Stranger in Town (1998) - full transcript

New to a small town, a city teen grows suspicious of a man who befriended him and his single mother.

[Katherine] Okay, guys,
we gotta go.

[Aaron] Where's my Walkman?

-Mom, Kim?
-[bird chattering]

And my shades, I...

[Katherine] They're in the van,

Place always was a dump.

Mom, Mom...

-you're doing Bette Davis.
-No, she said,

"What a dump!"

-Okay, we're outta here.
-We are history.

-[Katherine hisses] Yes!
-This is us leaving, Leo.

[bird chirps]

[peaceful music plays]

[birds chirping]

[Aaron] Quaint.

-Terminal, I'm afraid.
-That's for the tourists, Aaron.

Actually, Elm Creek
was an old college town

and an artist's colony.
There's lots of culture.

Yeah, but only here
it's all in their yogurt.


[plays harmonica]

Aaron, Aaron, look, look.

What? I don't see anything.

No, there was this weird guy.

He's gotta be weird,
he's from here.

-A freak from Elm Creek.
-[Katherine] Aaron.

-There it is.
-[Kim] It's humongous.

[Aaron] And old.

Isn't it gorgeous?

A lot bigger than
that apartment, I’ll tell ya.

Lots of lawn.

There's the greenhouse.

And is that
a big beautiful porch or what?

Oh, and back here, someday,
a real greenhouse,

beyond the trees there,
filled with orchids and lilies,

and a little veggie garden.

Look, Mommy, it's half a swing.

Well, don't worry, babe,
we'll get it fixed.

It's kinda neat though, hey.
See the heart in the back?

-[Kim] Cool.
-[Katherine] Yeah.

[Aaron] You said
this needed a little work?

This is a tear down.

It's got potential.

And termites and mice.
And, uh...

What's with that sign?

We need the money.

[Aaron] Yeah, but anyone
who comes along could rent it.

Aaron, listen, okay?

It's a basement apartment,
all right?

It's totally separate.

You are a big city paranoid,
through and through.

Yeah, well, what can I say?
You raised me well.

[chuckles] Thanks. Come on,
let's go inside. Come on.

[Kim] Come on, Leo.
Mom, Leo likes it here.

[Katherine] Excellent taste,

Excellent taste.

Silence of the Lambs.

Yeah. Yeah, that's it.

Actually, I used to live
in a town just like this

-when I was a little girl.
-And she lived to tell about it.

-[Kim giggles]
-People were friendly,

you didn't always have to look
over your shoulder.

-Oh, my God!

Just joking, I got you all.

[Katherine giggles]
Very funny.

Although, I did see
this really scary movie

on video.
It was called Deliverance,

and there were these hillbillies
and what they did--

[Katherine] Okay, Aaron,
that's enough.

-No, anyway--

[Kim giggling]


Anyway, I think you're really
going to like it here.

Both of you.

I had to leave, you know that.

Yeah. Yeah, I know.

[radio plays rock music]

[Aaron] Rock and roll!

[Kim] Rock and roll!


[crickets chirping]

[Kim] Mornin', Leo.

[Leo chirps]

How'd you sleep?


-Good morning.
-[Aaron] No. Please.

I'm growing older now

and I need to make
my own decisions.

And the morning sucks.

I'll be at the college
till 4:00. Hey, no coffee.

Faculty orientation.

So, do I call you Professor now?

Academician would be fine.

How do I get around
this burg, anyhow?

Come here,
I wanna show you something.

Out that window.

-No way.

[birds tweeting]

[rattling engine approaching]


[engine starts]

Son of a...

[man] Gun.

So, you got a little problem
with your chain there.

You can yank
on that chain all day,

it isn't gonna get any bigger.

Here, see, the trick is,

you wanna ease the chain
onto the sprocket.


Like this.

There we go.

So, you got a room for rent?

[Kim] My mom does.

Well, I'd like to take it,
if it's okay with you.

What's your name?

My name's Jack Beldon.
What's yours?


Well, it's very nice
to meet you, Kimberly.

And Leo.

[Jack] And Leo.

-[bird chirps]

We come from Chicago.

Oh, really?

Well, Chicago,
that's an awful big town.

Lots of people
and tall buildings.


Cubs, and Bears, and Bulls.

[Kim] We just moved here.

We don't know anyone at all,
do we, Leo?

[Aaron] I'll, uh...

I'll tell my mom you were here.

You do that.

I'll see you later.

What'd I tell you about
talking to strangers, huh?

You talked to him.

I answered his questions, Kim.

And I didn't even
have to do that.

He's a stranger.

And you never trust strangers.

Let's see. This can be
your bird bath hot tub.

And when the weather
is just right you can come out

and make friends
with all the other birds

in the neighborhood.

We need water from a hose.

A hose, a hose...

A hose.

A hose!

There's one, Leo.




[Katherine] Aaron, I don't want
you crawling under there.

I'm sure it was him,
Eddie Lester.

Local character.
He's harmless enough.

-Oh, good.

[Waller] You okay, Kimberly?

-She's all right.
-[Waller] Well, that's good.

Is that apple pie I smell?
I love apple pie.

Well, as soon as we perfect it,
we'll have you over for dinner.

That'd be awful nice...


Well, there's other guys

with slicker come-ons
than Waller.

Come on, Aaron, just because
some guy acts nice,

you feel threatened.

