Derailed (I) (2005)
Charles is worn down by his home life where he and his wife struggle to cope with the demands of their daughter's illness and his job. When he meets Lucinda on the train to work in Chicago, there is an immediate spark between them. Soon they are doing lunch; dinner and drinks follow. This leads to an adulterous rendezvous in a hotel. However, no sooner have they torn each other's clothes off than their room is invaded by a thief who beats Charles and rapes Lucinda. Because of the illicit nature of their relationship, Charles agrees with Lucinda who is reluctant to go to the police and soon finds he is powerless to resist the demands of the thief.
In Chicago, while traveling in a commuting train from the suburbs to downtown, the publicist Charles Schine meets the married executive Lucinda Harris and starts a conversation after an incident with him. Charles is married, has a worn out marriage with his wife Deanna Schine and they have been saving money for years for their diabetic daughter that needs a transplantation of kidney associated to a new expensive experimental drug. A couple of days later, Charles invites Lucinda for lunch, then for some drinks and finally they begin an affair and decide to go to a cheap hotel. The room is invaded by a thief, Laroche, who steals the couple and rapes Lucinda. A couple of days later, Charles is blackmailed, but Lucinda is reluctant of going to the police since she does not want to lose the custody of her daughter. When Laroche menaces Charles' family, the executive tries to solve the problem and the situation gets completely out of control.
When two married business executives having an affair are blackmailed by a violent criminal, the two must turn the tables on him to save their families.
- Derailed opens at the Illinois State Penitentiary; the guards preparing to open the cells so the prisoners can have yard time. As the inmates go about their recreational activities in the prison yard, the camera pans back along the cells where one man sits, only his back and then his jaw visible as he lights a cigarette. He then begins writing in a notebook, 'The morning it all began, began like any other morning.'
The inmate's writing switches to a voiceover by Charles Schine (Clive Owen), a successful commercial executive at JMD/March. A caption lists the month as October as the camera pans along a suburban neighborhood in Chicago to Schine's house, as he's awakened by his dog.
After dressing, Schine is in the kitchen, helping his young-adolescent daughter, Amy (Addison Timlin) with her book report as the family hastily sets about eating breakfast. We see Schine's wife, Deanna (Melissa George) administering a glucometer test to check Amy's blood sugar and preparing an insulin injection for the teenager, showing that Amy is diabetic.
Schine's phone rings; the hospital is asking for the latest home-test results for Amy. We see that her diabetes has regular complications that require ongoing medical care, and Deanna focuses on keeping the girl's morale as high as possible. Deanna leaves for work, and Schine and Amy continue working together for her book report.
Schine arrives at the train station in pouring rain just in time to see his train leave without him, forcing him to wait for the next one. As he rides this train into the city, he finds he is only one of several men in the train car taking 'discreet' glances at the shapely legs of a blonde woman as she sits reading her newspaper. The train conductor comes in to take tickets, and Schine finds to his great dismay and humiliation that he forgot to buy his train ticket at the station, and he let Deanna take the cash out of his wallet. Since only the station kiosks take credit cards, he's stuck empty-handed; the unsympathetic conductor telling him that without the cash for a train ticket, he's expected to get off at the next stop.
Suddenly the blonde woman that all the men have been watching, Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston), offers to front the cash for Schine's ticket. A grateful Schine goes to sit with the woman and strikes up some small talk, starting with a promise to pay her back, and he conversation almost immediately turns flirtatious. Schine tells Lucinda about his job, and she says she works as a financial advisor at Avery Price. As the two get off at their station (the same one), Schine promises he'll pay her back the nine dollars if she's on the same train tomorrow. She smiles at says, 'it's a date.'
Schine arrives at work, immediately getting caught up in small talk with a mail room clerk he's acquainted with named Winston (RZA). Winston is trying to put together an answer to a baseball trivia question posed to him by a police officer who he says is like an uncle to him.
