Raising Buchanan (2019) - full transcript

A desperate woman steals the corpse of former US president James Buchanan, hoping to net a large ransom. Complications arise when it seems no one is particularly interested in getting him back.

Let me tell you a story.

In 1855,

at La Flétan Agé,

a small theatre in Paris,

I attended an evening of staged
magic and conjuring.

The magician performed all the requisite
illusions precisely as one would expect...

And for an encore,

he placed his lovely assistant
into a long box,

mesmerized her,

proceeded to saw her in half.

He took his bow, the
curtain closed.

The magician left the country
the next day

and the young woman, whom I
later learned was his mistress,

was never heard from again.

I can say now that I, along with
some 200 others,

may have bore witness to the
murder of that woman.

The deed, of course, was

in a haze of misdirection and
spectacle filtered lighting, smoke,

so it required no concerted

to persuade us all that
it was indeed an illusion.

When one encounters a magician,

one expects, invites trickery

all the while knowing

that the simplest way to saw a
woman in half

is to simply saw a
woman in half.

That story has something to do
with this situation, doesn't it?

It does.

It's pretty cryptic. I don't
get the connection.

You will.

Well, it's a forest...

...but it's an animated forest,
like in those puppet holiday shows:

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or
Nestor, the Long-Eared Donkey...

I'm not familiar with Nestor

So I'm walking along
with two elves.

And we come to this clearing
in the woods.

And there's this Christmas tree
lying in the snow. It fell over.

So we start towards the tree and a bear
starts chasing us and grabs the two elves.

And I see them get dragged
into the forest.

I turn back around and there's
a phonograph record in the snow.

So I pick it up.

What was the record?

No idea.

Then a wolf comes out of the

and he grabs the phonograph
record and he's pulling on it.

I realize that I can't make it
to the tree with this wolf here

so I fling the record into the
woods and the wolf chases it.

Now he's gone,

and I turn back
around towards the tree

and there's another elf there trying to lift
it up, a really tall elf, way taller than me.

- He's trying to lift it up...
- Wait, taller than you? How do you know he was an elf?

Well, he was dressed
funny, like an elf.

You know, colorful?

Anyway, the tree's too heavy for

so I go over and help him and we
finally manage to set it up straight.

And then we stare at each
other really intense-like.

What happened after that?

I woke up.

So what do you think?

Hard to say.
It's not normal, though.

You're probably a lunatic.

- A dozen mixed, please?
- You got it.

It's too weird and specific not
to mean something, Meg.

I mean, what's with the tree?

Well, I know what a
psychiatrist would say:

Having trouble making a tree standing
up, probably a penis thing.

Don't be gross.
I don't have a penis thing.

No plain glazed, please.

- No problem.
- "No plain glazed?" Seriously?

I don't care for it.

It's the saddest donut
in the case.

The mixed dozen is built
around the plain glazed.

It grounds it. But, hey!
It's your funeral.

Hey, did anybody find a wallet?

I left it on that table
a half an hour ago...

No. I don't think anyone
turned anything in.

I'll go check in the back...

- This it?
- That's it!

Somebody must have turned it in.

Thanks. I appreciate it.

Ruth, aren't you supposed
to be there at two?


Good luck with the penis thing!

Damn doctors.


If I'm not dying according to
their schedule

then maybe it's their damn schedule
that's out of whack, not me!

Making them look bad.

They ran some new tests.


Came back good.

Dr. Zeblisky, he
danced around it.

But I got the impression they were thinking
of maybe kicking me out of this dump.

What? Zeblisky actually
said that?

That's great news, Dad...

Well, he danced around it...

But still, for him to
say that, that's...

Look, I don't want to talk about
it. I don't want to jinx it.

So... how's work?

Oh, work's good.

Still a grind.

I should hear about that
promotion in a couple of weeks.

That executive account position?

Yup. Corner office,
fifteenth floor.

Imagine that...

I never saw you making
more than minimum wage.

How about that little
Kyle there, huh?

It's only been a month and
already he's bigger and stronger.

Hair's growing, too.

He's good Kiesling stock.

Yup, he's quite a handful.

And I hate to keep bringing it

but when you and Grant get
married, he's agreed to...

Yes, Dad. Kyle will keep the Kiesling name.
We've already been through this.

I know it's not important to you,
but it's a hell of a thing he's doing.

And I'll be sure to tell him that when
I finally get a chance to meet him.

How you managed to land a guy
like that

is I'll never be able
to figure that out.

- Did it go okay? How's your dad?
- Alright.

He's actually doing better.

Doing better? Really?

Let's get you home
to Mama, Jeffrey.

- How did the little guy do?
- Just fine.

You got a good kid, Brock.

- Okay.
- Wait.


- Time.
- Okay.

See you next Thursday.

- Oh, yeah about that...
- What?

Lori's taking Jeffrey to her parents'
house in Iowa for a couple of weeks,

so it kind of throws a monkey
wrench in my visitation schedule.

You're telling me this now?

You can get Lois' kid
again, can't you?

I think my dad's starting to be
able to tell the difference.

Shit, Brock.

I'm not crazy about it either, Ruth,
but this custody thing's all about her.

And you gotta admit this hospice thing has
been going on way longer than you told me.

I know, I know.


Hey, you want to get a
coffee or a cheese crisp?

I know a guy.


I got an interview downtown.

Job interview?

Something like that.

Everything go okay this week?

Any episodes?


No. No. Pretty good week.

Small confrontation with a guy
driving too slow in the left lane.

Threw half a breakfast burrito at
him when we stopped at a light.

- Jeez, Ruth...
- Oh, come on, Crosby. The guy was about fifty.

How do you drive for thirty years and
not know the left lane is the fast lane?

That kind of jug head ignorance
deserves a breakfast burrito.

I'll let it go.

How about your work?
You missing any time from your work?

No, no, work's fine.
Donuts aren't real challenging...

But it pays the bills.

I wouldn't go that far.

- Did your boss fill out that paperwork?
- Oh.

Oh, shit I left it at home.

But I do have my community
service hours.

You're gonna need to
bring it by tomorrow.

Without fail, please.

The ventriloquist thing again?

I can't just keep letting
this slide, Ruth.

- Why not?
- Because it's not community service.

It's meant to amuse
and entertain.

But it "amuses and entertains"
the entire community, Crosby.

Every episode gets over
two million hits.

The idea behind community service is
to provide a fair level of restitution.

Well, it's not like I robbed a bank,
or put someone in the hospital.

That wasn't a hospital!

Anyway, I put in a lot of
time and effort into it.

You play the cello off to the side
of a very strange ventriloquist.

Well, I choose the music, I
practice it, I perform it.

I do my own goth makeup.
I bought a dress!

I'm not judging your
work ethic, Ruth.

I'm saying what if you played the cello at an
elder care facility or a homeless shelter.

I was just thinking
outside the box.

We're shooting another
one tonight.

Well, I better not see those
hours on your paperwork next week.

You're off probation soon, so let's go
for some real community service, huh?

I did it again, didn't I?

Don't get me wrong, Ruth,
I'm thrilled he's getting out of hospice.

I'm just saying:

What if he gets out and he
doesn't have a home anymore?

I know, I know...

Can't you just tell him the
truth? Maybe he could help.

He's as broke as we are. He doesn't
have that kind of money anymore.

Okay, then just tell the bank
that your dad's in hospice.

That oughta buy you some time.
They wouldn't foreclose on a hospice guy.

I told them that already.

How the hell do you think I've
kept them out for ten months?

You used that already?

Yeah, when that guy came by!

I thought you just flirted
your way out of that.

Of ten months of back payments
and penalties?

I don't have those kind
of flirting skills.

Oh, Ruth I think you played
that hospice card way too soon.

We'll think of something.

You girls ready?

It's not time yet...

You're sure it's
okay if I watch?

Errol seems kind of

Don't worry, he likes
people watching him.

Trust me.

Get your stuff.

I'm not even dressed yet!
What's the hurry?

I just thought we'd stop by the
freight building before we hit Errol's.

What's at the freight building?

You guys wanna see
a dead president?

So I guess she lives
in Scottsdale now.

So they shipped him all
the way from Pennsylvania?

That's kinda gross.

