports
and photos from Jesse’s file. BUD’S EYES guide us through…
Came in on armed robbery and assault…
Bud picks up a photo: Jesse’s Angola mug shot, age 23.
But word in the system said, he’s a
contract killer for the Aryan
Photos of Jesse’s tattoos: SUN-WHEEL on the shoulder; HELL
HOUNDS around the biceps, THOR’S ELAPID covering his back.
In here, the guy became an organizer…
INT. BUD’S CAR, TRAVELING – MORNING
Bud’s face goes in and out of light and shadow.
Controlling hits and movements inside the
system. Prison to prison. State to state.
INT. LOWER FLOOR, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – MORNING
Bud is walking with MURPHY, captain of the guards…
Between the Aryan Brotherhood and Neo
Nazis, he unified the front…
Bud and Murphy descend steps to a grim CORRIDOR.
All them prison gangs in the world…
Black Panthers, Mexican Mafia, forget it.
The AB is deadly as it gets. And Jesse
Wheeler was their ring leader.
The PHONE CONVERSATION fades out… Presently:
So what the fuck happened?
Processing ain’t open till morning. We
threw him in holding last night. ‘Fore we
even turn around, it’s like we’re back in
the fuckin’ Alamo.
He attack the guards?
Guards are fine. But he took on three
niggers like they stole from him.
Murphy stops outside a solid steel door.
I’ll tell you somethin’, Bud. After it
happened, our block was the quietest it’d
ever been. Wish we had ten just like him.
Open the door.
INT. ISOLATION CELL – CONTINUOUS
Bud enters. Murphy shuts the door and a series of locks BOLT.
We’re in a stone closet. No bed or sink. No light.
Heard you refused a public defender.
Jesse’s bruised face moves through shadow.
At the gas station…When you were
arrested, I put a gun to your head.
You expected someone else.
You don’t look like cops.
And your house? Guns. Mass supply tells
me, intent to sell. Cyanide in the
fridge, explosives…tells me you’re
Jesse’s eyes emerge from the dark. Bud, looking right at him.
I know who you are.
If you knew that much, you wouldn’t be in
Bud smiles and walks to the door.
One more thing, pal. I saw the judge this
There is no bond.
HOLD on Jesse.
Bud BANGS on the door. Locks UNLATCH. The door opens and Bud
steps calmly out to the hall…
The door shuts with a BOOM, locking Jesse in. And the nail in
the coffin resonates.
EXT. GREYHOUND STATION – LATE NIGHT
Dim and desolate.
INT. LOBBY, GREYHOUND STATION – LATE NIGHT
Grace buys a ticket, crosses the lobby to the men’s room.
INT. MEN’S ROOM
Grace at the sink. He pats running water on his damaged face
and straightens the bandage.
A TOILET FLUSHES
the stall door opens and a man emerges. Lean and fierce, like
an electric charge… CATFISH STANTON, 30.
Grace FREEZES at the sight of Catfish, tightening his belt.
Lets the water run…
Grace? That you?
Hey there, Catfish…
Catfish steps close, reaches a hand to Grace’s face.
‘The hell happened?
Grace flinches. Catfish pauses, then SNIFFS his hand.
Oh… Excuse me.
Catfish steps to the sink. Begins washing his hands.
So where you off to?
Goin’ to visit my mother. She’s real
That’s too bad. So you’ll be gone a long
Another MAN suddenly enters. Large and imposing, neck tattoos
…BUZZ MCKINNON, 32.
Catfish turns off the water. THE BATHROOM IS SUFFOCATED WITH
What can I do y’all for?
How come the Wheeler brothers, is locked
up? And you ain’t?
Wheeler brothers is locked up? I don’t
know nothin’ about that.
Catfish GRINS. It’s harsh. Blood curdling.
I heard different.
Well there ain’t no “different” to hear,
Catfish. ‘Cause I ain’t talked to neither
But you did talk to someone.
Buzz moves. Grace turns to look…
…In a blink, Catfish’s gun comes up: ONE QUICK POP. A .45
with a thick, barrel silencer. The mirror shatters. Grace’s
knees hit the floor. His head hits the sink, HOLDS. As blood
runs from one small hole.
Catfish straightens up in the next mirror. Tucks his shirt.
Grace’s body sags to the floor. Catfish and Buzz walk out.
INT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DAY
LOUD BUZZER. Two GUARDS #1 and #2 march Jesse down the tier.
On his left, PRISONERS in cells, TURN, STARE and WHISPER.
Jesse arrives at a cell.
BARS slide back. Jesse walks in. His CELL-MATE steps
cautiously from the shadows…
IT’S RAY. Pale and nervous. Jesse stands over him. The
brothers’ eyes connect. And there’s a moment…
EXT. EXERCISE YARD, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DAY
High stone walls topped with concertina wire. Looming guard
towers. Thick FOG blankets the yard filled with CONVICTS.
Jesse takes hold of a metal bar, lifts it from a bench press.
He does two reps. The weights BANG down and Jesse sits up.
This place is bad…
Ray adds weight to the already excessive amount. He sweats as
he talks nervously over Jesse’s shoulder…
There’s eyes everywhere. Like I got a
sign on my back, Jesse, they all think I
Jesse scans numerous WHITE CONS watching the Wheeler brothers.
Just the other day… some spic fish got
hit with a weight. Ten other cons, they
beat him and stabbed him till there
weren’t nothin’ left. And the guards let
Ray fastens the safety collars and Jesse leans back.
His brains were on the wall, Jesse. Like
somebody painted ‘em.
Jesse does another set. Weights BANG down. He slowly sits up.
They come at you?
Not yet… But it’s in the mail. I can
feel it fuckin’ coming.
Ray shoots a look at a group of ARYAN BROTHERS across the
yard. CZAPP, their “leader,” and ROACH. Jesse turns. Czapp
looks at him. Eyes meet. Jesse leans back.
The press shakes as Jesse does a last set. His red strained
face as the bar lands with a CRASH.
INT. YARD CORRIDOR, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DAY,
A long line of prisoners are filing back through the gate.
Ray, behind Jesse. Says low:
Sorry I put you back here. I never meant–
“Sorry”, Raymond…? You ain’t sorry.
I took you into my home. I tried to clean
you up. And you steal from me…? You
take my fuckin’ diamonds?
(dead to rights)
‘Cause of you, I missed the birth of my
Ray swallows hard. Nothing he can say.
INT. METRO OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DAY
CLOSE ON numerous files of ARYAN GANG MEMBERS. Arrest sheets,
paperwork and photos.
Alright, let’s work this…
In prison, Wheeler is credited for the
expansion of the Brotherhood. When
Federal split up members, they had to
reorganize. So they tattooed their blood
types and serial numbers on one another.
Recede and multiply.
REVEAL NOW Bud and Shepard with Cobb and Marandino around a
table, used as a converted eating area.
Put ‘em in prison, they get stronger.
Everywhere you send one, they recruit in
numbers. Within five years, their numbers
were over ten thousand.
Wheeler directed all that, huh?
Shepard is flipping through a worn, thick file.
What do you got there, Shep’?
Interpol wired us files on three known
Aryan leaders in the state of Louisiana:
Edgar Bingham. Harold Kay. And this
man… Lucian Adams.
He opens the file, revealing mugshots of LUCIAN ADAMS, 51.
Dark eyes. Sharp, gun metal features.
High priest of the Aryan National Party.
His “ministry” of Christian Identity and
Paramilitary Order has stood for over a
decade. Check this out…
Shepard pulls an old, faded surveillance photo: (Long shot)
Lucian talking to a young Jesse outside a compound.
Wheeler was just seventeen when he met
Lucian at the Patriotic Congress.
Today, Lucian’s one hell of an
entrepreneur. Owns surplus stores.
Demolition. A piping business. Got trucks
runnin’ all across the God damn country.
Bud’s been quiet; says now:
Stay focused. Get back to Wheeler… I
need an angle.
For what? If Wheeler ever flipped, news
would spread like wildfire. The AB’s
gonna know about it. They’d gonna know
about it nationally.
(re: his coffee)
Pass the sugar.
That’s if he was a surface informant. I
don’t want him to testify. I want to keep
him on the street.
(to the group)
Look, this guy’s been in it a long time.
He’s up to his elbows; wants to shake his
hands free. I can feel it.
Braddock ain’t gonna go for this.
I’ll handle that.
Everyone looks to Bud.
We got one chance here. ‘Cause if this
falls short… Jesse Wheeler’s worth more
dead than alive.
INT. CAFETERIA, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – EVENING
A sea of tables divided by race as far as the eye can see.
Jesse and Ray, trays in hand, find an island of ARYAN
PRISONERS. They quickly part to make room for Jesse to sit.
Suddenly Czapp and Roach arrive with their trays and abruptly
sit across from the Wheeler brothers.
How you doin’, Ray?
(off Ray’s look)
We was just over there wonderin’ why you
ain’t got the courtesy to introduce us to
I was gonna.
I’m sure you was.
Czapp locks on Jesse, who calmly eats, not looking up.
Jesse Wheeler. Heard of you…
Fuckin-A, heard a lot.
Name’s Czapp… You can call me,
I kept an eye on your brother the past
few days for you. Ain’t that right, Ray?
My brother ain’t none of your business.
Ain’t none of my business, “Bossman.” And
everything in this fuckin’ place is my
Ray nervously glances down at several Aryans watching…
Listen to me, you sonofabitch. I’m gonna
make one God damn thing God damn clear.
Your reputation is smoke. Whatever they
say you is or once was, I don’t give a
flyin’ fuck. ‘Cause it’s my say-so now.
And your fuckin’ brother’s up for grabs.
Czapp looks away from Jesse and shouts down the table:
Y’all got that?!
Suddenly Jesse SPRINGS. A headbutt EXPLODES Czapp’s nose and
throws him back.
Czapp’s head hits linoleum, echoing with a CRACK!! He lies
still. Bloodied and unconscious.
(stumbles away, shocked)
A DEAFENING SILENCE SPREADS OVER THE CAFETERIA.
Jesse calmly resumes eating. Czapp’s blood covers his face.
SUDDENLY AN ALARM BLARES. GUARDS pour in, led by Murphy.
INMATES HIT THE DECK, arms behind their heads. All except
Jesse, who continues to eat.
WHEELER!!! Stand the fuck up! Hands
behind your head!
Hands behind your head! Get on the
Jesse puts his hands behind his head, but does not kneel.
Restraints are slammed on Jesse’s wrists. And we…
CUT TO BLACK.
INT. ISOLATION, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – LATE NIGHT
The door unlocks and drags open. Jesse turns, blinking
painfully into the light …Sees an imposing DUTY GUARD.
INT. GUARD STATION
Jesse is led in. Duty Guard hits an extension button on a
desk phone and offers the receiver…
Jesse doesn’t move.
It’s a secure line.
Duty Guard walks out. Alone now, Jesse picks up the line…
A low, whiskey voice is HEARD over the line: LUCIAN ADAMS.
Been a long time…
Jesse shuts his eyes. There’s a moment before he opens them.
Read about the arrest, Jesse. There’s a
lot of heat on this one.
I don’t want my brother touched.
I ain’t callin’ about your brother. I’m
callin’ about you…
Jesse turns SLOW to find the Duty Guard watching him from the
hall. Lights a cigarette, stares.
You should have come to me sooner, Jesse.
None of this would have happened.
I’m askin’ you, Lucian. My brother ain’t
Your brother’s a fuck up.
And Jesse’s quiet… Dead quiet…
And Jesse… We may know what you can do.
But you know what we can do. Understand?
Jesse hesitates, then Lucian hangs up. DIAL TONE.
INT. BRADDOCK’S OFFICE – LATE NIGHT
Room strewn with piles of casework. Bud, agitated, paces.
Braddock, behind a desk.
You’re reachin’, Bud. The leverage ain’t
It’s there. It’s gotta cook a little
longer, that’s all.
Jesse won’t so much as blink at doin’
life. The fuckin’ guy didn’t rise in the
ranks ‘cause he skirts under pressure.
There’s no deal to be had.
C’mon, Mike, you know what’s goin’ on.
Ray Wheeler compromised Jesse. By that,
he compromised the Brotherhood. Don’t
tell me there ain’t no fuckin’ leverage.
Bud pours himself a cup of coffee.
We need somethin’ more.
Well we ain’t sleepin’ till we find it.
INT. VISITOR’S GATE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DAY
Lynn, dark pouches under her eyes, goes through security
check. INFANT SON in her arms.
Wives, girlfriends and lawyers talk to prisoners.
Lynn, dark pouches under her eyes, holding their son, across
Life. You know how fuckin’ long that is,
Lynn’s hands are shaking.
So what am I supposed to do? Wait? Run?
Your friends are comin’ by the house.
Askin’ questions, hangin’ around. Waitin’
for the God damn phone to ring.
Jesse is silent.
You said we were done with this. That
they were out of our lives.
The baby begins to CRY.
We have no money, Jesse. Which means we
have no fucking food. …Say something,
It’s gonna be okay.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid for my life…
The baby WAILING now.
…For our baby.
TIGHT ON JESSE, for the first time, appearing powerless.
As Lynn wipes tears, trembling in her seat, Jesse looks away
from his son, and glances up…
Behind a glass partition outlying the room, a MAN is watching
BUD. Stark still. Fixing Jesse with a hard stare.
INT. PROPERTY ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – LATER
A CLERK passes Lynn her belongings through chain link. She
wipes her eyes, holding the baby.
The back bay doors open. Bud enters. Sleepless, wrinkled
Lynn Wheeler. We haven’t been properly
introduced. I’m Detective Bud Carter.
I know who you are.
You have a ride home?
We took the bus.
Bud peels a few bills from a fold, puts it on the counter.
Take a cab.
Bud lays his card atop the bills, looks at Lynn.
‘You need anything…anything at all. Be
sure to call me.
They look at each other. She pulls her baby close. There’s an
unspoken moment. And Bud walks away…
Lynn waits till Bud is out of view. Then takes the money. And
INT. CELLBLOCK, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DAY
A Guard buzzes Jesse through.
PRISONERS line the tier. Smoking cigarettes. Looking out.
