01x03 - Episode 3

Episode transcripts for the TV miniseries "Undercover". Aired 2016.
"Undercover" follows the lives and family of a British lawyer conducting a long-term legal fight to prove the innocence of a US death row inmate and her husband.
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01x03 - Episode 3

Post by bunniefuu »

I have a client on death row in Louisiana called Rudy Jones.

He's not d*ad?

There is a drug in there!

Call it, Judge.

I know it's not easy being a black UC.

cr*ck is everything to me. I'm terrified the top floor's going to find out.

Who is it?

Don't tell her it was me.

Go and build yourself a new life.

Full name?

Nicholas Johnson. I'm Nick Johnson.

If you hurt my brother, all of my brothers are coming for you!

I've been working on a good route in.

Maya Cobbina. Oh, this is my boyfriend.

What do you want?

Hold it. It's not safe in there. We wait for shields and helmets.

There's a new witness. Scared and careful, which is a good thing.

20 years of normal life makes for very deep cover.

We have shared history.

Michael Antwi.

We just want you to share with us what she's thinking.

The first black Director of Public Prosecutions is a real possibility.

They want to interview me.

Do it.

She cannot get this job.

I put all my being into articulating exactly what I think.

Which is always my best sh*t at the truth.

You better not have any skeletons in your cupboard.

Ambulance here.


Come on! Come on!

Joe... Joe!

Oh, God, oh, God, oh, God.

What happened?

He's d*ad!

Shut up.

Oh, God.

He's d*ad.

Shut up!

He's d*ad! Oh, God...

Shut up!

Good boy.

Give us a f*g, would you?

How long have you been in the job?

29 years.

And you're finishing when?

Seven weeks.

So who's going to blame you for a small mistake made right at the death, huh?

What mistake?

It was mayhem in there and you took responsibility.

Like all the best custody sergeants.

What mistake?

The wrong men in a cell together.

Who are you?

I mean, I may be senior in rank to you, but 29 years of service, that's the real rank.

I think you better start speaking English, Sir.

Take the h*t.


I don't like Customs and Excise.

So when I see them sniffing around a good copper of 29 years' service, I'm inclined to fight them tooth and nail.

Who are you?

All you need to know is I wasn't here.

Not then and not now.

So what are we saying?

The white geezer in the cell with him, Peter Mackie, he's a member of a neo-n*zi group.





Mackie had him in a choke-hold.


We were too late going in.

He'd stopped breathing by the time we could pull them apart. All right?


The only issue is why they were in that cell together.

That's down to me.

Need to know.


Not a word more.

Home Secretary gets from me what I get from you so please don't give me anything I don't need.

Custody Sergeant under huge pressure got it wrong with one cell.

There by the grace of God...

One of the officers wouldn't stop.


Trying to resuscitate Michael.

Say the other officers?

Say the ambulance crew.

Michael's good.

Put it out that everyone calls him Michael from now on.

It's a tragic death, we're all very upset, so first name only.

What about the doubling up? The Custody Sergeant?

What's his name?

Trimble. Five children. Old school.

Customs and Excise are looking at something dodgy he was doing with a car.

I've made it very clear we're right behind him.

Yep. Yep. Absolutely. Walk with me.

What about Michael's family?

Erm, we're in close contact with them.

We'll know how they're doing and what they're saying.

That's good.

Oh, one thing.

There's a lawyer asking hard questions.

Well, that saddens me.

God knows it's difficult enough as it is for the family.

You know what really irks me?

It's never the lawyer in the spotlight, is it?

What's his name?

He's a she.

Maya Cobbina.

Mark Neame.

Oh, hello, Mark.

Very pleased to meet you.


This way.

Thank you.

A confession -- I'm the new DPP... and your boss... and I have never prosecuted a case in my life.

I don't know what I'm doing.

But I'm going to be as straight with you about you as I am about myself.

If we're going to go after the people that I want to go after I need moral strength and proper bollocks from all of you.

I'm going to make us proud to prosecute.

I'm going to start by getting all our collective energy together... into looking at one case I do know about.

20 years ago a man d*ed in police custody and we have been prevented from getting to the truth of how that man d*ed.

The name of the d*ad man is Michael Antwi.

And this is his mother.

Hi, darling.


I had to come. For him and for you.

For more than that, I hope.


Do the story, Julia.

See you in a minute.

I have no words.

I can't speak.

He was my son.

I used to sing to him.

♪ Amazing grace ♪
♪ How sweet the sound ♪
♪ That saved a wretch... ♪
♪ I once... ♪
♪ .. was lost ♪
♪ But now I'm found ♪
♪ Was blind ♪
♪ But now I see. ♪

Thank you so much for everything today.

