The Déjà vu Effect by R.L. Galbraith | Script Revolution

The Déjà vu Effect

A suspicious FBI agent must stop a cunning senior CIA agent from a notorious Mafia family, once an assassin, who’s seeking to repeat his most cherished, yet undisclosed, mission that shocked the world in 1963.



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In 1962, Hayden Johansson, Director of Special Operations, meets with several other CIAers in a basement suite of the old CIA building in Washington D.C., quickly making it known he’s unhappy with President Kennedy because of his lenient policies, and wants to debate what to do about it. In the course of several meetings, he decides he wants to assassinate President Kennedy. The members of the forum have mixed reactions, but eventually come around. One member, a new employee, is skeptical, but willing to listen. His name is Dom Gagliano, a young man from a notorious Mafia family known for his marksmanship skills. In the initial interview, Gagliano can’t believe the CIA would want to hire a teenager just out of high school let alone the son of a Mafia kingpin.

After a series of meetings, they determine Gagliano will pull the trigger, but they also need a foil to blame for the assassination. They come up with two names: Larry Binns and Lee Harvey Oswald. After visiting Binns, a good ole country boy, they decide he’s too crazy and turn their attention to Oswald. Johansson and Gagliano meet with Oswald and solicit him to kill the president. He reluctantly agrees, wanting them to protect him and his family. But in Nov 1963, Gagliano unexpectedly relieves Oswald and assassinates President John F. Kennedy from the six-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository.

In 2017, Lance Remick, Senior FBI Agent in Charge of Espionage and Terrorism, is fighting a double battle. He’s trying to eradicate terrorism in the United States while trying to successfully interact with an arrogant Dom Gagliano, CIA Assistant Director of Counter Terrorism. Gagliano believes the current President of the United States is not doing enough to turn the tide on terrorism. After consulting with Everett Cupano, a learned colleague, Gagliano decides to standup a secret CIA forum, not sanctioned by the director, to debate how to deal with the president. Gagliano assembles a group of men who, although shocked when they find out Gagliano wants to assassinate the president, jump on board. Among them is Brandon Yates, a young FBI agent who used to work for Gagliano. Yates now works for Remick, but has a hard time staying away from his buddies at the CIA. When he time comes, Gagliano selects Cupano to assassinate the president.

Though Remick doesn’t know about Gagliano’s current secret CIA meetings, he tries to keep an eye on him because of his brashness and overall sense of elitism. Remick’s focus is on a suspected terrorist instigator named Johnnie Lostrad, a professor in Boston. Continually, Remick’s agents keep tabs on him and the harassment never stops. Remick asks Brandon Yates, to ride roughshod on Lostrad, but it soon becomes apparent Yates is spending more time at the CIA.

Making his job a little more stressful, Remick is continually bothered by the fact he has a drug addict for a brother who currently is in a halfway house in Washington D.C., and his belated visits don’t go down well with his brother who thinks he doesn’t care. Remick’s girlfriend, Gina, helps him cope; dealing with an issue that is a thorn in his side.

Remick learns that the president is going to Dallas in November to campaign for a candidate for Senate and will do a tribute motorcade through the city. He also learns Lostrad and other potential terrorists are having a conference the same week the president will be in Dallas. When he finds out the CIA is sending agents to Dallas, he becomes concerned since they have no reason to be there. He believes Gagliano could be up to something. He sends Yates and another agent to Dallas to sort things out.

On 22 November, Cupano stands in a parking garage overlong main street, ready for the motorcade to pass, as the book depository is no longer an option. He holds a rifle with a high-tech scope. As the motorcade slowly approaches, he hears a voice behind him, Gagliano, who was supposed to be back at CIA headquarters, tells Cupano to give him the gun and disappear.

Gagliano braces to kill another president. He thinks back to the day in 1963 when he went to the six floor of the book depository and relived Oswald of his weapon. Before he knew it, he was looking out the window with the rifle waiting for the kill.

He now revels in the fact the can do it again. But before that dream is realized, he hears a voice behind and when he turns around, he sees Remick standing there with several other agents. Questioning how Remick knew, Brandon Yates walks around the corner and admits he couldn’t let Gagliano get away with it. As the president passes the garage with resounding cheers, Gagliano, dazed and confused, is arrested, and taken away.

In the end, Remick attends his brother’s funeral, dying from a supposed overdose. He knows he didn’t spend enough time with his brother, being subsumed with his job. Gina tells him he shouldn’t blame himself for his brother’s death, but that he stopped an assassination of a U.S. president and should be proud of himself. She then asks if Gagliano said why he did it. After a moment of reflection, Remick tells her it was probably a sense of déjà vu.

He smiles at her, as they slowly walk to their car while Remick stares at the gravesite.

Submitted: September 12, 2020
Last Updated: September 16, 2020

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R.L. Galbraith's picture

The Writer: R.L. Galbraith

I grew up in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I retired from the United States Air Force in 1992 after 24 years of service. Following my Air Force career, I pursued a career in industry supporting intelligence agencies as a researcher and intelligence specialist. I am now retired. I have been writing for a number of years; now that I’m free from long hours and difficult caseloads, I have time to finalize much of my work. I feel like I have good stories to tell, and ready to turn my scripts into marketable, plausible films. Go to bio

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