Transcript for Episode 26: Reputable Citizens

INTERVIEWEE

My Advice to the mayor of Boston would be to listen to their constituents.

[Loud rumbling trash can on wheels approaches.]

INTERVIEWEE

And, and…make sure that they are following the people.

[Rumbling grows too loud, preventing further discussion. Continues for some time, then moves away.]

[Charlie on the MTA begins playing.]

CHUCK OCTAGON (Jeff Van Dreason)

Bricks. There’s lots of bricks. Everywhere. Very loud. People drag trash cans of them.

KELLY MCCABE

Previously in Greater Boston…

 

NARRATOR (Alexander Danner)

You want to do my job? Fine. I’m done.

 

LEON STAMATIS (Braden Lamb)

I’m sure it’ll be nice to be employed again.

 

EMILY BESPIN (Sam Musher)

We won’t just take the election. We’ll leave her rotting in a cell with that deadbeat nephew of hers.

 

NICA STAMATIS (Kelly McCabe)

That’s my job.

 

MELISSA WEATHERBY (Tanja Milojevic)

I need a new plan. I need to talk to Isabelle.

 

LOUISA ALVAREZ (Julia Propp)

There’s gotta be something that would give me some information about my apparently untrustworthy boyfriend

 

LAWYER (Rick Zieff)

We’ll leave the land and your commune completely alone. All you need to do is one simple thing. Tell the truth.

 

DIPSHIT POLETTI (James Capobianco)

And what of Isaiah Powell? He’s innocent

 

TITLE SEQUENCE

Multiple Voices

Fields Corner
Hyde Park

Want it in character voice or real voice?
East Boston
Alright
Malden
Red Line
Dorchester
Salem
Somerville
West Roxbury
Hanson
Worcester
Malden
This..

Somerville

Revere
…is
Uhh…I’ve lived in Lemonster my whole life
Brighton
Uhh…I live in Milton, Massachusetts
Roslindale
(That’s where I’m from)

East Boston
I’m from Dorchester
This is…

South Boston
This is…
In Brockton

Medford, Massachusetts

[Laughter]
Red Line

Dorchester

This is…

This is…

This is…

Greater Boston

 

JEFF VAN DREASON

This week in Greater Boston–Episode 26: Reputable Citizens.

 

HANDS ON THE GLASS

 

[Bluesy music plays.]

 

LEON STAMATIS (Braden Lamb)

Today was a good day for Dipshit Poletti. Relative to his present circumstances anyway. It was visiting day, that rare day when he could see his Family, those few people whose spirit alignment set them on a common path with him, united in their ethical and spiritual journey through the finite experience of Being. Only two could fit in these ridiculous booths through which they were forced to communicate.

 

[Ambient HVAC hum. A metal chair scrapes on a concrete floor, then creaks as someone sits. A telephone handset is lifted.]

 

LEON

But they were here.

 

23 SKIDOO [Telephone distortion] (Julia Sciffini)

Dippy! Goddess, it’s so good to see you. The house hasn’t been the same without you.

 

LEON

23 Skidoo, a brightener of days he could always count upon.

 

FOX FOSSIL [Telephone distortion] (Jake Del Rio)

I just can’t get used to seeing you *here.*

 

LEON

And Fox Fossil. Dear, sweet Fox Fossil.

 

DIPSHIT

It’s fine. This is fine. I can get through this.

 

FOX FOSSIL

But you shouldn’t have to. You don’t belong here.

 

DIPSHIT

Let’s not…let’s not argue about that. Please.

 

23 SKIDOO

I brought something for you! Just a photo, but it’s Lily’s new reclaimed iron sculpture.

 

DIPSHIT

Oh, I love her sculptures! Her technique with rebar always has such perfect spiritual and aesthetic clarity. Can you put it right up against the glass… [glass squeak] Oh. Oh, that’s exceptional. A heartrending testament to the bovine torments of mass-industrialization in factory farming, and the associated dehumanization of the ritual of family mealtimes in modern America!

 

23 SKIDOO

She’ll be delighted! You saw exactly what she meant!

[Train passes in background]

 

DIPSHIT

There’s something…worrying…I need to tell you. Someone came to me, representing some ambiguous malevolence. They want me to recant my confession.

 

FOX FOSSIL

Good! Do that!

 

DIPSHIT

Not while Isaiah Powell is still under investigation.

 

FOX FOSSIL

Are you really sure he didn’t do it?

 

DIPSHIT

Yes. Absolutely. That’s not even a question.

 

23 SKIDOO

But what does it matter to them?

 

DIPSHIT

I assume they want Powell framed, but I have no idea why. That’s not what matters, though. They threatened me. Us. The Family.

 

23 SKIDOO

Threatened how?

 

DIPSHIT

Land development. He’s trying to buy the property out from under us. He’s threatening to evict the Family.

