Season Two Premiere
I have to do a lot of self-reflection in my life, so allow me to be perfectly clear when I say that there are some things about me that I don’t feel are appropriate to share. Don’t be worried, of course… It’s not like I’m leaving any information out, I’m simply choosing to keep some things private. I’ve been doing this since we started talking, so let me very upfront when I tell you that I’m not very confident in what I do or don’t deserve.
Since we last talked, I told you about when the law first became a legitimate threat to my work and I. I chose to describe myself in a specific way because there was a specific way I wanted you to see me. I don’t believe I deserve to be viewed as a hero, so I chose to make myself seem like the least likeable person you could imagine a criminal to be. When things began unfolding in my story, I disliked it at first, but I began realizing that I deserved every last bit of it.
Sure, it all happened in exchange for my freedom. But I still deserved to lose the pieces I negotiated with. After my name was cleared, I was let go from VeroSoft Industries. They decided that it was best for them to cut all of the loose fat from their more controversial episodes in order to, shall we say, redevelop their public image. I deserved that almost as much as I deserved the deviated septum and broken ribs from taking the dive off that bridge.
There are some parts of my life that I refused to leave out that, whilst making me look good, needed to be mentioned for the better of the story. Helping the hot dog vendor guy gave me a feeling that I had never felt before, like I was doing good without feeling like what I did could be construed as bad. Other small bits like the fact that I despise Buffalo and have a soft spot in my heart for people that stand out from the crowd are also true in nature.
But this is different. Yesterday is a day of the past and today is another one entirely. You got a story for your efforts, and now you want another one. Okay, I’ll agree to bite down on the line so you can pretend you caught a big one. If you couldn’t piece together the parts that don’t outright fit, I’ll spell it out for you so you don’t have to go home feeling like you were duped, fed more questions than you were answers.
I’ll make this story an interesting one for you, one that you can really appreciate going through the process of digestion for. So grab a frosty beer, put your hand in whatever your preferred snack is a munch down. Who was Nora and what did she want from me? What did I do after I took that dip? How did I find out who my guardian angel was? What did I do with Eliza? All of these questions, and probably some more… You’re gonna wanna hear about from the horse’s mouth itself.
= Joshua Lane is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and the entity of Pacer1 Media from the start of Season 1 onwards =
Halfway between conscious and unconscious, Josh floats atop the water face up, unable to move his body, but the sensation of the waves gently caressing his back convince him of comfort. After a few minutes atop his watery grave, hollering from a few yards away begins to take his focus, the calling for help as the water reacting to a man swimming to him acting as the only thing he can concentrate on in order to stay awake.
After a brief struggle, the man wraps his arm around Josh’s torso, where he notices the broken ribs from Josh’s agonizing groans. Reaching the shore, the man tilts Josh on his side and allows the water in his nose and mouth to dribble onto the soft sands. “Call for help” the man directs his friend, whispering to Josh that everything’s going to be alright. Struggling to stay conscious, Josh manages to hold his own until the emergency crews arrive, when the power to fight fully depletes.
After a few hours, Josh opens his eyes for the first time since the bridge, immediately shutting them upon glancing at the heavy white lights above. His hands extending outwards, the man tries to push himself up with the bars on each side of the bed, feeling the weight of his efforts lay a direct blow into his ribs. “Stop! You shouldn’t push yourself too hard!” a woman’s voice calls out from the other side of the room, rushing to assist him up.
“Where am I?” Josh asks, looking at Becca for the first time before realizing himself to be in bed as a patient in her hospital once again. “Right back where you started” Becca replies, trying to be mad at blowing her off, but unable to do anything more than feel bad for the bed-ridden man as he holds her hand out of gratitude. “How did I get here?” Josh asks, Becca glances down at the floor and swipes at the hair in her face, not wanting to give him the truth.
“Some men found you floating in the river while they were coming home from fishing” Becca replies, “apparently your car was found parked on the bridge a couple feet away.” The hours he spent in and out of consciousness having blurred the events, Josh tilts his head back with his mouth open as it all comes flooding back to him. “Why did you do it?” Becca asks, Josh turning around to look at her, “you hadn’t been answering my calls, I was worried I had done something.”
Shaking his head, Josh tells the girl that it had nothing to do with her, and she hadn’t been told the full story. “I like to look out at the water from the bridge when I need to clear my head” Josh replies, “a bead fell off my necklace as I was looking over and I fell over trying to catch it.” Her eyes narrowing, Becca lowers her head as Josh instructs her to pull it back up. “I’ve got almost everything I could want in the world” Josh mutters, “I’ve got no reason to want out of it.”
