Crimes of the Future | Crooked Media
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April 18, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer
Crimes of the Future

In This Episode

Halle and Alison load up on purple bars to ruin Crimes of the Future.





[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread, keep you up late night in bed. Here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely. Then we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Hello, everybody. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is the podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you— 


Alison Leiby: Just for you. 


Halle Kiefer: Thank you for joining us. 


Alison Leiby: How are you doing? 


Halle Kiefer: I’m okay. I was gonna say [laughter] have you had anything particularly horrifying happen to you this week? 


Alison Leiby: Not—


Halle Kiefer: Besides the general, the ambient horror of the world. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I would. And it’s so hard because, like, we’re a week or two ahead, so, like, God knows what has unfolded in–


Halle Kiefer: Jesus Christ. 


Alison Leiby: —all of the nightmare corners of our political and cultural. Moment. I uh. The birds are coming back. And that is something that is— 


Halle Kiefer: Aw that’s nice. Oh no wait, you hate them. 


Alison Leiby: I hate them. Well, like there’s a big tree outside behind my apartment, off my, like, terrace and. In the winter. There aren’t any birds because there’s nothing for them to do. But we are start. We are entering spring. We are starting to get blooming. And just yesterday, for the first time, there was a bird like on the railing of my terrace. And I was just like, don’t you try and get in here. 


Halle Kiefer: I do like that you’re you know, as we approach 40 [clears throat] you are solidifying your role in your neighborhood as woman with contentious relationship with the birds. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes. Forever.


Halle Kiefer: A New York staple. You got to have that lady on your block. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: Also like I’ve asked other people in my bui— I have a friend in my building who lives like exactly three floors up from me. And I’m like, did you ever get a bird fly directly into your window or door? And she was like, no. And I’m like, ugh, I’m like exactly the right height for the tree. But now that Rizz is here, Rizz the cat cat of the pod. I do feel like his presence in the windowsill might deter the birds. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh that’s smart. 


Alison Leiby: Cause I used to have a big fake owl. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And I put it away for the season, but I might not need it this year because now Rizz is there, like, terrifying anything that comes across the terrace. 


Halle Kiefer: Aw and he’s basically an owl. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah he is. Any horrors on your end? 


Halle Kiefer: Well, I will say. Oh, also if you’re new, obviously we just joined Crooked Media. If you’re new to the pod, welcome. If you’re an old hand, you’re not going to surprised at this. So I finally, whatever you you know what podcasts are. I finally was able to get an appointment with a psychiatrist as I have been talking endlessly for months, and I apologize—


Alison Leiby: Terrific. 


Halle Kiefer: —to everyone, about how I believe I have ADHD and I would like to become medicated. I finally got an appointment, but it’s a telehealth, like it’s a Teladoc appointment. 


Alison Leiby: Mmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And that is unfortunately where we’re at, where it’s like, you. 


Alison Leiby: I know. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, like I have an appointment in July, but that’s I couldn’t get one before then—


Alison Leiby: July? 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And like, I’m gonna go, but in the meantime, I was like, well, I guess I’ll just, you know—


Alison Leiby: Zoom with some one. 


Halle Kiefer: —hope that the person I meet the zoom. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And what’s crazy is, like, that is just how things are. 


Alison Leiby: Uh huh. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, you can easily get medication, but it’s hard to meet with let alone, consistently meet with the health care provider. And then I saw that Weight Watchers is kind of giving up the game, which I guess on some level I support rather than being like, you can lose weight using numbers. It’s like not— 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —I mean, you can, but—


Alison Leiby: I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and it’s all gonna come back because it’s it’s not good for you. But they bought a platform called Sequence that you’ll be able to do like a telehealth appointment to get Ozempic. 


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: And other weight loss injectables. And I’m, am I honest, did I really think well I’m probably going to get it then. But also again that that’s to me even more so than psychiatric drugs, which is maybe a little ridiculous like they but they both should be something where you are consistently seeing a doctor, but the idea of like someone’s going to send me an injectable to my house, I don’t know, man. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Without having a doctor. I don’t know. Like, I’m sure you do have to see a doctor. Like, I’m not saying that that’s not part of it—


Alison Leiby: No totally. 


Halle Kiefer: —that the at home in the mail medical part of society continues apace to the point where hypothetically, we’ll all be getting Ozempic at our house. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Which feels I don’t know. It doesn’t feel great. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I’ve had to give myself injections of various medicines over the years. And like, I don’t know. Is that different than like somebody talking to you for 5 minutes and then you stop at the pharmacy and bring it home? I mean, it’s just an easier—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah no you’re right. 


Alison Leiby: It’s less errands. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I guess I’m more concerned. Like, what if you take something, whatever it is, any kind of medication and and happened to be someone who has an adverse effect. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And they’re just trying to Zoom them. I don’t know like that to mean—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. It is. We’re we’re in a very odd point in the American medical system and the health care system and like what you know, the pandemic and the like rise of technology from your own home has done to like like I never would have thought that, like, you could video chat with a doctor and that that would be like the most common way people were talking to health professionals. 


Halle Kiefer: The easiest way. Yeah, I was able to get one in two weeks versus seeing someone in person. Yeah, it just I mean, look, I’m sure there are benefits to it. I mean, there’s a lot of places where you can’t—


Alison Leiby: For sure. 


Halle Kiefer: —see someone, so like that is obviously good for that. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But there’s something about the Ozempic. I’m like, I feel like a doctor should be in the room when you get that. I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: Know. The Ozempic of it all, of it all is very complicated. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, we’ll we’ll keep you posted on that [laughs] those developments. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. We’ll let you know what’s happening with the birds. And if Halle has ADHD [laughter] those are things [both talking] we’ll sort out. And I think before we get to this week’s movie, we would like to tell everybody, if you’re new, this is going to be a new fun thing, which thank you, new Crooked’s listeners. But we’re doing another live show Sunday, April 30th at 7 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Pacific, and we are ruining—


Halle Kiefer: The Pope’s Exorcist, starring Russell Crowe. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, interesting. 


Halle Kiefer: In case you watch, in case you watch any of WrestleMania. I only got little glimpses of it via Twitter, but I’ll tell you, it wet my whistle for this movie because it was wall to wall the Pope’s Exorcist ads. [laughter] And I think that’s extremely funny. 


Alison Leiby: That’s very funny. 


Halle Kiefer: And it is. I don’t need to tell you it, Russell Crowe plays the pope’s exorcist. I don’t know what else—


Alison Leiby: Oh great. 


Halle Kiefer: —you want from us. It’s going to be great. We’re having a great time. 


Alison Leiby: That’s going to be so fun. So you can get tickets at And if you can’t make it at 7 p.m. or 4 p.m. or whatever time zone you happen to live in, the feed is up for 72 hours after. So you have, you know, two or three days, whatever that works out to [both speaking] to catch the live show and we have a fun chat. We’ll play some drinking games. It’s a it’s a great time. So get your tickets. Sunday, April 30th, 7 p.m. Eastern.


Halle Kiefer: And if you think you’re you think we’re loose now my friend. We are—


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. You should see us. [both speaking] A little drunk.


Halle Kiefer: —in the live show. And you’re going to need it because we’re doing a like, a heavy fucking movie this week. We’re doing David Cronenberg’s 2022 movie, Crimes of the Future. 


Alison Leiby: Ooh boy. 


Halle Kiefer: We’ve obviously done, you know, David Cronenberg films before. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Videodrome being a classic from his oeuvre, which is extensive. And this I feel like his most recent film got some mixed reviews. I saw it. When did it come out? It came out in June—


Alison Leiby: Summer. 


Halle Kiefer: —I saw it when I was going insane. I had just come out or I was out to myself, but was not out to my friend of the Pod my my ex fiancée, Dave Schilling, an incredible writer and a friend of mine to this day. And I saw this during that time. 


Alison Leiby: Mmm. 


Halle Kiefer: What I think is why it like imprinted on me as a movie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I really enjoyed because yeah it’s got everyone’s names a little silly. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean like it is it is grotesque in the Cronenberg way, but he is making big political swings in a way that I really enjoyed, especially at the time. I don’t know was such a raw nerve and there was something—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —about the body in that moment that I really appreciated. But of course we always like to have Alison watch the trailer for the film. Alison what did you think about the trailer for Crimes of the Future? 


Alison Leiby: I did not like this one. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: This one is tough. 


Halle Kiefer: It is a tough one. 


Alison Leiby: And like it’s also like not only is like kind of the body horror super traumatizing, but it’s also like the general tone of the film is like. Like I feel like we’ve done movies where it’s like there’s wild body horror, but like, we’re kind of having fun. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yeah. Like Videodrome. Like it is like it is sensationalist, but in a way where it’s like it’s—


Alison Leiby: Over the top. And. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s over the top. It’s kind of thrilling. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And this is very somber and dark. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And like, just kind of feels grueling in a way. 


Halle Kiefer: It is grueling is absolutely word for this movie. This is the kind of like movie where I feel like watching it. I definitely cried upon rewatching it. 


Alison Leiby: Mm. 


Halle Kiefer: And I feel like if you’re on the fence because we I would say, of people who don’t watch horror at all who listen, but that’re also big horror fans who just enjoy the re listen. I do the same as well. I think if you’re on the fence, I don’t know, man. I don’t want to tell you not to see it. Obviously, I got a lot out of it, but be in the right mindset because this is a— 


Alison Leiby: Yeah that’s a good—


Halle Kiefer: —a doozy. 


Alison Leiby: That’s a good lesson. 


