01x01 - Chapter 1: Georgia

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Underground Railroad". Aired: May 2021 to present.*
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Based on the 2016 Novel of the same name; Cora embarks on a harrowing trip as she seeks true freedom while being hunted by a sl*ve catcher.
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01x01 - Chapter 1: Georgia

Post by bunniefuu »


The first and last thing my mama gave me...

... was apologies.


Expect me to howl?

I hadn't had that much moonshine, no.

I want to talk to you.

Well, we talking.

Now what?

What can I do for you, Caesar?

I'm heading back north.


Running away, and I want you to come with.

You heading north?

And I'm gonna eat.

No, please, Cora.

I don't want you to tell on me.

Have to trust you on that.

But I'm getting on away from here; I have to.

Well, what you want me for?

Good luck.

Good luck?

Now you listen here, Caesar.

I know you ain't been on this plantation long at all, but one thing you gots to know by now is I ain't nobody's "good luck."

Ain't nobody's...

♪ In that old field ♪ ♪ In that old field ♪ ♪ In that old field... ♪

Now, Jockey, you got to eat something, you hear?


No, Jockey, it's Cora.

Mabel, where you been at?


That's good.

- Can you handle it?

- Mm-hmm.

- Okay.

- That's good.



♪ In that old field ♪ Master James.

Master Terrance.

Oh, don't let us bother you.

My brother and I were discussing business and heard the music.

I told him, "Now that is the most god-awful racket I ever heard." God, what a ruckus.

We's sorry to disturb you, Master Terrance.

Oh, no, no, no.

No, no.

No disturbance at all, Jockey.

No disturbance at all.

You sure have a peculiar way of handling your n*gg*r*s, brother.

I do with my property as I well please.

And you with yours.

Daddy roll over in his grave, he saw this.

Let him roll.

Say, Jockey... when is your birthday, anyway?

Uh, I reckon September...

September .

But it ain't but June, Jockey.

I reckon you right.

How old about is you now?

I really can't say, Master Terrance.

That's quite all right, Jockey, that's...

that's quite all right.

I knew you let your slaves have revels, but...

I had no idea they were so extravagant.

You trying to make me look bad?

Do not pretend you care what a n*gg*r thinks of you, Terrance.

Well, you got me there.

Let's get this parlor trick over with, dear brother.

I don't care to endure this stench much longer.


Yes sir, Master Terrance.

Prideful, my brother tells me about a n*gg*r he has down here this side of the property.

S... says the boy can recite the Declaration of Independence.

Now, I can't bring myself to believe him.

I thought, perhaps tonight he could show me, since everyone is out and about and engaging in revelry.

Prideful... run, go bring me the boy who can recite the Declaration, hmm?


The boy with the scar right about here, huh?

Sorry, sir, but the boy Michael d*ad and gone.

Sickness took him.


Maybe six... six, seven months ago now, sir.

I should have been told.

Brother, you need to keep better account of your property.

Don't meddle.

This boy can do it.



He and Michael be together all the time.

Let him do it.

Well, come on, boy, let's hear it.

Do as master say.

You gonna get us all k*lled.





when in...

in the course of...

of main events...

it begone...

Well, Lord, I done seen and heard it all now.

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which connect them with another, and to assume amongst the powers of the earth the separate and equal station that the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them...

I's sorry, Master.

I's sorry!

Please forgive me.



Drink some of this.

Easy now, child.


She ain't right, you know?

When Mabel run off and left, I feel like something broke in her heart.

Ain't been right since.

She can still hear youse, you know.

How y'all talk so bad about a girl right in her face?

If Mabel was here, she'd knock all hell out y'all.

Ain't supposed to be in here, now.

Ain't she been b*at near to death already?

The air is better in here.

It's good for you.

What if Connelly come looking?

Don't you worry.

Won't nobody come in here.

"But this, I conceived, was to be the least of my misfortunes.

For as human creatures are observed to be more savage and cruel in proportion to their bulk, what could I expect, but to be a morsel in the mouth of the first among these enormous barbarians that should happen to seize me?" Master cut out your tongue and pour poison down your throat, he know you can read.

What is it?

It's called Gulliver's Travels.

It's about...

... a man on a trip.

He's lost and trying to get home.

In this part, he talking about...

giants like Goliath.

And how, on account of them being bigger and more powerful, they must also be more evil and more cruel.

Like white mens.

Cora, will you come with me?

It is past time to go.

There is nothing here but suffering.

Pain and suffering.

You're wrong about me, Caesar.

You think I'm some kind of luck because my mama got away, but you wrong.

You wrong.

I ain't no kind of luck.

Only kind I had was rotten.

The kind that cause a woman to run away in the middle of the night, and leave her only child.

Leave her to bleed and rot on this damn plantation.

That the kind of luck you looking for?

I'm not supposed to be here.

But I am.

Something wrong with you.

Nothing's wrong with me.

Master says we lie down, that means we lie down.

Ain't no other way about it.

Listen here.

I know about men like you.

