by Andrew Kevin Walker
1 INT. OLD HOUSE -- DAY 1
Sunlight comes through the soot on the windows, more brown than
bright. SOMERSET, 45, stands in one corner of this small,
second-story room. He looks over the ceiling, looks down at the
worn wooden floors, looks at the peeling wallpaper.
He walks to the center of the room, continues his study, taking
his time. He halts, turns to one wall where the current
wallpaper is torn away to reveal flowery wallpaper underneath.
Somerset goes to this wall and runs his finger across one of the
pale, red roses which decorates the older paper. He pushes the
grime away, brings the rose out more clearly.
He reaches into his suit pocket and takes out a switchblade. He
flips the thin, lethal blade free. Working deliberately,
delicately, Somerset cuts a square around the rose, then peels
the square of dry wallpaper away from the wall. He studies it in
2 EXT. OLD HOUSE -- DAY 2
Somerset stands in front of the old home. He looks out at the
surrounding farms and forests. He ponders something. Birds
Is something wrong?
Somerset does not respond, just stares off. The MAN, 34, wears a
real-estate broker's jacket and stands beside a FOR SALE sign in
the muddy lawn.
Is there something the matter?
Somerset turns to face the man, then looks back at the house.
No. No... it's just that everything here
seems... so strange.
Strange? There's nothing strange about
this place. The house'll need a little
fixing up, that's for sure...
No. I like the house, and this place.
I was about to say. Cause this place is
about as normal as places get.
Somerset nods, taking a deep breath. He smiles.
That's what I mean. Strange.
Somerset looks back to the beautiful landscape. The man does not
3 INT. AMTRACK TRAIN -- LATER DAY 3
Somerset is in the window seat, looking out the window of the
speeding train, smoking a cigarette. He is near the back of the
car, away from the few other passengers.
Outside, farms, fields, small homes and lawns rush by. The
panorama is dappled by the rays of the soon to be setting sun.
4 INT. AMTRACK TRAIN -- LATER DAY 4
The train is almost full, moving slower. Somerset has his
suitcase on the aisle seat beside him. He holds a hardcover book
unopened on his lap. He still stares out the window, but his
face is tense. The train is passing an ugly, swampy field. The
sun has gone under.
Though it seems impossible it ever could have gotten there, a
car's burnt-out skeleton sits rusting in the braken.
Ahead, the city waits. The sky is full of smokestacks and huge
5 INT. AMTRACK TRAIN -- LATER DAY 5
The train is passing urban streets below. Slums and smashed
cars. People stand in groups in the corners. Bleak.
Somerset's suitcase is now on the window seat. Somerset has
moved to the aisle. He is reading his book. He looks up from
the book and rubs his eyes, then looks back to continue reading,
not once looking out the window.
6 EXT. CITY STREET -- NIGHT 6
Somerset carries his suitcase outside the train station. The
city demands attention: cars screeching, people yelling, sirens
Somerset passes a family of bewildered tourists. A WEIRD MAN has
a hand on the tourist-father's suitcase.
It has become a tugging match with the Weird Man shouting, "I'll
take you to a taxi... I'll take you." Ahead, a group is gathered
on the sidewalk near two ambulances. People clamor to get a look
at a BLOODY BODY which lies on the street.
Policeman try to hold the crowd off. Ambulance attendants
administer aid to the victim, who convulses. Somerset moves by,
ignoring it all. He motions for a cab. One pulls up from the
street's stream of vehicles.
7 INT. CAB -- NIGHT 7
Somerset throws his suitcase in and shuts the door behind him.
(about the crowd)
What's the big fuss?
Somerset looks out at the crowd, looks at the driver.
Why do you care?
(under his breath)
Well, excuse me all to hell.
The driver leans forward, checking it out. The circle of
spectators shifts suddenly. A man has shoved another man and
they're really going at it now. The swing at each other and tear
at each other's clothing. One man's flailing fist connects and
the other man's face is instantly bloodied. The fight grows even
more spastic. Policemen try to stop it.
The driver pulls away and the cab rages down the street.
Somerset watches the parade of neon passing on the avenue. He
slumps back in the seat and closes his eyes.
Where you headed?
Somerset opens his eyes.
Far away from here.
8 INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT 8
The curtains are closed. The SOUNDS of the CITY are here as they
will be everywhere in this story. A CAR ALARM is SOUNDING,
shrill and clear. Somerset's life is packed into moving boxes,
except for some clothing in a closet and hundreds and hundreds of
books on the shelves of one wall. Somerset is lying on the bed,
dressed only in his underwear.
He reaches to the nightstand, to a wooden, pyramidical metronome.
He frees the metronome's weighted swingarm so it moves back and
forth. Swings to the left -- TICK, swings to the right -- TICK.
Tick... tick... tick... measured and steady.
Somerset situates on the bed, closes his eyes. Tick... tick...
tick. The metronome's sound competes with the sound of the car
alarm. Somerset's face tightens as he concentrates on the
metronome. His eyes close tighter. Tick... tick... tick. The
swingarm moves evenly. Somerset's breathing deepens.
Tick... tick... tick. The car alarm seems quieter.
Tick... tick... tick. Somerset continues his concentration. The
metronome's sound seems louder.
Tick... tick... tick. The sound of the car alarm fades, and is
GONE. The metronome is the only sound.
Somerset's face relaxes as he begins to fall asleep. Tick...
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
9 INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT -- MORNING 9
Somerset picks items off a moving box: his keys, wallet,
switchblade, gold homicide badge. Finally, he opens the
hardcover book he had with him on the train. From the pages, he
takes the pale, paper rose.
10 INT. TENEMENT APARTMENT -- DAY 10
Somerset stands before a wall which is stained by a star-burst of
blood. A body lies on the floor under a sheet. A sawed-off
shotgun lies not far from the body. The apartment is gloomy.
DETECTIVE TAYLOR, 52, stands on the other side of the room, looks
through a notepad.
Neighbors heard them screaming at each
other for like two hours. It was nothing
new. But, then they heard the gun go off.
Did the wife confess?
When the patrolman came she was trying
put his head back together. She was crying
too hard to say anything.
Somerset beings walking around the apartment.
Why always like this? Only after the
fact... this sudden realization, that if
you shoot someone, or stick a knife in
them, that person will cease to exist.
Crime of passion.
Yes. Look at all the passion splattered up
on the wall here.
This is a done deal. All but the
Taylor shifts his weight, impatient. Somerset looks at a
coloring book open on the coffee table. There are crayons beside
it. Somerset picks the book up, flips through the pages.
Did their son see it happen?
I don't know.
Taylor closes his notebook, perturbed. Somerset looks at the
pictures of cute, crudely colored animals.
What kind of fucking question is that
Taylor walks over and grabs the coloring book to get his
You know, we're all real glad we're getting
rid of you, Somerset. You know that? I
mean, it's always these questions with
you... "Did the kid see it?" Well, who
gives a fuck? Huh?
He's dead. His wife killed him.
Taylor throws the coloring book back to Somerset and walks.
Anything else has nothing to do with us.
Taylor leaves, pushing past DETECTIVE DAVID MILLS, 31, who is
just entering. Mills is muscular and handsome. He looks back at
Taylor, then around the apartment, a bit disoriented.
Somerset puts down the coloring book. He stares at the floor,
showing no reaction to Taylor's tantrum.
Uh, Lieutenant Somerset?
Somerset turns to see Mills.
11 EXT. CITY STREET -- DAY 11
A body bag is carried through a crowd of people outside the
Somerset follows the body bag out and Mills follows Somerset.
They walk towards the end of the filthy block, past a man
urinating on a car.
I'm a little thrown. I just got in town
like twenty minutes ago and they dumped me
Since we're just starting out, I thought we
could go to a bar... sit and talk for
awhile. After that, we'll...
Actually, if it's all the same, I'd like to
get to the precinct house a.s.a.p. Seeing
how we don't have much time for this whole
Somerset keeps walking, says nothing.
I need to start getting the feel of it all,
right? Meet the people.
I meant to ask you something, Mills, when
we spoke on the phone. I can't help
wondering... why here?
I... I don't follow.
All this effort you've made to get
transferred, it's the first question that
pops into my head.
I'm here for the same reasons as you, I
guess. Or, at least, the same reasons you
used to have for being here before...
before you decided to... quit.
Somerset stops and faces Mills.
You just met me.
Maybe I'm not understanding the question.
It's very simple. You worked a nice, quiet
town, but you fought to get here as if your
life depended on it. I've just never seen
it done that way before, Detective.
Maybe I thought I could do more good here
than there. I don't know. Look, it'd be
great by me if we didn't start right off
kicking each other in the balls. But,
you're calling the shots, Lieutenant, so...
however you want it to go.
Let me tell you how I want this to go. I
want you to look, and I want you to listen.
I wasn't standing around guarding the local
Taco Bell. I've worked homicide for five
and a half years.
I realize that.
Well, over the next seven days, do me the
favor of remembering it.
Somerset turns and walks away. Mills stands a moment, pissed.
He follows after Somerset.
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
12 INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT -- EARLY MORNING 12
Somerset lies asleep in bed. It is still dark outside. The
PHONE beside the inactive metronome RINGS. Somerset awakens
suddenly, startled. He looks towards the phone.
13 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM -- EARLY MORNING 13
It is just barely becoming light outside. Mills is wide awake in
bed beside the sleeping form of his wife, TRACY, 30. Mills looks
tired. He listens to passing traffic. He covers his eyes with
He takes his arm away and sits up, frustrated, sits on the edge
of the bed. The room is a shambles, filled with moving boxes.
Light coming through the window glows upon a football trophy
sticking from one box.
Large and noble, a golden player stands in frozen motion at the
Mills looks at the trophy and a fond smile forms on his face.
The PHONE RINGS. Mills looks towards it. Tracy awakens. She
looks up with half-opened eyes, a beautiful woman.
What is it?
Phone rings. Mills reaches to touch Tracy's shoulder.
Mills leans to get the phone. Tracy seems frightened.
Honey... where are we?
14 EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING, ALLEYWAY -- EARLY MORNING 14
Somerset and Mills, both wearing badges, walk with OFFICER DAVIS,
a beefy, uniformed cop. They pass police cars and head into a
trash strewn alleyway. Davis hands Somerset two flashlights.
Everything's like I found it. I didn't
What time did you confirm the death?
Like I said, I didn't touch him, but he's
had his face in a plate of spaghetti for
about forty-five minutes now.
They reach a rusty, side door, which Davis pulls open.
15 INT. APARTMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL -- EARLY MORNING 15
They enter a dark, ugly stairwell.
Hold on... you mean you didn't check for
Did I stutter? Believe me, he ain't
breathing, unless he's started breathing
The point is, whenever you find...
Begging your pardon, but the guy's sitting
in pile of his own shit and piss. If he
ain't dead, he would've stood up by now.
Mills is angry, about to speak, but Somerset heads him off.
Thank you, officer. We'll need to talk to
you again, after we've looked around.
Davis walks out, eyeing Mills. Mills watches him go. The rusty
door slams shut behind Davis. It's very dark. Somerset turns on
his flashlight, hands the other to Mills and starts upstairs.
I wonder what exactly was the point of the
conversation you were about to get into?
And I wonder how many times Officer Davis
there has found a dead man who wasn't
really dead until Davis was in the car
calling it in and eating a donut.
16 INT. APARTMENT BUILDING, HALLWAY -- EARLY MORNING 16
Somerset comes from the stairwell, looking down the dark hall.
At the end of the hall, a door is open. The light of a CAMERA
FLASH spills out from that room every few seconds.
Mills and Somerset move on. Somerset takes out rubber gloves and
slips them on, looking at something on the floor ahead. A yellow
RECYCLING BIN sits just outside the door. It contains many neat,
string-bound stacks of issues of READER'S DIGEST.
17 INT. APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM -- EARLY MORNING 17
There are lights on in this room. Lamps with dusty shades. A
few porn mags on a table. Somerset and Mills cross. A couch
against one wall is piled with yellowed, once white pillows. It
faces two small televisions, both on with no sound.
18 INT. APARTMENT, KITCHEN -- EARLY MORNING 18
Somerset and Mills enter, using their flashlights in the dark.
Mills takes out a handkerchief, covering his nose. ERIC is
crouched on the floor, putting camera equipment away.
He's wearing a medical mask over his face. He hoists his bag and
moves past the detectives.
Eric leaves. Somerset sweeps the room with his flashlight...
At the stove, each burner has a used pot or pan on it. Food has
been slopped there and on the adjoining counter-top and sink.
Used utensils are everywhere, along with empty tin cans and jars.
The flashlight beam follows a trail of dripped sauces, soups and
crumbs of food across the floor from the stove to a kitchen
table. The kitchen table is covered in soiled paper plates which
hold bits of half-eaten sandwiches, potatoes, beef stew, donuts
and many other junk foods.
The kitchen is tiny; barely enough room for three people. The
kitchen table is at the center of the room. An OBESE MAN is
slumped forward in a kitchen chair. He is face down dead in a
plate of spaghetti.
Christ... somebody phone Guiness. I think
we've got a World's Record here.
Mills walks to the dead man, leaning to study, without touching.
Who said this was murder?
No one yet.
Then, why are we wasting our time? This
guy's heart's got to be roughly the size of
a canned ham. If this isn't a coronary, I
don't know what is.
Somerset moves his flashlight beam down the obese corpse, stops
at the man's feet. Somerset kneels.
At the obese man's pants cuff, there's a tiny bit of rope
sticking out. Somerset uses a pen to lift the pants leg. Rope
is tied around the swollen, purple ankle.
Somerset stands and steps back. Mills bends to take his place,
looking under the table and shining his flashlight into the
corpse's lap. The obese man's bloated hands are folded there,
bound tightly with rope.
Still... he could have tied himself up, to
make it look like murder. I saw a guy
once... committed suicide, but wanted to
make sure his family could collect the life
Somerset does not listen. He is focused on the corpse, studies
the back of the man's head and neck. He runs his pen against the
back of the corpse's neck, combing the hair upwards.
There are small circular and semi-circular BRUISES on the back of
the obese man's head and neck, some hidden under the hair.
When we found him, he was lying there with
a knife in his back, so what else could it
be but homicide? Except, I finally figured
out... he held the knife behind him... put
the tip of it in his own back and got real
close to the wall... then he shoved his
Please be quiet for a while, would you?
Mills looks up at Somerset from below. Somerset remains focused
on the bruises.
Oh, yes, sir. Forgive me.
Mills stands and walks around to the other side of the table,
where he gets down again.
There's a bucket here.
There's a bucket. Under the table.
Somerset crouches, pulls up the cheap tablecloth on his side of
the table. A METAL BUCKET sits under the table.
What is it?
Mills slides under with his flashlight, angling in the confined
space to look. He is repulsed and pulls back.
Mills stands and backs away, near the refrigerator, not wanting
to be anywhere near that bucket.
It's a bucket of vomit.
Is there any blood in it?
I don't know. Feel free to look for
Somerset stands, stares at the obese man. He shakes his head,
perplexed. There is a KNOCK at the door. The detectives look to
see DOCTOR THOMAS O'NEILL, 52, the medical examiner, in the
doorway. O'Neill is looking at the ceiling. He flicks the lighs
switch. No light, so he flicks the switch up and down.
O'Neill seems a bit gone. He drops his black bag onto the floor
beside the corpse. he begins to sort through the bag, surgical
tools clinking together.
Mills turns to open the refrigerator. It's nearly empty.
You think it was poison?
Guessing at this point is useless.
The trash can beside the refrigerator is filled to the brim with
empty food containers. Mills begins to poke around with a pen.
You girls have got forensics waiting
outside. I don't know if we'll all fit
There's room. Light's the problem.
Somerset looks at Mills, then at the space limitations.
Still... two is company here. And, three
is certainly a crowd.
Detective Mills, go help the officers
question the neighbors.
Mills looks up, not pleased.
I'd rather stay on this.
Somerset is looking at the corpse.
Send one of the forensics in on your way
Mills does not move. He lifts his flashlight to shine the light
on the side of Somerset's face. A moment. Somerset looks at
Mills, the light shining directly in Somerset's eyes. A longer
moment. Mills switches off the light and leaves.
O'Neill places both hands on the dead man's head and lifts the
swollen visage from the spaghetti.
He is dead.
Thank you, Doctor.
19 INT. SOMERSET'S CAR -- DAY 19
Somerset drives with Mills as the passenger. Heavy city traffic.
Both stare ahead in silence. Mills is a bundle of nerves.
You've seen my files, right? Seen the
things I've done?
(looking out window)
Anyway... I did my time on door-to-doors,
and walking a beat. I did all that shit
for a long time.
The badge in my pocket says "detective,"
same as yours.
I made a decision, because I have to
consider the integrity of the scene. I
can't worry whether you think you're
getting enough time on the playing field.
Yeah, well, all I want is...
Just, just don't be jerking me off. That's
all I ask. Don't jerk me off.
Mills looks at Somerset. Somerset keeps his eyes on the road,
but nods slightly. That said, Mills slumps low into his seat.
We'll be spending every waking hour
together till I leave. I'll show you who
your friends are, and your enemies. I'll
help you cut through the red tape and I
will help you "integrate," as the captain
puts it. However...
(pauses, clears throat)
No matter how much you beg or plead...
jerking off is something you'll have to do
This throws Mills. Somerset has a sense of humour?
Is that clear?
Okay... sure... It's just that, with my
old partner, you know...
I just don't think we should have that sort
of relationship. We'd start quarreling
over insignificant things.
Mills lets out a nervous laugh, feels a bit of weight off his
Whatever you say, Detective. Beautiful.
20 INT. AUTOPSY ROOM -- DAY 20
The room is large, cold and clean. Stainless steel and white
tile. Many pathologists work at slabs. A bone saw screams.
