Almost Plausible

Ep. 21

Zipper

21 June 2022

Runtime: 00:57:39

According to Urban Dictionary, the irrational fear of zippers is called jumaphobia. It seems like a pretty rare phobia, but maybe after listening to this week's episode there'll be at least a few more cases. We promise it's not too scary! Maybe more unnerving? Either way, it's definitely entertaining.

References

Transcript

[Intro music begins]

[Shep]
You find someone that can play multiple characters, for example, like, in Everything Everywhere All at Once where they do a stellar job. Anyway, everyone go watch that movie.

[Thomas]
Yes.

[Shep]
Everyone being Emily specifically.

[Emily]
Yes. I will.

[Thomas]
After this podcast is over, drop whatever else you’re doing.

[Shep]
Yes.

[Thomas]
Finish this first.

[Shep]
Right.

[Emily]
Finish this.

[Shep]
Take this with you.

[Emily]
Run to a theater.

[Thomas]
Or drive. I’m not you. I don’t know. Bicycle.

[Shep]
Take a bus.

[Thomas]
Or walk. I mean, you don’t have to run. Just leave with enough time to get there before the movie starts. That’s what I’m saying.

[Intro music]

[Thomas]
Hey there, story fans. Welcome to Almost Plausible, the podcast where we take ordinary ideas and turn them into movies. I’m Thomas J. Brown, and with me, as always, are Emily-

[Emily]
Hey, guys.

[Thomas]
And F. Paul Shepard.

[Shep]
Happy to be here.

[Thomas]
We’re exploring zippers this week, and now that I’ve said that out loud, I’m realizing how dirty it sounds. It’s probably best to just zip right along. So, Shep, let’s hear your pitches first.

[Shep]
Okay, so what could you do interesting with a zipper? It could open up something interesting, or it could be in an interesting place. So my first pitch is, a boy sees a zipper open up in midair, like in a dark alley somewhere, and people come out of it, and when they discover the boy has seen them, they zip his mouth shut.

[Emily]
Creepy.

[Thomas]
Yeah. That’s really creepy.

[Shep]
Yeah. So, like, zippers that could open or close basically anywhere at any time.

[Emily]
Do the zippers only exist for those people that came out of the zipper, or do they just know where the zipper is and they can use it?

[Shep]
I mean, I don’t have anything more on the pitch other than what I’ve said, but yeah, I mean, what if the boy learns that same ability of zipping and unzipping stuff? He can’t currently tell anyone about what he saw because his mouth is zip closed.

[Emily]
Yeah, and he can’t unzip it because he doesn’t know where the- what is that part called?

[Thomas]
It’s called the pull.

[Emily]
That makes sense.

[Shep]
All right, pitch number two. Aliens make first contact with Earth but don’t like what they find.

[Thomas]
So it’s all factual already.

[Shep]
Right.

[Thomas]
Good.

[Shep]
As predicted, for the safety of the universe, they enclose the planet in two giant hemispheres and begin zipping them closed.

[Emily]
So we have to somehow prove our worth so they will not zip us all the way closed.

[Thomas]
There’s probably going to be the faction of like, “This is good. This protects us from other aliens. Like, these are benevolent aliens who are trying to help us-“

[Emily]
“It’ll bounce off the asteroids that come.”

[Thomas]
Right, all those planet killer comets.

[Shep]
Yeah, so common.

[Emily]
But then Bruce Willis won’t have a job.

[Thomas]
Haven’t you heard, Emily? He’s already out of a job. He’s retiring.

[Emily]
I did hear that. Who will save us now?

[Shep]
Pitch number three. A woman discovers that her new boyfriend has a zipper on his back. He got quite upset when she played with it, and he made her promise to leave it alone. And she said she would, but one day when he was sleeping, she unzipped it.

[Emily]
This is it. This is the one I want to do. I don’t care about anything else. This one.

[Thomas]
So I agree, however… The first thought that came to mind is, there’s that story about the woman who has the ribbon around her neck?

[Emily]
Yeah. You untie it and her head falls off.

[Thomas]
Yes.

[Shep]
Oh, there’s a bunch of these. I remember seeing, like, a fairy tale show when I was younger about a woman that married a guy, but he was a monster, and he transformed into a man, and he could stay transformed as long as she didn’t do something. But she did something and caused him to turn back into a monster.

[Note: This is “Hans My Hedgehog” the first episode of The StoryTeller]

[Thomas]
Did she know she wasn’t supposed to?

[Shep]
She knew she wasn’t supposed to, but she didn’t know what would happen.

[Thomas]
Did she know he was a monster?

[Shep]
I can’t remember.

[Thomas]
It seems unlikely.

[Emily]
I don’t think she did. I remember about as much as you do of this.

[Thomas]
But then there was, like, a rose, and if they fell in love before the rose lost its last-

[Shep]
So there’s nothing in the pitch about what happens when she unzips it.

[Thomas]
Oh, that’s what we’re here for, right?

[Shep]
There’s lots of ways that it could go. It could be he’s a monster, or it could kill him. Or I was thinking she unzips it and, like, air puffs out, and he’s just empty, and he’s a suit, and so she crawls in and zips it up, and now she’s him. She’s still her. I guess that’s-

[Thomas]
Being John Malkovich.

[Shep]
Being John Malkovich.

[Thomas]
All right. So were those all of yours, Shep?

[Shep]
Those are all of mine.

[Thomas]
Okay, I’ll go next. So, zipper-as-portal. You kind of brought that up with yours, but that was the first thing I thought of. That’s all I wrote for that one because it seems so obvious.

[Shep]
Yeah. There’s His Dark Materials book series. It’s not a zipper exactly, but he’s got a knife, and he can cut holes in dimensions, basically, but he then later learns how to pinch it and seal it back up. So basically it is a zipper. But, yeah, that’s the gist of that book series. Spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read this trilogy.

[Thomas]
My next idea is a magic zipper that allows any two things to be merged together.

[Shep]
Any two things?

[Thomas]
Any two things. So you put one half on one thing, one half on the other thing, you zip them up, and when you peel off the zipped up zipper, those two things have become fused at that point.

[Shep]
So I could zip together an apple and an orange.

[Thomas]
Whoa, slow down.

[Shep]
Checkmate, atheists.

[Thomas]
But yeah, they don’t even have to be the same materials or anything like that.

[Emily]
They both don’t have to be fruit.

[Thomas]
That’s true. It could be other things besides fruit. It doesn’t have to be a banana and a watermelon. My next idea is a horror film about a person with a fear of zippers. I looked up is there a proper word? Is there a phobia for it?

[Emily]
Of course there is.

[Thomas]
Well, there is. The only place I could find a reference to that was in Urban Dictionary.

[Shep]
Oh.

[Thomas]
Basically every other resource that I looked at said, “No, there isn’t.”

[Emily]
That seems like something that would exist because of the noise, the movement, the collection of the teeth.

[Thomas]
The texture.

[Shep]
The fear of being caught in it.

[Emily]
Maybe it’s a bunch of phobias in one-

[Shep]
Well, see, there was a bunch of people that had a fear of zippers, but they didn’t make it through the eighties.

[Emily]
Fanny packs did them in.

[Shep]
The jackets with all the zippers on them.

[Emily]
For no reason.

[Thomas]
Bad was their least favorite Michael Jackson album. I have no clue what the story for the next one is, but the main character is trapped in an article of clothing due to a stuck zipper.