[Aaron] You know I'm just trying
to watch for you, right?

[Katherine] I know.

At least I think I know.



[girl] There he is!
This night vision is way cool.

[Patrick] Look!
The Creeper's making a move.

Where'd you say
you got this thing?

-It's my pop's.

Army reserve.

I say we nail him.
Come on, guys.

That's my call, Hetty.

[Aaron] I'm full.

Come on,
eat your vegetables, Aaron.

-[Aaron] I need a barf bag.
-[Katherine] Aaron!



Mom, he stole our pie.

Aaron! Where are you going?

[Hetty] Come on.
Let's go! Go! Go! Go!

[Patrick] Oh, yeah,
we got him this time.

Mommy, it was that...

that-- that guy
that we drove by!

That weird guy!

[Patrick] Hurry up!
Come on, let's go!

[all whooping]

[Patrick] Come on.
Faster! Faster!

[Wimpy] Oh, man.

[Patrick] Crummy old geezer.
Get back here!

-Hurry up, guys. Let's go.
-[boy] Woohoo!

What a dorky set of wheels!

Look at the goof on the antique.


[Patrick] Way to go, dorkwad.

Bunch of hillbillies!

Hey, that was quite a wipe out.

My name's Hetty Ryan,
jump on.

[Patrick] There he is.
Over there!

Hurry up, guys, come on!

Come on, you guys, faster!

Come on, come on,
quick, quick, quick!

Come on, let's go.

[Wimpy] Watch out! He's nasty!


-[Patrick] Get him! Get him!

All right,
he's headed for Main Street.

[Hetty] There he is,
they've got him cornered!

Let's get him!

[Patrick] Creeper! Creeper!

Where'd you get that pie from,

-[Patrick] Hey, Creeper!
-[boy] Hey, Creeper!

How's the pie there, Creeper?

[Patrick] Come on, let's go.

[Eddie] You!

[Patrick] Quick, Hetty,
get the pie!

[Hetty] Sorry, Creeper!

[Eddie] My pie!

Here's your pie, dorkwad.

Thanks, doofus!

[Patrick] Let's go, guys.
Come on, let's go.

Let's get outta here!
Hurry up, guys!


-Is there a problem?
-[engine rattling]

[Hetty] I flooded it!

[Aaron] Unflood it!

He's got a knife!

[engine starts]

[Hetty] Let's go!
Get in!

[Aaron] Take that, Creeper!

-Let's go, let's go!
-[Hetty] Hang on!


-Come back here!
-[Aaron] He's gaining!

[Eddie] I'll getcha!
I'll getcha!

I'll getcha!

[Aaron] Killer go-cart!

[Hetty] You wanna race it

Hey, I'll catch you later.

[Aaron] Okay.

Phew, this is one weird town.

And I thought Chicago was nuts.

[crickets chirping]

-[woman screams]
-[horse grunts]

[grunting and screaming]

[grunting and struggling]


Mom, I've got a great idea.

Mom, can I give Leo
some arugula seeds?


Hey, Kim.

[gasps, grunts]

I didn't mean to scare you.

-That's all right.

Jack was here yesterday,
about the room.

[Jack] Yeah, um...

Oh, Jack Beldon.

Katherine Tomlinson.

-Yeah, nice to meet you.
-[Katherine] Yeah.

So, are you from around here?

No, I just got into town
a couple of days ago

and I saw the sign.

Right. Well, I think
the room's already been--

You know,
this is a really beautiful...

what, 19th century Victorian?


Yeah. That's right.

Looks like you're kind of short
on help.

Is there anything I can do
around here?

Like what?

Well, you're renovating,
aren't you?

Well, I'm pretty handy
with a hammer and a saw.

You know
how to renovate a house?


Well, your painter over there,

maybe he was up all night
partying last night,

but he really ought to be
priming that wood.

you're gonna need more paint,

and you're going to spend
a lot more time in the long run.

-[Aaron] Mom.
-It's all right.

[Jack] This bannister's wobbly.

Might be some dry rot.

Also, before closing up
those walls up there,

I'd strap down that plumbing,

unless, of course,
you like the sound

of rattling pipes
in the morning.


Okay, sure, you can help.

You'll just have to talk
to the general contractor first.

Now, Mom, we ought
to think about this first.

Aaron, he has just shown us
four problems already.

[siren blares in distance]

[Aaron] The Creeper.

[Patrick] So,
when did this happen?

-[Hetty] Last night.
-[Wimpy] Was he arrested

-for stealing the pie?

it's a lot bigger than that.

Well, look who it is.
Nice bike, dorkwad.

Hey, work on your diss-drives,
lame stain.

Dork went out with disco.

What's going on?


All right.

There's nothing here
for you to see. Let's go.

-[Patrick] Yeah, right, buddy!
-Nelson, no.

There he is.

He did it.

That's what my dad said.

-[Patrick] No doubt about it.
-[indistinct radio chatter]

[indistinct chatter]

[Waller] Look, I can't answer

everyone's questions
all at once!

Cause of death?

It appears
to have been strangulation

from a chain or a necklace
of some kind.


[reporter] Can you confirm
the motive was robbery?

-[indistinct chatter]
-[office phone ringing]

The safe was emptied.

There were signs
of forced entry.

You draw your own conclusions.
We're still working on ours.

Are you holding an Eddie Lester,
is that correct?

