Mutant X Episode #306 Transcript: “Shadows of Darkness”
[Brennan hurries into the Double Helix as it sits in the landing bay of Sanctuary. Lexa follows close behind, sitting next to him in the co-pilot's chair.]
Lexa: Brennan, hold up! Why’d you run out of there like a bat out of hell?
Brennan (closing the Helix door behind her): Someone called me. They need my help.
Brennan: Dr. Palance, an old psychiatrist friend of mine.
Lexa (patting his arm): Wow, I'm impressed. I think it's high time you started to deal with your inadequacies. (She winks at him.)
Brennan: Very funny. It was back in high school. I had a choice between juvie or court-appointed therapy. Dr. Palance was the first person I told about my mutant ability. He's the head of the psychiatry department at St. Pastor's.
Lexa: Wha-what? St. Pastor's? Someone I know spent some time there. What’s going on?
Brennan: About fifteen years ago, there was a fire, wiped out the entire psych ward. Killed eight people, mostly children. Now since then, there’s been talk that the place was haunted. It’s been vacant until now, but since it’s been reopened, there’ve been reports of paranormal activity. You know, bizarre stuff that defies explanation.
Lexa: I’m going with you.
Brennan: I didn’t know you believe in ghosts.
Lexa: I don’t.
Brennan: Then why’re you so anxious to tag along?
Lexa: Let’s just call it research.
Brennan: Fine. I have no idea what to expect.
Lexa: Yeah. [The Helix takes off for St. Pastor’s.]
[On the top floor of the newly reopened St. Pastor’s Hospital, an Orderly, dressed in white, is walking down a hallway when he hears a little boy’s voice echoing through the corridors.]
The Boy (singing): Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Mama’s gonna buy you a mocking bird. And if that mocking bird don’t sing, Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass. And if that looking glass don’t shine, Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart. [Holding his ears, the Orderly looks around, but all he sees is a young janitor mopping the floor at the end of the hallway. Hearing his groans, The Janitor looks up from his work.]
The Orderly: No, stop! [As The Janitor watches, the screaming Orderly runs past him, trying to escape something that’s not there. He locks himself inside an empty room, then backs away in terror as a sea of cockroaches streams in under the door.]
The Orderly: No! Get away! [All at once, pajama-clad little boy appears in front of him.]
The Boy (singing): And if that horse and cart break down, it’s gonna be the sweetest little baby in town.
[Having arrived at the hospital, Brennan and Lexa are walking towards the front entrance.]
Lexa: It’s just that ever since you got that call, you’ve been a little edgy.
Brennan: Well, it’s just that Dr. Palance isn’t the kind of guy to ring the panic bell easily. I mean, you should have heard him. He sounded really scared. [On the top floor, the frightened Orderly backs away from both the roaches and the little boy.]
The Boy: I told you to leave. This place is mine! [Howling in fear, The Orderly crashes through the glass window behind him. His body plummets to the ground below, narrowly missing Lexa and Brennan as they are entering the building. They stare down at his body in shock.]
Opening Credits. “Shadows of Darkness.”
[Two paramedics zip The Orderly into a body bag on a stretcher. A short ways away, Brennan and Lexa are talking with Dr. Palance.]
Dr. Palance: I really didn’t know who else to turn to.
Brennan: I understand. Look, I’m glad you called me.
Lexa: I guess our timing couldn’t be better, huh?
Brennan: You know, it’s kind of a brutal way for a patient to commit suicide, though, isn’t it?
Dr. Palance: It wasn’t a patient. It was an orderly, and as far as I know, he had no history of mental illness.
Lexa: Well, did anyone see what happened?
The Young Janitor (coming up to them): I did. I was mopping the halls when he ran past me. He looked really out of it.
Brennan: How do you mean?
The Janitor: Terrified. It was like he was running from something, but nothing was there.
Lexa: Well, did you try and stop him or call for help?
The Janitor: No, it happened so fast. Bad things happened at this place a long time ago. Horrible, unspeakable things. I should get back to work. [He walks off. Dr. Denise Willett comes up to Dr. Palance.]
Dr. Willett: Dr. Palance, the police need your statement.
Dr. Palance: Ah, Dr. Willett. These are investigators from the state board: Brennan Mulwray and Lexa Pierce. Dr. Willett is head of our administration. [They shake hands.]
Dr. Willett: No one is more surprised about this tragedy than I am.