Halle Kiefer: We also, like to take a baseline scary of what, how scary does Alison find the concept of the film and there’s a lot of concepts in the film, but I would say—


Alison Leiby: It seems concept heavy. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison. How scary do you find the concept of the vulnerable human body in the world? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, as someone who is routinely getting operated on for my back, it’s both like not that like there’s something about like, especially when we talk about like injuries or surgeries or those things where I’m like, part of it is not that scary because I lived through that. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m like, I don’t know, like there’s worse shit. But then part of it’s very scary because I lived through that kind of thing and like, I understand like to go from being okay to not okay out of the is very familiar to me and it’s, it’s, it’s like I’ve been very lucky that all the times I’ve herniated disks, I’ve been sitting in a chair at work. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: Or in my home getting dressed and like, not that there’s at a good place, but like, I haven’t been crossing the street. I haven’t been like with someone who would take advantage of like an injury, like it’s all been. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: So it’s just like, you know, you think about like, oh my God, what if I was like, walking on a bridge and this happens? [laughs] Like, and then you were just, like, immobilized or like, there is something very real about that kind of fear. 


Halle Kiefer: And then then from that, how scary do you find the concept of the vulnerable child’s body in the world? 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no. [both speaking] That’s very, that’s tough. There’s kids in this? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, yeah, just one. But it’s not good. But yeah—


Alison Leiby: Oh I feel like you had mentioned that before when we are discussing doing this movie. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think this is sort of a movie that is relevant for our time in in a in a way, we are talking about children as I it feels like we talk about children a lot, whether it’s like gun violence or like anti trans, you know, violence. Like we talk about children as like screens on which we project our ideas rather than individuals. Like we were all children, like we were all sentient the whole time. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: And had like opinions and things and lives. And so I think this movie is sort of about the the meaning of the body. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, and in this case, a child’s body. But more broadly, like all the things we put on the body when we if we we lose track of like the body itself has meaning, you know, like everyone has value and meaning it, it’s almost like how do you get away from that true reality? I don’t know. But we do it—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —all the time to everybody, you know, like it’s every group. We seem to be able to do it. And so that’s what I think this movie’s sort of examining and Alison based on [laughs] what you know about this, which is just like, I don’t even know what you could intuit about the plot of this from the trailer, but what do you think the twist will be in David Cronenberg’s Crimes The Future? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Halle Kiefer: I feel like I could guess that, like people are in the future. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: People are mutilating, like altering their bodies. I would say mutilating, because I think altering your body is a perfectly [laughs] acceptable thing to do. And this seems like mutilation. To sew your eyes shut. I’m just like, pass. But I that maybe the guy whose spearheaded all of this is an alien?


Halle Kiefer: Okay. All right. [laughter]


Alison Leiby: I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: I like it. No, that’s perfect that’s exactly what I wanted—


Alison Leiby: That big weird, hard thing that they’re in the trailer. I don’t know. It just seems like otherworldly. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s you just summed of all the David Cronenberg’s entire cinematic aesthetic. 


Alison Leiby: Uh. 


Halle Kiefer: That big, hard, weird thing that guy’s inside of or is inside of a guy. 


Alison Leiby: Yea totally. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: But yeah, let us begin. We will ruin Crimes of the Future. So we open on the credits, which is already sort of like alluding to we’re going to get in the body. We are in the body so much in this movie, as you know, again, David Cronenberg body horror. Why? Why mess with a good things. You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: It’s true. If it ain’t broke, sew it’s eyes shut. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah if it ain’t broke baby. [laughs] We there are sort of tattooed internal organs, internal organs with tattooed images on them. And then we open on a phenomenal image, just to set us up for where we are in the future, which is like the near future. And we see a little boy playing on a stony beach near a beached, capsized luxury cruise ship. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So we are close enough to when there would have been luxury cruise ships. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Right now. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is the emblem of like things have fallen to shit. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So let’s say it’s 20 years from now. You know, it’s really—


Alison Leiby: Okay, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: —not that it’s close enough, but things have—


Alison Leiby: Crimes of the very near future?


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And the little boy’s name is Brecken. And he started digging around the rocks. There’s like all this, unfortunately, plastic debris which is constantly in the ocean and he’s scooping in with a spoon. And his mom, Djuna, yells from their patio, which is right on the beach, and she says, I don’t want you to eat anything you find in there. I don’t care what it is, which is already a red flag, because he’s absolutely just scooping up plastic and rocks. Right? There’s no food anywhere.


Alison Leiby: Right. Yeah. It’s not like, ooh, chicken nuggets. 


Halle Kiefer: He goes back inside, and that night we see Brecken brushing his teeth. And again, I’m so bad with the ages of children. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s seven or eight. He’s little. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s not ten. He’s older than five, I’m gonna say seven. And we see his mother sitting on the edge of their bed while he brushes his teeth. And then Brecken sort of ducks down under the bathroom sink and he bites into and starts munching on a plastic wastepaper basket like you bite into an ice cream cone. 


Alison Leiby: Hmm. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And he produces this very thick white saliva. And as he’s eating this plastic, can, his mother’s watching him. Unfortunately, Alison, as soon as she goes to sleep, she picks up a pillow and smothers him. It is horrifying. He fights her. 


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: He’s trying to scream mom and to the point where she has to lay down on top of him and press the pillow over his face. 


Alison Leiby: Ahh, why? 


Halle Kiefer: Well, later we see her on the toilet. She started like hitting her foot against the trash can and she gets a phone call and she says to the person at the other end, and tell Lang if he wants to come pick up the body of the creature he calls his son. Yes. I mean, the Brecken thing. He can come to the address I gave you. It will be here and I won’t be. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And she hangs up and she breaks down sobbing. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Lang, played by Scott Speedman. 


Alison Leiby: Uh huh. Oh—


Halle Kiefer: Her ex-husband, arrive at the house and run inside and find his son’s body in the bed. We then cut to our main character, Saul Tenser, who is a performance artist. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: He is played by Viggo Mortensen. He’s sleeping inside what I would call a giant sort of umber rotating placenta that’s big enough for an adult man— 


Alison Leiby: You’re saying that like anybody’s is going to be able to imagine. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, but if you’re imagining it [both speaking] that is kind of what it is. 


Alison Leiby: Umber rotating placenta. I mean, it’s. Yeah, that is a description of it.


Halle Kiefer: Imagine your imagine you’re imagining you’re in a placenta, Alison, and it’s dangling from the ceiling and you’re also connected to these very, like, organic looking tubes that are sort of like tentacles attached to different parts of your body. And then the placenta bed is constantly shifting specifically to ease the pain in your body, which actually you kind of relate to this as someone who has had multiple spinal surgeries.


Alison Leiby: That sounds kind of great. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Like yeah imagine a bed. I’ll be honest, it’s it doesn’t really fit your aesthetic. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: But the idea is that it’s constantly moving to ease the physical pain of Saul Tenser, who sleeps inside of it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And he is awakened by his fellow artist, assistant and of course, lover, Caprice. And she wakes him up and says, you know, how did you sleep? 


Alison Leiby: Is it Kristen Stewart? 


Halle Kiefer: It’s not. The bed is not anticipating my needs anymore. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s such extreme pain. The bed is constantly rotating and he’s saying it’s not it’s not cutting it anymore. Right.


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Caprice tells him I will call LifeFormWare which is the company, the tech company that made the bed. 


Alison Leiby: It’s so funny to think that like a company made that. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: 100% yeah. 


Alison Leiby: It feels like not like that’s in a world where like. There’s there aren’t there is like I imagine in the future there’s just one company. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I mean, I think that’s sort of the implication—


Alison Leiby: Oh okay. 


Halle Kiefer: —and I think that that part of it is that like instead of addressing our actual needs, we have created technology to try to mitigate them. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Instead of addressing like, why do you feel like shit? We created a bed that moves constantly so you feel a little less like shit. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: Which also ties into our conversation about the medical field or health insurance as it is right now, unfortunately. 


Alison Leiby: Yes true. 


Halle Kiefer: She said I’ll call LifeFormWare right away. They’re usually good about sending someone out and she tells him the test cooked all night and the results are in. There’s a new hormone in Tenser’s body. Alison, stay with me here. Saul Tenser has a condition [laughs] of the future where he generates new organs on a regular basis. These are novel organs—


Alison Leiby: What? 


Halle Kiefer: —that no one’s ever seen before. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison if you think that’s crazy, things would getting so much crazier. So that’s why I say stay with me. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t know if I can. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Please. 


Alison Leiby: I’m gonna try. 


Halle Kiefer: That being said, they refer to it as neo-organs. And beyond that, Alison, he has made it his art. He is a performance artist, and he talks about it like you and I would talk about a script like, oh, my God, I thought I was all dried up. I thought I didn’t have any more in me. And she’s like— 


Alison Leiby: I had organ block. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And he’s like, oh, thank God. And Caprice was like, oh my God, this would be a good one. And she uses like a very Cronenberg device where instead of, like, stethoscope, it’s an eye stethoscope where the cord goes into your torso. So kind of like a tin can with a string. But the other tin can is Viggo Mortensen and—


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: —she’s able to look inside it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, okay, great. Like, it looks like an endocrine gland. It’s about the size of an adrenal gland. And he’s like, oh, that’s not even that’s not very exciting. 


Alison Leiby: A gland. 


Halle Kiefer: I want like a big, fat organ. 


Alison Leiby: No one’s shelling out cash for tickets to see a gland. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. That’s his concern. And she’s like, please, like you’re an artist, this is a brand new organ. It’s never been seen before and it’s functional. And that’s pretty exciting. I mean, it’s like, you know, you’re right. I can’t get down on myself all the time. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But he tells her, like, you really have, please call LifeFormWare I am this organ is causing even more pain, and I really would like them to come out and fix my bed. Right. Alison, stay with me. It turns out that part of their performance art is that Caprice tattoos the new organs. Right. She adds a—


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: —tattoo pattern to the organs while they’re still inside Saul’s body. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. Also, like, as someone who has tattoos. That sounds horrifyingly painful [laughs] to do—


Halle Kiefer: But also, doesn’t it sound—


Alison Leiby: —like soft tissue? 