I hope not, he's right outside.

Eddie Lester was questioned.

He's not a suspect
at this time.

-[man] He oughta be.
-He is one weird dude.

Pamela told me he prowled around
her place all the time.

Wasn't Terri out there
a couple of times?


Yeah, yeah.
I was out there once,

last year I think it was.

All Eddie Lester was doin'
was feedin' the squirrels.

Why can't you just
lock him up, John?

Larry, I got nothing
to hold him on!

Now, listen, please!

I've been authorized
by the town council

to offer a reward.

[man 2] How much?

Ten thousand dollars.

[woman] Ten thousand dollars?

[Waller] For any information
leading to...

Ten grand, not bad, huh?

[Waller] ...the arrest
and conviction of the person

or persons responsible
for this crime.

This is a tragedy for all of us.

I knew Pam very well.
She was a good friend.

[woman] We all knew Pam.

We all knew her. Come on.

We'll get him.
You can count on it.

What the devil!

[indistinct chatter
and laughter]

Yo, I need some more
of these big nails.

They're in a box over there
by the corner.

[chuckles] Go on.

Thank you, sir.

Oh, Aaron, see this?

Now, that's called a hammer.

Now, we're a little short
around here.

We need someone to help us
pull out some old nails.

You know...

What do you say?


Well, hey, it's your house.

[birds chirping]

Lookin' good.

Where you from?


Oh, yeah?

I have a cousin around there.

Where about in Chatham?

Near a river.

A river?

[Jack] I wasn't there very long.

I'm never anywhere very long.

Hey Salvio.

Check out that window frame
over by the front door.

I think
the wood's a little warped.

This is what you do?

Well... makes the ends meet.

Sort of.

Pays my rent for my room

I'm telling you,
this wood's green.

You nail this up,

in three months
your walls are going to buckle.

-It's an old trick.
-Wait a minute!

I hired you, you work for me.

I work for her.

And if anything's going down

she's gonna know about it.

Is this true?

Mrs. Tomlinson, I would build
my own house out of this wood.

[chuckles] He means his outhouse
out of this wood.


-[contractor] No!

[contractor choking]


You're fired.


Get out of here!

That still doesn't change
the condition of this wood.

-So, is it green?
-[door closes]

I'm sorry, Mrs. Tomlinson,

but if you can't trust
your own contractor...

Bobby, Salvio, let's go!

[Aaron] What if Delaney
hadn't wimped out?

How far would Jack
have gone then?

What is your problem?
He was just defending himself.

[plates clatter]

You don't understand, Aaron.

If we go ahead
and fix this house

at anything more
than Delaney's prices,

we can't afford the mortgage.

Hey, it's country rustic,
I can live with it.

[Kim] Mom, I'm ready!

[knocking on door]


Hey, looks like dinner.

No, no, it's fine.
Come on in.


Are you hungry?
There's plenty.

[Jack] No, no, no,
I'm fine, thanks.

I just wanted to apologize
for this afternoon.

I got kind of amped.

I just don't like seeing people
taken advantage of.

Guy was a jerk.

Are you sure you don't want
a coffee or something?

No, no. I'm fine, really.

[Kim] Mom, come on!

Yeah, go ahead
and fill the tub, honey.

[water running]

I wanna run your job.

Take over as contractor.

-Oh, I've built houses before.

But I'm not asking you
to take that on face value.

We'll take it one day at a time,

and if you're satisfied,
fine, if not...

Um, that--
that's a very nice offer.

You're kind of
in the lurch here, and...

well, I guess
I feel responsible for that.

I sure could use the money.

[Kim] Mommy!

Excuse me, I've gotta go
put her in the tub.

But we'll talk.

Say, why don't you take a break?

I want to show you
something outside.


It's beautiful.

It's amazing
what a can of Krylon

and a grease gun will do.

-Glad you like it.
-[window slides open]

[Katherine] All right.
Last chance.

Lasagna and Caesar salad.

Oh, well, if you insist,
I'd appreciate it.

[chuckles] Okay.

[truck reversing signal beeps]

[windows smash]

Hey, the Creepers a pack rat.

He keeps everything.

Pamela Martin's silver.

Maybe even the necklace.

And if we find the necklace,
it's ten grand, baby.

-You're outta your mind!
-[impersonates chicken]

Look, you saw what happened
the other night, okay?

Guy pulled a knife on us!

It got a little close
for comfort.

It's different,
you'll have plenty of warning.

As soon as Wimp sees him,
he screams his head off

and you're out of there.

He's going inside,
what're you gonna do?

Ten grand, huh?

You can rent
every video ever made.

I want fifty per cent
of the whole deal, then I'm in.

Wait a minute! Hetty!

It's my butt, freeze-dry.

All you gotta do
is run around with his backpack.

That's bull, I...

Fine. It's your gig.
Good luck.

Wait a minute.


[Aaron] Cool, let's do it.

Hetty, Hetty!
We're getting ripped off!

[metallic jangling]



Hey, Creeper!
Does this look familiar?

You want this?
Come get it!

-Come on, Creeper!

[Patrick] Come on, Creeper!

[Patrick] Aaron, go! Hurry up!

What're you waiting for?

Use your flashlight.




The Creeper's got him!

Come on, let's get outta here.

Who's gonna pay for him?

Three for a dollar.

But only on Tuesdays.