Actually, he never married.

The only bachelor president.

We won't get in trouble
for being here?

- I mean if a security guard sees us, you won't...
- Security?

We custodians are the
security around this place.

He's in a crate?

No, the casket's in the crate.
He's in the casket.

They ship him out first thing in
the morning straight to the airport.

They're flying him back.

By this time tomorrow, he'll be
back underground, resting in peace.

I bet Gretchen has opened and closed this thing
about fifty times today, showing it off.

Shouldn't he be in a refrigerator
or on ice or something?

That's what I thought.

But I guess he stopped stinking
about a hundred years ago.

He smells old, but he
doesn't smell bad.



The grizzled remains

of the fifteenth President of the
United States, James Buchanan.


Oh, that's horrifying.

I know!

Oh, that'll make a lovely
Christmas card.

I know.

This is what he used
to look like.

Gretchen's brother
is a philatelist.

That's disgusting.
Poor Gretchen.

I hate to say it, but I don't think
I've even heard of James Buchanan.

He was the guy right
before Lincoln.

Supposed to be the worst
president ever.

Seriously, I looked
him up - the worst.


What made him worse
than all the others?

There was the whole slavery issue.
You know, he was on the wrong side of that.

And then the country started
falling apart.

You know - States breaking off,
and he didn't do shit to stop that.

He was a career politician, spineless,
couldn't make tough decisions.

Oh! Historians refer to him as
a useless sack of crap.

Oh, check out what he had
buried with him...

You went through his pockets?

Not all of them.

Who's that?

This is William Rufus King, Vice President
under some other president no one remembers.

Also, Buchanan's roommate
for thirteen years.

Also a "bachelor."

He looks peaceful.

He looks like a fucking ghoul.

Well, this ghoul happens to be the most valuable
thing that's ever come through this dock.

At one point in time, this nauseating
bag of bones was running the country.

It's hard to imagine Abraham
Lincoln taking orders from this guy.

Well, early on in his career,
Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees.

If it comes up short, I'll just
replay it again from here.

As long as it doesn't
break the mood.

If the mood is broken then the
music serves no purpose.

Oh Errol, this is
Meg, my roommate.

- Hi.
- Nice to finally meet you.

Sorry, it's wet from
the bathroom.

I mean, it's water, I washed them.
It's not urine or anything.

That's how you meet someone?

"Nice to meet you, my hands
aren't covered in urine?"


You'll be observing tonight then, will
you, Meg? From a safe distance, yes.


I asked for cream soda
not soda water!

Sorry, Errol. I was going for
the healthier choice.

- Hi, Ruth.
- Hey, Dante.


Anger is my traveling companion...
and sometimes I let him drive.

This is Trina.

She's developing her gift.

Are you interested
in ventriloquism?

Me? God, no.

Not really. No.

It really is the sort of analog art form that
will remain long after the bombs are dropped.

Cockroaches and ventriloquism.

Well, I know I could never do a
puppet show like you do.

But I like those little dummies.
And their little suits, very smart.

It's pretty sad when the happiest
part of that conversation

was about soaking
your hands in urine.

Please. He was lucky I was
as kind as I was.

This whole thing is
fucking idiotic.

You don't appreciate it
as an art form, Meg.

You don't understand
the beauty of it.


What's the goddamn line?

You're sure that's German
for "piano wire"?

Okay, we're going again!

Take nine! Okay.

Ruth, you can start it up.


- Ruth!
- What?

I'm leaving.

Last chance. It's gonna be fun.

Lots of guys.

Guys who play with dolls.

No thanks, Holly.

Your loss.

Don't wait up...

You've been in a weird mood tonight.

Not really.

Let's go get some coffee.
My treat.

You're broke.

Buy me some coffee?

You know how people talk
about motivation,

how you hang a
carrot from a stick

to make the horse pull the wagon
and all that?

Sure, the famous "Carrot-and-Stick
Horse Wagon Theorem."


Well, for as long as I can

every time I've ever
gotten close to a carrot,

it turned out just to be an
orange stick.

- And I was right back at the beginning again.
- Yeah.

But I think I might have
finally gotten hold of a carrot.


I know how we can get my dad's mortgage
back up to date, pay off all our bills,

get your Mom's shit out of hock,
the fines, everything.

It doesn't involve drugs or
prostitution, does it?

I know the media tends to sugarcoat
those things to make them sound more fun

- and they sound really fun, but...
- No, no, no. It's very simple.

We're going to steal the corpse
of President James Buchanan.

That's ridiculous... isn't it?

That's what they said about
the Wright Brothers!

But you're talking
about kidnapping!

What kidnapping?
He's already dead.

It's grave-robbing at best.

- Will there be a ransom? Gonna write a ransom note?
- Yeah...

As soon as a ransom note comes
into the picture, it's kidnapping.

That's Crime 101.
You can go to prison, Ruth.

No, we could go to prison.
But we won't.

- Know why?
- I don't know.

- Why?
- Because we have three things on our side:

Brains, guts, and...

Uh... motive?


A truck?

Okay, a truck.

I don't know, Ruth.

It's kind of a shitty way to
treat this guy, isn't it?

Where's the harm?

He's gonna wind up
back in his grave.

Think of it like a millhouse
on a river.

It uses the flowing water to
turn the big paddle-wheel,

make cornmeal or something.

But the water goes
back to the sea.

We're just using
it for a second.

Besides, you said you were planning
to become more unpredictable.

I'm in a corner here, Meg.
My options ran out a few months ago.

This isn't some half-assed adventure here.
I'm trying to survive.

I need your help.

Big time, I need your help.

Okay, I'm in.

Oh, that is so awesome, Meg.
You just saved my life.

Okay, finish your mochiatta and
we'll begin the hijinks.

Wait, we'll need Holly
along, right?

- Why?
- She has the keys.

You stole those from Holly?

No, I didn't "steal"
them from Holly.

They don't belong to Holly.

She just uses them because
she works there.

- But Holly will get in trouble.
- No, she won't.

That's why we can't tell her.

If she's in on it, then she'll be
a suspect because she has the keys.

This keeps her absolutely safe.

Don't worry about Holly.

- We'll cut her in after we get the ransom.
- Okay.

You think that guy overheard us?

What if he overheard us
talking about this shit?


So, Jillian, do you think this
bikini top is too small on me?

Nah, we're good.

We're not gonna take the
whole casket, are we?

No, I saw some big boxes in
there and some bubble wrap.

We'll just figure it out.

And who exactly are we going
to ransom him off to?

I told you: I'm gonna email the
ransom note to the government.

I mean specifically who?

Don't worry, I'll find
the appropriate...

Some lady in New Jersey owns Napoleon's
penis, and she says that she...

Wait! Why the hell does some lady
in New Jersey own Napoleon's penis?

She inherited it
from her father.

Oh, okay.

She says she got offered a
hundred-grand for it.

A hundred thousand dollars?
Is it musical or something?

No, it's "one inch long and resembles a
maltreated strip of buckskin shoelace."

Eww! No wonder he was so angry.

Some moron actually paid a
hundred thousand dollars for it?

She didn't actually sell it.

It was handed down
from her father.

Mmm... okay I call
bullshit on that.

Nobody refuses that kind of money
for a historical buckskin penis

no matter how touching
that deathbed scene is!

If my father leaves me a
shriveled dork in his will,

I'm making a fucking smoothie out
of it and pouring it on his grave.

I was thinking about the
grave-robbing charge.

I'll grant you that it might not be kidnapping
but it's probably theft and burglary.

You can't steal a human being.

A person is not a
piece of property.

That would be slavery!

And look where slavery got
President Buchanan.

Buried under some Christmas
ornaments in our garage?

That is a sorry-ass fate.

I still can't believe how
light his body was.

Well, you take the moisture out of a
guy and he's just a pile of sticks.

You better get ready for work.

Me? You mean you're not
working at all today?

No way. I've got to manage
this situation.

I gotta get to the library
and send that email.

First, I gotta create a new email address.

I want them to get it right before
they get the call from Pennsylvania

saying that the
casket's empty.

Just tell Gunderson I'm sick.

Uhh... He's gonna need more
than just "sick."

Well, tell him any ailment but put
the word "vaginal" in front of it.