Mills and Somerset are with DOCTOR SANTIAGO, who stands over the
obese corpse which is pretty well dissected already.
He's been dead for a long time, and I can
tell you it was not a poison.
Santiago moves to make room for Mills to stand beside him. Mills
moves up a little, but not much, looking on in disgust. Santiago
reaches into the man's belly. We do not see.
Ah, man... how does somebody let himself go
like that? Look at the blubber.
Santiago moves something and there is a squashy sound.
It took four orderlies and me all together
just to put this body on the table.
How did the fat fuck ever fit out the door
of his apartment?
Yes, it's obvious he was a shut-in. Not an
enviable life, but, maybe he still deserves
a modicum of respect in spite of that.
Are you looking here? First... see how big
this stomach is. And, see the strange
thing. Stretches. And, here it is
distended. Look at the size of that,
because of all the foods.
I can see what you're pointing at, but...
Lines of distention across the stomach, and
parts have ripped open.
Doctor, are you saying... this man ate till
Well, he didn't really burst. Not all the
way. But, he was bleeding inside himself,
and there is a hematoma on the outside, on
the belly. Very large.
He died by eating?
Yes. And, there's something else here you
have to look at and see.
Santiago goes to root through many jars on a table. Somerset
walks around the slab, looking down at the obese man's propped
up, partially shaved head.
These bruises on the victim's head...
More round and semi-circular bruises have been revealed, all
about the same diameter as a dime.
I don't kow what they are yet. They...
They could have been caused by a gun. The
barrel of a gun... pressed against the back
of his head.
Santiago picks up the jar he was looking for, comes to lean and
look at the obese man's head, nodding again.
If it was jammed against him hard enough,
sure. It's possible. Here...
Santiago gives the jar to Somerset.
Most of the stomach's food contents are in
the lab now.... but, these... I found these
in his stomach too.
Somerset holds the jar up. Inside are many little pieces of blue
plastic. They are curled slightly, as if they are scrapings.
Somerset hands the jar to Mills. Mills shakes it, studying.
Why these are in a fat man's stomach, I
21 INT. APARTMENT, KITCHEN -- DAY 21
The room where the obese corpse was found is now lit by
fluorescent light. Two forensics, a MALE and FEMALE, are dusting
for prints. Somerset and Mills are on their hands and knees.
Somerset holds the jar and touches the linoleum floor.
Same color and texture.
Have you found any plastic scrapings near
the stove or sink? Near the food?
What do you mean?
Mills and Somerset continue looking around the floor.
This doesn't make any sense.
You always have to find one singular thing
to focus on. There's always one thing, and
it may be as small as a speck of dust, but
you find it and focus... till it's an
The forensics watch, curious. Somerset is near the refrigerator.
It could be nothing.
But, why would there be so many pieces in
his stomach if it were nothing? It must
have been intentional.
Somerset stops. There are deep scratches here in the linoleum.
He fingers the grooves, then takes a piece of the plastic from
the jar. He holds the piece to the floor, fiddles... fits it
into one of the scratches.
Somerset gets off the floor and looks down. These scratches are
in front of the refrigerator. it looks like they were caused by
the refrigerator having been pulled away from the wall and pushed
back into place at some time.
22 INT. APARTMENT, KITCHEN -- LATER DAY 22
Mills and Somerset pull the refrigerator, rocking it back and
forth away from the wall to get a clear view behind it. They
strain, pull it a few more feet, and release.
Mills leans to look at the wall behind. Shock.
Somerset comes to look. Behind the refrigerator, there is a
space on the wall where the dust has been wiped away. In that
space, the words: ONE IS GLUTTONY. The letters have been
smeared on in grease. A NOTE is pinned beside them.
23 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, CAPTAIN'S OFFICE -- EARLY EVENING 23
The captain's office is filled with pictures, books and
mugsheets. Piles of paperwork abound, yet the office is
meticulously well kept. The CAPTAIN, 50, sits at his tidy desk.
He wears a white shirt and conservative tie.
He's a calm man, but whenever he is not speaking, without fail,
he clenches his jaw over and over, causing the muscles in his
neck and jaw to pulse. Somerset and Mills sit before him.
The bruises were caused by the muzzle of a
forty-five. So, there was a gun against
his head and he was given a choice. Eat,
or get your brains blown out.
Somerset gets up to pace.
He ate his fill, and was forced to continue
eating... till his body rejected the food.
the killer held a bucket under him, and
then kept serving. He took his time. The
coroner says this might have gone on for
more than twelve hours. The victim's
throat was swollen from the effort, and
there was probably a point where he passed
out. That's when killer kicked him in the
stomach. Popped him.
This was one sadistic motherfucker.
That seems obvious.
Somerset picks up a photocopy of the NOTE from behind the fridge.
"Dear Detectives, Long is the way, and
hard. that out of hell leads up to light."
It's the murderer's way of announcing
There are seven deadly sins. Gluttony,
So what? This victim...
... envy, sloth, pride and lust. Seven.
Hey, so gluttony is one of the seven deadly
sins. But, this was a fat guy. The killer
may have felt this was the just best way to
And, writing on the walls happens all the
time. It's like the fashionable thing to
One is gluttony.
The captain is disgruntled, clenching his jaw, looks at Mills.
This is his stuff. I've been out in the
cold all day.
This is a premeditated puzzle, and it's
only the beginning.
Always working up there, huh, SOmerset?
Big brain's always cooking.
I'm declining this case. I want us
Whoa, whoa... what?!
What's this: "I'm declining this case?" It
don't work that way.
This can't be my last duty here. It will
go on and on.
I know what you're thinking, okay? You
don't want to get in bed with this every
night, but it's different now. You're
retiring. In six days you're all the way
Somerset shakes his head.
You've left unfinished business before.
Everything else was taken as close to
conclusion as humanly possible. Also...
this shouldn't be his first assignment.
This isn't my first assignment, dickhead.
What the hell?
Mills stands, furious.
I don't have anyone else to give this to,
Somerset, you know that. And nobody's
going to swap with you.
Give it to me.
There's nothing that says I have to work
with him. If Somerset wants out,
"goodbye." Give it to me.
The captain considers this.
It's too soon for him.
(to the captain)
Can we talk about this in private?
The captain looks at Somerset, then at Mills.
That's not necessary. You're in.
Go start picking up the pieces. We'll
shuffle some paper and try to get you a new
Mills looks at Somerset, then leaves, closing the door. Somerset
seems deflated, staring at the floor. He looks at the captain.
You win, Somerset. You're out.
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
24 EXT. CITY STREET -- DAY 24
A newspaper vendor lays out a pile of tabloid newspapers at the
front of his busy newsstand.
The papers' headline is: BIZARRE MURDER!, in huge, black print.
The vendor lays out another tabloid pile. Headline: "EAT OR DIE"
SAYS GLUTTONY KILLER!!, in big, red letters.
The vendor throws down a third tabloid stack. SICKENING
MURDER -- EXCLUSIVE DETAILS INSIDE!, it reads.
25 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- DAY 25
The office is old, with a single window which faces a billboard.
TRAFFIC is HEARD from outside. There are moving boxes on the
floor. Somerset is at his desk with paperwork in two sloppy
piles. He uses a manual typewriter, filling in a yellow form.
He types hunt-and-peck, slowly. He finsihes the form and pulls
it out. There is a knock at the door.
The captain pushes the door and stands in the doorway with a
PAINTER/WORKMAN at his side.
Excuse us. We have some business to take
As always, the neatly groomed captain clenches his jaw.
Somerset lines a new form in the typewriter, starts typing.
The captain strolls in. Two boxes sit on the floor with
DETECTIVE MILLS written across them. He picks up one of the
boxes and sets it on top of the other.
At the open door, the workman takes a razor blade from his kit.
He brings it against the writing on the glass of the door:
DETECTIVE SOMERSET. The workman pushes the razor to start
scraping the name away, and the razor on glass sounds like
fingernails on a blackboard.
Somerset looks up.
Somerset turns back to the typing, hunt-and-peck. The captain
watches. The workman continues.
Have you heard?
(not looking up)
No, I haven't heard.
There was a second.
Somerset stops, looks at the captain.
Greed. It was written in blood.
Somerset thinks about this, then turns to type.
It's none of my business anymore.
I thought you might want to be filled in.
I'm sure everyone's doing their best.
Hunt-and-peck. The captain's jowls clamp. He steps up to
Somerset's desk, begins to straighten the two piles of forms.
Come on. What are you going to do with
yourself out there?
I'll get a job, maybe on a farm. I'll work
on the house.
Can't you feel it yet? Can't you feel that
feeling... ? You're not going to be a cop
What are you talking about?
Somerset reclines, facing the captain.
Did you read in the paper today, about the
man who was walking his dog? he was
attacked, and his wallet and his watch
were taken. And then, while he was still
lying unconscious, his attacker stabbed him
with a knife in both eyes. It happened
four blocks from here.
I have no understanding of this place
It's always been like this.
Somerset saddles up to the typewriter.
Maybe you're right.
The captain lays the paperwork down. Both piles are now neat.
You do this work. You were made for it,
and I don't think you can deny that. I
certainly can't believe you're trading it
in for a tool belt and a fishing rod.
(pause, walks to leave)
Maybe I'm wrong.
The captain leaves. Somerset looks up. He grabs the paperwork
piles and ruffles them back to their disheveled state. He looks
up at the workman.
The workman is looking at Somerset, has a rag in his hand to
remove the last remnants of Somerset's name.
Try putting a little elbow grease into it.
The workman is startled, continues his work.
26 INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM -- LATE NIGHT 26
There is a dart board on one wall. THWACK -- Somerset's
switchblade hits the board and embeds.
Somerset crosses the nearly empty living room and takes the blade
from the dart board. He walks back to stand in front of the only
chair in the room. He throws the switchblade.
It embeds in the dart board. Somerset sits.
He picks a book off the floor and holds it in his lap. KIDS can
be HEARD CURSING and playing LOUD MUSIC from outside the
shuttered window. Somerset stares at the ceiling. He opens the
book and looks at the pages... stares at the pages...
He puts the book back down on the floor.
27 EXT. CITY STREET -- LATE NIGHT 27
Somerset gets out of his car. He walks down the sidewalk with a
notebook in hand. THUNDER is HEARD. He takes a cigarette out of
a full pack and lights it.
He walks along the avenue. Cars race by in the street. People
walk briskly past. At a public phone, a man shouts curses
angrily into the phone, then starts pounding the phone box with
the receiver. A fire engine passes in the street, sirens, horn
and lights going full blast.
Somerset starts up a flight of massive stone stairs, past several
sleeping vagrants. One VAGRANT sits up and looks to Somerset.
Spare me a cigarette? Spare a cigarette?
Sorry, last one.
Ahead of Somerset, the library looms, a solid, powerful
28 INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN LIBRARY -- LATE NIGHT 28
Somerset and GEORGE, 62, the night guard, enter the vast space of
the deserted main library.
The lamps hanging from the ceiling give off a warm, pleasant glow
over mahogany tables and chairs. To each side of this center
area are tall bookshelves. Balconies surround the room on all
four sides; three levels which overlook the center.
Somerset is happy. This is his element, this peaceful, elegant
place. George motions to the long, empty tables.
Sit where you'd like.
MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
Hey there, Smilely.
Somerset looks up to the top balcony where TWO OTHER SECURITY
GUARDS and one JANITOR look over the banister.
They all say their hellos.
Come on, George. Cards are getting cold.
George pumps Somerset's hand, then moves to a stairwell leading
to the balconies. Somerset walks down the main aisle, looks
around at the shelves and shelves of books.
George reaches the top balcony and the others sit at a card table
where a poker game is in progress.
Somerset puts his notebook down on one table and switches on a
green banker's lamp. THUNDER SOUNDS. Somerset looks up.
Rain is beginning to fall on the windows of the high ceiling.
All these books, gentlemen... a world of
knowledge at your disposal, and you play
poker all night.
UP ON THE BALCONY
George has taken a huge BOOM-BOX from a broom closet.
We got culture.
Yeah, we got culture coming out our asses.
They laugh. George sets the boom-box against the railing of the
balcony so the speakers face towards Somerset.
DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR
Somerset has gone into one bookshelf aisle. Poker table
conversation echoes from above. Somerset searches books, reading
spines. He finds one book and pulls it, continues searching.
UP ON THE BALCONY
George hits play on the boom-box and turns the volume way up.
How's this for culture?
DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR
Somerset keeps looking for books. From far away come the strains
of MOZART MUSIC filling the air. High, drifting music, such as
AIR (On the G string.) Somerset stops, listens.
He closes his eyes and soaks it in.
UP ON THE BALCONY
George sits at the card table, takes out a cigar and lights up.
He looks to the ground floor.
Where'd you get to, Smilely?
Below, Somerset comes out from the aisle.
DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR
Somerset looks up at George.
29 INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN LIBRARY -- LATER NIGHT 29
MUSIC CONTINUES, spinning through the air like a slow, cool
Somerset walks, surrounded by books, carrying several. He pulls
another off a shelf and adds it to his pile.
UP ON THE BALCONY
George lays down a winning hand. The others toss in their cards
in disgust. George laughs, spouting cigar smoke.
Cigar smoke floats up in the air, thinning gracefully. Above,
rain continues dancing on the ceiling windows.
DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR
Somerset sits, opens a book on the table and reads.
30 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM/LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT 30
MUSIC CONTINUES, uninterupted over this scene. Music so pretty
it is almost sad. Tracy, in a nightgown, sits up in bed, tense,
She throws off the covers and goes to the door.
She stands looking into the living room where Mills is at a desk.
Mills sorts through paperwork and photos with his back to Tracy.
A basketball game is on the television, but he pays it no mind.
He sits forward, obviously frustrated, drinks coffee. He does
not know Tracy is there.
Tracy watches her husband, concerned.
31 INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY, MAIN LIBRARY -- NIGHT 31
MUSIC CONTINUES. Somerset has two books open. He opens his
notebook and brings a pen to bear. Writes:
SEVEN DEADLY SINS
GLUTTONY GREED WRATH LUST PRIDE ENVY SLOTH
He crosses out GLUTTONY and GREED. Somerset picks up one book:
DANTE'S PURGATORY. Volume II of the DIVINE COMEDY. Somerset
| THE EARTHLY PARADISE |
|-------------------------------------------------------- /\ |
| / \ |
| VII The Lustful /____\|
| / |
| VI The Gluttonous /_______|
| 7 TERRACES OF / |
| V The Avaricious / |
| and Prodigal /__________|
| PURGATION / |
| / |
| / |
| IV The Slothful /______________|
| / |
| / |
| / |
| III The Wrathful /__________________|
| / |
| II The Envious /____________________|
| / |
| I The Proud /______________________|
| / |
| / |
| / THE ISLAND |
| / |
| / OF PURGATORY |
| / |
UP ON THE BALCONY
George and the guys finish another hand. George looks down at
Somerset, who is writing in the notebook. George takes up the
cards and starts shuffling.
(down to Somerset)
You know, Smilely... you're really going to
George shuffles again, but they flip wrong and a few go off the
table, over the balcony.
DOWN ON THE MAIN FLOOR
Somerset looks up at George, then looks around.
I just might.
The cards George dropped are fluttering, flipping downwards.
32 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- EARLY EVENING 32
The office is dark. Somerset is at his desk, writing:
DETECTIVE MILLS, YOU MAY WANT TO LOOK AT THE FOLLOWING BOOKS,
RELATING TO THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS:
THE CANTERBURY TALES -- THE PARSON'S TALE
DICTIONARY OF CATHOLICISM
33 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- LATER EVENING 33
Somerset lays an envelope on top of the two boxes which have
Detective Mills' name on them. The envelope reads: MILLS.
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
34 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- MORNING 34
Somerset pushes the door open and notices "DETECTIVE MILLS"
painted on the glass. Rain falls outside. Somerset goes to his
desk, but stops. All his belongings have been moved to a small,
temporary desk in the corner.
Somerset moves to open the top left drawer of the big desk.
Empty. He goes to the temporary desk and urgently searches
through the boxes of papers and files... finds what he was
looking for. He holds a small frame which fits in his palm.
Inside the frame is a PHOTO of an attractive WOMAN. Somerset
pops the frame open, looks at the picture, then puts the picture
in his wallet.
Somerset sits at the temporary desk. He begins to sort through
his papers. After a moment, he glances over his shoulder. The
envelope he left for Mills is gone.
35 EXT. UPSCALE CITY BLOCK -- MORNING 35
It's raining. At one high-rent office building, many business
men and women are coming and going in a lunch-hour hurry. Just
to one side of the building, the CORONER'S WAGON drives out from
the mouth of the parking garage into the rain. People on the
sidewalk have to stop to let it cross to the street. At the same
time, a large Lincoln Towncar turns off the street, heads into
the bowels of the garage.
36 EXT. UPSCALE BUILDING, UNDERGROUND GARAGE -- MORNING 36
Many police cars and news vans here, and police men and reporters
and photographers everywhere. Mills, looking haggard, finishes a
conversation with a TALL COP by the service elevator.
... good. Do it. I'm going back up.
Tall Cop hurries away as Mills pushes repeatedly on the service
elevator button. The elevator doors open and Mills steps in. As
the door are shutting, a COMMOTION is HEARD. Mills stops the
door and looks out.
Across the garage, the Towncar is pulling to a stop and reporters
are rushing to it. FLASHBULBS are FLASHING.
MARTIN TALBOT, 47, impressive and well dressed, steps out of the
car and faces the reporters as they start shouting questions.
In the service elevator, Mills lets the doors slide shut.