[in deep voice]
Fella, you got a big thirst?

Have you got a big thirst?


Now, if I could, you know,
just find that bar.

Who does he think he is?

[imitating woman]
I wanna call the police on you.

You are disgusting.

[normal voice] Disgusting!


Three for a dollar.

Right where it goes.

But who knows who sews?

Or someone else dies.

Have you gotta big thirst?

Three for a dollar.

-But only on Tuesdays.


Who sews?

-[Aaron] I'm home.
-[Katherine] Aaron?

Where have you been?

Aaron, what happened?

Who put this on you anyway?

Sure doesn't look like
any doctor's work

I've ever seen.

Aaron, who put this on you?

Oh, my God! This is awful.

Let me see.

You got these skipping stones?

That's as bad as I wanna be.

Very funny.

All right, Aaron,
I want the truth.



Hatchet throwing contest.

Joke. It was a joke, Mom.

Very funny.

I was just screwing around
in a junk yard and I fell.


Oh, yeah?

I don't want you going out
at night anymore.

-Well, it appears to be

-very dangerous.
-You're joking, right?

No, I am not!
Especially in junkyards.

[Aaron] Hello?

We just talked business.

Anyways, he says he can do it.

We don't even know the guy

and now he's renovating
our house.

And that's all
he's doing, Aaron.

Look, we're gonna take it
a step at a time, all right?

And so far, I'd say

the guy's doing
a pretty good job.

So, give him a break, okay?

Well, I guess
I oughta wait and see

what the other guy looks like.


The guy that gave you
that on your head.

No one gave me this to me.

Well, that's a big job,

varnishing the staircase
and the newel post.

Newel? Weird word.

Yeah, I guess it is
when you think about it.

You know, uh...

I appreciate you
giving me a chance here.

Well, hey, it's not my house,
it's my mom's.

Yeah, well,
it was your call, too.

You know, it's pretty obvious...

your mom looks up to you.

So does your sister.

I can see why they look to you.

But at the same time,

it's no picnic,
being the man of the house.

It's tough enough
when you're grown up...

but at your age,
without a father...

Oh, expectations and pressure.

It can't be a whole heck
of a lot of fun.

What about your dad?

My daddy hung in there
till I was about nine.

Then, one day, he just...

Let's see, what's the line?

skipped the light fantastic
right out of town.

Skipped the light fantastic.

[scoffs] I always loved that.

What about your old man?

He died when I was about six.

Anyone after him?


Well, there was one guy, but...

he didn't last long.

He was a real jerk to my mom.

[whispers] Ah.

Thanks for the bike.

[scoffs] Anytime, buddy.

You know...

sometimes you wanna leave
something behind. Just a...

sign or an emblem

to show that you were there.

Proves that you were
living there and...

doin' something worthwhile.

Look at that.


Lucky horseshoe, that's me.

I think it's a good idea.



[light hammering]

Where can I make my mark?


Not on your head.

[both chuckle]

[birds chirping]

[Katherine] Aaron.

I just got a call from Waller.

He said something about
the Creeper?

And about how some kid

was having nightmares
and told his father.

-[Waller] Go on, son.
-He grabbed me.


Like this.

[Patrick] Hey!

Is that when he lashed you
with the car antenna?

[Aaron] He didn't lash me
with a car antenna.

-That's what you said.
-Did not.

-Tell him about the knife.
-He knows about the knife.

I need to hear it from you, son.

He just tried to scare me
with it, that's all.

You saw this knife?

Gleaming in the moonlight.

[Wimpy] Tell him about
his breath,

being as hot as a blowtorch.

[Aaron] You're dreamin' again,

He didn't' really do anything
at all.

He's just a weird guy.

Find him.

Good night, Bob.
Thanks again.

He didn't do it.

I've seen weird people before,
really weird.

I'm from Chicago.

And I can always tell
which ones are scary...

and which ones
are just... weird.

-[Katherine] Jack, hi. Let's...
-[Jack] Woah!

-[Katherine giggles]
-[Jack] Watch your head!

You know him?

He's working on our house.



Pamela Martin's maid
said there was some man

working on the house

a couple of weeks
before the murder.

Never got a good look
at him though.

Did you question Jack?

Oh, yeah.

[Aaron] What'd he say?

He never laid eyes on her.


How's it goin'?

Got any more of that
green wood lately?

Well... now you got
someone new on the job.

Someone honest.

Someone you can trust.

Count the supplies, kid.

The new stuff arrives
at the job site,

count everything.

The paint, the wood,
the sheetrock.

'Cause all I know is,

every time I drive by
that place,

things seem a little low to me.

Oh, and your mom?

I'd watch out for her, too.

What do you know about him?

Aaron, don't change the subject.

No, no!
Why was he drivin' our van?

Or is that part of his salary?

Has he got keys
to the house?

The house
is under construction.

So he can come in here,
any time of the day,

day or night.

-[Aaron] No, Mom.

You want me to be careful, fine.
I'll be careful.

And how about you?

Aaron, is there something
you're not telling me?

That guy out there
is saving our bacon, all right?

So, before you crucify anybody,

you make darn sure
you know exactly who they are.

Wow, you sure you weren't in
the construction trade

in another life?

What'd Waller have to say?



Well, you guys were sure talking
for a long time about nothing.

You sure it didn't have
something to do

with that poor woman
who got herself murdered?