Lexa: Yeah, and we were told he had no history of mental illness.
Dr. Willett: That’s not uncommon. Often suicidal tendencies are hard to predict. Wouldn’t you agree, Dr. Palance? [He looks at her skeptically. She smiles at Brennan and Lexa.] Well. However I can help you in your investigation, please let me know. [She leaves.]
Brennan: She’s wound a little tight.
Dr. Palance: Ever since the hospital reopened, she’s been trying to distance herself from the negative publicity.
Lexa: What negative publicity?
Dr. Palance: That St. Pastor’s is cursed. So many children’s lives were lost in the fire that people began to claim that the place was haunted.
Lexa: And I take it you agree.
Dr. Palance: Well, let me show you something. [He leads them inside. Lexa, rolling her eyes, follows.]
[Dr. Palance takes Lexa, and Brennan to a hospital room where one wall bears the large bloody words “Get Out."]
Lexa: Maybe it’s just some neighborhood kids playing a prank.
Dr. Palance: Well, this is not the first time it’s happened. It started the day the hospital reopened, but no matter how many times we paint over it, the words always bleed through.
Lexa (smirking at Brennan): Well, ever think of hanging a picture?
Dr. Palance (not laughing): For some reason, this is where the most people tend to see the most activity. The cleaning crew swears the place is infested with cockroaches. We’ve had exterminators comb through the building; they never find a thing.
Brennan: Which room was this before the fire?
Dr. Palance: Well, it was all part of the children’s psych ward. [His beeper goes off.] If you’ll excuse me. [He walks out. Brennan walks up to the wall for a closer look.]
Lexa: Maybe it’s a message from a patient’s health insurer.
Brennan: You know, maybe you could reserve judgement until after we’ve had a chance to look around?
Lexa: Well, I can certainly try. [She shrugs and walks off.]
Brennan (into his comlink): Hey, Jess. [Cut to: Jesse in Sanctuary’s garage, welding a piece of machinery. He stops and takes off his goggles.]
Jesse: Yo, wassup?
Brennan: Do me a favor. Can you start digging up everything you can on the fire at St. Pastor’s?
Jesse: Sure. [He sits at the computer.] What’s that all about?
Brennan: I don’t know. Just let me know whatever it is you find out, all right? Fact or fiction.
Jesse: You got it. [Behind him, Shalimar peeks in the doorway.]
Shalimar: So...are they still at that place?
Jesse: Yeah. Shal, what's up with you and psychiatric hospitals? You act like you'd rather walk into a wall of fire.
Shalimar: Yeah, well if you'd spent half the time I did in the place my father threw me, you'd probably feel the same way. Just the thought of setting foot in a hospital like that just makes my palms sweat. Crazy, huh?
Jesse (showing off): No, not really. Lots of people are nosocomophobic. A...uh...intense fear of hospitals.
Shalimar: You're kidding, right? [She hugs him.] You spent the night in a chat room talking to people about panic disorders, didn't you?
Jesse (laughing): You say that like it's a bad thing.
[At the hospital, Lexa’s in the bathroom washing her hands when she’s startled by a cockroach scuttling out of the drain. Hearing a giggle behind her in the stalls, Lexa looks under one of the stall doors and then kicks it open. Finding it empty, she turns back to the sink.]
Lexa (whispering to herself): Okay... [She hears another giggle and looks in the mirror to see The Little Boy standing behind her in the stall. She spins around, but the stall is empty again.] I am not losing my mind. Nope. [She walks out. The Boy reappears in the stall, snickering to himself.]
[Coming back from his answering his page, Dr. Palance runs across Dr. Willett.]
Dr. Willett: I’m curious, Doctor. Why did you call the board without first consulting me?
Dr. Palance: I’m the head of psychiatry. I felt it was warranted.
Dr. Willett: Do you realize the media frenzy this is going to stir up? I’m surprised Channel 6 isn’t out there doing a story on the ghost of St. Pastor’s. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? [Down the hallway, Lexa turns invisible behind the wall to eavesdrop.]
Dr. Palance: What are you talking about?
Dr. Willett: Victor, this is a small hospital. You think I don’t know you’re the one responsible for this growing hysteria?
Dr. Palance: A man has died. You can bury your head in the sand all you like. I’m not going to stand around and do nothing.
Dr. Willett: If I were you, I’d tread very carefully, Doctor. I’d hate for the psychiatric community to catch wind of some of your fantastic theories. [Leaving him, Dr. Willett pulls out her cellphone.] Joanne, do me a favor. Call up the board and find out whatever you can about those people they sent over.