37 INT. UPSCALE BUILDING, SERVICE AREA -- MORNING 37
The service elevator opens to a dark physical plant room. Mills
exits the elevator and crosses past humming air-conditioning
vents, dripping pipes and janitor's lockers. To a door...
38 INT. UPSCALE BUILDING, OFFICE CORRIDOR -- MORNING 38
Mills comes out the service area door into a bright, ritzy
hallway. This hall and the doors along it reek of money. A few
cops are standing around. Ahead there's a police line, which
Mills ducks under on his way to stately mahogany doors.
39 INT. LAW OFFICE -- MORNING 39
A huge law office. A television is on in one corner, showing the
news. Windows overlook the rain wet city. Two FORENSICS dust
for prints, whispering to each other when Mills enters.
(to other forensic)
... going to screw it up. I swear... I've
The other forensic clears his throat, getting back to work.
Forensic One shuts up. Mills notices this, weary.
How's it coming?
Mills watches them a moment, then turns his attention to another
part of the office. A leather chair sits in an open area.
The chair and the carpet under it are covered in a goodly portion
of brown, dried blood.
There is a trail of dripped blood from the chair to a large desk.
On a cleared off section of the desk, a two-armed, counter
balance SCALE sits, also blood stained. The desk has been
dusted. Behind the desk, GREED is written on the wall in blood,
near a modern art painting.
Mills stands staring at this area. The TELEVISION is HEARD:
... going cut in live downtown right now,
where Defense Attorney Eli Gould was found
murdered in his office late last night.
District Attorney Martin Talbot is taking
questions from reporters...
40 ON T.V., Talbot comes on screen, a powerful presence, with a gold 40
tooth in the front of his mouth. It's from down in the garage.
A REPORTER (v.o.)
... a small conflict of interest here? I
mean, your prosecutors have lost more than
a few very high profile cases to Mister
Gould and his defense team...
Now, that's ridiculous to the point of
almost being offensive. There's no
conflict of interest whatsoever, and any
claim that there would be, or could be, is
Other reporters begin to shout questions, but Talbot's not done.
Now, hold on... I want to address that.
I've just come from a meeting with law
enforcement officials, and they've assured
me they put their best people on this
Mills turns to looks at Talbot on the screen.
You just wait and see how quickly we get a
handle on it. This will be the very
definition of swift justice.
Mills walks to turn the t.v. off.
(quietly to t.v.)
Shut the fuck up.
He turns and looks to see the forensics looking at him. The
forensics look away.
Mills walks away from the t.v., to a picture frame on the floor.
The frame has been placed specifically in the center of the room,
facing the doors.
It is a photo if a falsely pretty, middle-aged woman, smiling and
wearing pearls. On the glass of the frame, two circles have been
drawn with blood around the woman's eyes.
Mills sits on the floor, stares at the photo.
41 INT. MILLS' CAR -- MORNING 41
Mills gets in and slams the door. He is alone with the sound of
the rain. He wipes water from his face and looks at his tired
eyes in the rear view mirror. He leans over to the glove
compartment and takes out two newly purchased paperbacks: The
Canterbury Tales and Dante's Purgatory.
Mills makes a face and opens Dante's Purgatory to a bookmark. He
rests the book on the steering wheel. He reads.
He bites his lip, leaning close to the words.
He is really concentrating, mouths some of the words to himself.
He finally shakes his head and closes the book, not understanding
a word of it. Pause. He starts pounding the book against the
steering wheel with all his might.
Fucking, Dante, goddamn, poetry-writing,
Mills throws the book against the windshield, then puts his head
back and closes his eyes, trying to calm. A long moment. Quiet.
BANG, BANG, BANG -- there's a loud BANGING on the window and
Mills looks up, startled...
Tall Cop is at the window in rain gear. Mills rolls it rown.
Tall Cop hands a wet paper bag through.
Good work, Officer. Good work.
Mills rolls the window up, rips the bag open. Inside: Cliff
Notes for Dante's Purgatory and for The Canterbury Tales.
42 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- DAY 42
It still rains outside. Somerset sits at the big desk which is
now Mills'. He fills out form by hand as Mills enters with a ton
of his own paperwork. Somerset looks up.
(gathers his things)
Let me get out of your way.
Mills sets his paperwork on the desk. He is beat. Somerset
moves to the temporary desk. They both sit and settle in,
organizing, not looking at each other.
Both attend to their work. Here are two men, about five feet
apart, each trying not to acknowledge the other's presence.
Mills takes his Cliff Notes out, looks to see Somerset is
occupied, and hides them in a desk drawer.
Somerset finishes one form, flips it and looks at Mills. Mills
sorts through photos from the greed murder. Somerset continues
writing. PHONE RINGS. Both men look at it. Phone rings again.
It's a package deal. You get the phone
with the office.
(picks up, into phone)
Detective Mills here.
(listens, lowers voice)
Honey... I asked you not to call me here.
I'll call you back...
Mills is very confused.
Why? Okay... okay, hold on.
Mills clears his throat and holds out the phone to Somerset.
It's my wife.
Mills shrugs. Somerset stands, takes the phone.
Yes, well... it's nice to speak to you.
Well, I appreciate the thought... but...
Then, I guess I'd be delighted. Thank you
very much. Yes... goodbye.
Somerset hangs up, shakes his head.
I'm invited to have a late supper at your
house. And, I accept.
Mills is lost. Somerset goes to sit back down.
I don't even know if I'm having dinner
43 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM/KITCHENETTE -- NIGHT 43
Food is cooking on the stove. Tracy is in the living room area
carefully setting the table with good silver and china.
The door the the apartment is HEARD OPENING and CLOSING. Mills
and Somerset come down a short hallway. Mills carries a brand
Hello, men. You made it.
Mills gives Tracy a kiss, then presents Somerset.
I'd like you to meet Somerset.
Somerset shakes Tracy's hand lightly.
It's nice to meet you. My husband has told
me a lot about you... except your first
Oh... um, William.
It's a nice name. William, I'd like you to
Mills smiles and nods this off, heading across the room.
Great... I'm, uh, just going to put these
Mills moves to the adjoining bedroom. Somerset stands with his
hands folded in front of him.
It smells good.
What? Oh, yes. I mean, thank you.
(motions to the table)
Please, sit down.
Somerset takes off his jacket. Tracy goes to check on the food.
You can put that over on the couch. You'll
have to excuse all the mess. We're still
Somerset notices something on Mills' desk. It's a medal, in a
small, clear case amongst the papers and pens.
I hear you and Mills were high school
High school and college, yes. Pretty
hokey, huh? I knew on our first date this
was the man I was going to marry. God...
he was the funniest man I'd ever met.
Somerset has to think about that one for a second. He picks the
medal up: a medal for valor from the Police Department.
Well, it's rare these days... that kind of
He puts the medal down. Tracy is looking at the gun strapped
under Somerset's arm as Somerset starts to unstrap it.
(about the gun)
Don't worry. I don't wear it at the dinner
No matter how often I see guns, I still
can't get used to them.
Somerset lays the gun with his jacket.
Tracy smiles. Somerset goes to the table and transfers a small
notebook from his breast pocket to his pants pocket. A piece of
paper falls to the floor, closer to Tracy.
Anyway... what girl wouldn't want the
captain of the football team as their
lifetime mate? Here... you dropped
Tracy picks it up. It is the pale, paper rose. She looks at it
as she hands it back to Somerset, who is self-conscious.
What is that?
Somerset looks at the rose, then puts it away.
Tracy tilts her head, looking at Somerset.
You have a strange way about you... I mean
interesting. I'm sorry. It's really none
of my business. It's just nice to meet a
man who talks like that.
(goes back to stove)
If David saw that paper, he'd say you're a
fag. That's how he is.
I guess I won't be showing it to him then.
44 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM -- LATER NIGHT 44
A record player on a moving box PLAYS QUIET MUSIC. Tracy, Mills
and Somerset are eating. Mills has a beeper beside his plate and
occasionally fingers it absently.
Why aren't you married, William?
Tracy... what the hell?
Somerset pokes at the napkin, thinking.
I was close once. It just didn't happen.
It surprises me. It really does.
Any person who spends a significant amount
of time with me finds me... disagreeable.
Just ask your husband.
Mills grins, but he means it.
How long have you lived here?
What do you think so far?
Tracy glances immediately to Mills.
It takes time to settle in.
Somerset can see it is a sore subject.
Well, you can get numb to it pretty quickly.
There are things in any city...
A LOW RUMBLING is HEARD. Plates on the table begin to clatter.
The dishes clatter more. Coffee cups clink against their
saucers. Tracy holds her coffee cup to stop it and smiles at
Somerset to act like it's nothing, but she is clearly bothered.
It'll go away in a minute.
They wait. The rumbling grows louder, knocks something over in
the sink. Somerset continues eating, fiddles with his food. The
record player skips, then plays on. The clattering dies down.
Mills seems uncomfortable.
This real estate guy... this miserable
fuck, he brought us to see this place a few
times. And, first I'm thinking he's good,
really efficient. But then, I started
wondering, why does he keep hurrying us
along? Why will he only show us this place
for like five minutes at a time?
Mills laughs lamely.
We found out the first night.
Somerset tries to stay straight, but he can't help laughing.
The soothing, relaxing, vibrating home.
He laughs harder, covering his mouth. Tracy and Mills laugh.
45 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM -- LATER NIGHT 45
The record player plays another album. Tracy brings over a pot
of coffee and pours. Mills and Somerset have beers.
I don't think I've ever met anyone who
doesn't have a television before.
It's un-American is what it is.
All television does is teach children that
it's really cool to be stupid and eat candy
bars all day.
What about sports?
What about them?
Tracy brings over a plate of cookies and puts it on the table.
You go to movies at least?
I read. Remember reading?
I just have to say, I can't respect any man
who's never seen "Green Acres."
Somerset gives a blank stare. Tracy walks across the room.
You've never seen "The Odd Couple?" This
is sick. "The Honeymooners?!"
I vaguely recall a large, angry man, and
someone called Norton.
Tracy turns the record player down further, then goes into the
bedroom and shuts the door behind her.
Somerset and Mills look a the closed door. A long moment. They
look at each other, then sit for a time. Somerset puts down his
beer, sighs. He looks around.
46 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM 46
The only sounds are from the city outside. The living room table
has been cleared and its surface is now covered with various
forms, reports and 8" by 10" photographs. Mills and Somerset are
both standing. Mills guides Somerset through the photos.
Our guy got into office, probably before
the building closed and security tightened
up. Gould must have been working late.
I'm certain. He was the biggest defense
lawyer around. Infamous, actually.
Well, his body was found Monday night,
okay? But, get this... the office was
closed all day Monday. Which means, as
long as the gluttony killing was done
before the weekend, our killer could've
gotten in here on Friday. He could've
spent all day Saturday with Gould, and all
Mills picks up one photo and shows it to Somerset. Long shot: it
shows the greed murder scene. Gould sits dead in the leather
chair, near the desk where the counter-balance scale sits.
Gould was tied down, nude. The killer left
his arms free and handed him a big, sharp
butcher's knife. See... the scale here.
Mills pulls another photo. Close up: the two-armed scale. In
one suspended plate is a one pound weight. In the other is a
hunk of flesh.
A pound of flesh.
Mills digs, comes up with a photocopy of a hand-scrawled note.
"One pound of flesh, no more no less. No
cartilage, no bone, but only flesh. This
task done... and he would go free."
Mills takes out one photo showing the note pinned to the wall
beside where "greed" is written in blood.
The leather chair was soaked through with
All day Saturday, and all day Sunday.
The murderer would want Gould to take his
time. To have to sit there and decide.
Where do you make the first cut? There's a
gun in your face... but, what part of your
body is expendable?
He cut along the side of his stomach. The
Somerset's still studying the photos.
He must have left another puzzle piece.
Look, I appreciate being able to talk this
out, but, uh...
This is just to satisfy my curiosity. I'm
still leaving town Saturday.
Mills is very tired. He rubs his eyes, then walks to take one
more photo from his briefcase. It is the photo of the framed
picture of the falsely pretty woman with her eyes circled in
Gould's wife. She was away on business.
If this means she saw anything, I don't
know what. We've questioned her at least
And, if it's a threat.
We put her in a safe house.
Somerset nods. He puts down the photos he's holding. He begins
spreading all the pictures out.
Look at these with fresh eyes. Don't see
what the killer wants you to. Don't let
While he speaks, Somerset keeps shifting the photos, for example:
covering the corpse in one with the edge of another.
Even if the corpse is right there... it's
almost like looking through it. Editing
out the initial shock. Look at the room.
In the photos, there's the scale. The note on the wall. Shelves
of books. The Modern Art painting.
GREED written in blood.
The sins were used in medieval sermons.
There were seven cardinal virtues, and then
seven deadly sins, created as a learning
tool, because they distract from true
Like in the Parson's Tale, and Dante.
Did you read them?
Yeah. Parts of them. Anyway, in
Purgatory, Dante and his buddy are climbing
up that big mountain... seeing all these
other guys who sinned...
Seven Terraces of Purgation.
Right. But there, pride comes first, not
gluttony. The sins are in a different
For now, let's just consider the books as the
The books and sermons are about atonement
for sin. And, these murders have been like
Attrition. When you regret your sins, but
not because you love God.
Like, because someone's holding a gun on
Mills runs his hands across his face, walks to the fridge to get
beer. Somerset keeps looking at photos and papers.
Totally unrelated victims.
Mills nods, drinking from a beer.
No witnesses of any kind?
None. Which I don't understand. He had to
get back out.
Somerset sits in a chair, picks up the photo of the wife. Runs
his fingers over the eyes circled in blood.
In any major city, minding your own
business is a perfected science. There's a
public crime prevention course offered at
the precinct house once a month. The first
thing they teach is that you should never
cry "help." Always scream "fire," because
people don't want to get caught up in
anything. But a fire... that's an
evening's entertainment. They come
Looking at the wife's photo.
This is the one thing.
(holds photo up)
What if it's not that she's seen
something? What if she's supposed to see
something, but she just hasn't been given a
chance to see it yet?
Okay. But, what?
47 INT. SAFE HOUSE -- NIGHT 47
The room is like a hotel room. Mills stands beside the woman
from the picture, MRS. GOULD. Mills shows her photos from the
murder scene. The photos have been covered in sections to hide
the Mr. Gould's corpse. Mrs. Gould is crying. Somerset is on
the other side of the room, holding more photos.
I'm sorry about this, Mrs. Gould. I really
I... I don't understand.
Mills helps her flip through the photos. He isn't too keen to
put her through this.
I need you to look at each one carefully...
very carefully. Look for anything that
seems strange or out of place. Anything at
I don't know why... why now?
Please, I need you to help me if we're
going to get who did this.
Mrs. Gould sobs quietly, wipes her tears.
Anything... anything missing or different.
I don't see anything.
Are you absolutely certain?
I can't do this now... please.
Mills looks to Somerset, looks at the photos Somerset holds.
Maybe we better wait.
Somerset looks at the photos in his hand. These show Mr. Gould's
corpse in the chair, not covered in any way.
It should be now. There may be something
we're not seeing.
What is it?
Mrs. Gould points at the modern art painting on the wall in one
photo. The painting is just splattered paint, abstract.
Why is this painting hanging upside-down?
Mills turns to look at Somerset.
48 INT. LAW OFFICE -- NIGHT 48
Where the greed murder took place. Somerset, wearing gloves,
reaches to take the modern art painting off the wall. Mills
You're sure your men didn't move this?
Even if they did, those photos were taken
Nothing on the wall behind the painting. Blank space.
It's got to be.
Somerset puts the painting down, resting it on its bottom edge.
The painting is backed by a thick sheet of brown papers stapled
into the wooden frame. Somerset points to where the wire's eye
screws used to be screwed into the frame, and to where it has
He changed the wire to rehang it.
Somerset takes out his switchblade. Mills is surprised.
What the fuck is that?
Somerset cuts along the edge of the brown paper to get to the
hollow space between it and the back of the canvas. He cuts out
the entire sheet. Mills helps pull it away. Nothing. Empty.
Mills looks at both sides of the paper, then tosses it away.
Nothing. Damn it!
Somerset lays the painting face up on the floor. He pokes his
finger on the painted surface. He brings the flat of his blade
against the painting, tries to peel some of the paint.
The killer didn't paint the fucking thing.
Give it up.
Somerset pushes the painting away, frustrated.
There must be something.
We're screwed. He's fucking with us.
Somerset backs away from the wall, staring at the space where the
painting hung. There is only a nail. He turns, looking around
the office, then crosses.
Mills puts his hands to his temple, furious, picks up a lamp and
throws it to the floor, venting.
Across the room, Somerset falls to his knees and pulls open a
forensics kit. He takes out a fingerprint brush, examining the
bristles. Mills sees this.
Bear with me.
Somerset goes back to the wall where the painting was. He pulls
over a chair, gets on it and starts brushing near the nail.
Oh, yeah, sure. You got to be kidding?!
Somerset brushes with a few wider strokes. He leans close,
studies the powder residue. Leans closer still. Pause.
Call the print lab.
49 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM -- NIGHT 49
Tracy is asleep, dressed, with the lights still on. She stirs,
then awakens and sits up slowly. She squints from the light,
sweaty and uncomfortable. She looks around and listens. All she
hears is traffic.
50 EXT. MILLS' APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT 50
FROM OUTSIDE, looking into the apartment, we see Tracy come in
from the bedroom. She sees Mills and Somerset are gone. She
comes to open a window, then goes to the kitchen area.
We're still LOOKING IN at her as she starts the dishes in the
sink. The RUMBLING of the SUBWAY TRAIN is HEARD starting. The
room begins to rattle, as before.
Tracy looks out into the living room, ill at ease.