[bird cawing]

[Jack chuckling]
Small towns and small minds.

They questioned me for two hours

just 'cause I'm not
from around here.

Can you believe it?

So, you were a suspect?

Well, give the man a cigar!


Why'd the police
think you might've done it?

Oh, skip it.

I know all this stuff about
facing things and everything,

but, well, sometimes
it's better to just skip it.

You know, that business
with that weird guy

out at the automobile graveyard?

Eddie Lester?

Stay out of that.

I know these towns,
I know these people.

Just when you think

you understand
what's going on...

they get you in their web.

They want their meat, Aaron.

You let 'em have it.

You let 'em have it.

That's a shame. Chris said
the same thing, stuff's missing.

Not just supplies, but tools.

I knew stuff was missing.
I just knew it.

What do you know about this guy?


Not a thing.

Maybe it wasn't him.

No, these guys,
they're my friends.

I've known 'em my whole life.

They don't steal.

Hey, sorry I'm late.

This business with the numbers
just goes on and on.

Thanks for tucking her in.


I said I was sorry.

It's not that.

Well, if it's about Jack,
he's doing a great job.

I don't think he's doing
such a great job.

The guy's ripping us blind.

Tools are missing,
supplies disappearing...

Do you have any proof,
any reason to suspect--

People are coming to me,
all right?

And if you weren't so busy

having beers
with the guy all the time...

That's enough all right!

I'm sick and tired
of apologizing

for things
you know nothing about!

Are things getting bad again?

Not if I can help it.

So, is it true?

Are some things missing?


Did I steal anything?


Somehow, those two things
don't quite connect.

Well, I guess there's just
no question

about it then, is there?

What would that question be?

Can you trust me?

Come here.

[Katherine] Where are you
taking me?

[Jack] Behind the tree line.

You said
you wanted a greenhouse.

I've been workin' on it
when you're not here.

Where no one could see
what I was building.

[Katherine] Jack, I'm sorry.

Enjoy it.

He should have told us.
What's the big secret?



Hey! They got him cornered
down in the yard.

They got guns, SWAT team,
dogs, and everything.

It's gonna be great!
Come on, let's do it.

[dogs barking]

[Hetty] There he is!

See him?

-[dogs barking]
-[sirens blaring]

[indistinct chatter]

See him?

Oh, man, I have
a really bad feeling about this.

[police officer]
Fan out! Watch every vehicle!

[dogs barking]

[metallic jingling]

[indistinct chatter]

[officer 1] Did you see him?

[officer 2] Sarge, come on!
Sarge, over here!

Over here!

[officer] Send somebody
this way!

Come on.


No, stop! Stop! Stop!

Help me! Oh, stop!

No, no, no! No! No!
Hey! Hey!

[Eddie screams]

[dogs barking]

[officer] He's dead, chief.
Real dead.


[romantic music playing
in distance]

[romantic music becomes louder]


[boy] One, please.

Thanks a lot.

[Aaron] Two, please.

No, I'm tellin' you.

He kept the necklace
inside the potato sack!

[laughs] Can you imagine?

You keep all that junk
inside a washing machine?

-[Aaron] What necklace?
-[Hetty] Aaron?

Earth to Aaron.

[Aaron] Oh, sorry.

Popcorn. Large.

[Waller] So, what
are you saying, Aaron?

I'm saying
I think he was framed.

You nailed the wrong guy.

I'll tell you what I think.

You're freaked out,
your heart's pounding.

So, when you pull out that bag,

it coulda been filled
with barbells!

Besides, Lester's prints
are all over the stuff.

[Aaron] Oh, come on,

he was a pack rat,
everybody knew that.

I looked in his eyes.

Just like
I'm looking at you now.

And I saw...
he wasn't the killer.

At least I don't think so.

You seem pretty broken up
about this, Aaron, how come?

Because I helped kill him.


Oh, man!

There you go.

Pour me a coffee,
please, there, Terri.


[indistinct chatter
and laughter]

[upbeat music playing]


[man] Hi, house looks great.


[Katherine] Oh, hi. Come on in.

Glad you could make it.

[woman] Your house
looks wonderful.

[Katherine] Thanks.

[Hetty] Aaron, heard you went
to the cops yesterday.

Small town.


I got the dirt on Jack.

So, what'd you find out?

He was in trouble
a few years ago

in some town, south of here.


I heard it was a big deal.

There was a trial,

people thought
for sure he was guilty.

He got off. That's all I know.

[Waller] Right over here,

I got your number, Beldon,

or Lowe, whatever your name is.


All you got is a badge
and a lot of bad breath.

Well, I'm gonna get you.
Believe it.

And when I do, the only
renovation job you're gonna get

is a ten by ten-foot cell
you can really call home.

[chuckles] You got a charge,
make it.

Otherwise get out of my face.

[Jack grunts]

Go ahead,
don't let the badge stop you.

Yeah, right.

Let go of me, Waller.

You got Katherine fooled
and the kids,

but not me.

-You make one wrong move...
-[door closes]

-[crickets chirping]
-[dogs barking in distance]


[Aaron] Jim Lowe.



Hey, hot shot.
How you doing?

I was just doing a little favor
for your mom.

Boy, she and your sister,
they're quite the readers, huh?

Hey, I think you might need
a little more

light on the subject.

That's not good for your eyes.

[Hetty] Hey, Aaron!