That way, if he questions it, he's gonna
have a harassment suit on his hands.

"Vaginal pneumonia."

Might work.

Wait a minute...

What a dick!


The whole "moral evil" statement.
What a crock.

It was not a crock...

...it was the truth.

No, no.

You're trying to play both
sides of this thing.

You say slavery is "a great
moral evil"

and then you spend your entire political
career trying to keep it going.

I'm afraid that's not entirely
true, my dear.

You've drawn a naive conclusion.

It's right here!

You've barely started that book.

And I cannot vouch for the
author's impartiality.

If you would prefer a more
enlightened account of these events,

I would recommend my own

Mr. Buchanan's Administration on
the Eve of Rebellion.

That's the title?

Mr. Buchanan's Administration
on the Eve of Rebellion?

Oh my God, that is seriously
the worst title I've ever heard.

Oh, lacks pungency?

Yeah, it blows.

You need an editor.

You've made an enormous
mistake, Miss Kiesling.


You know you cannot possibly
get away with this.

You will spend a significant portion of your
remaining years in a federal penitentiary.

For you, madam, are a
shiftless reprobate.

I thought we were
talking about you.

Ah, yes.

Well, to criticize me,

you must first understand the
time into which I was born.

No man has a choice in that.

And to me, all endeavors,

even moral ones are answerable

not to the fickle tide of
popular opinion but to the law.

For all endeavors there
is but one master.


The law!

I acknowledge no master
but the law.

So you don't believe in God?

Well, yes, but you're
missing the point.

It's very dramatic,
what I'm saying.

No, the law, I got it.

But the government is supposed
to change the stupid ones, right?

And what do you know
of government?

I was in student government
ever since fifth grade.

And in high school I was elected
officer every year.

Secretary, treasurer, veep until
my senior class, I was president...

For a while.

"For a while?"

That didn't work out.

So this is your area
of expertise?


But I know enough about it

to know that you can't lump slavery
in with shoplifting and horseplay.

All endeavors...

Hey how'd it go?

Good. Did Gunderson buy that
vaginal pneumonia story?

Pneumonia! Pneumonia!

I couldn't remember "pneumonia"
for the life of me.

I kept thinking "whooping

So in case Gunderson asks,
you had a 24-hour case of whooping vagina.

So did you get it all done?
The ransom note?

Yup. Short and sweet.
Just like writing ourselves a check.

This is so cool!

So how do we handle
the money drop?

Well, I didn't put it in the note,
but I figured out an awesome plan.

Took me a couple of hours, but
it is top-notch caper shit!

- Ready?
- Yeah.

First, we tell them that
the drop will be at the Quik-Run

at Washington
and 40th Street at 11 am.

They are to put a 150,000...

I'll be watching the
bagman from behind the wall...

...the westbound light rail train and
I call the bagman from a cell phone...

...to get off at McDowell

Are you sure it's
the "bagman?"

He's got the bag, so yeah.
Come on, you're killing the flow.

- Sorry.
- I direct him to the side of the building...

He'll toss the bag and press...

...and when the elevator opens...

...11:30, a small group from the
third floor leaves for lunch...

...drop it down to me where I'll
be and leave as if you're...

...go back to the alley and move
east to my car on 3rd Street

where our carefree future

Oh my God. It's like criminal
Beautiful Minds.

It's brilliant!

You're like an evil

I know!

Might be too late.

When I checked earlier, it was already
after six o'clock Washington time.

Yeah, but it can't
hurt to check.

The library is closing!

We're closing, ladies.

Well, they got back to us
at least,

but I think they think we're asking for a
federal grant for some historical study.

I'll bet this link goes
to a grant application.

And why do they need your
social security number?

Are they planning to
tax us on the ransom?

I know we're first-time kidnappers,
but I don't think that's customary.

No. And I'm sure giving them a
bank routing number

would be more efficient but it
feels like we'd be tipping our hand.

Rookie mistake.

Why did you write "Yours
in Christ" at the end?

To make them think we were religious
fanatics to throw them off the scent.

Good thinking...

You don't think anyone could have
been watching the library, do you?

Like the Feds or something?

I'm just saying what if the
library has cameras.

And you checked out
a book on Buchanan.

How many people actually
do that on purpose?

Well, I didn't check
it out officially.


Besides, we don't have to use
that email anymore

because we have this lady's
number: Parnella Monroe.

Cool, we can take a long lunch
and give her a call tomorrow.

Oh! Mormons!

Hey, do you wanna
grab some dinner?

I can't.

I have to re-shoot that "Drang
und Sturm" video again.

Again? Why?

Errol thought of something
more ironic.

Like you said, he's


You can't be serious about
that "Dred Scott decision".

You actually agreed with that?


It was a Supreme Court decision.

Man, that's some evil nonsense.

Again, Miss Kiesling, you
are missing the point.

Slavery was a legal issue
not a moral one.

The law considered slaves property, and
as such carried the rights of ownership.

Congress makes the laws; the
president merely administers them.

That's a cop-out.

In chapter three, you talked
about how much you hate slavery

and how you're glad you live in
a state where it doesn't exist.

And then when you get in a position
to do something about it...

See, this is why you were
a shitty president.

Ruth, I'm going to stretch my
non-verbal skills after the second line.

So if you can just vamp
until I do the eye-roll.

Got it. "Vamp until
the eye-roll."


Why am I the villain?

I never owned slaves.

Washington? Jefferson?

They were slave owners.

And are they held
up for ridicule? No.

They have their faces carved
into a mountain

while I'm only
found on a twenty-cent stamp!

Okay, that's not a bad point.

But calling them out by saying, "They're just
as bad as I was" is a pretty creepy argument.

And those guys did shit!

You don't get your face put on money
or mountains by spinning your wheels.

And it was a fifteen-cent stamp.

Permit me to point out that those are very
high-minded platitudes for a grave robber.

And worse: one who kowtows to
an arrogant puppeteer.

Don't get snappy.

I'm just trying to wrap my head around why
the voters elected a boob for president.

A "boob?"

Would a "boob" serve as Minister
to the United Kingdom and Russia?

Could he hold the office
of Secretary of State?

A "boob" would never be elected
to both the United States Senate

and the House of

Nor would he be offered an
appointment to the Supreme Court.

And a "boob," my good woman,

does not and cannot engender the

required to stand as
President of the United States.

This is nothing less than the
curriculum vitae of a statesman!

Maybe "boob" isn't
the right word.

Apology accepted.

Give me
the money or Buchanan gets it!

That's cool!

You can disguise
your voice on the phone.

I had my sister bring it by.
It's my nephew's.

That's great. Doesn't sound
very intimidating, though.

It's got a bunch of other
settings, not just the alien one.

Don't force
me to set fire to the president.

Sounds like we're calling from
a corrugated drainage pipe.

That'll throw 'em off the scent!

Did you figure out where we
can steal a cell phone?

There's a couple of restaurants on
Mill Avenue with outdoor patios.

- Tables right off the sidewalk.
- Cool...

Then at lunch, we ride!

Okay, there's our guy.

You go in and flirt with

When you've got him looking the other
direction, I'll swoop in and grab his phone.

I can't flirt.

You should be the
one who flirts.

I'll grab the phone.

I have never had the skill set
to flirt intentionally.

I'll look ridiculous.

No, Ruth. You're really pretty.

You just have to walk
up to him and smile.

I can't smile on cue like that.

Try it... right now.

Give me a sexy smile.

Okay, I'll flirt with him.

But I can't guarantee results.

I got it: take off your

- What?
- You want results? Take your bra off.

Nobody wants to see that.

You know my nipples don't
line up anymore.

It doesn't matter if he's looking because
he's turned on or because he's horrified.

We just want him looking.


Hi. Excuse me...

Can you please tell me the time?

Sure, no problem. You cannot
spell time without "me".

Or "it".

Oh, I get it.

Or "met."

Okay, this isn't "Boggle."

What do you think?

Hello, Miss Monroe.


Parnella Monroe.

Hello, Miss Monroe.

Can you repeat that?

Is this Miss Monroe?


What happened?

Parnella Monroe.

This is Mr. X, Miss Monroe.

Yes, Mr. X.