[Emily]
So this one actually somewhat reminds me of, do you remember that show Amazing Stories from the 80s?

[Shep]
Yes.

[Emily]
So one of my favorite ones, because I have seen all of them a billion, million times. So one of my favorite ones is the mummy. The guy dresses up like a mummy for Halloween, and his wife goes into labor, but the real mummy goes to the hospital, and everybody thinks he’s the real mummy, and they’re all convinced that the real mummy is the father at the hospital and he’s waiting for his- So this kind of reminds me of that. Maybe they get zipped up in one of those, like, dinosaur costumes or something really absurdly stupid, but everybody’s, like, “Aah!” afraid of them.

[Thomas]
My next pitch is we have our main character, and they’re walking through the woods, and they come across a tree, and there’s a large zipper that’s on the trunk of the tree. Not just like stuck on, it is, like, part of the trunk of the tree. So how did it get there? And if they unzip it, what’s inside?

[Shep]
Obviously, you unzip it immediately because there’s a zipper on a tree.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
And you want to know what’s inside.

[Shep]
That curiosity. There could be a sign that says, “Don’t unzip this.”

[Emily]
You’d still be like, “Mmm… going to do it.”

[Shep]
“I’m just going to unzip it a little.”

[Emily]
“Just a peek.”

[Thomas]
“I’ll just peek real fast, and they’ll zip it back up.”

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
“This thing is stuck!” All right. My next idea is a magic pen or pencil or crayon or some sort of a writing utensil. When you draw a line with it, that line becomes a working zipper. So you can draw a zipper onto anything in any shape, sort of like what you were talking about with His Dark Materials.

[Shep]
The (subtle) knife.

[Thomas]
And my last idea, there’s a park with a large sculpture of a closed zipper embedded into the side of a grassy mound. One day, the zipper is open, revealing a cave that leads down under the city.

[Shep]
All my thoughts are so dirty.

[Thomas]
We did say we were going to be exploring zippers, though.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Well, that’s all of my pitches.

[Emily]
All right.

[Emily]
So I have one tonight because I got stuck on zipper.

[Shep]
Ha ha.

[Emily]
I could not come up with anything. And now listening to all of your pitches, I’m like, “These are all obvious and wonderful.” So mine is a serial killer, surprise, who zips his victims in a homemade bag, and the FBI is tracking him down because of the type of zipper he uses. It’s a very unique and specific zipper.

[Shep]
It’s just not a YKK zipper.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
That narrows it down to, like, 2% of all zippers.

[Emily]
And there you go.

[Thomas]
All right. Well, we all reacted very strongly to the one where the guy has a zipper on his back, so I feel like that’s the direction we’re going. Were there any other ones that we wanted to explore, or is that the one?

[Emily]
I like the tree trunk and the hill also, but they’re very similar to the zipper on the back of a guy. I like the tension between him and his wife of his, like, “Don’t do that. I’m not going to talk about it. I’m not going to tell you what it is. I’m not going to say anything more about it. Just don’t do that.”

[Thomas]
You could even add to that if he’s asleep when she does it and he doesn’t know. He has no idea that she’s gone inside of him, and she keeps doing this, and he just doesn’t know what’s going on.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Emily]
Because it depends on what happens when she goes inside and is him. Does she learn more about the zipper? Does he actually know what the zipper does? Does he just have it and he’s always been told “Don’t unzip it. Don’t let anyone unzip your zipper.”

[Thomas]
His dad was like, “Hey, don’t play with that.”

[Shep]
So she finds the zipper, and she wants to play with it.

[Emily]
Naturally. I would!

[Shep]
Naturally!

[Emily]
What the zipper does? Like, what is the purpose of the zipper?

[Thomas]
What happens when she goes through? Does she control him?

[Shep]
Well, yeah, if he’s just, like, a suit, a costume, basically. A human costume. So she unzips it, but instead of, like, three kids in a trenchcoat inside-

[Emily]
It’s just empty.

[Shep]
It’s just empty. Does he come back after that?

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah. When she gets out? Yeah, I think so.

[Shep]
Or does she get out?

[Emily]
I was going to say if she does it like a couple of times, she keeps doing it. Maybe we find out later in a big twist that he’s actually some sort of creature and then when they go to sleep at night, he leaves. The him that is he, leaves, and that’s why it was empty when she went in, but she doesn’t realize it.

[Thomas]
Interesting. That’s really interesting.

[Shep]
Yeah. So she, like, puts it on at night and goes around being him and then goes back and gets out and zips him up-

[Emily]
And goes to sleep.

[Shep]
And goes to sleep. And in the morning, he doesn’t know that it happened, or he doesn’t appear to know that it happened. So what if she stays out as him? What happened to the thing that was inside him?

[Thomas]
Man, there’s so many questions.

[Emily]
Right. And-

[Shep]
But, yeah, there’s a lot of ways this could go.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
What is the thing inside him and what happens to it? Because I think that would be a really good plot point. Like we see her do it a few times and she goes and does stupid, like what a woman would want to do as a man, what’s it like to be a man kind of scenario. Jogging in the middle of the night.

[Thomas]
She wants to stand and pee.

[Emily]
Yeah. No, seriously, that would be one of them. Go outside and pee in the yard.

[Shep]
Having pockets.

[Emily]
Having pockets.

[Thomas]
We all agree that it’s a lizard man from outer space, though, right? Here to control the US Government specifically.

[Shep]
With giant, obvious zippers on their back. The perfect plan.

[Emily]
Do we find out later that’s just… does he have a family of zippered people?

[Shep]
I say just leave it as-

[Emily]
Just the couple.

[Shep]
Leave it as the couple and don’t really explain the zipper. I think I’ve mentioned this once or twice before. I like it when things are not explained.

[Emily]
Yeah. Because the explanation always just ruins it. I get that.

[Shep]
Yes, you unzip it, and he’s actually midi-chlorians inside.

[Emily]
I like the idea of her going in and him having, whatever is inside of him, having left, and then she gets stuck in it one day because she went out too late or whatever, and then has to figure out… We don’t even have to see what he is.

[Shep]
Yeah. She could be in the suit and have his voice coming out of some dark part of the room, and they could have a conversation.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
I think that she shouldn’t get stuck in it. I think she should choose to stay in it.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
She’s decided life is better when you’re a man. Maybe the whole thing is an allegory for being trans. So she just is having a better life being him than she was having being herself.

[Emily]
She has more confidence, is happier, finds her own voice in her career or his career, whatever.

[Thomas]
When she plays video games, people aren’t calling her cunt.

[Shep]
Asking her to make them a sandwich.

[Thomas]
Sending her dick pics.

[Shep]
She could send dick pics now.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
She totally gets to send dick pics.

[Thomas]
But she totally sends them to guys like, “Get a taste of your own fucking medicine.”

[Shep]
I think that it would be how people treat her is different.

[Emily]
Well, yeah, absolutely. Maybe they work for the same place or in a similar field, and she’s had ideas, but they never get entertained. No one ever listens to her. So now she’s him presenting them and all of a sudden it’s a great idea. “Oh, look at that. That would work.”