Jesse walks past, enters…
…where Ray sleeps in shadow on the bottom bunk.
Jesse pulls a Polaroid from his pocket: His infant son. He
gazes at the photo for a beat, then brings it to Ray…
No response. Jesse nudges his brother’s shoulder.
Raymond, take a look.
Jesse rolls him over. Ray is limp. A filthy SYRINGE imbedded
his arm. Jaw slack. Eyes wide and vacant.
THE PHOTO FLUTTERS FROM JESSE’S HAND TO THE FLOOR…
Jesse lowers, pulling Ray to his arms. He shuts his eyes.
Teeth clench. And as Jesse feels the bile rising, his massive
frame begins to shake… Then we realize, he’s crying…
EXT. LOADING DOCK, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON – DUSK
Pouring rain. Ray’s corpse is loaded onto an ambulance.
INT. JESSE’S CELL – DUSK
Jesse sits in shadow. Alone. And it’s still…
Jesse sleeps. Hand under the pillow. When there’s a sound…
His eyes SNAP OPEN to discover the silhouettes of SIX MEN,
rushing into his cell…
A LOADED SOCK swings out from Jesse’s pillow, slams MAN #1 in
the jaw with a CRACK!!
On his feet, Jesse whips the sock around and whacks MAN #2’s
head against the concrete wall. He slumps down unconscious.
A BLUNT OBJECT is rammed into Jesse’s sternum. Another shot
bangs his neck. The sock drops and a PADLOCK clatters out.
With a final burst of energy, Jesse turns, SCREAMS and rushes
MAN #3. Man #3 slams into the cell bars. CLANG!! Lights out.
The remaining three Men attack. A series of blows rain down
and Jesse sinks into their grip.
HALL LIGHTS BUMP ON: NOW WE SEE, THESE “MEN” ARE GUARDS.
More GUARDS pour in, led by Murphy. They yank Jesse from his
cell and take him down the tier.
Guards toss the cell in a thorough search. Mattress
overturns. Shelves crash.
PRISONERS move to their bars, SHOUTING and JEERING as Jesse
is wrestled down the STAIRS to…
THE LOWER TIER
Jesse thrashes violently as the Guards slam him through a
between cell blocks. The ROAR of prisoners recedes as Jesse’s
dragged into darkness getting darker.
A DOOR SLAMS OPEN…
INT. READY ROOM, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRISON
…THERE’S A FLASH OF LIGHT. We’re in a windowless room.
And Bud pouring coffee for two…
Want a cup of coffee?
Jesse is handcuffed to the table. Guards are breathing hard.
MOTHERFUCKER! This how you do things?
Yeah… When I want to talk to someone,
without giving the impression he’s
Jesse pauses, caught by Bud’s tactics. The Guards file out
and shut the door.
Jesse’s eyes are fierce and watching Bud’s every movement as
he hands him a coffee, then takes a seat…
You got a problem.
Yeah, what’s that?
To start with, you’re lookin’ at two
I’ve done the time. I’ll do it again.
I know you can do it. But can your
Jesse’s face is tense. Unyielding.
Your brother’s dead, Jesse. As we’re
sittin’ here now, he’s on a slab at St.
Gabriel’s Morgue. The coroner’s callin’
it, “suicide”. You and I both know that’s
a load of shit.
You do the time– sure. And you never see
your kid. ‘Cept in here. You can recruit
him. Your wife…plans…everything…
‘Less you talk…to me.
Jesse silent, a dark internal pause. He meets Bud’s eyes
across the table; then…
Do you hate?
Jesse’s sudden directness has caught Bud off-guard.
Who do you hate the most? Blacks you
throw in prison?
…I dislike what they represent in the
system. Not as a whole.
And Jesse begins to consciously or unconsciously “preach.”
And you believe that by overthrowin’
Aryan nationalism and integratin’
races…polluted creeds, with us…You
believe you’re solvin’ somethin’?
I believe we survive by integrating
safety. Understanding hate, and how to
It ain’t evil to fight it. It’s evil to
Maybe you forget that, to justify what
you do for a living…
Are we still in prison, or we back at the
compound, havin’ mass?
You don’t get it.
No, don’t dictate to me what put you in
here, or question my intentions with your
‘Fact, I think you wanted out ‘fore I
even got to you! That’s why you distanced
yourself. That’s why you’re out there
crackin’ safes. Lookin’ to live a life
that ain’t AB.
In who I am, there’s pressure! I work for
you, I won’t need a lawyer, I’ll need a
priest! My outside finance is gone… My
wife and son, their heads wind up
somewhere their bodies ain’t! So tell me,
why the fuck should I get involved with
How about personal warranty?
Yeah, that’s right! You’ve been a part of
the problem so long, you’ve forgotten
what the fuck that is!
“Finance…” Your wife came here on a bus
to see you. I sent her home in a cab. Is
that your outside fuckin’ finance?!
Beat. Jesse, taken back.
Let me give you a little insight, pal. As
to what I know… And what you think you
Bud flips open a file and shoves a series of grainy B&W
SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS in front of Jesse.
This is today…
Photo #1: Outside Jesse’s House. A distressed Lynn and the
baby being led into a car by Catfish.
Is that your house? That’s your wife,
right? Who’s this guy?
Photo #2: Tight-shot of Catfish.
(off Jesse’s look)
Know where he’s takin’ them? Takin’ your
family? I got a pretty good fuckin’ idea.
Photo #3: An anonymous duplex. Catfish escorting Lynn and the
baby inside, past several surly Aryans looking on.
Jesse finally averts his eyes…
Look at your wife, Jesse. Look at her
face. And your son. They look safe to
I’m all you’ve got! I’m all your family’s
got! And the longer you’re in here,
they’re up for grabs.
ON JESSE. The wheels turning. Burning. THE CAMERA MOVES IN…
So either you let that happen… Or I get
the judge to allow bond. This never sees
trial. And you work for me.
And that’s where it hangs…
Jesse Wheeler. Please rise…
INT. COURTROOM, BATON ROUGE – DAY
Jesse rises, wearing a suit. JUDGE PONDER, at the bench,
presides over this arraignment hearing:
You stand accused of forty counts of
burglary, twenty nine counts of felony
theft, possession of illegal firearms,
possession or dealing in unregistered
weapons, possession of a controlled
substance, manufacture and possession of
incendiary devices, and seventeen counts
of receiving stolen goods… How do you
CUT TO DANIEL KIERSEY, 40s, sharp, confident, expensively
dressed. Jesse’s attorney, rising:
Not guilty, Your Honor.
Let’s hear the arguments for bail.
The DISTRICT ATTORNEY rises from his seat:
Your honor, this man is an habitual felon
as well as a flight risk. Our office has
overwhelming evidence that Mr. Wheeler is
not only guilty, but also a serious
threat to the community. The State
recommends that bail be denied.
Your honor, my client deserves a
reasonable bail. He has every intention
of appearing and answering to all these
false charges. In addition, he is the
sole provider for his wife and newborn
child, who would suffer undo hardship if
this man were incarcerated.
CUT TO Judge Ponder:
Bond is set at one million.
THE GAVEL BANGS DOWN. Kiersey shakes Jesse’s hand. Smiles:
REVEAL BUD — seated in back, watching the proceedings.
INT. BEDROOM, JESSE’S HOUSE – PRE DAWN
Lynn, asleep in bed…
Jesse stands, holding his son, quietly comforting him. When
Jesse turns, WE SEE a .45 tucked in his back.
AND THE PHONE RINGS…
STATIC; he listens, then:
EXT. BACKYARD, JESSE’S HOUSE – PRE DAWN
Jesse steps through his fence into deep WOODS, to find a CAR
waiting idyll on a dirt road.
INT. CAR – PRE DAWN
A HEAVY-SET MAN at the wheel. Jesse gets in as the headlights
spin on and the car pulls away…
EXT. SHIPYARD – PRE DAWN
Dark. Eerie and desolate. The car arrives. Jesse steps out
and disappears into the shadows of a towering crane.
On the jetty, a nondescript MAN stands alone against the calm
Mississippi. His back is to us.
Jesse approaches, stands quietly beside him.
How’s your family?
We realize now…It’s Bud.
Let’s get somethin’ straight. I ain’t
here ‘cause I’m scared. I done what I
did, ‘cause certain people crossed the
line. They didn’t keep their word.
Well my word counts.
They stand together, facing the liquid horizon…
I want a body, Jesse.
How many you want?
Bud finally looks at Jesse.
EXT. BORROW PITS – DAWN
A swamp area used as a mud retrieval source for the levy.
Amite River. FOG OBSCURES NEARLY EVERYTHING.
Jesse slowly emerges… Then Bud and Metro, on all sides, MAG-
LIGHTS, FLAK JACKETS and SHOTGUNS. A DUFFEL BAG of SHOVELS.
The sounds of the swamp are terrifying. Herons and bobcats.
Boots hitting water. The buzz of a million mosquitos.
SUDDENLY A RUSHING SOUND — An ALLIGATOR shoves off the mire.
‘The fuck is that?
Cobb’s light catches the tail whipping into the swamp.
Yard dog. Relax.
Where’s this motherfucker taking us?
Jesse suddenly STOPS. LISTENS. BREATHES. Bud and Metro stare.
(directly to Bud)
Metro exchanges looks, ANXIOUS. Bud nods “okay”.
EXT. JESSE’S BORROW PIT
Metro engulfed in fog. Picks and shovels rise and fall.
Bud! We hit something!
Bud excitedly descends the pit to scrape gravel from metal.
Clear it off! Come on, find the edges!
Jesse watches as a pair of STEEL DRUMS emerge.
INT. STATE POLICE AUTOPSY ROOM – MID MORNING
The “cold room”. Bud and Braddock watch as two PATHOLOGISTS
hose down the drums. The stench is horrible.
How long they been down there?
Jesse tells me six months.
Six months? Bud, they’re biodegraded by
now. Fuckin’ worm food.
We’ll get an ID. Remember, we got the guy
who put ‘em there.
BLOW TORCHES ROAR as Pathologists burn through the drums.
Sparks fly. The lids CRASH. Swamp water floods out… And
immersed within: two sore-covered, DECOMPOSING BODIES.
The room recoils from the fumes.
INT. KITCHEN, JESSE’S HOUSE – DAY
Lynn is putting dishes away. The baby nearby, sleeps quietly
in a swing. Lynn gazes out the window…
EXT. DRIVEWAY, JESSE’S HOUSE
Jesse is under the hood of his truck, fixing the engine…
When a ’71 Mustang, white-on-white, roars up the street.
Jesse glances over as the car pulls alongside the driveway.
It’s CATFISH, at the wheel. A wolfish grin.
‘Bout time to get a new truck there,
Jesse tightens a nut with a torque wrench, says nothing.
Good to see you out. A free man now.
What’s goin’ on, ‘Fish?
On a Sunday drive, that’s all. The good
Lord ridin’ shotgun, through another
glorious Louisiana mornin’.
Jesse EYES his .45 atop the engine block, within reach.
Say, Jesse… Lucian’s askin’ about you.
Fact, a lot of people are.
Jesse stays on the engine, never turns around.
You tell him I’ll come by.
(no longer smiling)
That’s good. I’ll see you real soon then.
As Catfish drives away… We HEAR a series of photos being
taken at high-speed. FREEZE FRAME to BLACK & WHITE.
PULL BACK to a distant CONSTRUCTION TRAILER. Bud with a long
lens camera, triggers snapshots.
INT. DINER – DAY
Greasy spoon, soul food joint. Trucker and labor patrons.
Bud walks in, perplexed to find Braddock sitting with
MARTIN FITCH (30), Deputy Chief of Staff for US Attorney
General. Pressed suit. Young face. Out of his element.
Bud, this is Special Agent, Martin Fitch.
He’s down from Washington. With the
Martin. Just call me Martin.
Fitch offers his hand, smiles. Bud shakes.
Martin’s gonna be soliciting Jesse’s case
for a Federal sponsor.
How long you been with the Attorney
Just over a year.
Bud looks at Braddock.
I want to assure you my education and
experience is more than adequate to
handle a case of this potential.
Is that right…
Fitch’s smile drops as Bud stares him down.
Why don’t we get to the particulars?
To get Jesse a federal sponsor, we need
something substantial. A bait. In the
Justice Department, we have this mission
statement… We decide who the target is,
what’s the threat assessment, the cost
value, over what time table it’s gonna
take place… Which target do we go after
first. We don’t want to miss a big target
hitting a smaller target, you understand?
Well, exposing bodies has limitations.
Those people are dead. We can’t retrieve
He means there might not be enough to
Keep him on the street without
protection, he winds up dead.
What I’m saying is, we need fresh leads.
He’ll need to present something that
separates him from those we’re going to
arrest. If Jesse can’t offer something
continuous… I’m afraid we can’t be of
Bud stares at Fitch.
A WAITRESS in her 50s approaches.
Ready to order?
Yes. I’ll take a garden salad. Roquefort
on the side.
You’ll take what?
It’s a dressing.
Well…we got ranch, thousand island and
oil. Which one you want?
Bud’s chair SCRAPES back as he stands, stares hard at Fitch:
Lost my appetite.
And walks out.
EXT. PARKING LOT OUTSIDE DINER – DAY
Bud stalks out to his car. Braddock follows, agitated. They
say nothing till they reach the car.
I set this up. Me and Jesse. If the Feds
want to help, that’s fine. But not him.
What do you mean, “me and Jesse?” He’s
not your partner, Bud. This case is
beyond our capacity. It requires
resources we don’t have.
Bud unlocks the car. They stand, talking across the roof.
They ain’t takin’ us serious, Mike. They
send us some kid with a year under his
belt?! He don’t even know what state he’s
in… You want him in charge?!
You’re God damn right I do! You’re out on
a limb on this already, Bud! It’s my job
to make sure you get back!
This is bullshit.
That may be. What it ain’t, is open for
Braddock walks away. Bud simmers a moment, gets in his car.
INT. A ROOM – FOLLOWING MORNING
A bare room; nothing to tell us where we are. Jesse’s on a
stool. He runs his fingers down his mustache, grits his teeth.
