Santa Maria pilot
Santa Maria Pilot Episode: Welcome to Santa Maria
- Calvin: 2
- Lou: 2
- Maxwell: 2
- Susan: 2
- Charles: 2
We open on an aerial tracking-shot over Santa Maria, following a small propeller-plane as it flies over white sands, palm trees and clear blue water. The plane lands and taxis into a small hut. The passengers are then shown disembarking.
All but one of the passengers have passed through customs, but one last straggler, Calvin, is still being held by two customs officers, Charlie and Herb. They are going through his suitcase for the fifth while Calvin watches, exasperated. One of them asks his purpose in coming to Santa Maria and, when he tells them that he's the new owner of the Hope Bay Hotel, they laugh uncontrollably.
Calvin is completely oblivious as the two officers start dropping heavier and heavier hints that they want a bribe. There is a montage shot of the officers getting more irritated, the clock moving on, Calvin getting more irate and then finally the officers throwing Calvin bodily out of the airport. His suitcase bursts open as it hits the ground and a shirt is picked up by the wind, blowing away for a few yards before finally wrapping itself around a sign that reads "Welcome to Santa Maria!".
The title music starts and the credits roll over a tracking shot of the taxi driving through Santa Maria, showing all the poverty and decrepitude that wasn't visible from the air. The taxi then pulls in at the Hope Bay Hotel.
Calvin looks at the ruined edifice, pulls a picture of the hotel out of his wallet, compares the two and asks the taxi driver whether he's come to the right place. The taxi driver explains that it was damaged by the hurricane.
Calvin wanders into the hotel and is met by Maxwell, who tells him that the hotel is closed. Calvin explains to him, and Susan who has come to investigate the sound of voices, that he's the new owner of the hotel. They discuss the purchase of the hotel, and Calvin mentions that he purchased it from Mr. Stephenson.
As Calvin gets more irate, he demands a telephone so he can contact Mendoza. Maxwell tells him to calm down and offers him a spliff, but Calvin, oblivious, tells him that he doesn't smoke. Calvin calls Mendoza's office and demands to speak to Mendoza, but is stalled by his PA, telling him he's out of the office and could be back today, could be next week. When Calvin expresses displeasure at this, she asks if he's new to the island.
Establishing shot of Calvin's house back in England. There's a light to inside. Cut to the interior: Lou is lying on the bed, wearing a dressing gown and socks, when Kassandra comes into the room holding a home pregnancy tester. She looks at the tester, looks at Lou, looks back at the tester and throws it at Lou before storming out of the room.
She stomps around downstairs before coming back with a mug of tea which she throws at Lou. "What are we going to tell him?" "Nothing," responds Lou. She tells Lou in no uncertain terms that she's going to tell him, but Lou convinces her that it would be better coming from him in person, so he's going to Santa Maria. As a compromise, Kassandra makes an audio tape, confessing the affair, and tells Lou to give it to Calvin once they've spoken.
Charles is sitting at the only table outside the café, opposite his office. A couple of dogs chase each other in the dirt, and a young child watches him silently. He notices a couple of people - Maxwell and Calvin -turn up on a moped.
The people go into his office, so Charles calls his receptionist on his mobile phone. She makes some references to how Mr. Mendoza is out of the office and she's already dealing with a couple of other people over the matter of the Hope Bay Hotel.
Meanwhile, Maxwell excuses himself, saying that he has to go and buy some paint.
Mendoza wanders over to the office and introduces himself to Calvin. Calvin complains about the state of the hotel and demands to hear about the insurance cover. Mendoza attempts to baffle him with legal bullshit, but Calvin successfully convinces Mendoza that Stephenson is legally liable. Stalling, Mendoza tells him that it will take some time to free the money, but Calvin decides he can start spending it on the hotel on spec.
Maxwell wanders through town towards the hardware store, but then turns left into a shanty town. There is the sound of gunfire and a strange man runs out of a shack, pursued by a couple of familiar-looking policemen, Herb and Charlie. The gun battle continues on the street, and the man is gunned down, sliding down a wall into a pool of his own blood. Maxwell pauses for a second to watch this and then, seeing his opportunity while the police are busy, slips into the shack from which the man ran.
Maxwell discovers a couple of bags of cocaine sitting on the floor. Pressing his luck, he decides to search the shack to see if there's any money as well. He lifts up the mattress of the bed and discovers a hollowed-out section underneath, with some shrink-wrapped banknotes in it. Unfortunately, as he's reaching for them, the police return. After some leisurely negotiation over a joint, the police agree to let him go with the money in exchange for information about who's further up the food chain. Maxwell convinces them that the new drug lord on the island is the owner of the Hope Bay Hotel.