 

23 SKIDOO

That’s horrible!

 

FOX FOSSIL

He can’t do that! Can he do that?

 

DIPSHIT

I don’t know. But you need to be prepared. Tell Particle Physics.

 

23 SKIDOO

What can they do about it?

 

DIPSHIT

I guess they should at least reach out to the landlord, try to feel out if these people approached her.

 

FOX FOSSIL

We’ll tell them.

 

GUARD (Kenny Garcia)

Okay folks, say your farewells. Visiting time is over!

 

FOX FOSSIL

That’s it? But we just got here!

 

DIPSHIT

It’s lunchtime. They’re nutritionally fascistic about mealtimes. I’ve got a repugnant bowl of coagulated boiled vegetable mush to choke down, if I don’t want consequences.

 

23 SKIDOO

We’ll put some money in your commissary, so you can get some…fruit, I guess?

 

FOX FOSSIL

Can we do that thing where we put our hands against the glass together?

[Glass squeak]

 

DIPSHIT

Of course.

 

[Hands on glass]

 

FOX FOSSIL

You’re going to get out of here. I mean it.

 

23 SKIDOO

You have to. You’re Family.

 

ALL

And Family is love.

 

LEON

Dipshit missed his family all through his meal of coagulated vegetable mush, all through the walk back to his cell, all through the hours pretending to nap on the shabby sandpaper sheets provided by this institution’s punitive austerity. He longed to return home. But it would be weeks, months, maybe years of coagulated vegetable mush before he could feel the Family’s physical and aural embrace once more. For now, there was nothing to do but wallow in loneliness.

 

Wallow in loneliness. And finally slip the note he had written for Isaiah Powell during mealtime.

[Sound of note across floor.]

 

CITIZENS FOR ISABELLE POWELL

[Inspiring Music]

CITIZEN 1 (Ebi Poweigha)

I believe in Isabelle Powell because she sees our history, and believes in our future.

 

CITIZEN 2 (Alex Brown)

I believe in Isabelle Powell because I know Isabelle Powell. She looked out for all us kids, gave us jobs around the neighborhood, looking in on the old folks. She knows how a community works.

 

CITIZEN 3 (Ryan Estrada)

I believe in Isabelle Powell because I don’t want to live in an authoritarian dystopia.

 

CITIZEN 4 (JV Hampton-VanSant)

I believe in Isabelle Powell because she knows what it means to be guilty until proven innocent. She knows her nephew Isaiah isn’t an aberration or an outlier. She knows how many of us persevere against the presumption of guilt every day of our lives.

 

CITIZEN 1

I believe in Isabelle Powell because she believed in me. I had good credit, but still couldn’t get a mortgage. But Isabelle introduced me to a black-owned bank that helps people like me, and today, I own my own home right here in Red Line.

 

CITIZEN 3

But no, seriously, what the *BLEEP* is going on? Why are we seriously considering the authoritarian dystopia? That’s…that’s obviously not a good option. I mean…we can all see that, right?

 

CITIZEN 4

I believe in Isabelle Powell because I believe Red Line can be the city of the future. A city that puts humanity first. A city that cares for its neediest citizens

 

ISABELLE (Jessica Washington)

I’m Isabelle Powell, the mayoral candidate for *all* Red Lineans. Because citizenship isn’t bought, because poverty isn’t a crime, and because Black Lives Matter, I approve this message.

 

ANNOUNCER (Kenny Garcia)

Paid for by Citizens for Isabelle Powell

 

VOTER CONFIDENCE

[Train environment]

LEON (Braden Lamb)

Emily Bespin’s campaign was in a time of transition. With Oliver in the wind, the steady flow of funding had dried up. Wisely, Emily had banked a good portion of what she’d received—her campaign wasn’t in *real* trouble. Yet.

 

But expenses were only increasing. Especially as she’d buckled to the need to begin hiring staff.

 

EMILY BESPIN (Sam Musher)

Nicole!

 

LEON

Her first hire had been…complicated. She wasn’t entirely sure that she hadn’t been blackmailed into taking the woman on. Or if it actually had just been the most sensible option.

 

And she obviously didn’t have much political or administrative experience. She was scattered, and distractible, and not as immediately responsive as Emily expected from her servants.

 

EMILY

Goddammit, NICOLE!!!

 

[Nica enters]

 

NICA STAMATIS (Kelly McCabe)

Yes! What? I’m here.

 

EMILY

Update me.

 

NICA

On which thing?

 

EMILY

Which thing? All the things. If it’s a thing, and there’s an update, then update me on the thing.

 

LEON

But she did work, diligently, if not always efficiently. And she had ideas. She had a brain in her head, insufficiently polished though it might be. There was promise here. Emily could imagine…

Emily.

Emily Emily Emily.