I'll see you later.

Mrs A.

Look, it's not going to be easy.

Civil actions against the police never are, so you might want to think about whether it's worth it.

What's the matter with you?


Civil actions?

This was a crime. You are a criminal lawyer.

Peter Mackie is standing trial.

No, no, no. I don't want Peter Mackie.

All he did was k*ll my son.

I can forgive him his idiot rage.

But I can't forgive the rest.

What's that?

I want the man who caused Michael's death put on trial and sent to jail.

Someone put them in that cell together. I want to know who.

You understand me, child? You get my son proper big justice.

It's a big statement. But it's what Michael would have done.

Remember what he said?

"If you hurt my brother, all my brothers are coming for you."

We do what you're saying, the whole thing could go up.

Yeah, it's a big call. But don't we all have Michael's anger to live by now?

She's mine.

But I love her.

The loneliness of leadership.

So, what's our move, man?

Police station.

b*mb it, make us some bacon out of the pigs inside.

Then they'll know we're the real deal. See me?

Yeah. Yeah. I hear that.

OK, brilliant. See you then.

Alex Brady. The man who isn't here.

Very funny, Jakey. Now get back to doing what you couldn't do without me.

What's that about?

Oh, he's paid like he's staff but he doesn't have a staff contract.


So that he can behave badly and if anyone comes back at us the paper can say that we don't employ him.

Oh, right.

Oh. I forgot. He wants to see you.


With the death in custody story so far.

You're joking! Jake, why didn't you call me?

I just..

OK, when? When does he want to see me?

In five minutes. Two minutes and 30 seconds ago.

And it takes 60 seconds to get from here to him.

Leaving you a minute and a half's writing time.

Are you a good journalist, Jules?

Thanks, Jake(!)

This is very good.

How many deaths in custody?

244 in the last five years.

Successful prosecutions?


You see?

No, sorry.

If we're going to get angry and want our readers to share our pain, the face needs to fit.

Your man had better be squeaky clean.

This is a big story.

I know.




Corrigan here. Yeah.

'What's our move, man?'

'Police station. b*mb it.

'Make us some bacon out of the pigs inside.'

My God.

We need something to hurt Michael Antwi too.


Is there something else?

All right, the lawyer.


Two things.

Don't fall in love... and wear a condom.

Good sex?


OK, sorry. Is he handsome?

Yeah. He's, erm...

He's very funny. He makes me laugh.

Good sex?

Amazingly good.

Yes! What does he do?

Hits the spot every time.

He's a writer.

Oh, God. There had to be a downside.

What kind of writer?


So he's only after one thing.


Your stories.

Is this a warning?

Every writer has a chip of ice in their heart or they're not for real.

Watch out for the ice.

I'm meeting some friends for dinner.

And have his babies.

Oh, hello. This is... This is Julia.

Oh, hello.


Hi, Nick.

Nice to meet you.

And you.

Yeah, I've been hearing all about you.

Nothing bad I hope.

No, no, all good. She says you're handsome and funny, apparently.

And what was the other thing?

I said handsome and funny.

No, there was something else.

No. That was all I said.

Yeah, no, there was something else.

No, there wasn't.

Shut up.

There was one other thing she really liked about you.

There's a story of a reporter in a refugee camp during the civil w*r in the Congo in the 1960s.

He's in a room full of terrified women and what does he say?

"Anyone here been r*ped and speaks English?" - That's terrible.


That's not funny. You wouldn't do that, would you?

No, no. Of course not.

Why not?

Well, because I can make it up.

I'm not stuck with the truth. Or a reporter's version of it.

You're free to use your imagination.


But, like everyone, all you've got is your own experience.

Let's hope you had a really unhappy childhood.

Unhappy in what way?

My parents loved me.

It's, you know... It's just they loved cr*ck cocaine more.

How did they meet?


No, no. It's fine. It's fine. In the Hawley Arms in Camden Town.

Erm, he offered to buy her a drink, and she said yes and then her life was over.

He was 41. She was 17.

So young.


But what chance has 17 years of good parenting got against a look in a bar from the wrong man?

So, what happened?

Erm, well, you know, eventually I was taken into care.

How old were you?

I was four.

Shall we get another bottle?


So he's a real writer.

Why do you...? Why do you say that?

Because he talks about his parents first meeting like he was there.

Yeah, well, maybe... Oh, thank you very much.

Maybe... Maybe they told him about it.

He was four years old when they left his life.

Face it, Maya. He's a writer.

He makes things up so that you can love him.