Called into a conference, Schine finds the client, Susan Davis (Rachael Blake), is displeased at the work that was done for a commercial she commissioned. Despite the polite and tactful wording of his boss, Eliot Firth (Tom Conti), Schine finds to his great displeasure that he's being removed from the account and it will be handed to a different executive at the company... meaning Schine has lost the substantial commission he would have earned.
As he faxes Amy's blood glucose reports to the hospital, Schine speaks with Eliot again. Eliot acquiesces that Davis is one of the company's most demanding and unforgiving clients, but insists that the money her firm pays for commercial work entitles her to be that way.
Schine arrives home and only has a few moments to unwind with Deanna before she has to leave for a PTA meeting; Deanna works as a schoolteacher and is having some work related difficulties of her own lately. As he quizzes Amy to help her prepare for a history exam, she has music playing at a loud volume on the television, which stresses Schine out, but he lets her leave the music on when he sees her reaction to his request that she turn it off. Deanna comes home to find her husband in tears. Both of them desperately needing to reconnect, they start kissing and making out passionately... but find the spark in their relationship has dimmed down a lot.
The next day on the train, Schine meets Lucinda and pays her back the money she laid out. As he opens his wallet, Lucinda sees a photo of Amy. She shows Schine a photo of her own daughter, who she says is named Amber and is a few years younger than Amy. The two spend the train ride in more small talk about their backgrounds and upbringing-- Lucinda talks about having been an Army brat that lived in many places, and she was a rebel against her parents until she finished school. The conversation continues to contain a lot of flirtatious exchanges clear until Chicago Union station where they both get off.
At work, Schine hits the Avery Price website and reads Lucinda's profile page, which lists her as one of the company's premier financial advisers, with an impressive list of recognitions, along with a degree from Stanford. Her husband, Grant Harris, is a stock broker, and their daughter's name, as Lucinda told Schine on the train, is Amber. Schine sees that the page lists Lucinda's direct work phone number. He looks at the number for a moment and then calls it.
Schine is meeting Lucinda for lunch where she talks more about her life. She says that her husband's demanding work schedule leaves the two of them with very little time for each other, and Lucinda finds comfort in having a beautiful young daughter.
Schine and Deanna are laying in bed; Deanna asleep and Schine trying to. A monitor near the bed makes a series of noises that he knows are warnings of a medical emergency with Amy. He races into her room to find her in convulsions on her bedroom floor. He shouts to Deanna, who rushes to prepare and administer an insulin injection as Schine cradles the girl in his arms. Schine and Deanna wrap her in her quilt, both holding her to try and warm her.
At lunch with Lucinda again, Schine tells her about Amy; that she's type 1 diabetic and requires regular dialysis to flush out excess blood sugar. The Schines took a second mortgage out on the house to keep a mobile dialysis machine there, sparing Amy from needing to visit the hospital each day. Amy has received three kidney transplants so far, only for her body to reject them all. The Schines are waiting for a new experimental anti-rejection drug to be released for trial; one with a very large success rate, but of course, it's outlandishly expensive and must come entirely out of the patient's pockets. Schine says he and Deanna have been saving money up for years to pay for the drug, and now they're just waiting for it to be released.
Schine calls Deanna to let her know he'll be working late after getting Eliot handed him a large new account. It's quickly seen he's lying; he's at the restaurant with Lucinda, who's making a similar call to her husband. That night they're sharing drinks-- and kisses-- together at a bar. A drunken man rudely shoves his way between them to order another drink, and noticing Lucinda, starts making rude come-on remarks to her, along with several brush-off remarks toward Schine. Schine decks the man and knocks him out, and he and Lucinda hurriedly leave the bar.
It's raining heavily outside, and several taxicabs pass by without picking Schine or Lucinda up. They duck into an alleyway and start kissing again.