Why am I narrating this scene from Emily’s perspective? My sister is here. Nica is here. So why am I linked to this repugnant person, saying these horrible things about someone I love? When I could connect with my sister, instead? My sister, whom I need to understand. Why is Nica here at all? Why is Nica working for Emily? I know she got…sidetracked…this past year. But this…this is so obviously not where she should be.

I don’t like this.

 

NICA

I guess, let’s start with fundraising.

 

EMILY

Good. Money. Money’s always good.

 

NICA

Small individual donations are increasing every day that the commutity car shutdown continues.

 

EMILY

That really was the best thing Powell could have done for me.

 

NICA

Most of those small donations are coming from outside Red Line. Mainly from commuters in the surrounding regions.

 

EMILY

So that’s money, but not votes. Got it.

[Nica tics off item on her list.]

 

NICA

Next: the project you set me on–finding something splashy to get voters excited? I’ve had an idea for that.

 

EMILY

Hit me.

 

NICA

Sports.

 

EMILY

I’m listening.

 

NICA

Boston is a sports town, and everyone loves the Red Sox. But Red Line is eager to establish its own identity, apart from Boston. What if Red Line had a team of our own to root for?

 

EMILY

Like…the Red Line Sox?

 

NICA

More like…the Yard Goats.

 

EMILY

Goats?

 

NICA

It’s a train term. The little engine that moves train cars between locomotives. But it’s an existing team, in Hartford. They don’t have a stadium, haven’t since the team was founded, and the owners are losing patience. They’re ripe for poaching to a new city, if we can get them a place to play. Linzer-Coolidge has talked about putting a stadium in at Braintree. People want it, but Linzer-Coolidge hasn’t prioritized it. And Powell opposes the whole idea. We could own it. Make a deal with the team, commit to the stadium…

 

EMILY

And we’ve got our bit of circus to keep the masses loyal. That’s perfect. Make it happen.

[Nica tics off item on her list.]

 

NICA

Endorsements. You’ve picked up endorsements from the Boston Herald, the Police Union, the Red Line Transit Workers’ Union, and Governor Hutchinson.

 

EMILY

The transit workers? How’d we get them?

 

NICA

They’ve done very well under the Linzer-Coolidge administration. Priority housing, good pay, a level of status they never had as MBTA workers. Isabelle’s manifestos about unfair housing policies scare the hell out of them.

 

EMILY

Excellent.

 

NICA

The Globe endorsed Linzer-Coolidge, but with her out of the race, they’ve delayed announcing their new endorsement.

 

EMILY

Good. If they endorse, you know they’d just endorse the terrorist.

[Nica tics off item on her list.]

 

NICA

R..right. And finally, the issue of, um…

 

EMILY

Yes?

 

NICA

Well, your, you know…Ethan.

 

EMILY

What about him?

 

NICA

On the day the shutdown started, when you invited people into your railhome. Um…people noticed…you know.

 

EMILY

Noticed what? That he’s black?

 

NICA

He’s black?

 

EMILY

You couldn’t tell?

 

NICA

Well, it’s just he looks more…burnished chrome.

 

EMILY

He’s very light-skinned.

 

NICA

Right. Anyway, his race isn’t the issue.

 

EMILY

So then what is?

 

NICA

Well…he’s a cheese robot.

 

EMILY

I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about.

 

NICA

You left him in your Big Red when you opened the doors to commuters. You told them he’d be there waiting.

 

EMILY

And he was.

 

NICA

And he told them all about cheesemaking.

 

EMILY

Yes, it’s a passion of his.

 

NICA

Emily…

 

EMILY

NICOLE.

 

NICA

Emily. You need to at least…keep him out of the spotlight. He’s damaging your campaign. Fair or not, voters will judge you by your choice in partners. And Ethan is not…filling them with confidence.

 

EMILY

I’m not going to treat my strawberry-glazed jelly donut with valentine sprinkles like I’m embarrassed by him just because he’s a little bit black.

 

NICA

And I…respect that. But do you want to win?

 

EMILY

Of course I want to win. All I want is to win. Winning is everything.

 

NICA

Then keep him out of public view. Let him stay home and do what he does. With…cheese, I guess.

 

[Pause]

 

EMILY

Not that I care what other people think, but you’ll be glad to know that I already agree with you.

 

NICA

You do?

 

EMILY

Ethan is…private. I was very caught up in the moment that day, and I allowed myself to…forget. But I can see my mistake, and I won’t put him in the spotlight again.

 

NICA

Okay. Good. That’s the best thing. It really is.

 

EMILY

I think I made a good decision hiring you, Nicole. You’re really working out.

 

NICA

Thank you.

 

EMILY

Now, get back to work. Find me some money.

 

NICA

Okay. On it.