♪ You can dance Every dance with the guy ♪
♪ Who gives you the eye ♪
♪ Let him hold you tight ♪
♪ You can smile Every smile for the man ♪
♪ Who held your hand 'neath the pale moonlight ♪
♪ But don't forget who's taking you home ♪
♪ And in whose arms you're gonna be... ♪

Doc Pomus.


Did this song.

He was, erm, a Jewish boy from Brooklyn.

Doc had polio from childhood and on his wedding night he watched his blonde wife dance with every single one of his guests, but not him, and then he wrote this song.

And they lived happily ever after.

Gambling addiction. Divorce. Wheelchair.

Early death from lung cancer.

Erm, I have to go.




Do you mind if I ask where?


I do a shift at a homeless shelter twice a week.


But, you know, I've got ten minutes.

So... we could...

We could listen to two more songs out of The Brill Building or I...

I could tell you how it feels to be falling hopelessly in love with you.

Both, please.

Where are you?

I'm helping homeless people.


How's the writing?

I'm blocked.

And I'm much too sensitive to talk about it.

Anything on the Antwis?

He was a remarkable speaker.

Dangerous men often are.

No. He's charismatic, he's exciting, real sense of history.

I wish I could have heard him.

You still can.

Oh, gosh.

Why are you sitting there?

Because you've got the best tits in the building.

Thank you very much.

And we're working together.

Are we?

Woodward and Bernstein, eat your hearts out!

You've got nothing on Brady and Redhead.

I've got quite a lot of work to do, so...

No, not really.

Iconic is an overused word. But this...

'I've been in Louisiana, USA. I've met a man called Rudy Jones.'

How did you get this?

'He's in prison...'

It fell into my lap.

Now, this man, Rudy Jones, is a cold blooded m*rder, and this man, Michael Antwi, is on his side.

So, you see, doesn't always follow that the truth is what you want it to be.

Because he didn't do it. It wasn't him.

Well, he's been convicted by a jury of his peers.

Who gave this to you?

We would have been d*ad, you dozy cow! What were you thinking?

I... This isn't...

Don't you dare open your mouth!

What kind of a journalist are you? You didn't f*cking check!

How would it have looked if we'd got behind a vicious k*ller's best chum?

Can I just have...?

Take her picture.

Take her picture!


And you smile or you're d*ad.

What? Why? What is this? What are you doing?

Positive discrimination, girlie.

Smile. SMILE!

I didn't write it.

Your name's on it.

In print, under your photograph.

I told you I didn't write it.

Any of it?

The tiny bit about the duty officer.

Oh, my God.

They stitched me up, Maya.


They set me up.

So you're leaving the paper?

Is your resignation in, Julia?

I'm a black woman journalist on a tabloid paper.

You were at his funeral!

There's no recordings of Michael Antwi speeches.

The police were at the funeral, weren't they?

It's not that surprising they've got a tape of a speech.

Wasn't your name enough? What did they do? Take your picture against your will?

The name alone doesn't tell the reader that the reporter is black.

Your black face gives this story its legitimacy.

Black on black. So it must be true.

I honestly believe that this can give me the foothold I need.
Wake up. Wake up!

20 years from now I will be writing positive stories about black men and women because I put my name to this one first.

"Please -- just you. Please -- tell no-one."

I know every man and woman that was in that police station when Michael d*ed.

I'd know if it was one of them.

Well, maybe... Maybe it was somebody who wasn't in the police station.

Say that again.

Somebody who wasn't in the police station.

The police! They infiltrated demos, didn't they?


They put undercover coppers into the march.

Of course.

So there would have been undercover officers working out of the station.

Do they sign in?

Of course not. They're invisible.

No such thing as invisible. Is there, Dad?

You all right?

"Be in Central London at noon."


"Wait for a text."

Why don't we know who it is?

It's someone who wasn't in the police station.

So... what?

Someone who's seen and heard how we've controlled things since Antwi d*ed?

That's possible.

Only if one of you two has been careless because I sure as hell haven't.

You're sounding capable of carelessness right now.

Who the hell do you think you are?

Someone who's keeping his head while all around him others lose theirs.

To misquote Kipling.

I am a member of the Government, not some bloody ghost copper like you.

I exist. And I've got an awful lot to lose.

The witness could be on the inside.

What do you mean?

It could be him, for instance.

He's right. It could be.

Paranoia won't help us.


But finding the damn witness will. You, sort this out.


Yeah. Yeah.

I've just had a call from Louisiana. It's Rudy.

They want to lift the stay. I've got to get there.



But what about meeting your new witness?

What should I do? I don't... I don't know what to do?


