-> I know it seems like Eliza was a mess, someone that can be happy at one point and violently infuriated at others, but how can you blame her? Take one of your closest friends, someone you see a lot of yourself in and feel extremely comfortable around, and figure out, with no assistance or confirmation, that they’re a serial killer. Just… Just think about that for a second, take that person in your life and give them this truth that I hold. Can you imagine the horror?
You’d never see them the same way again. The bond you have with them is gone and replaced with a truth that seems more fictional than anything else you could conjure up. You may be there for them to talk, or to give advice, or to support them, but they’ll never see you that way. They trust you the least, your relationship takes a complete turn, and every face of a missing person or a murder victim is instinctively placed next to your face in their head.
Throw in the question of how that would make you look at yourself and you can sort of figure out why she is the way that she is. She still cared about me, but she couldn’t bare the sight of me. She didn’t want to see me in trouble because I had never meant for any of this to come to light, but she couldn’t stand hearing me because I reminded her of everything she’s now been clued into, everything she used to appreciate so dearly, and everything she has to fight with now.
If you can’t fully comprehend the mental tole that inflicts on a person, I don’t think you have the capacity of truly understand the point I’m trying to get at.
= 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 =
“You’re leaving?” Josh asks, calling out the question towards Eliza through clunky wording as she grabs her car keys from a bowl. “Some of us need to work in order to earn a living” Eliza replies, “if I come back and you’re not here, you know the drill.” Asking when she’ll be home, Josh is forced back into a slump when Eliza responds with the suggestion that knowing such a thing would make an escape much easier.
“Don’t try anything” Eliza concludes, slamming the door behind her as the alarm system triggers, locking Josh in the confines of the home alone. “You’ve gotten yourself a keeper” Nora mocks from the other couch, her legs crossed as she watches Josh look towards her with vigor in his eyes. “You won’t get the better of me” Josh replies, brushing off his hallucination’s statement in favor of priding himself on having the last say.
“I know what you’re thinking Josh” Nora replies, ‘remember, I’m a manifestation of your own subconscious, I’m in your head with a magnifying glass at every thought.” Standing from her seat, Nora marches to the kitchen and leans out towards a window just over the sink, watching the rain drop from the gutters just above the view. “Shitty weather today, ain’t it?” Nora asks, her question brushed off again when Josh reshapes it, asking what it is that she’s here for.
“You know what I’m here for and you have since you took that little dip into the river a while back” Nora replies, “so don’t play dumb with me, just get it over with and move on.” Shaking his head, Josh refuses to give into what Nora wants, annoying her, but doing little to bring her to emotion-boiling anger. “You can’t run away from the truth anymore, Josh” Nora replies, ruby-red lipstick allowing her words to flutter with perfect resonance.
“I’ve already caught up and am in the process of nipping at your heels, so you might want to start taking some responsibility for what you’ve done” Nora concludes, taking a seat beside Josh. “I kill the bad, not the good” Josh responds, standing from his seat and marching into the kitchen, “And I certainly would never kill you.” Eyes rolling, “And yet, that’s exactly what you did” Nora responds, “or should I take out the putty between my eyes and show you the work you did first hand?”
“Keep the putty in and get the fuck out of my life” Josh replies, Nora’s instistance on staying a while driving him crazy whilst he’s already on a short fuse. “I said go the fuck away!” Josh shouts, his finger shaking in the air as it directs Nora to the front door, only for her smile and caress of his chin to respond as she walks past him. “I’m not your wealthy mogul friends Josh” Nora responds, calling out to him on her way to the kitchen, “you don’t give me ultimatums.”
“I am in your head at every hour of the day and you know that” Nora replies, “I pop up and drop off whenever I please and you know that.” Sniffing the glass Eliza left behind the night prior, Nora walks back to Josh and continues. “I’m literally nesting in your brain and you know that” she continues, looking over to the glass for long enough to convince Josh’s eyes to do the same, following the whites in her eyes as if they were a religion.