Finally hailing an empty cab, the two ride through the city in search of a hotel, when suddenly Lucinda asks the driver to stop, and tells Schine she can't go through with it. The two get out and Schine tells her he knows how she feels. But as it happens, they're standing across the street from what appears to be the perfect hotel, and as Lucinda looks at Schine, the spark in both their eyes is re-lit.
Schine pays for a room, declining the use of the hotel safe. Once in the room together, Schine and Lucinda waste little time before flirting leads to kissing, and kissing leads to making out, and soon they're all over each other, undressing each other to have sex.
But their little tryst quickly becomes an unwelcome menage a trois when a burly man in a heavy coat and ski cap comes into the room; mockingly chastising them for trusting the hotel's dangerously flimsy locks instead of using the slip chain. Pointing a gun, he quickly relieves the two of their wallets and cash. But the mugger has more on his mind than mere robbery. He looks at their driver's licenses, immediately starting to call the two of them by name, making a mockery of how both Schine and Lucinda are both married, and both cheating on their spouses. He looks at Lucinda's shapely legs and crudely gropes them as she recoils in terror. Schine desperately tries to ward the mugger off, but the burly man is bigger and stronger, and much more aggressive, than the commercial exec. He pistol-whips Schine to the ground, bloodying his face, and kicks him in the side several times. Turning back to Lucinda with a leer, the mugger gets on top of her and rapes her, enjoying her frightened pleas.
Schine comes back to, finding Lucinda sitting on the bed, holding her slip and part of the bed sheet against herself, staring off into space. More remorseful for her than himself, he wants to call the police and bring Lucinda to the hospital, even at the sake of Deanna finding out what he was doing with Lucinda in the hotel in the first place. But Lucinda is more frightened of Grant finding out than Schine is of Deanna finding out. Lucinda curtly, but desperately, begs Schine to just get her away from the hotel and forget what happened.
Schine gets a cab for Lucinda and then gets his nose bandaged before going to work. He tells Eliot and Winston he was mugged, but the doctor patched him up and said he would be fine. Eliot, concerned for Schine, sends him home to take care of legal issues related to the mugging, there.
Deanna is just as worried, as Schine sits in a bath, back home. She's concerned about Schine working in the city proper and wonders about Schine returning to a job he used to be very good at-- teaching, just like she does. But Schine points out that two teacher salaries together won't bring in enough money to pay for the new medication that will give Amy a second lease on life. Even selling the house will do no good, as nearly all the money from the sale would be gone once their two mortgages were paid off.
Deanna is tending to Amy when Schine's phone rings. He answers, and is stunned and shocked to find the man who mugged him and raped Lucinda, on the phone. The man smoothly but menacingly tells Schine that he's checking to see if Schine kept his promise not to call the police.
Deanna picks up an extension at that moment. Schine tries to tell her that it's just a business call, but this only makes Deanna more concerned due to the time and circumstances. She asks who's on the phone. Instantly, without missing a beat, the mugger's voice turns polite and even charming as he introduces himself in a French accent as Philippe LaRoche (Vincent Cassel), a business partner of Schine's. He acts horrified and remorseful when Deanna tells him about Schine's mugging. Schine listens in disbelief as this LaRoche, as he calls himself, easily disarms Deanna with his smooth demeanor. And no sooner is Deanna off the phone when his voice quickly returns to its menacing, mocking tone, amused that Deanna doesn't know about Lucinda, and then finally LaRoche gets to the point of the call... he 'needs a loan' (the kind that obviously won't be paid back). He demands twenty thousand in cash from Schine, telling him where and when to deliver it.
Schine sees Lucinda at the reception area of her work place. He's concerned as to how she's been holding up after not seeing her on the train. Lucinda admits she called in sick the whole week and hasn't eaten or slept well since she was raped. But even in the face of LaRoche blackmailing Schine, she's desperate to avoid notifying the police; she's frightened that the one solid support figure she can count on, her daughter, would be taken away from her in a divorce suit once Grant learned of the affair. Despite Schine's protests, she pushes an envelope with some cash into his hands toward the payoff for LaRoche, and quietly tells Schine that she feels she can't see him anymore.
