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An Independent Television Series
Created by Christine boylan & alex engel
Somewhere between the therapist’s office
and the emergency room is the crisis center. Who are the desperate people
calling, every hour of every day, and who are the counselors that pull them
back from the brink?
last Call is a workplace drama with gallows humor, romance, and compelling stories that will stay with the audience long after the episode ends.
The most life-affirming show on television… is about suicide.
brady • A woman so full of life that
she’s compelled to fuck it away.
Cal • A shark in chinos. He has 20/20
vision but wears glasses to hide his own
roWan • The guy who keeps the lights
on. He needs to be needed, and always
puts himself last.
Jill • The professional who doesn’t need
to put up with this shit, but does anyway.
The one you want to call in a crisis.
Each season will feel visually distinct—the set dressing, color palette, temperature,
wardrobe, lighting—you can pick a still from any point in the show and know instantly
what season it is from.
Episode One: “The Five Calls You Always Get”
BRADY is thrown into the tumultuous world of telephone crisis counseling, where the counselors
(JILL, CAL, and ROWAN) are even more strung out than the callers. Desperate to succeed,
Brady resorts to an old habit to save the life of a suicidal caller – phone sex.
Episode Two: “The Button”
A particularly harrowing call from a child sends Jill into a tailspin – she hits the panic button for
the first time in years. As the kid strikes a nerve with the other counselors – Brady, Cal, and
even Rowan are forced to panic button their way out of the call. Jill has to face some dark truths
about herself before heroically regaining control of the call and getting this kid the help he needs.
Episode Three: “Saturday Night”
In the middle of a seasonal heavy rain and a huge spike in calls, Rowan needs to leave on a
mysterious emergency errand. Jill, happy to save the day (and happy to leave her billionaire
husband at a fancy gala) agrees to supervise an overwhelmed skeleton crew. Urgently prioritizing, Jill misreads a caller, and ends up losing both him and his ailing wife.
Episode Four: “Sunday Morning”’
Shattered, and dealing with the fallout of Saturday night, Jill walks out of the crisis center,
intending never to come back. Brady and Rowan hatch a plan to change her mind by revealing Brady’s true backstory – a surprising history that none of them had expected. As Jill tentatively agrees to return, Cal discovers Brady’s unconventional approach to therapy and threatens to
blackmail her with it.
the Five stages oF every Crisis Call
Every crisis call always goes through five
steps: In the first thirty seconds, you assess
the caller, perceived danger, level of threat to
himself and/or others. In step two, you coax
out vital information, leading to step three,
discovering what the problem really is, “the
thing behind the thing.” Step four is making
the save, and successfully guiding them to
step five, the most important question:
“What are you going to do next?”
Episode Five: “The Outcall”
In order to secure his position, Cal attempts to force Brady into blaming Jill for negligence in
the events of Saturday night. Feeling pushed to the edge, Jill breaks the rules by tracking down
a caller, a suicidal LAPD officer, and makes a house call—something completely forbidden—
as Rowan discovers Cal has been blackmailing and playing everyone in the office for the last
Episode Six: “Double Shifts”
A Christmas episode that flashes back to one year earlier in the crisis center. We discover
firsthand the personal toll this work can take as a startling relationship is revealed between
Rowan’s boss, MATT, and new recruit Cal. This romance ends in tragedy when Matt kills himself, leaving the entire operation in Rowan’s hands, and leaving Cal bereft, poised to turn into
the political shark we met in episode one.
the second season of last Call is about repairing what was broken. As Rowan clings
to the remnants of the past, a new recruit joins the team: JAMES, the LAPD cop, who Jill
saved from the brink of suicide by breaking all the rules. The two have become close, bonding over their shared experience, and this season they become even closer as Jill makes a conscious decision to pursue a relationship outside her loveless marriage…
…And all this right in front of Rowan, who has been pining for Jill since the moment he first
laid eyes on her. Though Brady tries to get Rowan to admit his feelings, Rowan just sinks
deeper into denial. His drinking ramps up to a desperate degree of self-handicapping that
shows all the signs of ending in tragedy.
In response to the events of last season, Cal finds himself falling deeper into despair and coldheartedness, going on a string of predatory one-night
stands. But in contrast to Rowan’s messy downward spiral,
Cal’s pain only makes him sharper, more efficient, hungrier, until he hits a breaking point, downing a bottle of
sleeping pills alone in his apartment. He survives, with help
from a surprising source, and has to face a terrible moment
of clarity in the aftermath.
Brady takes an important step forward on her journey of
self-discovery, as she begins training to become a sex therapist. Though at the crisis center she
specializes in these types of calls, she is also using theories of sexuality to analyze everyone
around her. After a soul- searching weekend in Palm Springs, Brady wonders if she might
want to make the leap to full-on sex surrogacy, while Jill asks Brady an important question: is
there something lacking in Brady’s own life that is influencing her path?
Season two culminates as each character decides they need to stop putting themselves second
to the job and numbing their personal lives to get by. Jill decides to take her relationship with
James to the next level – she’s going to leave her husband. Not a moment after this realization
lands, l.a. is struck by a huge earthquake that shakes their tiny building to its foundation and causes portions of the roof to cave in. During the aftermath, Rowan admits he
didn’t keep up on the insurance payments for the building, leaving them effectively homeless.
Dealing with the cleanup of season two, Rowan has had the crisis
center calls rerouted to the pub around the corner, until they can figure out where to move permanently. Cal balks, Brady is all for it,
but Jill knows they need more than a hope and a prayer to stay in
the game. Luckily, an angel investor swoops in after hearing their
plight and buys the building in order to save it. This angel investor?
