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Reelin' In The Years
Page 2

Andrea watches Kevin enter his father's home.
Flashback to the prison four years ago.  Andrea is waiting in a cubicle as a prison guard unfastens Kevin's handcuffs.  He sits down across from her.

I'm Andrea Little.  I got your...
Kevin takes the telephone receiver off the wall and points to it.  Andrea picks up the phone on her side of the panel.
Andrea:  Sorry.  I'm Andrea.  I got your letters.
Yeah.  What paper do you work for?
Andrea:  The L.A. Weekly.  It's an alternative free-press publication. We're circulated in...
I've written every publication I ever heard of.  Every politician, too.  I lose track.  So, you believe me, huh?
Andrea:  I believe there's sufficient evidence to re-open your case.  I think the city was looking for a quick conviction and for a scapegoat.  And you were it.
Damn right.  How old are you?
Andrea:  Twenty-eight.  And, if you think my age disqualifies me from advocating your case, I'll just take that lovely three hour drive home, right now.
Kevin:  I didn't kill that cop.  I've been trying to get someone to believe me since you were seven years old.  Seven!  So, you think I'm innocent, right?
Andrea sighs.

Andrea is walking down a corridor when David McNorris calls to her.

David:  Andrea Little!
David:  Hi, there.
Who are you?
David:  David McNorris, with the DA's office.  You wrote that article in the Weekly about Kevin Van Horn.  I just have one question for you.  Are you out of your mind?

Andrea follows David into his office:  There's no way he could have been in the bank or drove the getaway car.
David:  The Weekly?  Isn't that, that free paper with ads for futons and liposuction?
Andrea:  You received the same letters from Kevin as I did.  Did you read them?
David:  Ms. Little, I've got 200 letters from inmates - child molesters, rapists, arsonists, murderers like your friend up there in Corcoran.  The funny thing is every single one of these guys thinks they're innocent.  What are the odds of that?
Andrea:  Oh, given our criminal justice system, about 50/50.
David:  Wow!  It must be so comforting to have the whole world figured out.
Andrea:  Just...just take a second look at the file.  Please!  It's a man's life.
David opens a drawer in the file cabinet and pulls out the file:  I'll see what I can do.
He tosses the file onto his desk.

Flash forward to David and Andrea in his office, six months ago.
David tosses a file onto his desk:  I'm sorry.
Andrea:  You tried.
David:  Yeah.  Ran out of cards to play.
Andrea:  Hmmm.  Are you out of your mind?
David:  Sorry?
Andrea:  That's the first thing you said to me when we met.
David:  Oh, that's right.  Well, you know, I was right.  You're a land shark.
Andrea:  After four years, you just figured that out?
Andrea stands up and begins putting her coat on.
David:  Let me help you with that.  So...I guess this is good-bye.
Andrea:  Maybe not.  I've pitched you for a profile for the Sunday magazine.  Try to sound interesting. I'm gunning for the cover.
                                                   David:  I'll do my best.

Flash to present day.  Andrea and David are walking outside his office building.

 Twenty-six years in a jail cell.  What a waste!
David:  Aren't you finished with this guy?  I know his articles got you your job at the Trib; but, come on, he's not going to get you a Pulitzer.
Andrea:  You're just bitter because you didn't have anything to do with springing him.
David:  Guess what?  Neither did you.  Look, uh, Marian's at the Dorothy Chandler tonight.  I was thinking, maybe, I'd call your voice mail.
Andrea:  Not tonight.
David:  Okay. about if we...
I just have to figure out what I want.
David:  Wait...wait, wait, wait.  What are you talking about?
I'm going to take some time off...clear my head.  I really got to go.  I'll call your voice mail.
As she walks away, David calls out:  Thank you, Ms. Little!


Paul Turcotte, Tom's father, enters his home.  He sorts through his mail and then stands, staring into the living room.

Flashback to 26 years ago.
Young Paul enters his home (same house).  
Donna, his wife, calls from another room:  Paul, is that you?
Paul:  Yeah, I'm just getting a beer.
Donna:  Okay.  I just put the kids to bed.  I'll be out there in just a minute.
Paul gets a beer and walks down the hall to hug and kiss his wife:  I need some time to zone out.  All right?
She nods and goes back into the bedroom.  Paul puts a record on to play.  It's Steely Dan's "Any Major Dude Will Tell You".  He sits down on the couch.

