Dangerous Child (2001) - full transcript

Sally Cambridge (Delta Burke) is a single mother battiling an unhealthy relationship with her volatile ex-husband, Brad (Vyto Ruginis). Then 16-year-old Jack (Ryan Merriman), the elder of her two sons, suddenly starts exhibiting violent tendencies. Despite Sally's interventions, his behavior only worsens. In a fit of rage, he attacks Sally and critically injures his younger brother, Leo (Marc Donato). Erroneously arrested for child abuse. Sally finds her fate rests in the hands of her family.


...try to protect
your children,

stay one step ahead.

But then
something happens,
and you realize

that all those dangers
you've been trying
to protect them from

are not all
out there.

By the time
you get that,
it's too late.



Take it, got it.

One step here,
and two behind you.


It's okay.

It's okay, baby.

I'm right here, okay? Okay?

OFFICER: Ma'am, hands behind
your back, please.

Mrs. Cambridge,
I'm afraid you'll have
to come with us.

Sally Cambridge,
you're under arrest

on suspicion
of child abuse
and endangerment.

You have
the right to
remain silent...

I have to go.
I have to ride with him.

MAN: She must have done it.

She's getting in the car.


OFFICER: Move back, please.
Move back.



Thank God.

I have to get
to the hospital.
You have to tell them.

He wasn't moving!
Please, you have
to take me.

Sally, sit down.

It's pretty
serious, Sally.

He has a head wound,
and it's, um, pretty severe.


Listen, maybe you should
call your attorney.


I don't understand.

Mike, you know me.
Why are you
keeping me here?

Because this wasn't
the first instance.

It doesn't look good.

I would never
do anything to
hurt my children.

Nobody ever intends
for things like
this to happen.

Sometimes it just goes
too far, gets out of hand.

No! That's not
what happened.

Then what did?


Tell me.

ALL: Happy Birthday!

BRAD: Hey, happy birthday.
16, hey, stud!


SALLY: Unless you want me
to sing happy birthday,

you'd better blow out
these candles.

BRAD: Let him blow.


BRAD: Whoo, nice bites.
Very good! Happy birthday.

BRAD: Now, Leo! Now, Leo!


You wait, squirt.
I'm gonna get you.

Wait till your birthday.

LEO: Oh, yeah, you wait
till you holler for Daddy.


LEO: Aah!

BRAD: Thanks for letting me
be part of this, Sally.

it's a quarter of!

These new?



Hey, here he is! Flying in.

Hey, listen,
Friday afternoon,

I'm gonna be here
bright and early

to pick you up,
buddy boy.

LEO: It's not
bright and early.

That's bright and late,
buddy boy.

Brains of the family,
right here, this one.

This one, this one.


SALLY: Jack!

Excuse me, Gus.


From Marcia and me.

Oh, Dad,
this is so cool!

We can try it out
on the weekend

if you're not too tired
form Friday night.

You guys are gonna whip
Central Hill!

SALLY: Here, sweetheart.

Happy birthday.
Thanks, Mom.


Let's see what we got here.

Mom, this...

This has, like,

Blind Lemon Jefferson,
the Carter Family,
Helen Humes.

JACK: Thanks.

Thanks, you guys.

All right, I guess
I'd better be moving now.

Well, happy birthday, son.
Thanks, Dad.

Marcia and I will pick you up
on Friday,

and, uh,
hold down the fort.

Mom, I can't believe
you got me that!


Hey, Jack,
how are you?
JACK: Hey, Ms. Hirsch.

Doin' okay.

SALLY: What, no basketball
practice this afternoon?

Oh, uh, no,
it...it got canceled.


Oh. Well, don't forget
to pick up Leo at 6:00.

Uh, actually,

that's kinda what
I wanted to talk
to you about, Leo.

Mom, uh...

BOY: Yo!

I'm gonna wait
right here for you.

All right.

Mom, come on,
Leo's not a baby
anymore, all right?

He can stay home
for a couple hours
by himself.

No, he can't!
Why not?

Because he can't.
Well, fine.

Then let him stay
at Cory's house.

Cory's family has plans.

And, Jack, I asked you.
You said you'd pick him up.

It's your
Look I know I did, Mom.

But why does everything
have to be my responsibility?

Everything is not.

He's not my kid!

Look, Mom, I'm...

Just this one time,
all right?

I wanted to go
and check out
this new arcade.

I'd be home
by 9:00.

All right. All right.

Thanks, Mom.
So I'll see you then.

SALLY: Yeah. Wait.

What's the deal on
no basketball practice
two days before a game?

Oh, uh,
Central Hill canceled.

SALLY: They did?
Yeah, uh.

Something happened.
There won't be another game
for a couple weeks.

Coach Young?

Hi. Sally Cambridge.
Yeah, hi.

I wanted to ask you something.

I heard the Central Hill
game was canceled,

but your secretary just now
told me that it's not, uh...

Is Jack not playing?

I see.

No, I didn't know.

No, of course you have to.
I understand.

Thank you for telling me.


Anything wrong?
Oh, everything's fine.

Hmm. Yeah.


I know you know
what time it is.

Jack, where have you been?

Have you been
at the mall
all this time?



Don't you walk away
from me like that.

Look, Mom, I'm sorry
I'm late, all right?

Now, if you don't mind,
just leave me alone, okay?

Where's your homework?
I want to see it.

Jack, I called Coach Young.

I know he's benched you
this week and next
because of your grades.

Mom, I can't believe
you called him!

Look, I bombed a couple
of English papers, all right?
But I'm making it up.

And what
about Biology?

This is completely

Mom, I said
I'm making it up!

You lied to me.

Jack, honey,
you know what I...

We've always been able
to talk to each other.

Now, whatever it is,

if there's a problem
at school,

or you're feeling
a little bit sensitive
about your skin.

What about
my skin, huh?

Nothing, honey...

Uh? Mom, just get out of here,
all right! Leave!

Get out of here!