We had a correspondence about a "Mr.
Buchanan." How can I assist you?

Well, I'm just following up
on that correspondence.

I got your response,

but it seems to be all about
applying for a grant

and needing our social security
number and banking information.

I hope you don't think we'd be
stupid enough to give you that shit.

I didn't mean to insinuate a lack
of intelligence on your part.

But I hope that you realize that
as an arm of the US Government,

we have to provide a certain amount of
transparency for any financial outlay.

Is it about the amount?

What if we lowered it to a
hundred thousand dollars?

That's a very generous
counteroffer, Mr. X,

but my office is not authorized
to make that size of a payment

without going through a formal
bid process.

This isn't a payment or a bid; this
is a ransom for James Buchanan.

A ransom for a kidnapping?

Yes. Kind of.

And you say the gentleman
is deceased.

He is.

As I understand the protocol of
a kidnapping,

the basis for a ransom or the collateral
is the life of the person being kidnapped.

A kidnapped victim with no life has no
leverage. You understand my point, Mr. X?

You understand that this is a former
president we're talking about, right?

I'm aware of Mr. Buchanan's
former occupation.

But you have no collateral
with which to bargain.

A quick call to Woodland Mill
Cemetery this morning

confirmed that Mr. Buchanan was safely
reinterred yesterday afternoon without incident.

Wait, that's not true!
I've got him!

They just didn't open up the
coffin to find out it was empty!

You've gotta dig him back up!

This is a hundred thousand dollar
president we're talking about here!

You are overplaying
your hand, Mr. X.

This is not Abraham Lincoln or Teddy
Roosevelt or even Millard G.D. Fillmore.

James Buchanan was a
terrible president.

Perhaps our shittiest one.


So, in the future, if you are going
to claim to have dug up a president,

you might want to go for one
of the more marquee gentlemen.

Um... can I talk to
your manager or...

Might I make a suggestion, Mr. X? Kidnapping
is a very serious federal offense.

It's not kidnapping,
you said it yourself.

Grave-robbing is the worst
that it could be.

I don't think you're going to be
sweating the grave-robbing charge

when you're doing twelve
years for extortion.

It would be wise
to drop this now.

And if you get the urge to email

I would advise against using the
computer at the library.

Are we clear?

Yes, ma'am.

Then you have a wonderful day, Mr. X,
and you try to make some better decisions.


Her points were well-reasoned.


- I got it. The rich lady.
- What?

Plan B. The rich lady who brought
him here in the first place!

Perfect! I knew you'd come
up with something.

Wait! We don't have to steal
another cell phone, do we?

Nah, that was just because it
was a government agency.

The phone booth at the gas
station will be fine.

- We'll go right after work.
- I thought you were gonna see your dad.

I can see him tomorrow.

Oh, I don't know if
I'd skip that, Ruth.

Next week?

Two weeks at the most.

Then I'll be home in
my own damn bed.

That's amazing.
The tests all came out clean?

Clean as a Dutch oven.

Don't eat that shit, Ruthie!
That stuff is so bad for you.

No it's not. It's fortified.

That's great news, Dad.

You know that Meg and Holly are
living with me now.

- I don't know if I can just get them out.
- That's alright.

The more the merrier as long as
they're clean.

But we gotta keep all this
hush-hush, though.

Zeblisky said if the hospice
people got wind of this,

my insurance wouldn't pay for
the stay.

I won't say a thing.

Do you want me to see if I can get
Brownie back from the Nielsens?

They don't really seem to
be dog people anyway.

No no more dogs. I've had the
time to think about that here.

I don't think old people
should have dogs.

See, a dog would eat you if he could
figure out you were made of meat.

So thank God they're morons.

I need some time
to process this.

Things don't turn out exactly
the way you think they will.

Yeah... Different...
Different... Not all bad.

You're starting to sound like a
glass-half-full kind of guy.

Not really.

It only seems fuller

because the glass is a little
smaller these days.

Warren residence.

Hello, I would like to speak
with Mrs. Laura Warren.

Who's calling, please?

My name is... Deborah Gibson.

And I am calling about a
gentleman friend of hers:

President James Buchanan.

One moment, please.

He's getting her!

Are you from the newspaper?

Do you wish to conduct an
interview with Mrs. Warren?

Uh, that's right, guy.

An interview.

Mrs. Warren will be dining
at LeBaron's this evening.

You can join her there
promptly at 7:30.

Oh, I don't know if that's something that... Hello?

What happened?

She wants to have dinner with me.
For an interview.

Maybe that's a good thing.

No way that's a good thing.

No, this way you can see whether
she would even consider

paying a ransom without actually
demanding it up front.

And if she's not interested, well,
at least you got a free meal.

She'll see right through me.

No way! She's a rich widow.

Reality to her is spending
thousands and thousands of dollars

to dig up a dead guy and mail him across
the country to her doctor's house.

She's fucking delusional,
just play along.

...but his grandfather
didn't have the means to get it done.

So I guess it was my uncle who first
got me interested in pursuing it.

He had this long car.

I tell you, it was the greatest
thing since funny milk!

Anyway, so I... do you need to
change the tape out in that thing?

It's fine. Like I said, it's
digital, so the tape's really small.

Now, I touched on this earlier,
but maybe I wasn't being clear.

It's about your investment
in this...

Oh, the donations and the endowments I
had to make just to open the right doors.

Plus the cost to ship a
fully-insured casket.

That was
a requirement of the county.

And the medical costs and
the procedures and...

That's what I'm getting at. All the
costs to get him out here and everything.

Well, I had to.

There's only one doctor
in the country I trust.

He happens to be my doctor and he wasn't
going to fly back East, which I can respect.

While the results were

I feel that ultimately it was
money well spent.

That's what I'm getting
at: money well spent.

You see, there's this other
person that I interviewed

that says that the body was
never shipped back...

That empty coffin
story is hogwash.

I didn't pay same-day freight
just to ship back an empty box.

The county and the cemetery
both confirmed...

I happen to know it's
true, Mrs. Warren.

And the person I interviewed

said that they are willing to keep
this embarrassment on the down-low

for a donation or

And just how much would that be?

They say fifty thousand dollars.

You don't believe me?

It doesn't matter whether I believe
you, because it's none of my concern.

DNA says he's no kin of mine.

So you can just skedaddle along and
find someone else to shake down.

I've washed my hands
of that man.

But he was dug up because of you.
Don't you feel any responsibility?

No, I do not.

That H-O-M-O-sexual has been
hanging over my family

like a vulture for the past
hundred years.

It's embarrassing.

Then why did you go through all
the trouble and expense?

Well, he was president.

Even the ugliest Osmond brother
is still an Osmond brother.

Out of bounds.

Whatever would lead her
to that conclusion?

Well, for starters,
after you died,

your niece and Mr. King's
niece made it a point

of burning all of the letters
you two wrote to each other.

Third down...

There's nothing odd in that.

- The letters were private.
- Hey, I'm not judging.

It just makes it sound like they were
forbidden love letters between two dudes.

Fourth down. I'm kicking
a field goal.

Three points. Suck it, Buchanan!

William Rufus King was a
wonderful companion.

We had many interests in common.

And you are judging,
Miss Kiesling.

No, no you lived together
for thirteen years.

You went to every
party together.

You yourself called the relationship
a "communion", and... um...

When he was sent to France on
some extended job,

you wrote a letter to somebody
where you said...

"I am alone and solitary in the
house, having no companion.

I have gone a'wooing to several gentlemen
but have not succeeded with any of them."


"Gone a'wooing to several

It is a figure of speech!

And Andrew Jackson used to
call you "Miss Nancy"...

Andrew Jackson was a stool!

It's right here in the book.

This friend of yours, this Meg...

how long have the two of you
been cohabitating?

In this house?

- Just under a year, after my father went...
- No, no, no. Before that.

A while.

And is your relationship
of a prurient nature?

- Okay, I get it.
- So whether these rumors were true or untrue is irrelevant!

It was hell bent conjecture of the first
order and absolutely none of their business!

Neither is it any of yours!

Look, I don't know how I
can make it any clearer.

For forty thousand dollars
you can get him back.

Ma'am, I hear what you're saying,
but James Buchanan is in his grave.