You want to sneak off in the night and roll around the swamp with other mens on your back, that's your business.

But here?

Between us?

Master put a man and woman together because he aims to produce.

And if that man and that woman don't produce, it's for sure gonna be a reckoning, you understand me?

I won't be bred like cattle.

You got a mighty fine heart, Caesar.

Pure, like Jesus Christ hisself.

But this ain't Virginia.

And if you don't use your sex, Master Randall will take it.

He take it right off and put it somewhere you won't ever have to bother with this no more.

You ain't no better than the rest of us.

And I won't suffer for you.

Grab your things.


Come on now, grab your things, don't make a ruckus.

Come on, Prideful, set that n*gg*r right!

Let's go!

Yes, sir, boss.

Come on now.

- Please...

- Come on, child.


I was born in this room, my mama born in this room.

- Tell him...

- g*dd*mn it.

- Come on!

- No, no!

No, no...

- Grab her legs.

- No, no, no.

No, no, no!





- No, no!

- Grab her legs.



No, no.

No, no!








- No!

- Come on.

Get up.




- No!


- Come on.

- Get on.

- No!


Y'all get in there, clean that mess up.

I don't want none of that hoodoo black magic mess.

Now, come on!

You, go!

Hurry up!

Make it shine!

Run along, Hezekiah.

- Yes, sir.

- Go on back to your mammy.

Yes, sir, boss.

Hold, now.

n*gg*r*s, hold.

All you n*gg*r*s, hold!

Y'all bow your heads, now.

Bow your heads for my brother, James, succumbed to illness, gone on to be with God.

Like my mama and daddy before him, and like all great masters blessed to have received God's grace.

Amen, Master Terrance.



previously, my brother and I shared ownership of this fine land, like our great country, divided into north and south.


there will be no north and south parcels.

We will be one plantation.

And I shall have say over all slaves who dwell here.

If you wish, you may confer with your brethren from the southern plantation, but, uh...

... my brother and I have a very different approach to the conditioning and coordination of slaves.

Accordingly, there will be no more parties.

Wages earned in town on Sundays will be subject to a tariff.

And, to ensure the propagation of the best stock, I will personally oversee the pairing and practices in the ways of breeding.

For too long, the best stock has been reserved for recreational and...

... not vocational use.

Some of you bucks ain't been living up to your billing!

E... everything all right, Master Terrance?

Everything is just fine, Prideful.

Everything is just fine.

Come on!

Come on, now!

Come on!

Come on, now!

Come on!

Come on, now!

Get in there!


The Lord hath smiled on the house of Randall.

Water the horses before we get to the books, sir?

That'll be fine, Homer.


Shall we?

Oh, boy.

We shall.

Please inform Mr. Connelly that the prodigal son hath returned.

Best you ran on.

Do you have ears amongst your n*gg*r*s here?

Can't say that we do.

There are n*gg*r*s in the house, of course, eager to gain favor by airing grievances against those in the fields, but...

Well, you would do well to place some there.

There's talk.

There's word of an underground railroad here.

I... impossible.


And yet, where do they go?

The ones that run away and...

never return?

It is as though a n*gg*r escapes and slips through to a different world.

Have you seen it?

A man working as... as you do, do you believe the underground railroad is true?

I have not seen it.

But... the n*gg*r is a mighty cunning breed.

Nothing about the world tells me it is impossible.

When I see it, I'll believe it.

Now, to the matter at hand.

I will not accept payment for the property's return.

Consider it a recompense.

For fulfillment of my debt to your house.

Good day.

I'm sorry, I...

I don't follow.

Property that took leave of here, many years ago before your father passed.

The only property to have absconded and not been returned.

I consider it my sincerest failure.

I know the n*gg*r you speak of.

The worst kind...

it must be said... heartless, even for a n*gg*r.

Is that so?

It is very much so.

The n*gg*r you speak of, in leaving, appears to have left behind her seed.

A n*gg*r girl whom, even amongst the n*gg*r*s themselves, is considered a monster.

I would like an audience with this girl.

And a...

an audience you shall have.

You feel betrayed.

As you should.

Oh, there's anger in you.

Best find a way to do away with that.

It'll eat you alive if you don't.

See, the heart has a way of working through the body.

It'll fuel you, yes, but...

well, it's the worst kind of fuel.

The worst kind.

Oh, she is within you.

I can feel it.

And you will run yourself into the ground just to be rid of her.

Yes, you will.

Yes, you will.

By God, you will.

Sorry for the intrusion.

"I had often read of some great services done to princes and states." "And desired to see the persons by whom those services were performed.

Upon inquiry, I was told that their names were...

to be found on no record.

Except a few of them, whom... history hath represented as the vilest rogues and traitors.

As to the rest, I had never once heard of them.

They all appeared with dejected looks, and in the meanest habit.

Most of them telling me they d*ed in poverty and disgrace, and the rest on a scaffold or a gibbet." You've hardly touched your food, Mr. Churchill.


Oh, pardon me, but...