 

INTERVIEW MONTAGE

CHUCK OCTAGON (Jeff Van Dreason)

If you could give one piece of advice to the next mayor of Boston, what would you tell them?

 

INTERVIEWEE 1

[Sigh] Only one?

 

INTERVIEWEE 2

We’re at a very important role right now, you know, people rely on you.

 

INTERVIEWEE 3

Just keep the city how it is. You know, we’ve got a real good cultural environment here.

 

INTERVIEWEE 4

Just leave Boston as it is. It’s a great city. It’s a great city, and I love living in it.

 

INTERVIEWEE 1

Pay attention to the fact that Boston is going to be underwater sooner than we think, and they should probably start planning for that.

 

INTERVIEWEE 5

Listen to the opinion of the people, and take good notes.

 

INTERVIEWEE 6

I would tell the next mayor that diversity is just as important as laws. The only way that order can be maintained is to understand the differences of the people that you’re trying to put in order.

 

INTERVIEWEE 7

Bring people together. Make sure there’s lots of ways for people to get to know each other from different neighborhoods.

 

INTERVIEWEE 8

The path forward is not one of division or polarity, but one of unification and seeing people as people, and not as numbers or statistics.

 

INTERVIEWEE 9

Be a good mayor! Don’t be a dick! I guess..

 

CITIZENS FOR BESPIN

[Soaring music]

PATRIOTIC VOICE (Mike McQuilkin)

We the People of the city of Red Line, in order to form a perfect city…

 

CITIZEN 1 (Eric Silver)

A city for responsible Americans.

 

PATRIOTIC VOICE

enforce justice…

 

CITIZEN 2 (Vilte Baliutaviciute)

Because sad stories don’t excuse criminal behavior.

 

PATRIOTIC VOICE

restore domestic tranquility…

 

CITIZEN 1

Because the whiny few shouldn’t send our homes into chaos.

 

PATRIOTIC VOICE

provide for the common defense…

 

CITIZEN 4 (Colin Kelly)

From the threat of violent terrorists, like Isaiah Powell

 

CITIZEN 5 (James Hartley)

And economic terrorists like Isabelle Powell.

 

PATRIOTIC VOICE

promote the general meritocracy…

 

CITIZEN 2

Because a bunch of lazy bums shouldn’t be catered to by real Red Lineans.

 

PATRIOTIC VOICE

and earn the privilege of liberty for ourselves and our posterity…

 

CITIZEN 6 (Eric Silver)

Because freedom is earned through hard work and gumption.

 

PATRIOTIC VOICE

do ordain and establish the mayoral candidacy of Emily Bespin.

 

EMILY

I’m Emily Bespin, the Face of Red Line, and I promise, as your mayor, we will see tranquility restored in Red Line. Because the productive few shouldn’t be held hostage by anarchic masses, because no one deserves a free ride, and because Red Lines Matter, I Emily Bespin, approve this message.

 

ANNOUNCER (Kenny Garcia)

Paid for by Citizens for Emily Bespin.

 

SENSE OF SCALE

[Train environment]

[Phone rings. Handset is picked up.]

ISABELLE

Hello, this is Isabelle Powell.

 

MELISSA [Phone distortion]

Hello, Ms Powell. This is Melissa Weatherby. I’m…Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge’s communication director.

 

ISABELLE

Is that right? And what does the Mayor have to communicate to me this morning? Some good news, finally, I hope?

 

MELISSA

I’m — I’m sorry. I’m not calling for Mayor Linzer-Coolidge. I’m calling to represent…well, just…me.

 

ISABELLE

How very disappointing. Other than news on my nephew, what on earth do you and I have to talk about, Ms. Weatherby?

 

MELISSA

Melissa is fine. And, well — I want to work for you.

 

ISABELLE

Excuse me?

 

MELISSA

I believe in what you’re doing. I’ve learned a lot from what you’re doing.

 

ISABELLE

About what, exactly?

 

MELISSA

About…the importance of putting yourself at risk. To do what’s right.

 

ISABELLE

So that’s something you needed to learn, huh?

 

MELISSA

You’ve changed my sense of scale. I need to do more.

 

ISABELLE

Did you support the shutdown?

 

MELISSA

Not at first. My home has participated from the beginning, but I won’t tell you that was my choice to make. It wasn’t. I’m glad we did, though. I intend to see it through.

 

ISABELLE

And what about Mayor Linzer-Coolidge?

 

MELISSA

I know you have a thousand reasons not to believe this, but she wants to see you win. If I can help that happen, she’ll support it.

 

ISABELLE

You understand that if I lose, you’d be out of a job a month from now.

 

MELISSA

I’ll be out of a job a month from now regardless. If I was after job security, this isn’t where I’d be. I’m sure you know you’re down two points in the polls.

 

ISABELLE

Some polls.