As Becca’s frown lifts, the door to the room glides open, splicing the moment as Eliza walks through the door, glancing at Josh’s bed with a puckered smirk. Walking towards the girl, Eliza holds her hand out and introduces herself, having been called in as Josh’s emergency contact. “Could you give us a second?” Eliza asks, “I don’t mean to be an ass, especially when you’re here on your off-time, there’s just something confidential I need to talk to Josh about.”
“Sure” Becca says, flashing Josh another smile and nodding at Eliza as she walks out of the room, leaving Eliza to sit beside Josh at his bedside. “What the fuck were you thinking?” Eliza asks, her tone taking a complete turn, “trying to off yourself like that and leave me here with the mess?” Rolling his eyes, Josh tells her that he wasn’t looking to off himself, only for Eliza to respond by asking why the scene he leapt from looked exactly like a suicide attempt.
“It wasn’t a suici- ugh!” Josh says, groaning before he can finish, frustrated at how poorly everything has been made out to look. “I was trying to stop someone from jumping off the bridge” Josh replies, answering “no one” when Eliza asks for a name. “Don’t tell me it was no one when-” Eliza begins, Josh cutting her off with, “Not just no one, it was literally no one! I thought I saw someone jumping off the bridge and I was wrong!”
“That makes no sense!” Eliza says, her head shaking as Josh admits that it only makes less sense with the more information he gives away. Her hands held out as the signal for him to continue, Eliza’s right hand smacks herself in the head when Josh admits to hallucinating people. “You’re just a massive bag of party-sized fucked up, ain’t you?” Eliza asks, Josh’s hands being thrown out as he admits to not being the most well put together person in New York.
“So what hallucination did you have that ended with you faceplanting off a bridge?” Eliza asks, Josh growing quiet, annoying Eliza, who refuses to let him play the silent game after everything else he’s already confessed. “My ex girlfriend” Josh replies, Eliza’s head tilting until her eyes slightly widen. “You didn’t kill her, did you?” Eliza asks, Josh turning towards her abruptly with a stern “no!” before he drops his head again.
“Well” Josh furthers, Eliza’s slight comfort turning sour again as Josh admits to being partially responsible for why she died. “What do you mean when you say you were ‘part of the reason’?” Eliza asks, turning Josh’s words towards him and asking for clarification. “I can’t tell you that” Josh replies, Eliza shaking her head at the start of more secret keeping. “If I could, I would… Just comfort yourself in knowing that I wasn’t the man that put the bullet in her.”
Clenching her teeth, Eliza subtly nods to herself, just another tragic realization on a bed of thousands of others to stain her view of her former friend. “Why do you keep finding new ways to disappoint me?” Eliza asks, Josh responding by struggling way closer to her and coming within inches of her face. “I’ve murdered people with big wallets and disgusting motives for years” Josh retorts, “I’ve lasted this long, so I’d expect you to be pretty fucking impressed.”
The seering anger on his face once which she rarely sees, Eliza stands from her seat and throws his bag of clothes at him, informing him that she’d already signed him out. “Get dressed big shot” Eliza replies, leaving the room and flashing the fakest smile at Becca before returning to her car. “What’s with her?” Becca asks caught off guard by her expression, with a smile, Josh replies, “It’s the New York winter… She just wants to get the car heated up.”
-> After a few days, I was let go from VeroSoft. Once the charges were cleared and my name was as glorious as it used to be, all be it with a few caveats, and I was free to live the rest of my life. A few days later, all the true crime YouTube channels were plastering the story on their front pages, and from what I can hear, it was pretty much public frontline that Devine acted in the killings and used his position in the department to keep from anything tracing back to him.
I was the footloose guy that had as much resource as him with more motive than he could have. From then on, he tried pinning me to the crimes at every turn until he got too caught up in it and the truth started falling through the cracks. When the hot water started boiling him up, he went rogue and it ended in death via inferno. A few days later, I joined Eliza in hiding out at her cabin. We both needed to lay low, so why not do it with the only other person to know the whole truth? <-
Asleep on the pull out couch, Josh is awoken by the shifting of plastic bags directly over his head, the sound of crinkling plastic jolting him. “What the hell?” Josh asks, wiping the gunk from his eyes as Eliza tells him that it’s time to wake up. Reaching for his phone, Josh looks at her with the look of a man at the end of his rope. “It’s 6:45!” Josh replies, Eliza staring at him as if he were a disappointing child that disobeyed her orders and immediately paid the price.