Y’all wanna talk about crime? Well I
could tell y’all things. Names.
Locations. What boat is movin’ what
drugs, which one is guns. Who’s gonna get
cut up and why. …But what I got to know
is, if ‘n when I do this… If I wear
your dog collar… Y’all gonna do what’s
right by me and keep my head from gettin’
shot the fuck off? ‘Cause the truth is,
you need me. You ain’t got enough cops
with enough sense or enough time, to
clear them crimes that already been
committed and will be.
Y’all need me… I got the devil’s
REVERSE: We’re in a HOTEL SUITE.
Shades down. Full of AGENTS: FBI, ATF, DEA, SECRET SERVICE.
Law enforcement everywhere. On the furniture, against the
wall, sitting on the floor. Staring at Jesse in silence.
Bud stands by the door with Braddock. And Fitch steps
forward, laughs nervously…
Okay, great… Thanks. Thank you, Jesse,
for that. And thank you, everyone for
Uh, we all know why we’re here. To solve
a matter of custody–
We’ll protect you and your family, Jesse.
(to the room)
It’s a federal matter, gentlemen. Those
bodies were transported over state lines.
An ATF AGENT #1 imposes:
Not so fast. Ammunition, grenades? This
man’s house was a factory, for Christ’s
sake. ATF is taking this.
Those murders were drug related. DEA’s
got to do follow ups.
He was printing counterfeit money.
That’s Secret Service.
ARGUING ENSUES, Agents’ voices step over one another. Fitch
tries to take control. Jesse’s been silent, until…
There’s a hit list.
Fitch hears this. He turns, loudly to the room…
Wait! Wait a minute, quiet! Everyone
And EVERYTHING stops. Fitch moves to Jesse:
A hit list. There’s much as twelve. Might
be one or two less now, I ain’t sure.
Some could’ve already been gotten.
Now we’re talkin’.
FBI #2 approaches Jesse…
Why these twelve, Jesse?
Different reasons. It ain’t so much why
or what they done that matters. Pick any
one of ‘em off that list, AB puts you on
Everyone is suddenly interested. Bud sees this.
And you, sir, if I ain’t mistaken…
You’re Mr. Nokes, right?
Agents part, revealing JOHN NOKES(50s), black, an emminent
figurehead in a plush suit. Surprised to be pointed out…
First U.S. Attorney, John Nokes?
Well, last time I seen it…you was
number two on that list.
It’s quiet. Nokes thinks. Then LAUGHS and approaches Jesse.
Can you fill us in on the rest of those
Yes, I can. But there’s something I gotta
make clear ‘fore that happens.
I’ve listened to you, Mr. Nokes. And I’ve
listened to these suits here, on who’s
gonna take me in…
I will die, go to hell and take all y’all
cocksuckers with me, if he–
(motions to Bud)
–tells me to.
I want y’all to know that.
Jesse is explosive under the low projection delivery and a
CHILL falls over the room.
How’s that fly by you, Lieutenant?
Bud simply nods.
I’ll sponsor him. Jesse’s welfare will
come out of our budget. Anyone has
pending cases or leads for Jesse, see me.
I’ll loan him out.
Jesse stares at Nokes. As the meeting settles back to a
And, Jesse… I’m a little pissed I’m
number two on that list. Who the fuck is
The room erupts with LAUGHTER. Everyone except Bud and Jesse.
EXT. GRAND COUTEAU – DAY
Jesse’s truck moves over an old wooden bridge through
sweeping fields that stretch to a vast, wooded area.
EXT. FRONT GATES, PRIVATE PROPERTY – DAY
Jesse stops at a long drive protected by locked iron gates.
A surveillance camera zooms in. Jesse looks up. A second
camera pans on Jesse, staring…
MOVE IN as crackling, electronic pixels FILL THE FRAME and…
INT. GUARD STATION – SAME
A BANK OF MONITORS showing Jesse at the gates. A GUARD sits
in shadow, hits a button: We see the gates unlock and open.
INT. JESSE’S TRUCK
pulls down the private road.
Shafts of light mottle then burst, REVEALING an elegant
Jesse parks — walks up the porch, where Catfish is relaxing,
shoulder holster, revolver. And Buzz, cleaning a pistol.
Jesse nods, eyes Catfish.
I’m here to see Lucian.
Catfish grinds out his cigarette, gets to his feet.
He’s busy right now; You can come in and
INT. LUCIAN ADAMS’ OFFICE – DAY
CLOSE ON: A SNIFTER
as Louis XIII pours to the rim. From elsewhere in the room:
This operation of your’s has become big
business. You need relationships now more
THE VOICE belongs to RICHARD MORRIS, 40s. He sits in a
leather chair, facing Lucian Adams, who’s face we cannot see.
Seated next to Morris, is Daniel Kiersey.
…We’ve done business successfully
before, Mr. Adams. But it’s a larger
scope now. I’m here today because I want
to represent you exclusively. You need
someone lobbying at a state level, as
well as in Washington. My organization
can provide both. We’ve got contacts that
you don’t have and other people can’t
get. Now, I’m aware that you have
multiple businesses… However you need
one go-to guy, so that all your ventures
stay coordinated and all transactions and
contracts are realized. I am that person,
Mr. Adams. That’s what I do.
LUCIAN’S HAND lifts the cognac out of frame, drinks.
What’s this going to cost us?
As a retainer, I want an advance of three
hundred-fifty thousand, along with ten
percent of whatever economic benefit I
bring to this organization.
Three-fifty? C’mon, Dick. That’s out of
If you want a quality global economic
plan, that’s what you pay for–
We’ll give you two, Mr. Morris…That’s
what it’s worth.
Morris goes suddenly silent, looks across at Lucian.
The advance is a drop in the bucket. The
real money is the percentage. It’s in
your interest to see it my way.
Morris stares across the desk, several tense moments. Then:
You’ve got a deal.
INT. LIVING ROOM, LUCIAN ADAMS’ HOUSE – DAY
Morris emerges from the office. He glances at Jesse, then
shrugs on his coat and leaves…
Jesse looks back at the office doorway. FOLLOW Jesse in…
INT. LUCIAN ADAM’S OFFICE
…past Kiersey, behind a massive desk in this impeccable
room, we finally SEE LUCIAN ADAMS.
Jesse is not invited to sit.
Give us a minute.
Kiersey walks out and shuts the door…
he crosses slowly to a credenza, selects a clean shirt.
You have a son now, right?
As he removes the shirt he’s wearing, REVEAL tattoos: BLACK
SUN on his back. GERMAN RUNES, SS BOLTS, HRUNGNIR’S HEART.
And around his stomach, a belt of NORSE GODS with the words,
“INVISIBLE EMPIRE.” Prison tats, dark and aged.
What’d you name him?
I named him Ray.
Lucian, no emotion, puts on a pressed dress shirt, fastens
(over his shoulder)
Heard the cops smacked you around inside.
‘Wasn’t too bad.
Lucian checks his hair.
You’ve been a busy man, Jesse. More ways
Looks like you done just fine without me.
Business rollin’ through the door.
And Lucian finally turns; looks at Jesse, eyes measuring…
Last I saw you, you asked for time. Time
to raise a family.
Time to straighten things out.
I gave you that time… Then safe jobs
start poppin’ up. Lafayette. New Orleans.
Clinton. Baton Rouge. All over. The boys,
they think it’s niggers, gone widespread
on a hunt for pig’s feet. But they all
professional. Burn jobs. Hot-weld oxygen.
Laid out, burned, laid back, perfect.
(locked on Jesse)
I knew right then and there, only a white
respectable burglar could’ve done this.
Jesse smiles slightly. They know each other well…
…When Lucian’s smile suddenly drops. There’s a flash of
controlled anger across his face; and WE FEEL a curtain of
tension fall heavily on the room.
Jesse… With all the work you been
doin’: Diamonds. Emeralds. A dozen safe
jobs, behind my back…
Where’s the tribute to the greater cause?
Jesse he pulls from his pocket, a tiny pouch. Sets it on the
He pours the contents into Lucian’s palm: DIAMONDS and
Like I said, I just needed time.
Lucian approaches the desk, opens the pouch: DIAMONDS and
EMERALDS… A slow smile spreads across his face.
Well, even prophets stumble once in a
Lucian embraces Jesse. Tight. Then, softly in his ear:
It’s a shame about your brother.
As they part, their eyes meet. Something passes between
I/E. JESSE’S TRUCK, TRAVELING – BACK ROAD – NIGHT
Jesse at the wheel, glances nervously in the rearview. Lynn
in the passenger seat, baby in her lap. They’re driving under
the cover of darkness…
I don’t understand. Why do we have to
leave the state? You’re not tellin’ me
something. You’re not tellin’ me a lot.
It ain’t safe here no more. You wanted
out? This is out.
EXT. PRIVATE AIRSTRIP – NIGHT
Marandino looks through BINOCULARS: As an electric fence
slides back. Jesse’s truck approaches, drives through.
EXT. RUNWAY – NIGHT
A twin-engine PLANE idylls. Lines of blue lights, strobe like
rivers, air traffic above… And Bud, leaning against a
nearby car with Shepard and Cobb.
Jesse helps Lynn and the baby from his truck. Together, they
walk toward the plane…
Bud, watching from a distance, nods to Lynn.
OUTSIDE THE PLANE
Jesse and Lynn stare at each other. She’s crying as he pulls
her close, one arm around the baby. He says something to them
we cannot hear…
Then with the baby, Lynn boards her plane. An AGENT shuts the
door. The engine SCREAMS to life, taking off…
Jesse turns to shield his face. Lights STROBE and BLAST…
Then, ABRUPT DARKNESS AND SILENCE…
now alone on the tarmac. Bud approaches; then…
Lucian took the stones. Talked about
jobs. High-end, boxcar.
Your family’s safe now.
Let’s go to work.
INT. JEWELRY STORE BASEMENT – NIGHT
Several AB SOLDIERS stand watch as Jesse pushes a heavy, 10″
drill through a jeweler’s vault door… Jesse throws tumbler
and relock mechanisms aside, reaches in… jewels, gems.
EXT. PARKING LOT – BETWEEN CARS – NIGHT
Bud and Jesse parked next to each other, trading info.
E/I. VARIOUS HIDEOUTS – NIGHT
AB counterfeiting bills… Printing press and metal plates…
Hands stain bills with coffee grounds and cigarettes, then
industrial dryers… Jesse at a table behind tall stacks of
cash, inspecting, approving…
INT. UNDERGROUND GARAGE – NIGHT
Bud with Jesse. Info, names and written amounts.
INSERTS: HANDS file serial numbers off guns… HANDS building
silencers… loading guns in suitcases below false bottoms…
EXT. PAY PHONES – NIGHT
Jesse on the line… Bud on the other end, taking notes…
INT. GARAGE – NIGHT
AB Soldiers unload crates from trucks, “Chrysler Corp.”…
“Remington Firearms”… Antique furniture… Machinery…
INSERT: A MONEY MACHINE counts large denominations of cash.
EXT. BELOW AN OVERPASS – NIGHT
Parked under the interstate. Bud looks over Jesse’s info.
EXT. NEW ORLEANS PORT – NIGHT
A large fishing boat arrives. Numerous Fisherman load marlin
onto refrigerated trucks… Catfish, Buzz, numerous AB start
up the trucks… Jesse hands the Head Fisherman a canvas bag
PULL BACK to reveal Shepard, Cobb and Marandino on the roof
of a neighboring port, snapping photos. Taking notes.
E/I. ISOLATED BARN – NIGHT
Trucks arrive. AB bring the marlin inside… Atop a crate,
Jesse slices a marlin open, revealing kilos of cocaine. More
marlins are cut. More cocaine.
INT. METRO OFFICE – DAY
Bud on the typewriter, hammering out Jesse’s contacts and
movements. Files piling on his desk.
INT. METRO OFFICE – NIGHT
An organizational chart, as Bud pins AB mug shots, arrest
sheets and surveillance photos wall to wall.
Bud steps back, observes. His case building. Getting huge.
EXT. BACK PATIO, LUCIAN’S HOUSE – DAY
Wood secluded. Lucian, Jesse and Kiersey sit around a table.
There’s a variety of matters to discuss
today, gentlemen. Eddie Moran’s trial
starts next week. One of the jurors
reached out. He’s asking six thousand up
front plus a job at four hundred a week.
That guarantees a hung jury with a push
for an acquittal.
Three hundred. Give him a no-show at the
(as he writes)
Construction on the building Morris
brought us, in south-east Florida, is
complete. Every unit sold. We should see
revenues of one point four million over
our original projections.
Lucian lights a cigar, smoke curls from his lips.
Lastly, our “friends” from the Middle
East. They put a final offer on the
table. They’ll fund our operation in
Louisiana if we agree to act on their
behalf. Political targets mostly, on the
basis of our approval…
I advise we do a test case. Perhaps a
sample of their resources.
“Final offer?” Demands…
Close the deal. We’ll cook the cash for
it. By the time they realize, we’ll have
(laughs to Jesse)
You believe they’re travelin’ all the way
to Louisiana just to get fuckin’ robbed?
EXT. LUCIAN’S BACK YARD – LATER
Jesse and Lucian walk together through green, expansive
countryside. A pair of Arabian mares graze nearby.
I want you runnin’ point on this one…
I’ll be honest, I was hopin’ for
What do you got in mind?
How ‘bout a few of them heads off the
We got guys for that now. Catfish, Buzz.
What do you want to go back to that for?
The money’s worth twice this. Bring back
a head it’s fifteen grand; Bring a heart,
it’s thirty, right?
Lucian looks at Jesse, who feels Lucian’s scrutiny.
Tell you what. Do this other thing we got
Then I’ll give you that taste.
EXT. HENDERSON INDUSTRIAL ZONE – ESTABLISH – NIGHT
Dark, factory skyline. Burnt out cars sit before a WAREHOUSE.
INT. WAREHOUSE – NIGHT
HEADQUARTERS for the Baton Rouge operation. A beehive of
government activity. TECHNICIANS listen to tapes… PHONES
ring off the hook… Bud and Fitch going over the case:
There’s pressure from Washington. They
send compliments for Jesse’s work. But
our primary concern is that list. I need
names we can protect.