Leave me your phone. I'll be you, I'll meet the witness and explain that it was life or death, you had to go to and see Rudy.

They said no-one. The e-mail said don't tell anybody.

OK, then which one?



OK. "Out of the country.

"Life or death."


Huh. OK.

He said OK.

Good. Good. Well, go.

Go pack, come on.

First time I've done this with someone who survived.

If you can't get a line into a vein then drilling a needle through bone into the marrow works just as well.

How would that feel, for Rudy?

Nine, on a scale of ten, with ten the highest level of pain that I've ever seen.


If I'd been there, I could have done something.

He asked you not to be. He's the client.

He gave you his instructions.

What's happening? What's happening?


What's going on?


It's OK.

Stand back, please.

It's a seizure. It doesn't make anything any worse.

It's OK.

OK. OK. Patient s*ab.

I will not let them hurt you any more. I promise.

So what are they giving him for the fits?

They're not.

Anti-seizure medication dulls the mind and it can lower IQ.


Rudy needs to understand that they're k*lling him for them to k*ll him and if his IQ is too low, then...

This is an application to lift the temporary stay and set a new execution date.

When would that be?

Two weeks from now.

Your Honour. I've just come from the hospital.

I have just left him in the middle of a seizure and it is...

It isn't ripe.

Your Honour?

I'm going to decide about competence at an appropriate time, which is as close as possible to an execution date.

I think you'll find I'm fully supported by the Supreme Court authority on this.

What else do you have for me?

Double jeopardy.

You can't keep a man on death row for 20 years and then get two goes at k*lling him.

You're a plain speaker, Miss Cobbina.

It's one of the things I like about you.

So let me be plain here with what I think your problem might be.

Your client was sentenced to die -- he ain't d*ad.

He wasn't sentenced to suffer in great agony for a prolonged period and then for everyone to take a break before putting him to death two weeks later.

The prisoner kicked up a hell of a fuss.

His failure to co-operate was the biggest factor in all this.

Wait, he wouldn't cooperate with his own execution?

The paralytic they use has been banned in animal euthanasia.

It is illegal for vets to k*ll dogs with this drug.

But for the uppity n*gro? Fine(!)

200 years of doing what he's told and for some reason best known to himself he kicks up about being put down.

And please don't make a fuss(!)

It wasn't anticipated that...

I would have thought it to be anticipated that an innocent man might struggle against an incompetent and agonizingly painful attempt to end his life.

Sometimes I think the defence bring all their problems on themselves so they can complain about them and keep their man alive.

If he had of cooperated...

He'd be d*ad.

If he'd co-operated he'd be d*ad.

Other times I lose track of whose side the lady is on, Your Honour.

I don't know about you.

Maybe it's how emotional she gets is what confuses a man?

Never get emotional. Never get personal in court.

Miss Cobbina. This is not about you.

It's about my client, who cannot speak for himself.

I am lifting the stay and setting a new execution date.

Thursday week.

Miss Cobbina, I'm granting you leave to come back before me Wednesday morning to argue about whether or not your client is competent to die.

Let's see how he's doing now and 24 hours before the new date.

Court is adjourned.

All rise.

Do you think he can hear us?

It's hard to say.

Hypoxic brain damage is...

Yeah, but what do you think? Do you think he can?

It's possible.

Rudy. Squeeze if you can hear me.

Right, so we lost on double jeopardy... and cruel and unusual is very, very tough.

There is one issue -- competence.

It's not easy but it's our best sh*t.

So here's the choice.

They don't want to medicate you for your seizures but I can insist they do it.

So, take the medication, lower your understanding of everything but increase the chances of you being deemed incompetent to die.

Or don't take the medication, don't dull your mind... but reduce our chances of keeping you alive.

Squeeze my hand if you want to take the dr*gs.

Squeeze my hand if you don't want to take the dr*gs.

Did he understand? I don't think that he gets that...

We have our instructions.


Mum says to concentrate on something happy when I feel like I might be sad.

The crispies.

I love them.

I love them so much.

Look after Rocco.


While I'm away. At university.

How long are you going for?

Eight weeks.

So 56 days. 55 sleeps.

You can come and see me in Oxford. It's lovely.


This isn't easy, is it?


Will you stay and help sort my room with me?

Did your mum tell you to say that?



Are you Clem?

Yes. How do you...?

There are two of us now I'm your college mum.

Usually it's a mum and a dad, but if you don't mind a single parent...

No, brilliant.

Nice to meet you.


This is my dad.

Oh, hello, Dad. Um, I can help you with this.

What...? Um, yes?






Thanks very much.


So we may as...?



Now, don't tell your mum I didn't stay.

And... Yeah.