“And I think I have more pull over you than you truly realize” Nora concludes, disappearing into thin air as Josh’s eyes lock onto the glass at the other end of the room. Trying to fight the urge invade Eliza’s space, Josh gives in, corrupted by the thoughts implanted into his head. Walking down the corridor towards Eliza’s room, Josh walks past the bathroom and takes the opportunity to walk in and scour through her medicine cabinet.
Taking bottles from the shelves and looking through any operable doors, Josh comes up empty handed. Turning his attention towards her room, Josh walks through the door to find a very blank room, white walls on each side and very little furniture other than the generic bedroom setup. Surprised by the contract between her office and her bedroom, Josh takes his time walking throughout the area, his bare feet welcomed by the warm carpet between his toes.
“Why would her room be this baron?” Josh asks himself, pleased at the lack of things to look through, but curious as to why an expressive person like Eliza would leave anything blank. Searching through the drawers, Josh finds nothing more than clothing, a lack of possessions or accessories remaining in each pocket or slot. “How the fuck can she have such little bullshit in the room?” Josh asks, walking towards her office to find a similar sight.
Whilst the walls are painted blue and the holes from thumb tacks remain lining the walls, very little of note is left behind other than a desk, a lamp and a chair. Getting frustrated, Josh slams the top of the desk and leans forward, staring at the blank wall with one window looking out into the side yard. Gazing outwards at nothing more than a forest of trees, Josh places his hands to his hips and finds himself at a loss for what exactly he intends on finding.
Pulling her car into the gravel-spread driveway, Eliza emerges from the vehicle and walks to the front door, disabling the security from her phone and walking inside. Progressing up the stairs, Eliza spots Josh packing his bags into suitcases, preparing everything as if he were ready for a flight. “What’s all this?” Eliza asks, her hands waving at the three bags on the ground tucked together. “I’m leaving” Josh replies, his fingers dancing along the back of his neck as Eliza looks on.
“You’re right, it’s unfair of me to stay here and remind you of what you can’t get back” Josh returns, zipping up the third and final pack. “So, I’m getting out of your hair and keeping you from getting caught housing a fugitive” the man concludes, pulling one bag over his shoulder before taking the final two by their respective handles. “No” Eliza replies, catching the man’s attention just as he nears the stairs to begin his descent towards the next chapter.
“What?” Josh asks, staring at Eliza as she reiterates her refusal to allow him to just move on. “I don’t understand” Josh replies, “you wanted me gone.” Nodding her head, Eliza states that she now wants him to stay, watching him drop his bags and throw his hands out. “Which is it?” Josh asks, “do you or do you not want me to be here?” Shrugging her shoulders as her hands take refuge on her sides, Eliza tells him that she hasn’t truly decided on that.
“I just know that I’m not letting you just walk out of here and move on” the woman concludes, staring at the man with the dumbfounded expression on his face as he asks why. “I don’t need to give you an answer” Eliza replies, her refusal shot down as Josh reminds her that refusing to let him go is unlawful imprisonment. “I don’t care, I don’t have a reason and I don’t need one” Eliza responds, the anger and disappointment in her voice appearing to be one in the same.
“Yeah you do” Josh replies, noticing her become hard-pressed to give him answers she would otherwise give him had she not been caught off guard. “You weren’t expecting me to go and you didn’t have time to come up with a cover story” Josh continues, “you’re hiding a reason and the surprise got you to lower your guard down.” Her teeth clenched and her breaths beginning to last longer and space out shorter, Eliza replies with a simple, “fuck you.”
“Of course, because that was so impactful the last eighteen times you came back with it” Josh retorts, walking away from Eliza. “You don’t get to just move on with your life and leave me behind!” Eliza shouts, admitting that this is as much about punishing Josh as it is about punishing herself. “I want to believe that what you did was good, you have no clue how much I want to convince myself of that, but I simply can’t” Eliza replies, getting closer to the man.
“Am I tired of being angry at you? Yeah, I am… But I’ve got a better reason than most to absolutely despise you.” Now angered himself, Josh turns around and tells Eliza to get off of her high horse. “If there’s anyone that should hate me, it should be the families that those pricks left behind that had no say in whether or not they got sucked up in this” Josh begins, “not someone that can move on, but instead, chooses not to.”