I don't understand how one can eat while such a display is taking place.

Rather peculiar, wouldn't you say, to eat a-and to drink while a man's flesh is being ripped from his body.


Mr. Churchill, your first mistake, uh, a n*gg*r and a man...

... are two entirely different things.

A man can think, reason and love.

n*gg*r*s simply do not have the capacity for such things.

As such, it is important to provide them with restrictions and... and directions on how to comport themselves.

And when these restrictions and directions are not abided by, it is just as important...

to make an example of them.

Y'all come on in, now.

Master Randall want everybody come in.

Y'all n*gg*r*s, come on.

Leave them sacks where they lay.

Come on, now.

Leave them sacks where they lay.

Come on.

Y'all hands, over there.

Y'all n*gg*r*s, come on.

Come on, Lovey.

Ruth, let's go.

All right.

Keep moving.

Y'all n*gg*r*s, come on.

Gather round, my little sheep.

Gather round.


I wish you all to bear witness to this lesson.

"Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor...

... so the name of God and the teachings may not be reviled.

Those who have believing masters...

... must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better...

since those who benefit from their good service

- No more!

- are believers and beloved.


teach and urge these things." No more mercy!

No more slaves!

"Regard their own masters as worthy of all honor." This is the word of God.

- See?

- God damn you!

God damn you!

- What is the penalty...

- No...

... for disobeying the word of God?




... and eternal f*re.

It's time.

All you n*gg*r*s get back to work.

Quit your lollygagging.

Back to work!

Back to work!






I knew you was up to something.

Sneaking around with him and not talking about it.

And then you dig up them yams, not even ripe yet.

Lovey, get you back before you ruin us.

I'm going where y'all going.

He ain't gonna take three of us.

He know I'm coming?

Well, then two surprise as good as one.

We got enough food, anyway.

Come on.


- ♪ Gonna give him ♪

- Shh.

♪ All the beauty in the world... ♪



Hog trail.


I'm gonna check this out right quick.

Maybe you make use of that whittling Kn*fe and catch us some dinner.

Come here, you son of a b*tch.



Hold up.

Where are we?

I don't know.

Are we going the right way?

I don't know.

Did you tell Lovey where we going?

- Did you tell...

- No.

We were foolish not to think on this.

Hounds be on us soon.

Every white man with a g*n within a hundred miles gonna...

We must keep going.

But what about Lovey?

What about Lovey?

We must keep... we must keep going.

That's it.

You sure?

See that red roof there?

That's us.

You mean that's you.

Don't nobody know I'm coming.

Well, they do now.

You ready?

How are you managing?

We're fine.

Any word from the third in our party?

It's the talk of the state.

From the moment you left, it was the girl who did you in.

They noticed her going before they did you, and set out after you on the very first night.

And I trust that she has no knowledge of me or our plans.

She does not.


There's one other thing.

There was a boy on the trail...

... with a group of hunters who lit onto you, and, well, he has it pretty bad from the knock you gave him.

They say he's in a sleep from which he may never wake.

Have mercy.

Mercy for who?

Every white man for a hundred miles wants to mount your heads on a fence.

When the train comin'?

Find a corner.

- We going down there?

- Yes, indeed.

Mind this ladder, now.

After you.

Now, as the train will be here shortly, I just need a word for the manifest.

I beg your pardon?

All who journey on the railroad must be documented in the manifest.

How else will we account for the souls entrusted to this campaign?

Now, you may speak as much or as little as you like, but you must speak.

Yeah, I'll speak for the both of us.


Caesar Garner.


Cora Randall.

Born to Virginia.

Upon the death of my massa, was promised manumission.

Upon my massa dying, was sold on down to Georgia.

Cora was born on the Randall plantation.

That's where we met.

Who built all this?

Who builds anything in this country?

How far does it go?

Away from here, that's all I can tell you.

All aboard!

Almost forgot.

I was keeping this for you.

You're so close to finishing.

Be a shame not to see it to its conclusion.

If you want to see what this nation's all about, you got to ride the rails.

Just look outside as you speed through, and you'll see the true face of America.

There's word of an underground railroad.

It is as though they slip through to a different world.

Welcome to your future.

This is real, Cora.

You here.

I'm here.

We here.

Together, we are building a better mind for the practical betterment of n*gro mind!

There are things happening here that we don't really understand.

There's a train coming.

- Your name?

- Cora Randall.

I took the Underground from South Carolina.

Should have stayed there.

The girl in that bulletin is wanted for the m*rder of a child.

I'm gonna get us out of here.

I promise.

Hello, little missy.

We've been waiting on you.

You came all this way on the Railroad?

And left behind all those peoples.

I'm still just a runaway from Georgia.

You're safe here, Cora.

Ain't no way he ever giving up on finding me.

I need you to be strong, watchful.

Like me.

This wonderful place...

... built out of Black love and spirit.

We can escape sl*very.

And yet its scars will never fade.

Everything that you ever knew told you that freedom was a delusion.

And yet here we are.
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