01x06 - You Promised

Episode transcripts for this TV show, "Black Bird." Aired: July 8, 2022 – present.*
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Mini-series about a true story of convicted drug dealer Jimmy Keene who is offered his freedom in exchange for coaxing a confession out of suspected serial k*ller.
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01x06 - You Promised

Post by bunniefuu »

[Big Jim grunting, laughing]


[breathes shakily]

[Big Jim] My old man used to say
he wanted me to better myself.

[kisses] I love you.

[Big Jim]
But I could see in his eyes he didn't.

[raspberry, scoffs] "Better myself."


- No. [chuckles]
- I got you.

Nice, Jimmy. Way to get off the line.


- [grunts]
- [Big Jim] Oh!

- [Young Jimmy giggling]
- [Big Jim] Gremlin.

[Big Jim]
You know what they never tell you?

They don't tell you
that the love of your life…

could be your child.

Are you a thr*at to the mental health
of any of my patients?

[distorted] Are you a thr*at?
Are you a thr*at? Are you a thr*at?

[normal] Hi. Where are you heading off to?

[breathes shakily] Just gonna go home.

You can't. You promised.

I never promised anything.

You did.

You did.

You promised.

[Jessica gasps]


[Larry] Hey, James.


[Big Jim] Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

[Larry] James.


[exhales sharply]

- Hey, James.
- [laughing]



[Larry chuckles]

You were having some dream.

Did I say anything?

No. But it did make me think
that my stories yesterday

may have given you some nightmares.


That's what they are.

Sometimes I do that.

Lie to your friends?


What? No. No.

Well, you just said you lied to me.

So either you lie to your friends,

or you lie to people
who aren't your friends,

which pretty much tells me
where I stand either way.

That's not it.


All right, um… All right, look, it's...

Relax, Larry. I'm not surprised.

What are you... What are you saying?

I guess if I'd given it more thought,
I would have realized you were lying.

It's not lying. It's storytelling.
I'm not a liar. I'm a raconteur.

[spits] Look, whatever.

Your details were off,
and God's in the details.

[toothbrush scrubbing]

Okay. What "details?"

- You said you grew up digging graves.
- I did.

Yet you didn't dig one for Jessica Roach.

That's how I know you're full of sh*t.

Then you would know
that you need to dig a grave

in the right kind of soil.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And it's hard to find in the dark.

Of course.

And this man, he pulled up
on the road across from my van.

Yeah, that guy. He keeps showing up.

I meant to go back.

I just didn't have the time to do it.

Larry. It's okay.

- It's not.
- It's fine.

Everybody in here tells stories.
I tell everybody I played for OSU...

It's not!



Hmm. [chuckles]

I'm telling the truth.

You just said it was a story.

That was the lie.

Oh, that was?



I'm not lying, James.

[breathes shakily]

You're not a k*ller, man.

[mouths words] I am.

I've looked into the eyes of a few.

And you don't have those eyes.

What eyes do I have?

A wannabe's.

- Meet me in the woodshop later.
- Why?


I wanna show you what kind of eyes I have.

[Holt] Chow, maggots.


[guard] Shut the f*ck up!



[grunting rapidly]

You could always request PC.

[radio chatter]

Might as well open up, Jim.

Mind if I come in?

I'd rather come out.

Where's your girlfriend?

Is he the one you're supposed to rat on?

Cause I... I would support that.

A kid k*ller? You kidding me, Jim?
I would have your back on that.

- Yeah?
- I'd be your true blue, bud.

What would it cost me?



Some things are bigger than us

and we can all agree
that f*ck has to get got.

[inmate screaming]

[inmate laughing]

So who would we be working for?

You mean who am I working for?

Yes, but we'd be in this together.

A-And maybe, if I did good,
it would be like an audition for me.

And I can get a job with the Marshals.

Well, if I was working for the Marshals,

So who you working for?


I tell you what, Mr. Carter.


You call off the dogs for a week...