"A'moulderin", as they say.

But he's not a'moulderin', as I've said,
because you guys never reburied him!

He's still here in Arizona!

You guys buried an empty coffin!

We buried an empty coffin?

Not my problem in any way...

You could lose a national

Uh, no not a national treasure.

That's very historically

They did like a ten-part series
on the presidents on PBS.

Washington got 19 minutes.

Buchanan was in a montage
after Polk.

Well, I'm sorry he's been such a wart
on the community's ass, but he's...

No, he's one of the state's
biggest embarrassments

and we had Three Mile Island and
game six of the '93 World Series.

I'm sympathetic to all this town history,
so how about we slash that ransom?

Thirty thousand dollars.
One president, priced to move!

Ma'am, ma'am, we're not in the
business of buying dead bodies!

I don't even know what line it
would go under the town budget!

And then we gotta dig up the
coffin again

and then we gotta
deal with the backhoe guy again

and the backhoe guy is a real

It's your town history!

You can't just ignore one
of your own, can you?

We don't ignore him.

We sell T-shirts of him at
the City Hall Gift Shop.

We don't move a lot of them.

I think we've sold one since
I've been here

and that was to some hipster guy
who was buying it ironically.

No, he's not really a National
Treasure, he's more of a Town Character.

You guys have Town Characters
out there, right?

"Town Character" what the
hell is a Town Character?

Look, is your supervisor there?

We're gonna need to speak
to a higher authority.

No. Yes, she is here, and no,
she will not speak to you.

After dealing with Mrs.
Warren and her doctor and her accountant,

she specifically said I was not
to take any calls from Arizona.

Then why the hell did
you pick up my call?

I didn't want to be snooty.

I mean, after all, this is
Lancaster County not York.

Good luck selling your
corpse, ma'am.

Hey, how'd it go?

They seem to be as interested
in Buchanan as everybody else.

Oh, shit.

I need a break. I'm gonna run home
and get that paperwork for Crosby.

I promised I'd bring it by
yesterday. Can you cover?

It'll just be a long lunch.

- It's not even ten o'clock...
- An early, long lunch?

Sure. Just gotta prep the lunch
counter by myself again...


Hey, did you see a yellow paper
that was here, folded in half?

Wouldn't know.

Is everything alright?

Yeah, everything's fine.

Are you sure?
You seem upset about something.

Well, let's see.
What should I be most upset about?

The beads all over
the kitchen floor?

The missing yellow
piece of paper?

Or the rotting, presidential
corpse in our garage?

Oh... that's James Buchanan.

Yeah, I know who he is. I
introduced you, remember?

Listen, Holly I'm
really sorry...

I could lose my job over this!

Why the hell did you steal him?

And why did you do
it behind my back?

- It was to keep you safe.
- You should have told me!

You would have just tried
to talk me out of it.

Yeah, yeah, I would have but if
you were still dead-set on it,

I could have helped!

Ten months behind?

What have you been doing
with the rent I paid?

I was paying back Mr. Lacey from
that night I smashed his car.

Ninety-five hundred dollars.

Well, you said you had
insurance to cover that.

I didn't have insurance
at the time.

I thought I did, but I didn't.

No way you did ninety-five
hundred in damage.

I know!

But it was either that or he would
press charges, he said, so...

Besides, I'd already broken
probation that one time.

It would have been bad.

He'll be paid off in
three more months.

So you were just planning
to let the house go?

No. My dad has some life

not a lot, but enough to take care
of the back payments, even now.

Stupid me, I figured when someone goes into
hospice with less than a month to live,

they're not going to last
almost a year.

If that makes me a vulture,
then I'm a vulture.

What a morning...

What are you gonna do?

I'm going to get that
yellow paper for Crosby.

No I mean what are you going to
do about President Buchanan?

Well, I'm working my way down the list.
Eventually, someone will care.

Well, supposedly he
was gay, right?

So... First of all, Holly, this
"friend" of yours.

- Is it Ruth here?
- No, it isn't.

It's another friend. One who's
clearly troubled.

Okay. Holly, you
know I love you.

You were my favorite babysitter.

And I do see the benefit of all the positive
publicity we'd get by returning his body.

But it's still a money thing.

We're not GLAAD or some
big LGBTQ organization.

We're college students.

And gay students are exactly like
straight students. We're broke.

Okay, spitball with me here
for a second, Wyatt.

Do you think GLAAD would see
Buchanan as a homosexual icon?

Not like a Judy Garland-level

but more of a second or a third-tier
Charles Nelson Reilly-type?


A guy who sympathized with slave-owners...
and might not be gay?

I don't think that's in line
with GLAAD's mission statement.

So gays feel that,
as a president...

...that he was the
shittiest one. Well...

Another example of
our common ground.

Oh please, dig in.


Oh. Thanks.

How long have you been working
at this donut shop?

- Two, three months?
- Four months.

- Long stretch for me.
- Really?

What's the longest you've
ever worked at one place?

I worked at my dad's store on and off
for years all through high school.

- Your dad owned a store?
- Yeah. It's still there.

My dad's asshole partner screwed him over
and took the store a while back, but...

It's out there in Mesa.
Utopia TV and Appliance.

I know that place.
I bought a dishwasher there.

Used to be called Ruth's
TV and Appliance.

But I racked up a few

and my dad decided that my name wasn't
worthy of an appliance store, so...

He renamed it "Utopia".

Kept the "U" and the "T" from Ruth, saved some
money. So half of my name is still up there.

And you can see the outline of
where the "R" used to be.

That must have hurt.

Nah, just an appliance store.

You know, I watched a couple of
those ventriloquist videos of yours.

And while I still think I'm
missing out on the joke,

I really enjoyed your

Really nice.

I'm pretty rusty, though.

How long have you been playing?

Since high school.

Actually, I played violin in middle
school and the first chunk of high school.

My dad wanted us to be musical.
Me and my brother, Brad.

I didn't know you had a brother.

Yeah, so when he stopped
playing cello, I picked it up.

Switched over.

How come?

Oh, just got tired of playing
the melody all the time.


Hey, Trina what are
you doing here?

I know someone who works in the
building. How about you?

I was just seeing my
probation officer.

Oh, we're being honest.

I'm here to see my P.O.,
too. Have you got Crosby?

Yup, that's him.

Hey, Trina, just out of curiosity,
what exactly did you get in trouble for?

Me and a couple of others tried
to break into a house.

Cop lived across the street.


A little theft, a little anger,
borrowed a car, you know.

Hey, um...

I got something pretty valuable

that I'm having a hard time finding
an interested party to... um...

So you're looking for a fence?

I guess so.

But it's kind of
a specialty item.

I know a guy. What do you got?

An agent to do your dirty work?

It will go no easier on you,
Miss Kiesling,

by adding delegation of personal

to your list of
moral lapses.

I'm just trying to cover more
territory, J.B. It's called networking.

And in so doing, you have
crossed a troubling line.

What troubling line?

Your original proposal was to ask for
money in exchange for my safe return,

the end result being the peaceful
restoration of my eternal slumber.

And this required a nominal equality
of purpose from both parties, yes?

Now you're simply trying to sell me to anyone
who'll take this random object off your hands.

There no longer exists even
a pretense of concern.

In so doing, you have stepped out of the
protective shadow of your own rationalization.

I tried the other way first.

You're a really specific
commodity, dude!

What can I do? I've already
started down this path.

You knew it was a risky
path when you chose it.

But you knew it was irreversibly

the moment you spoke
to that woman in Washington.

Why do you persist?

I'm persistent.

An author I'm acquainted with
once wrote:

"Foolish consistency is the
hobgoblin of little minds."

- Have you ever heard this quotation?
- Yeah, I've heard it.

Have you ever considered
what it means?

Not really. I could never get
past the word "hobgoblin."


- Surprised?
- Yeah.

- When Trina told me she knew a guy, I figured it would be...
- Someone less refined?

I know, I'm a difficult read.

Ruth, do you know what I thought
the very first time I saw you?


I mean after that.

Before I ever heard you play a note,
I thought, "Here is an artist".

And an artistic life demands certain
sacrifices from the world at-large.

Certain social niceties might
have to fall by the wayside...

Hey I'm not a bad person.

