Thomas Veil runs along a corridor lined with steam pipes, his breath coming in gasps as he flees an unseen pursuer. His feet pound out a steady rhythm until with a sudden flash of light, he falls to his knees in a room bordered by a chain-link fence. A man's voice asks, "Are you with us, Tom?" On the other side of the fence, five shadowy figures sit at a table, the illumination from the large light behind them refracted by moving blades. The man asks again, "Tom, are you with us?"
A new voice asks, "Tom, are you with us?" A circle of faces surround Tom as his iris flickers away from the penlight beam directed into his eye. He tries to speak, but the doctor tells him to take it easy, not to rush himself. Tom whispers hoarsely, "What is this place?" The doctor says that it's going to take some time. He tells Tom that he's in the hospital; he hasn't used his vocal cords in almost three months. He introduces himself as Dr. North, head neurologist at St. Michael's Hospital, then asks Tom to move his feet for him. Pleased with Tom's effort, he asks Tom to follow his light and begins to move it in front of his eyes. Tom forcefully grasps his wrist and demands to know what's going on. North explains that he just needs to run a few more basic tests. When Tom vehemently repeats the question, North says that he was in a car accident and things were pretty close for a while; he's been in a coma for three months. Tom releases his hold and questions, "A coma? Three months?" North tells Tom that he has no idea yet, but he's a very lucky man to have come through it this well. He says that he doesn't want to move too fast, but there's someone here who might do a better job of bringing a smile to his face. Alyson leans over Tom, smiling tenderly as she says, "Hi, baby. Welcome back."
After Tom's release from the hospital, Alyson drives them home, Tom sitting silently beside her. She asks if this is the way it's going to be. Tom harshly asks what she expected. She tells him she doesn't know, but maybe that he'd be as happy to see her as she is to see him. Tom morosely comments that the last two times he saw her, she wasn't exactly on his side. He flashes back to Alyson laughing with Bellamy by her car outside Calaway, while he was drugged and dragged back inside the hospital by two orderlies. He accuses her of fraternizing with Bellamy and reminds her of cooking a Christmas turkey, sarcastically suggesting that maybe it was part of the nightmare he had while he was supposedly in a coma. Alyson tells him that the doctor explained about the things that people see when they're in his condition--none of it is real. She asserts that there is no them, there is no enemy; it's just she and Tom, like always. Tom bitterly remarks that he guesses that they have different views of always. Alyson asks him to think about it: if what he described in his nightmare is real, then how does he explain that they're both here, his discharge from the hospital, his being in the hospital in the first place. Tom tells her he doesn't know, but just because you can't explain something doesn't make the opposite of that something the truth. Alyson asks if he's telling her that his opening's not real, either. <Breaking glass sound effect> Tom asks "What opening?" and she replies that it's the opening they both worked so hard to get--his show, the photos. Tom flashes back to the opening at his photo studio, remembering Alyson smiling across the room at him as they mingled with the crowd. Alyson tells him that she didn't want to cancel it, because she thought it would be bad luck. She has to stop the car for a crossing guard ushering children across the street. While they wait, Tom loosens his shoulder belt. As Alyson starts the car moving again, Tom recalls confronting Alyson in her car, asking what the rules of the game are and who put her up to this. He remembers a police officer asking him to step out of the car and Alyson's cry that this man hid in the back seat of her car; she's never seen him before in her life. Tom leans back against the seat, his eyes squeezed shut as Alyson's cry of "He's insane!" echoes through his head. Alyson asks if he's all right. Tom suddenly orders her to stop the car and unsnaps his seat belt. Alyson argues that she can't because she's right in the middle of traffic. Tom shouts that he said to stop the car. He starts to open the door and the car careens over to the curb, forcing another vehicle off the street. Tom flees the car and runs into the intersection, causing drivers to screech on their brakes and lean on their horns. Tom climbs a fire escape ladder to reach a window overlooking his studio, remembering entering that way the night of his erasure. Once inside, he takes a screwdriver and removes the grill from an air vent, the same one he had taken his hidden negatives from before, but now the vent is empty. He remembers windows shattering from bursts of machine-gun fire while he scrambled for cover. A man's voice calls, "Mr. Veil?" Tom starts to walk hurriedly past the two policemen that have entered his studio, but stops when one asks if he's Thomas Veil. Tom brusquely informs them that this is his studio and they can't just come in here without permission. He says it's private property and orders them to get out of there. The officer explains that they're not here to hurt him, they're not even here to