Elko by Kris Imants | Script Revolution


The gruesome murder of a terminally ill man exposes a dark secret in an upstate New York town.



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Elko, Tryo County, New York. It’s a misty autumn morning. A man walking his dog finds a body hanging from a bridge in an iron cage.

MARK DECKER (late 30s, athletic, suffering from PTSD) has only just returned to Elko from the New York. He exchanged his NYPD career for the Chief Deputy job in the Tryo County Sheriff's department after being shot during an intervention and is seemingly looking for a quieter life. Mark is only expected to join the Sheriff’s department from next month onwards but is nevertheless called to the scene of the crime.

When Mark arrives there’s already a hive of activity under the bridge. He meets up with ROBERT TRUMAN (60s, grandfather type), the current Tryo County Sheriff and his new partner LIZZY RASMUSSEN (late 20’s, pretty and determined) who joined the Sheriff's Department from Phoenix just a couple of months before.
Mark identifies the murdered man as JOE RICHARDSON, the father of Mark’s high school sweetheart and the town’s veterinarian CINDY RICHARDSON (late 30s, beautiful).
Robert asks Mark, given their previous relationship, to inform Cindy of the death of her father. He also orders Lizzy to join Mark as he is officially not yet a member of the Tryo County Sheriff's Office.
To their surprise Cindy reacts calmly to the news that they found her father dead. She only breaks down after she's been told he was murdered. When they inquire about this strange reaction Cindy explains that she had been preparing for her father’s death ever since he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several months ago. Joe was terminal with only a few more weeks to live. It looks like someone
murdered a man that was about to die.

Struggling with the investigation Mark desperately tries to reconnect with the town he grew up in. Many things feel similar but slowly the image of the idyllic town he remembered from his childhood becomes perverted. The 2008 financial crisis has divided the county in the haves and have-nots and both sides barely even acknowledge each other. The most painful example is CLINT BURKE (late 30s, small, talkative), his best friend from kindergarten to high school. Clint has opened a diner on his former farm but is also involved in all kinds of petty crimes and smuggling.

At their home Mark’s parents GEORGE DECKER (late 60s, calm, easy-going) and MILLIE DECKER (late 60s, excitable) are not sure how to react to their son returning after being away for almost two decades. His mother does her best to pretend everything is the same but the blunt refusal of Mark to talk about what happened in New York puts a strain on his already complicated relationship with his father.

Lizzy meanwhile is going through a series of problems herself. She moved from Phoenix to Elko to escape an abusive relationship and reinvent herself. Although she loves being in an area with forests and lakes she has a hard time fitting in and gaining the trust of her colleagues and the people of Tryo County. Her initial partnership with Mark is an uneasy one. The talkative law-abiding Lizzy lives in sharp contract with the quieter Mark who deals with the reality of investigating a murder in a small tight-knit town. From office gossip she learns that Mark's transfer from the NYPD was not as clear cut as she was told.

While the investigation is grinding to a halt, Cindy, cleaning her father’s house, finds a photo behind a dresser. It shows her father and another man smiling and holding a gun and cudgels. They’re posing in front of the local St. Andrews Church. The back of the photograph has a 7 of clubs symbol stamped on it and a year scribbled next to it: 1972.

Cindy speaks with FATHER NOLAN (70s, kind face, not the hell and brimstone guy), the pastor at St. Andrews, but he denies any knowledge of what the photograph was about.

The final scene of the pilot has Father Nolan burning several other photographs with the 7 of Clubs symbol stamped on the back.

Submitted: May 18, 2020
Last Updated: May 18, 2020

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The Writer: Kris Imants

My name is Kris and I live in Belgium but due to a busy professional life I also lived and worked in Spain, Ireland and Germany. After years of just talking about it I finally made the step to actually writing scripts. I have been writing since I was a kid but have only recently felt secure enough to let other people read, and critique, my work. Since then I produced one adapted and three original scripts for a local dance group, several short stories, an adaptation of one of Aesop's fables for my sister's students during the Covid Lockdown and a novel that is currently in its second draft. As an education I followed Creative Writing at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, Ireland and an online... Go to bio

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