Feeling slighted, Eliza raises her hand to Josh, who catches it in mid-swing and holds it in the place it was stopped. “I deserved it last night, so I took it” the man continues, “I don’t deserve any ounce of it now for telling you the truth.” Spitting in his face, Eliza watches him wipe below his eye, turn her arm behind her back and push her against the blank wall.
Breathing down the back of her neck as Eliza refuses to put up a fight, Josh tells her to get one very important think through her head. “Your troubles are about you more than they’re about me” Josh says, “I just make for a really good scapegoat to keep you from blaming yourself for them.” Refusing this notion, Eliza tells Josh that her world has never been more backwards, and it only became so when the truth of his work came to light.
“It’s not backwards, Eliza… It’s split in half” Josh replies, “you don’t know when to be the girl that kissed me in that warehouse or the girl that wished it was me she shot instead of Devine.” Closing her mouth, Eliza bites the inside of her lip, shaking her head in refusal to accept that both of those worlds can exist at the same time. “You shouldn’t have walked out of that building” Eliza replies, the grip on her arm being relieved before she turns around and looks at Josh.
Tears in her eyes colliding with the anger in her face, Eliza tells Josh that she doesn’t know what she would do if she were given the choice again. “Eliza, there are people that should be furious at me” Josh admits, “but you are not one of them.” Reaching down for his luggage, Josh looks towards Eliza and tells her that all she blames him for falls squarely on her shoulders are products of her creation.
“You hate me for taking away what we had when what we had never existed the way you thought it did” the man replies, “all I did was break the illusion you had of me.” Clearing his throat as he tosses the third bag over his shoulder, Josh looks into the woman’s eyes as she listens closely to him. “At the end of the day, showing you the true me isn’t a crime” Josh concludes, “and if you hate me because I proved you wrong… That seems like something only you can fix.”
Descending the staircase as the woman stands in the middle of the room, Josh walks through the front door and directs himself to the end of the gravel-laid path. Taking in a deep breath, Eliza looks around the room quickly before hurrying for the front door and stopping on the front step with the intention of shouting out to the departing man. Suddenly, the sky darkens and the clouds grow gray, leaving her to watch him walk away with her intentions having faded off.
As he disappears beneath the road on his way to the bus stop at the bottom of the hill, Eliza allows him to move on before returning to her home and closing the door. Once far enough down the path to be out of Eliza’s sights, Josh turns around to take one last look at the area behind him before turning around and returning to his life.
Marching up the stairway to the apartment he’s emptied, yet still pays rent for, Josh comes to a sudden stop when visited by the sight of an unexpected visitor. Calling out the woman’s name, Josh walks towards Becca as she sits in the hall awaiting his arrival. “What are you doing here?” Josh asks, informed by the woman that she came by a few minutes ago when he wouldn’t answer his phone.
“So you just decided to sit out here and wait for me?” Josh asks, watching the girl’s head drop as she swallows the nerves coming to ahead in her mouth. “It felt safer than going home” Becca replies, the answer sending chills down Josh’s spine as he watches the look of concern dawn over the woman. “Why do you say that?” Josh asks, watching the girl nod towards the door, giving the hint to discuss matters inside.
“I haven’t been here in weeks” Josh says, dropping his bags on the opposite side of the room, “you’ve already gotten pretty lucky.” The sweat running down the side of his neck, Josh turns around and looks at Becca, hand extended with a paper held towards him. “It was sent through my door slot while I was at work” Becca says, watching Josh take the paper and stare at him, his expression unchanged from what it had been moments earlier.
“Okay” Josh says, looking back up to her and returning the sheet of paper, watching Becca’s eyes narrow as she repeats his response back to him. “What about this is okay?” Becca asks, “what are they saying you did and why are they coming after me for it?” Arms held out to her before they’re swatted away, Josh tells the disgruntled woman that everything’s alright and no one would be coming after her.
“It’s just a few guys that I can’t give money to anymore because I’m not with my company” Josh replies, making up the story as he goes along. “They’re just using you to scare me, it happens all the time with people of high reach” Josh concludes, gently placing his hand on her shoulder and reminding her that he promised it would be alright. “I know I’ve seemed very off lately” Josh says, “but I’m starting to get back on track. They’re not gonna harm a hair on your head as long as I’m around.”