At home, Schine agonizes several long minutes, staring at the electronic alert system for Amy's dialysis machine, before making a withdrawal from his savings account.
Schine is heading toward the spot he'd been told to for the payoff when he's rudely bumped by a man (Xzibit), Dexter, who blames Schine for the incident, but then quickly reveals that he's working with LaRoche and says he'll bring Schine to him. Schine offers to simply hand Dexter the money instead, but Dexter rudely declines and pushes Schine down the alley and through a door, where La Roche is waiting. He takes the briefcase, and viciously belts Schine in his stomach before leaving with Dexter.
November arrives, and Eliot is looking over a preliminary take on another commercial Schine wrote... admitting it looks poorly done. Schine decides to confide in Eliot about his infidelity, and then explain about LaRoche's blackmail. But Eliot, rather than wanting to listen to all the details, insists that everyone cheats on their loved ones at some point, and everyone gets over it. He tells Schine to buy some flowers for Deanna and make things up to her and everything will be fine again.
Finding Schine smoking a cigarette outside the work building, Winston strikes up some small talk, mentioning he smoked in high school, where he was a straight-A student until he was busted for dealing drugs. He talks a little about life in prison, saying he had to join a gang, even stabbing another youth with a shank as initiation, for 'protection from other gangs.'
Schine is walking home when he gets a call on his cell phone: it's LaRoche again. He wants 'another loan...' this time for a hundred grand. Schine's angry rebuff only lasts a moment before he wants to know how LaRoche got his cell phone number-- his home phone was on his driver's license which LaRoche took in the mugging, but his cell phone wasn't listed. LaRoche says that Schine is on the right track-- how DID he get Schine's cell number? He gives Schine a hint-- he's number eight on the speed dial (not even in the top five, LaRoche mocks). Schine glances at his cell phone's caller ID and goes into a sick panic as he sees the call is coming from his own house.
Schine races madly back home to a stunning sight: LaRoche speaking cordially with Deanna. He smiles pleasantly, and he looks, acts and talks like a professional and a business associate. He's 'here so Schine can sign off on a contract he'd called about.' LaRoche makes perfect use of the French accent he can turn on or off at will, having smooth-talked Deanna to where she's fully taken with him. A moment later, when Amy comes downstairs, she is likewise taken, even letting LaRoche give her a peck on both cheeks in traditional French greeting. Only Schine understands the much more menacing and warning undertones of LaRoche's conversation, which sounds perfectly polite and business like to Deanna and Amy.
Desperate to get his wife and daughter out of the room, he suggests that he and LaRoche 'sign off on the contract.' Once Deanna and Amy are out of sight and earshot, Schine demands that LaRoche leave, but LaRoche quickly grabs Schine right by the testicles, getting full control of him in a second. Forcing Schine up against a wall, he repeats his demand for a hundred grand, cautioning Schine that he 'has it all' but was ready to give it up 'for a bit of pussy.' A mere split second later he's perfectly polite and charming again as he bids Deanna 'au revoir' before leaving.
Schine consults with his lawyer, Jerry (Denis O'Hare), for advice, desperate to get rid of LaRoche by any means. What Jerry tells Schine is the last thing Schine wants to hear: LaRoche is untouchable unless Lucinda relents on coming forward to corroborate Schine's story. LaRoche was in Schine's house with his wife and daughter, but he didn't break in, he didn't say a single wrong word, and Deanna and Amy felt perfectly safe in his presence. It's been six weeks since the mugging and Schine's only now asking to file a complaint-- there's no police report over Schine's broken nose. Without Lucinda's testimony, Jerry is powerless.
Schine goes to Avery Price to tell Lucinda about what's been going on. Lucinda protests that even though they didn't actually have sex, they were still about to; they didn't stop out of conscience. Schine tells her that's exactly the point.