Halle Kiefer: It sounds pretty punk rock, too. 


Alison Leiby: Super punk rock. 


Halle Kiefer: And she does say it’s very hard to do because it’s so slippery. I’m like—


Alison Leiby: Oh of course. 


Halle Kiefer: —oh it would be, it absolutely would be.


Alison Leiby: Everything inside. Pretty slick. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: And he says, you know, he’s like, because he does, she does these like, elaborate patterns, which you saw over the credit sequence. He says, why don’t you just do something like really recognizable, like a proper tattoo like an anchor, or like a thing that says mother. She’s like, no, like the tattoos have to be uniquely self-referential. This is my part of the art, you know? And they have been contacted by a new group, the National Organ Registry. So basically, this is a new not even publicly announced government office where they are basically saying this has been happening to a lot of people where they’re generating new organs. So we need you when you have the organ removed to register it with us because we’re trying to figure out why this keeps happening. It’s the future. But even that’s a lot for the future. You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. We’re not too far in the future where we’d be like, of course, register all the organs. 


Halle Kiefer: And if you thought the bed was bad Alison, we see Caprice eating breakfast—


Alison Leiby: I did think the bed was bad. 


Halle Kiefer: —and she’s like, a white, like her, her breakfast is like kind of little Anthropologie like, she just like a white blouse and she’s eating gruel. And then he is in what I would describe as a like a what is the word I’m looking for? Barcalounger made out of human skeletal bones. 


Alison Leiby: Uh huh. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like a white bone chair. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s constantly rotating so that he could eat. It’s called, of course, the Breakfaster, which actually is much more straightforward than the bed, which is called the Orchidbed. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, yeah, yeah. Breakfaster. I’m like, I get it. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: Right. You know, you know when you’re eating breakfast and you have to get into your skeleton chair that constantly moves so you can swallow? That’s what he’s in. 


Alison Leiby: It reminds me. Have you seen those videos of dogs? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Yep.


Alison Leiby: That have, like, some kind of digestive issue where, like, they can’t be on all fours eating because, like, they can’t swallow. They have to be in these, like, upright, like high chairs that they get, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: They like, get in and then they eat kind of like in a more human like position. It’s so sweet. 


Halle Kiefer: You know—


Alison Leiby: I’m glad we figured that out for them. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. As somebody who only eats on all fours like you really—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —do feel bad for those guys. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s tough. 


Halle Kiefer: That evening, after he chokes down his food, he’s barely able to swallow it. They leave, the live in what I would describe as an abandoned life lighthouse. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: It looks like they’re in Greece again like things have fallen. The earth has fallen on hard times, and people have turned to of of everything. And I guess there’s no inclination that there is the Internet. So let’s say the Internet has also collapsed. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Everyone is out, everyone is out doing and watching performance art. Alison, this is the near future. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, live performance is back baby. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And to be a part of an audience, the electricity we’ve all been in those rooms. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: As people who have done comedy. So Tenser always wears a hood and a mask because he’s kind of a little bit famous and they walk through the streets of town together. 


Alison Leiby: So a question. 


Halle Kiefer: Go ahead. Yes, please. Oh, please, please ask as many questions as you need. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] You’re like, I can’t understand how you could have a question about this very straightforward plot. 


Halle Kiefer: No, no, no, no, no. 


Alison Leiby: Why doesn’t he need a machine to make him move? Is if, is him walking enough to keep the pain at bay? And it’s more just if he’s sitting or lying down that there’s not enough movement. Like, he could he could go out in the world and walk around? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Unassisted? 


Halle Kiefer: He could walk around and he could do his performance art. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: We see him go to offices. We see him. Yeah like we see him go to the doctor I think it’s like if his body’s at rest, it’s in extreme pain. 


Alison Leiby: Okay, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So when he’s sleeping, when he’s trying to sit and eat, I think you’re you’re right. I think it’s unfortunately these moments where he cannot do it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Like his body just starts to attack him. So they’re going, of course, to a performance piece. And on the way there we see two men and women and they are sort of making out in a dark corner of a street and they’re—


Alison Leiby: Nice. 


Halle Kiefer: —cutting each other with a blade Alison. And one of the men looks up and we he recognizes Tenser as like this famous performance artist. And that man is Lang, who we saw that is Brecken’s father. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see him bite into what looks like a purple protein bar, much like our sponsor MOSH. MOSH, get the fuel you need to fight crimes of the future. 


Alison Leiby: Brain food for future crime. 


Halle Kiefer: This is also a great like, it always looks like it’s the dead of night, so it’s never clear. So it is the night time. Sorry I said they were going to performance art show. That’s later. They’re actually going to the National Organ Registry at night like you do. 


Alison Leiby: Love a night appointment. 


Halle Kiefer: And he meets Timlin, who is played by Kristen Stewart and Wippet who are the two employees there. And they are so startled they’re like, oh my God, he’s here. Oh my God, you are so famous. Like, I we cannot believe we’re meeting you, like, because they work in the organ registry. So they’re like, oh, we know everyone’s organs—


Alison Leiby: This is their whole thing. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: Like you are iconic. You have been doing like, apparently he, like, invented tattooing the organs. Like he has created a portfolio of all his organs, which are like, thank you for giving this to us. This is very important because we could actually catalog like, why is this happening? You know, try to draw any conclusions from the organs. Right. And also every set looks like a fucking dump. So it’s like they go to the office. It’s not a ni— Like everything is. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, bureaucracy is collapsed, like the government is, you know, clearly struggling. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And they’re like, we’re currently, we’re secret, but we’re going to be made public. We’re going to be part of the new vice unit under the Justice Department. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Tenser’s like this is a vice like I don’t I this just happens to me. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Like I’m we’re not committing a crime and Caprice is like wait could you explain this like how is this supposed to work? And Wippet and Timlin says basically governments all over the world have noticed that human bodies seem to be evolving. And Wippet explains—


[clip of Don McKellar]: Human evolution is the concern that is going wrong, that it’s uncontrolled, it’s insurrectional, it might lead us to a bad place. 


Halle Kiefer: So sort of like they want to catalog these organs because they’re coming from a place of this is bad. And it does seem like a human thing. Like as soon as a human body changes, we have to immediately, like stigmatize it, categorize it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then try to control it. That does seem like us. A tale as old as time. [laughter] And Wippet points out, which is some other important information for what is going to happen in the movie Alison is he said for example, in addition to the organs, the world has become a much more dangerous place because people do not feel pain anymore. 


Alison Leiby: [gasps]


Halle Kiefer: Nor do they get infections. And he’s like, that’s horrible, because pain is a warning system. It is the body needs pain. And what does it mean now that it’s gone? And he said, in fact, people were, he’s lamenting the new fad desktop surgery. So people just sort of doing surgery in public. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: And to be fair Alison, we absolutely would be doing that. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, no question. 


Halle Kiefer: It would be just YouTubers just doing surgery on each other. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, we’re already like, it’s like you can walk into, like something called a med spa and get like full plastic surgery at this point and walk out like, oh, it’s we’re doing it. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And, and again, like, people would be doing it for accolades for for the artistic part of it, of course, but also for attention, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And Timlin says, okay. Anyway, so our records indicate you’ve been growing novel organs for years, but you always have them removed. And Caprice and Tenser’s like, look at this guy. Like, he looks horrible. Of course we have them removed. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re basically tumors. The guy could barely stand up. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And Caprice explains, I remove these organs as a part of our performance, we’re performance artists. So basically, Alison, this is their performance. Again, they don’t really nobody feels pain anymore. They open up Tenser’s, Tenser’s body, and they remove the tattooed organs, and then everyone applauds and has champagne. That is their performance. 


Alison Leiby: I guess. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Listen, and again would if you could draw the crowd, if you could be like, oh, I’m a millionaire now you see what people will do for Patreon, including us thank you for everyone who— 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —is part of our Patreon, probably though a lot of self surgery in the future. But you know, you never know where things are going to go. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Financially for us. But, you know, you see people do now for money. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: Everyone be taking out their organs if you could get paid. 


Alison Leiby: Oh for sure. 


Halle Kiefer: But Timlin and Caprice sort of have this like little tension. Timlin’s obviously hitting on Tenser and is like sort of jealous of of Caprice. So they get to have this like artistic life that seems so important to her, you know? And Caprice says, you know, I met when Saul was injured on duty, and I was a trauma surgeon at First General. And when we met, we unleashed things in each other. Oh, I would love to be in a relationship where something, where we unleashed something in each other. I love that description. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Unleashing. Very horny.


Halle Kiefer: Don’t we want to all be unleashed? Maybe one day. And Wippet started joking like, I’ll tell you what you guys are, you’re stars, okay? Everyone wants to be a performance artist these days, but not everyone could do it. You guys are the fucking best. Finally, they’re like, we’re going to register your new organ. That the one that’s growing in his body right now that hasn’t even been removed. And so they sort of take their ocular chords like, oh my God, the tattoo work is incredible. It’s almost sensual and, you know, thank you for coming in and thank you for giving us all this information. We actually are going to tattoo the organs we received to indicate like where they’re from, much like you guys. We’re sort of to take your bit and use it on these other organs. And their concern is if you don’t take the organs out, they might become hereditary and then be passed down, parent to child. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And the concern about that is if that happens, then the child is not strictly human and the government is very, very concerned about who is or is not a human. 