Did you find that article
on largemouth bass fishing?

Hey, Hetty.

Gotta love those bass.

So, you guys goin' fishin', huh?

Huh, good luck.

[door closes]

[Hetty] First, they said
it was an accident.

Then the police said it wasn't.

But the gas line was cut

and the whole house
just blew up.

Everyone was killed.

Including his wife.

The lady had a lot of money

and he was in line
to get it all.

But there was something
in the will, some family thing,

and he didn't get a nickel.

-[Aaron] Oh, man.
-[indistinct chatter]

Coulda been an accident.


-[Aaron] Look at 'em.
-[indistinct chatter]

[Kim laughing]

You gotta tell her, Aaron.

[Kim squeals]

[librarian] Did you find
what you were looking for?

The other night.

[Aaron] Oh, yeah, um, thanks.

Good. I guess that
makes two of you.

Excuse me?

You and the other fellow.

He asked for the same newspaper,
same issue,

right after you left.

He, uh.. He didn't have

these cheesy tattoos
on his fingers, did he?

Yes, as a matter of fact,
he did.

[owl hoots]

[Hetty shuddering]
If we get caught,

are we gonna go to jail?

[Aaron] We're not
gonna get caught.

The cops thought he was here
before the murder,

but he denied it,
and they couldn't prove it.

[Hetty] But why
do we have to go inside, Aaron?

This is where she died.

[Aaron] He leaves this thing
at the bottom of the staircase.

The newel. He leaves
his "sign", his "emblem".

You're not talking about
a dead body.

No, no, it's, uh,
it's his little secret.

[sighs] All right,
so we break in,

check the bottom
of the staircase or whatever,

and if it's there, what?

He was here.

[Aaron] Careful.
Watch your hands on the glass.

I don't like this.

And I don't like that.


He wasn't here.
Let's go.


Will you just hurry up?

I'm hurrying, okay?

Let's go.


Why don't we just leave?

Lucky horseshoe. That's Jack.

Who's that?

Oh, my God, Aaron.
He followed us.


Is he-- Oh, my God,
is he gonna kill us?

No, let's go.

-[Aaron] You first.
-[Hetty] No, you!

-[Aaron] You.
-[Hetty] Go!

[Aaron whispering] Come on!

Head for town.

-[Nichols] Hey!
-[Aaron] Too late!

-You little punks.

[Aaron] We were just
fooling around, okay?

[Hetty] You know,
haunted houses. Woooo!

I dare ya, I double dare ya.

Get a load of them.

I know what you think
of me, Aaron.

I know what you think
of this entire town.

But we're investigating
a murder here.

So, can the attitude, okay?

Why are you here?

[Nichols] House is under

Oh, really?

You were right, Aaron.
It wasn't Eddie Lester.

[Waller] Aaron...

you, your mother,
and your sister

are in grave danger.

I can't help you
unless you help me.

[Nichols] Uh,
where're you goin'?

Don't we get one phone call?

Your mom's boyfriend was here
before the murder.

And your point being?

You're quite a detective.

So, how do you know
it wasn't Lester?

We had forensics do a test
on the silver.

They found some
circular brush marks

that only a power buffer
could have made.


So, Pamela Martin's maid
polished the silver by hand.

And I doubt very seriously

that Eddie Lester
was into power tools.

Doesn't mean it was Jack.

Maybe not.
But the buffer had a flaw,

they think it was
a burnt bearing.

The scratches were all wavy.

Yeah? So what?

So, you match the buffer

to the swirl marks
on the silver...

It's like a finger print.

What you say you and me
have a private chat?

Doesn't anyone care
what I think?

[Waller] Not really, sit down.

You weren't supposed to hear
that last part.

That's strictly conjecture.

My lips are sealed.

Well, that's not
what I'm talking about.

I don't want you
poking around anymore,

trying to find any more
of your evidence.

Jack Beldon may
have murdered two women.

I want you to think about that.

I know the type.

They make themselves
into exactly what you want,

what your mother wants.

They got eyes, Aaron,
growing out the back of here.

So, I'm telling you again,
just stay out of it, okay?

If you ever see anything weird
or outta the ordinary

or even if you just wanna talk,

you give me a call.

-[party horns blare]

Thank you.

Ooh, this looks very enticing.

This box.


That is... Oh, it's beautiful.
Thank you.

[Katherine] Hey.

Okay, Aaron,
come on, let's have it.

I can take it.

[Aaron] It's his whole deal.

It's not right.
It never was right.

I mean, one minute
he's working on our house

and the next he's in our house
and our lives.

You don't know him.

-And you do.
-[Aaron] Nobody does.

Aaron, come here for a sec.

Come here.

You're afraid.
I mean, I'm afraid--

No, no, you're not.

Not the way you should be.

I love him, Aaron.

I mean,
can't you understand that?



Mom, I have to tell you

Honey, I have something
I'd like to tell you.

Jack's asked me to marry him.

[Aaron] What?

And what did you say?

I said yes.

I love him, Aaron.
I love him so much.

[audience] Woah!


Is that all you can say?


I'm gonna tell her,
I just gotta do it right.

Well, how 'bout this. "

"Hey, Mom, Mr. Perfect
slays widows for breakfast."

We don't know that, Hetty.
Not for sure.

Sometimes he seems like--
He seems like a really nice guy.

I'm gonna do it, okay?
I just wanna know for sure.