[Thomas]
The biggest problem I see with that is that it would be immediately obvious to him that something shady is going on, because he would show up to work, and they’d be like, “Great idea you had, Jeff.” And he’d be like, “What?” Because he would have no knowledge of that. It would be interesting to see… So she stays out later than she normally does, or earlier, I suppose if she’s doing this at night, she doesn’t come back in time on purpose. And then the next day when she wakes up, he’s already awake, and he’s sitting there looking at her, and she’s like, kind of, “Whoa, weird.” And he says, “I told you not to play with the zipper,” or whatever. He knows at this point because his actual corporeal self came back and the skin suit wasn’t there, and she wasn’t there, so he knows she took it somewhere.

[Shep]
What if he just leaves? He leaves a note saying, “I told you not to mess with the zipper,” and then he’s just gone.

[Emily]
I like that.

[Shep]
Although where do you go in the story from that point? Because she has started enjoying this dual life, and it’s suddenly taken away from her.

[Thomas]
Is the end of the movie that she’s in his skin suit, right, and she starts dating this woman, and she tells women, “Don’t play with the zipper”?

[Shep]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
Absolutely.

[Shep]
Let’s write from the end backwards, because- So does that mean the thing that was inside him is another woman?

[Thomas]
Or another person.

[Emily]
So the suit stays and he’s gone.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
What do you mean? The suit stays and he’s gone?

[Thomas]
After she stays out all night, and he knows that she’s been messing with it.

[Shep]
Oh, I thought he took the suit with him.

[Emily]
No. Oh, see, I was thinking, if he left the suit and he’s just like, “I told you not to mess with it.”

[Shep]
Why would he leave the suit?

[Emily]
He has been found out and the woman he loved broke his trust.

[Shep]
Right, but why would that make him leave the suit?

[Emily]
What is he? Is he another human? Because then he could just leave the suit. Is he some weird-

[Shep]
Yeah. Just because he could leave the suit. Why would he leave the suit? It’s his suit. It’s what he uses to get around in this world. What would be his reason? I’m not saying he can’t leave it. I’m just saying if he does leave it, it has to be for a reason.

[Thomas]
So if he’s wearing the suit because he doesn’t like who he is, he’s afraid of her finding out who he really is. He thinks she’ll think poorly of him, and that will ruin their relationship. He doesn’t want her to end the relationship because of who he is. He wants to end the relationship because she violated his trust. The only way to do that, though, is to never see her again. The only way to do that is to give up the suit.

[Shep]
I can’t imagine why, if you just had the one suit… That would be like arguing with your partner and giving them your car. You know what I mean?

[Thomas]
Yeah, it’s a good point.

[Shep]
Like, yes, you can do that, but why did you do that?

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
That’s yours. You need that to go to work.

[Thomas]
Does the suit have rules? Does it bond to people?

[Shep]
I mean, we’re making it up. We could do whatever the hell we want.

[Emily]
Okay. Well, if that’s the case, then why is he leaving the suit at night in the first place?

[Shep]
These are all good questions.

[Thomas]
So there has to be a downside to wearing the suit.

[Emily]
There has to be a reason to take it off.

[Shep and Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
There has to be a reason to take it off so that later, when she gets stuck in it-

[Thomas]
There are certain itches you just can’t scratch with the suit on through the-

[Emily]
My mind naturally goes towards the supernatural and horrific and that the only way for this creature to feed is outside of the suit. Like, human food doesn’t satisfy him and the suit does nothing, so he has to leave at night in order to feed.

[Shep]
Or the suit feeds on what’s in it.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
So you have to leave it every once in a while to give your body a chance to heal. But if you’re in it too long, it eats all the skin off of your body.

[Emily]
Okay, I like this.

[Shep]
You still have to leave it. Otherwise it will eat all your muscles and continue eating you. But you don’t want people to see you without your skin on. So you only leave it at night when it’s dark.

[Emily]
Works for me.

[Thomas]
So do we see skinless-him at some point then?

[Shep]
I don’t know. Maybe he explains to her what’s happening or what’s going to happen to her if she doesn’t give up the suit.

[Thomas]
Does it become a symbiotic relationship in a way, though?

[Emily]
Yes. Because he gets what he wants out of life from the suit, right? Whatever thing is wrong with him that he doesn’t like, he feels like the suit gives it to him.

[Thomas]
When they have their confrontation, does he not get back into the suit because she won’t get out of it?

[Emily]
Yeah, because she’s addicted to the power that it’s given her, or the confidence.

[Thomas]
The changes in her life that she is enjoying.

[Emily]
Which is how he got stuck in the suit.

[Thomas]
Does he end up dying because he doesn’t have skin?

[Shep]
I mean, you have to do something with this character.

[Emily]
He becomes Darkman, obviously.

[Shep]
So I imagine that he has to die at some point. She has to make the choice-

[Emily]
Stay in the suit or let him die.

[Shep]
To stay in the suit. She wants it so bad she is willing to let him die to keep it for herself.

[Thomas]
And she’s noticed some changes. Maybe her hair is thinning a bit or clumps fall out or her nails are kind of brittle or something. She’s gotten weird sores. So something like that, that she doesn’t know where that’s coming from. So that when there’s a big reveal of skinless -him, he can say like “All these things, it’s because of the suit. Just take it off and stop using it and that’ll all go back to normal.”

[Emily]
“And we can have our life back because I can go back in. I can be who you love.”

[Thomas]
Yeah, “It’s me you love, not the suit.”

[Shep]
A little from column A…

[Emily]
Well, yeah. She thought she loved him until she realized he was a skinless human that was in this amazing suit that now she can inhabit.

[Thomas]
Are they having problems in their relationship when the movie starts? Because if everything’s hunky-dory, it seems like a huge stretch to be like, “No, you can die. I’ll keep the suit. It’s fine.”

[Shep]
Well, they just started dating. It’s not like she discovered the zipper much later.

[Thomas]
That’s true.

[Shep]
She discovers it fairly early because how do you keep that a secret?

[Emily]
Right. So she finds it the first time they have sex, then it’s this whole thing?

[Thomas]
I kind of imagine that’s where the movie starts is them coming home from a date, starting to get hot and heavy…

[Emily]
And she feels the pull and the-

[Thomas]
He’s got to sit her down, right? He’s got to be like, “Look, something I need to tell you.”

[Shep]
Maybe they’ve been dating for a while and haven’t had sex yet. And she’s like, “Come on.”

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
“What is the deal?” And he’s like, “Fine, here is the deal. Here’s why.”

[Thomas]
Does she have, like, tattoos and piercings and stuff? So when she sees that he has the zipper, she’s like, “Oh, that’s fucking awesome.”

[Shep]
Oh, sure.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
She thinks that “This is the coolest body mod I’ve ever seen.” She’s, like, looking at it all up close, like, “Wow, this is incredible. How long did this take?”

[Emily]
“Totally seamless. You can’t tell-“

[Thomas]
She’s asking all these questions, and he’s like, “I don’t really like talking about it.”

[Shep]
This is good because all of her tattoos have a reason, have a story. But if she stays in the suit, they’re going to be eaten off of her and going to be gone. She’s going to lose that identity entirely.

[Thomas]
Have we decided that that’s what she wants, though? She wants to become someone else because of how she’s treated when she’s in the suit?

[Shep]
I don’t know.

[Emily]
Yeah, I think she does, because she’s doing all these body modifications anyway, right? So maybe we just play that up, because she’s really fascinated by that as a body mod and like, “Oh, that’s the coolest one I’ve seen before. I’ve thought about doing this and this. I just don’t know if that’s me, but this I could get behind this.”