“You literally kill child-fucking millionaires, Josh” Eliza responds, “I think you’ve got some pretty big issues if that’s easier than waking the fuck up.” Tossing him a shirt and a clean pair of socks, Eliza heads to the end of the cabin and enters her office space. Now fully dressed, Josh joins her in the room, watching her pull down the massive wall coverings of news stories dedicated to following the murders of New York’s elite.
“You had me pretty well scouted” Josh says, his presence not being clear at first to Eliza, who’s briefly startled by his voice, dropping a picture and thumbtack on the ground. Reaching down to pick up the photo, Josh’s ribs act up, forcing his hand over Eliza’s by accident, driving it palm-first onto the pointed spike, causing her to yelp in pain. “I can pick up a goddamn picture on my own, Josh” Eliza states, placing the picture and the tac on her desk before walking for the bathroom.
Hearing the rummaging of her medicine cabinet, Josh takes the moment to take a look at the photo she dropped moments earlier. Staring intently at the photo, Josh notices a familiar looking symbol in the background of the shot, an accompanying news article mentioning an underground network of undisclosed dealings. The sound of a bandage being unwrapped signalling that his available time is closing in, Josh folds the picture and places it into his back pocket.
The sound of footsteps inching closer acting as the final countdown, Josh turns around with a smile on his face, clutching at his ribs due to the additional effort. “Why do you look so guilty?” Eliza asks, Josh rolling his eyes and asking why everything he does seems guilty to her. “Do I have to keep reminding you that you’re a murderer and I’m probably the only one that knows that for a fact?” Eliza replies, the guilt on Josh’s face catching Eliza’s interest.
“That’s new” Eliza says, Josh beginning to turn his expression towards her into one of confusion. “What’s new?” Josh asks, watching Eliza slowly walk up to him, glancing at his eyes and lips. “You seemed... “ Eliza begins, wandering off, forgetting her place and not finishing her thought. “I seemed like what?” Josh asks, his tone growing deeper as the ease in the air is quickly devoured by Eliza’s treatment of him like a zoo animal.
“Nevermind” Eliza concludes, patting him on the shoulder and telling him to look in the fridge for something to eat as she continues cleaning out the office. Later on in the night, Eliza walks from her room and into the kitchen area, pouring herself a glass of water and using it to take her medication. Placing the glass on the countertop, Eliza turns around to spot Josh, sitting on the sofa staring at the blank wall opposite him.
“I know” Eliza begins, “it really could a fresh coat of paint.” The statement making him laugh, Josh nods and tells her that he’ll see what he can do about that. Pouring the remaining water down the drain, Eliza walks towards the empty loveseat and looks at Josh, prompting him to feel the need to ask a question he’d been downplaying for days. “Why aren’t you afraid of me staying here when you know what I’ve done?” Josh asks, Eliza chuckling to herself.
“I’m not afraid of you, Josh” Eliza replies, “I’ve faced more things scarier than death. You, or what you can do for that matter, none of it can frighten me.” His head dropping, Josh is brought back into the conversation when Eliza asks why he’s so interested. “I just miss what we used to be” Josh replies, “I miss talking to you like I was an actual person.” Her legs crossing, Eliza tells Josh that it isn’t that simple, nor is it that easy anymore.
“I didn’t think you were a murderer back then” Eliza replies, “I may not necessarily know exactly what I want… But I know that I don’t want to view you in the same way anymore.” His breathing becoming more spaced, Josh disappoints himself, hoping she would’ve left the door open for their old selves to have been possible to reclaim again. “You’d done so much for me before, so racing into the fire to save your ass, and letting you stay here is me paying my dues” Eliza concludes.
“So what are we?” Josh asks, Eliza rolling her eyes as if she could have expected that question from day one. “Josh, we’ve never been a couple, so let’s not talk like we were” Eliza says, “you’re a murderer, you have more than enough to go out and live on your own, and when everything settles down, I want you to get the fuck out of here.” All of this being said in a smooth, gentle tone, Eliza gets up from her seat and walks off until Josh asks another question.
“Why did you act like that back in that factory?” the man questions, Eliza turning her head over her shoulder to glance down at Josh. “The heat of the moment” Eliza replies, “that’s all it was.” Shaking his head, Josh is instructed by the woman to look at him and understand what she is saying. “It was a woman, who you caused a fuck load of pain, rambling because nothing made sense and she was stupid to believe things could ever be the same” Eliza concludes, storming off.