 

MELISSA

I’m not here to play the odds. I’m here to be on the right side, win or lose. And you need a new campaign manager.

 

ISABELLE

You *are* ambitious!

 

MELISSA

Your campaign manager was fine when you were selling hope and hominess. But ever since the shutdown, he’s had no idea what direction to go. That’s understandable–he’s never done this before. He probably never realized how…well, how big the job was going to get. Or how complicated. But I do. I’m here for the big complicated mess that this campaign has become. You may see me as just an assistant, but when an administration only has one employee, the responsibilities of “assistant” versus “campaign manager” get awfully blurry.

I can help you, Ms. Powell. And I want to.

 

ISABELLE

And as my campaign manager, I assume you’ll tell me to tone down the rhetoric, lighten up on the protest, don’t talk about race so much?

 

MELISSA

No, no. Absolutely not. No. Ms. Powell, you’ve defined your candidacy by your convictions. You waver on that now, and you’re done. Nobody ever trusts you again.

Look, I understand what you expect me to say, what most people walking in here would say. “You’re alienating white voters, you’re alienating moderates.” And that’s true. But so what? What has catering to moderates ever accomplished? Marginally less draconian drug legislation? “Affordable” housing that nobody can actually afford? If I’m fighting, I’m going to fight for something that matters.

I don’t want to change your message, Ms. Powell. I don’t even want to influence it. I want to help amplify it. That’s what I know how to do.

 

ISABELLE

I…I see. That’s quite a lot to think about.

 

Why don’t you come meet me at my Rail Home? We can talk this over in a little more detail.

 

MELISSA

Absolutely. I’ll be right there. And — and thank you for listening.

 

ISABELLE

Likewise, Melissa.

 

GOOD MORAL CHARACTER

[Train Jam plays]

GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGE (Lydia Anderson)

Okay, let me just say one more thing, though.

 

CHARLOTTE LINZER-COOLIDGE (Summer Unsinn)

Oh, for fuck’s sake, Gemma.

 

[Monty fusses.]

 

GEMMA

Monty, Charlotte!

 

CHARLOTTE

This is like your thirtieth “one more thing,” Gemma.

 

GEMMA

Okay. But…but… don’t you think that if you have a skill, something you’re really good at…don’t you have an obligation to do that? Like, isn’t there some kind of… a moral imperative?

 

CHARLOTTE

Did you feel a “moral imperative” to keep editing astrology rags?

 

GEMMA

I was never good at editing astrology rags.

 

[Intercom beep.]

 

VINCENZO [Intercom distortion] (Chad Ellis)

Uhh Charlotte — Ms. — Mayor Linzer Charlotte, I MEAN, Mayor Linzer Coolidge? There’s a Louisa here to see you?

 

CHARLOTTE

Thank you, Vincenzo, send her in.

 

VINCENZO

Charlotte?

 

CHARLOTTE

I said let her in!

 

VINCENZO

HELLO?

 

CHARLOTTE

You need to —

 

VINCENZO

Hello hello hello?

 

CHARLOTTE [raising voice]

YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR FINGER OFF THE BUTTON TO HEAR ME.

 

VINCENZO

What?

 

CHARLOTTE

LET LOUISA IN!

 

GEMMA

What happened to Melissa?

 

CHARLOTTE

She left to try and work for Isabelle. I’m proud of her.

[Door]

 

LOUISA

Hey, mammas. Hey Monty!

[Monty coos]

 

LOUISA

So, listen. I don’t know if Monty farted any info at you about our little adventure that night I watched him for you.

 

GEMMA

There was something about a garbage can, [Monty coos] but I didn’t really get the full gist. I assumed he just made a big mess that you got stuck cleaning up.

 

LOUISA

Well, that’s kind of half right, but none of it was Monty’s mess. It’s actually…it connects to our investigation of the The Lottery. And Michael’s disappearance.

 

GEMMA

Oh. This is serious.

[Monty coos]

 

LOUISA

Yeah. So, a couple of things came up recently that I haven’t told you about. Stuff…I just needed to investigate on my own first.

 

CHARLOTTE

Louisa, did something happen?

 

LOUISA

Okay, so first off, you may have noticed I haven’t been spending time with Phil, lately. The truth is, I haven’t heard from him since the Ocdebacle. And then I got a message from Michael.

 

GEMMA

What! Why didn’t you tell us? We could be looking for him!

 

LOUISA

It wasn’t any help. Not like that. [Monty fusses.] But what he said had some…personal consequences. All he did was add an item to our shared calendar.

 

GEMMA

You and Michael share a calendar?

 

LOUISA

That’s…yeah, long story there. We’ll come back to that one another time. Relevant point for now is, Michael added a new item to it, weeks after he’d disappeared. It was short, like he didn’t have much time to send it. I don’t know. But it got the message to me. And it was just three words.