[Thomas]
“You got to give me the name of your guy.”

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
“This is awesome. This is good work.” So I don’t know how long they’d have been dating. I don’t want them to have been dating for too long because we want the relationship to still be somewhat disposable for her.

[Shep]
Right.

[Emily]
Like a month.

[Thomas]
Yeah. It should be, not an easy decision, but also not an impossible one. What’s going on in her life that this is a light at the end of a tunnel for her or that she views this as, “This is what I need to get out of whatever situation?”

[Shep]
Well, what’s going on in her life that she can just literally disappear and it’s not a problem because basically she’s ceasing to exist as that woman.

[Emily]
Right. And nobody cares.

[Shep]
And nobody is calling the cops and going, “Hey, this new boyfriend showed up and suddenly, where’s Monica?”

[Thomas]
I think that should be part of the storyline that she hadn’t considered.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah. I’d like it if maybe cops are interviewing her in the suit, asking where she is.

[Thomas]
Yeah, man, that’s a great scene. Do we shoot this in a way, like, do we see her face, but it’s sort of shadowed a bit to indicate, okay, now she’s in the suit, so we get the expression on her actual face, or are we just showing the suit face?

[Shep]
You just show the suit face.

[Thomas]
And you just know that she’s in it.

[Shep]
You find someone that can play multiple characters, for example, like, in Everything Everywhere All at Once where they do a stellar job. Anyway, everyone go watch that movie.

[Thomas]
Yes.

[Shep]
Everyone being Emily specifically.

[Emily]
Yes. I will.

[Thomas]
After this podcast is over, drop whatever else you’re doing.

[Shep]
Yes.

[Thomas]
Finish this first.

[Shep]
Right.

[Emily]
Finish this.

[Shep]
Take this with you.

[Emily]
Run to a theater.

[Thomas]
Or drive. I’m not you. I don’t know. Bicycle.

[Shep]
Take a bus.

[Thomas]
Or walk. I mean, you don’t have to run. Just leave with enough time to get there before the movie starts. That’s what I’m saying.

[Shep]
Anyway. Yeah. So find an actor that can portray different people because then you get that, “Wow, that person really has the chops. You can tell who is in the suit at any time just based on-“

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
Is there anybody from his life that knows about it? Or is it something he has successfully kept secret this whole time?

[Shep]
How long has he been in the suit?

[Emily]
Five years, he’s in a new city. He doesn’t know anyone except for work friends.

[Shep]
Well, how quickly do you want people to cycle through the suit?

[Thomas]
If the suit attacks your body fast enough that after a few sessions in it, she’s already starting to notice changes…

[Shep]
Right. He could be fairly new to the suit.

[Thomas]
I mean, he could be under the spell of the suit as well. And is like, “No, this is going to make my life so much better.”

[Emily]
Well, yeah, that’s why he wants to stay in it, because he got this great girl who turns out to be a sociopath, apparently.

[Shep]
Well, after a certain point, you have to stay in it. You have to be in it some time during the day to stay alive. And you have to be out of it sometime during the day to stay alive.

[Emily]
Would he have been nearing the end anyway? Like, is he at a point where-

[Shep]
No, if you cycle in and out, you can last indefinitely.

[Thomas]
So he feasibly could have been in it for several years.

[Shep]
He could be in it for several years, or he could be fairly new to it. You can’t tell just based on the suit.

[Thomas]
Right. So maybe it’s been a couple of years then.

[Shep]
What’s the significance of it having been a couple of years?

[Thomas]
Long enough for him to have figured out how it works and have established some relationships as him that will cause problems for her later because she doesn’t know about certain things.

[Shep]
Or he’s new to the suit. He had it explained to him as he’s explaining it to her. And he also doesn’t understand all the relationships that he has. They go to parties or whatever, and he has trouble remembering people’s names, people that know him. So, like, you have a scene at a party early on and you show that. And then later on when she is in the suit and she’s at the grocery store or whatever and runs into someone who knows them, she doesn’t know what to say to them. She doesn’t know who they are.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
You don’t explain to the audience.

[Emily]
I like that. Yeah.

[Shep]
You just put that sign in there. So if anyone re-watches the movie later, they’re like, “Oh my gosh, was he new to the suit?”

[Thomas]
You could even potentially have a scene when they’re first hooking up or whatever, and she’s like, “What is this?” He’s like, “Oh, did I not tell you about that?” And she’s like, “When would you have told me about that?” Because they’re a brand new couple, essentially. But he doesn’t know that. He’s not sure.

[Shep]
No, no, no.

[Thomas]
“Is this someone I’ve met before or not?”

[Shep]
He would know because they were introduced, like, at a party or something.

[Emily]
So he met her in the suit. He was in the suit when he met her.

[Shep]
Right.

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah, definitely.

[Shep]
So he knows that she doesn’t know.

[Thomas]
Okay.

[Emily]
I also like the tension of him wanting to stay in it, too, because he has to and because he’s new to it.

[Shep]
I mean, he’s not brand new to it, but he does need it to live.

[Thomas]
And that’s a thing he knows. All right, we’ve got a lot going on here. Let’s take a quick break, and when we come back, we’ll sort of recap everything and try to figure out the rest of our story for a zipper.

[Break]

[Thomas]
All right, we’re back. Let’s recap the story as we have it so far because I know we’ve kind of gone in a lot of different directions and stuff.

[Emily]
Yeah, we’ve jumped around.

[Thomas]
So let’s sort of recap that and kind of get back onto what is the plot? What do we have to figure out still? Are they already together when the movie starts?

[Emily]
Yes.

[Shep]
No, have them meet at the party.

[Thomas]
So where does the movie start then? Does it start at the party?

[Shep]
Because you could be following just her and make it clear she’s the main character. She’s the person that we’re focusing on.

[Thomas]
Okay, so it starts with the party, they’re introduced. Does it begin that night? Do they go back to someone’s apartment and that’s the first time she sees the zipper? Or are there a number of dates?

[Emily]
I think she should, like, invite him to go back. And he’s like, “I’m not ready for this yet. We’re not ready for this.”

[Shep]
Then you show her with her friend, and she’s like, “I liked that about him. That he wants to take it slow or whatever. Like, maybe this is the one.”

[Thomas]
Yeah, that’s good. So some time passes, they’ve been on several dates. Somehow we show that without it being boring. Just reinforcing kind of who they are and the nature of their relationship. And then he feels comfortable enough. He’s been in the suit long enough that he feels like, “Okay, I think I can do this. I would like to have sex.” So they go to her place or his or whatever. He must warn her ahead of time, right? Because that would be a weird thing to say nothing about.

[Emily]
I don’t know. I’m kind of torn to have it be weird with him not saying anything, thinking he can get away with just always have his back away from her.

[Thomas]
Maybe he takes off his clothes and lays down. He’s like, “Oh, I want you to be on top” or something. Oh, yeah. So they go back to whoever’s place things get hot and heavy. He manages to hide it successfully the whole time, but they fall asleep after sex. And the next morning, she wakes up and he has his back to her, and she sees it, and she’s sort of like, that groggy morning like, “Am I seeing this right? What the hell?”

[Emily]
She just reaches to touch it.