In the beginning,
when it first happened,

I told myself that it was
teenage behavior...

That it would pass.

And the thing is, it did.

We got along great
for a couple of weeks there,

just like
we always had before.

And just when everything
seemed to be getting better...

MIKE: Sally,
this is Virginia Malloy.
She's with social services.


Sally's husband and I
coach little league together.

I just checked
with the hospital.

Is he conscious?

They'll call
when there's a change.

Mrs. Cambridge,

you say tonight was
an accident.

I find that hard
to understand.

I didn't do this.







I like these.


But you know I find that
music offensive.
You do?


I find the lyrics violent
and degrading to women,

and I wish you wouldn't
listen to it.

Oh, please.

No, here,
listen to it.


Sippie Wallace! (CHUCKLES)

I haven't heard this in ages.

Yeah, it's that song
Bonnie Raitt sings.

Women Be Wise.

It's an old
Sippie Wallace song.


Seems like only yesterday

I was carrying you
up four flights in a snuggly.


You know,
I think I remember that.

No, you couldn't.
You were just a baby.

We moved to Glenview Drive
before you were one.


Dad was still
in law school.


Day and night,
and I was working
day and night

to keep a roof
over our heads.


But we couldn't wait
to get married.

Or to have you.

BRAD: No, don't tell me.

Somebody who pulls
straight A's in every class
suddenly starts getting D's.

I thought you wanted
to play basketball.

Look, Dad, I just don't
think I'm that good,
all right?

I've just about had it
with you.

You'd better get your act
together, mister.

Get your foot
off the chair!

Okay, let's go, Leo!

Ahh! Oh, boy!

Hey, Dad.

You guys go wait outside.
I want to talk to your mother
a little bit.

Keep Marcia company.
Have a fun weekend.

I'll see you two
Sunday evening.

Bye, Mom.

Brad, I'm concerned
about Jack.

It's not just this
or his coming in so late
the other night.

I feel like there are
things going on with him.

All right, tell me
what's going on.

He doesn't talk to me
like he used to.

Because you treat him
like he's five years old.

I do not.

Sally, you gotta stay
on top of this!

I mean, we both have
to stay on top of it,

but you're the one
who's here.

Yes, I am.

It's a matter
of boundaries.

If you set them,

if you lay down the rules
and stick to them,

he's not gonna
break 'em.

Be his mother,
not his friend.

I'll keep that in mind.

Listen, I needed to tell you,
I've had a couple
of rough months,

but I'm gonna be able
to send your check this week.

So I'd appreciate it
if you tell your lawyer

and get him off my back.

You really resent that,
don't you?

Your lawyer
or supporting you?

That money is meant
for their support, Brad,
not mine.

I support myself just fine.


BRAD: Come on. Chop, chop!
Let's go. In the car.

Hey, Sally.



MAN: Hey, that's good.
Thank you.

How about
a Tuscan-farmhouse look?

Oh, we've done
that already.

I know,
but I still like it.

Hey, let's use that credenza
we found at the marketplace
against this wall.

Oh, yeah,
that'd be great.

Hey, Frank,
place looks gorgeous.

Oh, thanks. Thanks.

I just gotta finish up
the molding in
the master bedroom,

and then I'm done.

How you doin', Sally?

Pretty good, thanks.
FRANK: Good.

Hey, that's a nice color.
Yeah, I think so.

So, uh, can I call you,
then, next week?

Yeah, that'd be great.

I'll do that.

See ya.


Are you going out
with him?

When did this happen?

Oh, stop.
Nothing's happened.

We're just having dinner,
that's all.

Haven't I been
telling you, you two
would be perfect together?

He's got a sense of color.

That says a lot.




No way.
I got it.

I doubt it.


Oh, yes.
Oh, yes. Ahh!

Where are you going?


You don't
have a clue, do you?

Let's deal with this,
my man.



Hey, Luke, Jack.

Are you guys
following us?


Close your eyes.
It's better that way.

Told you.

Kayla. I have to get
some nachos or something
in my blood sugar.

See you guys around.

See you.

Go for it.

Can I see you
a moment, son?

This way, please.

Now, we have
some excellent wallpapers

that will just look
sensational in here

if you're still
thinking that way.

Yes, I believe you said
you'd bring some samples.

Yes, I did.


Excuse me.
Just a minute.



This is she.


Yes, I'll be right there.

(SIGHS) Wendy,
I am so sorry.

I'm afraid I'm going to
have to leave.

But I'll call you later
this afternoon, okay?

SALLY: Thank you.

Hello, I'm Sally Cambridge,
Jack's mother.

Mrs. Cambridge,
I'm afraid we caught your son
leaving a store

with some merchandise
in his pocket that
he hadn't paid for.

If you'll sign this waiver,
you can take your son.

He'll be getting a letter
notifying you
of the court date.

SECURITY: There'll be
instructions on there

giving you a number to call
if he decides to plead guilty
and pay the fine.

Thank you.



Jack! Sit up
and look at me now!


I have to leave a meeting

with a client,
no, a potential client

because my son has been
arrested for shoplifting?

Look, Mom, it wasn't
shoplifting, okay?

Oh, excuse me.
What was it, then, amnesia?

I was looking
at the candles,

I put them in my pocket,
and I forgot.


Look, I told you!
Pink candles?

I forgot! That's it!
Oh, give me a break.

Who were
the other kids with you?


That's not
what the officer said.

It was Luke, wasn't it?

Hmm? Wasn't it?

Now, don't lie to me!

I don't want you spending
any more time with him,

you understand me?
I mean that!

What about the girls?

Jack, this is dead serious,
and you know it.

Now, just tell me!

What, were you trying
to steal for one of them?

Did you think this was a way
to impress them or something?


BRAD: Troops!

LEO: Mom!


No more victims remain.
Sorry, you're destroyed.

Hey, he did great,
not one cavity.

Oh, that's great.

Mom, Dad got me
the coolest game.