arrest him. Tom sarcastically comments that that's a relief. The officer says that his wife sent them, because she's worried sick about him; they're here to take him home. The police car stops in front of a white, two-story house. The officer asks if this is the place and Tom dully confirms that it is and thanks him. The officer suggests that he might want to go easy, advising him to take some time off to adjust to things. Tom recalls Alyson opening the door, asking "Who are you?" before a man in a bathrobe appeared beside her holding a shotgun. He enters the house and is met by Alyson who emotionally tells him that whether he believes it or not, she is his wife and she loves him. She implores him not to do anything like that again, no matter how scared he gets; she doesn't know if her heart can take it. When Tom remains silent, she says that if she said anything to upset him, she's sorry, but she gets scared too. She leans against him in a light embrace. Tom's hand falters as he pushes her away, whispering that he's sorry. He walks through the living room, commenting that the place looks as it always did. She asks why it shouldn't, and he sardonically agrees that that's right, he's only been at the hospital for three months. He asks what's going on, what's the game this time? She asks what he's talking about and he asks what's the point of the house, the hospital, telling him he's back a few days before this whole thing all started; what does she hope to gain? A balding man opens the front door, cheerfully calling out, "Hey, who called the cops?" Alyson exclaims, "Larry, what are you doing back?" Tom pictures Larry lying on the closet shelf dead, his arm swinging down. Alyson hurriedly says that it's great to see him, but she thought he'd call first. Larry jovially replies, "And give you time to pack and move? No way." He steps toward Tom, commenting that he's he had a good sleep--he looks the same to him. Tom steps away from his proffered hand, snarling, "Don't do that!" Larry lightly asks if it's his aftershave, if he forget to shower. He tells Tom that it's him, in the flesh. Tom asks what he's trying to prove, and Larry replies that he's not trying to prove anything; he heard Tom was home and thought he'd be glad to see him. Tom remarks that he just conveniently rose from the dead. Larry gives Alyson a puzzled glance before countering that he came back from Venezuela, not that there's much of a difference. Tom asks what makes either of them think that he would believe this. He insists that Larry Levy is dead--he was there; he saw it. Alyson tells Larry that Tom's had a pretty rough week. He's had some nightmares and he's having a little trouble sorting out the real from the imagined. She adds, "Seeing you might--" Tom angrily breaks in, "What? Jog my memory?" After Alyson leaves the room to make coffee, Larry tells Tom that he's sorry that he wasn't around when all this went down, but he's not dead and he called almost every day. He claims that he watched him like a hawk. Tom asks if he was afraid of losing a client and Larry exclaims that he thought they were friends. Tom asks where they met. Larry responds, "Excuse me?" and Tom fires the question at him again; when was it that they first met? Larry answers that it was at Ted's with those two girls, Ellen and Reva, the suicidal poetesses. Tom asks where they went after Larry won that copyright case for him. Larry asks "Tom, what is this? Meet the Press?" Tom insists he answer and he says that they went to Sammy's tavern. He asks Tom what the hell he's doing. Tom tells Larry that he was dead--he saw it. He asks what he was doing in South America for three months. Larry suggests they cut the interview. He says that he had business down there; while it may come as a surprise to Tom, he does have other clients. He suggests that it might be better if he just left, but Tom urges him to wait a second and asks how you make a kamikaze kid. Larry replies, "Vodka, gin, white rum, a little fizz and hold the parachute." Stunned, Tom says, "Oh god, it's you, isn't it?" Tom walks downstairs in the morning, overhearing Alyson speaking on the kitchen telephone: "I don't think so ... He's upstairs sleeping ... I haven't made up my mind yet. This is a very big undertaking ... I'm the one who ultimately has to make that decision." Tom picks up the hall telephone and hears a man say that he has to know whether they're going ahead with the plans or not. Alyson says that she hasn't decided yet. She adds that he's here now; this is not a good time to talk. The man asks her about the schedule, saying that they're supposed to be finished with it. She says that she can't talk to him right now and will call him later. She hangs up the phone and turns to see Tom standing in the doorway. He asks who was on the phone, and she casually tells him that it was nothing. As he gets a glass to pour himself some juice, Tom says that he asked her a question; who was on the phone? She says it was just Ben. He slams the cupboard door shut, asking "Ben who?" She explains that it was Ben Dobbs, his occasional assistant at the gallery. He sarcastically asks what her plans are with Ben. He points out that it's his show, his opening; is there something he's not supposed to know about? She says that she and Ben are trying to decide whether or not it's a good idea to go on with things as