We know that, Fitch. He’s workin’ on it.
If Jesse can just get a direct order…
from Lucian to him, on a wire–
–A wire?! He just went back to work, you
want him to wear a fuckin’ wire?
Put a tap on that God damn lawyer’s
phone, that’s what you should do.
He’s an attorney, Carter. Anything we get
would be inadmissable.
It’s information, Fitch.
Fitch, annoyed, but staying on track.
Bud. We need Jesse to engage Lucian on
the record. Otherwise it’s just hearsay.
He’s disconnected from everything, like a
Bud, cooling his heels. As the phones RING and RING…
A violent rainfall.
AERIAL SHOT swooping along the HIGHWAY, then rising above the
deep woods to reveal a TRUCK STOP ahead.
EXT. TRUCK STOP – NIGHT
Closed for construction. A VAN arrives. A blinking barricade
is pulled back, allowing entrance…
Generators light the scene: A group of SHIITE MUSLIMS wait by
a pair of idle FREIGHT TRUCKS. A crew of five AB SOLDIERS
exit the van: Jesse, Catfish and Buzz among them.
EXT. LUMBER STORAGE, TRUCK STOP – NIGHT
The door to one Freight truck rolls to the top, revealing a
converted ASSAULT WEAPONRY SHOWCASE.
Below covered scaffolding, both crews stand. Guns bulge
through their coats. No talking. No sudden movement.
Shiites watch Jesse and Catfish examine the merchandise: SEMI
AUTOMATICS, SHOTGUNS, CARBINES, SUB-MACHINE GUNS…
Everyone looks at each other. Jesse acknowledges worth.
Catfish pulls a large CANVAS BAG from the van, filled with
cash. As he carries it toward a bench, a large Shiite (OMAR)
reaches for the bag before Catfish can set it down…
…Both men hold tight. Neither letting go. And there’s a
Catfish and Omar are eye-to-eye. Then, Catfish lets go with a
Go ‘head. Count it.
The Shiite leader, NASEEM, sees the strife.
There a problem?
No problem. Money’s all there.
Omar hands the bag to Naseem. The count starts. Both crews
…All except Catfish, fixated on Omar, who stares back.
‘The fuck you lookin’ at…?
The count stops. Naseem looks to Omar. Questions in Arabic go
back and forth. The pressure getting to the group…
Catfish, would you shut the fuck up? This
ain’t the time.
Yes, listen to your boss.
What?! What fuckin’ “boss?” You best
watch your ass, sand nigger.
Piece of shit–!
Everyone reaches for their guns. Threats SHOUTED in Arabic
Take it easy! Take it easy!
SUDDENLY ARC LIGHTS BEHIND A DISTANT BARRIER IGNITE, flooding
the scene. Everyone turns.
(over a loud speaker)
ATF! THE PERIMETER’S SURROUNDED!
Omar reaches for the bag of cash…
BLAM! Catfish FIRES, point blank, shooting Omar in the face.
And World War III erupts.
AB’s FIRE. Shiites RETURN FIRE. From several stakeout
locations, ATF AGENTS deploy and OPEN FIRE.
Jesse is grazed in the shoulder, slips, staggers-runs.
SHIITE #1 FIRES THREE SHOT BURSTS at AB #1, who’s blown
apart. A generator and ATF #1 collapse.
ATF #2 and #3 with pump shotguns OPEN UP on the AB’s van.
Naseem, over a Mercedes roof, FIRES A BURST at ATF, then
swings onto AB #2 and FIRES, killing him. Naseem jumps into
the Mercedes, yells at the DRIVER to go.
Buzz RAPID FIRES, hits Shiite #1 in the back. Shiite #1 is
spun around and Buzz shoots him in the head.
Catfish FIRES into the lot… Hitting SHIITE #2.
IN THE MERCEDES, Driver floors it. ATF re-emerges, kneels and
PUMPS SHOTS into the Mercedes.
Jesse has taken off, past the lumber storage. Catfish and
Buzz follow, breaking for the Freight truck.
IN THE MERCEDES, Driver is blown apart by ATF. The car
CRASHES into a dumpster, knocking Naseem out.
Jesse, Catfish and Buzz jump into the Freight. ATF FIRES.
WINDOWS EXPLODE. SHIITE #3, trying to climb in is shot down.
Jesse, behind the wheel… BURNS rubber pulling out of the
stop, over and through a scaffold, collapsing it.
The Freight truck draws everyone’s FIRE. Jesse pilots it
through the CHAOS. Scaffold DRAGGING behind. Sparks fly.
JESSE’S POV: Where he’s going. An opening in the
construction, leads back to the HIGHWAY and ONCOMING TRAFFIC.
ATF CARS speeds in, the opposite way…
AS THE VEHICLES PASS: JESSE AND ATF
lock eyes. And the Freight makes the highway, scattering
traffic, to the sound of ongoing GUNFIRE…
EXT. DESOLATE FIELD – LATE NIGHT
The moon hangs low as Jesse parks the Freight truck among
tall grass, where a vacant BREAD TRUCK is waiting.
As Catfish exits the truck…
…Jesse takes Catfish’s gun, grabs him by the neck and SLAMS
him against the cab. FACE TO FACE.
You’re a piece of work, Catfish.
Buzz grabs at Jesse; Jesse HURLS him to the ground.
Them niggers crossed the line…I had to
–You had to keep your mouth shut! On a
job, you don’t do fuckin’ shit ‘less I
‘The fuck off me–!
Jesse slams him back again. HOLDS his throat.
Fuck me up again, you hear me? I’ll leave
you where I find you. Got that?
PAUSE. Catfish glares, then concedes.
Unload the fuckin’ truck.
Jesse starts moving crates from the Freight onto the bread
truck. Catfish and Buzz watch for a moment, then join.
INT. FBI WAREHOUSE – LATE NIGHT
Televisions broadcast news coverage of the shoot-out. AGENTS
work, uncomfortable, as Bud and Fitch argue. Explosive…
Keep your voice down! This was out of my
I’m telling you, your agents best pull
their shit together! Who the hell y’all
trying to protect?!
Look, Carter. This is a joint task force
with multiple agendas, that run up the
chain of command through me. Intel came
forth at the eleventh hour that Naseem
Kazuri – an international arms dealer –
would be present at this meet. ATF was
tasked to observe and report.
That ain’t what they did–!
–No! Because your informant–
My informant, that’s right!–
–Your informant and his psychopath crew
greased half our political interests —
over a bag of fake cash! You weren’t
informed, so what?
Well I better be informed! ‘Cause this
ain’t fallin’ short! Now, any of y’all
got a collaborative agenda in the works?
I want to see it. These other agencies,
what time-lines they lookin’ at? What
deadlines and why?
Above your pay-grade–
And is there a purposeful lack of
communication between competing agencies,
who are right now charting future
mistakes, as we fuckin’ speak?!
That’s not your concern, Carter!
Braddock suddenly arrives, steps into the room…
We’re not talkin’ about me!!
You’re over-involved here.
And Bud’s taken off stride. Braddock looks Bud right in the
eyes, so there’s no doubt…
I’ll handle this.
Bud, red with anger, walks out.
Braddock watches him go. Fitch comes over, relieved…
Thanks for coming down, Mike. He’s been
berating my agents for the last hour.
Braddock pours a cup of coffee.
We’re trying to band-aid a situation
here, and frankly, Carter’s preference
for thug tactics isn’t helping. It’ll all
be in my report…
A big mistake. Now Braddock turns on Fitch, zeroing in…
“Isn’t helping?” Let’s not miss what
happened here, Fitch. We work for the
same cause doesn’t mean we work for you.
What are you gonna do now? Send Jesse
back out? Earn his trust? Bud Carter
delivered the biggest informant in the
history of this state to your lap, and
you and the people you work for are gonna
let it go to shit.
You can expect that will be in my report.
INT. STEEL MILL – PRE DAWN
STEELWORKERS warped in heat waves swing ingots into troughs.
The seven story furnace is deafening.
Lucian is met by Kiersey. They walk together through glassed
in hallways to a closed office door.
Lucian keys in, REVEALING a disheveled Morris seated in a
chair with two large AB Soldiers on either side.
INT. STEEL MILL OFFICE – PRE DAWN
Lucian shuts the door and sits before an ill at ease Morris.
Look. I had no previous knowledge of any
business with Muslims. So if stealing me
here in the middle of the night, is some
kind of accusation–
I’m not accusing you, Mr. Morris. But I
do find it interesting that right about
the time I employ you, my operation
starts having problems.
That is interesting…isn’t it?
Morris swallows hard as Lucian stares intensely.
I want to know if this was an isolated
incident. If the ATF impeding on my work
is the result of a deeper threat.
What are you suggesting?
I’m suggesting you contact your friends
With all due respect, Mr. Adams, that’s
not what I was retained for.
Well now it is.
That sort of information requires
clearance I don’t have. If I start
sniffing around, people are going to ask
I’m asking questions, Mr. Morris. And I’m
Morris gets stone quiet. Lucian hands him a phone.
You don’t leave here till I get answers.
And like that, this conversation is over.
EXT. LIQUOR STORE + PHONE BOOTH – DAWN
Off a deserted street. A DENSE FOG resides, far as the eye
can see. And Jesse, in a PHONE BOOTH, drops a dime and
(off Jesse’s silence)
Honey, you alright?
I’m okay. Just need to hear your voice.
How’s little Ray…?
I’ll put him on.
SILENCE for a moment…then a quiet baby’s voice.
It’s daddy on the phone, say hello.
Emotion rises to Jesse’s face. He holds it in, barely.
ANGLE: DOWN THE STREET
a lone CAR is parked in the shadows, fog rolling past…
…Jesse sees it, can’t see who’s inside it.
He hangs up.
A LONG MOMENT… Jesse stands there, watching the car… He
slowly makes his way toward the back of the store, where his
truck is parked. Pulse pounding, he tries the door…it’s
locked. Eyeing the car, he unlocks his truck.
THERE’S SUDDEN MOVEMENT. Jesse spins. And out of the darkness
— steps Bud — ready to pounce…
Where the hell you been?
Two days missin’, you broke protocol.
Three, and you’re a flight risk.
Agents’ll hunt your ass down.
(anger spiking, pacing)
I can’t keep doin’ this. I can’t fuckin’
breathe. Even the shadows got eyes.
This is the job. If I don’t hear from
you, I can’t protect you.
(in his face)
Protect me?! I about got my head fuckin’
shot off, ‘cause your guys was
Those ain’t my guys!
I don’t give a fuck– I don’t want your
protection! I want out!
There is no “out.” Not for either of us.
Not till it’s done…
Get me that list.
Jesse STARES — a malevolence in his eyes that freezes Bud to
the spot. Then, Jesse climbs in his truck and drives off.
INT. BRADDOCK’S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT –
Bud pacing; Braddock sits at his desk.
I’m losin’ him, Mike…
Just relax. We gotta let things settle,
It ain’t gonna settle, it’s gonna blow. I
can feel it.
What do you want me to do?
Push ‘em back.
The Feds. All these suits, fuckin’
outsiders. Everyone. Get me some room.
Some time to reel this thing in.
I’ll talk to Nokes. ‘See what I can do.
INT. OFFICE, STEEL MILL – DAY
Morris (a nervous wreck, unshaven) sits across from Lucian.
Kiersey at an adjacent table.
There’s an investigation underway, funded
by the U.S. Attorney. And you’re the
Morris opens his briefcase and hands over a pair of dossiers.
They’re receiving assistance from both
the ATF and FBI, who are stationed right
here in Henderson.
How long they been active?
My sources tell me three months.
Lucian puts on his reading glasses, opens a dossier.
Lucian peruses surveillance photos: Images of AB activity
goes by in a blur. Lucian’s eyes absorbing, rigid, unerring.
This is U.S. Attorney John Nokes, at the
helm. He’s been after us for years.
Who they got for a mouthpiece?
Who’s the rat in the woodpile? Who the
fuck’s giving ‘em information?
I couldn’t dig that deep. But it’s
I suggest you gentlemen disband.
Kiersey, foraging through reports. Page after page. Each
The investigation’s local point is a
detective out of East Baton Rouge.
His name’s Bud Carter.
ON LUCIAN. Thinking…Thinking…
INT. JESSE’S HOUSE – LATE NIGHT
Jesse, alone in the dark, seated on the couch… There’s a
Jesse moves soundlessly through the house, gun ready, toward
the back door.
JESSE’S POV: as the door opens slow, HE/WE SEE ON THE PORCH:
seated comfortably in a chair…
Jesse looks to the darkness. Dogwood trees. Thick growth.
Got somethin’ on your mind?
(without looking at him)
There’s been an adjustment to the list,
Jesse’s silent. YOU CAN CUT THE TENSION WITH A KNIFE…
We got this…heathen. A whore of an
Irishman…down in Baton Rouge.
He’s protected. Got a lot of guys around
him. That’s why it pays. That’s why
nobody wants the job… That’s why we’re
Who is it?
Lucian sets a photo on the table, face down with an address
written on back.
Jesse flips over the photo: It’s Bud, in uniform.
This cop… he’s got a mouthpiece…
somewhere. Ain’t yet figured out who.
In the meantime, shut him down.
ON JESSE, a frozen moment. He forces out the words:
With that, Lucian gets up and leaves, disappearing into
EXT. JESSE’S HOUSE – LATE NIGHT
Jesse climbs into his truck and pulls out to the street…
JESSE’S TRUCK heading up the INTERSTATE, crossing into EAST
BATON ROUGE, then driving through dark RESIDENTIAL STREETS of
I/E. JESSE’S TRUCK – LATE NIGHT
He pulls to the curb, parks. Jesse racks a MOSSBERG SG, loads
it with solid shot, then lays the gun on his lap.
THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: Bud’s house in the distance.
And Jesse sits there, several moments…WAITS…BREATHES…
Then he exits the truck…
EXT. BUD’S HOUSE – LATE NIGHT
Jesse moves — fast, soundless — toward the house. With his
shotgun, scales the fence, as we–
EXT. DOWN THE STREET, BY JESSE’S TRUCK – MOMENTS LATER
A VAN arrives, stops. No headlights, two hundred yards from
the house. INSIDE THE VAN: Catfish and Buzz. Several AB
SOLDIERS in back, armed to the teeth.