Erm... I'll text you, or something.

Yeah, yeah.

Welcome to Oxford.

How you feeling?

So nervous.

It's going to be amazing.

Hello, Nick.

Mum, give us the bag.

Mum? Bag, please?


Institutional racism brought you to the top, remember?


Our most convincing drug dealer? Shall we use our black UC?

Who shall we use for our most believable pimp?

Oh, let's use our black UC.

Well, yeah.

Course, they wouldn't have called me a black UC then, would they?



So how long have you, um...?

Been clean for three months and two days... after 20 years.

Wow. Well, you look good.

I look terrible.

Did they look after you?

They gave me a small lump sum... which I spent in three days on my best and only friend.

I even had a name for him.


Ships are feminine, cars are girls, cr*ck is a boy.

So what name did you...?



Safe in the arms of Jesus.

So, um, what do you want, Abi?

What...? What...? What is this?

Tell Maya.

Tell Maya.

I can't do that.

You have to, Nick.

No, no, think of the children it would k*ll them.

They have the right to know.

And the... And her career -- she's a DPP, for God's sake. It...

There's too many people that need her.

The consequences aren't the point, Nick.

There's a basic truth we have to hold on to.

Can I have a hug? Or are you wired up?


See you, Mum.

I kissed you once. Do you remember?

It was set up, so my Dad could see, and think that I had a girlfriend.

You were a part of my legend.

Your family seem really happy, Nick.

You've been watching me?

Look, 20 years and three kids -- it might be enough.

Redemption could take you the rest of your life... but I think you might make it.

It's you, isn't it?

You're the witness?

I can give you the name of the witness... but in exchange for you letting me go.

I want out, that's the deal.

I'll have to refer this up.

Too late -- the witness is giving a statement in 45 minutes.

To the police?

Of course not.

Think about it.

Who's the witness?

The deal -- yes or no?


Abigail Strickland.

She was there that night. She saw it all.

Maya's on her way to meet her, right now.

'Platform 8 for the 1200

'Virgin Trains service to Inverness.'

What did you expect?

What do you think this is?

You promised me.

You k*lled her.

No, no... No, I didn't. I...

You gave her up.

The truth.

It's over. We are done.

I'm telling her EVERYTHING.

So in this goes.

I love you.

Good! Julia's here.


Hey, how you doing?


So... Ella won't come downstairs.

Then I'll go and talk to her.


Ella, would you get some more?

Why do you have to ask me?


Get some more -- we're going to drink it, that's why.

Can't you ask Dan?

And you can go, and you've got legs.

You OK?

There was a new witness.

After 20 years.


Yep. I don't know who they were, or what they were going to tell me, but... it would have been important -- I know it would.

Where's the witness?

They didn't show up.

Well, they'll get back in touch, surely?

You know, for the first time, I-I feel...

I feel little frightened.

You know what? Clem has got a new mum.

Did you meet her?


Brutal, huh?

First day away from home, you get a new mum?

Julia? Dad says one day he's going to ask about your conscience.

What's a conscience?


Look, 20 years on a right-wing paper...?


No, no -- "The Two Faces of Hate"?


It's fine, it's fine. Old friends should ask hard questions of each other. What else is friendship for?

What's happened? Why don't you like each other any more?

No, no, we do, we do.

I have a special place on the paper.

Yeah, cos of the colour of your skin.

Yes, actually. They're very careful around me, which is good, because being careful can lead to just being.

That's the best excuse for selling out I've ever heard.

I think... we should get a dog walker.

I'm walking Rocco.

How long's that going to last, darling? - 55 days.

How was it for you, Nick?

Sorry, what?

Saying goodbye to Clem?

Did you stay and do her room?

No, sorry.

So you didn't linger?

Straight back on the M40.

I CANNOT drink in the daytime.

No, I love it.

A drink in the daytime?

Thanks for lunch, my darling girl.

We'll always be friends, won't we?

Of course. It's only eight weeks, darling.

That's not it.

I have to tell you something.

Where is she?

Women always do better goodbyes.

Here she comes.


Oh, bye, Julia.

See you later.

Cheers, mate.

Good boy!

Maya, there's, erm...

There's something I have to tell you.

Um... babe?

It's the hardest thing I've ever had to say.


Maya, what...?


Maya? Maya?






It's all right. It's OK, Dan, it's OK.

Dan, it's OK. Take Rocco, go into the garden, stay there till I call you.


Maya? Maya? Go, Dan, now! Go on.

All right. All right, Maya.

Hey, easy, easy.


Hey. OK.


It's all right. All right. Maya? Maya?

Maya, it's OK. It's OK.
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