See, these terrorists
are in the neighborhood,

and you get sniper rifles.

And bazookas.
Yeah, and bazookas.

And you go through
and shoot them.

Eighty percent.


LEO: Pow!

I'm, uh...

We'll do a little
search and destroy
this weekend, okay?

I'll see you,
buddy boy.


Where's Jack?

Asleep, I think.

Everything all right?
Oh, yeah.

Just one of those days.

Okay, I'll see you, then.




Did Dad leave?


I didn't get into this,
but you and I have to.

Jack, what was that?

Getting so mad like that,
where'd that come from?

Jack, what's going on
with you?


Look, Mom,
I don't know!

I'm sorry. I am.

Dinner will be ready.

I need one of you guys
to set the table.


Ten percent...
Keep terrorists back!

Jack abused you verbally,


MIKE: Why'd you lie before?
You did.

You lied to the doctors,
the officers.

Because I was afraid!

Afraid of your son?

MIKE: You lied to me, too.

I didn't want
to get him in trouble.

Did you sleep okay?

Is that a yes or a no?

Is something
bothering you?

No, not really.

Jack, tell your brother
that orange juice
is good for him.

Orange juice
is good for you.

Thanks, very helpful.


Listen, this age...

Oh, it's not just his age,
it's all these
little flare-ups.

Oh, like his father,
I remember.

You know,
I never did get
the two of you,

the few times
I saw you and
Brad together.

He runs so hot and cold.

Yeah, I guess
he does,
doesn't he?

You know, that was
never really clear
to me until recently.

You're kidding.

I mean, I knew
he was like that,

but his temper
was part of who he was.

I was so young
when we got married.

I just looked
at it as part
of his appeal.

It made me feel safe.

I know how that sounds,
but it did.

Oh, I love this.

Let's see if they'll hold
this for us

in case we do that B&B.


Hey, this thing
with Jack, it'll pass.

He's such a sweet kid.

And I've always
been able to
depend on him,

but lately,
something's off.

I don't know him anymore.

He's 16 with hormones.
You're not supposed
to know him.

Yeah, but you read about
all these troubled kids
who, you know,

they're learning how to make
bombs on the Internet,
or something.

My sister,

her oldest had big problems
at this age.

Now two years later,
he's graduating with honors.

He is?

Maybe you just need to give
Jack some time.

He's a good kid.



Around back.

Thank you.
Check in through there.

His grades are down.

He was dropped
from basketball
for two weeks,

and he lied to me about it,
and I'm concerned.

I understand.

Have you noticed
anything else
in addition to his grades?

Well, you know,
since his father
and I divorced,

I know the last couple
of years have been
unsettling for him,

for both the boys.

A lot of kids have
to go through that
kind of adjustment.

I know no one wants
to think about drugs,

but it is a problem today,
and that could be a factor.

Well, it's just something
to keep an eye out for.

I understand.

The best thing you can do
is talk to him.

Talk to him about his moods,
the music he listens to,

what's troubling him
at school.

The key here
is to establish a dialogue

and keep it going.



I got your note.

That thing at the mall,
that was so crazy
that you did that.

Didn't they, like,
arrest you?

They did?

Yeah, I got off with a fine,
but they banned me
from the mall.

They banned you? No way.

Well, you know,
I mean,

you seemed to really like
those candles,

so, uh, I figured
I'd get you some.

Jack, I...I think
that's so cool,

and I really want us
to be friends.

Okay, sure.

JACK: Got that, squirt?

LEO: Hurry up, Jack.


Thank you.
Very good.

let's see here.

Ahh. Great.

FRANK: Anybody home?


Hey, you must be Jack, right?

Nice to meet you.

And you must be Leo.

Yeah. Hi.
How you doing?

Jeez, your mom did a super job
on this place, didn't she?

SALLY: Oh, uh, guys,
this is Frank Cantor.

He did all the cabinetwork
in these houses.

FRANK: Here.

Oh, yeah,
the catalog, great.

I've told them all about
you and Veronica,

and you should really go,
you know, have a look at
their showrooms.

Oh, we will. Yeah.

You know,
Frank did all the
cabinetry in this house.

Yeah, uh, we...
We got that, Mom.


So, uh, Friday night, 7:30?

Yeah, 7:30's fine.

Great, I'll see you then.

Nice to meet you guys.

See you, Frank.

See ya.

Is Frank your boyfriend?

Boyfriend. Leo!

Come on, Mom.

No, we're, uh, well...

He asked me out.
A date?

Yeah, I guess.

He's divorced.

He's a very nice man.

Veronica and I have
known him for a while now.

Well, is she coming, too?

I just want you boys
to be okay about this.

Well, why wouldn't we be?

I mean, you've gotta
have a life, too, you know.

Oh, hey.
I didn't hear you come in.
The boys will be right down.

From your lawyer,
about child support.

I thought
I explained it.

Yes, you did.
I'm sorry. I told him
we worked it out.

My secretary
opened this.

She's been
keeping tabs on my
billable hours as it is.

Now she knows
I can't pay her.
I can't pay her!

I'm sorry
you're having
trouble, but I don't...

No, that's the trouble
I'm having!

You ready to go, honey?



So, you've got
this grade thing
taken care of, right,

and you're back
in this week's game?

Yes, to both.
Good man.

It's just a question
of discipline.

You're probably
thinking about too
many other things, girls.

I wish I had you kids more
than every other weekend.

It's just not enough.


Hey, Dad, uh...
Can I ask you a question?

Yeah, sure.
Well... (SIGHS)

There's this girl...

What did I just say?
Come on, seriously.

And you know,
she says she just
wants to be friends.

And right after
she says that,
she kisses me.

You mean, like, uh... Yeah!

But the thing is,
I can't figure it out.

What's to figure out?
She laid one on you, right?



It's good. It's good.

BRAD: So these two dumb guys,
dumb bandits,

they rob this bank,
tear out of the parking lot,

and speed onto
the turnpike.