[Visible again, Lexa sits at one of the hospital computers, doing a patient search for “Leo Pierce” which comes up “Patient Not Found.” Dr. Palance walks up to her.]
Dr. Palance: Did you find something?
Lexa (hurridly clearing the screen and getting up): I wish.
[Brennan’s walking the corridor when he sees a middle-aged janitor mopping the floors.]
Brennan: Excuse me. I want to ask you a question about one of the other janitors here. He’s a tall, lanky guy, about mid-twenties.
The Janitor: Nobody here fits that description.
Brennan: You sure? I was just talking to him outside.
The Janitor: Buddy, I’ve been here since 8. And the only other janitor on duty is Carl, and he’s in his sixties. [Just then, Brennan glimpses The Young Janitor further down the hall.]
Brennan: Ah, forget it, I found him. [He trots after The Young Janitor.] Hey, buddy! Hey, buddy, wait up! [He reaches the end of the corridor, but The Young Janitor has disappeared. Brennan looks around, confused.]
[Meanwhile, in Sanctuary, Shalimar picks up one of the hundreds of articles Jesse’s printing out about the St. Pastor’s fire.]
Jesse: I did a general search of St. Pastor’s on the net.
Shalimar: I know. I can’t believe all the stuff you found.
Jesse: Oh, read it. It’ll make you think twice about things that go bump in the night.
Shalimar (reading the article): So they never determined the cause of the fire.
Jesse: No. No, all it says is that the ward was cut off by a wall of flames.
Shalimar: Oh, this is creepy. It says that clean-up workers claim to have heard a child’s voice echoing through the corridors.
Jesse: Yeah. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Over the years there have been countless stories of paranormal activity. That’s part of the reason the hospital remained closed so long.
Shalimar: Oh my God, these were just kids. They weren’t even in their teens.
[Brennan’s still searching the hospital floors for the janitor. Suddenly, a nurse smoking a cigarette appears behind him, wearing a purple and green uniform.]
Nurse Campbell: Aren't you a brave boy. Haven't you heard? Strange things have been happening around this place.
Brennan: Yeah. Well, I guess it's a good thing I don't scare easily.
Nurse Campbell (flirting: I see that. You look lost. Can I help you?
Brennan: Yeah, actually. I’m looking for one of your janitors. He’s about....uh...
Nurse Campbell (nodding): Twenty three. Sad eyes?
Brennan (surprised): Yeah.
Nurse Campbell (putting out her cigarette): He’s down below. I’ll take you there.
Brennan: They actually let you smoke in here?
Nurse Campbell: Shhh. I have to sneak them. [As she leads him to the elevators, she begins to sing.] Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Mama’s gonna buy you a mocking bird. And if that mocking bird won’t sing, mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring. And if that diamond ring turns brass, mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.
Brennan: You have a nice voice.
Nurse Campbell (getting into the elevator): Thank you. A compliment like that deserves a kiss. [Smiling, Brennan starts to walk towards her. Lexa tackles him, pinning him against the wall.]
Lexa: Watch out! [Horrified, she looks down the empty elevator shaft Brennan was about to step into.]
Brennan: What are you doing?! [He looks into the empty elevator shaft, realizing that both the elevator and the nurse have vanished.]
Dr. Palance (coming running): What happened?
Lexa: Well, Brennan was just about to take one giant leap for mankind.
Brennan (confused): I was just—she was just taking me down to see the janitor.
Brennan: The nurse! She was right here!
Dr. Palance: What did she look like? Was she wearing an ID badge?
Brennan: Um...no...not that I remember...um... But she had short dark hair....um...with a short-sleeve uniform, kind of purple and green.
Dr. Palance: Well, that can’t be, Brennan. Those uniforms have been phased out, after the fire.
Brennan: Do you have personnel files dating back before the fire?
Dr. Palance: I think so. [Looking at each other, Lexa and Brennan follow him down the hallway.]
[Shalimar’s lying in bed with her computer, paging through old St. Pastor’s news articles. She looks up to see Jesse watching her from the doorway.]
Jesse (sitting next to the bed): I guess I’m not the only one who likes to spend time on the net, huh?
Shalimar: Did you know that all the children that died in the fire were wards of the state? They were all being treated for different phobias?
Jesse: Yeah, I read that.