[Thomas]
Yeah, she’s touching. And he wakes up and rolls over.

[Emily]
And says “Don’t do that.”

[Thomas]
And that’s when they have the initial conversation about it. And she’s fascinated with it. And he thinks, “Okay, she’s not freaked out by it, so that’s good. But she’s very interested in it. So I need to come up with something,” but then, okay, cool. He has this body mod. She’s cool with it. “I mean, look at my face,” she says, or whatever. So the relationship continues, but is it very soon after that that she decides to check it out, or does it take a while?

[Shep]
Well, are you having scenes with her and her friend? Because she could be talking to her friend about it. Like, “He’s got this crazy body mod…”

[Emily]
Right. Maybe she works at some kind of weird shop thing because she’s got body mods, so she works at some kind of, like-

[Shep]
Hot Topic knockoff.

[Emily]
Yeah, something like that. And she’s talking about this, like, crazy mod. And like “I want to know, does it, like, actually in zip or is it just stationary?” And the girl’s like, “You should get him really drunk and unzip it one night.”

[Thomas]
Yeah, maybe the co-worker or the friend is saying, like, “Yeah, you should totally do that.” She’s like, “Well, no, he doesn’t want me to. I want to respect his boundaries” or something. But that plants a seed in her mind.

[Emily]
Yeah,

[Shep]
Right. Maybe she’s not the one who was saying, “Does it unzip” or anything.

[Shep]
It’s her coworker that’s like, “Does it unzip? Is it functional? How can you not-?”

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
“I don’t know. It’s just there. I don’t play with it. He told me not to play with it. I don’t play with it.”

[Thomas]
So then, same thing. She wakes up one morning, and she’s looking at it, and you can tell, like, the gears are turning in her head, or maybe it’s in the evening. Maybe they’re lying in bed, and she asks him some question about it, and he says, he gives her whatever dismissive answer about it.

[Shep]
Yeah, she keeps reaching out and touching his back. Not at the zipper, but next to it.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
She’s not touching the zipper. He told her not to touch the zipper. So she’s not but she’s close.

[Thomas]
And she’s asking questions about it. So he gets kind of uncomfortable or whatever. Is a bit dismissive. She’s like, “All right, it’s fine. I’m sorry. Whatever.”

[Shep]
Or rolls over and faces her and says, “Does it bother you?”

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
“Is it going to be a problem?”

[Thomas]
So then she doesn’t go to sleep. She waits until he’s asleep.

[Emily]
I think she does fall asleep because she’s not going to see him exit the suit.

[Thomas]
Oh, right.

[Emily]
But she wakes up in the middle of the night for some reason. Something wakes up, a dog or whatever, and she noticed that he is out. He’s not even breathing. His breath is so steady.

[Thomas]
That’s good, because then I like that it’s some external thing that wakes her up, because then she has an excuse to say, “Did you hear that?”

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Siren goes off or something.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
Someone screams, where are they that a scream is waking them up, and also they’re still concerned about it?

[Thomas]
Yeah, good point.

[Shep]
Not New York.

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
It could be a motorcycle revving. It could be…

[Emily]
It could be the dog knocked something over in the kitchen and it made a big crash, and she’s like, “What was that?”

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
I think it should be something outside, like a bunch of dogs barking all of a sudden. The implication when you find out later is: that’s him.

[Emily]
He was him.

[Shep]
Or maybe she heard a door slam, and she’s like, “Was that the front door? Is someone here? Go check it out.”

[Emily]
Either way, he’s not obviously responding or moving.

[Shep]
Right.

[Thomas]
So is he still facing toward the inside of the bed? So he’s on the bathroom side of the bed. So she’s awake. She goes to the bathroom, and on her way back, the zipper is facing her.

[Shep]
Because he had rolled over to face her, so she wasn’t seeing the zipper when he went to sleep.

[Thomas]
And so now she’s coming back toward the bed. The zipper’s right there, and he is out cold. Maybe she kind of taps him a little bit or something, and then that’s when she unzips.

[Emily]
Does she notice it’s a little bit down?

[Shep]
Is it a little bit down?

[Emily]
Yeah. Like, maybe he just didn’t think about it and it’s just a tiny bit to where she’s like, “Wait, is it down?”

[Shep]
Some noticeable amount.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
Where she’s like, “Is it down?”

[Thomas]
Yeah. Previously I forget what the actual part that does the zipping is called, but that thing is all the way at the top, but now there are, like, a few teeth above it.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
She’s like, “Wait a minute.”

[Shep]
Oh, she’s, like, trying to wake him up, but not doing a super job of it. But like, “Hey, your zipper is partly down.”

[Emily]
“Is it supposed to be like this?”

[Shep]
“Are you okay? Do you want me to zip it up?” And so she’s, like, touching it, and the first thing she does is zip it up, and it does zip up. So then she stops and she leaves it. But now she knows that it’s a functional zipper.

[Thomas]
Yeah. So that’s how she discovers that it unzips. Is it bigger inside? How does she get into it?

[Shep]
How weird do you want the movie to be? It could be as weird as you want.

[Emily]
It’s a TARDIS.

[Thomas]
That feels very Michel Gondry-ish, if she can… Alright, the whole thing, honestly, she can climb inside of a person.

[Emily]
I think it should just fit into it like a glove, like a work glove.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Does she put it on that first night?

[Shep]
These are all good questions.

[Thomas]
So she discovers the suit is empty.

[Emily]
I think she needs to discover it’s empty and then be like, “The fuck?”

[Thomas]
Yeah. And she zips it up, and maybe she goes and sleeps on the couch or something. He’s like, “Oh, what’s up?” And then she’s “Oh, there were some dogs barking. They woke me up, and I guess I fell asleep out here,” or something like that. Maybe she lies, and says “Oh I came to get a glass of water, and I must have fallen asleep out here.” And he doesn’t think anything of it, but she kind of is giving him this look like, “Wait, did that really happen?”

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
“Or, that must have been a dream, because that would be insane.” So she makes a point of looking at the zipper later. Maybe he’s like, “Okay, well, I’m going to go take a shower.” And so she goes upstairs to look, and the zippers all the way back up. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe that’s how she knows.

[Shep]
So she did unzip it and see that it was empty and then left.

[Thomas]
Well, she would have zipped it back up, wouldn’t she have? Because otherwise he’ll know.

[Emily]
Because this is freaky enough. You don’t want to get in trouble on top of finding out that your boyfriend is an empty skin suit.

[Thomas]
Maybe she doesn’t unzip it all the way. Maybe she unzips it partway, and is kind of like peeking down at it. And she puts her fingers out, and she kind of reaches inside, and her fingers are going into him, and she’s like, “That’s enough.”

[Emily]
I’m done.

[Thomas]
Pulls her hand out, zips him up.

[Emily]
Why wouldn’t you just leave the house, though? Like, altogether?

[Thomas]
Yeah, that’s a good point.

[Emily]
I mean, other than her being a white lady. I’m pretty sure I would be like, “Okay, time to go.” Maybe she does, I think she does go home. And he’s like, “Hey, what happened to you last night?”

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah. They’re at his apartment.

[Emily]
“Why did you leave?”

[Thomas]
Very good.

[Emily]
And she’s like, “Oh, I just had some stuff I remembered I needed to take care of early. So-“

[Thomas]
I mean, whatever. She makes up an excuse, a good excuse.