Flashback to earlier that afternoon.  Paul and his partner, Victor, are sitting in a parked car.
Victor:  Are you going in?
Paul:  No.  If you start flirting with that pretty teller, you'll be in there for a year and a half.
Victor:  No, I won't...They moved her to another branch, okay?  I'll be 10, 15 minutes, tops.
Paul:  You're a first-class schmo, you know that?
Victor:  Time me.
He gets out of the car, walks across the street and enters the Pacifica Federal Savings bank.
Paul leans his head back on the car seat and closes his eyes.  The sound of a shot wakes him up.  He sees people running out of the bank.  He jumps out of the car and sees one of the robbers shoot the bank guard.
Paul pulls his gun:  Stop!  Police!
He and the bank robber exchange gunfire, the robber goes down.  The other two robbers jump in a car and drive away. Paul fires after them, shooting out the car's rear window.
He checks the fallen robber's pulse, then tells someone standing at a pay phone:  Call the police station. Tell them there's a 211 in progess.  Do it!
Paul reloads his gun and enters the bank:  I'm a police officer.  LAPD.  Everybody get up slowly.  It's okay.  Victor.  Victor!
He yells as he sees his partner lying on the floor, with his head covered in blood.
Paul wakes up on the couch to the sound of loud popping noises.  He grabs his gun and hurries down the hall.  He pushes a door open with the gun extended before him.

In the Squad Room, the Sergeant address the police officers.
All right, before we go on, a big "atta-boy" for Detectives Smith and Stevens.  Sharon Loftin has been arraigned for the murder of Officer Victor Alfandre.
Applause from the officers.  
Sgt:  And may she find fair and swift justice in hell!  Consequently, the DA's office is requesting a courtesy transport for Kevin Van Horn, who will arrive in L.A. from Corcoran State Prison within the hour.  Do I have volunteers?
No one volunteers.
I'd rather not assign it, but I will.
Tom raises his hand.
Sgt:  Thank you, Tom...Ray.
At the sound of his name, Ray looks up, surprised and turns to Tom:  What did you just get us into?

Flashback to Tom, Ray and Paul Turcotte in the hallway.
Give us a minute, Ray.

Tom and Paul enter an empty room.
Tom:  Why what?
Why are YOU driving Van Horn?
Tom:  He needed a drive.
 He needs a drive to the gas chamber.  He's a cop killer!
Tom:  Oh, didn't you read in the newspapers - he's innocent.
Paul:  The hell he is!
Tom:  He was convicted for being the driver, right?  How could he be the driver?  You shot the driver.  They found your bullet in his body yesterday.
Paul:  Van Horn is involved.
Tom:  How?
Paul:  Maybe he's the brains behind it.
Tom:  Brains, Dad?  What are you - Dick Tracy?  He's a musician who loaned his car to a pretty girl.
Paul:  He's not innocent.
Tom:  You keep telling yourself that...
Paul:  It has to be YOU who drives him?
Tom:  It might as well be.
Paul:  You volunteered?
Tom:  That's right.
Tom heads for the door, but Paul grabs him and spins him around.
Paul:  You think I don't see what this is?  What - are you trying to get back at me?
Tom:  For what?
Paul:  Oh, please...What do you think - I don't see your face anytime anyone mentions Victor's name?  Whatever you think happened that night is a figment of your imagination.
Tom:  I know what happened.
Tom opens the door.  Paul slams it shut.
Paul:  YOU don't know anything!  You never had a partner that was murdered.  You know, I'd hoped, by now, that you know what it means to be a cop.  But, you don't.
Tom:  Now, see, Dad, that's where you're wrong.  I do know.  And one of the things I know is when a cop gets murdered, the first question you ask is 'where was his partner'.  Right?  Don't you ask yourself that question when a cop gets taken out.  I know I do.
Tom leaves the room.

Flashback to Kevin Van Horn kneeling in front of his father:  That's okay, Dad.  I'm here to take care of you from now on.
Tom watches this, then walks out of the house.