Shalimar: I would like to know what they were doing to those kids.
Jesse: Well, you might get your wish. I found the only survivor from that ward. Her name is Sandy Fetko. She was 9 years old when it happened. [Shalimar gets up. Cut to: The Double Helix flying towards Sandy’s apartment.]
[Lexa and Dr. Palance watch Brennan sift through old personnel files, looking for the nurse he saw.]
Brennan (picking out a file): That’s her.
Dr. Palance: Donna Campbell. Are you sure this is the woman you saw?
Dr. Palance: She died in the fire. There’s a notation right here in the record.
Lexa (grinning at Brennan): Let me see that.
Brennan: I’m telling you, Lex, she was real! Okay, I could practically taste the smoke from her cigarette.
Lexa: Well, it says here she was head nurse of the children’s psych ward. Hey, what’s Project IET? It’s got her initials all over it.
Dr. Palance: I’m sure it must have been one of the studies they were working on at the time.
Lexa: How do we find out more about it?
Dr. Palance: Well, the fire was contained in the children’s ward. I believe all the records were boxed up, labeled, and then put down into storage. We should be able to find them there.
Lexa: Let’s go.
Brennan (to Lexa): You know, for a skeptic, you’re starting to sound an awful lot like a believer.
[Jesse and Shalimar wait outside of Sandy’s apartment as Shalimar knocks on the door.]
Jesse: You know, she might not be here.
Shalimar: I can hear her in there, I know she’s home. [She knocks again and Sandy opens the door a crack.] Miss Fetko?
Shalimar: Hi. I’m Shalimar Fox. This is Jesse. We wanted to ask you a few questions about St. Pastor’s.
Sandy: That was a long time ago. I mean, I was barely 10 years old then.
Shalimar: You must remember something.
Sandy: Uh, well, actually it turns out that I blocked most of it out. Doctors say that’s really common after a traumatic event.
Jesse: Yeah. Most, but not everything, right?
Sandy: Well, no, I mean, all I remember is waking up and there was smoke all around me.
Shalimar: How did you manage to get out?
Sandy: Nurse Campbell. She saved my life. She went back in for the others but...but she never made it out. Um, look, I’m really sorry. I wish I could be more help, okay? I’m sorry. [She shuts the door and locks it.]
Shalimar: Think she’s holding out on us.
Jesse: How could you tell?
Shalimar (as they walk back down the hall): Call it feral intuition?
[Dr. Palance leads Lexa and Brennan into the basement.]
Dr. Palance: This place was built during the cold war in case of a bomb attack. The idea being that the entire hospital could be mobilized from down here.
Brennan: I think we’ll have better luck if we split up and search.
Lexa: Shout if you find anything. [They head in opposite directions.]
[Having returned to Sanctuary, Jesse and Shalimar are standing at the computer.]
Shalimar: Since Sandy won’t talk to us, I thought we might find some answers by looking into her medical records. Apparently, Sandy was agoraphobic. And after the fire, she was transferred to another clinic, where they discovered she’d been given a steady diet of cortisol.
Shalimar: A stress hormone.
Jesse: Yeah, but that doesn’t make any sense. I mean, a phobic is stressed 24-7, why would they give her something to increase her fear?
Shalimar: I don’t know. That would explain why she doesn’t want to talk to us about it, though. It must have been living hell for her.
[Dr. Palance is climbing a step ladder to look at files on a top shelf when he hears Nurse Campbell’s voice singing “Hush Little Baby.” Looking around, he sees a cigarette smoldering atop a stack of papers. He climbs down to put it out, only to find himself face to face with Nurse Campbell herself.]
Dr. Palance: What do you want?
Nurse Campbell (holding a cigarette): You’re not wanted here, Doctor. [She glances at a couple of oxygen tanks on the floor by the door. Their knobs start to turn by themselves, letting gas pour over the lit cigarette and igniting the stack of papers.]
Dr. Palance: No! Brennan! [He runs to the elevator and pushes the button frantically. When the elevator doesn’t come, he tries the stairwell door, but it’s locked. Finally, the elevator doors open, revealing The Little Boy.]
The Boy: This place is mine! [Dr. Palance looks down as cockroaches stream out of the elevator past the boy’s bare feet. The shock is too much for Dr. Palance, who suffers a heart attack. The Young Janitor watches from the shadows as Dr. Palance collapses on the floor. As soon as his eyes close, the little boy vanishes and the elevator doors close. The Young Janitor backs away.]