The bedroom door slamming behind her, Eliza gets herself ready for bed as Josh stares onwards, angered by her words, but unable to do anything about it other than sit in his seat and simmer. Eyes narrowing as his anger begins threatening to boil over, they crack wide open once he thinks to look into his back pocket, slowly retrieving the picture and looking up directions to the specific street on his maps app.
Taking Eliza’s car keys, Josh sneaks his way out of the front door and down the front steps, evading the security light before climbing into the vehicle and taking a seat at the wheel. Suddenly, as he prepares the place the keys in the ignition, his phone begins ringing, signalling for Josh exactly what he was afraid would happen. “Guardian, I swear if you’re trying to-” Josh begins, halting when the guardian tells him to look in the backseat.
Turning around, Josh spots Eliza with her right leg draped over her left, her eyebrows lifted as if to insult Josh for thinking he’d get away with this getaway. “I’ll talk to you soon” the guardian says, hanging up as Josh is left to deal with being caught pre-red handed. “I know it-” Josh begins, immediately cut off as Eliza takes another track, calling him out as a hypocrite, and worth nothing more than the gum she can find on a random sidewalk.
“You had the balls to think we could go back to the way things used to be” Eliza begins, searing with anger, “and then you climb into my car and start killing more people?” Her lips arched as the disgust she feels consumes her, demanding that Josh get back in the house and learn to play by her rules. Storming into the home and slamming her door shut, Eliza turns the alarm system on before aiming for Josh and tearing into him further.
“I thought I saw something in your eyes earlier today” Eliza says, “I don’t know what, but I thought I saw it and I couldn’t be more wrong.” Trying to get another apology out, Josh is overwhelmed, forced back into silence by Eliza, instructed that he is not allowed to speak unless Eliza gives him permission. “I am an accomplice to murder, your murders. So as long as you are in my house, you will obey my rules or I will turn you in without a second thought.”
His eyes getting puffy, Josh looks away from Eliza until she demands he return his look to her, wanting every last ounce of his attention that she can get. “You have fucked my life up far beyond repair, and you will not get a redemption story, and I will be damned if you get a happy ending you disgusting pile of filth.” Tears beginning to form in his eyes, Josh stands up and walks up to Eliza, who swiftly takes him by the arm and serves him a hip toss, dropping him hard to the ground.
Groaning in pain as the tears run down his face, Josh begs Eliza to let him go, accepting whatever rules she puts on him. “Whatever you want! Please let me go!” Josh says, his words hard to hear by the pain in his voice, his breathing mixing with hiccup sounding gasps. Her eyes narrowed as she looks at him, Eliza begins calming down, realizing the pain in the man’s voice to be genuine, easing her grip and letting go of his arm.
Struggling to find the words to respond with, Eliza shakes her head and sust off her knees, returning to her bedroom after swiping the photograph away from Josh and slamming her door shut once more. Left on the ground of the living room, Josh is left with the tears running down his face, forming a tiny puddle on the ground, the only friend he once thought he had left probably hating him more than any of the families of his victims.
-> I’m not gonna pretend like any of that was fun. It… It hurt more than anything else I had experienced because she was right. I walked into that house thinking I was a welcomed guest, and everything I thought came crashing down. The truth hit me in the form of a crash onto the ground.
It was exactly what I did to her. I deserved it, and I knew that the second it happened.
I wasn’t the one that was betrayed… She was, and it happened long before that night. Eventually, I climbed onto the couch and tired to forget that it happened, but that obviously wasn’t the case. I spent the whole night holding my probably re-broken ribs as I looked at that wall again. It was so fucking empty that it pissed me off. All it did was depress me that night. <-
Walking from her room, Eliza steps into the kitchen without thinking about, or even looking at Josh, taking her morning medication and preparing herself a bagel. “What did you think you saw?” Josh asks, his question breaking through the most difficult silence to bare either of them had ever known there to be. “What was that?” Eliza asks, her voice sounding chipper as her act of giving him the cold shoulder persists.
“You said you thought you saw something in my eyes yesterday” Josh says, Eliza replying, “What about it?” His lip quivering as the hole in it from his K9 tooth biting through it upon impact with the floor the night prior, Josh asks again, “What was it that you saw?” Finally taking his eyes off the blank wall, Josh stares at Eliza, watching her make her breakfast as if the conversation wasn’t even happening, refusing to answer Josh’s question.