planned, reminding him that his opening is scheduled for tomorrow night. Tom sees himself seated in a chair in his studio amidst his brutally stark photographs, overwhelmed with the shock of his erasure. Tom walks through the studio with Alyson and Ben, passing between his photographs, two in the foreground showing a child swathed in bandages and young guerrillas triumphantly waving rifles. Alyson says that Ben did most of it while she was with him at the hospital. Tom flashes back to the night of the opening, when the studio was filled with the mingled conversations of an enthusiastic crowd. Alyson anxiously tells him that everything's ready if he is. His face set with anger, Tom suddenly strides towards a large photograph on the wall, surrounded by a separate, simple wooden frame. The photograph shows a woman huddled next to three packed bags, a blanket wrapped around her and her small child. Called Displaced, it was taken in 1994, according to its plaque. Tom can see Hidden Agenda in its place, barbed wire wrapped around the frame. He quietly asks, "Where is it?" Alyson asks "Where's what?" Tom replies that she knows what he's talking about. The youthful assistant Ben insists that they don't. He tells Tom that he said he wanted Displaced to be the centerpiece of the show and asks if it's in the wrong location. Raising his voice, Tom asks where Hidden Agenda is. Alyson says that she honestly doesn't know what he's talking about. Tom snaps that he bets she doesn't and pushes past her, toppling over a display stand on his way to the corner. He rages that he guesses she doesn't remember filling his chemical cabinet with coffee supplies. Picturing coffee cups and filters when he opened it in front of Bellamy, he opens it to see chemical supplies. He jerks the cabinet forward, bottles toppling out and shattering on the floor. He accuses her of clearing out his files, remembering pulling open an empty drawer. This time he shouts, "What do you know? They're here!" He yanks the cabinet by the drawer, crashing it over onto its side. He sweeps glass bottles off a shelf with his arm, shattering them. Holding another glass bottle aloft, he furiously asks Alyson what she did with the photograph. When she fails to answer, he hurls it to the floor. He grabs a plastic jug and begins splashing its contents around him, asking Alyson what the game is. Alyson instructs Ben to call someone, call the police, but Ben freezes in midstep when Tom sharply orders him to stay where he is. With an edge cutting through his calm voice, Tom informs Alyson that he's tired of the game; he doesn't want to play anymore, so either she starts coming up with some answers or they all go up in flames. He flicks open his lighter and holds it up in front of him. Ben nervously suggests that Tom describe the photograph, but Tom counters that maybe they should just end this game right now. He asks again, "Where is it?" Larry comes through the door, chuckling as he says that the place looks great, but he thinks he needs a few more clown pictures. His smile fades when he sees Tom holding the flaming lighter. He tells Tom that if he's not careful, he's going to set a fire with that thing. Tom grimly replies that he just might have to do that. Alyson exclaims that it's the nightmares; he thinks they've taken one of his photographs. Tom shouts that this is the nightmare. Larry tells him to take it easy and asks what the hell is going on. Tom explains that he took a photograph and now it's gone. He's not really sure what the hell it's of anymore. All he knows is that they want it. Larry asks reasonably, "Who's they, Tom?" Tom answers, "Them -- her -- and the rest of them!" Larry asks if he's sure about this and Tom cries that what happened to him was real. Larry says that he doesn't know what the hell is going on here--maybe the picture was misplaced, but begs Tom not to do this. He says it's not right; this isn't who he is. Tom sardonically suggests that maybe it's who he's becoming. Larry says he hopes not. Tom's always been one of the few friends he never had to doubt; if he said something, he knew he could take it to the bank. He tells Tom this isn't him, no matter what. Alyson begs Tom to just listen to her. Tom remembers her insisting in the car after his erasure that she didn't want to put him in this situation, but she didn't have any choice, claiming that they were watching her. Tom backs away with the lighter, pointing it at her. Larry quietly urges, "Buddy, come on." Tom clicks the lighter shut and tells Larry, "Let's get out here." Larry follows him out, promising Alyson that he'll call her. Alyson turns towards Ben in distress when he lays a comforting hand on her shoulder. As Tom and Larry walk through the city, Larry asks just what the hell this photograph is supposed to be. Tom explains that it's a photograph of an execution--four men were hanged. When Larry asks if he knows who they are, he says that he's not sure anymore; he doesn't even know if he took it. Larry asks if he has any idea why anybody would want it or him. Tom says no, prompting Larry to ask if he's listening to himself. He asks how it all fits together, taking everything Tom's told him at face value. He reminds Tom that he was in the hospital for three months in a coma. Tom argues that Larry was in Venezuela; he wasn't here. Larry comments that it just seems