Dr. Palance (strangled): Help...me...
Brennan (rushing to his side): Dr. Palance! [He feels for a pulse and listens to his chest. Lexa comes running.] There’s no heartbeat!
Lexa: I’ll go get help. [Opening the stairwell door, she races up the stairs.]
Brennan: There’s no time! (To Dr. Palance.) Stay with me. [Not hearing a heartbeat, he shocks him twice, then starts pumping on his chest.] Doc, come on!
[Still in the basement, Dr. Palance is lying on a stretcher, wearing an oxygen mask. Brennan leans over him.]
Brennan: Relax, Dr. Palance. Just breathe, okay? Nah, don’t speak.
Dr. Palance (taking off the oxygen mask): Wait, Brennan. The little boy. Did you see him? [Brennan shakes his head.]
Lexa: I did. Earlier, when we were looking around.
Brennan: Okay. The doctors are gonna take care of you, okay? [A paramedic rolls Dr. Palance into the elevator. Brennan turns to Lexa.] Why didn’t you say something earlier?
Lexa (crossing her arms): Because it doesn’t make any sense! I guess I’m just not ready to start believing in ghosts just yet.
Brennan: Then how do you explain what the hell is going on here?
Lexa: Okay, fine. Let’s say the boy’s a ghost.
Brennan: Probably one of the kids that died back in the fire.
Lexa: Maybe Jesse can get an I.D.?
Brennan: Yeah, it’s worth a shot.
Lexa: Hey, what’s wrong?
Brennan: I never should have left Dr. Palance alone. None of this would ever have happened.
Lexa: You really care about him, don't you?
Brennan: I was really messed up back in high school. I was going down a really bad path. He was the first person that really gave a damn about me.
Lexa: Well, don’t worry. He’s gonna pull through. [She smiles and walks away.]
[In Sanctuary, Jesse runs up to Shalimar at the computer.]
Jesse: All right, I’ve got a match for the boy at the hospital. [Shalimar moves out of his way.] Thanks. [He pulls up a photo of The Little Boy.] Here we go. His name is Johnny Cummings. He was among the original patients in the psych ward.
Shalimar: Yeah, but according to this, he was listed as one of the victims of the fire. [Jesse nods.] He’s dead.
Jesse: Yeah. So, what? We really are dealing with ghosts?
Shalimar: Well, there’s one way to find out. [She grabs his arm and leads him towards the door.]
[Meanwhile, Lexa and Brennan are sitting in the waiting room when Dr. Willett walks in.]
Brennan (standing): Any word on his condition?
Dr. Willett: He’s stable at the moment. What were you two doing down there in the first place?
Lexa: Well, we were looking for records on Project IET.
Dr. Willett: For what possible reason?
Lexa: Well, we think there may be a connection to what’s going on here.
Dr. Willett: I take it Dr. Palance has shared some of his theories with you.
Brennan: Look. Like it or not, there is definitely something going on at your hospital.
Dr. Willett: Yes. A phenomenon known as collective delusions. Mass media rumors, so-called eye witness accounts are all contributing factors.
Brennan: Hold on. What you’re trying to say is that the orderly’s death, Dr. Palance’s heart attack?
Dr. Willett: I’m certain they convinced themselves that what they were seeing was real, but I believe it’s all simply part of the collective delusion.
Lexa: Yeah, I think that’s a very possible scenario. [Brennan stares at her.]
Dr. Willett: Look, if you really think looking over those files would be helpful, I’ll print out everything I’ve got.
Lexa: Thank you. That would be great. [She follows Dr. Willett out, but Brennan heads in the opposite direction to check on Dr. Palance.]
[When Brennan walks into Dr. Palance's room; the doctor opens his eyes.]
Brennan: Oh, you really had me worried, Doc.
Dr. Palance: Yeah, me too. He was so real, Brennan. He wasn’t a figment of my imagination; I could reach out and touch him.
Brennan: I believe you. Now, Doc, the boy you saw was Johnny Cummings. Does that mean anything to you?
Dr. Palance: Why, should it?
Brennan: I’m just trying to figure out why he targeted you.
Dr. Palance: Whatever it is, spiritual or otherwise, doesn’t want us here. I sensed an incredible amount of anger. He wanted me dead.
Brennan: He almost got his wish.
Dr. Palance: What’s going on here, Brennan?
Brennan: I don’t know. But I plan on finding out.