 

“Don’t trust Phil.”

 

CHARLOTTE

Oh.

 

GEMMA

Oh wow. Holy spaetzle.

 

LOUISA

So the other night, I went to Phil’s house, and plundered his trash. And I found something…incriminating.

Since then, I’ve been researching him. My own boyfriend. Well, ex-boyfriend now, obviously. Philip West. He’s got a juvie record, but it’s sealed, so I can’t get any sense of the kind of stuff he was into. But get this—his father died in jail eight years ago. But the most important thing is what I found in his trash. This.

 

GEMMA

What is this? A poem?

 

LOUISA

A song. Original lyrics. That’s what the singing telegram guy sang before the Red Line Tea Party. And Phil’s fingerprints are on it. Obviously.

 

CHARLOTTE

So that proves he was involved in the second attack. He was behind the Red Line Tea Party.

 

GEMMA

Holy shit. [Monty fusses.] I mean shtuff. But he was sitting right there–he was with you!

 

LOUISA

Sure was! With that nonsense about receiving an invitation he thought was from me…

 

CHARLOTTE

…while you received an invitation he hadn’t sent you…

 

LOISUSA

Except he did send it after all! Both invitations! And he hired the singing telegram guy.

 

GEMMA

Oh, we are putting this fuddrucker away!

 

LOUISA

But we’re not even done. There’s more.

 

GEMMA

More?

 

LOUISA

More! Because the prints on this song matched fingerprints found on other pieces of evidence.

 

CHARLOTTE

You’re positive?

 

LOUISA

I ran everything through the lab. There’s no doubt. And you know what else Philip West had his lying, asshole fingers on?

[Monty fusses.]

 

CHARLOTTE

What?

 

LOUISA

Isaiah Powell’s student fucking ID.

[Monty laughs]

 

CHARLOTTE

No…Oh my god. So that means…

 

LOUISA

And!

 

CHARLOTTE

And!?

 

LOUISA

And! The note Isaiah turned over, the one sending him down to Red Line to put him at the scene of the crime. Phil’s on that too.

 

GEMMA

What kind of fluffing moron is this guy?

 

LOUISA

And!

 

GEMMA

Oh good god. Who commits this many crimes but never shells out for pair of gloves?

 

CHARLOTTE

Go on. What else.

 

LOUISA

Oh, nothing much…just *every single one of those empty bean cans.*

 

GEMMA

*Goddamn.* We’ve got him cold.

 

LOUISA

And you know whose fingerprints *aren’t* on any of the bean cans? Not a single one?

 

GEMMA

Isaiah fucking Powell.

[Monty fusses.]

 

LOUISA

Isaiah fucking scapegoat Powell.

[Monty fusses.]

 

CHARLOTTE

This is it. This is it! This is the evidence we’ve needed. Proof that Powell was framed. He had nothing to do with any of it.

 

LOUISA

No he did not. Conclusively.

 

CHARLOTTE

Oh, thank God. Thank god we can finally put an end to that. We’re letting that poor kid out. And don’t even try to tell me there are procedures, Gemma. Get it done. Today

 

GEMMA

Oh yes ma’am. I was about to say, fuck procedure, let’s just fucking do this.

[Monty fusses.]

 

CHARLOTTE

Thank you. And Louisa…amazing work.

 

LOUISA

Hey while, I’m here, I have a favor I need to ask.

 

CHARLOTTE

Of course. It’s fair to say we owe you. What do you need?

 

LOUISA

Letters of recommendation.

 

GEMMA

Uh oh. Are we losing you already?

 

LOUISA

No! It’s not for a job. I mean, it is, but more long term than that. I’m thinking about what I’m going to do after the election, so that I’m ready for it. And what I’ve come up with…well, I’ve really enjoyed the work I’ve been doing here. Finding things, gathering information. Investigating. I want to keep doing that. But to do it I need my own licensure.

 

CHARLOTTE

Wait, you mean you’re actually planning to become…

 

LOUISA

A private eye. Yeah.

 

GEMMA

Wow. That’s really…noir. You planning to be a femme fatale?

 

LOUISA

[Laughs] No, I don’t think it’ll be anything like that. One thing I’ve learned, investigative work is mostly paperwork, and phone calls, and occasionally rooting around in someone’s trash. But still. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. And for my license, I need, quote: “certification of good moral character from three reputable citizens.” I figure the mayor and her wife should certainly cover two of those reputable citizens.

 

GEMMA

Well that really depends on who you ask.

 

CHARLOTTE

Of course you can count on us. We’re happy to do it.

 

LOUISA

Thank you.

 

CHARLOTTE

I’m just glad you’ve found a direction for yourself. And just look at what you’ve accomplished already–you’ve clearly got a talent for this.

 

LOUISA

Well, I guess. Though considering I spent four months literally dating one of the people I was supposed to be rooting out, maybe don’t give me too much credit just yet.