Lucinda's eyes get shifty for a moment as she looks around, as if seeing whether anyone else is in earshot. Then she tells Schine that she became pregnant after LaRoche raped her, and she quietly had an abortion to keep Grant from finding out about the affair. She didn't tell Schine about it because there was nothing he could have done to help her.
His guilt over what happened to Lucinda, too strong to let him press her further, Schine turns to Winston for help. The street-smart Winston, who'd been in prison and knows how to survive under desperate measures, is who Schine sees as his last hope to get rid of LaRoche. Winston knows immediately that LaRoche's demand was a simple set-up to gauge how easily he could force Schine into paying him off, before making the real extortion. Schine has the $100,000 but he would never dare touch it; it's all of the remaining money set aside for Amy's medication and treatment, and without it, she'd probably die within a few years.
Winston says he knows one thing about rapists: they're cowards inwardly, They prey on women they perceive as weak, but never dare stand down and face a real threat. Winston spent five years in lockup with similar people, and he feels he owes Schine a favor because Schine caught him trying to steal computers from JMD/March, but instead of turning him in, helped him get an honest job there as a mail clerk. Winston says he can scare LaRoche away from Schine.
Feeling somewhat better, Schine gives Amy a wonderful present for her birthday: a drawing easel. But the next day at work, a receptionist hands Schine a note that she says just came for him. The paper is official letterhead for the Lake Hotel, where Schine took Lucinda. On it is written an intersection of two streets in the inner city, and instructions to be there at '11 pm tonight.' Winston sees Schine's reaction to the letter and starts to approach him.
Winston drives Schine to the location, arriving an hour early. He's carrying an unloaded gun to brandish as a scare tactic, and he hands Schine a piece of metal shaped into a makeshift knife; the shank Winston used in his 'initiation rite' in prison. He gives Schine a rundown of the plan to confront and frighten away LaRoche.
But the loud crash of smashing glass shows that LaRoche doesn't scare anywhere near as easy as Winston predicted; Winston is dead from a gunshot to his head. LaRoche is there a second later, grabbing the envelope with the money LaRoche offered to pay Winston for his help, and tells Schine it's his fault for bringing Winston in the first place.
Schine hurriedly grabs his briefcase and scrambles to leave the area before he's spotted, but it's too late... an angry john pulls up a mere half block away and dumps out a hooker he's disgruntled at. The hooker (Georgina Chapman), looking to recoup the cash, asks if Schine is looking for a date, and seeing that someone else is in the car Schine's standing by, asks about him as well. The situation gets even more desperate as a police patrol car suddenly pulls by; the officers know the hooker, even her street name, and now want to know what Schine and Winston are doing trolling for hookers. Winston's blood is dripping through the driver's side door and Schine is desperately trying to block any view of it. Finally he hands the hooker some cash and offers her an apology, which seems to appease both her and the officers. But the officer says that he's circling the block once, and if Schine and/or Winston are still there, he's taking them in. Now Schine has to hurry to push Winston's body over to the passenger side seat and drive the car into a construction area under elevated train tracks. He tries to push the car into the river, but the car gets stuck on the embankment, and further police sirens scare Schine away. Arriving home, tiptoing as not to awaken Deanna or Amy, Schine reaches into his pocket; he still has Winston's shank.
The next day, Schine is being harassed by the company accountant for a receipt for the company check drafted so Schine could pay Winston, which Schine claimed was for an aspirin commercial. At that moment he's visted by a Chicago police detective named Church (Giancarlo Esposito), who's investigating Winston's murder... and he has a personal stake in it as well; Church is the officer Winston had talked about, who was like an uncle to Winston, and Church saw Winston as like a younger brother to him. Church has even positively identified the murder weapon as a Smith & Wesson 5906 from ballistics on the bullet removed from Winston's body.