- No, no, I was putting an ironic twist.
- I'm a fucking organ donor!

Ruth, I've heard stories
about your partying past.

Nobody wants those kidneys.

Well, I'm taking those
off the table.

I think I can move
your president.

My end is seventy percent.


Well, the truth is, I don't
have him anymore.

Sold him this afternoon.

To whom?

Okay, keep it to yourself.

I just thought I might be able
to help a fellow artist.

Ahh, a student of history.

Not really.

I only know a handful of these guys,
the ones with the cool nicknames.

"Old Hickory," "Old Rough
and Ready," "Old...

...Scratch and Sniff".
It's been a while.

I don't think I know
your nickname.

"Old Public Functionary."

"Old Public Functionary"?

So the presidents themselves
weren't very important?

No. What's important to
me is what they stand on.

Ahh, their principles.

No, the wooden thing
that they stand on.

My brother made it in woodshop.

He got a "C" because he didn't do the joints
right and had to use a staple gun, but...

If the teacher had seen the original piece-of-shit
Styrofoam display thingy this replaced,

he would have gotten an "A."

That's not a metaphor for Mr.
Lincoln and myself, is it?

Nah, that's just woodshop.

Oh, look at this.

Sloppy craftsmanship.

I have no ears.

- I look like a...
- Like a maltreated strip of buckskin shoelace?

Is that a metaphor?

No, just a dick joke.

I'm gonna return your
corpse tomorrow.

No ransom.

Thank you.

What do you mean,
they "found him"?

Who found him? And where?

We promised we wouldn't tell.

We could only get the body back if
we swore we wouldn't say anything.

I wasn't for sure that he had
been taken, but I suspected.

After the truck left, I found
this on the floor...

About soiled my pants.

So who took him?

We're not at liberty to say
whether this person...

is a thief, or just... found the
body in the woods.

You have him here with
you, don't you?


Look, I can't help you!

I like you, Holly, and you two
seem like nice enough people.

But my job is on the line here!

Can't you just fly him back to
Pennsylvania anonymously or something?

As far as anyone who cares is concerned
Mr. Buchanan has already been shipped back...

You see this bill
of lading here?

It clearly shows that Mr. Buchanan
was shipped back on the twelfth.

Note that the weight listed here,
which was accurate on the eleventh,

is identical to the freight receipt
that I signed back on the sixth.

From a paperwork standpoint, Mr. Buchanan has
been shipped back to eternity in triplicate!

I'm not normally as touchy as this so it
pains me to say this: Ladies, please...

Take your douchebag president and remove
yourselves from my logistics cubicle.

We'll get you back underground

I know.

You're persistent.

What will you do now
to obtain the money?

Just tell Dad.

I'm gonna tell my dad everything
after work, and let the chips fall.

Well, humility is a
fine virtue, yes?

Hey, I don't mean to
interrupt the flow.

I just thought I'd finally come
by and check this place out.

Hey, it's a free country.

Besides, I have something
I need to tell you.

You might even be proud of me.

Is this a joke?

Are you trying to prank me?

Please tell me this is just
some form of pranksmanship.

Okay, I know the first part was

but you understand I'm trying
to return him to Pennsylvania

for zero profit, right?

Okay, I'll grant you that part
is somewhat admirable.

But you stole a human being!

A dead one.

The rules are wildly different.

I've had this debate before.

But why would it even occur
to you to take him?

That's something a child does.

This is just like the time when you stole
that fancy car from that gas station...

I didn't steal that car!

That guy left it running.
It's just as much his fault as it is mine!

You're so much smarter
than this, Ruth.

But you just don't think
things through!

You're not listening!
I did think it through.

It might have started out as
impulsive, but cooler heads prevailed!

Cooler heads!


I thought you'd be proud of me.



Yeah, proud.

I did the right thing
for a change.


What's going on?

Oh. Just having a
little off-day.

What about the tests? You said
the doctors were amazed.

Well, there may have been a
little embroidery on my part.

It's not fair.

It never is.

Classic example:

You remember Jerry Fleming?

Jerry and his cousin go to

Cousin gets eaten by a

It took Jerry years to
save for that trip!

A panda?

Well, they are bears, you know.

But I thought pandas
only ate bamboo.

Well, something must
have changed them.

Or maybe he was an iconoclast.
You never can tell about bears.

Why didn't you tell me?

I was already preparing myself.

Wait, why am I the bad guy here?

I'm the one dying.

Why do I have to make everyone
feel comfortable?

What the hell kind of a
send-off is that?

So I say a few magic words

and everybody leaves the room a
little happier than when they came in.

I mean, is that so bad?

It just makes it harder
when you go.

Well, that's too
bad. You'll live.

I don't actually have a kid.

I know.

You know?

I'm dying, but I'm not blind.

I mean... kids change but they
don't change in other kids.

Why didn't you say something?

Well, you seemed so happy that I passed
away knowing the good family name was...

It wasn't fair of me
to put that on you.

It was fun watching
you with that kid.

What was his name, the main
kid, was it "Kyle?"


He was a nice kid.

There's no Grant either,
I suppose.


Just as well.

That little prick was
too good to be true.

Made the rest of us sound
like goddamn assholes.

There's more.

It's about the house...

If it's all the same to you,

I'd like to leave all
the confessions right there.

Jesus, Kiesling! What the hell?

I thought you were a burglar.

Somebody broke into
my bedroom window.


You know, this oar would
make an awesome weapon.

Have to trim off the
flat part, though.

Then it would be a stick.

Still, make a great
new murder weapon.

Stick murder has been
around for years.

Well, if it was a burglar, I
kind of feel sorry for him.

Not much here to burgle.


The only things that are burgle-worthy
are your laptop and the Blu-Ray player.

Oh, shit...

Errol? That stupid

He's also kind of a criminal.

So you told Trina, and Trina told
Errol that Buchanan was for sale?

Yes, but I didn't sell him.

Wait, if Errol got Buchanan,
how was he gonna to get back to his grave?

I don't think that was
a part of Errol's plan.

I think he would
just resell him.

What about the whole millhouse-on-the-river
plan with the water going to the sea?

But I said, "No."

Yeah, but I'm a part of this, too!
Don't I get a vote?

I wasn't thinking.

No duh!

It was a shitty thing
to do, Ruth.

I should have never introduced
you to him in the first place.

I don't know why I'm
surprised it's Errol.

Typical Capricorn shit.

My ex was a Capricorn, too.

So was my cousin who watched my
bird one summer. Never fed it.

You know, except for Jesus, all
Capricorns are buttholes.

Hey, check this out.
Looks like there were three of them.

Those are probably our prints.

No, seriously then what is that?

Looks like a tiny little hand.

It's a dummy print.

Fucking ventriloquists!

"Dummy print?"
Is that even a term?

For a second there, I thought
the burglar was a Hobbit!

Wait not a Hobbit...
what am I thinking of, a midget. A midget!

Don't use the "M"-word.

- What?
- The "M"-word is like the "N"-word to little people.

There's no such
thing as "midgets."

"No such thing"? You're
thinking of Hobbits.

No, my cousin is
a little person.

Not quite a dwarf exactly, but he
had that thing that Gary Coleman had.

Bad management?

Okay, can we focus here, people?

Ventriloquists have stolen
our dead president.

What do we propose
to do about it?

Okay when's the next time
you're gonna see Errol?

Well, I was gonna see him

- at the Willie Tyler birthday luncheon at Sunny's but...
- Who?

You know, Willie
Tyler and Lester.

It's a pretty big deal on the
ventriloquial social calendar.

But Errol put me on
probation. Can't go.

You're on probation?
Why? Because of Buchanan?

I don't know.
He never tells you.

I got a text.

Well, let's just find out.

No, no, no! He'll just get angry, Seriously...

- Okay, don't answer!
- Hello?

One can never be
certain of legacy.

You'd think that what one is remembered
for would be simple to gauge.

You and I both share the
unenviable position

of being the last branch on the
family tree but, strangely,

that doesn't seem to lessen the
importance of legacy.

My own would have been secured in a positive
light had I not stood as President.

As Secretary of State under
President Polk

I added over a million square
miles to this country.

This very piece of ground we're
on was secured under my watch...