Outside Van Horn's home, Tom is sitting alone.
Ray walks out:  Well, that was a regular Hallmark moment.  Come on, cabbie, give me the keys.  I got us another fare.  Kobe Bryant's got to get to the Staples Center by 7:00.  
Tom doesn't respond.
Ray:  Doesn't feel right, does it?  This vision quest you concocted.  Van Horn - 1, Turcotte - Brick.
Tom:  You're talking out of your ass.
Ray:  No, I'm not.  Van Horn wasn't the only one in that car, today, looking for his father.
Tom:  My Dad...he can be a real son of a bitch.  We had words.
Ray:  Yeah, I heard.  What is it with you and him?
Tom:  I don't know.  We fight.
Ray:  I don't mean, now.  Back then - 1976.
Tom:  I was 8 years old and no one had told me what was going on.  My Mom put me to bed and told me to leave my Dad alone.  It was summer, still light out and I couldn't go to sleep.  All I could think about was the firecrackers my cousin had given me and I just couldn't leave them alone.

Flashback to 8-year-old Tom in bed, reading a comic book.  He gets out of bed, pulls the firecrackers out from under the mattress and lights them.  His father bursts through the door, yelling, with his gun drawn and pointed at Tom.  He holds the gun on Tom for a moment, then pulls it back and points it toward the ceiling.
Paul:  Never do that again!
Tom:  He pointed a loaded gun at my head.  And I don't think I ever really trusted him again.
Ray:  All because of that night?
Tom:  No.  It would have gone that way.
Ray:  Well, you were afraid of him.  You know what Spock says:  fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to the dark side.
Tom:  Wasn't that Yoda?
Ray:  Yoda, Spock, Dr. Laura - they all blur.  What are you going to do now?  Our hack's off the clock.  Come on, I'll buy a beer.
Tom:  Nah, I'm shot.  I'm going to make it an early one.

Tom drives to his father's home. The song on the radio is "Good Day" by Luce.

Paul opens the door:  What did you do now?
Tom:  I brought beer.  It's domestic.  Where's Mom?
Paul:  She's at your sister's.
Tom:  Did you lay out your three aspirin?
Paul:  I put out two.
Tom:  You had nothing to do with your partner's dying.  You're not responsible, Dad.  I just didn't want to go to my grave regretting I said that.  It wasn't your fault.  It's no different than him walking across the street and getting hit by a car.  There was nothing you could do.
Paul:  Is this where we hug?
Tom sighs deeply and heads for the door.  Then he stops.
Tom:  Tell me about him.
Paul:  Who?
Tom:  Victor.
Paul:  Why?
Tom:  Because he was your partner.  And, as much as he can be a pain in the ass with his constant yapping, I don't know what I'd do if Ray got killed.
Paul:  You mean you don't know if you'd do something stupid.
Tom:  I hope I wouldn't.  But, I don't know.
Paul:  You wouldn't.  You're a better man than that.
Tom:  You know, the only thing I remember about Victor is that he was tall.  He'd pick me up and swing me around.
Paul:  He loved you and your sister, too.  But, you, in particular.  He said he always wanted kids and I think he'd made a good father.  I just wondered whether he could have ever settled down.  He was so damn handsome.  A real ladies man.

Flashback to Paul and Victor in the car outside the bank.
Paul:  If you start flirting with that pretty teller, you'll be in there for a year and a half.
Victor:  No, I won't...They moved her to another branch, okay?  I'll be 10, 15 minutes, tops.
Paul:  You're a first-class schmo, you know that?
Victor:  Time me.
Victor runs across the street and into the bank.  He's standing at the counter, smiling and flirting with Sharon when the robbers enter the bank.  The robbers shout:  Everybody on the floor, now!  Move!  Most of the people lie down but a pregnant woman refuses:  I can't get on my belly.  One of the robbers grabs her roughly and pushes her to the floor.   Victor gets up on one knee and points his gun at the robbers:  LAPD!  Drop your weapons.  Drop your weapons!  
He hears a shotgun being cocked and turns his head.

Sharon and her husband are saying good-bye.
Mr. Flannery:  Nora Jean, is it true what they're telling me?  You used our child and me as camouflage, didn't you?
Sharon:  In the beginning...maybe.  But, we built a life together.  Chimera - that was a whole other life.
Mr. Flannery:  Tell me one thing.
Sharon:  Anything.  I love you.  Anything.
Mr. Flannery:  Did you kill that cop?
Sharon:  No.  I am not a killer.  I can take anything as long as Lilly? doesn't think that her Mommy is a killer.  I am NOT!

Flashback to Victor kneeling, pointing his gun at the two male bank robbers.  He hears the sound of a shotgun being cocked.  He turns his head and sees Sharon standing there with the shotgun pointed at him.  She pulls the trigger.