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Murder in the First - TNT (Script Preview)
 

Murder in the First - TNT (Script Preview)

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MURDER IN THE FIRST EPISODE 2 (#101)

MURDER IN THE FIRST EPISODE 2 (#101)
"THE CITY OF SISTERLY LOVE"
Story by
Steven Bochco & Eric Lodal
Teleplay by Eric Lodal

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    Murder in the First - TNT (Script Preview) Murder in the First - TNT (Script Preview) Document Transcript

    • MURDER IN THE FIRST EPISODE 2 (#101) "THE CITY OF SISTERLY LOVE" Story by Steven Bochco & Eric Lodal Teleplay by Eric Lodal SHOOTING SCRIPT - ACT ONE SAMPLE - GOODREADS - JUNE 6, 2014 COPYRIGHT © 2013 TURNER PAGES, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. NO PORTION OF THIS SCRIPT MAY BE PERFORMED, PUBLISHED, REPRODUCED, SOLD OR DISTRIBUTED BY ANY MEANS OR QUOTED OR PUBLISHED IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING ON ANY WEB SITE, WITHOUT THE PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT OF TURNER PAGES, INC. DISPOSAL OF THIS SCRIPT COPY DOES NOT ALTER ANY OF THE RESTRICTIONS SET FORTH ABOVE.
    • ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE - 850 - (DAY ONE) A BODY DRAWER is pulled out of a refrigerated wall by M.E. JUSTIN BURNSIDE. We’re in the cold, sterile morgue. He speaks into a dictaphone as he unzips the body bag and stares down at-- BURNSIDE Justin Burnside performing the autopsy of-- CINDY STRAUSS. She’s ghostly, the blood drained from her face. Angelic. BURNSIDE (CONT’D) --Cindy Strauss, 27-year-old Caucasian female with a cervical fracture. This postmortem examination is performed under the authorization of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, State of California, Code 27491. From death observed-- CUT TO: EXT. SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL CEMETERY - THE PRESIDIO - DAY --to death experienced. Rain drizzles out of leaden clouds. Mourners in black gather around an open grave as Terry’s wife Emily is laid to rest. Everyone from the homicide unit is in attendance. Emily’s sister, DR. ALEXIS JOHNSON -- a bright, young history professor at Northwestern -- is speaking. ALEXIS They say a person’s relationships are the best measure of their worth -- the friends they choose, the people they share their hearts with. In the case of my sister, never have words been so true. She eyes Terry. She meant that for him. But he’s somewhere else -- looking out across the tombstones -- locked in a thousand- mile stare. CUT TO:
    • INT. MEDICAL EXAMINERS OFFICE - LATER - INTERCUTTING Mid-exam, Cindy’s body face-down on the gun-metal table. Burnside moves over her body, poking and prodding. BURNSIDE Displaced modified ring type basal skull fracture with lacerations on the base of the brain. Protrusion of the cervical vertebrae column into the cranial vault. And there is a flat, round scar on the lower aspect of the left buttock, approximately one inch in diameter: unrelated. (beat) From the anatomic findings and pertinent history I ascribe the death to acute unnatural traumatic clavicle injury. The manner of death is deemed homicide. CUT TO: EXT. SAN FRANCISCO NATIONAL CEMETERY - THE PRESIDIO - SAME A rumble of distant thunder, as the rain lets up. It’s Terry’s turn to step forward but he stays in place, in the middle, next to Alexis, surrounded by friends and family. TERRY I remember when I first saw her. New Years Eve, 1991. She was this light. Radiant. Almost glowing. And it wasn’t just how she looked, although, yeah, she looked good. (smiles; soft laughter) No, it came from somewhere deeper. An inner beauty. A generous soul. I hadn’t said a word to her but I already knew I could love her. It was biological. He smiles at the memory. Then the smile fades. TERRY (CONT’D) They say things happen for a reason. But that’s a lie. That’s just something we tell ourselves to get through these moments when nothing makes sense. There’s no reason for this. But there’s no way to avoid it either. 2.
    • Terry takes a handful of dirt and sprinkles it on her casket. TERRY (CONT’D) Damn, we had fun, Em. CUT TO: INT. MEDICAL EXAMINERS OFFICE - SAME Cindy is face up now, her torso opened by a Y-INCISION. Burnside swabs her mouth, then picks up his dictaphone. BURNSIDE Buccal swab taken for collection of oral mucosa and foreign DNA. (pokes around her organs) Surgical absence of gallbladder. The stomach contains 50cc’s of partially digested meat matter. Holy cow. (stops, taken aback) Amending and expanding my ruling...make that a double homicide. Victim was approximately two months pregnant. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLE - MURDER IN THE FIRST FADE TO: INT. 850 BRYANT ST. - HALLWAY - DAY - (DAY TWO) DA JACQUELINE “JACKIE” PEREZ (42) is mid-press briefing, surrounded by a gaggle of sharp-elbowed REPORTERS shoving cell phones and recording devices in her face. Perez is attractive, ambitious and tough as nails. Standing to her side is her tightly-wound aide, BROOK (27). PEREZ Look, there’s no doubt it has been a violent month but all indications are that this is a cyclical uptick and not a long term trend. It has been a hot summer and unfortunately, in urban America, that typically means an increase in violent crime. But we’ll get through this. This city is resilient and we’ve got the best police department in the nation. Cynical REPORTERS yell questions at her in a cacophony. LIZ (45), wins the bark-off. 3.