[Lexa’s standing with Dr. Willett, who is sitting at the main desk computer.]
Dr. Willett: That’s odd. According to the hospital database, all records pertaining to Project IET were destroyed in the fire. [A nurse on the phone touches her shoulder.]
Lexa: Isn’t there some sort of backup?
Dr. Willett (to the nurse): Hey. [To Lexa.] I’m sorry, excuse me a moment. [Into the phone.] Yes?
Joanne (on the phone): You know those two who’re with you right now? The state board didn’t send them.
Dr. Willett (looking at Lexa): I see. [She hangs up.] All right, who are you and what are you doing here?
Lexa: I’m sorry?
Dr. Willett: According to the state board, there’s no record of anyone investigating this hospital. [Caught in her lie, Lexa can’t think of anything to say.]
[Jesse and Shalimar are at Johnny's gravesite at night, in the middle of a lightning storm. Jesse’s down in the hole digging up the grave as Shalimar trains a flashlight on him.]
Shalimar (noticing flowers by Johnny’s headstone): That’s weird.
Shalimar: Well, Johnny was an orphan, right? No next of kin? Who’d leave him flowers?
Jesse (grunting): Good question. I think I've hit something. [He drops the shovel.] Shal, there’s no telling what this body’s gonna look like. It might not be pretty.
Shalimar: I know.
Jesse: All right. [He pries opens the casket, only to find it’s empty. They look at each other in amazement.]
[At the hospital, Dr. Willett and two security officers are escorting Lexa out of the building.]
Lexa: Dr. Willett, please.
Dr. Willett: You’re lucky I’m not pressing charges. Where’s your friend? [She doesn't answer.] Escort her out. I’ll find him myself. [She goes back inside.]
Lexa (pulling out of their grip): It’s okay, boys. I can take it from here. [The guards watch her leave, then go back inside. Turning invisible, Lexa re-enters behind them and slides quickly into the elevator with Dr. Willett before the doors close. They head down to the basement, where Brennan's climbing the same stepladder Dr. Palance had been on. Hearing a child’s giggle, he turns, but there’s nothing there. He returns to the stack of records, pulling out Johnny’s file and a box of video tapes labeled “Project: IET.” Just as he finds Johnny’s video, the box suddenly fills with cockroaches. Brennan panics and drops the box. The elevator reaches the basement floor. Dr. Willett steps out, followed by an invisible Lexa. Lexa hurries to Brennan’s side.]
Lexa (grabbing his arm, making them both invisible): Hey. Come on, let’s go. [They sneak past Dr. Willett into the elevator. She turns just in time to see the elevator doors close behind them.]
[Back in Sanctuary, Shalimar and Jesse are trying to understand what’s happened to Johnny’s body.]
Shalimar: It doesn’t make sense. Why would they bury an empty casket?
Jesse: Maybe they didn’t know the casket was empty. I got a lead on his mother. Her name is Wanda Morgan. Little Johnny was born in the summer of 1980.
Shalimar: Right around the time Genomex’s embryo research was in full swing.
Jesse: That’s right. His mother was being treated for infertility problems.
Shalimar: Johnny is a mutant?
Jesse: I’m guessing psionic. Who else would have the power to cast illusions? But what I don't get is, if Johnny didn't die in the fire, then what's he been doing with his life?
Shalimar: Maybe he never left the hospital. I mean, think about it. It's all he knows. In a sick way, that's home.
Jesse: Yeah, but all this time, hiding in the shadows...
Shalimar: Any hint of threat, he goes into ghost mode. Scares away any intruders.
Jesse: Until now. With the hospital reopening, he must think it's all starting up all over again.
Shalimar: That's what this is all about for him, shutting them down. And I bet I knew who put the flowers on Johnny's grave.
[Shalimar returns to Sandy Fetko’s apartment. Sandy opens the door a crack to see who it is.]
Sandy: Look, I already told you everything I know.
Shalimar: What about Johnny Cummings?
Sandy: He’s dead.
Shalimar: No, he’s not.
Sandy (shaking her head): No, that can’t be right.
Shalimar: Look, Sandy, I need you to help us before anybody else gets killed. [Sandy shuts the door in her face. Shalimar looks disappointed until she hears the lock being removed on the other side. Sandy opens the door, letting her in.]
[Sitting in an office across from Dr. Palance’s, Lexa and Brennan watch the videotape of Johnny’s Project IET session: Nurse Campbell is injecting little Johnny’s arm with a needle.]