Ooh, uh. Why would I do that, Jim?

- So I know you can.
- And you'll do what?

- Tell you who I'm working for.
- So, tell me.

A week from now.
If I'm still walking upright.

[Carter laughs]

That's not... That's not…

That's not how our relationship works,

I don't think you can call anyone off.

How you gonna call me off you?

Well, you f*cked with my phone calls.

And you already put a snitch jacket on me.

What else you gonna do?

- You don't wanna find that out.
- Yeah.

I do.



Okay then.

Enjoy your day.

Savor it.

- [Big Jim] I was on the phone.
- [Sammy] Yep.

- On hold for three f*cking hours.
- [chuckles]

Three hour... [stammers]

I didn't even know that if it's...
if it's breakfast or-or lunch anymore.

- It's... It's lunch.
- Ooh, ah.

[sighs] And all-all...

- Here you go.
- [stammers]

All to tell me to call back tomorrow
to talk... to talk to the one guy,

the one guy who... who, uh, can let me know
why Jimmy's funds were frozen.

Well, you know,
maybe you could drive out there again

and sit and stare at the prison.

Come on. Stop.


This is f*cking serious.

I know. Uh, what are you having?


Ch... A churger.

- What?
- [stammers] The cheeserburger.

No, you said "churger."

- I did?
- Yeah.

Hi, folks.
Can I get you something to start?

Oh, hi. Uh, yeah. I'll have ice tea.



A... A coff of cuppee,
and-and-and-and a churger.

Uh... Uh... The... The...
I don't know, the cheese... Ow. f*ck.

Call . He's having a stroke.

- Oh. Oh, God.
- What?

- .
- [server] Okay.


It's okay. It's okay. Okay. Okay. Okay.

- Oh, God.
- [coughing]

[Sammy] !

[Mr. Gigante clears throat]

Good friend of mine
got the pancreatic cancer.

Doctor said he'd be d*ad in four months.

A week later he slipped walking up
some icy steps of a church, mind you,

and h*t his f*cking head.

d*ed right there in front
of his wife, one of his kids.

Know what his last words were

before he bled out all over the steps
of St. Augustine's?

[breathes heavily]

"You just… never f*cking know."


[Larry sighs]

[Larry chuckles]

Oh, how'd you get in here?

Door was open.


What you working on?

[Larry sighs]

[Larry] James.

[sighs, chuckles]

I finished them.

Twenty-one? Why?

Um, because I like to carve.

No. Why ?

Why not or an even two dozen?


Like, I carve well. See?

It's too bad I don't paint well.

I'll leave that to Gary.

Gary paints them black.

Blacker than any black you've ever seen.

Shipping these to Gary?

Home, yeah.

Do you know what they're for, James?


They watch over the d*ad.

They guard their spirits

to make sure they're okay.

These are the eyes you wanted me to see?

Well, there's these too.

[both chuckle]


You know, James.

You thinking that I was a liar,

that made me sick to my stomach.

Because then maybe you'd think
that I don't take what I do seriously.

[smacks lips] There's a... a... a care
that should be taken.

That's what I'm saying.
It shouldn't be casual.

You know, not like your women…
[chuckles] …you've been with.

No. I'm sorry to say,

but you probably don't remember
some of their names.

Maybe their body parts start to blur.

Am I wrong?

It was just sex, Larry.

[chuckles] Oh, it's never just sex.

Never just anything.

[chuckles] Every interaction you have
with a person means something.

We... We... That's what we owe to the…

to the... the world.

To history.

Sometimes it's just sex.

No. [chuckles]

If every interaction
with another person had the same weight

we'd all go insane, Larry.

No. You f*cking hear me?

No, no, no, no, no.

Shut the f*ck up and listen to me.

We are part of something.

I am a part of something.

When I folded those clothes,

that was an act of kindness from a... a…

a deity. [chuckles]

Whose clothes?

Who are we talking about?


Tricia Reitler's.