There's more
to it, squirt.

So the driver says,
"Joe, look through
the back window

"and see if the cops
are following us."

So Joe looks through
the back window and says,

"How will I know?"

So the driver says,
"The flashers will
be on, moron."

So Joe looks out
the back window,

"Yes. No. Yes.
No. Yes. No. Yes.
No. Yes. No."

Leo, you've got to eat
the bun.

He won't.

That's because
your mother allows him
to eat like a four-year-old.

Where is your
mother, anyway?

Probably out
with Frank.

Who's Frank?

Her boyfriend.

Your mother has a boyfriend?

Yeah, it's some guy
she works with.

I don't know.
He's divorced, too.

Well, that's good.
What's good?

Sally's seeing someone.


Uh, Cantor.

Oh, good for her.

Hey, Jack,
why don't you ask Marcia

about what we were talking
about earlier?


No, it's okay. I mean,

Marcia was
a high-school girl once.

Uh, Dad, I think
I can figure it out.

He's got this girl
that likes him,

or he thinks
she likes him.

I said I can figure it out!




What was that?

If you've got
something to say,

you'd better learn
to get it out, buddy boy.
Express yourself.

I mean, you can't
expect the world to
automatically know

what's going on
in your mind.

You didn't think
I was making fun
of you, did you?

I wouldn't do that.

You and your brother
mean more to me

than anything
in this world.


SALLY: Jack?


Leo, you have
I know.

Hey. Hey.

Honey, I have
something to say.

I know you don't
want to hear it,

but it's important
that you and I keep
the channels open.

Mom, I...
Establish a dialogue.


Go ahead.

It's an early
birthday present.

You got these
for me?
Well, of course.

Who else?

Thank you!

Anyway, happy birthday.

Hey, Leo.

Hi. Mom!
Frank's here.

Come on in.
Hey, thanks.



Hey, Jack.

Nice ax.
What is that, a Les Paul?

Oh, it's nice.

Oh, my!

You look pretty great.

Thank you.
So do you.

Thank you.

Here, those are for you.

They're beautiful.
Thank you.

I'll go put these
in water.

I made reservations
at Casa Lanas,

so, uh, we gotta
kind of hurry up.

We don't want
to lose our spot.

Hey, uh, Frank,
keep your pants on,
all right?


It's all right.

No, no.
That...it really isn't.

Just, uh,
excuse me a second.



That was so rude!

How would you like it
if I talked to your
friends like that?

I don't have friends
like that, Mom.
That guy's a loser!

What is the matter
with you?

Do you just not
want me to have
dinner with him?

I don't care
what you do.

I have to use the bathroom,
so get out of my way.

Not until you
answer me.

If you don't want
to move, fine.




Ooh! No holds barred!

Thanks for doing this.

Leo, honey, you know where
your dad's number is, right?

LEO: I know, Mom.
That's a lovely

Thank you.
Jack gave it to me.

He wanted me
to apologize to you.

He didn't mean
to be rude.

Well, good night, honey.

Bye, mom. Love you.

Luke, what's up, man.
I can hardly hear you.
Where are you?

What's up?
Yo, I'm at Newt's, man.

He's having a party?

Oh, yeah.
Everybody's here, too. Whoo!

Yo, Kayla came up and asked
if you were gonna show.

Dude, this chick
wants you bad, man.

You'd better get down here,
all right?

Get down here
now, okay?
All right, man.

I can't find Gus.

Look, if Mom calls,
which she won't,

just tell her I'm in
the shower or something.

I won't be
gone long.
Yeah, but where...





Hey, man, what's up?

Hey, man.
BOY: What's up, man?

GIRL: How you doing, Jack?



Hey, have you seen Kayla?

She's downstairs.


What's up?

Whoa! Relax! Relax!
What are you doin'?
What are you doin'?

Come on, Jack.
Chill it out, man!


Listen, don't worry about it.
You just need a beer.

Here, take this.


Whoo! Whoo!

Here we are.

This was nice.

You sound surprised.


Thanks for
a great night.
Thank you.

Help! Popeye, help!

I am coming, Olive.
Don't go away.

Hey. Hey, you.

Come on. Hey.

Any messages?

Someone named Wendy.

Oh, Mrs. Rutherford.
She's one of my clients.

She says your meeting
has to start at 9:00 sharp
tomorrow morning

because she has to do
something after.

Thank you, sweetie.
You're a great little

Is Jack asleep?



Leo, go to bed!

Where did you go?
You smell like beer!

Were you out
with Luke again?

What if there had
been an emergency?

Mom, I was gone
an hour, all right?

You left your
brother alone!
He's 9 years old!

He's fine! God!
Jack, that is
not the point.

Look, just stop making it
such a big deal, all right?

A big deal? You think
this is a big deal?
This is nothing, my friend.

You are grounded for a month!

That means for the next
four weeks, you come
straight home after school,

and you're staying in
on the weekends!


What, you think I'm joking?

All right, all right,
as a matter of fact,
I'm gonna call Luke's mother.

I'm gonna tell her
you two are not to
see each other anymore.

No, you're not.

Look Mom, you're not
calling Luke's mother!

Oh, I think it's about time
she and I had a little talk.

Mom, I'm warning you,
put the phone down.






Oh, God.
Oh, my God.

(GASPS) Just...

Don't move!
Don't move.
Don't move.

Okay, just stay
right there, baby.

Oh, sweetheart,
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Okay. It's gonna
be okay.

Pathology lab B, call 3467.

Excuse me,
where's your washroom?

It's over there.
Thank you.

Honey, everything's
gonna be all right, okay.

Look at me now.
It's fine.
It's gonna be okay.

I'll be right back.
You just sit
over here, okay?

Okay, Mom.

Dr. Schweitzer,
please report to pediatrics.

JACK: Ow! Aah!

Nursing supervisor,
please dial 6624.

Nursing supervisor,
please dial 6624.