That’s his truck.
Let’s see what he does.
The motor ticks and ticks and…
EXT. SIDE YARD, BUD’S HOUSE – LATE NIGHT
It’s dark, quiet; but the muted glow of a tv in the living
room. JESSE MOVES IN SHADOW, shotgun leading… He stops.
WE HEAR THE SOUND OF HARD WATER FROM A SINK OFF-SCREEN
…Jesse moves toward it…
INT. CATFISH’S VAN – LATE NIGHT
Catfish, Buzz, the soldiers watching Bud’s house intently.
The fuck’s takin’ so long?
I would’ve shot that pig dead already…
‘made a pulled-pork sandwich.
Give him a minute. That’s a cop, lives
(checks his watch)
I’ll give him two.
Catfish, loading his gun, as–
EXT. YARD, BUD’S HOUSE – LATE NIGHT
Through a window, WE SEE Bud washing dishes. Then, slipping
watching him. Pulse pounding, his mind on overdrive, trying
to untangle identity and consequence… Then…
He taps the window, and Bud looks up…
THE BACK DOOR
Bud opens it:
Jesse. ‘The hell you doin’ here?
You been made, Bud. We gotta skin out.
INT. CATFISH’S VAN – LATE NIGHT
Catfish, anxious now, racking his gun again and again.
Relax, Catfish. You said two minutes.
Fuck you, man! This don’t feel right.
Just give it a second.
(to soldiers in back)
A few more seconds, right guys?
Catfish, breathing hard, bent on bloodshed…
Let’s kill ‘em both. Let’s do it now,
right now, let’s go–
INT. BUD’S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM – LATE NIGHT
Bud quickly dials the phone —
(over phone, answers)
Hey. Meet me at the office in ten
minutes. Cobb and Marandino too.
Why, what’s up?
I’ll explain later. Just get there. Now.
QUICK CUTS as Bud hangs up, shoves a .38 in his waistband.
Slams a clip and holsters a 9MM.
Let’s hit it.
Bud and Jesse start for the door…
INT. CATFISH’S VAN – LATE NIGHT
AB Soldiers loading their guns.
starts the engine; POV THRU THE WINDSHIELD: Jesse and Bud,
leaving the house.
That’s them! Together, you see?!
I see ‘em–
You see?! They’re fuckin’ dead!
EXT. BUD’S HOUSE – LATE NIGHT
Jesse hurries down the lawn. Bud to his Chevy.
SUDDENLY THE SOUND OF TIRES BURN… CATFISH’S VAN SEARS DOWN
…THE DOOR SLIDES OPEN AS AB SOLDIERS OPEN FIRE FROM SUB
Jesse drops behind a neighbor’s sedan.
Bud dives behind the Chevy. ROUNDS SLAM through sheet metal,
interior, and out the other end.
AB Soldiers exit the van, spread and keep FIRING. Jesse’s
sedan takes hits. WINDOWS AND TIRES EXPLODE.
Bud and Jesse aim over their roofs. Take and RETURN FIRE.
Catfish emerges, kneels and pumps SHOTS into Bud’s Chevy.
The WINDSHIELD is BLOWN APART — Shattered glass covers Bud.
INT. SHEPARD’S CAR, TRAVELING – LATE NIGHT
Shepard at the wheel. We hear dispatch on the police scanner:
All units: 10-17 in progress. 1825
Hyacinth. Multiple shots fired–
What the fuck?
–Units please respond…
Shepard hits the BRAKES, peels a hard U-turn and SLAMS the
gas toward Bud’s house…
EXT. BUD’S HOUSE – LATE NIGHT
Buzz rounds the van and OPENS FIRE.
Jesse and Bud cover. Their eyes connect. Bud signals towards
the house. Jesse nods…
…then lays cover fire with the Mossberg. AB #3 is spun and
Bud, under fire and firing back, races back into the house.
Jesse keeps FIRING.
I/E. BUD’S HOUSE – CONTINUOUS
Bud YANKS an M-16 from the closet and slams the door.
Jesse, on his knees, pulls a secondary .45 from his waistband
and fires over the hood of the sedan.
CATFISH FIRES HIS SHOTGUN AND JESSE’S HAND EXPLODES IN HALF.
Jesse hits the dirt, WRIST PUMPING BLOOD.
AB #4 and #5 move in for the kill, when out of nowhere —
SHEPARD’S CAR SPEEDS ON SCENE — His door kicks out; SHEPARD
PUMPS SHOTS, EXCHANGING.
Buzz comes up from behind, aims — BULLETS FLASH AND PUNCH
INSIDE THE HOUSE
Bud swings the M-16 through the glass and BLASTS AWAY,
killing AB #4, as Jesse staggers toward the house, holding
…and DIVES inside, then kicks the door shut.
EXT. BUD’S HOUSE – SAME
Catfish, Buzz and AB Soldiers flank the house.
INT. BUD’S HOUSE – SAME
On the floor, Jesse rips out his belt, a tourniquet around
the armpit. He holds it with his teeth and ties his arm.
Bud reloads and slides Jesse a .357 Python. Jesse takes it up
with his good hand.
Suddenly in the darkness beyond, MUZZLE FLASHES DISCHARGE.
THREE TRIPLE-AUGHT ROUNDS EXPLODE. Bud ducks, scrambles, as
rounds splinter the wall.
A BACK KITCHEN DOOR is bashed open and AB #5 steps in,
Bud lets fly — FIRING. Big bore rounds punch through AB #5.
His insides hit the wall.
WE NOW HEAR DISTANT POLICE SIRENS APPROACHING…
EXT. BUD’S HOUSE + STREET – SAME
A LONG-HAIRED AB on the lawn fires dozens of shots from an
Catfish and Bud exchange CROSSFIRE as…
…Buzz starts up the van and Catfish jumps in, followed by
I/E. BUD’S HOUSE + STREET
Bud runs out to the street, M-16 FIRING at the fleeing van.
Bullets shatter the back window as the van speeds around the
corner through garbage cans and a residential fence…
standing there. He turns, and STOPS when he SEES…
Bud holds his partner, horrified. Around them, bodies on the
lawn. Disabled vehicles. Doom overlays the property.
EXT. BUD’S HOUSE – MINUTES LATER
Pandemonium as the street is clogged with POLICE VEHICLES and
MEDIC UNITS. Braddock arrives with Cobb and Marandino.
Bud moves alongside a PARAMEDIC wheeling a gurneyed Jesse,
with a pressure bandage and splint, onto an ambulance.
(turns to Braddock)
We run ‘em now, Mike. Right fuckin’ now!
What do you need?
E/I. LUCIAN’S HOUSE – FRONT DOOR – PRE DAWN
A huge BATTERING RAM knocks it right off the hinges. SWAT,
Bud rush in with rifles…
…Room by room. Everyone clears. The house is empty.
E/I. STEEL MILL – PRE DAWN
SWAT TEAMS have secured the premises. Two HELICOPTERS sweep
the grounds via SPOTLIGHT. A manhunt for Lucian Adams.
INSIDE, Cobb on his radio:
No one here, Bud…
INT. LUCIAN’S HOUSE – PRE DAWN
Bud listens on his radios as SWAT OFFICERS file out of the
Bud stands there, infuriated…
INT. TRAUMA CENTER, OUR LADY OF THE LAKE HOSPITAL – DAWN
Jesse, unconscious in bed, with IV lines re-infusing plasma.
Bud is with a DOCTOR, who washes his hands in a sink…
His bleeding’s under control. There’s
tissue damage. Projectile fragmentation
in the right forearm. We have most of it
removed. Two fingers are gone. A portion
of the palm. There’s no chance of
I’ll be monitoring his vitals.
Doctor walks away. Bud turns as a NURSE dims the lights and
pulls the curtains, obscuring Jesse…
I/E. OUR LADY OF THE LAKE HOSPITAL – DAWN
Bud, absorbed, walks past crowded emergency room activity…
Braddock is waiting.
(stares for a moment)
You have to let go now.
Bud says nothing.
(in his eyes)
The cover’s blown. Lucian’s gone. There
ain’t nothin’ left on this one.
Bud, hearing it. Feeling every bit of it.
Get to a safe-house, Bud.
(hands Bud a set of keys)
‘Squad car over there is your’s.
Braddock walks off. Bud watches him go.
INT. SQUAD CAR, TRAVELING – DAWN
Bud drives in dark silence. As the hospital recedes, Bud
pulls a flask from his coat, takes a drink…
Sunlight rises through a gap in the dark sky.
EXT. CEMETARY – MORNING – DAYS LATER
SHEPARD’S FUNERAL. UNIFORMED POLICEMEN saluting as a PRIEST
gives the eulogy.
at the gravesite, with Braddock, Cobb and Marandino. A salute
is FIRED with rifles.
Bud stands alone. Dry-eyed, vacant stare.
EXT. EAST BATON ROUGE STREETS – DAY
Flashbulbs burst rapid-fire as coroner crews and police
secure a crime scene: Richard Morris sits dead at the wheel
of his car, a plastic bag over his head filled with blood.
IN THE FOREGROUND, lit by police lights, is Bud and Cobb.
…His cranium was smashed with a lead
pipe. Then the plastic bag. He choked to
death while it filled up with blood.
‘Name’s Richard Morris. He’s a top dog
lawyer-lobbyist out of Washington.
Cobb proffers Morris’ wallet. Bud sifts through cards —
Several businesses, out of state — Then stops cold at one:
“Daniel J. Kiersey, Attorney at Law”
Put a tap on that line.
Braddock ain’t gonna like it.
Braddock arrives on scene. Disturbed expression:
Bud. I just got off with Nokes.
We got a problem.
INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD – AFTERNOON
A PARTITIONER bandages Jesse’s swollen and stitched hand. Two
fingers and thumb remain.
There’s a KNOCK O.S.
Jesse looks up to see Bud enter from the hallway.
Give us a minute, Doc.
Partitioner exits. Jesse, raw nerves raked. Looks to Bud.
Where you been?
EXT. GROCERY STORE – AUSTIN, TEXAS – DAY – FLASHBACK
Lynn emerges from the grocery, looking sad and prematurely
aged. Her baby in the cart, tucked between bags of food.
FBI #3 (TOM) helps Lynn and the baby into an Unmarked Car.
INT. FBI UNMARKED CAR, TRAVELING
Lynn sits in back with the baby. Tom, at the wheel.
Anything else while we’re out, Mrs.
No thank you.
THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: FLASHING CONSTRUCTION LIGHTS come
into view. A DETOUR. And a team of LABORERS at work.
INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD – AFTERNOON
There’s a dozen cops comin’ in and outta
this place. No one’s sayin’ shit. ‘The
hell’s goin’ on?
Bud stares intently, waits for his cue, can’t find it…
INT. FBI UNMARKED CAR – FLASHBACK
LABORER #1 steps INTO FRAME with a STOP SIGN.
(approaches Tom’s window)
Wait here a moment, sir.
A crane moves past, hoisting steel. Tom IDLES the engine.
Thanks for waiting. Go ahead.
Tom drives onward, glancing in the REARVIEW: at Laborer #1
watching them pull away, receding in the distance…
INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD – AFTERNOON
Get me out of here, Bud. I want to see my
Bud, the pit in his stomach widening, struggles to say:
There is no family.
INT. FBI UNMARKED CAR – FLASHBACK
Tom – calm and alert – looks to his right – SEES a child’s
BICYCLE parked on the sidewalk. A BACKPACK affixed to the
A MASSIVE GOEX BLAST IN TWO DIRECTIONS. HITS THE CAR’S REAR
DOOR, CUTTING STEEL.
WINDSHIELDS OF PARKED CARS SHATTER. NEIGHBORHOOD HOMES. THE
CAR IS BLOWN SIDEWAYS AND WRAPS AROUND A LIGHT POST.
THE CAR’S FRONT DOOR DROPS OPEN AND TOM CRAWLS OUT. CHARRED.
BURNING. LAST GASP OF LIFE.
EXT. ANOTHER RESIDENTIAL STREET – MOMENTS LATER
A CARGO VAN pulls up and parks. The Labor Team abandons it,
dumping gloves and outer clothing into plastic bags,
REVEALING: A CREW OF AB SOLDIERS LEAD BY CATFISH.
The bags go in the back of a waiting SUBURBAN. Catfish takes
the wheel. The crew climbs in, drives away.
INT. SUBACUTE CARE, REHABILITATION WARD – AFTERNOON
ON JESSE. Absorbing this. His face begins to tremble. Eyes
press shut. They fill with moisture as he looks away.
HOLD ON BUD. Quiet. Struggling to hide his own emotion.
And he walks out.
INT. HALLWAY, REHABILITATION WARD
MOVING WITH BUD, as he heads for the exit. Under harsh
EXT. SOUTHDOWN’S BAR – NIGHT
It’s a madhouse outside. A crowd is gathered around a police
action in progress. MEDICS are tending to the broken nose of
a bartender (PETE) in his 30s. METRO COP #1 stands by.
A car pulls up and Cobb gets out with Marandino. They
approach the bartender.
(to Metro #1)
He’s out of his mind. ‘Asked him to slow
down; and he punched me in the face.
Cobb and Marandino approach.
Hey, Pete. You alright?
I’m alright. The bar ain’t.
(to Metro #1)
We’ll smooth it out. Clear the street.
Cobb and Marandino start toward the bar.
INT. SOUTHDOWN’S BAR – NIGHT
The place is A MESS. Chairs broken, tables overturned. Music
BLARES on the jukebox. And empty except Bud… three sheets
to the wind, drunk. Pacing the ruins with his 9MM in hand…
Y’all fuck with me? Huh? You want to fuck
Cobb and Marandino peer in the doorway to see Bud, shouting
and threatening a vacant chair.
Bud flips another table. Continues talking to the chair as if
someone were in it.
‘Look at me when I talk to you.
(aims his 9MM)
You try and kill me? You like killin’
women and kids?