[inhales deeply]
Everyone was looking for her.

They still are.

She got in your van too?

She was a handful.

She punched like a man.

And I didn't wanna s*ab her, James.

I didn't s*ab her…
because I was going to s*ab her.

I stabbed her
to stop her from hitting me. Man.

[scoffs, sighs]

But that didn't work.

She just kept on trying to hurt me.

I had to choke her.

You stabbed her and choked her?

Such a nasty f*cking girl.

I must have passed out.
When I woke up, there she was lying there.

Naked and all.

No pulse.

But to your point, James. To your point…

I did dig her grave.

I know you made fun of me earlier.

But I've dug hundreds of graves
since I was a child.

Probably more than you've had women.

I-I-I'm serious. I-I have...
I have dug more than you've…

[breathes heavily]

Was that ?


I've dug more than you've f*cked.

I've dug in the cold.
I've dug in the boiling heat.

I've dug in the rainfall.

It turned the soil into oatmeal.

I know a good grave.

I do, James.

And Tricia's was one of the best
I ever did.

No one will ever find that one.

But you know where it is.

I know where all of them are.

Everybody wants the same thing
in this life.

To be seen.

Well, I see them, James.

I give them that.

And so long as my life continues on,
theirs has meaning.

It has...

[guard] Five minutes, guys.

[Larry sighs]

You... You could do more.

I don't follow.

You could give them peace,

their families anyway.

You could give them the map.

[chuckles] The map?


But why?

So they could sleep.

Bury their d*ad.

If... If...
If you've given them their peace,

and you've given the daughters your, um…

Your, uh... your...

If I give them my... my seeing...
my witness.

Then everything will be okay.

Everything is okay. Everything is bliss.

[stammers] If you...
If you've given them your... your seeing

then the parents would have the, uh,

the... the knowing
of... of where their girls are.

They could move on.

James, you're not thinking clearly.

If I did that,
then I would never get out of here.

Hmm? You cou... you could.

Wh... What if someone could send the...

the… [stammers] …locations of the girls
to the authorities, like, anonymously?


They just did.

Then the... the families would know.
They would have that.

But why should they have that?

B... Because they're probably hurting
pretty bad, Larry.



[giggling] James, James. James.

You're f*cking with me.
You're always f*cking with me.

Just like Gary.

Oh, my God. Mmm…

You gotta give these people some release.

What did you say? Say that again?

[breathes shakily]

Give these people some release.



Because, James,
I'm going to win my appeal.

And I'm going walk right out those doors
and keep on living my life.


You're not gonna win your appeal.

No f*cking way!

James, why are you acting...

You'll never get out of here.

You k*ll children
who cry for their mothers.

You demented f*cking monster!

Beau... Beaumont sent you, didn't he?

He did, didn't he?

- Beaumont, sent you!
- Guard!

Beaumont sent you.

Beaumont sent you, didn't he?

- [guard] Hey!
- You f*ck!


- f*ck you!
- [guard ] Break it up!

You c**t f*cking whore!

Beaumont sent you! f*ck you!

Go f*ck your mother!

I know
you've already f*cking thought about it!

- [guard] Settle down!
- f*ck!

[radio chatter]

[Jimmy] I need to talk to Dr. Zicherman.

- [guard] Mm-hmm.
- [Jimmy] No, tonight.

[guard] Ain't happening.

[Jimmy] How about a phone call?
Just a quick one.

[guard scoffs]
Phone call? Convict, please.

Ain't no phone call happening either.

[Jimmy] Please.

[guard] Look, I'll hook you up
in the morning. All right?

[Jimmy] Thank you.

[buzzer sounds, doors open]

[guard announcing on PA]

[buzzer sounds]

[breathes shakily]

- No. I need Dr. Zicherman.
- Calm down.

- Get me Dr. Zich... No!
- [guard ] Come on.

His number is - - - - - - .

His number is - - - - - - .

That's it! That's all I need. That's it!

- - - - - - .