Brennan: What is she doing? [Lexa shakes her head.]
[Cut to Sandy, making coffee as she tells Shalimar about Project IET.]
Sandy: It was supposed to be a new kind of treatment for panic disorders. They called it Intensive Exposure Therapy. The idea was to have a patient repeatedly confront their fears in a controlled environment.
Shalimar: So the cortisol was given to enhance anxiety?
Sandy (nodding): When the drugs wore off, the theory was that the phobia would be cured.
[Lexa and Brennan watch, horrified, as Nurse Campbell overturns a jar of large cockroaches on the floor next to little Johnny. The boy backs away, screaming in terror. He bangs on the window, desperately trying to escape.]
Sandy (her voice shaking): Johnny was an entymophobic. That’s an intense fear of insects. They terrified him! It was horrible. It was...It was like living in a 24 hour nightmare. And the worst part was listening to all the screams of the others, but there was nothing we could do! There was nothing that any of us could do, and Johnny just...had it the worst. He was in the room next to mine. He used to scream until he could barely speak. The only way I could calm him down was if I would sing “Hush Little Baby” to him. Sometimes I’d sing for hours, until he finally fell asleep.
Shalimar: He’s the one that started the fires, wasn’t he?
Sandy (nodding): Nurse Campbell used to go for a smoke between sessions in the supply room. Johnny knew it, and so one day he snuck down and he turned on all the valves on all the oxygen tanks.
Shalimar: So her cigarette would have become an instant torch. That room must have gone up in seconds. Johnny was the one that saved you, wasn’t he? [Sandy nods.] Look, Sandy, I need you to come back with me to St. Pastor’s. You’re the only one that can get through to him. One man has already died.
Sandy (agitated): I can’t go back there!
Shalimar: I know how you feel.
Sandy: No, you don’t!
Shalimar (nodding): I do. Trust me, I’ve got my own war wounds when it comes to institutions. We need to stop him.
[Lexa stops the tape in disgust, freezing the image on little Johnny’s panicked face.]
Lexa: How could any doctor watch this and not realize that this experiment was a complete failure?
Brennan (reading the records): The manufacturer of the synthetic form of cortisol prescribed to the patients was Trendall Labs. That’s the same company that owns St. Pastor’s.
Lexa: Talk about a conflict of interest. They were using those poor kids as guinea pigs. Who was in charge of all this?
Brennan (flipping the page): Dr. Denise Willett. [Eavesdropping outside the door, The Young Janitor straightens on hearing the name. His teeth clench and burn scars appear on one side of his face.]
[Dr. Willett is walking down a corridor on the fourth floor when she suddenly realizes that the place is empty.]
Dr. Willett: Where is everybody? [She picks up a phone at the nurse’s station, but it’s dead.]
Nurse Campbell (appearing in front of her): Is something wrong, Doctor? You seem a little surprised.
Dr. Willett (backing away in shock): This isn’t happening.
Nurse Campbell: Oh, but it is. So you’re the one who’s responsible.
Dr. Willett (pushing on the locked stairwell door in vain): I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Nurse Campbell (following her): Project IET. You ordered the experiments. Sorry, Doctor. This time you can’t get away. [Dr. Willett runs for the elevator, then spins around as Nurse Campbell’s voice suddenly becomes a man’s. Nurse Campbell has been replaced by The Young Janitor with the burned face.]
The Janitor (smiling): I won’t let you. Guess who got over his fear of bugs? [A sea of cockroaches swarms towards Dr. Willett. She frantically pushes the elevator button until it arrives, then rushes inside and closes the door just in time. She sighs in relief. Then The Young Janitor/Johnny Cummings appears in the elevator beside her.]
The Janitor/Johnny Cummings (smiling): Going down? [She cringes in fear. The elevator heads down to the basement.]
[Shalimar and Jesse escort a trembling Sandy through the front doors of St. Pastor’s. Once inside the building, Sandy stops, uncertain.]
Sandy (shaking her head): No, I can’t. I can’t do this. I just–I can’t.
Jesse: Is she all right?
Shalimar: Yeah, I got her. Just get in there.
Jesse: All right. [He runs off to find Lexa and Brennan.]
Shalimar (rubbing Sandy’s shoulder): Hey. I’m not going to let anything happen to you, okay? I promise. [Sandy nods.] Come on.