Establishing shot of the Hope Bay Hotel, and then cut to the interior, where Susan is on the phone to Francisco Ortega and watching a gecko running across the wall. She asks Francisco about Henry Stephenson, Charles Mendoza and Calvin Parsons. He's never heard of Calvin, and upon hearing that he's just bought the Hope Bay Hotel just chuckles and tells Susan that a man that stupid isn't worth worrying about.
Susan mentions that Calvin bought the hotel from Stephenson through Mendoza, and Francisco tells her that he's behind most of the bad financial things on the island. He offers to investigate the links between the three men.
Cut to Calvin, who has been standing quietly in the doorway for an unknown part of the conversation. Susan quickly asks him if there's any news from the lawyer, and he confirms that Mendoza will arrange for the insurance money to be paid out, allowing them to start work on repairs. Susan expresses some disbelief and points out that she expects to be paid at the beginning of the month. Calvin asks her to arrange for workmen to start on the repairs.
Exterior shot of the Hope Bay Hotel. Calvin is surveying the damage. He gently prods the door of one of the guest cabins and it falls off its hinges. As he bends over to pick it up, a police car pulls up behind him in the car park.
Charlie and Herb get out of the car and haul Maxwell out. Maxwell's first action is to point at Calvin and shout, "He's the man!". Charlie asks if they can discuss the situation over a drink, and they all make their way through to the bar.
They break out the one bottle of scotch left in the bar and pour drinks. When Calvin moves to put his glass down, the coaster scuttles out of the way. Herb puts his feet up on the table as Charlie looks around. "If this man is such a big time drug dealer," says Charlie, "He'd have money for a better place."
Calvin asks them what they're talking about, so they tell him that a reliable source has indicated that he's a major player in the local drug trade. "I don't know anything about drugs," protests Calvin, trying not to look at the spliff poking out of his pocket. Herb notices his eyes move, reaches over, takes the spliff from Calvin's pocket and lights it up. Calvin is relieved, as this means it can't possibly be cannabis.
Charlie says that he was obviously misinformed, but Maxwell chips in, saying that Calvin had announced that he had big plans involving the hotel and, from the state of it, they surely can't involve running it as a hotel. Calvin takes great offence to this.
After some discussion, the policemen decide that there's been a misunderstanding and that Calvin has no involvement in the drugs trade, but that maybe he should. They convince Calvin to let them use one of his unoccupied rooms to store the "evidence" that they confiscated earlier in the day, and that he should keep Maxwell on as a "caretaker". Calvin's main reaction to all this is a mild disquiet that the officers are drinking on duty.
A couple of days later Calvin is called to the phone by Susan. Herb's calling from the airport to tell Calvin that they're holding a Mr. Lou Parsons at the airport; apparently he made a bit of a scene at the airport and Calvin may need to pay for some damages.
Establishing shot of the airport. Calvin gets out of a taxi and meets Charlie, who leads him into the customs shed. Opening the door of the cupboard, he reveals Lou standing in his underwear amongst the mops and brushes.
Calvin asks Lou what's going on, to which Lou answers that he's never been to such a corrupt place in his life. Herb complains that Lou broke one of the brooms, but that $100 should cover the damages. Calvin agrees to cover the costs, which is the last straw for Lou who smacks Charlie in the face, sending him flying over the inspection table where he lands in an untidy heap.
Calvin grabs Lou and runs for the door, pausing only briefly to throw the $100 on Charlie's unconscious body. Lou grabs his suitcase, but it comes open, with clothes spilling out and the cassette tape skittering across the ground. The one item Lou pauses to retrieve in the hurried exit is the tape.
Establishing shot of the hotel. Mendoza examines the edifice, nods appreciatively and wanders inside. Susan asks him if he wants a room, but Mendoza introduces himself and says he's here to do some work for Mr. Stephenson. Mendoza makes some glib comment about only being a soulless bureaucrat, to which Susan replies, "If you don't have a soul inside you, how about some spirits? The bar's open."
They make some small-talk over the bar, discussing their backgrounds. Susan starts pushing the conversation in the direction of Mendoza's relationship with the various officials on the island. While Mendoza comes off as charming, his self-disgust shines through as he unconsciously mimes washing his hands as he speaks. Susan files this away for later use.