 

GEMMA

Oh, he doesn’t know what he’s in for. You’re gonna get that creepy double-agent asshole, I know it.

[Monty fusses.]

 

LOUISA

Well, that’s the last time I trust someone who tries to take me candlepin bowling, I’ll tell you that much.

 

THE AMERICANS

[Drumming and bowling environment]

LEON

Nica arrived at the bowling alley with a twisting stomach. This was where she needed to be. What she needed to do. But she felt so…visible.

 

NICA

Oh man, it’s a madhouse in here.

 

LEON

And yet she was working so hard not to be seen with the person she was here to meet. A meeting she dreaded and anticipated in equal measure.

 

LOUISA

Hey!

 

LEON

If only she could spot her co-conspirator among all these people…

 

NICA

Where is she?

 

LOUISA

Hey, over here!

 

NICA

Oh, Louisa! This place is super crowded.

 

LOUISA

Yeah, it’s league night.

 

NICA

These are the leagues?

 

LOUISA

Well, it’s the halfway house league night. For, like, you know, the special needs leagues.

 

NICA

The…oh.

 

LOUISA

It’s cool, actually. The managers are really serious about making sure they get their time. We’ve only got ten minutes. At six, we have to turn over our lane.

 

NICA

Why are we meeting in a bowling alley?

 

LOUISA

Yeah, that’s…I just kind of associate bowling alleys with spies and treason, I guess? It seems like a good place for it, considering.

 

NICA

I really don’t think I’m committing treason.

 

LOUISA

Treason is what you already did. Now you’re a spy.

 

NICA

Oh, that’s flattering.

 

LOUISA

It’s a big step up, trust me. So, what do you have for me?

 

NICA

Not much honestly. I still don’t have a read on whether she knew about the attacks beforehand. Like, I’m pretty sure she figured it out after, that it was Oliver doing it. She’s not stupid. But I think he kept her in the dark on the details.

 

LEON

Oh.

 

LOUISA

Even if we could just prove she suspected, that would be something. She kept taking his money, and she never reported her suspicions. Maybe she’s just an accomplice after the fact, but that’s still serious business.

 

LEON

I get it what you’re doing.

 

NICA

I’m going through all the campaign files. I’ve got some of the financial records for you right now, and a heads-up that we’re about to blow a crap-ton of money buying a baseball team and committing to the Braintree Stadium plan. But I haven’t found anything damning. If there’s any real dirt, it’s in her personal communications, which I don’t have access to.

 

LEON

This is good.

 

NICA

Yet.

 

LOUISA

She’s not going to give you the login to her e-mail.

 

NICA

Give me? No. But I’ll find a way in. Maybe she’s got her password written down somewhere, or she’ll leave her computer logged in when she runs to the bathroom, or something.

 

LOUISA

That’s illegal, Nica.

 

NICA

Everything I’ve done is illegal! But that’s what I’ve got. That’s how I can do my penance. By doing this same shit I’ve been doing, but for the right reasons.

 

LOUISA

If that’s how you’re going to do this, that’s your decision, but stop telling me about it!

 

NICA

But you want information! That’s why we’re here. I’m helping you.

 

LOUISA

Look, this was your idea. You told me all that…stuff…and I didn’t turn you in. I kept your secret. From my employers. From my *friends*. You were sorry, and I believed you. You wanted to play double-agent, so here I am, helping you play double-agent. But you can’t keep making me complicit in crazy shit! God, how did I get to a point in my life where my friends keep turning me into their criminal accomplice?

 

NICA

You make it sound like blackmail. I just…I just need a friend. To be in this with me.

 

LOUISA

No, it’s not blackmail. It’s like you said at the start. It’s your penance. But penance is fucking hard, and you can’t make other people do it with you. It’s only just yours.

 

NICA

Yeah, no. I know.

 

LOUISA

[Sigh]

 

But the thing is, much as I’m against this plan, much as I’d rather you just come clean…I also think you can do some good here. I think you’re doing something brave. I mean…stupid. But brave. And I’ll support you in that. But you can’t tell me things I’m better off not knowing. I want to be your friend, Nica. But our friendship has boundaries. And criminal hacking conspiracies fall outside those boundaries.

 

NICA

That’s…fair.

 

LOUISA

And you’ve got to protect yourself too. Try to help, but don’t get yourself buried in more stuff you can go to jail for. And if you do do that stuff…stop announcing it to everyone!

 

NICA

Like Oliver did for Emily.

 

LOUISA

God, please don’t compare us to them.

 

NICA

No, you’re right. So…okay, there’s one more thing. I’m…I’m not even sure I want to bring it up. I’m not sure it’s fair.

 

LOUISA

To who?

 

NICA

Emily.