No. Okay. Just let me talk to the warden.

- Let me talk to the f*cking warden!
- Shut the f*ck up!

- Shut the f*ck up!
- No! No! No!

- Get in.
- [Jimmy shouting]

- [guards grunt]
- [Jimmy yelps]

No! No! No! No!

Hey. Hey. I just need a pencil.

[guard ] If you want another blanket,
another pillow, more toilet paper,

you gotta do us a huge favor
and shut the f*ck up, Convict.

No. No, I...

- [ventilator pumping]
- [heart rate monitor beeping]

[door opens]

[pants] I need a pen. A pencil.
A f*cking crayon, anything!

Come back, please!

Please, come back! [sighs]

- [footsteps approaching]
- [keys jangling]

[hatch opens]

If I could just use a pencil.

You can even stand here with me
while I use...

[inmate chatters, laughs]

[inmate shouting]

[Larry] Bodily fluids, they all...

They all serve, like,
a different function, every one of them.

Like, saliva has one purpose,
and blood another.


[breathing heavily]



He do that all day?


[Brian sighs] That much to burn, huh?

Sometimes, yeah.
Just scrub, lots of d*ad flowers.

Mostly, though, he's just in the habit.
Likes staring into the f*re, drinking.

We met a few years ago.

- I remember.
- Yeah.

Remember her too.

Brian Miller.

Lauren McCauley, FBI.
I didn't think you lived here anymore.

I don't.

Come back to help out now and again.

You do something different with your hair?


[Gary] Color it? Nothing?


You look good.

That's nice of you to say, Gary.
Maybe we could all talk inside?

You got a warrant?

Then enjoy the fresh air.

Got manners around here.

[liquid pours]


You're welcome.

You already got him locked up
the rest of his life.

Not if he makes his appeal.

[Gary] Yeah.

Well, you ain't never had sh*t on him
but a lot of conjecture.

No, we got two confessions.

Yeah, "coerced" was the word
his lawyer used.

One court's agreed.
You wouldn't be here bothering us

if you didn't think his second appeal's
gonna go the same way.

And then he'll be back home.


[Lauren] Up to his old tricks.

He'll get his old job back and be fine.

Yeah. Maybe meet a nice girl,
settle down, raise a family.


- What?
- [Gary] Just don't.

- [Brian] Don't what?
- Don't make fun of me and mine.

- No one's making fun of you, Gary.
- No, sure you are. Talking sh*t.

"Larry's gonna live a normal life.
Have a wife and kids."

What makes you think he won't?

[chuckles] Yeah. Yeah, you want me to say

because my brother ain't capable
of having a normal home life,

that means he kills people?

Well, does he?

Look, Larry's done
some terrible things, sure. Who hasn't?

But he ain't never k*lled no one.

He's just so desperate
someone see him once in his life.

See him as a what?

[Gary] A person.

Someone who can be funny,
smart, f*cking helpful to people.

I know you love your brother, Gary,
but he k*lled those girls.


I think you know that.



That's for you.

These, mine.

He's the person in those pictures,
not some beast.

Go on, look through it.

[guard] You've been quiet.
We reward quiet.

You need anything? Anything at all?

But don't say a pencil.


I'm not crazy
like some of the people in here.

[guard] You never struck me that way.

I was sent here
to get a confession from Inmate Hall.

[guard] What kind of confession?

[Jimmy] He kills girls.

I was sent here to find out
where he buries them,

and I saw a map and I...

- [guard] Who sent you to do this?
- The FBI.

- [guard] The FBI.
- [Jimmy] Yes.

- I have to get a message to them.
- [guard] To the FBI?

[Jimmy] Yes. [breathes shakily]

Before I can't remember
where the bodies are.

Before I can't help the parents. [crying]

[sobs] Before I'm no use.

- [guard] Your name's Jim, right?
- Yes, Jimmy.

- Yes.
- [guard] Jimmy.

Don't you ever say "FBI" to me again.
You hear me?