His eyes clenching together, knowing she will refuse him the satisfaction of knowing what she doesn’t care for him to know, Josh looks back at the wall, his eyes jolting open when a single word is stated from within the kitchen.
“Remorse” Eliza replies, picking up the hot bagel from the toaster and placing it on the plate, smearing the top of it with sour cream before taking a bite. “Happy?” Eliza asks, her first glance towards Josh on the day being one of finding him with his eyes directed at her, before being directed at the ground, before finally coming to a rest at the wall once more.
“No” Josh replies, the word fluttering beneath his breath, effective enough to interest Eliza, who would’ve thought him to have expected such an answer. “And why are you not surprised?” the woman asks, strolling into the living room as if there was no need to care, flinging the rope on her robe in the air as if Josh’s sorrow was an amusement fair for her. “I would’ve hoped it would be something better” Josh replies, “something possible.”
“Why is feeling remorse for what you did not possible?” Eliza asks, “you’re the reason lives aren’t here anymore, how is there any lack of remorse in knowing that?” Turning towards her with conviction, Josh reminds her that it wasn’t simply a set of people chosen at random, but rather, very terrible people that had done very terrible things, and had enough money to never have to answer for that.
“Perhaps you weren’t killing people with the potential to do good, but-” Eliza begins, Josh cutting her off, surprising her, leaving her with a small amount of insult taken from the action. “No, there is no ‘but’ in this conversation. I didn’t kill people, I killed monsters” Josh replies, “I killed very bad people that would have never had to pay for their crimes if I didn’t do what the justice system couldn’t be trusted to do.”
Effectively silenced, Eliza allows Josh to continue his descriptor, watching the tears well up in his eyes as he truly believes himself to be more of a hero than a villain. “I understand that I complicated your life in measures that I will never understand, and I will never ask for forgiveness for that” Josh concludes, “but the anger you have for me should not be due to the work that I have done, which has statistically brought sick crime like this to an all time low.”
“You’re not meant to choose who gets to live and who gets to die” Eliza replies, watching a near-smile appear on Josh’s face as he asks why she gets to choose who gets to be blamed for what. “They’re dead” Eliza says, “they’re not suffering, they were spared from having to answer for their actions.” Taking in a deep breath as she decides whether or not to continue this line of dialogue, Eliza decides in favor of it, making it clear to Josh exactly what she thinks.
“I’m not saying they would have suffered consequences, but they sure as hell aren’t suffering right now” the woman concludes, “you played god, and that’s no kind of power for one man to have.” Opening his mouth to reply as Eliza’s frustration slowly turns into sadness, Josh attempts to say anything, watching Eliza actively quiet herself in hopes that he would say something worth the emotional tole this conversation is having on the two of them.
“Even if it may seem self-aggrandizing, sometimes there are things we can’t trust our government to get right” Josh responds, “sometimes they’re just too afraid to do what’s necessary. And when that happens, people are forced to take measures into their own hands.” Wiping away the tears that have seemingly become residents of his eyes over the past day, Josh makes it clear to Eliza that there is a side that is never taken into account.
“This isn’t even just about justice served for those people” Josh says, “where the hell is the justice for their victims?” Puckering her lips, Eliza admits that the only justice for the people his victims have hurt is currently well-hidden underground as they speak. “As far as I’m concerned, the only way you can justify killing those men is by freeing those children, and allowing them to actually live their lives.”
“And what if I do?” Josh asks, Eliza smiling, a chuckle hidden behind her sincere smile. “Then perhaps I’ll have to own up about being wrong to doubt your work” Eliza replies, standing up and walking away, only to be called back by Josh. “Don’t pretend like it’s who I am that you have a problem with” the man says, watching Eliza turn and face him, “we both know it’s because of what I did to you.”
Taking a specified interest in putting that to the test, Eliza tells Josh that she wants a completely honest answer from him, without the top of that response being sugarcoated. Welcoming it, Josh watches Eliza’s lips move as she asks if he has any remorse for what he did to those men, even if for the greater good.
With the most confident response he’s given all morning, Josh allows a broken smile to pierce through his dried lips as his hands fold together.
“No” the man replies, watching Eliza slowly nod as she takes this information in. “Then it’s both” the woman replies, returning to her bedroom with her bagel still in hand. Slowly returning his stare to the wall, Josh notices the familiar figment of his imagination having a seat on the loveseat Eliza had just left. With confidence, Josh tells Nora’s hallucination, “I don’t” before watching it wither away, leaving him alone as the sun rises, and the glow appears through the curtains.