51 INT. LAW OFFICE -- NIGHT 51
The male forensic from the gluttony murder scene is here. He has
a magnifying glass which he's using to study a very clear
fingerprint in black powder on the wall.
Talk to me.
The male forensic bites his lip, still studying.
Mills and Somerset are watching the forensic who works O.S.
Just, honestly... have you ever seen
anything like this... been involved in
anything like this?
MALE FORENSIC (o.s.)
Well, I can tell you, boys...
The forensic steps down from a stool. Behind him, where the
painting once was, are fingerprints, clear and distinct. The
prints have been left, one after the other, to form letters which
form words: HELP ME.
... just by looking at the shape of the
underloop on these, they are not the
52 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, PRINT LAB -- NIGHT 52
Dark. A TECHNICIAN sits before an old computer. The computer's
green screen shows enlarged fingerprint patterns being aligned,
compares, and then rejected: whir - click - whir - click - whir -
click. Mills and Somerset watch, bathed in a green glow.
He just may be nuts enough.
It doesn't fit. He doesn't want us to help
Who the hell knows? There's plenty of
freaks out there doing dirty deeds they
don't want to do. You know... little
voices tell them bad things.
Somerset doesn't buy it. The technician adjusts a knob, then
turns to the detectives.
I've seen this baby take as long as three
days to make a match, so you guys can go
cross your fingers somewhere else.
53 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, HALLWAY -- NIGHT 53
Somerset and Mills come out from the Print Lab. A janitor is
mopping the hall. The computer is HEARD WHIRing AND CLICKing
onwards. Somerset sits with a groan on a couch outside the lab
door. Mills flops beside him.
You meant what you said to Mrs. Gould,
didn't you? About catching this guy. You
really want to believe that, don't you?
And you don't?
(laughs, very tired)
I wish I still thought like you.
Then, you tell me what you think we're
All we do is pick up the pieces. We take
all the evidence, and all the pictures and
samples. We write everything down and note
what time things happened...
Oh, that's all.
We put it in a nice neat pile and file it
away, on the slim chance it's ever needed
in a courtroom.
It's like collecting diamonds on a desert
island. You keep them just in case you
ever get rescued, but it's a pretty big
ocean out there.
I'm, sorry, but even the most promising
clues usually lead only to other clues.
I've seen so many corpses rolled away...
I've seen the same. I'm not the country
hick you seem to think I am.
In this city, if all the skeletons came out
of all the closets... if ever hidden body
were to suddenly rise again, there'd be no
more room for the living.
Somerset slumps back, takes out a cigarette and lights it.
Don't tell me you didn't get that rush
tonight... that adrenalin, like we were
Mills sits back on the couch, closes his eyes.
And, don't try to tell me it was because
you found something that would play well in
Somerset looks at Mills, who crosses his arms to sleep. Somerset
puffs the cigarette.
The computer is heard: whir - click - whir - click...
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
54 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, HALLWAY -- EARLY MORNING 54
Mills and Somerset are fast asleep on the couch, leaning against
each other. People pass and look at them strangely. A man steps
in front of the couch. He reaches with both hands to slap their
It's the captain leaning over them.
Wake up, Glimmer Twins. We have a winner.
55 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, READY ROOM -- EARLY MORNING 55
A windowless classroom. The captain stands at a podium in front
with a white screen at his side. A mug-shot of a man, VICTOR,
25, is projected onto the screen from a slide projector.
He goes by the name Victor, as many of you
know, and his prints were found on scene by
Detectives Mills and Somerset.
FIVE hardened POLICE OFFICERS, four men and one woman, sit in
chairs facing the captain. The all wear bullet-proof vests with
the word POLICE spray-painted across them.
Somerset and Mills sit in back, drinking coffee, still asleep.
Now, this guy's a real beauty. He has a
long, long history of serious mental
illness. According the head-shrinkers, it
seems his parents gave him a very strict,
Southern Baptist upbringing, but somewhere
along the line he dropped his marbles.
Two of the cops in the front row are talking.
Hey, you two can shut-up now!
The two cops separate like huge, embarassed school children.
Thank you, fuckheads. Now, Victor spent a
couple of months in prison for the
attempted rape of an eight year old boy,
but his lawyer made sure he didn't stay
long. Before that, he dabbled in drugs,
armed robbery and assault.
We've been doing our best to keep an eye on
him, but he's been out of circulation for a
If he disappeared, what do you want from
His last place of residence is still in his
name. A search warrant is being pushed
through the courts as we speak.
A red-headed cop, CALIFORNIA, raises his hand.
So, have the housing cops walk up and ring
The cops laugh. The captain is clenching his jaw, angry.
Listen, California. When you go in, if
Victor isn't home, one of his buddies might
be house-sitting, so you go in guns first.
Besides using, Victor deals, and we know
what kind of crowd he runs with.
There is some chatter amongst the cops.
This is what the D.A. has a hard-on for
right now, Ladies and Germs, so we do not
Mills leans to Somerset while the captain continues the briefing.
Does this make it with you?
Doesn't seem like our man, does it?
You tell me. I'm new in town.
He doesn't have the desire somehow. Our
killer seems to have more purpose. More
purpose than Victor could ever conceive of.
Yes. They were there... so, it must be.
We'll tag along.
Somerset wants no part of that.
Why would we?
Satisfy our curiosity?
56 INT. MILLS' CAR -- MORNING 56
Mills drives, follows a police van. Somerset rides shotgun.
Mills seems pumped and ready. Somerset takes two Rolaids off a
fresh roll and chews them.
You ever take one?
Somerset takes out his gun, opens it to check the load.
Never in my twenty-four years, knock on
wood. I've only ever taken my gun out five
times with the actual intention of using
it. Never fired it though. Not once.
(closes his gun)
Never took a bullet. I pulled my gun once.
fired it once.
It was my first one of these. We were a
secondary unit, and I was pretty shaky
going in. I was still considered a rookie.
Mills takes a corner, tires screeching.
We busted the door, looking for this
junkie, right? The geek just opened fire.
Another cop was hit in the arm and he went
flying... like in slow motion.
I remember riding in the ambulance. His
arm was like Jello. A piece of meat. He
bled to death right there.
How did the fire fight end?
I got him. I got the son-of-a-bitch.
See, I was doing really good up till then.
Lots of street busts. I've always had this
weird luck... everything always went my
way, but this was wild.
I got him with one shot... right between
the eyes. Next thing I know, the mayor's
pinning a medal on me. Picture in the
paper, whole nine yards.
Somerset unrolls the window, feels the air across his face.
How was it?
I expected it to be bad, you know. I took
a human life... but I slept like a baby
that night. I never gave it a second
I think Hemingway wrote somewhere... I
can't remember where, but he wrote that in
order to live in a place like this, you
have to have the ability to kill. I think
he meant you truly must be able to do it,
not just faking it, too survive.
Sounds like he knew what he was talking
57 INT. SLUM BUILDING, STAIRWELL -- MORNING 57
The five cops from the briefing, fully geared up and ready,
rifles and handguns out, move quickly up the stairs in single
file. Somerset and Mills follow, guns out. Somerset is sweating
bullets. Mills is wild eyed, juiced.
Crack viles and hypodermic needles on the stairs crunch under the
cops' heavy boots.
58 INT. SLUM HALLWAY -- MORNING 58
The cops enter the dank hall. The move cautiously. A man is
lying on the floor, looking up, helpless, with dead eyes.
A door opens and a woman peeks out. The female cop points her
gun and the door slams. California, leading the group, steps up
to apartment 303. He has a search warrant scotch-taped to the
front of his bullet-proof vest.
(to black cop)
This is it. Give it up.
The black cop hoists a heavy battering ram to California. The
other cops get on both sides of the door. Somerset and Mills
hang back a few feet, watching their backs.
(points to Mills)
Cops go before Dicks.
Many people are sticking their heads out of doors in the hall.
Police! Open the door!!
California brings the ram forward with a splintering THUD -- once
-- twice -- the door flies open. The cops storm in.
59 INT. SLUM APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- MORNING 59
The apartment is incredibly dusty. The cops charge down the
short hall into this room where a bed sits against the far wall.
California moves up to the bed. Someone lies under the sheets.
Three other cops move, all training their weapon on the bed.
Good morning, sweetheart!
A blond cop goes into another room. California moves closer to
the bed, gun up.
Get up, now, motherfucker! NOW!
60 INT. SLUM APARTMENT, ADJOINING ROOM -- MORNING 60
The blond cop enters, gun trained, looks around in confusion.
The room's tables, chairs and floor are covered with hundreds of
colorful, plastic air fresheners.
61 INT. SLUM APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- MORNING 61
Mills and Somerset enter. Somerset looks at the cops around the
bed, then looks at a nearby wall. His mouth drops in horror. On
the wall, written in excrement: SLOTH.
California kicks the bed, enraged.
I said get up, Sleepyhead!
He pulls the sheets off the bed and reveals the shriveled,
sore-covered form of a man who is blindfolded and tied to the bed
with a thin wire which has been wrapped time and time again
around the mattress and bed frame. Tubes runs out from a stained
loincloth around the man's waist and snake under the bed.
Mills pushes past the other cops.
The cops recoil from the stench. Somerset steps up, putting his
What the hell... ?
Check this out, Dick...
California points with his gun to the end of the man's right arm.
The hand is gone, severed at the wrist long ago.
It is Victor.
(points to a cop)
Call an ambulance.
The blond cop enters from the other room.
What the fuck is this?
Somebody call a hearse, more like.
The female cop has gone to one wall where a sheet is pinned up.
She pulls the sheet down. Pinned behind the sheet are fifty-two
Polaroid pictures; all pictures of Victor tied to the bed, with a
date written at the bottom of each picture. It is a visual
history of Victor's physical decay.
What is going on?
Mills sees the female cop looking at the pictures.
Hey, California, get your people out.
Somerset takes out rubber gloves and puts them on.
You heard him. Hit the hall, and don't
Somerset replaces the sheet over Victor, but not over his head.
The cops file out and Mills goes to examine the pictures.
California stays by the bed with Somerset.
It looks like he's some kind of friggin'
sculpture or something.
Somerset places his finger along Victor's throat.
Somerset, you... you better look here.
Mills looks at the photos in awe. Somerset joins him.
All pictures of Victor tied to the bed.
The last one is dated three days ago.
Somerset looks at the first photo. In it, Victor is bound and
gagged, but he is healthy.
The first one... it's dated one year ago.
To the day.
Somerset wipes his pale face.
Californian stands by the corpse, behind Somerset and Mills. He
lifts the sheet on the bed to look under it.
Mills kneels and lifts the sheet which had covered the pictures
off the floor. There is an open shoebox underneath.
On the side of the box: TO THE DETECTIVES, FROM ME.
California leans close to Victor's gaunt, blindfolded face,
examining with morbid curiosity.
You got what you deserved, Victor.
Somerset leans down beside Mills. Mills looks through the
shoebox. Inside are plastic, zip-lock bags.
One contains small clumps of hair. One contains a yellow
(looking at bags)
A urine sample, hair sample... stool
sample. Finger nails...
(looks to Somerset)
He laughing at us.
California is still close to Victor's face, when suddenly
Victor's lips twist open and Victor lets out a loud, guttural
California jerks back, shouting in fear, falling over a chair to
to the floor.
Mills and Somerset reel. They see California on the ground,
scared out of his mind, pointing.
Somerset and Mills look towards the bed.
Victor's lips move feebly as he lets out a sick, gurgling moan.
He's still alive!!
62 EXT. SLUM APARTMENT BUILDING -- MORNING 62
A crowd has gathered at the entrance. Mills' car, the police van
and two ambulances are parked on the sidewalk.
63 INT. SLUM HALLWAY -- MORNING 63
The cops are in the hall holding neighbors at bay.
64 INT. SLUM APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- MORNING 64
Three ambulance attendants are at the bed, working on Victor.
One attendant uses wire cutters to clip Victor's bonds.
65 INT. SLUM STAIRWELL -- MORNING 65
Mills and Somerset are standing in the middle of one flight of
stairs. Both are highly agitated.
The way this has gone till now, I wouldn't
have thought it was possible, but we may
have underestimated thid guy.
I want him bad. I don't just want to catch
him anymore. I want to hurt him.
Listen to me. He's all about playing
No kidding! No fucking kidding!
We have to divorce ourselves from emotions
here. No matter how hard it is, we have to
stay focused on the details.
I don't know about you, but I feed off my
He'll string us along all the way if we're
Mills is looking at the floor, still burning. Somerset grabs him
by the jacket.
Are you listening to me?
Mills pushes Somerset's hand off.
I hear you.
There is a sudden, brilliant FLASH OF LIGHT and the SOUND of a
CAMERA ADVANCING. Mills and Somerset look.
Down the stairs, a REPORTER has his camera up, pointed at them.
He take another picture, flashbulb flashing.
Mills goes down the stairs, grabs the reporter, a balding, almost
silly looking man with thick glasses and wrinkled clothing.
What the fuck are you doing here?
The reporter squirms, holds up a laminated press pass on a cord
around his neck.
I have a right, Officer. I...
Mills shoves him, and the reporter stumbles a few steps, then
falls to the landing below with a thud.
That doesn't mean anything! This is a
closed crime scene!
Somerset comes to pull Mills back. The shaken reporter stands
You can't do this! You can't...
Get the fuck out of here!
The reporter scrambles down the nest flight, out of sight.
The public has a right to know!
Somerset yanks Mills back harder, till Mills sits on the stairs.
How do those cockroaches get here so quick?
They pay cops for the inside scoop, and
they pay well.
Sorry about that... I just...
Oh, it's alright.
Somerset starts back up the stairs.
It's always impressive to see a man feeding
off his emotions.
66 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY 66
Somerset and Mills are with DOCTOR BEARDSLEY. Victor lies inside
an oxygen tent with tubes running into him. The room is dim.
A year of immobility seems about right,
judging by the deterioration of the muscles
and the spine. Blood tests show a whole
smorgasbord of drugs in his systems; from
crack to heroin... even an antibiotic which
must have been administered to keep the bed
sores from infecting.
Mills looks into the oxygen tent.
He hasn't said anything, or tried to
express himself in any way?
Even if his brain were not mush, which it
is... he chewed off his own tongue long
Mills winces, moves away from the bed.
There's no way he'll survive?
Detective, he'd die right how of shock if
you were to shine a flashlight in his eyes.
Silence for a moment, the the doctor lets out a chuckle.
It's funny to think... he's experienced
about as much pain and suffering as anyone
I've encountered... give or take... and he
still has hell to look forward to.
He chuckles again, engrossed in some information on a clipboard.
Mills looks to Somerset like, "this guy's nuts."
67 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- DAY 67
A blackboard is nailed to the wall. Written in chalk:
1 gluttony (x) 5 wrath
2 greed (x) 6 pride
3 sloth (x) 7 lust
Somerset and Mills are at their paperwork covered desks.
((reading one sheet)
Victor's landlord says an envelope of cash
was in the office mailbox each month. He
says, quote, "I never heard a single
complaint from the tenant in apartment
three-o-one, and nobody ever complained
about him. He's the best tenant I've ever
A landlord's dream tenant: a paralyzed man
with no tongue.
Who pays the rent on time.
Somerset turns to the typewriter, types. Mills fills out a form
by hand. He make an error and tries to erase, but the paper
rips. He curses, crumples the paper and throws it.
I'm sick of sitting around, waiting for him
to kill again.
This is the job. It's not an Easter egg
There must be something in this pile of
garbage we can follow. I mean, Christ...
do we have to let this lunatic make all the
It's too dismissive to call him a lunatic.
We can't make that mistake.
Oh, blah, blah, blah. The guy's insane.
It's a fine line between insane and
Hey, Freud, what brand of bullshit are you
shoveling, huh? Right now he's probably
dancing around his room in a pair of his
mommy's panties, singing show tunes and
rubbing himself with peanut butter...
Sooner or later his luck's goning to run
No. He's not depending on luck. You've
seen that. We walked into that apartment
exactly one year after he first tied Victor
to the bed, to the day. To the day!
Because he wanted us to.
We don't know for sure...
Yes we do. Here...
Somerset picks up the photocopy of the first note.
This quote... his first words to us. I
looked it up. It's from Milton's Paradise
Lost. "Long is the way, and hard, that out
of hell leads up to light... "
And so what?
Well, he's been right so far, hasn't he?
Just because the bastard has a library
card, it doesn't make him Einstein.
Just, realize... this is not some common
lunatic. The type of intestinal fortitude
it must take... to keep a man bound for a
full year. To connect tubes to his
genitals. To sever his hand and use it to
plant fingerprints. He's methodical and
exacting, and worst of all, he's patient.
What does all that matter anyway? It's not
our job to figure him out, is it? All we
have to do is catching him.
Something clicks for Somerset. He looks away, thinking.
Mills watches him.
Somerset sits. Ponders, staring off into space.
What is it?
Somerset stands back up, takes money out of his pockets.
How much money do you have?
I don't know... like fifty.
Somerset picks up the phone and dials, still sifting through his
own money. Mills doesn't know what's going on.
I propose a field trip.
68 INT. PUBLIC LIBRARY -- DAY 68
Somerset walks through the busy main library, goes to a group of
computer terminals. Mills follows, wound up. Somerset sits at
one computer and works the keyboard, hunt-and-peck.
Somerset... what the fuck?
Several people turn to shush him. Somerset takes out a notepad.
At the top of the list, we'll put
Purgatory, Canterbury Tales... anything
relating to the seven deadly sins. Now,
what the killer might research. What would
he need to study to do the things he's
done? What are his other interests? For
INSERT -- COMPUTER SCREEN
Somerset types. On the screen: SEARCH: JACK THE RIPPER.