Bud holsters his gun and beats the shit out of the chair.
Bud spins, glass-eyed and red-faced. His wavering vision can
barely make out Cobb and Marandino approaching…
Easy, Bud… Easy…
We got you here, Bud… It’s just us.
Bud stands his ground, tries to keep his balance…
Let’s go home…
There’s a long moment. Bud stares at his crew, gone. Then
he’s suddenly overwhelmed with emotion…
INT. REHABILITATION WARD – MORNING
Two FBI AGENTS #4 and #5 walk together down this sterile
corridor. They stop outside Jesse’s closed door. A uniformed
POLICE OFFICER is posted there, reading a newspaper.
We’re here to escort Mr. Wheeler.
(holds up a chart)
FBI #4 signs the chart. The two agents enter…
INT. JESSE’S ROOM
Jesse’s bed is empty. The window open. Curtains billowing.
Check the bathroom.
FBI #5 opens the bathroom door. Empty. Both Agents hurry to
the window, SEE OUTSIDE: A large TREE six feet out from the
ledge and a broken branch at street level. A seemingly
impossible escape route.
FBI #4 (CONT’D)
Sonofabitch. This guy’s crazy.
INT. FBI WAREHOUSE – MORNING
A badly hung-over Bud sits with Braddock, Fitch and numerous
agents around a conference table.
walks the room, says to all:
This is an atrocity, gentlemen.
Incompetence at it’s highest level. I
gave you my name. My resources. My
trust…Carte blanche. And now this
handsome face of mine…can’t step foot
in Washington, for fear of being laughed
off the Hill.
Nokes circles behind Bud…
Now, I’d love to point to Local on this.
But truth is, they’ve carried their
weight. We are federally fucked…
(looks right at Fitch)
Because Federal fucked up.
Fitch wipes sweat, swallows hard.
So. Best idea wins, gentlemen. Chain of
command? Point of procedure? I don’t give
a fuck. That’s out the window, just like
I want Jesse Wheeler found.
INT. HALLWAY, FEDERAL BUILDING
As everyone files out. Braddock says low to Bud:
You smell like a fuckin’ distillery, Bud.
Clean up… ‘find your boy.
ON BUD. Tired eyes. Everything else, and now this…
INT. STORAGE GARAGE – DAY
A metal door rises up. Jesse, in silhouette, steps in.
A BARE BULB comes to light. Mottled with fly excrement.
Jesse unlocks and opens several SAMSONITE SUITCASES. Stacked
in grey packing foam are rows and rows of GUNS.
Jesse hefts his choices. Checking line and breach: A 12 Gauge
Shotgun. A Colt .357 Magnum. A Remington sawed-off with
pistol grip. Les Baer Tactical .45. Glock Semi-auto 9MM. Buck
Knife. Duct tape. 5-Gallon gas cans. He loads up a gym bag.
Jesse pulls scissors from a grooming kit and stands before a
grimy mirror. He cuts off his hair. Then using clippers,
shaves his scalp and mustache.
Jesse yanks a tarp off a ’75 beat-up Chrysler. Pops the
trunk. Throws in the gym bag. Then drives away.
EXT. BAYOU GHOULA – NIGHT
A lone, dilapidated HOUSE BOAT sits heavily in the bayou.
Lights on inside. Dense FOG overlays.
INT. HOUSE BOAT – NIGHT
Long-Hair on the couch, watching tv, drinking liquor. SPEED
METAL MUSIC blasts from a stereo somewhere.
There’s a METALLIC BANG O.S.
Long-Hair looks up.
The screen door rattles. Long-Hair grabs an aluminum bat,
Sudden surprise as the screen SNAPS OFF and a SILHOUETTE
breaks the glass, opens it.
What the fuck?!
Long-Hair RUSHES for the door as THE BUTT OF A 12-GAUGE SLAMS
DOWN LIKE A TOMAHAWK.
Long-Hair collapses with a shattered knee and muted scream.
Jesse steps in, racking the gauge with one hand, takes aim on
the helpless Long-Hair writhing on the floor.
EXT. HOUSE BOAT – NIGHT
The front lights go out. A terrible darkness.
INT. HALLWAY, HOUSE BOAT – NIGHT
A door flies open. Jesse, eyes darting, pushes Long-Hair in.
Bandaged hand clamped to the collar. Shotgun at the neck.
They move down a dark hallway. SPEED METAL throbs, growing
LOUDER… Long-Hair, gash gushing, leg crunches with each
step… They turn another hallway… Light spills from under
a door, shadows behind it… Jesse edges Long-Hair forward,
reaches the doorway, creeps through…
The door swings wide on the room, REVEALING: Buzz, on the
bed, furiously fucking a dark-haired HOOKER, over a bureau.
As Long-Hair rounds the corner… Buzz looks up, SEES Jesse.
Dives for a gun. CHROME FLASHES. Everything EXPLODES at once.
The WALL DETONATES and Buzz goes down. Shocked. Choking.
Blood juts from his side. He tries to get up. Can’t.
The HOOKER SCREAMS and cowers terrified in the corner.
Jesse pumps, aims through the haze and fires again. Stereo
explodes. MUSIC CUTS OUT, plunging us into silence.
Jesse tosses clothes to the Hooker.
The Hooker does.
INT. BEDROOM – MINUTES LATER
Two chairs. Buzz and Long-Hair back to back. Hands and feet
tied. Blood spigoting. Jesse circles them with the shotgun.
The boat rocks gently.
We got some shit to discuss.
Buzz, to Jesse, unintimidated:
Ain’t got nothin’ to say to you, Wheeler.
(top of his lungs)
I need a doctor! I need a fuckin’ doctor!
In one motion, Jesse racks the shotgun, thrusts the barrel to
Long-Hair’s chin AND BLOWS HIS HEAD OFF.
Buzz screams, REARS UP, chair collapses beneath him, DRAGGING
a dead Long-Hair along the floor, still tied together.
FUCK! FUCK! OH, FUCK!
Jesse YANKS Buzz up. His chair rocks upright, into place.
I don’t know!
Jesse punctuates, shotgun butt against Buzz’s head. Neck
snaps. Teeth rattle.
NO ONE KNOWS WHERE LUCIAN IS! NO ONE
Jesse strikes again, connects. Buzz goes down in a heap, eyes
swollen purple slits. His skull gushing red.
Jesse steps over Buzz, pins the shotgun to his jaw.
Who killed my family?
Ah shit, man!
Jesse shifts his aim an inch, pulls the trigger. SHOT REVERBS
HARD. Buzz SCREAMS, hysteria.
(racks another shell)
WHO KILLED ‘EM?! CATFISH?!
CATFISH, YES, YEAH! FUCKIN’ CATFISH!
Jesse puts down the shotgun. Pulls from his gym bag, two CANS
OF GASOLINE, one of which, he splashes over Buzz’s face.
The fuck is that?
WAIT, WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOIN’?!
Jesse pours the rest over Buzz and the lifeless Long-Hair.
NO! NO, NO, NO, DON’T!! DON’T!!
As Buzz pleads for his life, Jesse unloads the shotgun, dead
THE MUZZLE FLASH. GASOLINE IGNITES. BUZZ GOES UP IN FLAMES.
Instantly, a FIRE ERUPTS. Buzz and Long-Hair’s corpses BURN.
Jesse empties the other can of gas, FEEDING THE FLAMES. THE
FIRE SPREADS. BURNING THE WALLS. THE FLOOR AND CEILING.
Jesse stands there, the heat reflects the intensity in his
face. For a moment, it’s a vision in hell.
EXT. HOUSE BOAT, BAYOU GHOULA – PRE DAWN
Engulfed in flames. SIRENS and LIGHTS as FIRE TRUCKS and FIRE
BOATS douse the burning boat with hard water.
Among a crowd of SPECTATORS, the shaken Hooker is being
questioned by Marandino.
Bud and Cobb stand apart.
We’ve had a tap on Kiersey’s line forty
eight hours now. It’s clean. Whatever’s
he’s up to, Bud, it ain’t comin’ through
the front door.
Bud starts leaving the scene. Suddenly FITCH and two AGENTS
Carter! We need to talk.
Get out of my way, Fitch.
This is my investigation. Jesse’s cowboy
bullshit is not how it’s done!
While your agents build their cases and
set for court, he’ll erase the debt owed
to all of you. Overnight.
So you’re implying I should thank him?
Bud shakes his head in disgust, keeps walking…
Look, Carter, whether we like it or not,
you and I have to work together on this.
We entice Jesse back. I’ll get him full
protection, if he agrees to testify.
That’ll never happen.
Why the hell not?!
‘Cause it’s over, Fitch. It’s done. He
has nothing. Why do you think he lit that
fire? To plant a flag. To let us know he
doesn’t need our protection. Doesn’t want
it. He would’ve just left ‘em for dead.
For God sakes, listen to me! I’m not
taking the fall for this! The plan is–
No, the truth is, Fitch, you ain’t got
balls big enough to relate to this guy.
If you had listened to me, we wouldn’t be
in this situation. Jesse wouldn’t be in
this situation. And you wouldn’t be
askin’ stupid fuckin’ questions!
I’ll bring him in myself. Just keep your
agents off my ass.
Bud storms off.
EXT. WHISKEY BAY (BLEACH BYPASS) – DAWN – IMAGINATION
Lynn stumbles through the woods, holding her baby. Scared.
Lost. Their skin bleached-out. Eyes hollow. Like apparitions.
We’re in a dream. A sadistic enhancement.
His family’s image dissolves inside them.
WIDEN to reveal Jesse before a cracked mirror in a SERVICE
STATION BATHROOM. Perspiring, he re-bandages his hand as
blood swirls down the drain.
INT. CORRIDOR, COURTHOUSE – MORNING
An expensively dressed Kiersey emerges from a courtroom,
flanked by a pair of well dressed AIDES.
Get back to the office. Follow up on the
Arthur Bierce case. I need names and
numbers on my desk by three pm.
The Aides scurry down another corridor, as Kiersey exits the
building through the glass front doors…
INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE – MORNING
Kiersey moves to a parked Cadillac pops the trunk and sets
his briefcase inside, when…
A RUSHING POV FROM BEHIND: Slams the trunk on Kiersey’s hands.
Kiersey SCREAMS, drops to his knees. His wrists wedged in the
trunk. And standing over him…is Bud.
OH, CHRIST! JESUS CHRIST! MY HANDS!
You know who I am?
OPEN THE TRUNK! PLEASE! OPEN THE TRUNK!
Bud kicks him in the stomach, doubles him over.
You know who the fuck I am?!
Who’s Richard Morris?! Why was he killed?
No answer. Bud pounds on the trunk. Kiersey CRIES OUT.
I’ll break every fuckin’ bone you got.
I can’t– I can’t–
Bud slams both fists on the trunk. All his weight.
(off Kiersey’s SCREAM)
Can’t what?! What can’t you do?!
Bud, enraged, kicks Kiersey’s ribs in. Again.
You piece of shit, talk!
He made Jesse…The investigation…
Everything! After that, he was just a
Bud opens the trunk. Kiersey crumbles to the ground, shaking.
Where’s Lucian Adams?
I don’t know!
Bud jams a foot in Kiersey’s neck. Grabs his hands and bends.
We HEAR bones snap.
Lucian’s goin’ down. You either go down
together, or you give him to me.
(a mile a minute)
I never talk to him directly! I swear,
they page me–
Bud roughly searches Kiersey.
–Every night at five, for a six o’clock
call! They page from different numbers!
Bud finds a PAGER on Kiersey’s slacks, yanks it off. Then
leans down with a smile, venomous:
You’re a dead man, Kiersey.
Bud storms off. Kiersey on the ground, a trembling mess.
INT. CATFISH’S HIDEOUT – DAY
Catfish does a rail of meth off the counter.
He lights a cigarette and sits down in a re-upholstered lazy
boy where a TATTOO ARTIST is setting up…
Catfish proffers his forearm, displaying a row of notches
(kills). And Tattoo Artist begins to outline two more…
‘Bout out of room, Catfish. You best
start collectin’ scalps.
Catfish smugs. Drags on his cigarette…
WHEN A SUDDEN GUNSHOT SPRAYS CATFISH WITH BLOOD. Tattoo
Artist drops dead on the floor.
What the fuck?!
Jesse, standing over Catfish. A .45 comes down twice fast
with a CRACK! Catfish is knocked cold.
INT. BUD’S CAR – DAY
Bud, on police radio, driving high-speed.
What do you got?
INT. METRO OFFICE – SAME
Bud’s VOICE over speaker phone. Marandino on the line with a
sheaf of paperwork. Cobb enters.
He’s in the French Quarter. All numbers
paging Kiersey between five and six p.m.,
the last seventy-two hours, are pay
phones within a three mile radius.
Bud, you gotta talk to Braddock. He’s
lookin’ for you, he’s fuckin’ pissed.
Hold him off. I’ll square it with him
when I get to the Quarter.
Bud punches the gas, traveling 90 mph.
INT. CATFISH’S HIDEOUT – DAY
CATFISH’S EYES blink awake – pinpoint dilated. WIDEN TO
REVEAL he’s stripped to his boxers, tied to the lazy-boy.
And Jesse is seated beside him.
I’m gonna ask questions…
Jesse rolls a tattoo tray of various HARDWARE towards him:
Needles. Rusted pliers. An electric tattoo drill.
When I’m satisfied with your answers, I’m
gonna kill you. How long it takes and how
much blood you want to spill…that’s up
Catfish grins. A wide, Amphetamine smile.
What do you want to know? Want to hear
about your brother? How we had him shot
up with strychnine? How he died slow
Without warning, Jesse grabs the PLIERS. A flash of movement,
and there’s a TERRIBLE SCREAM AS CATFISH’S FRONT TOOTH IS
RIPPED OUT. He bucks violently in his chair.
Jesse jams the DRILL into Catfish’s gums, high speed. BLOOD
SPRAYS. Loud, electric pain and Catfish CRIES OUT IN TERROR.
Jesse sets down the drill, deadpan.
OH, YOU SONOFABITCH!!!
Four days ago, my wife and son were
I hear you took the contract?