Alison Leiby: Why wouldn’t it be human? Because it has different organs? 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. Basically, they’re saying like if it evolves into something that is not a human, that is scary and dangerous. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And again, that I guess the government would do that. Like it’s like we, we— 


Alison Leiby: I mean, feels like it. 


Halle Kiefer: We only know how to address change by assuming it’s horrible and punishing people. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So that makes sense. Back at home, Caprice is pissed. She’s like, why did you invite those two fucking weirdoes to our show? [laughter] Which is the next night. He’s like [?] to be on our side. They could see all the value and the beauty of what we do. You know?


Alison Leiby: We’re proving that this isn’t, you know, a crime or what yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And Caprice is like. I don’t know about that Timlin. She’s especially creepy, which is really funny to see, like in such a creepy world, to have somebody be like, no, but she even we think she’s creepy. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Is amazing. And then he tells her, and by the way, I hate the tattoo you put on the organ. I think it takes away meaning from the from the organ. And then they’re having like a passive aggressive, like, lover’s quarrel. 


Alison Leiby: The specific tattoo or just the tattooing in general. 


Halle Kiefer: I think the tattooing in general, I think he’s, I think there’s sort of this tension of like, who is the artist? 


Alison Leiby: I see. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, he’s making the organs, but it is her art on them. So I think it is like a you know, she does not want to feel like she’s just the assistant or just like the muse. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, she is like, it is my art. And she says, anyways, the life form technicians are here and you need to get into the placenta bed, you know, so they can they could fix it, you know? Like, however, most fights end is when someone arrives to fix your placenta bed. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The technicians that arrived are named Berst and Router. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: So that’s where we’re at with, when I saw Router. I’m like—


Alison Leiby: Router. 


Halle Kiefer: Hat’s fucking off Cronenberg, Router.


Alison Leiby: Is it. Yeah. Router is it. 


Halle Kiefer: And so they’re looking like we’re going to fix the Orchidbed and then we can take the information from that and fix the Breakfaster chair, don’t worry. And then they look at their paperwork and they were like, oh my God, you have a Sark unit. And he’s like, yep. And the Sark unit is was used to be an autopsy capsule, but they stopped making them. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: But Tenser and Caprice have this autopsy capsule, but they don’t like why do you have this? You don’t perform autopsies, right? Well, Alison, Caprice walks in, and looks at this. It looks like a giant organic coffin. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it looks like a beetle, but like big enough for a man to be inside. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Caprice walks in and says, it’s my paintbrush. Cut to the performance art show where there’s much people filming it, because, of course, you’d fucking film this. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, of course. But like where would you put it? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I. Well, that’s the thing, I guess. Like when you’re that successful, you just—


Alison Leiby: Without the internet, where’s it going? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Oh, that’s a great question. I think you’re projecting on like a bunch of old tube TVs, which are also in the room. And there’s one where it just says body is reality. It’s like hell, yeah. All right. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So they’re now doing their show, also Lang is there and he’s eating one of the purple bars and he’s not filming. He’s like, clearly very distressed. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Obviously having been through what he’s been through with his son. Caprice uses a control pad on her torso, which looks like what I would describe and I’m just gonna say this, as a turtle that’s also a vagina and it’s covered in sort of. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Glowing rainbow buttons. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And with it she controls the appendages of the Sark unit, which sort of like looks like insect legs or skeletal arms. 


Alison Leiby: Great. 


Halle Kiefer: And they cut into Tenser’s body, which because it is not he doesn’t experience pain is sort, is sexual like his pain seems sexual you know? 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And the little arms open up his body and they reach in to pull out the tattooed organ and the crowd gasps. And then Caprice seals him back up and then everyone’s having cocktails and they have like the organ in a jar and they’re like, oh my God, that was incredible. Like, you were you guys were crazy, you’re so good.


Alison Leiby: What happens to the organs after they’re removed? Are they all just kind of somewhere? 


Halle Kiefer: They’re they’re taken to the National Organ Registry. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. So that the—


Halle Kiefer: So they have to be taken there. Yes. And that is my understanding. I don’t know what they did beforehand. I think they probably would put them in a jar and put them in their house. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Cause I don’t think you’re doing anything with them. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But Timlin and Wippet are looking at the organ and Wippet’s like, please don’t go over and talk to them. Like we, we shouldn’t even come. This is so embarrassing. And so Timlin is like, absolutely not. She goes over it immediately, starts hitting on Tenser and asked them the question, which I think is it’s not the pivotal question, but it is again the most Cronenberg question in the movie, which is surgery is sex, isn’t it? Surgery is the new sex? Now, Alison. Do you think that surgery is the new sex? 


Alison Leiby: No, I mean, not now. I guess in—


Halle Kiefer: Are we headed there? 


Alison Leiby: I don’t think so. 


Halle Kiefer: Surgery is certainly something. It certainly is something, but sexual, I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: It’s I’ve found it to be very not sexual, when I’ve had surgery. Like it is—


Halle Kiefer: That would be pretty shocking to find out if it was though. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I understand there’s like just kind of some fundamental like you are entering, you are like trying to—


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: —create a new sensation or eliminate a bad sensation. Like, I get that like there are parallels, but I just don’t see a world where, like, we end up kind of merging those two experiences. 


Halle Kiefer: I concur. And I think, you know, again listen—


Alison Leiby: If people can’t feel pain, are they orgasming? 


Halle Kiefer: You know, it’s unclear.


Alison Leiby: Like I feel like, you would need, like it’s like the pain pleasure, the two sides of a coin. Like if you can’t feel what like does the other exist? 


Halle Kiefer: Right. And I think there’s not a lot that implies they experience pleasure. They don’t really talk about pleasure as much now that you’re saying it. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So I don’t know. That’s a really good question. Do you need to have pain to experience pleasure? You’d think the same mechanism by which pain would if pain doesn’t exist, you’d think pleasure also wouldn’t exist. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, nerves. David Cronenberg If you’re listening, please let us know. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I’m sure he knows the answer. 


Alison Leiby: Definitely. 


Halle Kiefer: And maybe I just didn’t intuit it. But Tenser says, does there need to be a do sex? Which I think is also a great question. Does there need to be a new sex?


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. What’s wrong? What’s wrong with the old way? 


Halle Kiefer: And Timlin says, of course. And she says, I just want you know, when I saw a Caprice cutting into you, I wish you were cutting into me. And then she runs away, and Caprice says, what the hell was that? And Tenser says, another epiphany. Art triumphs again. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: We also see Berst and Router are there and they’re talking to Lang and this other guy about the like, oh my God. Like we’re working at his machines. Like, they’re iconic. Like we love them and we see Lang is eating one of his purple protein bars and he puts it down and then the guy, the drunk guy next one picks up and takes a bite. Alison he immediately becomes violently ill and collapses. And everyone—


Alison Leiby: The purple protein bars. Something’s happening with them. [both speaking] Specifically Lang. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, so we’ve seen Lang eat it, somebody else ate it and basically dropped dead instantly. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Lang runs out with his bar as people run over. The next day, Wippet and Timlin visit Detective Cope, who is a detective at the new vice unit, and he says, okay, we need to talk about Saul Tenser and they’re like, yeah, we know him. We have his organ portfolio. He came in like he’s supposed to, you know, and he started trying to find out because he works in vice. He’s like, okay, so what the fuck are we talking about? And Tim says, he’s a you know, he’s an artist, he’s a new organ it’s like discovering a new Picasso to him. And Cope lifts up his shirt and he has like a lump on his abdomen. He says, you know, am I am I an artist too? Take a look at that lump? Does that make me Van Gogh? Timlin, Timlin was very offended by this and says—


[clip of Kristen Stewart]: He takes the rebellion of his own body and seizes control of it, shapes it, tattoos it displays it creates theater out of it. It has meaning, very potent meaning. And many, many people respond to it. 


Halle Kiefer: Detective Cope is like okay, I’m just a cop, okay? You don’t have to get mad at me, you know? And he’s looking at the portfolio of the organs and he’s like, well, if anything, Caprice seems like the artist. She’s the one tattooing it. He just he’s kind of a glorified organ donor, if you ask me. 


Alison Leiby: I, yeah, I, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. It’s like she’s the one who’s out here doing the work. And they say, well, we actually have some suspicions based on like the sheer number of organs he’s growing, we think, on some level. And it might be just subconscious that Saul Tenser is actually making his organs grow like he is psychologically. He’s somehow mentally causing this. 


Alison Leiby: Forcing it, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Even if he doesn’t isn’t aware of that, which is Cope’s like that’s, that’d be fucking crazy. Okay, so they leave in the morning, Caprice comes to wake up Tenser and the bed has let him know that he’s already developing a new organ. He literally just got the old one out and she said, should we be worried? Because normally it takes a minute and now you’re just making them like this? He says, I don’t know. I’m feeling very creative. Then they go, at the next freaky deaky art night. We see the artists from the trailer. Klinek, Klinek. Who is of course, a nude gentleman whose eyes and mouth are sewn together or sewed closed and he’s covered in ears. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he does sort of like a sensual dance while everyone watches. 


Alison Leiby: Come on man. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] Listen. You know what? He’s living out loud and he’s going for it—


Alison Leiby: He is living out loud. So he’s doing him. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s doing him, Alison. And Saul’s kind of watching, crouched in the shadows with his, like, mask and hood up. And this woman, Adrienne, comes over and says, you know, those ears don’t even work, right? They’re just for show. Which I thought was like, such a mean, like, bitchy thing that someone would say, If this became a new art—


Alison Leiby: [laughs] So bitchy, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —like, he can’t fucking hear. That’s humiliating. Like, can you believe it? [laughs] But the thing is, she’s actually that artist’s biological coordinator. So it’s actually on her. You know, it’s like—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s your fault lady. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she says to Tenser are you working at anything new? He’s like, I kind of don’t know until it shows up. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, I’m not working on anything. Like, maybe, you know, I think so. 