69 EXT. HOT DOG WORLD -- DAY 69
The restaurant's sign reads: HOT DOG WORLD, HOME OF THE WORLD'S
BIGGEST DOGS. A MAN is trying to give out paper advertisements.
People walk out of their way to avoid him.
Take one, you stupid fucks! Here... take
one! It's a fucking coupon! Take it!
70 INT. HOT DOG WORLD -- DAY 70
Mills and Somerset are in a booth, both on the same seat on the
same side of the table. They look over their list of books.
Mills goes to eat a hot dog, but Somerset stops him.
They had about fifty health violations
during the last inspection.
Mills throws the dog down, looks at his watch.
Could you at least sit across from me? I
don't want people to thing we're dating.
Somerset watches a GREASY MAN, wearing a black suit, enter. The
man's hair is slicked back.
Give me your money.
Mills hands his money to Somerset.
I'm handing you this, and for some strange
reason, I have the idea I should know what
the fuck we're doing.
Somerset folds the money with his own into the list of books. He
holds the list in his lap, under the table. Greasy Man comes to
sit at the table.
Hey, Somerset. How are you? I didn't know
this was going to be a menage-a-trois.
It's not a problem.
Only for you do I do this. Big risk
here... so I figure we'll be even-up. All
fair and square.
Greasy Man has his hands under the table. he gets up to leave
with his hand in his pocket. He picks up Mills' dog.
About an hour.
Greasy Man leaves, eating the hot dog.
Well, that was money well spent.
71 INT. PIZZA PARLOR -- DAY 71
Mills and Somerset sit with a pizza before them.
By telling you this, I'm trusting you more
than I trust most people.
It's be best if you got to the point, cause
I'm about ready to punch you in the face.
Somerset leans closer to Mills, speaks quietly.
It's probably nothing, but even if it is,
it's no skin off our teeth. The man at Hot
Dog World is a friend, in the Bureau.
For a long time, the F.B.I.'s been hooked
into the library system, keeping accurate
What? Assessing fines?
They monitor reading habits. Not every
book, but certain ones are flagged. Books
about... let's say, how to build a nuclear
bomb, or maybe Mein Kampf. Whoever takes
out a flagged book has their library
records fed to the F.B.I. from then on.
You got to be kidding.
Flagged books cover every topic the Bureau
deems questionable... communism to violent
How is this legal?
Legal... illegal. These terms don't apply.
I don't applaud it.
Somerset takes a bite of pizza.
They can't use the information directly,
but it's a useful guide. It might sound
silly, but you can't get a library card
without i.d. and a current phone bill.
Mills is starting to warm to it.
So they ran our list.
If you want to know who's been reading
Paradise Lost, Purgatory, and say... The
Life and Time of Charlie Manson, the
Bureau's computer will tell you. It might
give us a name.
Yeah. Some college student who's taking
English 101 and just happens to be writing
a paper on Twentieth Century Crime.
Yeah, well... at least we're out of the
office. We've got pizza.
How do you know all about this?
I don't. Neither do you.
Somerset looks up. Greasy Man is entering the pizza parlor.
72 INT. SOMERSET'S CAR -- DAY 72
The car is parked with Somerset at the wheel and Mills beside.
They're looking through pages of connected computer paper.
This is a waste of time.
I know, I know... focusing on one little
The Divine Comedy. A History of
Catholicism. A book called Murderers and
He hands the sheets to Mills. Mills looks them over.
Modern Homicide Investigation. In Cold
Blood. Of Human Bondage. Human Bondage?
It's not what you think it is.
The Marquis de Sade and Origins of Sadism.
The Writings of Saint Thomas Aqu...
Saint Thomas Aquinas.
(starts the car)
He wrote about the seven deadly sins.
73 INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL/HALLWAY -- DAY 73
Somerset and Mills walk up the stairs and turn a corner into this
long hall. Somerset is looking at the computer sheets.
You're sure you're reading that right?
That's what it says. Jonathan Doe.
This is stupid. It'd be just too easy.
We'll take a look at him. Talk to him.
Sure. Uh, excuse me... are you by any
chance a serial killer? Oh, you are?
Well, come with us then, if it's okay.
They reach a door, apartment 6A. Somerset knocks.
What are you going to say?
You do the talking. Put that old silver
tongue of yours to work.
Who told you about my silver tongue? You
been talking to my wife?
Mills knocks on the door, hard.
This is really lame.
A CREAK is HEARD O.S. Somerset turns to look towards it...
A male figure, JOHN DOE, is standing at the stairwell, wearing a
hat and standing in shadow, looking towards them. Stark still.
Somerset furrows his brow.
The John Doe reaches into his coat, lifts his arm, pointing...
BLAM -- GUNFIRE SOUNDS, deafening, as a bullet slams into door
6A, just missing Somerset as he and Mills hit the floor.
John Doe fires again...
The bullet blows a huge hole in the wall, throwing plaster. A
third bullet follows, just above Mills and Somerset, and John Doe
is heard running back down the stairs.
The gunfire's still echoing, ringing, as Mills gets up and
unholsters his gun.
Mills scrambles down the stairwell...
IN THE STARWELL
Mills bounds down stairs, turns a corner and leaps down another
flight. He halts on the landing, listening. John Doe can be
HEARD still RUNNING, below.
IN THE HALL ABOVE
Somerset rolls and takes out his gun. He stands, dazed.
(from in stairwell)
What kind of gun was it?
IN THE STAIRWELL
Somerset comes into the stairwell.
Damn it, Somerset... what kind of gun?!
How many bullets?
BELOW, IN THE STAIRWELL
Mills hurries down more stairs.
I don't know. Might've been a revolver.
Voices echo. Mills loses his footing, falls...
Mills hits the next landing hard, dropping his gun.
Mills gets back up and picks up his gun and keeps going.
ABOVE IN THE STAIRWELL
the stairs, breathing hard.
What's he look like?
Brown hat. Tan raincoat... like a... like
a trench coat.
BELOW IN THE STAIRWELL
ready, moves to peer over the railing, down into
in shadow, aiming his gun straight up...
s SHOT is FIRED from below and the bullet is
Somerset splinters into a million pieces, sends
Somerset ducking for cover.
far below -- the bullet is HEARD RICOCHETING
waiting as the gunshot echoes.
Five... that's five...
continues down the stairs.
INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, LOWER HALLWAY -- DAY
stairs and into a hallway, falling to one knee,
ing his gun one direction -- empty hallway.
direction, gun hand shaking, catches a
glimpse of John Doe just as he disappears around a corner far
Mills gets up, looking back to the number 2 by
ooks, shouting back towards the stairwell...
Second floor! Second floor!
FOLLOW him, tearing ass...
rn, full speed ahead, bringing his gun up...
John Doe's running...
Mills takes aim...
Ahead, between John Doe and Mills, a tenant in t-shirt and
underwear comes out an apartment, looking towards John Doe,
blocking the line of fire...
Get down! Move... !
The tenant turns to Mills, confused. Mills pushes angrily
Ahead, John Doe makes an abrupt halt. A woman tenant is looking
out her door and John Doe grabs her and throws her into the hall.
She falls as John Doe shoves his way into her apartment.
BACK AT THE STAIRWELL
Somerset comes down the stairs, tired. He runs.
AROUND THE CORNER, IN THE OTHER HALLWAY SECTION
Mills reaches the apartment Doe entered, bursting in...
74 INT. TENEMENT APARTMENT -- DAY 74
Mills enters, gun up. It's a railroad apartment, with all the
rooms adjoining in a row. At the far end of the apartment, John
Doe can be seen moving out one room's window onto a fire escape
just as that room's door is swinging shut.
Mills charges through the apartment, full on...
He bashes through the closed door...
75 EXT. TENEMENT BUILDING, FIRE ESCAPE -- DAY 75
Mills leans out the window over an alleyway. BLAM -- GUNSHOT.
The window above Mills' shatters and Mills pulls back.
Mills leans back out, fanning with his gun, searching.
Below, John Doe runs out the alleyway's mouth and rounds a
Mills curses, scrambling out onto the fire escape, running a few
steps and then vaulting the rail... crashes down on the roof of a
car parked below. The windshield cracks. Mills jumps off and
continues the pursuit...
76 EXT. CITY STREET -- DAY 76
Mills rounds the alleyway corner into people packed streets.
Several people are running, heading several different directions.
Mills comes to a halt, his focus confused, searching desperately.
Others run upon seeing his gun. Woman scream and grab up their
children. Mills can't see far down the sidewalk because of all
the people. He moves forward...
He jumps atop a fire hydrant, gripping a street sign for balance,
trying to see further down the street.
MILLS' P.O.V. -- There he is! John Doe can be seen, far off,
moving across the street, through traffic, to the opposite
ON THE STREET, Mills runs, into traffic, avoiding cars, down the
center line. Angry drivers scream at him.
Ahead, John Doe glances back, ducking into an alley.
Mills gets to the other sidewalk, yelling for people to get out
of the way...
77 EXT. CITY ALLEYWAY -- DAY 77
Mills comes to this tight alleyway. It's dark, with a long,
tall, vertical sliver of daylight far ahead. Mills runs...
Charging hard onwards...
A two-by-four swings out from a hidden nook along the side of the
alleyway -- slamming Mills in the face with a THWACK!!
Mills' gun hits the alley wall and clatters into a puddle.
Mills hits the dirt, on his back, nose broken and split, face
bloodied. He cries out, rolling to his side, clutching his face.
The two-by-four is dropped. John Doe's feet cross a short
distance. Doe's hand reaches to pick up Mills' gun. (We never
see John Doe's face.)
Mills still lies on his side, stunned, spitting blood and
cursing, when he feels the barrel of his gun against the side of
his face. Mills freezes.
John Doe moves the gun slowly across Mills' face, till the barrel
reaches Mills' mouth. The barrel is inserted between his lips.
The gun's hammer is pulled back.
Mills quakes, tries to open his eyes, but he's blinded by the
blood from his broken nose. For an instant, there is a sudden,
BRIGHT FLASH of LIGHT.
After a long moment, the gun withdrawals. From O.S., the bullets
fall out of Mills gun onto his chest.
The gun is dropped. John Doe runs towards the sliver of light.
Mills lies for a long moment, gasping. At the alleyway's entrance,
Mills rolls, shaken, feeling to pick up the bullets and trying to
rub the blood out of his eyes with his shirt sleeve. Somerset
Are you alright?
Mills gets up, collects his gun and pockets it, then walks past
Somerset, heading back.
Mills starts running. Somerset runs to follow.
78 INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL/HALLWAY -- DAY 78
Mills moves from the stairwell, driven, his nose still bleeding,
heading for apartment 6A. Somerset takes Mills arm, but Mills
pulls away and keeps going.
Wait... just wait.
It was him.
You can't go in there.
Somerset grabs Mills again and Mills shoves him off.
The hell I can't! We get in there and we
can stop him.
We need a warrant.
We have probable cause now.
Somerset grabs Mills and shoves him against the wall.
Think about it...
What the fuck is wrong with you?
Think about how we got here!
Somerset holds the computer paper, now crumpled in his hand. He
waves it in Mills' face as Mills struggles.
We can't tell anyone about this. We can't
tell them about the Bureau, so we have no
reason for being here.
Mills stops struggling, breathing hard, seething, trembling.
By the time we clear a warrant someone else
is going to be dead.
Think it through. If we leave a hole like
this, we'll never prosecute. He'll walk.
We have to come up with some excuse for
knocking on this door.
Okay... okay... get off.
Somerset releases Mills. Mills looks around the hall, then goes
right to door 6A and KICKS IT IN -- the door jam splinters and
the door swings open to darkness for a moment before swinging
You stupid son of a...
No point in arguing anymore...
Mills strides down the short end of the hall, towards a window.
Unless you can fix that.
Mills stops, looking out the window. It overlooks a weedy,
overgrown courtyard where a THIN VAGRANT lies asleep on the
concrete. Mills turns, looking back to Somerset.
How much money do we have left?
79 INT. TENEMENT BUILDING, STAIRWELL -- EARLY EVENING 79
On a stairwell landing, Somerset watches the thin vagrant from
the courtyard talk to a uniformed POLICEMAN who writes on a
clipboard, taking the statement.
So, I... I noticed this guy going out...
going out a lot when those murders were
happening. So... so I...
The vagrant's clinging to the rail, drunk and out of it. Mills
is down further on the stairs, high strung, chomping at the bit
to get this over with.
So, you called Detective Somerset, right?
Yeah, I... I called the detective.
Because, because this guy seemed... creepy.
(urging him on)
And, one of the murders was over there...
over... nearby here. I... I called the
The vagrant wipes drool from his lips. Mills comes to grip him
so he doesn't fall, searching the policemen's face for suspicion.
I told you the rest. You got it?
Have him sign it.
The policeman holds the clipboard and pen out to the vagrant.
Mills takes the pen and guides the vagrant's hand, almost signing
it for him.
Great. Is that it?
The policeman nods. Mills grips the vagrant and leads him down
the stairs in a hurry, around a bend. Mills looks up to be sure
they're out of the policeman's sight, takes out a wad of cash and
shoves it in the vagrant's pocket.
Go drink yourself happy.
Mills quickly guides the vagrant on his way, then turns and
rushes up the stairs, taking them two at a time.
80 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- EARLY EVENING 80
Mills pushes door 6A open, putting on rubber gloves. He steps in
with Somerset behind. Somerset turns back to the policeman.
Somerset closes the door most of the way. Mills hits a switch on
the wall and a lamp illuminates a desk. The desk is in the
center of the room, facing them. The room is bizarre, with some
areas cluttered and others barren. All the walls are painted
black. All the large, curtainless windows are painted over.
Somerset puts on his gloves. Mills walks to the desk.
The desktop is rather tidy. The only blatantly strange thing is
a set of notches carved into the wooden surface: three notches.
A candle has been allowed to burn down at one corner of the desk
and the wax trail goes all the way to the floor. Mills opens the
middle desk drawer. It's empty except for The Holy Bible.
Somerset moves along shelves of books, looking at the spines.
Lots of thick, oversized art volumes. A HISTORY OF THEOLOGY.
HANDBOOK OF FIREARMS. HISTORY OF THE WORLD. SUMMA THEOLOGICA.
UNITED STATES CRIMINAL LAW REVIEW.
At the desk, Mills opens another drawer. It's filled with at
least forty empty aspirin bottles. He opens the next drawer and
finds a rosary and several boxes of bullets.
Somerset comes to look at John Doe's "bed." No mattress. It's
only a metal frame and springs with a sheet spread across it.
The sheet is sweat stained and dotted by stains of rust at many
points where springs have worn through.
Somerset walks around the bed to a narrow table not far away
against the wall. The table contains a strange tableau, like a
mini stage, hand-made of cardboard and pasted Communion wafers.
A human hand immersed in a jar of liquid is the centerpiece.
(quiet, to himself)
Above this, on the wall, there's a clutter of pinned up articles
about the seven deadly sins, pages from art books, pencil
drawings of Christ, all tight together and overlapping.
Mills picks up a small piece of paper from a letter holder. It's
a pink receipt from WILD BILL'S LEATHER SHOP.
Written: CUSTOM JOB. $502.64. PAID IN FULL. Mills puts the
receipt back down on the desk.
Somerset walks to a black door. Opens it.
81 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMEN, ROOM TWO -- EARLY EVENING 81
Somerset enters. A ceiling light is on. Bare bulb. There are
bookshelves on three walls, filled with notebooks. Thousands and
thousands of notebooks.
Somerset takes one notebook down. It is a thick composition book
with an unlabeled cover. Inside, the pages are filled with small
handwritten sentences, thumb-nail sketches and blurry, glued in
photographs; small photos, seemingly cut from contact sheets.
the sketches, pictures and writings takes up ever single inch.
Somerset takes down another notebook and flips through the pages.
Same as the first, filled to the brim.
Somerset crosses to another shelf and pulls another notebook.
Same deal. Somerset looks around.
82 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- EARLY EVENING 82
Mills moves from the desk to a hall. He tries a light switch,
but it does nothing. He walks...
It's dark. A rather long hall. The only light is a red glow
seeping from under the bottom of the closed door ahead.
83 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO -- EARLY EVENING 83
Somerset walks to a 16mm film projector. It sits facing a
battered white screen. Somerset turns the projector on, backing
away to switch off the bare bulb above.
84 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, HALL -- EARLY EVENING 84
Mills reaches the door at the end of the hall. He turns the knob
and pushes the door open. He's bathed in red light.
85 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, BATHROOM -- EARLY EVENING 85
Mills enters. He looks around, slowly. Stunned.
86 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO -- EARLY EVENING 86
The projector is clattering in the dark, running a piece of film
through. The film is spliced to run as a non-stop loop.
Somerset watches the screen, light strobing across him.
The screen shows a bright image of clouds drifting, with strange
superimposed angels in flowing robes floating jerkily. It's like
a weird, old Hollywood version of Heaven.
The images switch abruptly to fire and tormented souls laboring
around a pit of molten goo, where more tormented humans squirm.
Like Heaven, it's a scratched piece of film from Hollywood's
Somerset is engrossed in the images.
Somerset... come here!
Somerset hears him.
87 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, HALL/BATHROOM -- EARLY EVENING 87
Somerset comes down the hall.
We had him, damn it.
Somerset reaches the bathroom where Mills stands looking up at
the wall. The room has been converted into a dark room lit by
red bulbs, with strips of film hanging from the ceiling.
What are you talking about?
We had him.
There are hundreds of prints on the walls and hanging from drying
wires. Somerset looks around, trying to understand...
Pictures of John Doe's victims, alive and dead. Grotesque
photos, of their pleading faces, and their dead bodies. Close
shots of eyes, fingers and mouths.