Schine's work phone rings at that moment; it's LaRoche... and he and his accomplice, Dexter, have taken Lucinda captive at her home. Schine has twenty minutes to meet LaRoche there and pay him off, or he'll kill Lucinda-- and then Deanna and even Amy as well. Completely out of options at this point, Schine promises to do everything LaRoche demands. Telling Church that he has to hurry to a meeting, Schine withdraws the money and rushes to the address given him. He finds the apartment door open, Lucinda's keys still in the door, and LaRoche inside. In the living room, Dexter holds a gun to Lucinda's head. Schine gives LaRoche the briefcase with the money, and he and Dexter take a moment to terrorize him and Lucinda before leaving, telling the two of them that they now have their lives back.
Lucinda is still in shock; whimpering that Schine and Dexter must have followed her home, and she didn't see them until they pushed their way in as she was walking through the door. Schine tries to assure her that it's finally over now, that LaRoche is gone; she's safe and so is Schine's family. Lucinda, though, is now despondent that all of Schine's life savings for Amy's medical treatment is now gone. At the train station, Schine calls Deanna, ready to break down and confess everything, but can't go through with it.
Schine is at the bar when Church finds him there. Making some small talk about baseball great Bobby Bonds, Church then reveals he knows the owner of the bar, who's told him that Winston and Schine were here drinking together. Even though a hockey game was on, and hockey was Winston's favorite sport, Church doesn't believe that hockey was all Winston and Schine were talking about... and he doesn't buy Schine's alibi about having been working very late last night, because nobody can support the story because Schine said he was alone. Church gives Schine a business card, suggesting he drop by with his lawyer... and warning him that's going to nail Winston's killer to the wall.
A broken man with no spirit left, Schine tells Deanna everything at home. How and why the seven years of life savings they scrimped together is completely gone.
The next day, Jerry is ready to bring Schine to Church's office when Schine says he has to tell Lucinda first. Despite Jerry's warnings that Church is one of the toughest, hardest-nosed detectives in the inner city, Schine insists on telling Lucinda first.
But at Avery Price, the receptionist gives Schine his first hint that something is dreadfully wrong. Lucinda Harris-- the REAL Lucinda Harris, walks by. When Schine tells the receptionist that she saw him talking with Lucinda in the reception area, she says that he was talking with a temp worker who did phone work for Lucinda. The temp's first name was Jane, and she quit a week ago. As Schine leaves, he remembers Lucinda's introduction: 'I'm a financial adviser. I cheat clients.'
Schine goes back to Lucinda's apartment, finding a realtor showing it to prospective renters. Schine asks the realtor about the previous tenant; a woman. The realtor said she rented it to a couple; a woman and her boyfriend. Thinking Schine might be interested in the apartment, she hands him a brochure for her company. Schine looks at the front page of the brochure and freezes in sick horror. The front page shows a photograph of a young girl sitting on a swing... an exact match for the photograph Lucinda showed him of her 'daughter.'
Schine stakes out the train terminals, finally spotting Lucinda disembarking from one. He follows her discreetly from a distance this time. He's just about to confront her when a businessman rushes up to her; they make brief small talk and an arrangement to meet up later before the man gets into a cab. Schine hangs back and waits, watching Lucinda slowly stroll down the street toward a car where a man stands.
Everything falls into place as the man turns around. Lucinda's boyfriend is none other than Philippe LaRoche. She's part of the whole scheme with him and Dexter; the hook to draw unsuspecting businessmen in; the promise of her body that sets up marks, like Schine himself, for the loss of their whole life savings. Lucinda didn't care a single whit more about Amy's welfare than LaRoche did. Schine knows that the businessman who'd made the arrangement with Lucinda just before, must be her and LaRoche's next mark.