Catfish smiles. Lips quivering with hate.
Forty-four pounds, Miznay-Schardin. Like
you taught me. Fuck yeah, I took it. Blew
your bitch and kid sky high.
Jesse grabs the pliers, YANKS another tooth. Catfish HOWLS.
BLOOD SPEWS as the drill digs in. Catfish SCREAMS. Jesse
tosses teeth on the tray.
OH, YOU’RE GONNA DIE! YOU’RE GONNA
Jesse grabs Catfish’s rapidly swelling jaw and yanks hard.
Jesse TIGHTENS his grip. Vice-like. Blood fills Catfish’s
mouth. He gurgles, then SPITS in Jesse’s face…
…FLASHES OF STEEL and two more teeth rip out at the root.
Catfish SCREAMS then passes out. Jesse slaps him awake.
Where’s he hidin’ out?
Catfish, last ounce of spite, cracks a blackened grin:
THE DRILL STRIKES. Bone deep. Gum line splays open. Teeth
crack and split. Catfish SCREAMS UNCONTROLLABLY. Blacks out.
Jesse stops. A brief reprieve. He gets up and looks around
the apartment. SEES: Magazines. A few revolvers. Empty liquor
bottles. Meth on the counter. And on the stove:
A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE. Beside a pie tin, speed base boiling.
Jesse stares. He lowers the syringe into the tin, plunger up,
…then very deliberately sticks Catfish’s arm with the tip
of the needle, pops a cc.
Catfish bolts awake, EYES WIDE. A long, wet WHEEZE.
Catfish’s head lulls. Jesse grabs him by the hair. Leans in.
New Orleans. Where in New Orleans?
Jesse looks Catfish dead in the eyes. And death is there…
I believe you.
With that, Jesse pushes the plunger down…ever…so…slowly.
Blood burps and bubbles from Catfish’s throat. Lungs convulse
and spasm. Eye go wide then roll back. A suicide dose.
JESSE’S CAR racing up I-10, along the roaring Mississippi,
toward a blood red horizon of a Louisiana sundown.
EXT. FRENCH QUARTER, NEW ORLEANS – ESTABLISH – DUSK
Cars line crowded streets in the heart of New Orleans.
I/E. BUD’S CAR – LOWER FRENCH QUARTER – DUSK
TIGHT ON A DASHBOARD CLOCK: 5:04 p.m.
Bud, waiting, parked outside a POLICE PRECINCT in the Lower
French Quarter. Kiersey’s pager on the dash. Waiting. Then:
THE PAGER BUZZES.
Bud grabs it, hurries out to a nearby pay-phone. Dials…
It’s Bud. I got a number.
INT. COMPUTER LAB, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DUSK
Cobb on a database, phone cradled…
Governor Nicholls Wharf. Between St. Ann
and Toulouse. You’re a half mile south.
Get your ass down here.
Bud slams down the phone. Jumps in his car. Hits the gas.
EXT. GOVERNOR NICHOLLS WHARF – DUSK
A busy promenade near the down river end of the Mississippi.
Bud waits low in his car, parked in a distant lot. Through
the windshield, WE SEE the subject of his surveillance…
on a crowded sidewalk. Faces pass. A Man in a JACKET arrives
at the phone. He waits. Checks his watch…
…Bud checks his clock: 6:10
The “Jacket” picks up the phone and dials…
KIERSEY’S PAGER GOES OFF.
Here we go.
Jacket waits. No call. Walks away. Bud FOLLOWS on foot…
EXT. FRENCH MARKET – DUSK
A sprawling swirl of humanity, live jazz and bars. The Jacket
passes through. Twenty feet back, Bud keeps pace…
ANOTHER PHONE BOOTH
Jacket enters. Pumps coins into the PAY-PHONE. Dials…
You’ve reached the law offices of Daniel
Jacket hangs up. More coins. Another number…
KIERSEY’S VOICE V.O.
Hello, you’ve reached the Kiersey
residence. No one’s home right now–
Jacket hangs up. Exits east onto BARRACKS STREET. Glances
over his shoulder, then ahead, as Bud rounds the corner…
EXT. DECATUR AVENUE
Jacket crosses into a LIQUOR STORE.
Bud stalls at the corner, casing the street. Takes everything
in. He reaches for his cigarettes, finds a crumpled back.
Then crosses the street to…
outside the liquor store. Bud buys cigarettes and a newspaper.
He opens the paper, glances at the headlines. At the same
time, peers into the LIQUOR STORE WINDOW…
…The Jacket walks toward the back of the store and out a
door to an ALLEY.
Bud heads south on Decatur. Lights a cigarette, as he passes
various stores on the block. A private two-story building
with blacked out windows at the far end: “TIBEDAUX’S TAVERN”.
Bud turns into…
EXT. A COBBLESTONE ALLEY
Lined with boutiques on one side. Back of Tibedaux’s on the
other. A cargo gate is up and MEN are hoisting crates into a
The Jacket is there, talking to them:
Should’ve been on the road twenty minutes
ago. Hurry it up.
Bud pauses at a DRESS SHOP. Stares into the storefront glass,
reflecting the Jacket and Men…
Jacket walks off. Bud flicks his cigarette, enters…
INT. THE DRESS SHOP
…and peers out the window, watching the Jacket leave the
alley and enter a FRENCH COLONIAL.
INT. FRENCH COLONIAL, LOBBY – DUSK
A SECURITY GUARD behind a desk. As Jacket walks in…
What’s goin’ on, Jack?
Jacket moves through a warren of CORRIDORS. Hardened MEN
shuttle in and out of private offices. Plates on the doors:
“Material Management.” “Plating & Metal”. “Demolition”…
Jacket knocks on a door. Opens it to…
INT. PRIVATE OFFICE
A bulked-out man at his desk… MILLS. Looks up as Jacket
Talk to me.
Got nothin’ to tell. Kiersey didn’t call.
Try his office?
‘Ain’t there. His home neither.
Mills picks up the desk-phone. Dials…
It’s Mills. I need sweepers through Baton
Rouge. Find Daniel Kiersey.
(then to Jacket)
Keep pagin’ him.
EXT. DECATUR AVE + ESPLANADE – DUSK
Jacket exits the Colonial and enters a corner CAFE. INSIDE,
WE SEE Jacket move to a pay-phone and dial…
INT. LOW-RENT HOTEL ROOM – DUSK
ON KIERSEY’S PAGER, as it BUZZES again.
now seated at the window of this second-story room, using
BINOCULARS to case the surrounding perimeter.
C’mon. Show me somethin’.
POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: as the night comes alive. Trucks pull
to and from the alley. Patrons valet and enter Tibedaux’s.
INT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DUSK
Braddock, walking down the hall with two POLICEMEN, unlocks a
heavy door and enters…
A HOLDING ROOM
…where Kiersey waits. Pale skin, beaded in sweat. Both
hands in casts.
Mr. Kiersey. I’m Captain Mike Braddock.
How can I help you?
Detective Bud Carter is out of control!
Detective “Lieutenant.” Now how can I
Kiersey, a shaky breath.
How long till you make an arrest in your
investigation of Lucian Adams?
Braddock, just stares.
I’m willing to provide you with documents
and information to secure his conviction.
Why do you think? I’m afraid for my life.
(and the hammer)
I’ll confirm whatever Jesse Wheeler’s
EXT. FRENCH QUARTER – NIGHT
AERIAL SHOT: LOOKING DOWN as a TOWN CAR circles the block.
Got a possible here.
EXT. CAFE, DECATUR AVE – NIGHT
The TOWN CAR passes slow… REVEAL NOW: MARANDINO, staked,
having dinner outside the cafe. Crowded tables around him.
Town Car. Black. Second time around.
MOVING WITH THE TOWN CAR, as it turns onto ESPLANADE AVENUE
and parks before the Colonial.
REVEAL NOW: COBB, in a nondescript VAN. Parked a quarter
block off Esplanade. He triggers photos through tinted glass.
STILL PHOTOS CLICK — the Town Car doors open. Two AB
SOLDIERS step out. Bulges where their holsters are. Then a
third man from in back: A boss, HAROLD KAY, 50s.
Bud, you see this?
INT. HOTEL – NIGHT
BUD’S POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: Kay escorted into the Colonial.
I/E. COBB’S VAN – NIGHT
Parked on Chartres Avenue. Covering the alley. With
binoculars, he can SEE the high point of the Colonial.
And we see now, Bud has this place surrounded.
(as a light goes on, into
They’re on the second floor.
INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
Bud grabs the phone. Dials…
INT. CAPTAIN’S OFFICE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT
Braddock on the line:
You better have something fuckin’ good.
I’m in the French Quarter. Sittin’ on AB
Don’t know yet. I got Harold Kay so far.
Braddock looks to the AB ORGANIZATIONAL CHART on the wall.
MUG SHOT of HAROLD KAY atop one branch of AB SOLDIERS.
Looks like they own the God damn block.
Well I got Kiersey just walked in. Two
fractured wrists and scared as all hell.
I can explain–
He wants to make a deal, Bud. I can keep
Nokes in the dark twenty-four hours, but
Cobb’s VOICE comes over the radio:
Bud, we got movement.
Hold on, Mike.
Bud cradles the phone, picks up the radio:
I/E. COBB’S VAN – NIGHT
OUT THE BACK WINDSHIELD: A LINCOLN arrives at the cafe. Car
COBB CLICKS PHOTOS — another boss emerges, EDGAR BINGHAM,
flanked by two more AB SOLDIERS.
INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
BUD’S POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: Kay and Mills exit the
Colonial. Bingham and Kay shake hands.
It’s cookin’, Bud. It’s cookin’ fast.
Mike, I’ve got Edgar Bingham now. Just
showed with two of his crew, for a sit
down with Kay.
he scans the AB CHART again. MUG SHOT of HAROLD BINGHAM atop
another branch of AB SOLDIERS.
EXT. DECATUR AVENUE – NIGHT
Bingham, Kay, Mills and two Soldiers start toward the CAFE.
Marandino, they comin’ your way.
Marandino looks up from his table, to find this crew of men
walking right for him. Marandino stares. A frozen moment…
INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
Bud throws down his binoculars and takes up a .50 CALIBER
BURROWS RIFLE, lays an eye on the SCOPE.
BUD’S POV THROUGH THE SCOPE (MAGNIFIED): the cross-hairs find
Kay and Bingham moving toward Marandino…
EXT. CAFE – NIGHT
The crew of men getting closer now, a few yards away…
Marandino – heart racing – slides his Browning 9MM out and
slips it onto the table, below his napkin, aims…
…When the crew abruptly turns and enters the cafe.
Marandino exhales relief…
INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
Bud sits back. Then:
KIERSEY’S PAGER BUZZES AGAIN. (The cafe number)
(grabs phone, to Braddock)
Mike, I need Kiersey to place a call.
Five minutes, or this opportunity’s gone.
Give me the number…
INT. CAFE – NIGHT – MINUTES LATER
Bingham, Kay and Mills at a booth, sipping coffee. Two
Soldiers guard the front and back doors.
Mills looks at Jacket, who waits by the pay-phone. Both
noticeably on edge. Finally —
The PAY-PHONE RINGS.
(to Kay + Bingham)
He gets up, walks toward the phone. When Jacket answers,
Mills takes the receiver from him.
INT. HALLWAY PHONE, EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT
A nervous Kiersey on the line. Braddock, Policemen nearby.
We’ve been pagin’ you over two hours.
Where the fuck you been?
I apologize. I’ve been tooth and nail
with the D.A., in court, all day.
Everything’s fine. Just lay low. Regular
Mills hangs up.
Kiersey turns. Pale. To Braddock:
Now get me protection.
INT. CAFE – NIGHT
Mills returns to the booth. Kay and Bingham look at him.
All good. Let’s eat.
EXT. CAFE – NIGHT
Marandino watches as Bingham, Kay and Mills pull their coats
on and exit the cafe…
Call went down.
INT. HOTEL – NIGHT
BUD’S POV THROUGH THE SCOPE: watching as Bingham, Kay and
Mills enter Tibedaux’s Tavern.
Entering Tibedaux’s Tavern…
INT. TIBEDAUX’S TAVERN – NIGHT
A busy nightclub crowded wall-to-wall with PATRONS.
FOLLOW Kay, Bingham and Mills, passing tables, greeting
“connected” types… and through a far door into a back room.
EXT. CHARTRES + ESPLANADE – NIGHT
FOLLOW Marandino as he walks down the street, knocks on the
back of the Van.
INT. COBB’S VAN – NIGHT
Cobb, now dressed in evening attire, throws open the door and
Marandino climbs in. They exchange transmitter for headset
and Cobb leaves the van for the street…
EXT. TIBEDAUX’S – NIGHT
Cobb approaches the front door, where a pair of large DOORMEN
Can we help you?
Just lookin’ for a drink and a bite to
Think you’ll find what you’re lookin’ for
across the street.
Try the cafe.
Cobb stares at both Doormen #1 and #2, immovable forces.
INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
BUD’S POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: Cobb leaves Tibedaux’s and
positions himself at an outdoor table in the cafe.
Negative at Tibedaux’s. Can’t walk in.
What’s our move?
EXT. STREETS – NIGHT TO LATE NIGHT – TIME LAPSE
SHOTS OF COBB AND MARANDINO
waiting. Patrons empty out. Cars drive away.
INT. HOTEL + CAFE – LATE NIGHT
SHOTS OF BUD
He waits. And waits. And nothing happens. Finally:
I’ve got movement. Back alley…
INT. VAN – LATE NIGHT
POV THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD: Back of Tibedaux’s. A BALCONY
GUARD emerges with a rifle, posts.
Talk to me.
I’ve got a man on the south balcony.
The door below opens and a second GUARD steps out, posts.
Second man at the door now. Street level.
SUDDENLY HEADLIGHTS FLOOD MARANDINO’S REAR WINDSHIELD.
Marandino ducks, a reflex action.
Lights from a CADILLAC and a GRAND MARQUIS appear and come
down the street – past Cobb – SLOWLY. Blacked out windows…
INT. COBB’S CAR
POV THROUGH WINDSHIELD: as the cars turn into the alley…
A Cadillac and a Grand Marquis, just
pulled in the alley.