Mills sits on the closed toilet, throwing something into the
nearby sink and resting his head in his hands.
The pass was a fake.
In the sink -- it's a laminated press pass on a neck cord.
On the walls, more pictures: of the crime scenes, but from the
outside looking in. Long shots. Police cars. Ambulances.
Uniformed officers putting up police barrier ribbons outside
buildings. The coroner's wagon.
Somerset stares at them, taking them in, realizing...
We had him and we let him go.
In the backgrounds of the pictures: Somerset and Mills. In
another: Mills crossing the street. In another: Somerset and
Mills getting out of Somerset's car.
One photo, close shot, shows Mills and Somerset on the stairwell
of the building where Victor's body was found. It is the
picture taken by the balding, almost silly looking reporter.
88 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- NIGHT 88
A male forensic uses tongs to remove Victor's hand from the jar
of liquid. He places the hand in a clear plastic evidence bag.
The forensic walks away with the hand, past a FEMALE SKETCH
ARTIST who puts the finishing touches on an accurate drawing of
the balding, almost silly looking reporter who wears thick
glasses, now known as John Doe.
You're sure this is him?
Mills stands over the sketch artist. Two deputy detectives, SARA
and BILLY, are at work along with two other forensics searching,
photographing and dusting.
Just put it in circulation.
You got it. Tomorrow morning, this city's
good citizens will be on the lookout for
(coming to Mills)
We can't find anything to hang on to. No
paystubs, no appointment books or
calenders. Not even an address book. And,
you're not going to believe this...
It's just... we haven't found any
fingerprints yet. Not a single one.
You know, you're right, I don't believe
you. Keep looking.
Mills walks away.
89 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO -- NIGHT 89
Somerset and three uniformed officers are looking through the
notebooks on the shelves. Somerset squints at the notebook in
his hand, shaking his head as he reads. Mills enters.
Somerset looks up and closes the notebook.
We could use about fifty more men here.
I'm trying, alright? Just tell me what
Somerset pauses briefly at Mills' abruptness.
Well, there are at least five thousand
notebooks in this room, and near as I can
tell, each notebook contains two hundred
and fifty pages.
Then, he must write about these murders.
(opens notebook, reads)
"What sick, ridiculous, puppets we are, and
what a gross, little stage we dance on.
What fun we have, dancing and fucking, not
a care in the world. Not knowing that we
are nothing. We are not what was
Somerset turns a few pages.
"On the subway today, a man came to me to
start a conversation. He made small talk,
this lonely man, talking about the weather
and other things. I tried to be pleasant
and accommodating, but my head began to
hurt from his banality. I almost didn't
notice it had happened, but I suddenly
threw up all over him. He was not pleased,
and I couldn't help laughing."
Somerset closes the notebook.
No dates indicated, placed on the shelves
in no discernible order. It's just his
mind poured out on paper. I don't think
it's going to give us any specifics.
Looking around... I've got a bad feeling
these murders are his life's work.
A PHONE is HEARD RINGING in another room. Mills looks.
90 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- NIGHT 90
Everyone's looking around, and at each other, trying to find the
source of the RINGING. Mills and Somerset enter, baffled. Mills
looks to Sara. She shrugs and shakes her head.
Everyone searches. PHONE RINGS.
Mills gets on his hands and knees.
Mills crawls under John Doe's "bed." He comes back out with a
rotary phone. Someone throws him a micro-cassette recorder.
Mills turns the recorder on, makes sure it's running, then picks
up the phone with the recorder to the earpiece.
JOHN DOE (v.o.)
I admire you. I don't know how you found
me, but imagine my surprise. I respect you
detectives more every day.
Okay, John, let's...
JOHN DOE (v.o.)
No, no, no! You listen. I'll be back on
schedule tomorrow, even with this setback.
I just had to call and express my
admiration. I'm sorry I had to hurt you
today, but I didn't have a choice. You
will accept my apology, won't you?
Mills says nothing, containing his anger.
JOHN DOE (v.o.)
I feel like saying more... but I don't want
to ruin the surprise.
John Doe hangs up. Mills puts down the phone.
91 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO -- LATER NIGHT 91
Mills and Somerset stand in the dark, watching the continuous
loop projector's strange images of Heaven and Hell.
You were right.
Somerset looks at Mills.
These murders are his masterwork. His
sermon to all of us. To all us sinners.
The door opens and light bursts in. The captain stands there,
looking them over.
It's been a long day, kids. Go home. Just
make sure you sleep with the phone between
92 INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, BEDROOM -- NIGHT 92
Somerset winds his metronome. PHONE RINGS. Somerset does not
want to answer it, but does.
Hello, William? It's Tracy.
Tracy, is everything alright?
Yes, yes, everything's fine.
He's in the shower, in the other room. I'm
sorry to call like this.
It's alright, I guess.
I, um... I need to talk to you. I need to
talk to someone. Can you meet me
somewhere... maybe tomorrow morning?
I really don't understand.
I feel stupid, but you're the only person I
know here. There's no one else...
Can't you get away, for a little while?
I don't know, with this case.
If you can, please call me. Please. I
have to go now... goodnight.
Tracy hangs up. Somerset looks at the phone, wondering.
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
93 INT. COFFEE CAFE -- MORNING 93
Somerset sits in the window booth with Tracy. The cafe is noisy.
Tracy stares into her coffee while she stirs it.
I mean, you known this city. You've been
here for so long.
It's a hard place.
I don't sleep very well.
Somerset is trying to be understanding, but sneaks a look at his
I feel strange being here with you...
without David knowing.
I'm sorry, I only...
Two young punks step up to the window outside and look in at
Tracy. One flicks his tongue rapidly. Tracy looks away.
Somerset takes out his badge and holds it against the window.
One punk gives the finger and the other spits on the window.
They leave, laughing. Tracy tries to smile.
You have to put blinders on sometimes.
I don't know why I asked you to come.
Talk to him about it. He'll understand if
you tell him how you feel.
I can't be a burden, especially now. I
know I'll get used to things. I guess I
wanted to know what someone who's lived
here thinks. Upstate, it was a completely
I don't know if David told you, but I teach
fifth grade, or did.
He mentioned it.
Tracy seemsvery upset, near tears.
I've been going to some of the schools,
looking for work, but the conditions here
You should look into private schools.
I don't know...
Tracy looks up, wipes at her eyes.
What's really bothering you?
Tracy bites her lip.
David and I are... going to have a baby.
Somerset sits back, the expression of soothing concern on his
Oh, Tracy... I have to tell you, I'm not
the one to talk to about this.
I hate this city.
Somerset sighs. He takes out a cigarette, but thinks better of
it and puts it back. He looks out the window.
If you're thinking...
I had a relationship once, very much like a
marriage. And, she was going to have our
child. This is a long time ago. She and I
had decided we were going to make the
choice together... whether to keep the
Tracy looks at Somerset.
Well, I got up one morning and went to
work... just like any other day, except it
was my first since hearing about the baby.
And, I... I felt this fear and anxiety
washing over me. I looked around, and I
thought, how can we raise a child
surrounded by all this? How can a child
grow up here?
So, that night, I told her I didn't want us
to have it, and over the next few weeks, I
convinced her it was wrong. I mean... I
wore her down, slowly.
I want to have children. It's just...
I can tell you now, I know... I'm positive
I made the right decision. I'm positive.
But, there's never a day that passes that I
don't wish I had decided differently.
Somerset reaches and takes Tracy's hand.
If you... don't keep the baby, if that's
what you decide, then, never tell him you
were pregnant. I mean that. Never.
The relationship will whither and die.
Tracy nods, tears welling up again. Somerset smiles a bit.
But, if you do decide to have the baby,
then, at that very moment, when you're
absolutely sure, tell David. Tell him at
that exact second, and then spoil that kid
every chance you get.
There are tears in Somerset's eyes.
That's all the advice I can give you,
Tracy. I don't even know you.
He smiles again, wipes his own tears.
Somerset's beeper begins BEEPING. He takes it out and stands,
wanting to leave. Tracy gets up and kisses him on the cheek.
Somerset starts to back away.
Keep in touch after you're gone, William.
Somerset nods, raises a hand to say goodbye as he leaves.
94 INT. WILD BILL'S LEATHER SHOP -- DAY 94
Mills and Somerset are on one side of the counter and WILD BILL
is on the other. Wild Bill is shirtless and covered in tattoos.
He has a thick scar running down the center of his forehead and
down his cheek. leather belts, whips and jackets hang on the
walls and from the ceiling.
Yeah, he picked it up last night.
Wild Bill holds the pink receipt from John Doe's apartment.
This was definitely him?
Mills points to the rendering of John Doe he holds.
Yeah, John Doe. Easy name to remember.
What was this job you did for him?
I got a picture of it here. It's a real
Wild Bill pulls a box from behind the counter, digs in it.
I figured he must be one of those
performance artists. That's what I
Like one of those guys who pisses in a cup
on stage and drinks it. Performance art.
Wild Bill hands a Polaroid picture to Mills. We do not see the
Oh... give me a break.
I think I undercharged him.
(looks at photo)
You built this for him? Youbuild this?
I've built weirder shit than that. So
A POLICEMAN enters the store.
Detectives... we have a situation.
Mills and Somerset follow the cop out.
Hey, my picture... !
Wild Bill watches them go, scratches his thick scar.
95 EXT. THE HOT HOUSE MASSAGE PARLOUR -- DAY 95
It's a madhouse outside The Hot House, a bright red storefront
bordered on both sides by porno theater after porno theater. A
crowd is gathered around a police action in progress.
Cops have formed a barrier, holding back the crowd and creating
an aisle from the entrance of The Hot House to the back of a
jail-van. Cops and detectives are escorting various men, women
and transvestites into the large vehicle. The crowd, consisting
of the dregs of society, is shouting. Some people are spitting
and throwing trash at the cops.
96 INT. THE HOT HOUSE, RECEPTION AREA -- DAY 96
TWO COPS are in front of a glass and steel cage. Inside the cage
is a fat, BALD MAN with a wall of sex toys behind him.
Just wait! Just wait!
One cop pounds his nightstick against the glass.
Get out of the fucking booth!
Just wait! I'll come out, just wait!
97 INT. THE HOT HOUSE, CORRIDORS -- DAY 97
All the lights are red and the walls are painted red. Mills and
Somerset follow a THIRD COP through the twisting corridors.
POLICEMEN can be HEARD SHOUTING and MAKING ARRESTS. ROCK MUSIC
PLAYS, throbbing. They come to a door.
I don't want to go in there again.
98 INT. RED ROOM -- DAY 98
Mills and Somerset enter. ROCK MUSIC CONTINUES, LOUD. A strobe
light flashes from the ceiling. TWO AMBULANCE ATTENDANTS are in
the room. The first attendant is placing a sheet over a bed,
hiding the corpse of a blonde woman. The second attendant is
trying to examine the pupils of a CRAZED MAN, 55, who is naked
and wrapped in a sheet. A SWEATING COP holds crazed man down.
He... he... he made me do it!
I have to look at you. I have to look at
LUST is scratched into the red paint on the wall in big letters.
Mills and Somerset move towards the covered body.
(to Mills and Somerset)
You're not going to want to see this more
He had a gun! He made me do it!
The sheet is lifted for the detectives. They grimace at what
they see. We do not see. Somerset closes his eyes and turns
away. The first attendant replaces the sheet.
Mills steps back, takes out his handkerchief and sucks on it. He
looks at the crazed man. The crazed man jerks around while the
second attendant preps a needle.
He's in shock, man. He's gone.
Take this thing off me... take it off!
Please, take this thing off me!
The sweating cop keeps his controlling grip on the crazed man.
Get it off... oh, God!
(to Mills and Somerset)
You're the detectives, right? Right?
Well, you'd better see this!
Somerset's facing the wall. Crazed man's still yelling.
Hey... you better see what's strapped onto
Mills turns to the cop.
We've already seen it!
99 INT. SANATORIUM, WHITE ROOM -- DAY 99
A Polaroid photograph on a white table. It is the photo Wild
Bill gave to Mills. It's a picture of a belt, made with extra
leather straps so it can be worn securely around the groin. It
is a strap-on phallus, except there is no plastic protuberance.
Instead, there is a metal knife -- it's a strap-on butcher's
And... and... and he said... he asked me if
I was married. And, I could see he had a
gun in his hand.
Where was the girl?
Where was the prostitute? Where was she?
The crazed man leans forward in his chair.
She was... she was on the bed. She was
just sitting on the bed.
Who tied her down? You or him?
He had a gun. He had a gun... and he made
it happen. He made me do it!
He made me put that... that thing on. Oh,
Christ! He made me wear it... and... and
he told me to fuck her. He had the gun in
The man slides to the floor and hides his face in his hands.
The gun was in my throat!
Somerset looks up at the mirror in his room. He stands and picks
up the Polarois as two men in institutional uniforms enter to
collect the crazed man from the floor.
100 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, INTERROGATION ROOM -- DAY 100
Mills stands in this dirty room with the dirty, bald man from The
Hot House's reception area booth.
You didn't hear any screams? Nothing? You
didn't notice when this man walked in with
a package under his arm?!
No, I didn't.
You didn't notice anything wrong? Nothing
seemed strange to you?
Everybody who goes in there has a package
under his arm. Some guys are carrying
suitcases full of stuff. And, screams?
There're screams coming out of there
everyday. It goes with the territory,
You like what you do for a living? You
like the things you see?
The bald man smiles strangely.
No. No, I don't. But, that's life.
101 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- EARLY EVENING 101
1 gluttony (x) 5 wrath
2 greed (x) 6 pride
3 sloth (x) 7 lust (x)
Somerset and Mills are shell-shocked, silent, seated at their
desks. Somerset is looking at the blackboard. Mills is looking
at the billboard out the window.
102 INT. SPORTS BAR -- NIGHT 102
Somerset and Mills sit with a full pitcher of beer. The jukebox
plays for the other customers. The walls of the bar are covered
with trophies, plaques and other victory symbols.
The irony is, after a day of the type of
work he did, he'd come home and read me
these morbid crime stories. Murders in the
Rue Morgue. Le Fanu's Green Tea. My
mother would give him hell because he was
keeping me up till all hours.
Sounds like a father who wanted his son to
follow in his footsteps.
One birthday he gave me this brand new
hardcover book, "The Century of the
Detective," by Jurgen Thorwald. It traced
the history of deduction as a science, and
it sealed my fate, because it was real, not
fiction. And, that a drop of blood or a
piece of hair could solve a crime... it was
incredible to me.
Somerset drinks, then pours more beer.
You know... there's not going to be a happy
ending to this. It's not possible anymore.
If we get him, I'll be happy enough.
No. Face it now. Stop thinking it's good
guys against bad guys.
How can you say that? Especially after
Don't try to focus on things as black and
white, because you'll go blind. There's no
winning and losing here.
You're the oldest man I know, Somerset.
You tell me, then... you walk into an
apartment, and a man has beaten his wife to
death, or the wife murdered the husband,
and you have to wash the blood off their
children. You put the killer in jail. Who
You do your job...
Where's the victory?
You follow the law and do the best you can.
It's all there.
Just know that in this case there's not
going to be any satisfaction. If we caught
John Doe and he were the devil himself, if
it turned out he were actually Satan, then,
that might live up to our expectations. No
human being could do these things, right?
But, this is not the devil. It's just a
Why don't you shut the fuck up for a while?
You bitch and complain... if I thought like
you, I would have slit my wrist already.
Somerset sits back, looking at Mills.
You think you're preparing me for the hard
times ahead? You think you're toughening
me up? Well, you're not! You're quitting,
fine... but I'm staying.
People don't want a champion. They just
want to keep playing the lottery and eating
What the fuck is wrong with you? What
burnt you out?
It wasn't one thing, if that's what you
mean. I just... I can't live here anymore.
I can't live where stupidity is embraced
and nurtured as if it were a virtue.
Oh, you're so much better than everyone,
right? No one's worthy of you.
Wrong! I sympathize completely, because if
you can't win... then, if you don't ignore
everything and everyone around you, you...
you become like John Doe. It's easier to
beat a child than it is to raise it,
because it takes so much work to love. You
just have to make sure you don't stop to
think about the abuse, and the damage,
because you'll risk being sad. Keep
You're talking about people who are
mentally ill. You're...
No I'm not! I'm talking about common,
everyday life here. If you let yourself
worry about one thing, you'll worry about
the next, and the next, and it never ends.
In this place, ignorance isn't just bliss,
it's a matter of survival.
Listen to yourself. You say, "the problem
with people is they don't care, so I don't
care about people." But, you're already
here. You've been here a long time. So,
there's a part of you that knows, even if
everything you say is true, none of it
That part of me is dead.
You want me to agree with you: "Yeah,
you're right, Somerset. This is a fucked
place. Let's go live in a fucking log
cabin." Well, I don't agree with you.
You're giving up, and it makes me sick,
because you're the best I've ever seen.
Mills throws some money on the table.
Thanks for the beer.
Mills leaves, other patrons watching him.
Somerset takes out a cigarette and goes to light it. The lighter
will not light, and when it does, Somerset's hand is trembling.
103 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT, BEDROOM -- NIGHT 103
Mills comes quietly into the dark bedroom. Tracy is asleep on
the bed. Mills takes off his suit jacket, puts it down. He sits
on a chair and unties one shoe, takes it off, then looks at
Tracy. Looks at her a long moment.
He puts the shoe on the floor and goes to get on the bed. He
kisses his wife's forehead, kisses her cheek, then wraps his arms
under and around her. He holds her tight, kisses her again.
Mills runs his fingers along her face.
I love you.
Mills holds her tighter. She wraps her arms around him. They
lie together, clinging, holding tighter still.