awfully convenient that all this happened just when he happened to be out of the country for three months. Tom suggest that maybe it was planned that way. He insists that he's not crazy--these weren't dreams. Larry asks if finding him dead stuffed in a closet wasn't a dream. Tom tells him no, because it wasn't him. He says that they brought someone in and made him look like Larry. Larry quips that if a guy gets himself fixed up to look like him, he must have been hard up for a job. Tom says that he has no idea what these people are capable of; if they want to make somebody look and act like you, they can do it. He asserts that they wanted a Larry Levy and they found one. Larry points out that they killed him. Tom admits that it doesn't make any sense to him either. He suggest that maybe they're trying to drive him insane by making him think that he's losing everything. Larry asks Tom what the point is of making him think he was in a coma and then taking the photograph that he says they're after. Tom answers, "Because they don't really have it." Larry exclaims, "But I thought you said--" Tom reminds him that he said they want it, he didn't say they have it. He claims that he has it; he just can't remember where he was or what he was doing before this whole thing started. He tells Larry that they know him, they know he'll do anything to get the negatives back; it's probably exactly what they expect him to do and they're going to be there when he finds it. Larry urges him not to find it, to just ignore it; don't give them what they want. Tom insists that he can't do that--it's all he has. It's a chance he has to take. He suddenly remembers that when he came back from South America he gave Larry an envelope and told him to put it in his safe in his office. He explains that there were dupes of that negative in that envelope. He states that the photograph they're looking for, Hidden Agenda, is in that envelope.
In the dark hallway outside his office, Larry remarks, "That's funny. Someone turned the lights out." He unlocks the door and curses when the lights don't come on when he hits the switch, suggesting that the breaker must have kicked. He tells Tom that the safe is in his office and instructs him to wait there; he does some of his best work here in the dark. Tom waits edgily in the outer office, then hears a muffled cry of, "Hey, what are you--" followed by a thud and a cry of pain. A man runs from the office, colliding with Tom and knocking him to the floor. Tom starts towards Larry's office, asking if he's all right. Larry appears in the doorway holding the back of his head. He yells that he's fine and tells Tom to just get the son-of-a-bitch. Tom runs from the office and races down the stairs after the intruder. The man stops at the foot of the stairs, firing a shot at Tom, who ducks for cover around the edge of the landing. Tom can hear running footsteps growing fainter.
Documents are piled on Larry's desk as he bends down to check the safe. Tom asks if he believes him now, and Larry snaps that not everything in the world revolves around his problems. He tells Tom that he thinks it's about one of his cases; he thinks they came to steal some evidence. He exclaims that this is it and opens a folder to check its contents. Tom impatiently asks about the negatives and Larry exasperatedly says that he has them. Tom grabs the envelope and tells Larry that that's what they came for. Larry points out that they didn't get it and Tom agrees with surprise that he guesses not. He holds several negative strips fanned out in his hand. Suddenly he looks closer at one, seeing an image of himself wearing a straitjacket. Tom flashes back to Calaway, hearing himself shout at Bellamy, "Look, if you would just listen!" He tells Larry that they left something else in its place. He grimly calls it scenes from his nightmare, pictures from a coma. He guesses that it means it's his move.
As Larry drives Tom home, he argues that the picture of Tom in a straitjacket still isn't proof; for all anyone else knows, the picture of him in a straitjacket could just be one of those self-timer thingamajigs that he took himself. Tom insists that there was no accident, there was no coma, there's no nightmares--if nothing else, those negatives prove that to him. Larry tells him it's not enough, maybe not even for him. He asks Tom where he was if he wasn't in the hospital for three months. Tom exclaims that he already told him he doesn't know; everything before he woke up in the hospital is fuzzy. He envisions newspapers whirring past in a printing plant and tells Larry that there's just images, just pieces--maybe somewhere he worked, but he's not sure. He says he needs more time. Larry suggests Tom could try to prove that he was somewhere else during the three months that Alyson said he was in the hospital. Tom asks if he doesn't think he's already thought of that. Larry parks in front of Tom's house and asks where they go from here. Tom asks if he's willing to go with him and Larry replies that he's willing up to a point; if he brings some girls, he'd go a little bit farther. Tom asks him to play along with him; he has to come up with something, but he needs more time. He says that the last thing he wants is for them to get their guard up, so they'll go with the coma/nightmare sorry and he'll apologize to Alyson and buy some time.