He just started his new job,

and they're still tearing down
the place, right?

So, he leaves most of his tools
in the garage and greenhouse.

And when he does he leave?

-[clicks fingers]

[wolf howls]

[sighs] No buffer.


[drill whirrs]

Oh, God, Aaron.

Hetty, out.

[Aaron] You lied to the police,


You were at Pamela Martin's.

Don't deny it!

Aaron, I didn't have anything
to do with that.

You lied!

Who else knows, Aaron?
Besides you and Hetty.

Come on, now, Aaron.
Who else knows?


He's got you spying on me now,
doesn't he?

Woah! Come here, now.

Before you go
jumping to conclusions...

I want you
to remember one thing:

these small town cops
are all snakes, Aaron,

I mean that.

A safe full of goodies?
A cop everybody trusts?

He steals it.

Then when the heat's on,
he plants it on Eddie Lester.

Oh, come on, now,
that is an option, isn't it?

Aaron, Aaron, listen.
You gotta believe me.

I didn't have anything to do
with Pamela Martin, nothing!

Oh, come on, Aaron.
You can't give in to 'em.

They'll twist your head around
'til you start seein' things

that aren't even there.

They'll call you paranoid,
oh, yeah, you're seeing things.

Only the sick thing is,

the sick thing is
you start believing them.

Then the knives come out.

And every fear, every hatred
you ever had

is pointing you
right in the back.

Come on, Aaron,
don't plant the seed.


[announcer] Next up
for the time trials

is newcomer, Aaron Tomlinson.

This is his time trial run.

[Hetty] You have to brake
as soon as you let off the gas,

then gun it into the curve.

-Don't wimp out...
-[engine rumbling]

...because you'll get
into more trouble on the drift

then you would
with strong acceleration.

[indistinct chatter
on loudspeaker]

I don't see your mom.

Well, you know,
I decided it'd be best if...

Look, I didn't tell her, okay?
She'd totally freak out.

So, Jack came instead?

-Jack's here?
-Over by the far turn.

Better go. Ready?

-[Aaron] Go! Go!

Well, Tomlinson's on his way!

And it looks like
a good start, too.

[engines roar]

[announcer] Tomlinson's into
the far turn

with what might
be a winning time.

Brake, brake.

[Aaron] Come on. Come on.

-[engine roars]

[announcer] Looks to me

like Tomlinson's having some
kind of trouble on...


[announcer] Oh, my goodness,
is there a doctor in attendance?

Can we get a doctor

in the far turn bank


[announcer] Is there a doctor
in attendance?

[Patrick] Hey, buddy!
Buddy! Are you okay?

[Hetty] Aaron! Aaron!

[water trickling]


[Kim sighs]

I'm going to put you
in a magic circle, Aaron.

Then you'll be all better.

Then there won't be any more
bad things happening.

Not to you, or me,

or any mean old boyfriends
for mommy.



I'm coming. I'm coming.

Eggs, bacon, chewy, not crispy.

Welcome back, stranger.

-[Katherine giggles]

How you feeling?

[Katherine] What's the matter?

Get... him... out of here.

Honey, Jack's just concerned
about you.

[Katherine] One more.

-There you go.
-[spoon clinks]

You try and get some sleep,


[Katherine] Yeah,
what's the matter?

He tried to kill me.



The brakes didn't just go out,
somebody cut them.

It was a setup,
like everything else.

Now, there are things I know
and there are things

he doesn't want you to know.

About his past,
about what happened to him.

He was married before.

Yes and she got killed,
maybe even murdered.

He was under suspicion.
The cops thought he did it.

Now, Mom,
you have to believe me.

You have to.
I'm not making any of this up.

I swear to God, I swear.

It's all there,
and it's all in the papers.

My God, Aaron,
don't you think I already know?

I know everything.

And it doesn't matter.

Aaron, honey,
you have got to let go.

-This pain, this paranoia.
-What about Pamela Martin?

He was there before she died.
He lied to the police.

He was a suspect.
He's the only suspect.

-But Eddie Lester--

-Oh, God.
-By Jack.

Mom, it's not me saying it!
It's the cops. Call them.

Go ahead, call them.

Call them.

He had to.


He had to, Aaron.
What else could he have done?

-No, listen to me.

You know his past.

You saw what they did
to that homeless man.

Aaron, think about it.

What would you have done?

He had to.

I'm really tired.
I'm gonna get some sleep.


I'm really tired.

Honey, please.


[Waller] Glad you called, Aaron.

[Waller] Plane flies in
from the coast,

dips down inside the canyon,
and it's invisible to radar.

And down there,
that's where they landed.

Where they unloaded,
and picked up the drugs.

See, you can even see
the tire tracks.

Pamela Martin?

Well, we checked her safe,

We found traces of cocaine.

She had a pilot's license.
This is her land.

During Prohibition, they used to
run rum right along this river.

I guess they
just sort of updated it.

Never really made sense
to me, you know,

someone killing for some silver
and a few Krugerrands.

Unless there was something else
in that safe.

Something a lot more valuable.

[birds cawing]

Was that an accident?

I don't know.

Don't know
about anything anymore.

Or anybody.

We're close, Aaron.

A piece or two more
and we can arrest him.

Can you hold up?

Yeah. Yeah, I think so.

You got my card.

You gonna be home tonight?

Yeah. Simpsons are on.