“Why are you talking like I’m a damsel in distress?” Becca asks, watching Josh wave off the notion before she can get the chance to air it out. “In no way are you a damsel in distress to me” the sweaty man replies, “but they really want you to be so let’s keep that from being the case.” Pulling her in close, Josh affirms her that everything is going to be alright. “You can stay here tonight if you’d like” Josh offers, a gracious acceptance coming from the woman.
Tucking her hair behind her ears, Becca goes into the bathroom to take a shower at the offer from Josh, gently closing the door behind her as Josh pulls his phone out. “You’re welcome” the guardian angel replies, telling Josh that he placed his phone number under the correct name whilst he was on the bus. “I need your help” Josh says, the giggle from the guardian angel suggesting he knew it wouldn’t be long before Josh got tired of keeping a low-profile.
“What do you need?” the guardian asks, notable silence coming from his end of the call when Josh asks for the location to the center of the pipeline family. “I’m sorry, what did you ask me for?” the guardian asks, sarcastically suggesting that he must have heard the request incorrectly. “I wanna know where the pipeline family is staying” Josh reiterates, “I’m gonna kill ‘em, the whole lot of ‘em.”
“Umm…” the guardian replies, “you’re telling me you want the location of an organization of people that can afford to buy you three times over in order to slaughter them?” Without hesitation, Josh replies with the confirmation to the guardian’s curiosity. “Yeah, I’m not gonna fucking do that, Josh” the guardian replies, almost blowing a gasket when Josh questions why he won’t as if he were denied a bag of chips for his 5th grade lunch.
“Oh gee, how could I deny such a request?” the guardian calls out, “how about ‘cause I’d rather you not become a pin cushion for mafia gunfire and blood-letting!?” Rolling his eyes, Josh tells his guardian that he’s not about to sit back and let innocent people get hurt because the pipeline is mad at him. “Wait a moment, back it up there skipper” the guardian replies, “what does innocent people getting hurt have anything to do with the pipeline?”
“You remember me mentioning Becca, right?” Josh asks, the guardian replying that he’s gotten bits and pieces, “well she got a message from the pipeline that they’d expose my deeds and bring her down with me!” Quickly running over other possible scenarios, the guardian and Josh find themselves tucked into a corner, realizing that the immediate exposure of his crimes would completely bankrupt everything they’ve been working on.
“Can we get her in hiding?” the guardian asks, Josh telling him that she isn’t aware of the truth. “So anything that can be done-” the guardian begins before Josh finishes his thought, “-needs to be done in secret.” With a sigh, the guardian tells Josh to stay put, informing him that he’ll work as quickly as he can to find a plan. As the guardian hangs up, Josh looks towards the light beneath his doorway as the shower water runs, making him feel like he’s on the verge of failing someone else.
Sat on her patio overlooking the woodlands behind her tucked-away home, Eliza sips on wine as her phone buzzes relentlessly in her pocket. Ignoring the disturbance, Eliza allows the phone to ring to completion before it dies off completely, her desire to drink in peace unrelenting in its quest to be seen through. Within seconds, the phone begins buzzing uncontrollably once more, again being ignored by the woman, refusing it the attention it seemingly craves.
After a further few seconds, the phone begins buzzing again, triggering Eliza into action. No longer able to drink in peace, Eliza whips her phone out and answers the call, asking what kind of robocall is persistent enough to ruin her evening to such a degree. “Is this Eliza Bradburry?” the voice on the other line of the call asks, the questions dancing inside of her head upon her name being said aloud as thousands of synapses fire in her brain at once.
“Who am I speaking with?” Eliza asks, the voice on the other line brushing off the question, informing her that her questions will find their own answers when they’re ready. “Can you-” Eliza begins, cut off by the voice, which is completely unconcerned with whatever she was going to ask. “All you need to know right now is that I know your name, I know where you are, and I know everything there is to know about the people you love the most” the voice replies.
