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By Joel Ebstein

GENRE: Sci-fi, Drama

A California state prison performs an experimental brain procedure on a handful of inmates re-entering the system. For one inmate—Nash, the experiment goes terribly wrong, as he must fight to regain his declining mental health.


Nash is moments away from having the brain chip inserted into his head. Nash is freaking out. He’s adamant against having the procedure, which will curb his criminal activities, because it will stop him from pursuing his one passion in life, synthesizing psychoactive drugs. Nash comes off as cold, and indifferent to Rachael (because of his fear of intimacy). Nash won’t be able to devote his time to synthesizing, so Rachael pleads the procedure will bring the two of them closer with the baby well on its way. After the procedure, Nash is released. He doesn’t feel like himself. He has a horrifying level of anxiety, and fear of people. He’s terrified of the world. At an underground surgeon’s office, he meets MALLORY, early 30s, a former stripper. The surgeon won’t remove the brain chip. It’s too risky. Mallory can tell something is not right about Nash. Nash collapses down to the pavement, and Mallory puts him in a taxi. The two drive back to Mallory’s friend’s housing project residence, where Mallory tells Nash to stay until he’s feeling better. Nash acts cold, distant, belligerent toward Mallory. He tries to pry the brain chip out of his head himself. Mallory stops him. Mallory breaks down into tears and confides in Nash that her son, ISAAC, 12, was murdered a week ago by two white gangsters. Isaac was murdered in Mallory’s gangster boss ex-boyfriend, MATEO’S, drug den. Mallory ran away from Mateo soon after their son’s death. Nash has a sudden realization through a flashback that he was one of the two “white gangsters” that shot and killed Isaac. It was an accident. Isaac was at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Rachael, worried, teams up with LUKE, Nash’s former drug manufacturing partner. She implores Luke to search for Nash around town to bring him home. Meanwhile, Nash and Mallory strike a deal. Nash plans to synthesize a psychoactive drug that he hopes will calm his overactive amygdala. His lab was seized. He doesn’t have the necessary chemicals or lab equipment. Mallory has access to a lab. In exchange, Nash will help Mallory say one last, proper goodbye to her son, Isaac, which she never had the chance to do. As Nash and Mallory gather the chemicals and equipment, Mallory tries to pry personal info out of Nash. He’s hesitant to reveal anything, but admits he doesn’t want his baby son because he doesn’t have the “time”. Nash reminds Mallory of some of her former stripper clients. Mallory surmises that Nash has fear of intimacy in his relationship with Rachael. Nash denies, but soon admits that does in fact have fear of intimacy. Nash tells Mallory that he can’t go back home because he’s not the same person with his petrifying anxiety. Rachael wouldn’t recognize Nash, or want to be around him. He’s a shell of his old self. Nash and Mallory are riding the bus when two mariachi musicians won’t leave Nash alone. Irritated because of his extreme anxiety, Nash explodes, attacking the musician. Mallory and Nash run off the bus. Nash is completely surprised that his brain chip didn’t stop him from carrying out the attack, like it should have. Mallory continues to get Nash to open up and get closer to her. Rachael and Luke are getting closer as well. Rachael, lonely and isolated, passionately makes out with Luke.

Mallory realizes that Nash was involved in Isaac’s death, and has been lying to her. Mallory reports to the neurosurgeon in charge of the procedure that Nash’s brain chip doesn’t function correctly/he’s acting irrational. The neurosurgeon gives Nash another procedure to fix the malfunction. Nash is released and learns Mallory has been kidnapped by Mateo. Nash fights off gangsters at Mateo’s house and is soon in a stand-off with Mateo, as Mallory lies tied up on the ground. Nash tries to fire off a shot, but he can’t. The second procedure worked. Nash can’t do any action he finds morally wrong. Mateo shoots both Mallory and Nash. Mallory manages to kick over a can of acid. Mateo falls into the acid. His face and body is severely burned. Mateo dies. The second procedure has diminished Nash’s anxiety. He returns home to Rachael. Rachael is infuriated and wants Nash to leave. Nash hears his baby’s cries. He begs to see his son for the first time. Rachael lets him. Nash is intimate and emotionally-connected to Rachael, proving he’s taken a big stride in overcoming his fear of intimacy.

Nathaniel Baker

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