Til Death Do Us Pay by Lance Hendrickson | Script Revolution

Til Death Do Us Pay

An estranged older Jewish couple, newly broke and running from the law, flees to an Indian reservation and teams with a juvenile gangster to arrange the husband’s death and collect on his insurance policy.



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Life’s in the dumpster for JANICE GREEN and her HYMAN. Janice’s gambling and Hyman’s dead business partner Jimmy have wiped out their money and their Cadillac dealership. Their tweaker daughter lives with a meth cook and hates them. They hate each other. And their neo-Nazi son hates them all because they’re Jews (as he is).

By the time their son jumps bail and forfeits their home, a biker/skinhead brawl in court is par for the course: everything’s awful. At Jimmy’s gay-disco-party funeral, where a leather-vs.-drag-queen melee breaks out and Hyman attacks Jimmy’s corpse, the Greens learn that all they have left in the world is a battered ’74 Caddy (on loan to their daughter) and a paid-up life-insurance policy about to expire.

Janice has felony warrants out on her for unpaid casino markers. Hyman’s first try at an “accidental” death flops. So they take back the Caddy and split Reno for Lake Havasu City with a plan to get Hyman killed, collect on the insurance and salvage a life for Janice.

But getting rid of Hyman isn’t so easy. In Havasu he picks a fight with the Mexican Mafia. The gangsters’ car explodes and kills them instead, leaving the Greens stuck with 12-year-old ELADIO YBARRA, a blackmailing wannabe gangster and runaway orphan. The trio join a spring-break bash to get Hyman drunk and drown him, but that ends with a frat free-for-all in the Colorado River.

Finding a pound of meth and $20,000 in the Caddy gives them some options; the three wind up at a tribal hotel/casino. After Janice fails at suicide-by-shellfish, Hyman leaves her a note and walks off into the desert with the bag of boo-yah, to seek his death with Eladio's help. A minefield at a survivalist compound doesn’t kill him (though the rednecks and the compound all blow up). A crazed tweaker in town with a machine gun somehow misses him too (and blows herself up).

Meanwhile Janice takes the cash straight to a Blackjack table dealt by kindly, quasi-mystical tribal elder SWIMMING BEAR. Bear gets Janice ripped on vodka, offers her advice on life and marriage, loses $4 million to her, and rattles off obscene insults whenever the pit boss tries changing the table limits to stop his losing.

Tribal cop RAYFORD MUNOZ helps Hyman after various explosions, befriends him, and offers him a job. But Rayford takes Eladio into custody, to return him to a foster home in Nevada. Back at the hotel Hyman readies one last plan to get killed, but Janice’s drunken arrival foils it. The two fall four stories into the river. Bear rescues Eladio, the two fish the Greens out of the river, and in Bear's boat they make up and motor off into the moonlight.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Would be 5.5 or better overall on The Blacklist, but for some misguided eefus who gave it a 3.

Submitted: November 20, 2020
Last Updated: November 20, 2020

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The Writer: Lance Hendrickson

Lance C. Hendrickson is an award-winning writer, and has been a contributing columnist for publications across America such as The San Antonio Current (Texas), Connect Savannah (Georgia), and The High Plains Reader (Fargo, ND); he also served as a member of the Muskegon Chronicle's reader-advisory panel. He was elected to his hometown school board in Hesperia Michigan in 1997, and was the Democratic primary winner in Michigan's 101st State House district in 1996 and 1998. Hendrickson has been a licensed attorney since 1993, focusing early in his career on complex commercial litigation, major felony defense, and federal Indian law. Later professional life in six states found him representing... Go to bio

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