…and stop behind Tibedaux’s.
Passenger doors of both cars open, two AB SOLDIERS emerge.
They open the rear door of the Cadillac and shadow the man
they’re escorting: LUCIAN.
Balcony Guard looks on as Door Guard allows Lucian and his
Soldiers to enter the building.
(tense, into radio)
Bud… we got Lucian Adams…
INT. HOTEL ROOM – LATE NIGHT
Bud, pulse building to a boil.
Hold position. Give me a head count.
Two men flanking. Drivers have not left
the cars. Initial perps still on post.
Lucian’s entering the building…
Bud pulls on a KEVLAR VEST, holsters a .45. Extra clips on
the waistband. Checks a loaded PUMP SG.
INT. VAN – LATE NIGHT
Marandino, fastens on a vest, loads a 12-Gauge, locks.
Suddenly, through the side window… A LONE FIGURE, IN A
QUARTER TRENCH, MOVES PAST. It happens in a flash.
Marandino LOOKS, SEES only a quick profile as the Figure cuts
between parked cars and walks across the street…
I need eyes on a single, white male
crossing Esplanade. Possible intent…
EXT. CAFE – LATE NIGHT
Cobb looks over his shoulder, SEES the Figure 75 yards away,
moving briskly across Esplanade…
We still can’t see his face.
INT. HOTEL ROOM – LATE NIGHT
Bud grabs the rifle, eye on the scope, aims out the window.
POV THROUGH THE SCOPE: as the CROSS-HAIRS find the Figure
walking. SEE the BODY. Then the FACE… IT’S JESSE.
ON BUD, spinning now.
(beat, into radio)
(quickly, radio filter)
He’s heading toward the alley, Bud. We
take him down?
BUD’S POV THROUGH THE SCOPE: THE CROSS-HAIRS FIXED ON JESSE’S
HEAD – TRACKING – RACK FOCUS… This decision… He HAS to
decide… And he does:
Let him go.
Let him go.
Bud, that’s crazy! Jesse goes in first,
he’s gonna blow this whole thing. We
can’t let that happen.
(intense, into radio)
That’s exactly what we’re gonna do! We
got no way inside. Let Jesse go in hard
and draw fire. He pushes Lucian out to
us. Stand the fuck down. I’m on my way.
Bud throws down the rifle, grabs the pump SG, runs out the
INT. VAN – LATE NIGHT
Marandino, sweeps the alley with his binoculars. No Jesse.
I don’t see him. I got nothin’…
POV THROUGH BINOCULARS: (PAN UP) to the balcony. MUZZLE
FLASHES SUDDENLY IGNITE. Balcony Guard is shot dead.
JESSE STRIDES INTO VIEW. Draws a silenced Tactical .45 and
FIRES, putting TWO HARD ROUNDS into Door Guard. Both DRIVERS
get out. Jesse pivots, HAMMERS two rounds to their heads.
They drop cold. It happens in seconds.
Shots fired! Shots fired!
INT. HOTEL HALLWAY – LATE NIGHT
Bud, charging through a FIRE EXIT, bounding down steps…
Jesse hit four men! What do you want me
Call it in! Local and SWAT! Get the place
EXT. ALLEY + TIBEDAUX’S – LATE NIGHT
Jesse slaps a clay plastique with a DETONATOR onto Tibedaux’s
back door, then covers.
There’s a loud EXPLOSION as the DOOR BLOWS OPEN.
FOLLOW JESSE through billowing smoke, into…
A LONG HALLWAY
as he pulls a REMINGTON SAWED-OFF, slung on a strap, to his
left hand, .45 to his right.
Mid-hall, AB #6 looks over, freezes.
JESSE’S SHOTGUN ROARS, REVERBERATING DOWN THE HALL, AND TWO
HOLES ARE BLOWN INTO AB #6.
INT. BACK ROOM
Lucian with Kay and Bingham. They HEAR the explosion.
Jesse steps over the dead AB #6 without breaking stride.
Comes to a door. Kicks it in…
INT. PAYROLL OFFICE
…And Mills FIRES a gun, burning Jesse’s ear — Blood pours
down his neck — and Jesse’s Tactical FIRES.
Mills is HIT IN THE THROAT. He falls into a chair. And his
eyes – at the fierce face of death – are filled with Jesse,
who FIRES TWO ROUNDS. One to the head. That fast.
INT. BACK ROOM
Two AB SOLDIERS #7 and #8 hurry in. Lucian, Kay and Bingham
Let’s go. We’re gettin’ you out of here.
All three bosses draw GUNS. Lock and load.
INT. CAFE – LATE NIGHT
Outside, the sound of gunfire is heard. Jacket turns to the
Give me that fuckin’ shotgun!
Barkeep lays a shotgun on the bar. Jacket reaches. When…
(boaring in, 9MM aimed)
POLICE! TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF THE GUN! STEP
Jacket looks at Cobb. Steps back. Hands in the air.
EXT. MOTEL + STREET – SAME
Bud bursts outside, full throttle. Shouts into the radio:
Jam the alley! No one goes in or out!
EXT. STREET + ALLEYS AROUND TIBEDAUX’S – SAME
Marandino hits the gas. TIRES SCREECH as he slides sideways
and secures the mouth of the alley. Door kicks out. 12-gauge
EXT. FRONT OF TIBEDAUX’S + DECATUR AVE
Doorman #1, HEARING the commotion turns…
…SEES INSIDE THE CAFE, Cobb cuffing Jacket and Barkeep.
Doorman #1 draws a Para-Ordnance .45, FIRES. A VOLLEY OF
SHOTS SLAM INTO THE CAFE.
Cobb can’t make it through INCOMING FIRE and covers.
Remaining PATRONS SCREAM, drop under tables.
Doorman #1 KEEPS FIRING, advancing towards the Cafe, when–
BOOM! A SHOTGUN BLAST takes his head off — REVEALING BUD —
behind him, running toward Tibedaux’s.
I/E. TIBEDAUX’S, DOWNSTAIRS
PATRONS stampede for the door. Lucian, Bingham and Kay with
AB #7 and #8 follow…
OUTSIDE TO THE STREET
…and Bud is coming right for them.
CLOSE ON LUCIAN. The shock of seeing Bud.
Bud kneels and PUMPS SHOTS – hits AB #7 and #8 – killing them.
Lucian, Kay, Bingham flee back inside.
INT. TIBEDAUX’S, MAINTENANCE ROOM
Jesse yanks off the cover of the main electric panel. He rips
out incoming lines and FIRES into the lighting circuit.
VARIOUS ROOMS INSIDE TIBEDAUX’S
Fluorescent units explode, plunging us into DARKNESS. Arcs
SPUTTER and FLARE, the corridors now strobe-lit.
EXT. TIBEDAUX’S – SAME
Cobb runs out of the cafe, pushing through civilians.
Down! Get down!
Bud pursues Lucian…
Stay on the door! I’m goin’ in!
Split-second and DOORMAN #2 OPENS FIRE from the waiter’s
Bud drops and FIRES BACK. Doorman #2 goes down. Bud runs
across overturned tables and up a STAIRWELL…
INT. DOWNSTAIRS, TIBEDAUX’S
Jesse emerges. AB #9 steps out, FIRES. The bullet hits
Jesse’s vest, knocking him backwards.
Jesse levels the sawed-off. FIRES. AB #9 falls in a heap.
Jesse rises, keeps moving…
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAYS, ROOMS – TIBEDAUX’S
MOVING WITH BUD entering, KICKING down doors, sweeping rooms
with his shotgun… No sign of Lucian.
INT. DOWNSTAIRS, BACK ROOMS
Jesse is coming…
…and the SLAUGHTER BUILDS.
He throws open a door to a BAR AREA.
AB #10 and #11 FIRE SMGs WILDLY, running from the room. Jesse
UNLOADS the sawed-off. MISSING. Plaster throws and crumbles.
A GUNSHOT rips through Jesse’s left arm. The sawed-off drops
to his side. Jesse turns – EDGAR BINGHAM is FIRING a SERVICE
REVOLVER – SHOTS MISS as Jesse dives behind the bar.
HAROLD KAY is moving down the stairwell. FIRING an Automatic
wildly. Bottles and glasses explode.
Bingham keeps firing. Mirrors SHATTER.
BEHIND THE BAR
bullets splinter wood, Jesse slams another magazine into the
.45. Above him, strays catch lights, glass filaments EXPLODE.
INT. UPSTAIRS, HALLWAYS + ROOMS
Bud KICKS down a door. AB #12 charges out. Grabs for Bud…
who breaks the grab, pulls AB #12’s neck down, slams his knee
into his forehead twice, knocked cold. Grabs his gun.
A HALLWAY DOOR SWINGS OPEN
AB #13 emerges, HAMMERING GUNSHOTS. Bud covers. SHOTS BLOW
HOLES in the wall.
A SECOND DOOR OPENS
…and AB #14 steps out, draws. Bud throws him in the way of
CROSS-FIRE. AB #13 takes AB #14’s SHOTS.
Bud aims past. FIRES ONCE.
AB #14 is hit dead center and drops like an oak.
Both men dead. That fast, and Bud is on the move…
EXT. ALLEY, TIBEDAUX’S – CONTINUOUS
AB #10 and #11 run out and swing their SMGs, FIRING onto the
alley and KILLING MARANDINO… Then charging to the front–
COBB FIRES. AB #10 is BLOWN APART, as AB #11 FIRES back,
hitting Cobb in the vest. His ribs broken, he sits down
I’m hit. I’m fuckin’ hit.
AB #11 running past as several BLACK AND WHITES now arrive.
TAKE AND RETURN FIRE — AB #11 is shot dead.
Police shouting. Civilians running, as…
INT. BACK BAR AREA, DOWNSTAIRS
Jesse rises over the bar, FIRING BURSTS into Kay, who tumbles
down the stairwell like a rag doll.
Bingham shoots Jesse in the hip. He staggers, then falls and
rolls to his back…
Bingham rounds the bar just as Jesse, somehow, lifts the .45
and FIRES two slugs into Bingham’s chest.
Bingham collapses on top of Jesse. The .45 hits the floor.
Both men, bleeding profusely, thrash along the floor…
INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY
Bud, racing toward a stairwell, LEAPS down a flight, turns,
and RUNS down another.
INT. BACK BAR AREA
Jesse, trapped under the heavy Bingham, pulls the buck knife
from his holster and sinks it into Bingham’s kidney. TWISTS.
Blood POOLS. Bingham MOANS…
…Jesse rolls the big man over, hoists himself high and
impales Bingham through the throat. Dead.
Jesse exhales, struggles up…rising to his feet…
BLAM! – A SUDDEN GUNSHOT
out of nowhere. JESSE COLLAPSES, A BUNDLE OF TWITCHING
NERVES, BLOOD POOLING FAST OUT THE BACK OF HIS HEAD…
…AND LUCIAN STANDS OVER HIM, HIS .357 SMOKING.
Lucian turns slow. Toward a cracked MIRROR. Suddenly…
IN THE REFLECTION: BUD EXPLODES DOWN THE STAIRS, AND SLAMS
INTO LUCIAN WITH THE IMPACT OF A TRUCK. BOTH HIT THE FLOOR.
Lucian points his gun at Bud’s head, who reaches for the
trigger guard, shifts the barrel an inch — A ROUND GOES OFF,
BLOWING THROUGH BUD’S SHOULDER — HE YELLS OUT, HOOKS HIS
FINGER IN THE TRIGGER, STOPPING THE NEXT SHOT.
Bud flips Lucian over, rips the gun away. Lucian tries to
break free. Bud grabs him – smashes the gun over and over
against Lucian’s face.
Lucian’s head BOUNCES. Eyes roll, then right.
Lucian quarter rolls, then CRACKS a forearm into Bud’s head.
Again, and Bud is knocked back with a gash over his eye.
Lucian REARS BACK and KICKS HARD into Bud’s sternum.
Lucian scrambles. Bud tackles him into a table, which goes
down. A chair breaks. Bud lands a thunderous hook and
Lucian’s nose shatters. Another and his cheekbone caves.
Lucian drops like a rock. Tries to crawl under another table.
IN A MANIACAL RAGE, Bud flips the table and stomps down on
Lucian with furious blows that come one after another.
Lucian tries to cover up. BUD IS ALL OVER HIM. Grabs Lucian
by the throat and presses down.
Lucian, fighting to breathe, digs his nails into Bud’s face,
Bud’s face twists with hate as he chokes the life out of him.
Lucian’s eyes BULGE…His mouth stretches WIDE…clutching at
Bud’s fingers, trying to pull away…
Bud SNORTS, tightens his grip… bearing down… And at the
last moment, the cop in him reemerges…
Bud lets go.
Lucian rolls to his side and coughs up a thick ribbon of
blood and vomit. Bud slams on restraints.
Bud staggers to his feet…breathing hard…Spots Jesse on
the floor…And he slows…
Jesse lies in shadow. Perfectly still. We cannot see his face.
Only the dark pool of blood around him.
Lucian passes out.
I got him… I got Lucian.
SLOWLY PULL AWAY AND TRACK OVER THE MASSACRE…
…as POLICE come in…over bodies and blood and guns, and up
the stairs and out a broken window, to the CROWDS in the
street held back by POLICE, past flashing lights and
…to where life goes on in New Orleans.
DIP TO BLACK.
EXT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DAYS LATER
The sun is out. The sky above is clear.
INT. EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH PRECINCT – DAY
ON BUD, as he leads Lucian through the bowels of city lock-up.
Lucian – in prison garbs, haggard, dark bruises – looks up as
they pass a two-way mirror of an INTERROGATION ROOM, SEES…
…seated, making statements to Shepard, who is taking notes.
Stacks of Jesse’s reports surround them.
Bud walks Lucian past, into…
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM #2
…and Lucian sits at a table. Bud across from him. Silence
hangs, several moments.
starting again, knowing… There’s something bigger. A slow
Want a cup of coffee?
THE END [amazonjs asin=”1250053544″ locale=”JP” title=”Bad Country”]