I don't think the
anesthetic you gave him
is strong enough.

Mom. Okay.

So you put
your arm through
a window.

How'd that happen?

Oh, it was my fault, really.

He, uh...well, I...I left
something on the stairs,

and he just tripped
over it coming down.

He must have been
coming down pretty quickly.

He was, you know,
he fell forward,
lost his balance,

and his arm went
right through the glass.

What was it?

What did you
trip on, Jack?

I, uh, uh...

Oh...it was my shoes.

Would you excuse me
a moment?


Dr. Cross, orthopedics.

Dr. Cross,
please report to orthopedics.

Did you talk to Dad?

So what'd you tell him?

I told him that we were here,
that you'd had an accident,

but you were
going to be okay.

Mrs. Cambridge,
I'm Tom Sperling

from the department
of social services.

I need to file a report
on what happened here tonight.

Can I ask you
a few questions?

Of course.

Dr. Waldridge, to admitting.

Dr. Waldridge,
please report to admitting.


Hey, Dad.

Does it hurt?

No, they gave me
some pain medicine.

It's numb now.
How'd it happen?

Oh, Brad, come on.
We're all exhausted.

Come on.
What? Where...

I want to talk to Jack.

BRAD: All right.

Tell me exactly
what happened,
the truth.

Well, we had
a fight, all right?

Wait. Take a seat.
Take a seat.

Who had a fight?

Dr. Diamond,
to pediatrics ICU.

Dr. Diamond,
to pediatrics ICU.

I don't know
what's wrong
with me, Dad.

There's nothing
wrong with you.

You can talk to me,
I don't know, I just...

I just feel so
pissed off lately.

About what?
Tell me.

I don't know, Dad!
All right?
I don't know!

No, that's okay.
There's nothing
wrong with that.

Everybody feels pissed off
or confused sometimes.
That's normal.

No, Dad, I feel
like this every day.

Then what? What was it
that pissed you off?

I don't know,
I mean...

Stuff at school.

You know, and then this guy,
Frank, came over tonight.

Oh, so...
So you don't like him.

I don't know.

Oh, he doesn't
like you boys?

Did something happen
with Frank tonight?

Is that what
this was?

You can tell me
the truth, Jack.

Did Frank hurt you?


Never be afraid
to tell me anything.

Let's go.

Nursing supervisor,
please dial 6-6-2-4.

Nursing supervisor,
please dial 6-6-2-4.

Leo, Marcia.

Come on,
we're out of here.

Leo, is this your coat?

Is this yours?

Take them. Let's go.
We're out of here.

BRAD: Out, out, out.

LEO: Mom!

Brad, what do you think
you're doing?

In the car.

You tell me your son
doesn't talk to you anymore?

Well, maybe it's because

your new boyfriend
scares the crap out of him.


I'm taking the boys
home with me.

Jack! Jack,
what did you tell him?

What did you tell
your father?




VERONICA: What on earth
happened to you?

Oh, uh, I just bumped into
the table this morning

running for the phone.

Wendy Rutherford called.

Oh, God, we were supposed
to meet this morning.

That's why she called.

I juggled my meeting
this afternoon

so I could make time
to see her.

I'm sorry, I just got
completely side-tracked.

She wants to make a choice
about who she's gonna go with,

and now it
may not be us.

I'm really sorry.

What is up with you?

It's Jack...

I'm worried
about him lately.

I feel like...
I'm losing him.

Do you need to get
some help here?

Maybe the
National Guard.

No, I just have to
set boundaries

and stick with them...

Be his parent,
not his friend.

He'll be fine.

I got to go.

Veronica, I am really sorry
about Wendy Rutherford.

Well, let's hope
it's okay.




Has he had this problem
for a long time?

Because it's like
every night... Waterworks.


Look, I was hoping

you could get home early
from work tonight.

I think they need
to spend some time with you.

No, I can't. I mean,

this is the only night
I can do this deposition.


I don't think they
want to be here.

Well, it's not quite
that simple.

Yeah, it is.

Maybe, you should
just take them home.

BRAD: This is their home!

What kind of father
would I be if
I sent them back?

A realistic one.

accidents happen.

And that's what you think
that was... An accident.

What if it
happens again?

Well, I'm not
going to let it.

MARCIA: Have you really
thought this through?

What do you want?
You want this to be

a permanent

Honey, you knew how much
I loved my kids
when we married.

MARCIA: So, that's
what this is about?

You're always trying
to make it up to them, Brad.

You have been
since I met you.

And now, maybe you're
trying to convince yourself

that there's a problem
because deep down inside

what you really want
is for them to live with us.

Yeah, and maybe
you're convincing yourself

that everything is fine
because deep down, you don't!

Marcia, I...

I'm sorry.



I love you.

When I married you,
I signed on.

Now, I swear to you...

If I thought for one second
those boys were at risk,

I'd be the first
to insist they stay.

Okay, let's go.

You're gonna be late.
I'm gonna be late.


See you later.

MIKE: Sally. Hey.

Mike! Hi,
how you doing?

MIKE: Good. Good.

Okay! I heard
you made detective.

Yeah, third precinct,
right here.


That's wonderful.

You want to come up
for a minute?

No. No, no thanks.
I just wanted to stop
by and, uh...

Brad asked me
to stop by.

Oh, God, Mike, come on.
You know Brad.

You know how he
flies off the handle.

I read the report
from social services.

Now, uh...
No matter what Brad says,

there are red flags there.

Mike, these are my kids.
They're all I have.

If I thought for a second
that I might lose them,

I don't think
I could take that.

MARCIA: Sally. Hi.

Where are the boys?

Well, Leo's over at Cory's,
and Jack's out with Luke.

Brad, no.

MARCIA: Sally,
why don't you come in?

Oh, thank you.

we have to talk.

there's nothing to say.

I don't want this Frank guy
around the boys.

Oh, Frank had nothing
to do with what happened.

Then what are you saying,
Jack lied?