He opens the door and calls Alyson's name. Alyson pensively sips from the coffee cup in front of her on the kitchen table, failing to answer. Tom walks up behind her and reaches out to touch her, then withdraws his hand. He asks, "How you doing?" She sullenly replies that she's been better. Tom's hands falter before he manages to lay his hands on her shoulders. He tells her that he's sorry about everything. She says that she doesn't think she can be here any more for this. Tom sits down beside her, pleading, "Oh, come on, Alyson, please." She lashes back, "Please what?! Wait until you crack again?!" Please go to sleep with him at night and wonder if she's going to wake up in the morning? She asks how he expects her to feel. Tom replies that he expects her to feel exactly how she's feeling; that's how he was feeling about her. She tells him that she doesn't want to hear this and starts to get up, but Tom asks her to wait a second. He says that he talked to Larry and while this may be too little too late, Larry convinced him that everything she and the doctor said is true. He says Larry told him about talking to her every day on the phone and her keeping vigil at the hospital and everything. Tom tells her that it's just going to take time. Alyson earnestly attests that she has no reason to lie to him. Tom tells her he knows and he's sorry, and she tearfully declares that she loves him, she really does. Tom cups her face in his hands and strokes her cheek as he promises that it's just going to take some time and he'll be fine, they'll both be fine.
Alyson awakens during the night and finds the bed empty beside her. She puts on her robe and walks downstairs to find Tom asleep in a chair. She forlornly turns and walks back upstairs.
Tom enters St. Michael's Hospital and introduces himself to the clerk at the admissions desk, explaining that he had phoned earlier because he needs a duplicate of his admitting records for his insurance copy. She hands him the form, telling him to try to hang on to this one. Tom thanks her and turns to study the sheet. The date of admittance was 2/10/96 at 2:00 p.m. through the Emergency Room. Tom looks at the calendar above the desk showing the date as 6 May 1996.
The clatter of a printing press fills the hospital basement as Tom leaps past an open area to move out of a sight of a man seated at a desk near the press. He cautiously follows the length of an overhead platform filled with cardboard cartons until he finds the box labeled VA-VI. As he lowers it from the shelf, a clipboard resting on its top slides off and falls to the floor with a clatter. The pressman gets up from his desk and grabs a flashlight as he walks towards the storage area. Still holding the box, Tom takes cover behind the column supporting a corner of the platform. The man shines the flashlight around and Tom moves around the edge of the column as he returns to his desk. Hearing a pounding beat inside his head as he sees the sheets of paper moving through the small press, Tom suddenly sees papers speeding along a high-speed newspaper press. He opens the box and takes from it a file labeled "Confidential - Medical records." Inside is his hand-lettered admitting record giving the date of admittance as 4/26/96 at 2:00 p.m. His address is given as 7735 S.E. Dunne Ave. in Evanston, his social security number: 542-68-4360.
He calls Larry from a phone booth, triumphantly exclaiming that he got it. Sitting at his desk, Larry asks where the hell he's been, telling him that Alyson has the whole town out looking for him; his opening's tonight. Tom says that he has proof that he was admitted to the hospital only three days before he came to. Larry asks if he's serious. Tom explains that he found the original admitting form. He tells him that there's something else: He's beginning to remember where he was when this whole thing started. He says it doesn't matter where, but if he's right, he should be able to find the negatives. Larry reminds Tom that this may be exactly what they want him to do. Tom grimly says that he knows and tells Larry that he'll see him tonight.
A taxi lets Tom out by the printing plant for the Evanston Tribune. Tom recalls that he had come back to Evanston hoping to retrace some of his steps leading up to his erasure. He's still not completely sure, but he thinks he might have gotten a job here at the printing plant. He walks through the plant, not responding when workers greet him by name and welcome him back. He stands in front of a locker with Tom crudely lettered on a piece of masking tape stuck on the door, leaning his head against it as he hears Larry say that this may be exactly what they want him to do. Sounds and images blend together, men saying that they want the negative, wailing cries as he sees a woman hustled past four hanging bodies, then himself standing in the clearing beneath the abandoned gallows. Poignant relief floods his face as he takes a strip of negatives from the locker and places them inside his jacket.
The opening is in progress when he returns to the studio, men and women with cocktails in hand mingling amongst his photographs. Alyson excuses herself from a conversation to greet him. As they walk with his arm around her, she reminds him that he promised no more disappearing acts. He apologizes and says that he just needed to clear his head and get some time alone. He comments with surprise that she didn't wear her good luck earring. She tells him they didn't go with the dress, but he maintains that good luck goes with everything. She airily replies, "Not if you're a woman." He asks if she's seen Larry. Alyson tells Tom that he knows Larry; he's probably out on the corner, scaring up a date. She kisses him and tells him to go, mingle, do his job. He acquiesces, smiling as he walks away.