As freaked out as anyone would be in this scenario, Eliza stands from her chair, accidentally knocking a glass of wine off the arm rest of her patio seat. “What exactly do you know?” Eliza asks, her worst concerns coming to light when the voice mentions the names of Joshua Lane, Lieutenant Eric Devine, and the names of those Josh has called his victims. “And what do you want from me?” Eliza asks, the voice allowing laughter from its mouth on the other end.
“Cooperation” the figure replies, telling Eliza that it wants her to do as it requests exactly when it is requested, without question. “You jump when I say ‘jump’, you hide when I say ‘hide’, and you ask no questions unless I tell you to. Do you understand?” the voice demands, the stubborn and refusing tone of Eliza making her answer of “No” much more resounding to the figure on the other end of the line.
“I’m sorry?” the voice asks, Eliza standing firmly by her statement with unwavering support. “I’ve found myself going through hell and back over the last few weeks, so whatever punishment comes along with declining you will be a welcomed resort.” Suggesting to the voice that she’d be much more in favor of helping it accomplish whatever it looks to be out to accomplish if she had some answers, Eliza feels the air lighten when the voice begins chuckling again.
“I think I’m gonna like you, Eliza” the voice says, adding in the follow-up of, “you’re much more strategic than Josh seems to be.” Eyes narrowed and hands effectively shaking where they rest, Eliza asks what connection the voice has to Josh. “Are you Josh?” Eliza asks, the voice seeming outright disappointed at the suggestion. “No, I’m not Josh!” the voice replies, “the guy can’t even stop hallucinating his dead ex-girlfriend, you think he’s gonna prank you on a Tuesday night?”
“Then who are you?” Eliza asks, the voice on the other line audibly thinking over the pros and cons of revealing any identity. “Can I have your name?” Eliza asks, the scoff on the other line before “giving you my name would defeat the purpose of calling you anonymously” signalling that the voice isn’t outright vile in nature. “I’m not willing to tell you who I am just yet” the voice on the other line replies, “but you can call me your guardian angel.”
“So what is it that you want from me, guardian angel?” Eliza asks, the man on the other line offering her precise instructions on what routes to take next. “And how do I know you’re legitimate?” Eliza asks, the voice clearing his throat on the other line. “Because I didn’t outright blackmail you as soon as you picked up the phone, even if it was only on the third try” the guardian angel replies, laughing again on the other line as Eliza’s phone drops to her side.
A towel in her hand running the water out of her hair, Becca jumps at the sound of knocking at the door, the shower not even having been off for enough time for the mirrors to clear up. “I’ve gotta head out for a quick second” Josh says from the other side, “help yourself to whatever you want and keep the door locked behind you.” Her agreeance giving him the go ahead, Becca listens quietly to the keys lift in his hands and the door shut and lock behind him.
Quickly wrapping the towel around her body as she places her hair into a neat ponytail, Becca emerges from the bathroom and tip toes into the living space. Startled by the cool fall breeze sneaking through the window’s cracks, Becca clutches at the towel harder and sneaks back into the bathroom for warmth. As she begins to close the door, she lets a thought flutter into her brain that keeps her from closing it the full way, instead choosing to exit the bathroom entirely.
Walking to the end of the hallway, Becca slowly pushes open the door to Josh’s bedroom, seeing the majority of his belongings still packed up and air-vacuumed into clear plastic wrap. After a brief scan, the woman notices a few pieces of large furniture remaining in their prior placement, slightly dusted over. Allured to a bureau near a wall off at the end of the room, Becca’s wet feet and dripping towel leaves a path in her trail as she approaches it.
Opening the top drawer, Becca finds the back of a large black object protruding from a shirt tucked neatly in the corner of the space. Unfolding the shirt, Becca notices the sight belonging to that of a gun, hidden from the naked eye and only visible by the curious mind. Picking it up for a moment, Becca feels the weight in her hand before thinking better of her decision and returning it to its prior resting place.
Sliding the drawer back in, Becca spots something else of interest hiding in the corner of Josh’s room, making up a part of the floor itself. The only thing protruding from it is the dial used to unlock it, a safe rests beneath the moonlight peering through the blinds just over Josh’s bedspace. Tapping on it’s door, Becca notices a single white string poking through one of its slots, almost camouflaged by the near-white carpet itself.