[Shep]
“I tried to tell you, but you’re out of it.” Out of it? Ha!

[Emily]
Is he suspicious at that point that maybe she did-?

[Thomas]
I don’t think so.

[Emily]
No, he’s just, like he totally buys it because this isn’t the first night. Yeah, okay, that makes sense.

[Thomas]
What’s her next step, though? Is she going to ask him more questions about it? She knows he doesn’t like talking about it, so I feel like it wouldn’t be very fruitful and why would he ever admit to that? And it would be a very crazy thing to say. Like, “So is it possible to unzip your zipper and reach inside of you?” That would be a totally bananas thing for someone to say.

[Emily]
Maybe she has this conversation with-

[Thomas]
Yeah. She reports back to the friend or the coworker, and she’s like, “Maybe this was just a dream or something. I’m not sure. I swear, though.” She’s like, “How high were you?” “Not at all. That’s the thing.”

[Shep]
“That you can remember.”

[Thomas]
Right. So now she’s doubting herself because the friend is dismissive of the whole experience.

[Emily]
Right, right.

[Thomas]
“That’s insane.”

[Shep]
“That’s not a thing.”

[Thomas]
“All right, you’re pulling my chain here.”

[Shep]
Which she has several.

[Thomas]
Yeah. So now she needs to know because it felt so real. But she’s right. That’s crazy. “But it felt so real. I have this vivid memory of it. I can feel it still on my fingers.” Like, “I got to find out,” is her decision. Is this the next night? Does she make up an excuse to… I guess she doesn’t need an excuse to stay over.

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
How does he leave without her noticing? Because if I’m her in that position, I’m just not sleeping. I’m waiting till he’s asleep. I am not going to fall asleep. Is there some evening ritual that she has? Like, she takes a melatonin, and if she didn’t, he would notice. Something like that where she’s going to try to fight against it but ends up falling asleep because of it.

[Emily]
Yeah, maybe he’s just being a nice, kind boyfriend and brings her the melatonin and the Nighty Night tea and is like, “Hey…”

[Shep]
That’s super creepy.

[Thomas]
“Take your evening drugs.”

[Emily]
It is for this new of a relationship. That would be creepy.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
Yeah. Melatonin also gives you crazy dreams. So she is taking melatonin, she could have just dreamt it.

[Thomas]
So she would specifically not take it.

[Shep]
Yeah. Also, if she’s taking melatonin, how would he notice whether she’s taking it or not? It’s not a thing that you do in front of a new partner to make sure that they’re aware that you took your melatonin.

[Emily]
This is all true.

[Shep]
I mean, no one’s monitoring you when you do it. So you establish earlier that she has trouble sleeping. Maybe she doesn’t feel safe ever, and so she can’t relax enough to sleep. So she does take melatonin. Like a heavy dose of melatonin.

[Thomas]
Or maybe some other type of actual sleeping pill.

[Shep]
Or yeah, it could be anything.

[Emily]
Yeah. She just has high anxiety, so she needs something to knock her out.

[Shep]
Right. But it’s something that could cause her to have a crazy dream. So she specifically doesn’t take it just to be sure whether or not she’s dreaming. But also, now that she didn’t take it, she can’t sleep. She stays awake. So now we’re back to Thomas’s question. How does he leave without her noticing?

[Emily]
She gets up to go to the bathroom because she’s antsy and can’t-

[Shep]
He can’t wait for her to get up and go to the bathroom every night.

[Thomas]
There’s no guarantee she will.

[Emily]
Right. So he just takes the first opportunity he has.

[Thomas]
But he can’t take the risk that he’ll have an opportunity. He might not.

[Shep]
Right. He’s got to be able to leave the suit and have her not notice it. Have something happen. The curtains sway or there’s a sound or there’s something to indicate that he has left the suit, but he has done it in a very stealthy way that even though she’s next to him, he’s gone.

[Emily]
I’m a very loud person when I do things, so I have no way of solving this problem.

[Thomas]
Is this just a details problem? Do we not need to worry about this for our overarching story?

[Shep]
I mean, it’s definitely a thing that would show up on CinemaSins.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
How did he leave the suit without her noticing? Ding.

[Thomas]
Yeah, but CinemaSins, half of it is “I didn’t understand this joke.” Ding.

[Shep]
Yeah, there’s a lot of that.

[Thomas]
So somehow he gets out of the suit and she’s able to… oh, okay. What if she pretends to be asleep and he thinks she is?

[Emily]
She hears it unzipping.

[Thomas]
Yeah. She hears it unzipping. And now she’s kind of freaked out and doesn’t want to open her eyes.

[Shep]
Oh!

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
And she hears rustling and then it’s quiet. And so now she’s like, “What the fuck do I do?”

[Shep]
This is great because she has anxiety and she didn’t take her antianxiety medicine.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
And she’s now sleeping next to a guy who unzipped himself for some reason.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
So does she… it kind of gets to a point where she can’t be laying there anymore. She’s got to jump up and do something about it.

[Emily]
She does hear the door this time, for sure.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Oh, yeah.

[Shep]
This is when you have the same sounds that woke her up previously and now she can associate them with, “Oh, this is him leaving.”

[Thomas]
So is he facing her again?

[Emily]
Yeah. They were spooning.

[Shep]
That’s so…!

[Thomas]
Oh man, that’s awful.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
I don’t like that.

[Shep]
Write that down. That’s fucking great. Because the whole time you’re focusing on her and her subtle reactions to what she’s hearing. Meanwhile she’s being spooned the whole time.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
It’s great. There’s so much going on in the audience’s mind based on just the sounds they’re hearing.

[Thomas]
Because they don’t know yet.

[Shep]
Yeah, I love it.

[Thomas]
It’s great. Love it.

[Shep]
Super creepy.

[Emily]
(Whispering) Soooo creepy.

[Shep]
We’re doing it right.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
I have goose flesh.

[Thomas]
All right. So she gets up. He’s just limp. He doesn’t react to her pulling the arms off of her. His arms off of her, right.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
This time she does try to wake him up more aggressively.

[Thomas]
Right. She like slaps him in the face or something.

[Shep]
Right. Because she is confident that he’s not going to wake up this time.

[Thomas]
And so she creeps around the bed. Oh, god, I can just see the shot in my head too. And she comes around and she can see the zipper.

[Shep]
Which again is slightly down.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
Just a tiny bit.

[Shep]
Just a tiny bit.

[Thomas]
So she unzips it all the way and then slowly reaches her hand inside, pulls it out a little bit, and then puts it in again and starts sort of feeling around.

[Emily]
Feels soft and inviting.

[Thomas]
Yeah, right? She looks in there. It’s like velvety, like not wet or sticky.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
And it’s like soft and warm and interesting. And she’s like, “Oh, okay.”

[Shep]
Is this how she’s describing it to her friend later?

[Thomas]
Does she tell anyone?

[Emily]
No, would you tell your friend that?

[Thomas]
Does she get into the suit this time? This must be the time when she gets in, right?

[Emily]
Yeah, I say yes.

[Shep]
Yeah. Pull the trigger. Let’s stop putting it off.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Let’s get to the meat of the movie.

[Thomas]
Is this the mid second act turning point then? She gets in?

[Shep]
Yes. Yup.

[Thomas]
Or is the mid second act turning point, she stays out? Is this the beginning of the second act? She gets in?