Few have served their government
with distinction

in more varied
capacity than I.

My pursuit of the office of
Chief Executive

was predicated solely on the
enormous expectations I'd nurtured.

And had it not been for the
secession of the South

which I was legally powerless to
stop, I...

That's not true.
You just... Sorry.

And so I was carried
one station too high.

The greater responsibility left
me a lesser man

because I gave
in to a sense of destiny.

Maybe that's everybody.

In high school, I was a
different person.

Good grades, bunch of friends,
decent attitude for a teenager.

And then Brad died.

And then my mom freaked out.

Everything went to shit and I
was powerless to stop it.

It felt like half my
life was ripped away.

If I could choose my legacy, I'd want
it to be for being that earlier girl.

It's like my dad putting my
name on that appliance store.

He couldn't hand me my legacy any more than
I could hand him his by getting knocked up.

Kinda feel like my destiny's
gotten away from me, too.

You doing okay, Ruth?

Yeah, I guess.

Want to go out, get some coffee?

Nah thanks, though.

Just need a little alone time.

Okay, we're out here
if you need anything.


It's going to break my heart to
see you go to prison over me.


I'm a little tired.

Me, too.

Just take as much time
as you need, Ruth.

Gunderson would have to be a
grade-A thunder stump

to complain about taking time
off now.

Just tell him it's
for bereavement.

"Vaginal bereavement?"

Ruth, what brings you here?

A couple of dead people.

Listen, I want to apologize for

but I've got a credit card fraud
due here in five minutes, so...

He's gonna have to wait.
I need your help.

And don't get upset, there's gonna
be plenty of time for that later.

The only surprising thing is what
he wanted me to do with his ashes...

He wanted me to sprinkle some
on Brad's grave, and some on my mom's.

But then he also said...

"By means of an epoxy to apply a
portion of my ashes

to the
entire surface of a large rock

and hurl it through the front
window of Utopia TV and Appliance."

Didn't know you could put shit
like that in a legal document.

Thanks. And can you tell Holly thanks
again for calling those mortgage people?

That's a huge relief.

...okay, bye.

Errol wants to see you.

- Now? How come?
- He said you'd know.

- Besides, it's Willie Tyler's birthday.
- And Lester.

Yeah, I know.
What if I refuse?

You gonna force me?

Well, that all depends.

Depends on what?

It depends on...

What I mean is, we can
do this the hard way...

...or the easy way.

So which way is it going
to be, cellist?

The easy way or the hard...

Okay. I remember the two
choices, muttonchops.

Well, Ruth, so glad
you could make it.

I understand that you have
recently acquired a vintage figure.

I did indeed.

It's in pretty rough shape.

I happen to know the original
owner of that figure.

If you were smart, you would
return him right now.

It's very valuable.

I don't think I could
let it go so easily.

In fact, I may have found an
interested buyer,

something you were having
trouble doing, I understand.

He's not for sale.

To anyone.

I know you can be trusted to keep quiet about
Mr. Buchanan purely out of self-preservation.

But in order to heal this rift between
us, I'm willing to offer an olive branch:

You can retain your position in
the videos

and your roommate's probation is lifted
and she can rejoin the consortium.

And what would you want
from me in return?

Forget about Mr. Buchanan.

And play the damn cello.

And what if I don't
go along with that?

Then the chairs are
on the table.

What the hell's that
supposed to mean?

It means the chairs
are on the table.

Give me that fucking president!

Is everything okay?

Some water when you
get a chance?

Fucking ventriloquists!

Listen, Ruth.

You don't want to
mess with Errol.

Occasionally, he's a decent
guy, but he's amoral.

You know what amoral
means, right?

Of course I know what
amoral means!

Sorry. Don't jump
down my throat.

We don't talk much.

And you're a 40-year-old grave-robber
that works in a donut shop.

How am I supposed to know
you're not a simpleton?

I didn't mean to snap.

And I hate to judge, but he's
not even a good ventriloquist.

Then why do you all follow him?

Probably the same reason you do:

He makes us feel talented or at least
like we're not wasting our time.

But that does not mean
he's not dangerous.

Here's how I see it:

Errol's the type of guy you go to lunch
with and he's gonna ask for your pickle.

And whether or not you have a pickle,
he's gonna get a pickle out of you.

But it won't always
be like that.

Things have already
started buckling.

If you keep your eye on
it, you'll see it, too.

Not sure I got the
pickle thing...

That's our guy.

Gunderson Donuts...

- Ruth?
- Yeah who's this?

- Who's that?
- No idea.

How'd I get him?

I can't say.

I'm really a rather
forgetful fellow.

It's a quality I hope
you can appreciate.

The fifteenth president of
these United States.

The bubble wrap is not period.

Forgive the condition.

Southern secession took
its toll on him.

Trina said you'd bring cash.

As you can see, the goods are
exactly as promised, so...


Do me a favor, folks.

Look into my dash-cam and say hello
to my friends in Washington, DC.

Well, don't get discouraged.
I'm willing to work with you three.

It's not you that I'm after.

Sorry, sir, but we won't say a
word without an attorney present.

Ruth Kiesling.

You want to go ahead?

No, you were here first.
You go ahead.

You look to be in a hurry.

Thank you, sir...

Are you Ruth Kiesling?

Well, yes. Yes, I am.

Where can we talk privately?

- You ratted me out?
- And guess what?

You're not gonna get
a dime from this.

He's not gonna get
a dime from this.

And the best part?

Both of you could be going
away for a very long time.

- I want to see a lawyer.
- Lawyer, huh?

What are you, some kind
of a tough guy?

No, I'm not.

Or maybe you just want a donut.

- Is that it?
- What?

Here's your donut!

How do you like that,
tough guy?

That was pretty good.

Now, we can bring the lawyers
in here and play it like that.

Or there might be a way for the
two of you to walk away from this.

You already said I could
walk if I gave up Ruth!

Shut up, Errol.

I'm just saying, as a trust-builder,
he sets a lousy precedent.

- Do you want to hear the deal?
- Yeah, I wanna hear the deal...

- Or do you want another donut?
- No, I'm fine.

He doesn't want another donut, sir.
We want to hear the deal.

Oh, now you want
to hear the deal?

I think we all want
to hear the deal.

Someone here to see you, Ruth.

I'm Detective Hostetler,
County Sheriff's Office assisting the FBI.

You local PD?

Yeah I've got everything
under control, sir.

May I see your badge, please?

So you're from the County
Sheriff's Office?

Isn't this kinda out
of your jurisdiction?

You're a probation officer?

Wait! Probation officer?

What's a probation officer doing
handcuffing people in a pastry shop?

It's complicated.

Excuse me, miss. I'll be eating
two of these donuts here.

- What do I owe you?
- No charge, those are irregulars.

You're not taking them
to jail, are you?

Seems likely.

But Ruth has to stay and run the
counter during the lunch rush.

Our boss will get very upset if
she leaves during her shift.

If your boss gets upset,
have him call my boss.

Okay, who knows the name of the guy who
was the president just before Lincoln?

Yeah, she's here... yeah,
we're heading out.

Yeah, there's two more of
them... yeah, three...


Nobody knows his name?

Well, my boss knows his name and
she'd like to talk to you about him.

Let me tell you a story...

Let's start with
extortion, and definitely theft.

Probably breaking and entering.

Perhaps vandalism or desecration
of a national monument.

Definitely possession
of stolen goods.

And with the various emails and phone
calls, I don't like your chances.

Your best chance, now your
only chance is going to...

"Happy birthday to..."

- Wrong room, people!
- It's room three, guys!

Let's get some preliminary facts on
the table: Where is the body now?

I don't get the story.
I'm not a magician.

Then what are you?

A donut store employee? Female?

No, who are you? How do people see you?
What do they expect of you?

Idiot... disappointment...

Untrustworthy.... a liar...

Ruth, where's the body?


Excuse me?

Oh, I never had the
body, Ms. Jarvis.

I heard he'd been shipped here,
and I just made up all the rest.

And what about the emails,
the phone calls?

I was just hoping to find somebody
stupid enough to believe me,

but everybody checked into it and found
out that he was reburied, so no sale.

And you don't have the body?

No, ma'am. I'm just
a liar. Ask anyone.