Schine refuses to take it anymore. He concocts a plan to get back at LaRoche and Lucinda. He knows that Lucinda will take the next mark to the same hotel, and LaRoche will enter the same way, take their wallets, beat the mark senseless and then 'rape' Lucinda in the same way; of course Schine knows that it wasn't rape at all, and the two of them might even have enjoyed making it seem that way. He rents a room at the hotel, on the top floor, the same floor where he knows the mark will be brought to, and begins making preparations.
Watching Lucinda lunch with her mark, Schine talks on the phone with Jerry, who knows that Church has nothing on Schine. But Schine finds that if he brings Jerry and the police in on his plan to turn the tables, all of the money for Amy will become state's evidence and might be permanently seized and confiscated. Schine refuses to allow this. Ignoring Jerry's protests, Schine says it has to go down his way and hangs up on Jerry.
It's night time, and Lucinda and her mark are arriving at the Lake Hotel. Dexter, who works as a guard at the hotel, is ready in the lobby. He watches as the mark pays for the room, making the same mistake Schine did, in not requesting use of the hotel safe. Dexter slips the manager a couple of bills as Lucinda and the mark get in the elevator. Schine, waiting in a niche in the lobby, sees LaRoche enter. As the hotel elevator is taking Lucinda and the mark to the top floor, LaRoche and Dexter have a bit of a wait before the elevator comes back down to take them there. Schine races up the stairs fast as he can to get to his own room for cover. Through the peephole, sees LaRoche get ready to make his move as Dexter takes point out of sight.
Creeping up from behind, Schine clubs LaRoche over the head with a heavy wooden table lampstand as he's busy using a driver's license to open the hotel door where Lucinda and her mark are preparing to undress. Taking LaRoche's gun, Schine throws him inside the room, confronting Lucinda and the mark himself, exposing the entire scheme to the bewildered man; proving he's the one telling the truth as opposed by Lucinda, by accurately predicting exactly how the mark and Lucinda met, by 'accident' on the train. He also has the piece of brochure cover showing the girl that Lucinda surely showed the mark, claiming the girl was her daughter. Schine explains everything that was about to happen; the 'rape' of Lucinda as a set-up to make all her marks feel far too guilt-stricken over their failure to protect her, to go to the police.
The mark panicks and grabs his things, scrambling to leave, but Schine knows Dexter is still waiting just inside the stairwell door. He has to point LaRoche's gun threateningly at the man to stop him from leaving. LaRoche starts to come to at that point; begrudgingly impressed with Schine for 'upping his game.' Schine demands back all the money LaRoche extorted from him, and even Lucinda begs LaRoche to just give the money back to Schine so they can get out of there.
The mark, still frightened for his own life, grabs for the gun, wrestling for control of it. In the struggle, the gun goes off... and Lucinda is hit. The gun falls to the floor as the mark shouts in a panic for Schine to get away from the door and let him out, not knowing that Dexter is rushing on the scene to back LaRoche up. LaRoche recovers the gun and fires several shots, killing the mark. As Dexter throws his shoulder against the door, trying to bust in, LaRoche levels his gun at Schine, and fires... but the gun is empty. Seizing the moment, Schine springs to his feet just as Dexter breaks through the door. Throwing his weight against the door, Schine slams it on Dexter's arm, forcing him to drop his gun. Before LaRoche can reload, Schine scoops up the gun and fires, hitting LaRoche in the head. Kicking his way in, Dexter charges Schine and melees with him. As they break apart, Dexter grabs for his own gun while Schine grabs for LaRoche's; now reloaded and ready. Schine is faster, and he blasts Dexter with several shots, killing him.
Schine gets to his feet. LaRoche, Dexter, and the mark are all on the floor, all shot several times... and Lucinda lays on the bed, a bloody bullet wound in her midsection. She is dying, and Schine knows he can do nothing for her. He hears a police siren approaching.