[Emily]
This is the beginning of the second act because we have to see her enjoying the suit, and it’s-

[Thomas]
Yeah. Right.

[Shep]
Yeah. The third act is when she stays out too long.

[Thomas]
What’s her lowest low?

[Shep]
She doesn’t have one. He has one when she won’t leave the suit, I guess her lowest low… Well, depends on how you define it.

[Emily]
Having to choose between killing a person, essentially,

[Shep]
What do you mean, essentially? Literally killing a person.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Emily]
Literally killing a person, and keeping the suit and the happy life that the suits provided her.

[Thomas]
She has to decide whether to push the button, except that this time she knows who will die.

[Shep]
Yeah. She also has to deal with the body, this shriveled up thing that was a person that can’t live without the suit, this monstrous looking lump of flesh.

[Thomas]
Does she make that decision or is that decision made for her by her greed? She comes back and he’s there in a chair by the foot of the bed or something, all shriveled up and beyond the point of no return.

[Shep]
Ooh. Oh, they have the conversation at some point when she stays out a little bit too late, and he explains to her that “You can’t stay out too late or I’ll die and you’ll get stuck in the suit. It will eat your flesh and you won’t be able to live without it.” And so he makes her, if she’s going to do this anyway, he can’t stop her. He makes her, like, set a timer so that when she’s out, she knows it’s time to go back. So that’s the time where she ignores the timer because she’s having fun and she’s caught up in the moment. And that’s when she makes the decision. She’s really deciding that she’s going to kill this person because she’s staying out and ignoring the timer. She’s justifying in her mind like, “It’s fine, it’s just a little bit longer.”

[Emily]
“It’s just a tiny bit longer, this time won’t kill him.”

[Shep]
Right.

[Thomas]
And I think, Emily, it’s a little bit like what you were saying, where she’s getting something that she normally doesn’t get because she’s in the suit.

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
Whether it’s attention or validation or whatever it is, or not being harassed, whatever it is, it’s some specific something that she has. It’s something to do with her, with not having anxiety.

[Emily]
Yeah. Her anxiety is fading because she has this confidence, because she’s a man and she doesn’t have to be afraid constantly.

[Shep]
Right. In the suit, she can sleep.

[Thomas]
Is her anxiety tied to some sort of trauma she experienced because she was a woman? Was she raped or something, and so…?

[Emily]
Yeah, sure.

[Shep]
I say, you surely imply that, but you don’t explain it.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
We never actually explicitly say it, but yeah.

[Thomas]
And so she can be in a situation that would be completely triggering for her, except now it doesn’t have to be because no one’s looking at her. She’s just another guy.

[Emily]
She’s just a dude standing there.

[Thomas]
There’s a sudden feeling of freedom, like, “Oh, my God, I can do this thing I used to love doing that got ruined for me. I can do this again.” And she’s so euphoric in this moment that she’s like, “Well, yeah, it’ll be okay. Another 30 minutes,” and that turns into another hour, and that turns into another hour or something like that. And she comes back, and he’s not dead, but he will die soon.

[Shep]
So he’s not dead. So what does he say? What is the final conversation that they have that’s worth keeping him alive for?

[Thomas]
How am I trying to phrase this? Is it him telling her that it’s a burden? She doesn’t realize what she’s done. She doesn’t realize that she’s trapped herself. He’s like, “I tried to warn you. Just remember you chose this.”

[Emily]
Yeah. Because in a way, he’d be at peace with being released from it, right? He’s no longer having to be eaten alive.

[Thomas]
I think so, yeah.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
Eh. I wouldn’t want to die.

[Thomas]
He doesn’t want to die. He wants her to come back.

[Shep]
I wouldn’t be at peace dying.

[Thomas]
He’s not at peace. It’s bittersweet relief, right? He doesn’t like that he’s dying, but he’s glad that he’s not going to suffer anymore.

[Emily]
It’s inevitable. Yeah, that’s what I was trying to get.

[Shep]
No, I disagree. I think that if he has any positive feeling, it’s knowing that she is now going to suffer like he suffered because fuck her for killing him.

[Emily]
Okay. Yeah.

[Thomas]
I mean, that’s the conversation there, right? And so, yeah, it goes back to “Remember, you chose this.” And so there’s this body now that she has to deal with. Is she physically stronger in the suit?

[Shep and Emily]
Yes.

[Thomas]
Okay.

[Shep]
I’d say that’s one of the things that she explores fairly early on is the advantages of being in the suit.

[Thomas]
Yeah.

[Shep]
It’s stronger, it’s taller.

[Thomas]
She probably goes and gets in a fight on purpose.

[Shep]
Oh, yeah.

[Emily]
Definitely.

[Thomas]
Beats the shit out of somebody because she can.

[Shep]
Not right away.

[Thomas]
Right. No.

[Shep]
Later, when she’s really pushing the envelope.

[Emily]
So what does she do with the body? Because we don’t know who he really is, right?

[Thomas]
Right.

[Emily]
Right. He’s just the suit.

[Thomas]
Yeah. The only identity that we know of him is the suit. Does he explain that to her, though? Does he say, “Oh, I’m Joe Schmo and I found this suit,” or does he give any of that backstory?

[Shep]
No. No.

[Emily]
No, I like the idea of it being an Easter egg later that you’re like, “Wait a minute. Maybe he was new to the suit because he didn’t recognize that person, when she’s-“

[Thomas]
Yeah. So the body is not a full size, full weight body. It’s a shriveled, deteriorated body.

[Shep]
Right. Yes.

[Thomas]
So it’s a little easier for her to get rid of. Fits in one garbage bag or something.

[Shep]
Right.

[Thomas]
So maybe it’s actually not very hard to dispose of.

[Emily]
Just bags it up and it’s gone.

[Shep]
Just throw it in the trash.

[Thomas]
So she has to start following the rules. She can’t stay in the body all the time because it’ll eat her. So she has to get out from time to time. Right?

[Shep]
Does she talk to her friend when she’s in the suit?

[Thomas]
Yeah, absolutely. She doesn’t tell the friend the truth, but I think she would, that would be one of the early things of, like, “Hehehe, a person I know who doesn’t know it’s me.”

[Emily]
Oh, she comes up with some bullshit explanation for the zipper for the friend.

[Shep]
Well, it’s a body mod. It doesn’t need an explanation. It already had an explanation.

[Thomas]
I think as herself not in the suit, she goes back to the friend. Once she knows what’s going on, she goes back to the friend is like, “Yeah, okay, I must have fucking dreamed that. Like, that’s insane. You’re right.” To sort of dispose of that thought in the friend’s mind.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Because the friend hasn’t met- This is a different friend from the party.

[Emily]
Right.

[Thomas]
So this person has not met the suit guy, so she doesn’t know what he looks like. So she could go into the shop and talk to her and have some sort of a weird interaction or whatever. And she would have no idea that that’s the supposed boyfriend or her in the suit.

[Shep]
Right.

[Thomas]
And it’s just like, “Oh, ha ha, this is funny.” She’s just sort of goofing off and seeing what she can get away with.

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
What happened? So the police come and talk to her at some point because she is missing.

[Emily]
She doesn’t show up to work, so they start asking questions. And she hasn’t been to her apartment.

[Thomas]
Did she start going to his job?

[Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
So they probably should work in a similar field. Maybe that’s how they get introduced to the party. Like, “Oh, you’re both web designers” or whatever. “You’re both podcasters.”

[Shep]
This takes a unique set of skills.

[Thomas]
Something where being a man would be advantageous.

[Emily]
Right.

[Shep]
Advertising.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
Basically any job in the country.

[Emily]
Web design, computer programming.

[Thomas]
Engineering of any kind.

[Shep]
I mean, programming and engineering, those are things you have to know stuff.

[Emily]
Yeah, but there are similar fields. They have the same knowledge base, but she’s ignored because she’s a woman. He’s not because he’s a man. I know it’s a little tropey, but-

[Thomas]
I mean, it doesn’t even have to be something as specialized or that requires as much knowledge as engineering. It could just be that they’re in similar fields. So feasibly, she would know enough to pass as him, and maybe she gets a bunch of positive attention. “Oh, you have all these fresh new ideas. Where’s all this coming from?” So what’s the end? What’s she trying to get to? And what does she have to battle to get there?

[Emily]
She has to get rid of the cops looking for her.

[Thomas]
Right. That’s definitely not going away easily. Her skin is starting to deteriorate.

[Emily]
Okay, I’m going to throw this out here, and I know you’ll probably poopoo it, but since she hates her old life so much and doesn’t like who she is, does she show up at the police station outside the suit with all of the sores and basically, like, “I’ve been on a meth bender” and kind of just sets it up to her disappearing into the streets or dying of an overdose or something like that and you know, like, “Leave the dude alone. Clearly, I’m still alive. Hard as I’m trying not to be.”

[Thomas]
I don’t think that specific situation would work because why would the police not arrest her if she’s admitting to using illicit drugs?

[Emily]
You get arrested for buying or selling. You don’t get arrested for using.

[Thomas]
I guess they don’t really have any evidence to use to prosecute her, but I wonder if there’s a different way that she could set up some exit for herself.

[Emily]
Okay, maybe she goes to the shop and is like, “I kind of went on a bender” or something. The only reason I’m saying, like, meth is because the sores, the open sores on the skin.

[Thomas]
But I don’t know that she needs to justify that necessarily. I mean, she could wear a long sleeve shirt and hide all of that.

[Emily]
Right, that’s true.

[Thomas]
And just tell her friend, like, “Oh, I got this job in another town and I’m moving.” And she sort of establishes this in her life so that when the police start asking around, everybody’s saying the same thing. “Apparently she got some new job.”

[Emily]
Well, maybe she’s always been kind of flaky anyway, and everybody knew that about her, so it’s not a big surprise. But she does show up, at least enough to give evidence that she’s not dead and she’s just moving on. I’m trying to Gone Girl this way too hard.

[Thomas]
Right. Well, anyway, she figures that out.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
But what is the big ultimate climax of this film?

[Emily]
I think that we started with the end.

[Shep]
Yeah, she meets a girl.

[Thomas]
So that’s the denouement then.

[Emily and Shep]
Yeah.

[Thomas]
So what is the climax right before that? Maybe…? No, I was about to trade one problem for another, so never mind.

[Shep]
What was the new problem? Maybe it’s easier to solve.

[Thomas]
Maybe. I doubt it. We already spent a long time trying to solve it. So the idea is that if you stay in the suit too long, you will not be able to get out of the suit. So that reopens (haha) the problem of why was he getting out of the suit. Why wasn’t he just committing to it? In which case maybe the sores in the skin thing is not a thing. It just gets to a point where you’re stuck in it, but then it’s not a threat when the new girlfriend plays with the zipper. If she’s stuck in the suit.

[Shep]
Right.

[Emily]
I like that you have to get out to get some healing. Like, if you stay in too long, you get too sick or whatever.

[Thomas]
So what is the big thing she conquers then?

[Shep]
I think that the ending is her choosing to stay in the suit so long that the guy dies.

[Thomas]
Mmm.

[Shep]
So the third act starts with her staying out a little bit too long, and that’s when they have to have the conversation, and that’s when they agreed to set the timer and try to follow the rules, which she does stick to for a while. And that’s when you have all the scenes of her having the fight and talking to the friend.

[Thomas]
Right. Pushing the envelope farther and farther and farther.

[Shep]
And maybe all the cop stuff happens before the end.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
And so the ending is her staying out so long past the timer that it’s too late. And so she deals with the body, throws it away, and then is in the suit in the daytime, starting her new life.

[Thomas]
We get the, like, four months later or whatever title card, and she’s bringing the new girlfriend home.

[Shep]
You don’t even need that. You just have the ending of her going to a party and maybe some people recognizing her that she doesn’t know and meeting a new girl. That’s it. That’s the end.

[Emily]
Works for me.

[Thomas]
Yeah, I mean, I think that works. Is this a horror movie? What is this?

[Emily]
It is.

[Shep]
It’s suspenseful.

[Emily]
Suspense. Yeah. Not straight horror.

[Thomas]
Because it does feel like the kind of movie I would enjoy watching. And I don’t like horror movies, but I like this one.

[Shep]
Yeah, it’s not a horror movie. There’s not a monster.

[Thomas]
Right.

[Shep]
Although he’s kind of monstrous.

[Thomas]
But I’ve seen war movies which are gross, and this is not anywhere near as gross as some of those things.

[Emily]
True. It’s a new type of horror film. Like, It Follows and it’s just disturbing and off.

[Thomas]
Yeah. Well, it sounds like we all like this movie, right? Would you guys watch it?

[Emily]
I would.

[Shep]
I probably wouldn’t.

[Thomas]
Because the story sucks or because you don’t like the genre?

[Shep]
I don’t like the premise. I don’t like the pitch.

[Thomas]
Well, we would love to hear your thoughts on today’s show. Is it all zipped up or have we not noticed that our fly has been open this entire time? We’d love to hear what you think of not only this episode, but the show in general. What are we absolutely nailing and what can we do differently to make the show better? We value your feedback, so leave a comment on our website, reach out on social media or send us an email. Links to those can be found on our website AlmostPlausible.com Come back next week and join Emily, Shep and I for another episode of Almost Plausible.

[Outro music]

[Thomas]
Who are, like, the up-and-coming action stars that are replacing the old guard? Can you think of anyone, like, off the top of your head, you’re like, “Oh, this actor is-“

[Shep]
Like, action, action?

[Thomas]
Yeah. Dwayne Johnson kind of, he’s like a little younger, but not a lot younger. He’s kind of got that role going on, but I can’t think of anybody who’s like, this is what they do.

[Shep]
Yeah. Like, Ryan Reynolds is in action movies.

[Emily]
Yeah.

[Shep]
He himself is not very action-starry.

[Thomas]
Right. The Hemsworths? Some of the Hemsworths?

[Emily]
Some of the Hemsworths. Channing Tatum.

[Thomas]
Kinda…

[Emily]
Yeah. Maybe, little bit.

[Thomas]
Anyway, that just popped into my head.

[Shep]
Yeah. Now I can’t get it out of my head.

[Emily]
I think the action hero is dying. Time to make a remake of The Last Action Hero.

[Thomas]
I mean, it’s not the 80s anymore.

[Emily]
True.

[Shep]
What? Since when?

[Thomas]
Oh, shoot. Did I wreck that for you? Sorry.

[Shep]
I don’t know how time works.

[Thomas]
Violent forty-year fast forward there.

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