So, wait, that's
it? "I'm a liar"?

That's the lesson
from the story?


I thought it would be
way bigger than that.

It's bigger than you think, Miss Kiesling.
It's your reputation.

Well, it's not a very
positive lesson.

Well, it wasn't a very
positive story.

The magician cut that poor woman
in half. Were you not listening?

Story or no story, I was
definitely gonna lie anyway!

But at least you were honest in
assessing your own reputation.

It's important to know.

But I lied when I
said I was lying!

Well... you're a liar.

Tell me about the body.

I don't know anything
about a body.

Hostetler says he overheard Mr.
Crosby offering you a deal

and threatening to force-feed
you donuts.

I don't recall any donuts.

I can request a stool
sample kit...

He did feed me one donut.

And you don't know anything
about President Buchanan's body?

No, nothing.

For the record, I'm completely

of Ms. Kiesling's guilt or innocence
here but I will agree she is a liar.

Mr. Crosby...

Your employee evaluation
is first-rate.

And yet, we find you
impersonating an officer;

forcibly feeding donuts to a

and handcuffing a
body-snatcher to a bakery shelf

a full two weeks after she completed
probation under your guidance.

I was trying to help Ms.
Kiesling get her life back on track, ma'am.

And you're prepared to throw
away your career

for a compulsive liar and an
asshole puppeteer?

Please: "Ventriloquist."

So tell me: How much of this grave-robbing episode is true?

Captain, can I see
you for a minute?

I'd advise you all not to
speak while I'm gone.

No talking.

Two weeks?

No talking.

I finished two weeks ago?

I thought I had until
the end of October!

Why the hell didn't
you say anything?

I'm so happy for you both.

No talking.

Sit down, Ruth...

I'm afraid it's all
for naught, Miss Kiesling.

Mr. Crosby is still duty-bound
to tell what he knows.

And I'm afraid they'll have no
choice but to prosecute.

Maybe I could say something at
least get the others off the hook.

It's a thought.

- Hey, maybe I could say...
- No talking.

I'm very confident that with the
proper level of resource deployment

we can very quickly gather the evidence
necessary for criminal prosecution.

But part of my job is to deploy
resources wherever priorities dictate.

And I can't help but feel I'm
wasting my time with this thing.

If this was another president,
you might be looking at federal prison.

Lucky for you, you chose
the shittiest one.


But if any of this resurfaces

and risks making the County look negligent
in any way, we'll crash down on you.

Is that understood?

Yes, ma'am...

- Thank you, Ms. Jarvis.
- Are there any questions?

Did you lose that ear?
There's no bump there.

That's none of your
goddamn business.

They never really wanted to
prosecute, you know.

They just wanted this whole
thing to just go away.

You've seen those police
procedural shows on TV?

First thing they do is put
everyone in separate rooms.

They wanted us to lie.

So, what do we do
with Buchanan now?

Can't send him back
to Pennsylvania.

Maybe we can bury him
here somewhere.

He took most of Arizona when he was Secretary
of State with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

Bury him where?

Your dad's back yard?

Yeah nothing creepy about that.

Well, my family has some land
up north near Prescott.

It's kinda got pines around there,
so I guess it's kinda like Pennsylvania.

Not even a couple of
hours from here.

That'd be nice. Thanks.


Look, I've gotta
get back to work.

I'll take you back to your truck

but you're gonna have to do this
body-snatcher jamboree without me.

Thanks, Gretchen.

You sure you don't want me to
get changed for the funeral?

I mean, you look great,
all of you do...

No, you look fine.

This is just my "Drang
und Sturm" dress.

It's probably not appropriate
for a funeral.

Oh, hey, you never told me about

She didn't kick and scream about telling
Errol she found a buyer, did she?

For setting him up?

Not at all.

You know, he pushed her into taking the
rap for one of his burglaries last summer.

We found you a big sweater.
Should fit you fine.

Got some other stuff here, too.

Shouldn't be that cold,
but... I'll be fine.

Oh I almost forgot
the grave-scotch!

I tried to get you back
to Pennsylvania.


I know.

That magician story.
Was it true?


I was in Paris in 1855.

I did attend the theater.

I have seen a magician
perform this illusion.

And quite famously a stage performer
did do away with his mistress.

There are four truths
right there.

Ah, you finished that
book, didn't you?

And I assume it concluded

I was one of our country's worst

The worst.

They've done these polls for

Historians, scholars,
politicians; they all seem to agree.

It doesn't mean you're a bad person,
just that you were a shitty president.

Well, I admit those claims
aren't entirely groundless.

But when my term ended,

and the fruits of my "leadership"
blossomed full-flower

into the splintering
of the Union,

I sadly did not
submit my questionable actions

to the level of analytic
scrutiny I would have applied

to even a minor case as a law
clerk back in Lancaster.

No, instead I spent the
remaining years of my life

defending those decisions.

My point is:

Nothing productive
came of this posture

and it was
those parts of my reputation

that calcified into legacy.

I mean, I'm not that scowling
troglodyte you see in my photographs!

I, like you, was once considered
a hail-fellow-well-met!

I charmed the Czar of Russia!

Can you imagine how
difficult that was?

The czar was kind of a douche?

Staggeringly so!

And it is unconscionable to define a
man strictly on his lowest moments.

But mine occurred so close to
the end of my life

and that they
affected every single American

made it infinitely more difficult
to right the ship on my own behalf.

But not everyone is subject
to such forces.

I guess not.

Look, they reevaluate
presidents all the time.

When somebody does come along
that rates worse than you,

which will probably happen
sooner rather than later,

it doesn't mean you'll be any better,
just that somebody else will be worse.

And that's not exactly the goal
that we're reaching for.

And if the country needed a big shitshow
like the Civil War to end slavery

instead of kicking
it down the road

then maybe you were the best worst
president at the exact right time.

Not exactly "forgiveness,"
but it's something.

Well, I can't say I rate

but I appreciate
the sentiment.

Miss Kiesling.

Mr. President.

What the hell do you want?

We were in the middle of a
business transaction.

I neglected to collect my money.

- Thirty-five hundred dollars.
- You know what...

You stole him from us!

And I have had a really
rough week.

Mr. Crosby knows the value
of what I'm offering...

Aren't you gonna do something?

No. I think we're gonna leave.

The chairs are on the tables.


Should have prepared
something. Shit.

Here lies President James
Buchanan, no middle name.

Sometimes known as "Old Public
Functionary," which is very sad.

He didn't choose the times he
was born into

or the crazy circumstances that
he found himself in.

He made a lot of stupid

based on some flawed thinking but you
don't have to be an idiot to do that.

And though people said some really
unkind things about him as President,

I don't think he was quite the turd
that history has painted him out to be.



You guys, my dad made me promise not to have
any sort of ceremony or anything for him.

But after I get his ashes back
next week,

I'd really like it if you came
with me to distribute them.

Just on a couple of graves and
on that rock

I gotta throw through the
appliance store window.

I think he'd be okay with that.

You got more guts than Dick Tracy
letting Meg drive that thing.

She'll be fine.

This is getting ridiculous.

I'm gonna be the laughing
stock of the wilderness.

What's up with those
arms, Mr. Tat?

A little inky rebellion?

I got that a long time ago.

Seemed like a good
idea at the time.

You know, you really
have talent, Ruth.

That music was incredible.

Oh, I didn't write that.

That's Durant's Sonata
in D-major.

Well, you played it great.

Nah, my fingers were numb.

- I played like shit.
- I disagree.

And that eulogy.

Don't think I ever heard a eulogy
where the word "turd" was mentioned.

Well, I was just winging it.

Are you really gonna throw that
rock through the window?

I don't even know if that
same guy owns the place.

But if he does... then, yeah.

What was that?

Oh, Meg!


- I kept the bucket down, but I didn't watch the sides.
- Are you okay?

Banged my knee, but I'm okay.

Knocked over your tree
thingy, though.

Well that's no big deal.
At least one of them falls every year.

- You sure you're okay?
- I'm fine.

Just a little embarrassed...

Ruth, can you give me
a hand here, will you?

I was really cooking 'til the
tree just jumped in my path...

That should do it.



I thought you'd be taller.