104 INT. MILLS' APARTMENT BUILDING/STREET -- NIGHT 104
Through the window of the apartment, we can see Tracy and Mills
on the bed. CAMERA MOVES from this window, to the street.
CAMERA CONTINUES down the night street, to a car far from Mills'
building. Inside the car, John Doe sits, looking up at Mills'
window. Doe looks as plain as white bread. He adjusts his thick
glasses, sips from a coffee cup.
105 INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, BEDROOM -- NIGHT 105
Somerset is in bed. The metronome is sounding; tick... tick...
tick... The SOUNDS of the CITY are LOUD.
Somerset closes his eyes, concentrating on the metronome.
Tick... tick... tick... TWO MEN are HEARD from outside, YELLING
at each other. Somerset rolls over, restless. Tick... tick...
GLASS is HEARD SHATTERING. Somerset opens his eyes. MORE GLASS,
bottles being smashed. Somerset sits up. He reaches over, grabs
the metronome and throws it against the wall.
106 INT. SOMERSET'S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM -- LATER NIGHT 106
THWACK. Somerset's switchblade hits the dartboard on the wall
and the blade embeds.
Somerset crosses the room, still dressed for bed. He is tense.
He takes the switchblade from the dartboard, paces back across
the room, turns, holds the blade, then throws. The blade sticks.
Somerset paces back to the dartboard, pulls the blade, paces
back, throws the knife. THWACK. He goes to the board, gets the
blade, paces, turns, throws. THWACK.
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
107 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, MAIN ROOM -- DAY 107
A clock on the wall says 12:30.
108 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARTMENT, ROOM TWO -- DAY 108
Three deputy detectives are reading John Doe's notebooks. PHONE
RINGS from the other room.
109 INT. JOHN DOE'S APARMENT, MAIN ROOM -- DAY 109
One deputy enters. He goes to the phone near the bed. The
phone's been hooked into recording device with a speaker and
tracing equipment. The deputy turns everything on, answers.
JOHN DOE (v.o.)
I've gone and done it again.
110 INT. LUXURY APARTMENT, BATHROOM -- DAY 110
Somerset is looking around this femininely decorated bathroom
with a forensic, GIL. Both wear rubber gloves.
At the sink, objects covered in blood: a pair of scissors, a
hypodermic needle, first-aid tape and gauze bandages, a bottle of
anesthetic, a straight razor and a tube of super glue.
He really did a number on her, didn't he?
Gil opens the plastic shower curtain and looks into the tub. The
tub and shower wall are splattered with blood. The tub has a few
inches of water in it. The water is cloudy red. A few bits of
tape and gauze float in it. Gil jiggles the drain's knob. Some
bubbles pop up from the clogged drain.
111 INT. LUXURY APARTMENT, BEDROOM -- DAY 111
PRIDE is written in lipstick on a full length mirror. Below
that: I DID NOT KILL HER. SHE WAS GIVEN A CHOICE.
Mills and Dr. O'Neill are in the room. O'Neill goes through his
black bag. They're by a bed where a WOMAN lies dead under a
blanket. The woman's head is sloppily bandaged with heavy white
gauze and tape. The gauze is stained by spots of blood. Only
the eyes and mouth have been left uncovered. A zoo's worth of
stuffed animals have been placed across the bed. The woman holds
a stuffed unicorn.
Somerset enters from the bathroom as Mills reaches to take the
unicorn from the woman's grasp. There is a cordless phone in her
left hand, and her and clings to it.
Her right hand holds a bottle of prescription pills. Mills tries
to open the fingers of this hand with a tongue depressor, but
they are super-glued to the bottle. Mills turns the woman's hand
slightly so two red pills roll out onto the blanket.
Mills examines the left hand. The phone is glued into it.
O'Neill steps up, holding a thin pair of silver scissors. He
leans to slide the scissors under the woman's bandage mask,
Somerset goes to a dresser where the woman's purse sits open. He
takes out the driver's license and looks at the photo. The woman
in the picture is stunningly beautiful.
You see what he did?
Mills is watching the doctor work.
He cut her up and dressed the wounds.
(holds up his left hand)
Call for help, and you'll live. But,
you'll be disfigured.
(raises right hand)
Or, put yourself out of your misery.
O'Neill removes the bandages. Mills looks away. We do not see.
O'Neill looks to the detectives.
He cut off her nose to spite her face, and
he did it very recently.
112 EXT. CITY STREET -- DAY 112
Mills' car pulls up in front of the precinct house. Mills and
Somerset get out. They wade through cars towards the old
precinct house building.
I've decided to stay on this, till it's
over. Till it's either done or we can both
see it's never going to finish.
Mills remains impassive.
Oh, you want to stay now?
One of two things will happen. We're
either going to get John Doe, or he'll
finish his series of seven, and this case
will go on for years.
You think you're doing me a big favor by
I'm requesting you keep me on as your
partner a few more days. You'd be doing me
Mills walks on.
You knew I'd say yes.
No, actually, I wasn't sure at all.
Somerset and Mills climb the steps of the precinct house.
Behind them, in the street, John Doe's car pulls up and parks.
Cars behind begin BEEPING. People behind begin cursing and
screaming for him to move.
John Doe steps out, his brown work boots, pants and shirttails
are splattered with blood.
He walks towards the precinct house, hands in his pockets, like
he's out for a stroll. People on the sidewalk stop on seeing
him, avoid him.
113 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, RECEIVING LOBBY -- DAY 113
Mills and Somerset walk past booking cubicles and benches of
handcuffed low-lifes. Junkies are being led through by uniformed
cops. The place is swimming with activity. The two detectives
head to the wide duty desk at the end of the room.
As soon as this is over, I'm gone.
They pass through a gate and Somerset goes towards a staircase
leading upstairs. Mills stops at the duty desk. Other cops are
vying for the DUTY SERGEANT'S attention.
Mills and Somerset are on the premises.
Another PLAIN CLOTHES COP behind the duty desk leans over to hold
out a few phone-message note to Mills.
PLAIN CLOTHES COP
Your wife called this morning. Do us a
favor and get yourself an answering
machine, how bout it?
Mills nods and wave dismissively, pocketing the messages without
looking at them and walking to follow Somerset.
JOHN DOE (o.s.)
Mills heads toward the stairs.
JOHN DOE (o.s.)
Mills looks back... stops.
John Doe stands inside the precinct house doors. He gives a very
I know you.
Somerset stops, looks back down the stairs.
Mills is staring at Doe, not comprehending.
Doe holds up his arms as if to say, "Presto, here I am." All
eyes go to the blood-soaked figure of John Doe. There comes a
sudden, near-silence in the room.
One UNIFORMED COP takes out his gun, points it at John Doe.
Several other cops drop what they're doing and draw weapons.
Mills, still off balance, takes out his own gun, walking back
through the gate. He points the gun at John Doe.
Get down. Get down on the floor.
Cops move slowly in on Doe from all sides.
You heard him, fuckface. Get down!
Somerset comes back through the gate.
John Doe gets down on his knees, hands in the air. Mills, pulse
pounding, steps up, gun in both hands. Not too close.
Down! Face on the floor!
ONE COP comes from behind and nudges Doe with his foot.
Spread your legs and get your hands out in
front of you!
John Doe lies on his stomach, obeying. Mills comes up and puts
his gun right against Doe's head.
Don't move. Don't move an inch.
One cop begins frisking Doe. Another comes to put on cuffs.
Somerset comes to Mills' side.
I don't believe it.
The cop putting on the handcuffs looks up at Somerset and Mills.
What the fuck is this... ?
The cop holds up Doe's cuffed hands. Doe winces. Every single
one of Doe's fingers has a bandage wrapped around it.
John Doe tries to muster a smile, his face pressed against the
floor, glasses askew, gun at his temple.
I want to speak to my lawyer.
114 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, OBSERVATION ROOM -- DAY 114
Mills holds a fingerprint card. The black ink prints are just
useless blobs, smeared with blood.
Mills, Somerset and the Captain stand in darkness. Mills looks
up from the print card through a two-way mirror into an
In the interrogation room, John Doe sits, handcuffed to the wall.
This is not some superhuman serial killer.
He looks more like an eccentric college professor, not seething
with anger, but looking around with calm, almost lazy eyes. The
lawyer, MARK SWARR, sits taking notes and talking with Doe.
He cuts off the skin if his fingertips.
That's why we can't find a single usable
print in the apartment. He's been doing it
for quite a while. Keeps cutting before
the papillary line can grow back.
What about the trace on his bank account
and the guns? There must be something to
connect him with a past.
So far it's all dead ends. No credit
history. No employment history. His bank
account's only five years old and it
started as cash. We're even trying to
trace his furniture, but for now all we
know is he's independently wealth, well
educated and totally insane. We may never
know how he got that way.
Because he is John Doe, by choice.
When do we get to question him?
You don't. It goes to court now.
He wouldn't just turn himself in. It
doesn't make any sense.
Somerset moves from the window, crossing the room to sit.
Well, there he sits. It's not supposed to
He's not finished.
He's pissing in our faces again and we're
just taking it.
You're wound too tight, Mills. Let it go.
The captain walks. Mills is furious. He presses his fingers
against the two-way-mirror, pushes to crack his knuckles loudly.
You know he's fucking us.
You and I are, probably for the first time
ever, in total agreement. He wouldn't just
Well... what the fuck, man?
He's only two murders away from finishing
his masterpiece, right? Can you even
conceive of what's going to happen next? I
mean, can you even imagine how he'll try to
Mills looks in at John Doe. Somerset comes to stand beside.
I can tell you this. I recognize his
lawyer. His name's Mark Swarr.
Mills looks at Somerset.
He's the one who got Victor out.
We'll wait for John Doe's plea.
115 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, SOMERSET'S OFFICE -- DAY 115
Mills is at the desk, feet up. He stares at the blackboard.
1 gluttony (x) 5 wrath
2 greed (x) 6 pride (x)
3 sloth (x) 7 lust (x)
Clock on the wall says 4:45. Somerset is packing books into
boxes, preparing for his eventual departure.
The captain steps into the office and clears his throat, looking
like there is something making him very unhappy.
116 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, CAPTAIN'S OFFICE -- DAY 116
Mills and Somerset stand together. The captain is behind his
desk with Martin Talbot, the D.A., seated in front of him. Mark
Swarr is addressing them all, seems nervous but in control.
My client says there are two more bodies...
two more victims, hidden away. He will
take Detectives Mills and Somerset to these
bodies, but only Detectives Mills and
Somerset. Only at six o'clock today.
Talbot wipes his moist brow with a handkerchief.
He says he admires you.
My client claims that if the detectives do
not accept this offer, these two bodies
will never be found.
Frankly, counselor, I'm inclined to let
We don't make deals, Mr. Swarr.
Mills gets in Swarr's face.
How is it working for a scumbag like this?
You proud of yourself?
Ease back, Mills.
I'm required by law to serve my clients to
the best of my ability, and to serve their
Mills back off.
Well, we're going to have to pass.
My client... he also wishes to inform you,
if you do not accept, he will plead
insanity, across the board.
(to no one in particular)
Let him try! I'd like to see him try!
Come now, Martin. We all know, with the
extreme nature of these crimes, I could get
him off with such a plea.
Talbot considers this, wringing the handkerchief in his hands.
Mills looks at Somerset. Somerset looks at him.
I'm not letting this conviction slide, I
can tell you that right here and right now!
He says, if you accept, under his specific
conditions, he will sign a full confession
and plead guilty... right here, right now.
Talbot glares at Swarr.
What do you think?
It has to be both of you.
If he were to claim insanity, this
conversation is admissible. The fact that
he's blackmailing us with his plea...
And, my client reminds you, two more are
dead. The press would have a field day if
they found out the police didn't seem too
concerned about finding them... giving them
a proper burial.
If there really are two more dead.
The captain picks up a sheet from his desk.
The lab report came up from downtown, They
did a quickie on Doe's clothing and
fingernails. They found blood from Doe,
from him cutting his own fingers... there
was blood from the woman whose face he cut
off, and blood from a third party. As yet
You would be escorting an unarmed man.
Somerset thinks it over. He looks to Mills.
Let's finish it.
Somerset looks at the floor, then at Swarr.
(to the captain)
Well... get the fucking lawyer out of the
room and we can talk about how this whole
thing's going to go down.
117 INT. PRECINCT HOUSE, BATHROOM/LOCKER ROOM -- DAY 117
Somerset's hand reaches to the sink to pick up a razor.
Somerset and Mills are at the sinks, looking at themselves in
mirrors, shirtless. They have shaving cream spread across their
chests. Somerset flicks his cigarette in the sink, then brings
the razor up to start shaving the hair off his chest. Mills is
already doing the same.
If John Doe's head splits open and a U.F.O.
flies out, I want you to have expected it.
They continue shaving.
If I were to accidentally cut off one of my
nipple, would that be covered by workman's
Somerset smiles just slightly.
I suppose so.
If you were man enough to actually file the
claim, I'd buy you a new one out of my own
Mills finishes shaving, washes and wipes his chest off with a
towel. He turns dead serious.
Listen, Somerset... I uh...
Mills pauses, sighs. Somerset stops shaving and looks at him.
What is it?
Well, I have to tell you...
I think I've fallen in love with you.
(shakes his head)
(laughs, walking out)
Kiss me on the lips.
Give me a break.
118 INT. READY ROOM -- DAY 118
Somerset and Mills have their shirts open. A female technician
tapes a small radio transmitter and microphone to Mills' chest.
Somerset is already wired up, pressing the adhesive to make sure
The technician finishes prepping Mills. Somerset buttons up his
shirt. The technician packs up her kit, leaving. The room is
quiet. Somerset picks up his bullet-proof vest, slides into it.
Mills looks at his watch. He puts on his own vest, fastening it
tight. He looks at Somerset.
Somerset takes out a roll of antacids and pops a few.
Mills holds out his hand and waits for an antacid. Somerset
looks at him, flicks a few into Mills' palm. Mills chews them.
Stay as cold as ice.
Somerset picks up his gun off a chair. Mills picks up his gun.
They both check them out and close them up. They lay the guns in
holsters at the small of their backs.
They look at each other. Somerset holds out his hand. Mills
119 INT. CITY STREET, PRECINCT HOUSE FRONT -- DAY 119
The street is full of shadows as the sun is falling low. At the
front of the precinct house, a throng of reporters shifts
anxiously. A line of policemen holds them back.
Martin Talbot steps out of the precinct house, cops on either
side of him. The press swarm lurches forward, flashbulbs
exploding. Talbot holds out his hands, preparing to speak.
120 EXT. CITY STREET, PRECINCT HOUSE REAR -- DAY 120
At the rear of the precinct house, Somerset's car pulls out of
the fenced in parking lot. The car speeds up on the street and
turns a corner, heading into the grim city.
121 EXT. SKYSCRAPER ROOFTOP -- DAY 121
California is dressed in full battle gear, looking through
binoculars to the city below. The wind blows hard.
A PILOT, holding two helmets, comes up behind California. A
sleek police helicopter sits on the roof's helipad.
Is this wind going to hurt us?
Just makes the ride more fun.
The cocky pilot grins.
122 INT. SOMERSET'S CAR -- DAY 122
Somerset is at the wheel. Mills is in the passenger's seat,
looking back at John Doe through protective wire mesh. Doe's in
the back seat. His handcuffs are attached to ankle cuffs by a
length of chain. He is dressed in gray pants and a gray shirt,
looking out the window, sweaty but placid.
Who are you, John? Who are you really?
John Doe looks to Somerset's eyes in the rearview mirror.
What do you mean?
I mean, at this point, what would it hurt
if you told us a little about yourself?
It doesn't matter who I am. Who I am means
(looking out, to Somerset)
You need to turn left here... at the
Where we headed?
Mills looks at Doe for a long time in silence.
We're not just going to pick up two more
bodies, are we, Johnny? That wouldn't
be... shocking enough. Wouldn't keep you
on the front page of the newspapers.
Wanting people to pay attention, you can't
just tap them on the shoulder. You have to
hit them in the head with a sledgehammer.
Then, you have their strict attention.
What makes you so special that people
should pay attention?
Not me. I'm not special. I'm not
This is, though. What I'm doing.
I hate to burst your bubble, but other than
the fact that you're especially sadistic,
there's nothing unusual about these
precious murders of yours.
You know that's not true.
In two months, no one's going to even
remember this happened.
Doe looks down for a moment, then looks up, almost shyly.
You can't see the whole... the whole
complete act yet. Not yet. But, when this
is done, it's going to be... so... so...
Spit it out.
It's going to be flawless. People will
barely be able to comprehend it. It will
seem almost surreal... but it will have a
tangible reality, so they won't be able to
Doe looks down, licking his lips. He clenches his hands into
fists, digging his bandaged fingertips into his sweaty palms.
I can't wait for you to see. I can't
(pause, looks to Mills)
It's really going to be something.
Well, I'll be standing beside you the
whole time, so you be sure to let me know
when this whole, complete reality thing is
done. Wouldn't want to miss it.
Oh, don't worry. You won't...
123 INT, POLICE HELICOPTER -- DAY 123
The helicopter is in flight above the city. California is
strapped in, hanging out the door. He holds a high powered
automatic rifle, wears goggles and a helmet/headset.
JOHN DOE (v.o.)
... you won't miss a thing.
Two other armed cops sit in the belly of the chopper. California
leans in and looks up towards the pilot.
(into helmet microphone)
Head over the bridge and keep them in
sight. Just keep your distance.
The pilot looks back and nods.
124 EXT. CITY SKY -- DAY 124
The chopper dips, flying like a bullet over the polluted city,
heading towards the setting sun.
125 EXT. CITY STREETS -- DAY 125
Somerset's car moves along a highway at river's edge. Heading
for a huge suspension bridge filled with speeding traffic ahead.