Jack has
a very short temper.

I'm worried about him
becoming violent.

Oh, that's ridiculous.

No, it's not!

I can't believe what
you pulled at the hospital!

See, this is what you do.

You always make me out
to be the bad guy.

No, I do not.

I have been very careful
not to do that,

even when you left.

I didn't leave the boys.
I left you.

Oh, I know that.

But when you moved out,
you moved out of their house,

and their lives changed
because of it.

We can't keep jerking
them around like this.

Now, what happened with Jack
was a freak accident,

and he and I need to
deal with it, okay?

Please bring them home...

For their sake.


Okay, I'll bring them home
tomorrow morning.

Thank you.

Sally, I'm going
to be watching.

And if the next time
I see the boys,

if either one of them
has a hair out of place,

I swear to God,
I'm gonna get custody.

And I can.

And I will.


LEO: Mom!

am I glad to see you!

I know.

Come here, Gus.

Come here, boy!

Honey, you know
how Gus is.

He'll come home
when he's good and ready.

He and Dad played poker
last night.

He nearly beat Dad.


Well, we're having
hamburgers tonight,

the way you
like them.

Oh, ho!



How's the arm?

It's a...
It's a little sore,
but it's okay.


Things have to change.

Yeah. I know.

SALLY: I'm serious.

Why did that happen?

I mean,
we've been through this.

I get so angry.

Honey, when you get angry,
you have to talk,

not get that way.

I know.

I'm sorry, Mom.

It will never
happen again.

Just promise me.

I promise.

Oh, Jack.

JACK: I'm sorry.
I know.



Dinner's ready.


Oh, hello, Frank.

Ooh, Frank, huh?

Oh. Well, everything's
been just uh...

Well, it's been
a little crazy
around here.

You know what, you should
invite him over for dinner.

I'll show him
my lava lamp, huh?

That'll get him going.

I'm just kidding,
Mom, all right?

But, uh, seriously,
you should invite him over.

Uh, Frank...

What are you
doing Friday?



Come on, you two!
Take a shot.


Okay, let's move, guys.
Bus is outside.


Let's go.

MAN: Hit back.

Aren't you coming? I thought
you got your stitches out.

Nah, I won't be ready to play
until next week.

What a big loss.

Hey, Kayla's saying

that kissing you was like
kissing her grandmother.

LEO: No anchovies.

FRANK: What?

Oh, no, no, you can't
have a Caesar salad
without anchovies.

SALLY: Mmm, I'm afraid
I'm with Leo on that one.

Oh, come on.

Here you go.
These are not
going to be spicy.

Hey, Jack.

Uh, Frank's just making
his special Caesar salad.



Do you know why caribou
are always on the move?

No, why are caribou
always on the move?

Is this a joke?

No, it's real.
I'm asking if you know.

Leo is very into
natural science right now.

They're always on the move
'cause they're always
looking for food.

That's right, moss.


Hey, you really know
your stuff.


You been there?

Yeah, as a matter
of fact, I have.

Uh, they eat the lichen,

and it takes years
for it to grow back.

So that's why
they keep moving.
FRANK: Right.

You know, I photographed
a herd of them

a couple of years ago
when I was up there.

I'll show you guys
some time.

LEO: Wow, that's so cool.


Good night.

Good night.





SALLY: Jack,
what happened?

I tripped.

You tripped?



Quite the liar
you've become.

Yeah. Well, I...
I learn from the best.


I appreciate the effort
that you made tonight.

He was making
fun of Leo!
Oh, he was not!

He was trying
to talk to Leo

about things
that interest him.
Oh, don't, okay?

Oh, would you please
talk to me? Just tell me...

JACK: Tell you what?

Tell you why
I don't trust this guy?
SALLY: Jack...

JACK: Would you even
listen to me, Mom?

Frank was
just trying...

I know what Frank
was trying to do, Mom!

All right, I don't want you
seeing him anymore!

And I don't want him over
at my house ever again.

Because if you
let him over here,

I can't guarantee
what'll happen.

You can't guarantee?

Okay, honey, I realize
tonight was a little tense.

But Frank is a decent,
good man.

And he's had
an interesting life.

And if you would just
give him a chance...

Shut up,
all right?

I'm not listening
to you anymore!









Ma'am, we've had a call

from one of your neighbors
about the noise.

Oh, my son...
His music.

No, they said that it was
more than just music.

They heard shouting,

Oh, well, he, uh...

He tripped over his guitar,
and there was a...

It was a lamp...
A lamp fell.

I was just, you know,
moving some books,

and I had a whole armload
when you came,

and I just
dropped them.


This is my son... Jack.

Uh, I'm sorry
about the music, officers.

I didn't realize
it was so loud.

I try and tell him.

Is there anyone else
in the house?

No. Well, just
my other son, but he's...


All right.

Try to keep the noise down
for the rest of the night?

Yes, I'm sorry.



If you want to leave a message
for Sally, Jack, or Leo,

you know what to do
after the beep.


Sally, it's Veronica.


Listen, I know
you're going through
stuff right now,

but you have to let me know
if you're not coming in

or where you are.

I have been trying to get you
all day. Frank has, too.

Anyway, it looks like
we lost the Rutherford job.

She hired Paul Hess instead.

Would you please
give me a call
when you get this?





Come quick! Mom!

He broke his leg.

Vet says he'll be okay.
Probably have a limp, though.

Something beat him up
pretty bad.

He has a cast on...
Like a human.

Honey, let's not forget
to give him his pain medicine.

LEO: Okay.


I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for it, Gus.

I didn't mean it.

Oh, God,
I didn't mean it.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.




We have several books
on child abuse.

No, actually...

I'm not sure, really,
how to put this,

but it's more
the other way around.

Uh, parent abuse.


Yes, it looks like we have
one title on that subject,

"The abuse of elderly parents
by adult children."

Nothing about teenagers?

No. Sorry.

Are you looking for
a hot-line for teenagers?