Tom listens to several rings before hearing Larry's cocky voice, "Hey, hey, hey. This is Larry. I know my absence is greatly disturbing you, but if you're attractive and single, I'll return your message. Just make sure to leave one." Tom clicks off the phone and flashes back to calling Larry's name as he walked through his kitchen, hearing the sound of the shower, then sliding open the closet door to find his body on the top shelf. He glances over at Alyson smiling as she chats with two patrons, then he heads for the exit. Alyson looks around the studio, growing anxious when she fails to spot Tom.
Tom can hear the shower running as he walks through Larry's kitchen. He calls out, "Larry? I got'em and it's right here in black and white." Tom opens the shower door to see that the form he saw through the glass is a bathrobe on a hanger. He bows his head as his breath escapes in a gasp. He walks slowly to the bedroom closet and hesitates before wrenching it open. On the top shelf is a brown suitcase. Tom falls back against a door beside the closet, muttering that he doesn't need this. The door clicks open and Larry's body tumbles forward, wrapped in plastic. Stricken with horror, Tom turns it over, spotting a gold earring on the carpet. He fights back tears as he contemplates the earring resting on his fingers, then clenches it in his fist.
Tom gets out of a taxi and walks towards the studio with a bleak, set face. Everyone has left except for Alyson, who hurries towards him with her coat over her arm, asking where he's been, exclaiming that she's been worried sick about him. Tom throws up his hands and orders her not to touch him. She beseeches, "Honey, please, you said you wouldn't--" Tom bitterly declares that they said a lot of things, too many. She begs him not to start this again and says she loves him. Tom laughs harshly and questions, "You love me?" She insists, "Of course!" He asks, "How much?" When he repeats the question, she answers that she loves him as much as life itself, as much as she thought he loved her. He nods and remarks that she just liked Larry; after how he ended up, he can't wait to see what she has in store for the man she loves. Alyson asks what he's talking about. Tom holds up the earring, telling her that she left a calling card. Alyson's face goes blank. She turns and walks away, fumbling in her handbag as she says she doesn't know what he's talking about. She takes a step back towards him, raising a handgun which she points at him with both hands, saying "I guess the honeymoon is over." Tom turns back from the other end of the gallery, freezing for a second when he sees the gun, but quickly recovering to respond, "If it was ever real to begin with." He angrily asks if it was, or if she's just a memory that's stuck in his head, like a photograph in the jungle. She calmly remarks that she takes he found the negatives. Tom asks why they're so important to her. Alyson smiles and says that that would be telling. She orders him to give them to her, and Tom shrugs and says, "Sure." He holds out a strip of negatives, grasping it firmly before he lets her take it. He turns away, exclaiming in a voice raw with hurt, "You're so cold!" as she unemotionally takes the strip and holds it up to the light. When she sees the picture from Calaway, she suddenly exclaims, "What are these?" Tom explains that they're pictures of him in a straitjacket; she should remember that. Alyson tosses the strip aside and tightens her hold on the gun as she demands to know where Hidden Agenda is. Tom sarcastically replies, "Well, that would be telling." He adds that the last time he showed that photograph at an opening, it was nothing but trouble. Alyson's voice trembles as she cries, "I have to have that negative, Tom! They--" Calming herself, she tells him that she wants the negatives. Tom quietly says that she'll have to kill him. She walks towards him aiming the gun, warning that she will if he has to. Tom replies that it's just a chance he's going to have to take. As he walks away, she cries that shooting him in the back is no problem for her. Tom says that's true, she's already done that. Alyson cries, "I will kill you, Tom!" and clicks the safety off the gun. Pain fills Tom's voice as he says, "No, you won't, Alyson ... You never do." He walks away and she lets her arm fall to her side, distress apparent on her face.
Tom exits the studio and falls back against the wall. A lingering wail is heard as he sees himself walking towards Hidden Agenda in his studio, a body swinging from a noose, then himself standing in the clearing with the Washington skyline behind it. As he walks briskly away from the studio, he reflects that as more of his memories come back, it becomes increasingly harder to distinguish fact from fiction, reality from utter fabrication, but he must press on. Finding the truth is his only road home.
Synopsis © 1996 Marge Brashier
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Used by permission.
May 13, 1996