126 INT. SOMERSET'S CAR -- DAY 126
John Doe has his head against the window, looking up at the
bridge, excited. He sits back, glances out the back window, then
faces front, bites his lip, fidgety, like a kid on Christmas Eve.
Somerset's watching him through the rearview mirror.
What's so exciting?
It's not too far away now.
[page 106. missing from script]
I... I doubt I enjoyed it any more than...
Detective Mills would enjoy some time alone
with me in a room without windows.
(looks to Mills)
Isn't that true? How happy would it make
you to hurt me, with impunity?
Now... I wouldn't do something like that,
Johnny. I like you. I like you a lot.
You wouldn't because you know there are
consequences. It's in those eyes of yours,
though... nothing wrong with a man taking
pleasure in his work.
(pause, shakes his head)
I won't deny my own personal desire to turn
each sin against the sinner. I only took
their sins to logical conclusions.
You only killed a bunch of innocent people
so you could get your rocks off. That's
Innocent? Is that supposed to be funny?
Look at the people I killed. An obese man,
a disgusting man who could barely stand
up... who if you saw him on the street,
you'd point so your friends could mock him
along with you. Who if you saw him while
you were eating, you wouldn't be able to
finish your meal. After him I picked the
lawyer. And, you both must have been
secretly thanking me for that one. This
was a man who dedicated his life to making
money by lying with every breath he could
muster... to keeping rapists and murderers
on the streets.
Murderers like you?
A woman... so ugly on the inside that she
couldn't bare to go on living if she
couldn't be beautiful on the outside. A
drug dealer... a drug dealing pederast,
(laughs at that one)
And, don't forget the disease spreading
whore. Only in a world this shitty could
you even try to say these were innocent
people and keep a straight face.
(getting worked up)
That's the point. You see a deadly sin on
almost every street corner, and in every
home, literally. And we tolerate it.
Because it's common, it seems trivial, and
we tolerate, all day long, morning, noon
and night. Not anymore. I'm setting the
example, and it's going to be puzzled over
and studied and followed, from now on.
Delusions of grandeur.
You should be thanking me.
And, why is that?
You're going to be remembered, and it's all
because of me. And, the only reason I'm
here right now is because I wanted to be.
We would have gotten you eventually.
Really? Just biding your time, then?
Toying with me. Is that it? Letting five
people die until you finally felt like
going out and hauling me in?
Doe sits forward, slowly getting to Mills.
Tell me what it was that gave me away.
What was the piece of evidence you were
going to use against me right before I
walked up to you and put my hands in the
I seem to remember knocking on your
And, I remember breaking your nose.
(leans further forward)
You're only alive because I didn't
John Doe doesn't sit back, staying very close to the wire mesh.
I spared you, and you're going to have to
remember that every time you look in the
mirror at that nose on your face for the
rest of your life. Or, I should say, for
the rest of what life I've allowed you to
Mills slams his fist against the mesh, fed up, furious.
I said, sit back, freak. Sit back and shut
your fucking mouth!
Die sits back, taking a deep breath and letting it out.
In the front seat, Somerset shoots a concerned glance at Mills,
then looks up into the rearview mirror.
IN THE MIRROR: Doe, calm, gives Somerset a smile.
Doe then turns his attention back out the passenger window,
watching the world pass by, his face pressed to the glass.
Mills sits forward in his seat, letting his anger come down. Doe
keeps staring out the window. A long pause.
Don't ask me to pity the people I killed.
I don't mourn them anymore than I mourn the
thousands who died in Sodom and Gomorrah.
Mills almost lets this pass, but can't. Blunted anger:
You fuck. You really think what you did
was God's good work?
Pause. John Doe is pressing his forefinger into the tip of his
thumb, causing blood to drip from under the bandage.
The Lord works in mysterious ways.
127 EXT. SKY -- EARLY EVENING 127
The helicoper flies over huge, blackened industrial parks, past
smokestacks spewing soot. The sky is turning crimson.
128 INT. POLICE HELICOPTER -- EARLY EVENING 128
California leans way out looking back at the city.
129 EXT. INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 129
Somerset's car comes down this rocky, deserted strip, towards the
industrial parks. The car tosses dirt into the air where it is
captured on the wind.
130 EXT. SKY -- EARLY EVENING 130
The chopper roars, low, close to the stretch of industrial road.
This is the only road through vast swampy fields. The industrial
parks are far behind.
131 INT. POLICE HELICOPTER -- EARLY EVENING 131
California still leans out, gun poised, looks over the fields.
There ain't no ambush out here. There
ain't no fucking nothing out here.
We got about two minutes before they come
up behind us.
Go high. Way up. In sixty seconds, cut to
132 EXT. SKY -- EARLY EVENING 132
The chopper climbs, really moving.
133 EXT. INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 133
Somerset's car comes down the road, surrounded by marshlands.
The car slows, then stops. Mills gets out and goes to extract
Doe. Somerset gets out, looking east to the industrial parks and
city beyond. The sky is darkening.
Somerset walks and looks to the west. The sky is red. Very far
away, a passenger train moves towards the hidden sun.
Somerset watches the train, walking to the edge of the roadway.
He looks down and steps back from what he sees.
A dead dog lies in the weeds, old and moldering.
Somerset turns to the car, where John Doe stands with Mills. Doe
points with his cuffed hands to the dog, grins.
I didn't do that.
134 EXT. MARSHLANDS -- EARLY EVENING 134
The wind howls, pounding on John Doe as he walks through the
swampy field. He walks slowly, encumbered by the deep muck and
by the short chain between his ankles. Mills is with Doe,
disgusted by the ooze covering his shoes and pants cuffs. He
looks ahead, cautious. Somerset walks behind them.
Doe keeps looking back towards the car on the industrial road.
What are you looking for?
Doe looks forward.
What time is it?
Somerset looks at his watch. It's one minutes after seven.
I want to know.
Mills gives Doe a shove.
Somerset looks back towards the industrial road, worried.
Just keep leading the way.
Mills and Doe look back at Somerset. Somerset is facing the
industrial road, pointing. A van is coming, dust flying.
Somerset looks at Mills. Mills looks at Somerset. They take out
their guns. Somerset starts towards the road.
Stay with him.
There's no time to discuss it!
Somerset runs to head off the van.
John Doe begins walking to follow Somerset.
There he goes.
Mills levels his gun at John Doe's head.
135 EXT. MARSHLANDS, NEAR INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 135
Somerset runs, breathing hard, opening the top of his
bullet-proof vest to speak into his hidden microphone.
There's a van... coming down the industrial
road. Coming from the east.
136 INT. POLICE HELICOPTER -- EARLY EVENING 136
The chopper is circling in the air, far from the marshlands with
the sun behind it. Another cop is in the hatchway beside
California, looking through binoculars.
The van is coming form the east. I don't
know what it is. Come around. Come
137 EXT. MARSHLANDS, NEAR INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 137
Somerset continues, charging through the mire.
Just get ready for anything and wait for my
signal. Wait for me.
138 EXT. MARSHLANDS -- EARLY EVENING 138
Mills keeps the gun on John Doe, watches Somerset far off.
It's good we have some time to talk.
Doe starts walking again.
Get down. Get down on your knees!
Mills grabs Doe and pushes Doe's knees out with his foot, making
Doe kneel in the brown water.
Mills positions himself behind Doe so that Doe is between him and
the road. Now, Mills can keep the gun on Mills and still watch
139 EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 139
Somerset comes up on the road, near his car. He signals for the
van to stop, then fires a warning shot in the air. The van is
about one hundred yards away, still coming.
Somerset walks towards it, breathless, pointing his gun.
Stop the van! Stop!
The van brakes, wheels sliding on the loose roadway. Stops.
Somerset moves up to it, staying about ten feet away.
Get out! Get out with your hands on your
head! Do it now!
The driver of the van, a DELIVERYMAN, pushes the door open and
slides out, slow, takes off his sunglasses.
Jesus Christ, man, don't shoot me!
Turn around. Hands on your head!
What the hell's going on?
Who are you? What are you doing out here?
I'm... I'm just delivering a package.
140 INT. POLICE HELICOPTER -- EARLY EVENING 140
California listens as the chopper spins over industrial parks.
It's just a package for this guy... David.
Detective David Mills.
The pilot looks back at California.
Let's do it.
No! Wait for Somerset!
141 EXT. MARSHLANDS -- EARLY EVENING 141
Mills and Doe can see Somerset keeping his distance from the
deliveryman. The deliveryman moves to the back of the van and
opens the van's rear door.
When I said I admired you... I meant what I
said. I do admire you.
Mills keeps his eyes on the van, but steps up to place his gun at
the back of Doe's head. Pulls the hammer back.
142 EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 142
The deliveryman takes a brown package, about a foot square, from
This guy paid me five hundred bucks to
bring it out here. He wanted it here at
exactly seven o'clock.
Put it down. Put it on the ground.
He puts it on the road and backs away, holding up his hands.
Somerset glances into the field to see Doe on his knees with
Mills behins him. Somerset looks at the package. Written on
top: DETECTIVE DAVID MILLS -- HANDLE WITH CARE.
Go. Get out of here!
The deliveryman backs off, then scrambles into the van. Somerset
pulls back his bullet-proof vest and speaks into the mic.
There's a package here. It's from John Doe.
The van tears away. Somerset doesn't know what to do. He walks
around the package, reholsters his gun.
I don't know... I don't know...
He looks out towards Doe and Mills.
143 INT. HELICOPTER -- EARLY EVENING 143
California waits, listening, looking into the blood-red sky.
I'm going to have to open it.
144 EXT. MARSHLANDS -- EARLY EVENING 144
Mills watches Somerset kneel beside the package on the road.
I wish I could have been a normal man like
you. I wish I could have a simple life.
What the fuck is going on here?!
145 EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 145
Somerset pulls his switchblade, clicks it open.
He cuts across the top of the box, hands shaking, cuts quickly.
He pulls the box open, pulls at some bubble-wrap inside.
146 INT. POLICE HELICOPTER -- EARLY EVENING 146
The pilot grits his teeth.
(into helmet mic)
We are going to wait!
Oh, Christ... oh Christ...
147 EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 147
Somerset stumbles backwards, away from the open box. He is white
as a sheet, eyes filled with numb fear. He leans against his car
for support, wretches, sick, holds the back of his hand to his
148 EXT. MARSHLANDS -- EARLY EVENING 148
Mills is watching Somerset, grabs John Doe by the shirt.
Get up. Stand up! Let's go!
Doe stands, tries to walk. Mills is walking quickly, towards
Somerset. Doe can't keep up.
You've made a good life for yourself...
Doe falls and Mills starts dragging him through the reeds.
149 EXT. MARSHLANDS, INDUSTRIAL ROAD -- EARLY EVENING 149
Somerset wipes saliva from his lips and tears from his eyes. He
takes a deep breath, looks to see Mills dragging Doe.
Oh, fuck, no...
Somerset straightens, tries to pull himself together. He
swallows, draws his gun.
(into hidden mic)
Listen... listen to me. Whatever you do...
don't come in here. Stay away. No matter
what you hear, do not move in!
(starts towards Mills)
John Doe has the upper hand.
Somerset picks up his switchblade and flips the blade back in.
He enters the marsh.
150 EXT. MARSHLANDS -- EARLY EVENING
Mills sees Somerset coming and pulls Doe so that Doe stands.
Here he comes.
(shouts to Somerset)
What the fuck is going on?
I want you to know, I wish I could have
lived like you do.
Somerset starts running towards Mills, mud splattering.
Mills... put down your gun! Throw it away!
Mills leaves Doe behind, walks towards Somerset, gun down.
Somerset is fifty yards away and closing.
Throw your gun down now!
What are you talking about? What happened?
Are you listening to me, Detective Mills?
I'm trying to tell you how much I admire
you... and your pretty wife Tracy.
Mills freezes, turns to Doe. Doe smiles. Somerset is close.
Throw your weapon, detective! Now!
(to John Doe)
What did you say?
It's surprising how easily a member of the
press can purchase information from the men
in your precinct.
I visited your home this morning, after you
Mills is filled with an aching terror.
I tried to play husband... tried to taste
the life of a simple man, but it didn't
work out. So, I took a souvenir.
Mills turns to look at Somerset with pleading eyes. Somerset
holds out his hand.
Give me the gun.
Her pretty head.
Because I envy your normal life. Envy is
Somerset can't hold back tears.
Fury rises in Mill and he turns to level his gun at John Doe.
Somerset raises his gun and points it at Mills.
Mills sees Somerset's gun, raises his gun to Somerset.
Tell me it's not true.
I can't let you do this...
Mills steps forward, enraged.
Put your gun down!!
Don't do this... please...
Put the gun down, Somerset!
A pause. Somerset's gun hand is trembling. The wind whips
across them. The HELICOPTER can be HEARD distantly. Somerset
throws his gun down.
David, listen to me...
Mills goes to grab John Doe by the throat and puts the gun to
Doe's forehead, blind with rage.
Somerset holds his hand behind his back, opens his switchblade.
He wants this! He wants you to do it!
Doe is staring into Mills' eyes with wild expectation.
Doe lowers his head, waiting for execution.
Mills holds the gun at Doe's head, undecided, furious.
Somerset edges towards them.
(looks to Somerset)
Stop it! You stay away!
Somerset moves the switchblade so he's holding it by the blade,
ready to throw, keeping it hidden.
I can't let you do this!
Mills kicks Doe and throws him backwards on the ground. The
HELICOPTER is CLOSER.
Mills stands over Doe and points the gun.
She begged for her life, and for the life
of your baby inside her.
Mills' face fills with confusion -- then a wave of horror.
Doe's eyes register shock.
You didn't know.
Somerset brings his hand out to throw the blade, but Mills reacts
to the movement, turns on Somerset and fires -- BLAM!
Somerset flies backwards in the air, bullet exploding into his
shoulder, just above the bullet-proof vest's opening.
Somerset hits the ground, crying out, bloody, writhing.
Mills turns the gun on John Doe.
151 INT. POLICE HELICOPTER -- EARLY EVENING 151
The chopper is over the marshland. California is leaning out
with his rifle. He cringes from the sounds as FROM HIS HEADSET
is HEARD: BLAM -- BLAM -- BLAM -- BLAM -- BLAM.
INSERT -- TITLE CARD
TWO WEEKS LATER
152 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY 152
Somerset sits in a wheelchair. He is dressed in a hospital gown.
His upper chest and shoulder are wrapped in bandages. He stares
out the window at the city's buildings.
Hey there, Somerset.
Somerset turns to see the captain. Somerset looks weak, older.
The captain walks in, carrying something behind his back.
How you feeling?
I can breathe withour pain now, so I guess
I feel great.
Somerset musters a lame smile. The captain sits on the bed.
The guys at the precinct heard you're
getting out today. Anyway, we all chipped
The captain takes a big tool belt full of tools from behind his
back. He hands it over. Somerset looks at it and lays it on his
lap. He smiles for real.
Thank you. Tell them, thank you.
We figure you need all the tools you can
get to fix up that piece of shit you call a
Yeah, that's true.
Somerset continues examining the tools.
They're hoping you stop and say goodbye
before you go, but I told them not to
(not looking up)
It would be too hard.
The captain stands.
I have to get going, but... there is one
Somerset looks up. The captain takes a letter from his pocket.
I don't know if you're going to want it.
It was down front. It's from Mills.
Somerset pauses, then puts out his hand to take it.
He's being arraigned tomorrow.
I read about it in the paper.
Somerset just looks at the letter.
I guess... decide for yourself. I don't
know what it says. I'm going to go.
I'll see you.
The captain nods and walks into the hall.
Somerset wheels back to the window. He looks at the letter.
Pause. He opens it. Unfolds the paper inside.
The note reads:
YOU WERE RIGHT. YOU WERE
RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING.
Somerset closes the note, upset.
153 INT. HOSPITAL, MAIN NURSES' STATION -- DAY 153
Somerset is in street clothes. He signs a form at the busy front
desk. A NURSE takes the form and hands Somerset a large manila
There you go, Mister Somerset.
"Mister" causes Somerset to look strangely at the nurse.
154 EXT. HOSPITAL -- DAY 154
Somerset comes down the stairs, slowly, tired. He holds the
manila envelope and a small suitcase. The streets are busy with
pedestrians and traffic.
He walks down the sidewalk.
He puts down the suitcase and opens the manila envelope to look
inside. He sorts through the contents, takes out his keys and
puts them in his pocket.
He reaches in the envelope again, and takes out the square of
wallpaper with the pale, red rose on it. There is some dried
blood on the paper. Somerset lays the envelope on the ground
beside the suitcase.
He looks at the rose, tries to scratch off the blood.
He looks up, squinting from the sun, at the city bustling around
him. At the tight canyon formed by the buildings.
At the cars, buses and taxis racing in the streets.
At a man, talking to himself, who lies on the sidewalk,
surrounded by garbage.
At the people, miserable people, walking past him.
Somerset takes out the note from Mills: YOU WERE RIGHT. YOU WERE
RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING.
A father passes by, holding his young son's hand. Somerset turns
to watch them pass. The father reaches to pick the son up and
carry him in his arms. The boy laughs and holds tight.
The father hugs his son to him, kisses him on the cheek. The boy
returns the kiss with great affection.
Somerset watches them disappear in the mass of humanity. He
looks back at the two papers in his hands. He lets out a sigh.
He sighs again, drained.
He puts the pale paper rose inside the note from Mills. He folds
He tears them both up, into little pieces.
155 EXT. PRECINCT HOUSE -- DAY 155
Cars roll by in the street. Cops come and go.
Somerset walks up the stairs, into the precinct house. The doors
shut behind him.