Alison Leiby: Just seeing what kind of horrors befall me and then trying to turn it into art. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: And they try to eat soup and I want to die? Like, that’s kind of my whole thing. 


Alison Leiby: I sleep in an egg. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] Yeah usually I sleep in an egg and it rotates me and I scream all night, like grow up. [laughter] But she said, Have you heard of Dr. Nasatir? And she says, inner beauty is his special just like you, wink, wink. And she gives him a slip of, a slip of paper and says, I made you an appointment. He’s like, oh, is this like a consultation because you think I have a medical problem? 


Alison Leiby: I mean you do, you do—


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, no, no— [laughter]


Alison Leiby: Just to be clear. 


Halle Kiefer: Are you implying. Are you fucking implying— [laughter]


Alison Leiby: You absolutely have a medical problem.


Halle Kiefer: If anyone has a medical problem, it is you dude. I’m sorry to be the—


Alison Leiby: It’s the definition of what a medical problem is. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think like you’re doing the best you can with it, but it is a problem. [both speaking] It affects your life in a negative way. And she says, no, actually, you need a consultation because you have a political problem and then she just kind of sidles away into the crowd. Outside we see Tenser shambling his way home, only to be followed by Lang, who finally, like confronts him. Because [?] Lang sort of like following him to these different events. And Lang has unfortunately has an idea Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Of course Lang got an idea. 


Halle Kiefer: And Lang says, I saw you use like your Sark module. Have you ever done an autopsy with one? I want you to do a public autopsy of my son. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. Who’s buying tickets to that? That’s insane. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: And in response, Tenser says, wow. Which I was like— [laughter]


Alison Leiby: Correct. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s an incredible response for this guy to have, like, even he’s like, I don’t know, man, that’s fucked up. 


Alison Leiby: That’s a lot. 


Halle Kiefer: But Lang says, like, how radical are you? Are you afraid of a little of emotion? And Tenser says, I’m afraid of everything. And he walks away. 


Alison Leiby: Same bro. 


Halle Kiefer: And as he leaves, Lang says to him, If you do this, I promise you there will be some surprises. Alison, I got to ask specifically if you were Saul Tenser not yourself. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: What would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: The promise of surprises feels very Tenser. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I feel like that’s going to be piquing his interest. Like, what would I, Alison Leiby, do? I would have killed myself so long ago. [laughter] I would be in that upside down cruise ship. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I just couldn’t. Like, I’m not. I’m not for this kind of world. [laughter] But if I—


Halle Kiefer: It’s a tough one yeah.


Alison Leiby: But if I am Saul Tenser, like. You know, there’s there’s weird vibes with the organ center. There’s people kind of criticizing my work. I’d be like, I mean, we’ll talk about it. 


Halle Kiefer: If anything, you’re being more open minded than Tenser, because [both speaking] Tenser is basically like I’m not doing this. Absolutely. And what I like about Cronenberg’s movies is that on the surface of it, yeah, that would be insane. It’s like you, you have a problem with this, like somebody who’s already dead. Meanwhile, you’re doing all this, but like, the movie follows its own internal logic. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: You do believe where he’s like, okay, like, yeah, I do a bunch of freaky stuff, but it’s my body, like—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, that’s what—


Alison Leiby: Which does feel like, that is a line, I think.


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. And they, they do end up talking about this and Caprice at one point was like the whole point of what we do is that it’s consensual. Like, we talk about this, like, this is our own thing that we do. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: To then do an autopsy is it’s is is a different question. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Especially when it hasn’t been discussed while the person was like, if that’s something where you’re like I’m signing now that like you can use my body for performance art autopsies from a large beetle or whatever the hell is going on. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: Then it’s like, okay, well that’s what you wanted. Like, I guess that’s fine. But like, for someone who did not consent to that, it feels icky. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, recently I know we’ve talked on the podcast before The Bodies Exhibit. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Body World, and there is like if you’ve ever, if anyone’s seen Body World, I guess this is sort of the German version. But yeah, there’s a lot of different. There was a moment in our recent history where there were sort of displays of dead bodies, which is weird to think about because that was pretty, pretty recent. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, and people started to ask, well, you know, because I remember seeing them, I saw one in Cleveland with my family this is like the early, early to mid 2000s. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we saw Bodies The Exhibition. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Is the one we saw. And, you know, a lot of people were like, okay, so like, maybe some of these people did sign up, but some of them, like I remember one in particular was a pregnant woman with with a fetus. And they’re like, what’s the likelihood that that woman thought to do this? Like, what is like, if I was pregnant, I would maybe have a living will. I wouldn’t necessarily jump to Bodies The Exhibit. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, no. 


Halle Kiefer: Right? And then it finds out there are a lot of those they were basically bodies obtained from China. And the Bodies The Exhibit I’m reading this New York Times, ‘Bodies’ Exhibitors Admit Corpse Origins Are Murky. Michael Wilson. May—


Alison Leiby: Murky? 


Halle Kiefer: —30th, 28. Basically, the Bodies Exhibition could not prove that they were not Chinese prisoners. And literally the first paragraph, it says they could not prove that they were not prisoners who may have been tortured or executed. The company promised refunds to people who have seen the exhibit. Well, I don’t know if that’s really the issue at hand. 


Alison Leiby: Doesn’t really undo what has happened here. 


Halle Kiefer: Obtaining the corpses of Chinese prisoners. Yeah, so but again, like, it’s like that’s that happened here. That’s not even like the near, that’s not even the crime of the future. That’s a crime of the present baby. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s insane. 


Alison Leiby: That’s insane. 


Halle Kiefer: And I saw that, I saw that at like, the Cleveland Science Museum. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Anyways, back to the future and the crimes there of Tenser. He like they came and they fixed all of his machinery or his bio machinery. Unfortunately, he. His throat keeps closing up, even he’s trying to eat, he cannot eat or swallow. 


Alison Leiby: That’s tough. 


Halle Kiefer: So he can breathe, but he cannot consume food, which again he looks horrible and he’s constantly choking and gagging. And she’s like, well, you were out late last night. It’s like, I like in this moment, there’s still, like, this, like jealous. Like what? What were you doing? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he was like, I went to go see the performance. The ears don’t even hear. Okay. Embarrassing. But also this guy Lang propositioned me to perform an autopsy. And I want to talk to you about it. Alison while they talk Caprice lies nude in the Sark machine, and they sort of talk through how they would do it. And again, they have like some ethical concerns, also legal concerns where it’s like legally it’s our bodies. We could do whatever we want. What does this even mean? Like, are you allowed to do that to a dead body? You know? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And while they’re talking this sort of the blade of the Sark slices Caprice’s collar bone accidentally. And Alison, she asked them to keep going. And they sort of they both take off their clothes and they lay together in the Sark and they hold each other as like the twin blades of the machine, just sort of lightly cut them all up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And they smile. They look at peace. Again, surgery is the new sex. We just— 


Alison Leiby: And they’re not in pain from that. 


Halle Kiefer: No, they don’t feel it. 


Alison Leiby: That’s weird. 


Halle Kiefer: And I think the point is, like, we feel it. Like it’s like we’re—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —this to them. They don’t. They’re not in pain. We are experiencing—


Alison Leiby: We are feeling that pain. 


Halle Kiefer: —as the observer, you know. Meanwhile, that night, Tenser meets with a man near the docks, it’s Detective Cope. It turns out that Tenser is an informant for the new vice unit, specifically as it relates to all these new organs. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Cope says, you’re a performance artist. This is your whole thing. Why are you doing this? You’re pretty deep into this. And he says, I am doing this because the entire point of my art is I am not comfortable with what is happening to me. I don’t want this to be happening. I have to make sense of it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But I want to I want you guys to figure out why the fuck is this happening and to stop it. This is incredibly painful to me. So if figuring this out like I will help you guys, you let me know what to do. And he gives Detecting Cope Dr. Nasatir’s information that he received at the ear guys party or the ear guy’s performance and—


Alison Leiby: The ear guy’s party. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And Tenser’s like why are you guys called New Vise like, what is the vice part? Because there’s no this isn’t a vice. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s like, I’ll be honest, we just call it that because it’s a sexier name and it’s harder to get funding with the original name Evolutionary Derangements—


Alison Leiby: I feel like we should [both speaking] fund the living fuck out of that. Evolutionary derangements. Like, let’s keep an eye on what that is. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Again, I’m sure there’s so much red tape for getting funding for—


Alison Leiby: I mean. A new department?


Halle Kiefer: But in exchange for his help Tenser asks, he says, I want information about Lang’s wife, Djuna, who is currently in jail for the murder of her son. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: He wants to just talk to her. So he goes to do that over at LifeFormWares, so it’s like during the day Caprice had dropped off the Sark to be outfitted into an autopsy unit because they’re like, we’re going to go. We have qualms, but if we’re going to do it, we should just start outfitting it now. And we see Berst and Router again. And they say like, so what’s Tenser’s deal? Like what? Why is he so sick? She says he has accelerated evolution syndrome and that’s what all the organs are. It’s like they keep happening and they’re concerned again, like what sticks around for the next generation? You know, we don’t have kids, but like, what does this mean for the human body to be evolving like this? And Router’s like well, he doesn’t keep it right? So, like, he gets some removed. I mean, like, don’t you kind of want to keep them and see what happens. And Caprice says, it’s a breakdown of his entire system. The body needs order. And that’s sort of like a larger thing, is like the body needs order and we need to enforce that order on it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. And then also, just because we needed to see some titties in this movie. 