- f*cking answer me.
- Yes, I hear you.

[Brian] Like you guys
in these soapbox cars you made.

What are you, ?


Yeah, Larry made those.
Man's a magician with anything mechanical.

[Brian] Mmm.


[Lauren] Where'd your dad go?

Mmm. f*ck knows. Wandering, drinking.

Pinching a watch off a corpse.
sh*t like that.

[Brian] Your mom? She still with us?

Yeah, she's inside.

Gotta... Can't get around much no more.

She got the bed and the Barcalounger
and a toilet in the same room.

Works for her.

[Brian] Sick?


[Lauren] Hmm.

What "terrible things?"

You said, "We've all done terrible things,
even Larry."

I was just wondering
what those things were.

So you can arrest him for something else?

[Lauren] No, I was just wondering, Gary.

Oh, you ain't never done nothing terrible
in your life? You above all that?

[Lauren] You weren't talking about
general things I could have done, Gary.

You were talking about
a specific thing Larry did.


Picked up this hitchhiker once.

Was years ago.
Ten, , something like that.

Anyway, she got drunk, you know?
And I wanted her to take Larry's cherry.


So, yeah.

When she was feeling no pain,

I… fooled around with her a little bit,

and then Larry took his turn.

Yeah. So, we were sharing this tent

because we had a reenactment nearby
the next day.

Anyway, I was too f*cked up
to leave the tent,

so I just figured I'd pass out before
Larry really started getting into it.

You know, sometimes a girl says "no"
but her body's saying "yes"?

You know, man. You know how it is?

But with Larry, when this girl said "no,"
she g*dd*mn meant it.

And I see him
over on his side of the tent with her,

and he looks like...
like some kind of wolf.

You know, like he might actually
rip her throat out with his teeth.

Instead, he…

h*t her a bunch of times.

Choked her a bit.

Like, spit on her.

Called her a bunch of names until he came.

What were you doing during all this?

[Gary scoffs]
I was, like, in shock. You know?


[Gary] And she's lying there afterwards,

and I see this look
Larry gets in his eyes.

[Brian] What kind of look?

Kind you never wanna see.

And I said... I said, "Don't."

Larry looked at me and...

He knew what I was saying.
I knew what I was saying.

That... That poor girl, she f*cking knew.

Eventually Larry passed out.

I sat up the rest of the night,

in case he woke up
with that idea still in his head.

But he just kept sleeping, snoring away.

Next morning,
the girl went out with some biker.

You know, I always felt like I f*cked up.

I introduced him to, you know,
sex in the wrong way,

with the wrong woman. So, I…

So maybe that's why
he got a taste for k*lling them?

[Brian] That one thing
didn't make your brother a k*ller.

- I never said he was a k*ller.
- [Lauren] But you knew.

I don't. I di-didn't.

You've always known.

[Brian sighs]



If your brother gets out,

and he moves back in here,

and he gets his old job back,

and life goes back to the way it was…

are you gonna be able to stay up
every night for the rest of your life

to make sure your brother stays
where you can see him?


[guard] Hey, Jimmy. Come on.

- Come on. Need help here.
- [Jimmy grunts]

[guard] Come on. There you go.

- They were supposed to tell me, Jimmy.
- What?

While I was on vacation. If you asked
for me, they were supposed to tell me.

I need a pen.

Okay. Listen, Dr. Hackett's actions
will be subject to review...

- That doesn't matter. I need a pen!
- Okay.

- Jimmy, we're gonna make this right.
- I... I need a pen.

I'll get some paper.

[breathing heavily]

[marker sketching]

What are the dots?

The bodies.


They're the bodies. There were .

- He had a map.
- Hall had a map?

Of all his d*ad. I saw it.
This is it, but this is sh*t.


- [crying]
- [Lauren] Jimmy.

We'll work this map, Jimmy.

[crying continues]

We'll see what we can do.

It'll help.