You shouldn't have told her,

Now you planted a seed.

That seed's gonna grow.

It always does.

Why did you do it?


We had something, all of us.

I mean, you knew it, we...

We had something perfect.

You know what?

We're puppets.

Yeah, you and me, we're puppets.

You're the victim
and I'm the killer.

But I'm not the one
pulling the strings. Understand?

Now, we gotta stick together,
you and me.

If we can't trust each other...

we're dead.

All right?

All right, go on.



Oh, God.


[hissing continues]

[Aaron screams] Mom!

[indistinct chatter on radio]

[woman] What are all
these cops doing?

[officer] Hey, look at this.

Over here, I found something.

[Katherine] It's gonna be okay,

We'll get another bird, okay?

It's okay, Kim.
You'll be okay.

We'll take you
to Terri's place.

You'll be safe there.

You can rest at my place.

[siren blares]

Half an hour ago,
Jack Beldon was pulled over.

He ran.

They think he's headed
for the border.

Hey. Hey.

Aaron, you gotta hold together.

Your mom and your sis
are depending on you.


Well, the doctor
gave your mother

something to help her sleep.
She was pretty upset.

We figured this was as good
a place as any

to keep an eye on everybody.

Terri says she's got
everything under control.

You can stay here
as long as you want.


Oh, Aaron.

You were right.

You were right all along.
I'm so sorry.

It doesn't matter, Mom.

It doesn't matter.
Not anymore. Just go to sleep.

I love you.

I love you too, Mom.

Take it easy, Aaron.


Cheap buttons.

Terri, sew that on for me,
would you?

[Terri] Yeah, later.

[Eddie] Who knows? Who sews?

Mom. Mom. Guess what!
You know what?

I think it could be one of them.

Or it could be all of them.

Mom, Mom, please wake up!

Please! Oh, God.

She needs her sleep, Aaron.

[Waller] Aaron.

I'm going to be heading off now.

If you need anything,
anything at all...

you just ask Terri.

Hey, how about
some milk and cookies, okay?

Come on.

[ringing tone]

Come on, Hetty.
Come on.

-[Hetty] Hello?
-Yeah, Hetty, it's me.

Aaron, I beat up Patrick today.

What? Why?

[Hetty] He was the one
that cut the brake line

on the go-cart.

-You sure?
-He confessed.

Listen, Aaron,
I'm sorry about everything.

-It's okay, just--

This line is for official
police business only.

-[dialing tone]

Chocolate chip?



I like things neat.

I notice when things
are out of place.

Just like you.

I'm gonna get some sleep,
I'm really tired.

Oh, come on.

Stay and keep me company.
Come on.

Just for a bit.

Yeah, it's the details.

It's those little things
that slip by.

She was from the city.

She bought a big hunk
of property.

Wanted to play the country girl.

And it was perfect.

Except for a stupid plane

that buzzed by
every once in a while.

Yeah, that's how it all started.

She complains to Waller,
and, of course,

I'm the one who gets stuck
with going out there.

We'll just send dumb ol' Terri!

I told her
there was nothing unusual.

Guess what?

She decides to play detective.

Just like you.

You know, I believe the term
is eminent domain.

I had been using that strip
for years,

long before she ever showed up.

I wasn't hurting anyone.

But new owners...

they can get pretty nosy.

She actually hid in the bushes
with binoculars,

can you believe it?

Yeah, she takes down
my license number.

If her horse hadn't snorted,
I'd be doing forty right now.

-[Aaron] Help!

Somebody help!

-[Arron] Help! Help!

Children, playing cops.

Help! Help!

[Jack] Aaron!

The only one in this entire town

who knows the truth...
is you, Aaron!

Help me!


-[handcuffs clicking]

I didn't want to kill her.
She made me.

Come on.




Mommy! Mommy!
You gotta wake up!

-Aaron, he's in trouble!

"I didn't hear him leave.
I was sleepin'.

Jeez, I'd been up all night,
I had to sleep.

He looked up to you,
Chief Waller.

Where were you?
He needed you,

you weren't there."

That's good.

[laughs] That's good.

We're gonna have the whole town

guilty as can be
by the time I'm through.







No! Please!





[sirens blare]

No! It's her, she's got the boy!

[Aaron] Jack!

-Don't shoot!

-[glass smashes]
-[Aaron] Jack!



[Jack] Trying to stop it!


[Aaron] Jack!
Jack, are you all right?


[engine stops]

Stay put!
I'm gonna get you outta there.

[Waller] Careful, I don't know
how to operate this thing.

Aaron, can you open that window?

Now, give me your hand,
I'll pull you outta there.

Come on.

You know, I don't think I can.

Come on, Aaron.

Trust me.

There you go.

All right. That's it! That's it!

There we go!


Good. All right,
we jump on three.

One, two, three, jump!


Hey, how ya doin'? You okay?


I'm sorry.
I'm sorry I never believed you.

It's okay.

Everything's gonna be okay
from now on.

[engine rumbles]

Look out!

[birds chirping]

Polly, here's the thing.

It's a wonderful town,

and the people here
are really nice.

It'll just take a while
to get used to them.

Trust me.

[groans] That oughta do it.

She should stop on a dime now.

[Hetty] Thanks, Jack.

[Aaron] Thanks, Jack.
That's great.


[engine rumbles]

[Aaron] Woo!