Alison Leiby: I mean you gotta. 


Halle Kiefer: Berst and Router sort of strip down, they climb into the Sark and they call Caprice, Caprice like, hey, get look, look at us. And she’s like, you guys are crazy. And I don’t know if we’re suppose to think they just had sex, but we don’t see it. She just like you guys and then we cut to— 


Alison Leiby: Cut to later. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: The Sark is smoking a cigarette. [laughter] 


Halle Kiefer: Truly. Tenser shows up at Dr. Nasatir’s office and Dr. Nasatir’s like oh my God. Thank you so much for coming here. I actually have something that you’re really going to like. It’s called a RipLock which is basically a resealable zipper in Tenser’s torso. So you can just go ahead and pop those bad boys out and then you could reseal it. It’s like a resealable Ziploc. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s like, I’m sorry. I thought this is about my political problem, which I and this woman told me I had. And he’s like, oh no no, politics will come later after you’re, after you’ve been registered? He’s like, what are you talking about? He’s like registered in the inner beauty pageant. And they have this moment where they like, are you joking or what do you mean? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, what are we talking about? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And because it’s the near future Tenser’s like, okay, sure. Put it in. Pop that bad boy in. 


Alison Leiby: Yup. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And Caprice is waiting for him downstairs and he’s again, hacking and coughing all the way down the stairs and she, he lifts the shirt to show her the the Ziploc bag and he said, oh, you know, I’m going to register for the inner beauty pageant in the category best original organ with no known function. And she looks at the zipper and she’s like, did he just make us obsolete? Because, like, that was our whole thing. It’s like, now you could—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —just take them out. And he says, no, it’s just like a zippered fly in a pair of pants. It’s not sensual, it’s not art. Alison, you better believe Caprice gets down on her knees and tells him, zippers have their own appeal, and then she unzips his torso and starts eating out his what essentially is now a torso vagina. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. [laughs] Absolutely. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. No, I follow. 


Halle Kiefer: And he, sort of like leans back against the wall and he says the nastiest thing in this fucking movie. He tells her, don’t spill. 


Alison Leiby: Uh. 


Halle Kiefer: And I’m like, right. Because, I guess all of his organs could potentially dump out while she’s fucking going to town on his, you know. I don’t even know how. It’s a vulva. A vulva of the entire body, I suppose. 


Alison Leiby: I guess. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: When you’re in a long term relationship. You got to keep it fresh. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] You got to keep it spicy. 


Halle Kiefer: You got to keep it spicy. And look, you know, if anyone’s been like married for a long time. Just something to think about, you know what I’m saying?


Alison Leiby: Yeah, if you’ve got a torso vulva, and you kind of see what goes on there. But, you know, don’t spill. 


Halle Kiefer: Don’t do not spill. [both speaking] You’re gonna be so upset. Do not do it over the rug—


Alison Leiby: That’s a bathroom activity. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Come on stay in the bathtub people. 


Alison Leiby: Wipeable tile floor. 


Halle Kiefer: So the next day, Tenser finally goes to see Djuna, who is Brecken’s mother, and she tells him he was eating a waste paper, a plastic wastepaper basket. What would you have done? He goes, well, I wouldn’t kill him—


Alison Leiby: Right, what are you talking about? 


Halle Kiefer: Like, I would be distressed. And she says he was a thing that my husband invented to torment me. And Tenser said, I’m just gonna say this. They didn’t find the body. So the police don’t even really believe that she did it. Like she told them she confessed. But because Brecken’s body is missing, because Lang took it, it’s like they don’t. I don’t know how. How do you prove to me that you even took it, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, I don’t know, maybe my friend, you know, my husband’s friend took it. Maybe they’re going to eat it. He’s like, are they cannibals—


Alison Leiby: Eat it? 


Halle Kiefer: —your husband? And he’s like, no, they’re only cannibals if you’re a Barbie doll. And Tenser’s like, what the fuck are you talking about? 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But finally asked, like, okay, so if there were to be an autopsy, something would be revealed about your son’s body. If the police were to autopsy your son, eventually, what would they find? And she turns and she tells him outer space. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Speaking of Lang, Alison, stay with me. I am asking you to stay with me. 


Alison Leiby: My son, is full of outer space. That’s why I killed him. No.


Halle Kiefer: Yes, outer space. Speaking of Lang, we see him go into a big sort of room. A compound where there’s a group of revolutionaries, including a man named Tarr. Two Rs okay not to be mistaken with Lydia Tar.


Alison Leiby: Right, of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Though they probably do know each other. 


Alison Leiby: I, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see them manufacturing the purple bars that he makes. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, so it’s like these beautiful magenta bars. Packaging them and bagging them up. And Tarr, and he tells Tarr, how quickly could we sort of like wrap this up and be moved if we need to be. And Tarr says, are we expecting trouble. And he says we are going to do the autopsy. It is a go. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, okay. Confusing. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s kind of like a dumpy space. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, in a very elegant space, Caprice watches as a woman gets her face sort of cut into and mutilated with a scalpel by another woman. And she’s incredibly compelled by it. Wippet’s there as well. And Caprice’s like, oh, my God, this guy. He’s like, I’m sorry New Vice tells us we can’t come to these things anymore, but I have the fever for it. Like, I love this kind of art. Like, I can’t not go. And the implication is like, he and Timlin are now sort of like true believers in this kind of art as like, this is the art, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And Caprice is like, okay, great, don’t talk to me. I’m actually famous. And she goes to talk to the artist Odile, and she’s like, oh, I’m thrilled with what happened to my face. I love trauma. And Caprice is like, I’ll be honest. Like, I saw what you were getting and I had the desire to cut my face open. And Odile says, oh my God, come to the hotel later. That night we see Caprice has had her forehead cut open and sort of a series of half moon shaped objects inserted inside the skin. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. That’s like a thing that already people do. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Exactly. And then so I think it’s supposed to be not that like, ridiculous. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because Tenser is really judgmental, but I think the judgment comes from like, that’s my thing. Like, oh you’re trying—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. 


Halle Kiefer: —my thing. You’re the muse. Like, you’re like the helper. I am the star. 


Alison Leiby: I’m Tenser. 


Halle Kiefer: And so we, we have this sort of, like, the change in their dynamic. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And Caprice is like, I want to construct the Brecken show, And he’s like, It kind of already has a structure. It’s an autopsy. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, there’s a start and a finish to this thing. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, she’s like, no, I want to. I don’t want this to be your thing. I want it to be like my thing, basically. Meanwhile, we see Tenser, Wippet invites Tenser to the National Organ, Organ Registry. And he’s like, I’ll be honest, I’m the registrar for the inner beauty pageant, and it sort of takes some convincing when Tenser says, like, okay, well, I guess I’ll compete. Like, you want me to just be, like—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —up for an award? I was going to do this stuff anyway. You know what I mean like—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: —but Timlin stops Tenser on the way out and sort of pushes him, like is being very aggressive, both sexually and ideologically. She’s like, I’m concerned. Like, it’s so easy in our, our, our line of work to be dazzled by the artists we meet. And I think that Wippet’s been colluding with some subversive groups and I might have to turn him in because it’s really unprofessional and Tenser says. Anyways, have you guys ever come across like a whole system? For example, say, a whole digestive system? Say, I’m just going to say this, a digestive system where you could digest plastic. And she says, no, but I’ll be honest, most of the organs we get are because people just remove them one at a time. She’s like, wait, so you do you— 


Alison Leiby: As soon as one shows up, you’re going to remove it. You’re not going to be like, I wonder if this will attach to something else new. Like, you’ll like, get it out. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, you don’t think that if if someone were to keep them and let them accumulate that that means that they were. And she said, oh, I almost said evolving. But she’s like, you don’t think it would actually mean essentially that your your digestive system would change. Also, at the same time, she’s trying to make out with him. So she, like, reaches up to Tenser’s face—


Alison Leiby: Oh, surprise. 


Halle Kiefer: —and puts her fingers in his mouth and sort of scoops out his saliva and puts it in her mouth and then grabs his face and kisses him and he clears his throat. He goes, I’m sorry, I’m not very good at the old sex. And kind of like, pushes her away. The old sex. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] The old sex. 


Halle Kiefer: So the autopsy is on Alison, and they go to visit Lang and he has his son’s body in a like a freezer chest. Like a, you know what I mean, like in his—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Run down apartment. They open it, look inside, and Caprice just burst into tears. She’s like, I don’t think we should do this. Like, she’s immediately having again, the normal human—


Alison Leiby: Being like, it’s a kid. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s a kid. You know what I mean? But Lang’s like it is necessary and and people need to know about it. And Tenser’s like, well, wouldn’t having a formal police autopsy have the same effect like it would show the same thing. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s like, no, that’s the fucking point. They’re going to cover it up. They keep covering up what what what is true about his son. And so we finally have like, the conversation about it. Lang holds up one of the purple bars and hands it to tenser, but Tenser refuses to eat it. And Lang says, you have to let your body lead you into the future. And Caprice is like, no, no, we can not do that. Saul would be dead if we just let his body go fucking crazy. Like, did whatever it wanted to do. We make art of anarchy. We are, we control like his body is out of control and we need to control it. And then he says, are you or are you actually interfering with a natural process that your body is trying to go through and you keep stopping it? 


Alison Leiby: Hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And Tenser’s like, we will do this show, we will do the autopsy. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: That night, Tenser meets with Detective Cope and says, so I agreed to do this. Am I going to be arrested? But Cope says, no, I’m going to allow you to do that because it will let you infiltrate Lang’s group. 


Alison Leiby: And so he’s got a whole team. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. And Tenser’s like, well, I don’t actually know what the group is, so could you just fucking tell me? Finally, Cope says it. They eat plastic, Alison.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I mean, also we all eat plastic. 