Interior of the cabin where the stash and money are kept. A hand reaches out and the bag of coke disappears.
Cut to Maxwell's beach hut, where Maxwell, Alfonse and a few friends are having a party.
Cut to the bar in the hotel, where Calvin is reading some paper work, moving through the wall to outside of the hotel, where Maxwell is painting a water-damaged door. A car pulls up, and a large, large Jamaican man, Malcom, gets out. He sidles up to Maxwell and compliments him on his work, saying that Maxwell has obviously been busy - very busy. He then asks about Maxwell's attempts to help their mutual friend who had the accident recently, but Maxwell insists that there wasn't much he could do, as the police were there. Malcom says that, speaking of the police, he hears that not much made it into the evidence locker, while smiling and showing his silver teeth.
The window of Malcom's car winds down and Maxwell catches sight of Alfonse inside, talking on a mobile phone. She looks away hastily, but Maxwell starts over to the car, only to be intercepted by Malcom. A pushing match starts between them.
Calvin, catching sight of the fight, leaps out of the window, grabbing a handy hammer. "Look out fellow," he shouts, "This man works for me and you'd jolly well better be off!". Malcom edges off round the side of the car, gives Calvin a dirty look, gets in the car and drives off.
Establishing shot of Contessa Thomas's ramshackle house. It's on the edge of a cliff. Looking out over the sea. Contessa is sitting on a rocking chair on the back porch, watching the sunset. Susan walks up quietly behind her and says, "Hello Mother."
"You took your time," says Contessa, turning slowly. Susan makes an excuse about being busy with the new owner of the hotel. "This from the woman who was too busy to come to her own father's funeral," says Contessa.
"It wasn't my fault the flight was delayed. Anyway, I didn't come to fight with you. I came to see how you are." Contessa looks around at the state of the place, looks back and shrugs. Susan tells her that she's not looking after herself. "What with?" asks Contessa, "Your father didn't leave any money when he died."
Susan replies, "I give you what money I can, but I don't earn much at the hotel. Anyway, you don't seem to have done anything with the money I sent you. Where's it all gone?" At this stage she notices a crack pipe tucked behind the rocking chair and realises for the first time how emaciated and drawn her mother has become.
Establishing shot of the hotel. The sun is setting on the horizon. Cut to the bar, where Calvin and Maxwell are sitting at a table, looking at each other in stony silence. Empty shot glasses sit in front of each of them, alongside a half-empty bottle of whisky.
"So who was the fellow in the car, Maxwell?" asks Calvin.
"Just a friend of mine. I do odd jobs for him."
"Don't give me that," says Calvin. "What sort of jobs?"
Maxwell: "Just odd jobs."
Calvin: "But you are involved with drugs, though, aren't you Maxwell."
Calvin: "I've seen stuff like this on TV. I don't want you bringing this into the hotel."
Lou wanders into the bar, unnoticed.
Maxwell: "Malcom is a powerful man. He has money. He could help you fix the hotel up."
Calvin: "Why would he do that?"
Maxwell: "You'll need money to fix the place up, and that will have to come from somewhere."
Calvin: "But Mr. Mendoza has promised me the money for repairs."
Maxwell: "Oh, come on!"
Lou gets another bottle of whisky and a deck of cards out, and joins the conversation. Maxwell mentions that there could be big business opportunities in the hotel if they teamed up with Malcom, and Charlie and Herb need never know about it.
Lou: "Yeah, the police around here are really corrupt. I mean, $100 for a broom!"
Maxwell: "You don't know anything about how corrupt they are." He grins at a private joke.
After a few more drinks, Calvin starts probing a bit more about police corruption, and whether Mr. Mendoza is involved. Lou interrupts drunkenly to ask whether there's much violence on the island, and Maxwell offers up the story of the shooting he witnessed that morning, as well as the fact that there's so much money washing around the island.
Calvin wanders off to the lavatory. Maxwell mentions that yes, the police are so corrupt that sometimes they'll even get drug dealers to hold drugs and money for them, letting slip that there's a lot of money in the hotel. Calvin returns and catches the tail end of that, thinking that Maxwell means that there's a lot of money in the hotel business.
A bit more time passes, and after some more whisky Maxwell takes the Parsons to the hotel room where the money and drugs are stashed. He convinces Calvin that opening the hotel up to illegal trade could give him the money he needs to restore it. Lou takes one look at the money and his eyes light up. The closing shot is of the three men, arms wrapped around each others' shoulders, staring at the bag of money, smiling and nodding for completely different reasons.