    • REPORTER LIZ Madame D.A., how can you say this city is safe when you have 46 unsolved murders this year? Your clearance rate for 2014 is on pace for an all time low. PEREZ Last I checked Liz, it was only June. I’m confident that by the end of the year we will not only match last year’s homicide clearance rate, we will over-perform. Her aide, Brook, frowns: why did she say that? Perez, cool and confident, turns to CRAIG (50s). REPORTER CRAIG D.A. Perez, Cindy Strauss, the dead stewardess for Erich Blunt? PEREZ Flight attendant. REPORTER CRAIG Right. Have you ruled that case? PEREZ We have. It’s been ruled a homicide. Liz jostles back to the front. REPORTER LIZ Any suspects? PEREZ You guys should know by now that I am not going to comment on any specifics related to an ongoing investigation. Geiger. SAM GEIGER (30s, short) reaches out from the rear. REPORTER GEIGER Is it true that Ms. Strauss was romantically involved with Erich Blunt? The gaggle gasps at the accusation, and we MATCH-- CUT TO: 4.
    • INT. HOMICIDE BULLPEN - 850 - CONTINUOUS --A SMALL TV showing live coverage of D.A. Perez, seamless from the last scene. Terry and Hildy watch from their desks. PEREZ (ON TV) The City of San Francisco is not going to deal in rumor or innuendo. A young woman is dead. I promise you the homicide unit will move as quickly as possible through this investigation. They’ll get to the bottom of this. I guarantee it. Terry clicks off the TV, shakes his head. TERRY Is it campaign season already? HILDY It’s always campaign season. TERRY Especially for Jackie Perez. HILDY Let’s just focus on Strauss. TERRY I’m still thinking about Kevin Neyers. Hildy shoots him sideways eyes: really? HILDY I’m just saying, two murders in one week both connected to Blunt. We should pull on that thread. HILDY (CONT’D) Why? So our case against Walton unravels? So we end up tied up in knots? We made a solid arrest. Chris Walton. We don’t have the bandwidth to second guess. CUT TO: INT. BREAK ROOM - HOMICIDE - 850 - LATER Terry and Hildy continue in the break room. TERRY Appease me. Let’s go over it again. 5.
    • HILDY Fine. So if Erich Blunt killed Kevin Neyers, how do you explain the fact that he was in LA the night of the murder? TERRY LA isn’t far. Especially if you have a private jet. HILDY So you’re saying he snuck out of his hotel in LA, flew up to SFO, drove into the city, killed Neyers, and then got back to LA without anybody knowing? TERRY 45 minute flight. An hour for the kill. You’re talking two and a half, maybe three hours max door to door. HILDY Everyone claims he was in LA, including Salter. There’s no record of his plane coming and going. You can’t sneak around in a 737. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - HOMICIDE - 850 - SAME Terry and Hildy continue as they walk down the hallway. TERRY Ok, then maybe Blunt hired Chris Walton? HILDY We looked into that. We’ve checked Walton’s financials. There’s no trace of any pay off. When you asked him if he knew Blunt he clearly had no clue. And even if he was lying, which he wasn’t, there’s no way this guy would eat a murder charge just to protect Blunt! Walton’s not an idiot. If he knew anything about Blunt he would’ve folded like a cheap tent. (beat) Don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Terry. 6.
    • TERRY I’m just saying, two murders, one common denominator. Coincidence? HILDY Yeah. This time, maybe so. TERRY No such thing as coincidence. HILDY God sometimes you’re annoying. TERRY Thorough. They head off in different directions. CUT TO: INT. JAIL CONFERENCE ROOM - 850 - DAY Chris Walton sits twiddling his thumbs, waiting. A beat, then his public defender BOB GROFF (40) enters. GROFF Bob Groff. I’m your court appointed lawyer. I’ve spoken to the Assistant DA. WALTON Where’d you go to school? GROFF Stanford. Let’s discuss your case. WALTON (smiles) You went to Stanford and now you’re a public defender? What happened? GROFF (ignores) This murder charge is sticky, Mr. Walton--three witnesses, fingerprints, fentanyl--it’s not going away. WALTON So what’s the plan? Let’s take it to trial, Stanford. 7.
    • GROFF No. Bad idea. You’d lose a trial. But the prosecution’s case against you is a golf course - no weapon, no motive, shaky time line - full of holes. Plus, you’re lucky: apparently nobody gives a shit about Neyers. His body hasn’t even been claimed. And no one seems to care about you either. You’re not a priority, which means you’re flying under the radar. Add that to the fact that the DA just got her ass kicked by the press on her murder clearance rate and suddenly it’s your lucky day. They’ve offered you a sweetheart deal, Mr. Walton, and you should take it. Admit you shot him and they’ll get rid of the murder charge entirely and knock it down to Voluntary Manslaughter. Six years. And with prison over crowding...easy time. Blink and you’ll be out. WALTON I need to think about it. GROFF Fine. Just know that this offer goes away at the end of business today, and if you turn this down they’ll come after you for the full ride: Murder One. Groff exits. Off Walton, thinking. FADE OUT. END OF ACT ONE END OF SAMPLE ### 8.