No, about teenagers...

Parents who are abused
by teenagers.

This is a hospital for
psychiatric disorders

for people in crisis

who either can't take care
of themselves

or might be
a danger to others.

I'm sorry, ma'am,
we're a drug-rehab program.

You might try Al-Anon.



Really, we're a shelter
for women

who are victims
of spousal abuse.

No, I know that. It's just
I don't know where else to...

Or who else to talk...

I've called everybody,
and they just put me on hold.

They don't know
what to tell me.

They don't know
where to refer me.

I know, it's tough.
Have a seat.

Uh, I got your number
from the local abuse hot line,

and I... I thought...

If you're having difficulty
with a child, generally...

He's got such rage.

So his behavior frightens
you at times?

Is he a danger
to himself or to anyone
in the household?

Does he shove you,
kick you?

He needs help.

I don't know where
to get him help.

I don't know
what to do anymore.

What you have to do,

and I can tell you
from our experience here,

is just try
to stay calm.

If there's an argument
going on, don't continue it.

Do not yell... Walk away,
separate yourself from him.

He's really a good boy.

Stay away from anywhere

where there might be
potential weapons.

The kitchen,
the bathroom...

Get out of the house
if you have to.

I think you should go
to the police.

File a protection-from-abuse

It's a PFA.

Well... What does this mean,
exactly, this PFA thing?

It's a court order
that will protect you,

keep him away from you,

remove him from
your home if necessary.



Will you be coming
to stay here?




All right,
let's go.

Come on. Move it.

Male Hispanic,
black and brown,

5'6", 160...


JANE: Hello, Sally.

Jane, uh...

...would you like to go
get yourself some coffee?

Uh, sure.

Thank you.



I have to tell you something

about what happened
with Jack's arm...

...what really happened.

He came in late.

I was upset,
and we had an argument,

and somehow
it got... Physical.

Physical how?

Jack tried to hurt me.

(SCOFFS) Come on.

SALLY: He...
He meant to hit me,

but he put his fist
through the window instead.

So you're telling me

that Jack was the one
that instigated this incident.

His temper, his...

You're the grown-up here!

You need to control
the situation.

No, you don't

We're talking about
a 16-year-old boy.

I know. I know.

I thought things
were getting better,

and I wanted to believe,
you know,

that maybe he'd really
changed, but he hasn't!

He keeps doing it!

He keeps telling me,
he's never going
to do it again,

and then he lashes out
at me.

Did you push him?


If you did,
I'm going to find out.

You aren't listening!

He has these violent outbursts
where he's not himself,

and he's riding on
some deep, deep rage.

Now, we're his parents.
We have to do something.


I think the boys
should come live with me.

Oh, don't do
this to me!

You've done it
to yourself!

Our son is in
serious trouble,
and he needs our help!

You know, all those
years before...

Oh, Brad,
let me say this.

I never really saw it,

but you treated me
the same.

I never once lifted
a finger against you.

But it was the same
as if you had.

I'd think
everything was over.

Things were changed.
It was going to be peaceful.

Then you'd go off
into one of your
rages again,

yelling at me
and belittling me.


I feel like there's
something still
in my house...




They... They say file
a protection order
or have him arrested.

I can't.
I can't do that.

What if they take him
away from me?

He's my son.
What did I do?

No, it's not your fault.
It's no one person's fault.

He's my little boy.


He's not a little boy

He's not a grown-up

I mean, he's just 16,
but he's this monster,

and this rage...

I don't know.
Where could that go next?
Oh, come on.

MARCIA: Hey, Leo,
you haven't touched
your dinner.

Uh, Leo doesn't
like lasagna.

Yeah. I told her
last time we were here.

I forgot, Leo.

Look, why don't you
just try it?

If you don't like it...
LEO: I don't like it!

I told you!

Don't you listen?

Well, maybe if you
acted your age, Leo,

I'd have more respect
for what you had to say.

Leo, why don't
you try it?

You always
take her side.

BRAD: Leo,
that's not true.

Honey, maybe
if you'll...

Perfect, Brad.

You shut up!

I said I'm sorry.
BRAD: That's not
the point, Leo!

The point is,

both of you know
that outbursts like that...

Well, that's not the way
to solve problems.

Men of integrity
never respond like that.

What I'm trying
to say, Leo,

is the way
you just behaved

is unacceptable and can
never happen again.

Yes, sir.

BRAD: If it does,

not only will I be
disappointed in you,

I won't be able
to respect you.

Let's go see Marcia.

You've got something
to tell her.


Where you going?

Home. I have to
tell Mom something.


That I'm sorry.


FRANK: No, thank you.












Jack! Stop it!




Oh, my God!
Oh, my God!


Uh, I need
an ambulance.

18 Rosemary Drive.

My son hit his head,
and he's not moving.






Hop to it.


You want to tell us
what happened?

What happened
to your face, son?


One step here,
and two behind you.

MAN: The back is clear.

It's okay, baby.
I'm right here, okay?

Ma'am, put your hands
behind your back, please.

I'm afraid you'll have to
come with us.

Sally Cambridge,
you're under arrest

on suspicion of child abuse
and endangerment.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you say can
and will be used against
you in the court of law.

SALLY: I have to go.
I have to ride with him.

You have the right
to talk with an attorney.

If you cannot afford
an attorney,

one will be provided
at no cost.

Do you understand these
rights, Mrs. Cambridge?

I am telling you
the truth.


He needs help.

He'll, uh,

be charged with assault.

Against his brother,
against you.

I don't see how there's
any other way.


Tell me again.

Tell me what happened.

He, uh...

He tripped.

BRAD: So, Where
is she now, Mike?
She's in the waiting room.


I don't care what
she says, all right?

She's the one
with the problem.

She's the one
who needs help.

So you had nothing
to do with this?


Fine, then.

JACK: So what's going to
happen to her?

Well, she's probably
going to jail.

Don't you think
she should go to jail?