None other than Jill’s soon to be ex-husband, ANTONIO. The third
season of Last Call is about the pressures of success – how will this
small crisis center deal with the realities of going corporate in the face
of deep personal ties?
Despite her husband’s heroic gesture, Jill’s feelings for James
remain strong. Though James feels the same as Jill, he wants to
proceed with caution – he doesn’t want to be Jill’s rebound. He tells her he’s going back to Iraq
for six months to set up an on-base veteran’s counseling center. It’s a quick trip, not even a
real tour, so they can both have time to think about what they want, and put a boundary
between their new and old lives. that dream is gutted when James is killed in a car
accident on his way to the airport.
Jill is reeling, but instead of grieving she throws herself into her work. She picks up every
shift she can, because she won’t go back to her husband, and she doesn’t want to go back to
her new one-room sublet. Jill doesn’t want to supervise, she just wants to take call after call,
burying herself in other people’s problems, trying to escape her own. But she can’t escape her
life, because her ex-husband, the Los Angeles philanthropist,
has taken over the crisis center with the intention of running
this non-profit like a fortune five hundred company. All around
him, Rowan watches improvements go up in the office: bigger
space, fewer leaks, budget for multi-lingual counselors – Rowan
has never felt more impotent. Above all, Rowan is driven by a
need to be needed, and now, no one at the center needs him, and
he’s unable to comfort Jill – she won’t let him get close to her.
Until one night, when the stress of it all becomes too much,
and Jill corners Rowan and tries to seduce him. And Rowan,
against every impulse he’s ever had, turns her down. “Not like
this.” When Rowan doesn’t show up the next day, we find he’s
gone back to his old life as an EMT. Now Jill is left with only her callers, a guilty feeling
about sending James back to Iraq and getting him killed, and knowing she pushed Rowan
away. This is all too much for Jill. So what she fixates on instead is the nagging mystery of
the season: Why did her ex-husband buy the center, why did he insert himself back into her life –
is he trying to impress her? To win her back? To spend all the money she’d get in the settlement? Or
is it just plain revenge?
The first thing Cal does is ingratiate himself to the new boss and get himself put in charge,
much to Rowan’s frustration. Cal’s first task is to hire and train new counselors, one of
whom, a Korean translator, FORD, impresses Cal with his handling of an early crisis call.
Over the course of the season their relationship deepens, culminating in a late-night call to the
center from Ford himself, professing his romantic feelings to Cal.
Brady was first drawn to the crisis center by her deep curiosity about death. She wanted to
explore the mystery of it, and find out how human beings could take control of their own
deaths and of their own lives. This led her naturally to death’s opposite, sex. Whenever possible, Brady tries to replace a death wish with a sex wish. This season, Brady takes the leap into
sex-surrogacy, navigating these tricky and intensely personal waters while continuing to field
calls at the crisis center. It’s not long before she falls into old habits and begins to refer callers to
her other job, between the sheets.
season three climaxes as Jill’s ex-husband decides to shut the call center down after particu-
larly honest and brutal divorce proceedings. Desperate to keep the crisis center open, she goes
to Rowan and in an intense moment of vulnerability, asks him to be her partner in buying back
the center. Rowan takes a hard look at everything they have been through… and says yes. They
ask Brady and Cal to go in with them and help buy the place back. Brady asks who is going to
be in charge – she was taking a lot of heat from the current management regarding her sex
therapy. Cal turns them down with a curt “no,” until Ford helps to show Cal that there is
more to life than the career path he had envisioned for himself. the four band together and
buy back the center… now they just have to figure out how to run the place, for real.
if season three was about expansion, season four is about contraction. About the
small things, the personal things – and going out on a limb for what you believe in. Now
that Rowan, Jill, Brady, and Cal have banded together to buy back the crisis center, these
four very opinionated, very… different people have to figure out how to run the non-profit
themselves. Because the work of getting the center back on its feet is claustrophobic, heated
and intense, Rowan begins calling the center “The Firehouse.”
Rowan has sunk his small savings into the center and is now literally living in the crash room.
His everyday job is a struggle just to keep the lights on and the lines open so the people who
need them the most can find them. To that end, he hires SANDY, a grant writer, to help
drum up extra funding from the government and other organizations.
The trick? She doesn’t get paid unless the center gets paid.
It doesn’t take Jill long to realize the reason Sandy has agreed to hang around so much – she’s
clearly got a thing for Rowan. And this is a problem for Jill, because ever since she asked Rowan
to join her in buying back the center -– when they had that long conversation alone inside a
parked ambulance — she’s known that he is what she’s been wanting, and resisting, for years.
Brady’s graduate thesis has been picked up by a publisher, and she is now writing a book about
her experience of human sexuality as applied to crisis therapy. And yeah, whenever she can,
she’s cornering everybody else and trying to get them to use her techniques as research for her
book, especially when the publisher demands Brady spice up the book or risk never getting published. By reaching a bigger audience she could help more people, but at what cost?
Ford draws Cal further out of his comfort zone to pursue their “workplace romance,” while
Rowan watches with baited breath to see if such a thing is even possible. When Cal comes to
Rowan for advice, Rowan laughs in his face and says, “you’re already doing it, man.” Cal
doesn’t take this in the admiring way Rowan meant it, and season four ends in a huge conflagration in the firehouse. Not actual fire, but a knockdown drag-out fight that ends with a crisis in the call center the likes of which we have never seen.
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