[Lauren sighs]

[Jimmy] He used two belts.


[inhales deeply]

On Jessica Roach. He used two belts
buckled together to strangle her.

He told you that?

In detail.

[exhales sharply]

What else he tell you?

Told me he folded Tricia Reitler's clothes
and placed her earring on top.

Then we got him, Jimmy.

You got him.

Mr. Keene, when last you stood
before this court,

you carried an air of entitlement.

You actually wore it

like someone would wear
their clothes or their skin.

Where'd it go, son?

I don't know, Your Honor.

[judge] Well, judging by the brief
presented to me by Mr. Beaumont,

I would venture that you left it behind

in that hell that you entered
on behalf of this case.

Mr. Keene, the court hereby
commutes your sentence

of months for narcotics trafficking.

This commutation is
full without conditions,

and effective immediately.

[gavel bangs]

You're a free man, Mr. Keene.


Thank you.

I didn't get the bodies for you.

You did plenty.

Hey, Jimmy. I'd like you to meet somebody.

Brian Miller, Jim.

You got the first confession.

You found…

Jessica Roach. Yes, I did.

- Jessica.
- [Brian] Yeah.


I just wanted to thank you
for what you did.

Never found out where they're buried.

You made sure he won't bury any more.


[judge ] The petitioner's claim
that the confessions were coerced,

and further, that the petitioner himself

had not the mental capacity
to understand the charges,

does not bear up to scrutiny.

Further, the respondent,

working within the boundaries
of the existing cases and evidence,

has produced further sourcing
which confirms the petitioner knew

details of the crimes
to which he confessed

that only the actual perpetrator
could know.

It is the decision of this court

that the ruling
of the criminal court stand.

The petitioner's appeal is hereby denied.

Bailiffs, please remove the prisoner

and return him immediately
to where he belongs.

Court is adjourned.

[gavel bangs]


[exhales deeply]

- You see him?
- I see him.

[Big Jim] Ah.

[taxi door closes]






Thank you.

[door closes]



You okay?

Oh, I can't sleep.

Oh. When I do sleep, it's like I didn't.

It's the apnea, Larry.
They're supposed to be treating that.

What are you gonna do?

You're gonna tell 'em to treat it, Larry.
It was a contributory factor, they said.


[stammers] To your su1c1de try.

What? Wasn't why I did it.

Then why?

- I don't belong in here.
- Yes, you do.

I don't deserve this injus...

"Yes, you do?" What?

You do.

It's all mucked up in your head, man.
It's eating you away.


- The girls, Larry.
- No.

- The girls. Yes.
- No.

You gotta tell people what you did.
You gotta get clear of it.

You're my brother.
You're m... You're my brother.

And I failed you.
I didn't look after you right.

Look, if you... If you get the... the flu,
I'm supposed to get you medicine.

If you're cold, and I have a blanket,
I'm supposed to share it with you.

If you're f*cked up in how you think,

I'm supposed to help you
not do bad things.

[mumbles] No. No, no.

No, Gary. Not... Not you.

I... [stammers, cries]

Look, I, uh...

I need to do what's right here, Larry.

And not for them.

Not for them, but for you.

You're never gonna stop living in f*cking…

[voice cracks] …agony till you do.

[cries] Gary.

Not you, Gary.

Please. Hey, hey. Please?

Gotta let me help you.

[inhales deeply]

[attendant on PA] Ladies and gentlemen,
our flying time today to Grand Rapids

will be approximately minutes.

The captain has turned off
the seat belt sign,

so relax and enjoy the flight.

Can I get you anything, sir?

Vodka soda, please.

Lemon or lime?


Huh. Most people choose lime.

I'm a rebel.

A bad boy.

Well, I'm trying to reform.

[laughs] No, you're not.


What's your name?

Tori. With an "I."

Jimmy. With a "Y."

[chuckles] Nice to meet you, Jimmy.

Nice to meet you, Tori with an "I".

["Lucky Man" playing]
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