Look... I need to talk
to her, all right?

Son, I don't think
that'd be a good idea...

BRAD: Jack! Wait!


SALLY: Jack?

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.
It was my fault.

I'm sorry.

It was my fault.
I pushed Leo.

You pushed
your brother?

I didn't mean to, Dad.
It was an accident.

Mom, I never meant
for this to happen.

I'm sorry.

Jack, I'm gonna have to
ask you to come with me, son.


You have the right
to remain silent.

If you give up
that right,

anything you say can
and will be used against you

in a court of law.


Okay, Cambridge...

This is you.




you didn't do anything wrong.

I know.

Hey, you.


Hey, Mom.

You okay, sweetheart?




Frank's here.

He's going to stay
with you while I'm gone.

But I'll be back
in a couple of hours,

So you just rest.

thanks for doing this.

Sally, take as much time
as you want, okay?

He's going to be fine.


So, Leo, how you doing?



Mrs. Cambridge,
Mr. Cambridge,
I'm Robert Nicholas.

I'm the juvenile
probation officer.

Would you follow me,


the prosecutor's office

is not going to drop
the assault charges.

(SIGHS) I don't know
what I expected.

They are willing, however,
to defer the charges

if you file what's called
an at-risk-youth petition.

Sure. What is it?

It's a court order
that helps set limits

for youths under 18.

If teens violate
those conditions
which are set forth,

including counseling
or attending a program,

they can be charged
with contempt

and put in 7 day detention...

But what program?

there aren't too many.

But there is one
over in McCade County.

That's where I'm going
to be referring Jack.

There he'll have private
counseling, group sessions,

and each of you will
have to see someone as well.

Now, you also indicated
that, uh...

There's no relatives
for him to stay with.

No, not in the area.

All right, we'll have to have
him in a foster-care situation

by this afternoon.

Oh, no, now, if he's...
If he's getting help,

I don't see why
we have to do that.

ROBERT: Mrs. Cambridge,

if a parent allows one child
to abuse another child

in this state,

the parent can be
charged with child abuse.

Now, you run the risk
of losing custody

of your youngest son
as well.

We understand,
Mr. Nicholas.

ROBERT: Once Jack shows
progress through counseling,

and if there's
real behavior change...

Well, then he can
come home.

How much time
do you think
that would be?

I know it's hard
to tell, but...

Well, it... It took
a long time for Jack
to learn this behavior.

It's gonna take
a long time

for him to learn
to change that behavior.

The program requires a minimum
commitment of six months.

I know
what you're thinking.

I know...

That there have been times
when I've lost it.

I go too far.

And our sons see it!

Brad, if we're
going to pull this off,

we have to be there
for Jack together.

We have to work at this
like we never worked

at anything the entire time
we were married.

how do you feel today?


MAN: Okay.

WOMAN: Russell?

I guess.

WOMAN: Jack, this is how
we start out each session.

Everybody checks in
with a feeling.

You can use the chart
if you need to.




Do you want to
take some time

to talk about why
you're feeling frustrated?

Okay, that's cool.

Oh, he was great.
He was my daddy.

He could be stern.

You never knew
when he was gonna blow.


Not really... No.

Mostly at my mother.

The whole time
I was growing up,

she was always walking
on eggshells,

trying to keep the peace but
never quite pulling it off.

She would never have done
anything to end her marriage.

She didn't live
to see me fail at mine.


All those years,
you watched your mom

tolerate your father's
verbally abusive behavior.

The fact was, you couldn't
tolerate the same behavior

from your husband.

You didn't fail
at your marriage.

What you did by
getting out of it

was very healthy.

Look, I can't help it,
all right?

Sometimes I just... I snap.
That's just the way I am.

WOMAN: Violence is
not your identity, Jack.

JACK: Did I say that?
WOMAN: Yeah, you did.

You said that's the way
you are, but it's not.

It's the way you act.

It's a choice.

It's a conscious choice.


I know that!

I have been over that
a million times in my mind,

and I know
that I make rules,

and then I don't do anything
when he breaks them.

I just let it slide.
I know that I do that.

I just don't know why.

I try.

It's just...

There's so much.

There's so many balls
in the air at once,

and I know
that when he pushes,

and I give in and change
the rules to avoid a showdown,

I can't.

You can't what?

I can't do this.
It's too hard.

It's doubly hard
for you, Sally.

You had an
abusive husband.

Now you're having to deal
with that same behavior

in your son.

My dad never
hit my mom!

No, but you did, Jack.
Why is that?

Do you blame her
for your dad leaving?

My dad is a good guy.

MAN: So you do
blame your mom.

Look, I never
said that!

What are you saying man,
you punched a hole
through a window

for the fun of it?

Couldn't help
being Daddy, huh?

WOMAN: When your dad left,
you felt like you had to

take on a lot of
responsibility, didn't you?

I handled it.

You weren't supposed to
handle it. You were the child.

I was the oldest!
The oldest kid.

JOE: Your dad yelled a lot
at your mom, right?

Yeah, I did!

He did.

JOE: Man, that's what
we call abuse.

RUSSELL: Yeah, straight up.

WOMAN: You do what you know.

Do you understand
what I'm saying?

He was your
role model, Jack.

When Dad left...

I just...

I felt this relief, you know,
that he was gone.

And I know you
felt that, too, Mom.

I know you did.


Oh, I just...

I didn't know why...

...he had to do that to us,

why he acted that way
and why you let him.

I couldn't stop him.
I... I didn't know how.

I didn't either.

It's okay.

I'm so sorry, Mom.

It's going to be okay.

I don't know what to do.

I think you're
doing it, sweetheart.

We both are.




You want me in now?
Yeah? Yeah?



Oh, man. Here we go.

What are you doing?

JACK: Okay,
one more time.

Left hand here, yeah?

No. Yeah. No. Right...


JACK: All right, Mom,
stop. Stop.

All right, your left.
There you go.

SALLY: Very good.