[Lexa and Brennan have split up to search for Dr. Willett. Passing The Middle-Aged Janitor who’s mopping the floors again, Lexa returns to find Brennan.]
Lexa: I can’t find Dr. Willett anywhere.
Brennan: Three guesses where she went.
Lexa: Yeah, to destroy whatever evidence is left of Project IET. [They head towards the elevator. Brennan pushes the button, but nothing happens.]
Brennan: Ah, forget it. The stairs. [He pulls on the stairwell door, which is locked.]
Jesse (running up): Someone call for a locksmith? [He phases the door, letting them through.]
[In the basement, Johnny has tied Dr. Willett to a chair. He pours a can of gasoline over her.]
Johnny: How does it feel to be helpless, huh? No way out. Noone to hear you scream. You’re gonna pay for what you did to us. [Jesse, Lexa, and Brennan round the corner. Lexa motions them on ahead and turns invisible. Johnny hears them coming.] Stay away! I’m not playing with you anymore! [Brennan and Jesse stop as Johnny flips open a lighter.] This is as real as it gets.
Jesse: You know, maybe we should do what he says. He drops that lighter, and we’re all toast. [Invisible, Lexa moves around silently behind Johnny.]
Brennan: Come on, Johnny. Come on, you don’t want to do this, man.
Johnny: You know what I want?
Brennan: We know what they did to you, all right?. But this isn’t going to solve anything.
Johnny: It ends right now. [He lights the lighter. Then, from behind Brennan and Jesse, Sandy’s voice begins to sing.]
Sandy (singing brokenly): Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Mama’s gonna buy you a mocking bird. And if that mocking bird don’t sing...
Johnny (whispering the next line): Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring. [He looks up.] Sandy?
Sandy: Johnny. Please, don’t do it.
Johnny: I have to put an end to this, Sandy. I’m tired of being afraid. [Dr. Willett’s eyes follow the lighter as it hovers around her.] I can’t live like this.
Sandy: I know. But this isn’t the way. [Johnny considers her words, then shuts the lighter. Lexa, turning visible again, quickly tackles him from behind and grabs his hands. Brennan and Jesse untie Dr. Willett.]
Johnny (to Sandy): I never meant to hurt the other children. You’ve gotta believe me.
Sandy (nodding): I know.
Johnny: I just wanted it to stop. [Sandy nods in understanding. Lexa takes him away.]
[Lexa and Brennan are standing at Dr. Palance’s bedside.]
Dr. Palance: What will happen to Dr. Willett?
Brennan: Well, she’ll survive. But she’s probably going to have to answer for what went down here fifteen years ago.
Dr. Palance: Well, I am not a vindictive person. But I think there will never really be any true justice here. Lexa: Well, I AM a vindictive person. And if it were up to me, I’d pump her sorry ass so full of cortisol, it’d make her hair turn white. [Brennan laughs.] But that’s just me. I should let you get some rest. [She leaves.]
Brennan: Look, Doc. You know, I never really had the chance to say this years ago, but...
Dr. Palance: I know, Brennan, I know.
Dr. Palance: I always knew you’d turn out okay. [They shake hands, smiling.]
[In the police station, Jesse, Sandy and Shalimar watch through the glass window as Johnny sits forlornly between two police officers, his wrists in handcuffs.]
Sandy (crying): Now what’s going to happen to him?
Shalimar: Well, I guess now he’ll get the help he deserves.
Sandy: He’s not a bad person, you know. He’s just...he's just broken.
Shalimar: We’re all a little broken from time to time. [The officers escort Johnny to the door, then Johnny stops and turns back. Smiling slightly, he puts one hand up against the glass, waving goodbye to Sandy.]
Jesse (suddenly noticing that his wrists are bare): What happened to his handcuffs? [Before their eyes, ‘Johnny’ vanishes into thin air. In alarm, Jesse and Shalimar dash to the elevator. Sandy remains in her chair, sadly waving goodbye to the space where Johnny’s image had been.]
[Back at the hospital, the real Johnny sits in the basement, doused in gasoline. Sobbing, he places the gasoline can back on the floor beside him and pulls out his lighter, flipping the cap open and shut. Cut to: The top of the elevator moving slowly down the elevator shaft, carrying Shalimar and Jesse towards the basement. But they’re too late. As the haunting voice of Nurse Campbell sings “Hush Little Baby” overhead, Johnny ignites the lighter, and the room explodes into oblivion.]