As his guest surveys the scenery she expects to reside in for the night, Josh scales the stairs of his apartment with the intention of making another set of victims disappear into the night. “Going somewhere?” a woman asks, stopping the man for long enough to watch him look back at her, the figure ahead doing a double take when he puts the voice to a face. “What are you doing here?” Josh asks, watching Eliza stand from her seat on a second staircase to approach him.
“I was told you were doing something dumb” Eliza replies, “and much as I’ve seemed to be doing often, I was told to stop you.” Taking his chance to scoff, Josh turns around to return to his duty, telling Eliza to return home before she has to get her hands dirty. “The last thing you need is to be caught with me when I’m caught with a red hand” Josh replies, the woman refusing to allow him to walk off so easily.
His hands extending to the door ahead of him, Josh shoves the latch in to no use, the door being jammed from the inside. “What did you-” Josh begins, turning around to ask Eliza for an explanation, only to eat a firm shot to the already-damaged ribs. Confidently walking in strides around the echo chamber-like corridor, Eliza tells Josh that the true last thing she needs to do is let the one guy that knows everything the police want to get caught with blood on his hands again.
“Have you forgotten that you weren’t the one to pull the trigger on Devine?” Eliza asks, pulling Josh’s face to look at her own, “and they can very quickly try their hand at the woman with no money and no job?” Letting the man go, Eliza walks back to the stairs as her hand pushes the hair falling onto her shoulders to the back of her head. “I bet you thought the guardian angel was a hallucination too?” Eliza asks, the man lifting his eyes towards her as he gasps for air.
“What’s going on in that fucked up head of yours, Josh?” Eliza asks, leaning against the railing as Josh hacks up a lung in an effort to return to his feet. “How the hell do you know anything about that?” Josh asks, Eliza rolling her eyes, beginning to grow annoyed at the twenty-questions games with obvious answers. “You ask a guy whose single motivation is cleaning up New York where a mafia dungeon is, and you expect him to just let you?”
The question raised by Eliza offering Josh enough sense to find the fault in his direction, the man leans against the wall as his hands clutch towards his abdomen. “So what the fuck are you gonna do now?” Josh asks, the woman tucking her hands in the pockets of her jacket. “I don’t know” Eliza replies, “but I know I’m not letting you run into the pipeline with a deathwish.”
Her phone ringing, Eliza takes out the device and reads the Caller ID of what she’s labeled to be “Josh’s Pal” and answers. “You’re on speaker” Eliza says, the man clearing up his voice as if he were trying to be presentable. “You forced my hand Josh” the guardian says, “you pulled her into this with us.” Annoyed, Josh hangs his head knowing himself to be the sole reason for the annoyance he now finds latching onto his head.
“So I bet you’re standing around wondering what happens next?” the guardian asks, telling them to buckle up. “You both have truths you don’t want anyone leaking” the guardian says, “and the three people hearing this call are the only three people that know them.” Asking for him to get to the point, Eliza bites her lip when the guardian informs them that they will now do as told in order to truly be able to move forward.
“I have a reason for bringing the both of you together” the guardian directs, “Josh is a ticking time bomb that Eliza keeps from detonating, and Eliza’s a lost puppy that Josh keeps feeding.” Clearing his throat once more, the guardian tells the duo to continue playing nice, as he serves as both Josh’s detonator and Eliza’s kennel. “I’m the one string keeping you two together” the guardian continues, “and that’s gonna be real necessary to finish this job.”
“What job?” Josh asks, finally getting the clarification from the guardian he’d been waiting for since meeting Devine in the factory. “Since neither of you seem to wanna stay low for a while, we’ll just get the plan moving” the guardian replies, “I want the pipeline eradicated from New York, and the two of you are going to make sure I see that through.”
Eyes widened, both Josh and Eliza look towards each other, their hatred or misguided care for the other completely dissipating as they both collide on the same road. “Instructions will soon follow” the guardian concludes, ending the call before either party could follow up. Without a word, the two continue looking at each other, Eliza’s hand dropping as Josh sucks in a deep breath, the air in the stairway growing thin as the temperature rises and the stakes increase.