Halle Kiefer: Right but the thing is, they can digest it. They have. They have evolved. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And they are capable of it. And the government is panicking about it because it is an uncontrolled evolution of the body. Right. 


Alison Leiby: That seems like best case scenario what happens to us. 


Halle Kiefer: I know, and I think that’s the point of the movie is like you could be horrified by something, but it’s only by getting through that horror could you actually get to the next phase. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, we got to start being able to digest plastic. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: We should be so fucking lucky. We’re all going to be. It’s going to be Activia with like plastic dissolving enzymes in it. We’re going to have to be choking down—


Alison Leiby: I know what [both speaking] what would the bad thing about people being able to digest plastic be? 


Halle Kiefer: It’s entirely existential and ideological. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So Detective Cope it’s like they’re evolving away from the human path. I think it’s suppose to be like we’re representing like how we think about religion. And I think there’s a lot of different, like allegories. To me as a queer person, it’s a queer allegory, it’s a trans allegory, but also it’s like us, our understanding of and I think broadly, like American culture is like the idea that we’re using these old templates of how things are. So like, well, people did this in the Bible or people did this 200 years ago. It’s like we have to be able to move on. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s killing us to be to keep having to live in the way that we used to live. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: You see all the negative consequences of us not not running up to it, including climate change. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: We are in denial about it because we’ve always been in denial about it. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: We have to then move to the next stage. But you’re right, there’s no benefit to not acknowledging this, other than our own terror and the lack of control of change. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So Detective Cope is like yeah just go ahead and do the autopsy because then you’ll be in with the group and we’ll be able to use you as a undercover informant, basically. Meanwhile, Dr. Nasatir gets a knock on the door. Dr. Nasatir is also in his Breakfaster chair trying to eat his like his his like egg or whatever. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: The door opens its Router and Berst from LifeFormWare and they say, oh, we got a call to fix your chair. Of course we see them leave. We pan up. Dr. Nasatir is dead in the chair. They’ve killed him. Meanwhile, we see Tenser and Caprice they visit Lang and basically Lang sort of gives them the rundown. You know, all the commune members have had an elaborate surgery to be able to digest plastics. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: We are all this is like, again, not a cult necessarily, but a collective. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And we all said, we’re going to fucking do this. And he says, if we’re going to live on the Earth, we have to be able to eat our own industrial waste. We’ve gone too far. 


Alison Leiby: Correct. 


Halle Kiefer: We have to be able to do it. Which [?] I’m like roll credits. 


Alison Leiby: Yes I’m in. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely everyone should be fucking getting this. But the thing is, Brecken was the first child born with the digestive system that can naturally digest plastic. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So his father got the surgery and the mother freaked out about it and resented—


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: —Lang that Brecken was sort of becoming something other than human in a traditional sense. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But Tenser again, because there’s still some reality in this world. So you’re seeing your surgically acquired thing became heritable. That’s not possible. And and of course, Lang is like, it is possible. That’s what we have to do the autopsy in a public way. There’s no other way for me to get this information out so that the world will see there’s a different future is possible. And it’s a horrific way to do it. But I don’t know how else to convey this to people because otherwise it just gets covered up. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So, Alison, it’s time for the record show. And I ask you this question now, who will survive this film? 


[voice over]: Who will survive?


Alison Leiby: Oh boy. Well, Brecken’s already gone, out of the picture. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I think that Lang will survive and continue on in his efforts to bring plastic digestion to human evolution. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: I think Tenser will survive, but his partner will die. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: And then who are the I think Cope well die. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: And then who else is left? 


Halle Kiefer: We got Wippet and Timlin from the Organ Registry. 


Alison Leiby: At least one of them is out of the picture, if not both. 


Halle Kiefer: And then Berst and Router from LifeFormWare.


Alison Leiby: I want Router to survive because that name is too good to lose. 


Halle Kiefer: Too good to lose. 


Alison Leiby: Too good to lose. 


Halle Kiefer: So we are now. It is the day of the show. Everyone is there. Wippet and Timlin are there even though they shouldn’t be there. Berst and Router are there too, and Tenser is sort of offstage controlling the Sark and Caprice is essentially giving a eulogy. This is a tough fucking scene. This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever seen in a movie. But I also cried during it like I feel like I got what we were trying to get out of, like depicting—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —a dead child. So you see his body. It is a little boy’s body. It’s obviously digitally, like altered. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like I mean, it’s not like a actual child that is like painted up and laying there. Obviously, it is a synthetic corpse. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean? But, you know, she starts talking about like— 


[clip of Léa Seydoux]: We’ve all wanted to see an autopsy, haven’t we? We’ve all felt that the body was empty. Empty of meaning, and we’ve wanted to confirm that. So that we could fill it with meaning. 


Halle Kiefer: Caprice just starts crying. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Because again, she is feeling something in a world where it is very difficult to feel. And we sort of see, you know, his torso, Brecken’s torso is opened and she said, let us look for meaning that lies locked in the poem. That was this child. I’m gonna cry sorry. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: No, it’s just. But we’ll talk about why I’m crying. Because to me, it’s like this is very tied to a lot of stuff that’s happening in, you know, society. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: That we all are also completely not in. You know. We’re not having conversations about. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And you know exactly what I’m talking about. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So finally, they open up Brecken’s torso and we see the internal organs. They are covered with tattoos, much Caprice tattoos, Tenser’s organs. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But these are not Caprice’s designs. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Which are very elaborate. These are like mother, a heart, anchor. This is a facsimile of Caprice’s work, but it’s not her work. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says she doesn’t even notice that at first. And she was like she’s like, basically, we see that the the crudeness, the desperation and the ugliness of the world has seeped inside even our youngest and most beautiful. And through this, we see that the world is killing our children. Sorry from the inside out. 


Alison Leiby: My God. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, the problem with an autopsy is the problem with the first autopsy, which is like this is the first autopsy done—


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: —the first autopsy begets a second autopsy, begets a third. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And if we don’t learn from it, that’s what’s going to happen. Of course, everyone is horrified and is like shocked. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Which was the point of it is like—


Alison Leiby: Yes, it’s performance art. 


Halle Kiefer: —doing this. Exactly like— 


Alison Leiby: It’s all for like eliciting some kind of response like that where it’s [gasps] gasp. 


Halle Kiefer: —do this for people not to be horrified. You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And then but the thing is, the organs appear to be normal human organs. They’re not different in any way. 


Alison Leiby: Mmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Lang run outside sobbing and he runs out to the steps. He’s like, that’s not what was inside him, that she must have done something. My ex-wife must have switched him out or somebody did something. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And Berst and Router find him on the steps and they like, you know, it wasn’t her. She wouldn’t have done that, you know? And he’s like, no, somebody must have done it. And they say, well, it definitely wasn’t your ex-wife. Alison. They both took out a power drill and they just drill Lang in the back of the head, killing him. 


Alison Leiby: Woah. 


Halle Kiefer: Knock him down the stairs. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, that’s—


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile—


Alison Leiby: —horrific. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. So Tenser meets Detective Cope at the docks and Tenser also acknowledges like, that was a hack job. Somebody replaced his fucking organs. Oh, what the fuck was that? And Cope’s like yeah so sorry, we did have to do that. I yeah. We had somebody replace his organs. It was actually Timlin from the National Organ, Organ Registry. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: We cannot let people know the truth, which is that he did have an all natural system that can digest plastics. Tenser is obviously extremely upset. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, that’s deeply upsetting. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And he’s like, what are you talking about and Detective Cope was like, bitch, who did you think you were informing to? We’re the government. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. They’re only going to do the wrong thing every time. 


Halle Kiefer: Right, we have to keep it like, cat can’t get on the box, man. People would be terrified, they’d panic. It is better for us to hide the truth than to have people panic when they see reality. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Which does seem insane. But again, we do that constantly. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: And Tenser says. So who assassinated Lang, and Cope says, I actually don’t know about that. That wasn’t us. And Tenser says, well, I guess the only benefit of his death is he’ll be a martyr. He’ll be a martyr to the cause. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Cope looks at him and says like the cause, you sound like you’re a believer. And Tenser looks at him and just walks away. That night, he tries to sleep on the floor of his room. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And he of course, he can’t. He’s, like, in horrible pain. And Caprice comes over and wakes him up, and she’s also, like, shaking and gagging. And she says, you know, in your sleep, it felt like you were in pain. What is it like? And because she’s never experienced pain, it’s like it’s hard to explain because I feel like it becomes a part of the dreaming, so I can’t really separate it. And she says, I was asleep too, and when I was dreaming, I felt like I almost felt like I was feeling something. And they all talk about how they were dreaming of the, you know, laying Djuna and Brecken in the Sark together, you know, and that Caprice and Tenser both at the controls in the morning he is back on the Breakfaster and again he cannot Tenser cannot eat anything. And Caprice says, all right what do you think? He says, yeah, I think it’s time. And she goes and gets one of the bars, the purple bars, and she hands it to him and he bites into it. And Alison, he smiles and his eyes filled with tears. The crimes of the future. 


Alison Leiby: What? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: So I think we’re to believe— 


Alison Leiby: I think I. Yeah. I think I—


Halle Kiefer: No you let me know. What do you think happened? 


Alison Leiby: I think that they went and got those organs from the autopsy, from the original organs. I can’t tell if I think that they did it together or maybe he did it. But like the fact that like. I think they went and got those organs and you put them in his body to see if it would like solve his pain.


Halle Kiefer: Oh, okay. See, I think that he naturally was evolving those organs naturally. So like, he was someone that. 