 

LOUISA

Well it’s officially brought up now, so you might as well tell me what it is.

 

NICA

It’s…her husband.

 

LOUISA

Yeah…what’s up with the robot? Why’s she got that standing in for him?

 

NICA

Is there a…him?

 

LOUISA

Who, Ethan? Yeah. I was at their wedding. He was a douche, but he’s real. Wait, is he not…

 

NICA

He’s not around.

 

LOUISA

Where is he?

 

NICA

I don’t know.

 

LOUISA

Does she have him in a freezer in the basement?

 

NICA

No, Louisa, I don’t think she killed him. I think he ran off.

 

LOUISA

So, wait…the thing with the robot…is she serious? Like, I assumed it was a joke that I just didn’t get. But…is she really using that thing as a replacement husband?

 

NICA

Sort of? Like…I kind of feel like she’s pretending that she’s pretending. If that makes sense.

 

LOUISA

Oh my god. She’s lost it. She’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

 

NICA

Don’t do that.

 

LOUISA

This is great! If people know she’s completely nutso bonkers then that’s the game…

 

NICA

NO.

 

LOUISA

What do you mean “no?” We can’t have a looney toon…

 

NICA

Stop it! This isn’t…she’s lonely, Louisa. She’s hurt, broken, and abandoned. She’s in pain.

 

LOUISA

Some people are lonely for good reason.

 

NICA

Maybe that’s true, but don’t make light of her. Not for that. She was who she was *before* her “issue” and she’ll still be who she is *after* her “issue,” but she’s not who she is *because* of her issue. That has nothing to do with it. And that’s not how we’ll get her. That’s not how we take her down. Because that doesn’t just hurt her. That hurts… well, that’s it really. Doing that just *hurts.*

 

LOUISA

So why even tell me?

 

NICA

Because we need to find him. I think finding him will help her resolve…that. But I also think he can help us. He had reasons for running off. We need to know what they were. And I’m telling you because that’s what you do. You find things.

 

LOUISA

My track record there isn’t exactly stellar, Nica. The Professor, the publisher, Michael, Gemma’s crystal ball…hell, now my own ex-boyfriend. I’ve tried to find all of them, and so far I’m 0 for five.

 

NICA

Nothing on Michael yet?

 

LOUISA

Nothing beyond what I already told you about. I was up late last night going through my entire calendar looking for other meetings he may have scheduled. Nothing. I haven’t given up. I won’t. He’s not the only person I’m looking for, but he’s number one on the list. That’s not changing.

 

NICA

Good. But you can make Ethan Bespin number two. You have to find him. We need to get him back to Emily.

 

LEON

I think I’m beginning to understand how this works. I couldn’t narrate for Nica earlier, because it was too soon. There were secrets she held that needed to be saved for later in the narrative. For the dramatic reveal. I have limitations, but meaningful limitations. Systematic limitations. There are rules here. Purposeful rules. This is good.

[Environment cuts out]

I can work with this.

 

CREDITS

[Bluesy music]

JEFF VAN DREASON

Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason, with recording and technical assistance from Marck Harmon.

Have you visited the Greater Boston Etsy shop? We’ve got shirts, mugs, posters, and probably some other stuff that we hadn’t thought of yet at the time we recorded this!

This episode featured:

  • Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis
  • Julia Schifini as 23 Skidoo
  • Jake Del Rio as Fox Fossil
  • James Capobianco as Dipshit Poletti
  • Jessica Washington as Isabelle Powell
  • Sam Musher as Emily Bespin
  • Kelly McCabe as Nica Stamatis
  • Tanja Milojevich as Melissa Weatherby
  • Summer Unsinn as Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge
  • Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer-Coolidge
  • Chad Ellis as Vincenzo
  • Julia Propp as Louisa Alvarez

 

Additional Voices:

  • Vilte Baliutaviciute
  • Ryan Estrada
  • Kenny Garcia
  • JV Hampton-VanSant
  • James Hartley
  • Colin Kelly
  • Mike McQuilkin
  • Ebi Poweigha
  • Eric SiIver

 

Transcripts are available at GreaterBostonShow.com.

Charlie on the MTA by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede

Train Jam by Adrienne Howard and Emily Peterson

Isolated by Kevin McCleod

Drums by Jim Johanson

Some sound effects used from public domain and creative commons sources.

 

COOKIE

RYAN ESTRADA

But no, seriously, what the ffffflubber is going on? Why are we seriously considering the authoritarian dystopia?

What the flamethrower is going on?

What the farfegnugen is going on?

What the Fünke is going on?

What the Fixit Felix is going on?

What the Frappuccino is going on?

What the flame-boiled Whopper is going on?

But no, seriously, whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat the flanksteak is going on?

 

Content Notes

 

  • Strong language
  • Racism
  • Stigmatizing of mental health issues

 

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