Back in his rented room, schine tells a detective that he heard gunshots, saw a security guard run past, and just closed his door, hiding in his room. The detective thanks him for his statement, and Schine is waiting to leave when he hears Church arriving at the hotel. Schine hears Church verify that the detective found a Smith & Wesson 5906 at the scene, and ballistics now has it. To the detective, it looks pretty straightforward; Lucinda and the mark were starting to have sex, a mugger broke in, the guard arrived and they were all killed in an ensuing firefight.
Waiting for his moment, Schine quietly makes it down to the lobby. The hotel manager is emptying out the hotel safe for other police officers to tag as potential evidence. Schine sees his briefcase and shows his driver's license to claim it. Seeing the briefcase has a metallic tag with Schine's name and address, the officer gives it to him. Schine walks out of the hotel unnoticed, having recovered all of the $120,000 LaRoche and Lucinda stole from him.
The one sum of money unaccounted for is the $10,000 that Schine told the accountant at work, was for an aspirin commercial, but Schine really used it to pay Winston for trying to help him. It was Schine himself who didn't want Winston to help him for free, so Winston suggested the payment for help schine the way schine helped him. Schine finds Eliot and the accountant (Bill Armstrong) going over his computer files. Schine insists he wants to tell them the truth, but can't. Eliot resignedly says that he'll start legal proceedings. The accountant says if Schine pays the money back instantly, he'll probably get just community service, but if he stonewalls them any further, he'll go to jail.
December. Schine is doing his community service sentence for embezzlement, teaching a class of inmates at the state prison. As Schine arrives at the classroom, on the blackboard is a homework assignment he'd given the inmates: to write a short story about themselves and how they got into prison. The inmates all hand in their notebooks as Schine tells them that a quiz is on their desks. Schine will be reading the stories while the inmates do the quiz. As Schine sits, one inmate is seen putting two notebooks down on Schine's desk.
Looking over the notebooks, Schine finds one that catches his eye. The Word 'sidetracked' is written on the front cover in large letters. Schine begins reading the story, which begins, 'The morning it all began, began like any other morning. Charlie was running late, and as a result, missed his regular train.'
As Charles continues reading, we see, at this point, that the homework assignment is a recounting of all the events that have happened in the movie up til this point... and that the author of it was LaRoche. The story ends with, 'But when he finished reading the story, he went into the laundry room.'
Telling a guard that he has to use the bathroom, Schine goes down to the prison laundry room. Following a sound of something being tapped against metal pipes, he finds his way to where LaRoche is waiting for him. LaRoche appears to be blind in one eye from the bullet he took... but he's alive, and hungry to avenge Lucinda's death. He says that Schine took the woman he loved from him, and now it's time for payback. Kneeing Schine in the stomach and shoving him against a wall, LaRoche gloats at how Schine ended up in this prison.
But Schine tells LaRoche that he didn't simply end up here... he CHOSE to come here. LaRoche pauses for a second, at the insinuation that Schine knew LaRoche was alive and incarcerated here.
Winston's shank slips out of Schine's sleeve into his hand, and he jams it into LaRoche's middle, twisting it several times. Slowly LaRoche crumples to the floor and dies.
Detective Church is waiting for Schine at the front gate. Schine's story is that he went to use the bathroom when 'some guy' jumped him with a shank. But Church is no fool. He's verified that 'that guy' is Winston's killer; the ballistics report verified it was LaRoche's gun, found at the hotel shooting, which was the murder weapon. Church also tells Schine that LaRoche has a record for three other murders; two in Paris and one in New York. He finds it hard to believe that Schine overpowered him. Church doesn't buy Schine's remark that he 'just got lucky.' He says that if Schine brought the shank into the prison, it's no mere murder charge, but pre-meditated murder, as the law doesn't care who you kill.
Church pauses briefly and says that sadly, the law didn't care much for Winston, either. Turning to the gate guard, he nods for him to open the gate and let Schine return home.
Schine arrives home, and Deanna walks up to him, putting a caring hand along his cheek. The movie closes with Amy, doing well on the new medication, leaving the house and boarding a school bus, now able to go to public school.