Alison Leiby: Oh that’s what those were. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. His body kept trying it. He kept removing them, but his body kept making organs so that he could also digest plastic and that’s why— 


Alison Leiby: So once he actually ate plastic. It stopped the pain because the pain was that he was like, not getting something that keeps them going. I’m not gonna try to figure out the logic.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I think he sort of, he’s trying to eat, yeah, again, it’s a metaphor, but yeah, like we’re trying to eat. You’re trying to put something in your body that your body can no longer handle. Right. So it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, confronting the horrific reality, which is, yeah, girl, you should be eating plastic. And when he finally does, it’s interesting because I’ve seen people be like, that’s a horrifying ending. I’m like, well, it’s only horrifying if you don’t want to acknowledge how much plastic is the planet like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, right. Like that. We might need this. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. To me it was like, that’s a very hopeful ending that it’s possible for us to live on a planet that we’re—


Alison Leiby: We’ve destroyed. 


Halle Kiefer: Destroyed, you know. But then the other thing I’m going to cry talking about this, which is I was gonna talk about like microplastics as sort of a theme. But watching is really the thing. You know, again, we’re recording this on Friday, April 7th. The thing that came to mind was gun violence. You know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And there’s a Washington Post article. If I think people should read it, I think it’s you know, I mean, it’s something where it’s like we all have to be cognizant of it. And so it is a Washington Post article. The title is, This is How Bullets from an AR 15 Blow the Body Apart. 


Alison Leiby: I’ve seen this. 


Halle Kiefer: And it is a conversation and it it has diagrams from two actual child victims of a shoot of a school shooting. And their children’s parents are part of this. Again, this also the authors I’m gonna read the authors names in case y’all look it up. N. Kirkpatrick, Atthar Mirza and Manuel Canales, this is on March 27th, The Washington Post. And they talk about and show diagrams of this, what the effect it has on a child. And the idea is it is exactly what you think it is. 


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: No one should own an AR fucking 15. And the, oh I’m gonna cry, the actual two shooting victims is a six year old Noah Pozner, 15 year old Peter Wang. And they you can see their entrance and exit wounds. And I know that is horrifying to say, but I feel like watching this movie, it’s like this is the issue is like we. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: In the movie, the only thing that could elicit any feeling from anyone was the death of a child. We live in a world where even the death of children does not rattle us, I mean, it rattles us. But it doesn’t, rattle—


Alison Leiby: The people who are actually able to make any policies that would protect them. And there is that like oft circulated tweet or quote or whatever it is, where it’s like it stopped being a debate about gun violence the second that we didn’t, that we didn’t care what had happened at Sandy Hook. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, And I think this week, as you probably know, as people who are, you know, care about or listen to the news. There are three Tennessee Democrats who joined a protest at anti gun violence protest in the Tennessee capital, two of them Representative Justin Jones and Representative Justin Pearson, who are young Black men. They were both expelled from the state legislature for taking part in a necessary protest. 


Alison Leiby: Right. That was led by children who are genuinely afraid to go to school because of what gun violence has wrought at this country. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And I, you know, as the third person was a. Sorry, what is her name? Gloria. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Gloria Johnson, who herself called out like, I am a sixty year old white woman. I was not expelled. I wasn’t voted out. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: These two young Black men were, like that again. Like so that’s like the racist element of it. And I just want to bring that up specifically. One, these things are just going to keep happening, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, so what can we all do to be engaged with it. To me, watching this is like, that’s the problem, is that we all should be. It’s sort of like I feel like conservatives kind of like it for a while were saying, like, facts don’t care about your feelings. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Our feelings make the facts of this country. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: If we we feel fucked up about this, we should make the fact of laws regulating guns a reality. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: So the idea that our feelings are not important. We should be feeling, I look at me, I cry like—


Alison Leiby: All the time. 


Halle Kiefer: Reading all of this is horrifying. [both speaking] That’s actually good. It is good—


Alison Leiby: The desensitization to violence that is happening that is so specifically endangering children is we need to continue to be as upset as we are. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: The first time because it is never less upsetting. It is only getting worse. 


Halle Kiefer: And so the thing that I because I again, we’re trying to think of like offering specific solutions. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So obviously we’re part of Crooked Media. They have a fund right now called Vote Save Tennessee. So basically Justin Jones and Justin Pearson were expelled. There’s going to a special election, at least as of right now. That’s the plan. Again, this is going to come out a couple so who knows what will happened. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But they can be reelected to those positions. Also, if not them, other people who are not Republicans can be elected to those. So if you would like to be a part of it, if you live in Tennessee, there’s a lot of different ways to become involved. Obviously, if you’d like to donate, if you don’t live in Tennessee. And then just in general, if you want to, you could Google Vote Save Tennessee if you want to donate to this you know for their campaigns. Alternately, if you just want to go to Vote Save America and find things for your states there’s a lot of helpful information connecting you with different organizations. Ways to donate and like dates around voting, which I know again, people are very nihilistic about voting, but this is that kind of shit where it’s like everyone should be fucking voting. And we know that voting is important because they keep sort of gerrymander everywhere and prevent us from voting. 


Alison Leiby: Right, right. 


Halle Kiefer: So in case you’re like, I don’t know what to do, I can only vote, donate money, keep doing that. 


Alison Leiby: Keep doing both of those things. 


Halle Kiefer: And also. You know, we’re going to like we’ll discuss and figure out ways that we can also show up because this kind of stuff—


Alison Leiby: Yes. Unacceptable.


Halle Kiefer: —on every possible way exactly is yeah unacceptable. So we just wanted to bring that up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And direct you to that, and we hope that is helpful to you. And if not again, I don’t know. It’s like we all have to be talking about these things in whatever language makes sense. And as we discuss on the pod, like horror is a language that which you talk about horrifying things. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is a horrifying movie that is clearly an analogy for what we are doing to children. This is a very specific example of like, this should not happen. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: These people were expelled for standing up for what is right. So.


Alison Leiby: And just because it’s you know, just because the Constitution says that you can have guns does not mean that we have to continue to always be held to that old. You know, it’s the same argument as religion. Like just because we did it doesn’t mean we always should and we should evolve and we should evolve like as far away from guns as possible. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And again, the founding fathers aside, like they could have never known that an average citizen—


Alison Leiby: AR-15. 


Halle Kiefer: —would have an AR-15 anyways, like it is horrific to think about. Okay [laughs] back to the movie Alison, what are some fatal mistakes you think people have may have made in Crimes of the Future? 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, that one guy should have gotten functional ears attached all over him. It’s like, if you’re going to do it. Just do it.


Halle Kiefer: Embarrassing. Sorry I’m like.


Alison Leiby: You know, like, just for show ears. Get out of here. 


Halle Kiefer: Also I’m sorry. Couldn’t you just lie and be like, uh huh. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: I hear out of all of them. Oh, don’t be so loud. Like—


Alison Leiby: Who could. 


Halle Kiefer: —even know if you can’t hear.


Alison Leiby: Right. Nobody’s going to like. Like you were in charge of that truth. Like, you can just tell people. 


Halle Kiefer: But also it’s his choreographer, who was telling people. [both speaking] So that’s really funny too, where it’s like it doesn’t even work. Like it’s like you’re just spreading, like, intra-performance art community gossip.


Alison Leiby: That’s such like a toxic artistic relationship. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I love it. That’s so funny. 


Alison Leiby: So great. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Yeah. Other than that, I was like, well, I’ll guess being born in the near future, huge mistake. 


Alison Leiby: Everything seemed like everything seemed to be coming from the top down of a terrible place. [laughs] So it’s hard to, like, function within that when. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You know, there’s not much you can do. 


Halle Kiefer: And then I guess one thing that I don’t think is addressed or maybe I just didn’t understand it is like the when they killed Lang, are we to believe that the people from LifeWareForm, LifeFormWare are killing people just so they can continue to sell these—


Alison Leiby: Yeah because I guess there’s probably people like Tenser where it’s like, oh, the evolution of these organs and organ systems is painful until you are like eating plastic and aware that you can digest plastic. And it’s like he didn’t like if he doesn’t need the bed and the chair anymore, then they’re out a customer. Capitalism baby. It sucks.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think that is what we’re supposed to. I know. Yeah. So again, not a film for everybody. A tough watch for sure, but something I really got a lot out of and felt really relevant now. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah for sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Where we putting this on the spooky scale, Alison? 


[voice over]: The spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, this one. This feels like an 8, 9? It’s troubling, the troubling scale it’s a 15. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. I’m going to give this a nine. This really—


Alison Leiby: Nine feels right. 


Halle Kiefer: —fucked me up the first time I saw it and it fucked me up again. Yeah, it’s sort of like how Hereditary isn’t scary. Most of it. It’s just deeply disturbing. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, this is not like, oh, my God. But there are so many moments where it is. You’re so filled with dread in a way that is terrifying. So I agree. I want to give this a nine. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, nine feels right. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, everyone, thank you for listening to this tough episode. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: If you just joined us. This was a doozy to join us on. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, welcome to Ruined. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And if you’ve been a long time listener, thank you for joining us as we make this the switch over to Crooked.


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Obviously nothing on your end will change other than us becoming more politically [laughter] minded about it. But that’s, we’re all there. You know what I mean like?


Alison Leiby: That was happening either way. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Anyone with any platform has to be talking about these. There’s really no other way we’re going to be able to fix any of this if we’re not engaging with these ideas and talking to each other about them. So thank you for listening. And, you know, listen, until next time. 


Alison Leiby: Please keep it spooky. 


Halle Kiefer: Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production. We’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy and Ewa Okulate. Follow @ruinedpodcast on Instagram and Twitter for show updates and @theradiopoint and @crookedmedia for more original content. [music plays]