Our list of the best quotes from the HBO Max dystopian action drama limited series DMZ (2022), based on the graphic novel of the same name by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. Set in a near-future where America is fractured by a Second Civil War, the story centers on DMZ (Demilitarized zone), which is a ravaged Manhattan Island where no one goes in, no one comes out. We follow medic Alma Ortega (Rosario Dawson), who is desperate to find her missing son.
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1. Good Luck'You want to know how to inspire loyalty? You baptize someone with a new bada** name.' - Wilson (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Riley: I didn’t know the river was the boundary. I thought western New York was still US territory.
Alma Ortego: Well, the country line used to be further west, but it’s been the Hudson for a few months now. It’s hard to know. Feels like the border keeps changing day by day.
Alma Ortego: I’m separated from my family too.
Riley: You know where they are?
Alma Ortego: [points to DMZ on the map] There. I think.
Riley: Oh, s**t. For real?
Franklin: I’m hearing the ceasefire’s shaky.
Alma Ortego: They’ve been saying the ceasefire’s going to blow up for years.
Franklin: Right, and if it does, then the fighting will be over the DMZ and we will be stuck in an active war zone.
Franklin: You don’t know what you’re in for.
Alma Ortego: [referring to DMZ] I know that my son might be in there, and that I’d rather be stuck in an active war zone than be out here wishing I could look for him. You’re getting me in there tonight.
Franklin: [to Alma] You have no idea what you’re walking into. You’re on your own.
Franklin: [to Alma] My advice, stay downtown. There’s nothing uptown but looters, shut-ins, and lunatics. It’s people at their worst.
Odi Peerlis: [to his guinea pig] I know you’re scared. I used to be scared too till I realized it ain’t worth it anymore. We can die a million ways each day, so what’s the point?
Parco Delgado: Now they call this a DMZ, right? So-called demilitarized zone. But this ain’t no neutral territory. This is abandonment. That’s right! They walled us in! They turned their backs on us! Our own people did that to us. To you. And we still taking sides? That’s why I’m running for governor of the DMZ. We keep this unity going, folks, we will be our own state. The people out there will take note. This will be your DMZ!
Little Girl: [referring to the crossed out names on the wall] That ain’t just paint on your hand. What did he do?
Skel: He was rude.
Little Girl: Stupid on him. Two years ago, my daddy was rude to you. Stupid on him too.
Alma Ortego: Are there any other clinics around?
Rose: Nope. Just us, and with the US Aid drops gone, strapped for meds. In a few days, I’ll just have people s**tting themselves to death on my doorstep.
Alma Ortego: You do make a difference.
Rose: Even when we are stuck between two f***ing warring armies with guns trained on us, people around here they can’t see past killing each other for better standing. Just makes you wonder.
Rose: That’s what they mean when they talk about democracy, killers like Skel, and his public hit list. If you’re not crossed out, you’re next. RIP, Michael Bauer.
Alma Ortego: Is that why you carry that gun with you everywhere?
Rose: We’re in a f***ing war zone. I sleep with this gun in my hand.
Rose: [to Alma] Just watch your back. People won’t hesitate to kill you in here for whatever you’ve got.
Rose: [to Alma] Well, everyone was someone before the war. None of it matters now.
Parco Delgado: It’s nice though, you know, people getting together like this. It’s important. Because you know what’ll kill you in this place? Solitude.
Parco Delgado: [to Skel] This is when we got to stick together the most, and here’s the truth. I ain’t nothing without you. Okay, kid? You got family, you got me. Remember that. Because solitude will kill you too you keep hanging alone.
Rose: [to Alma, referring to Wilson] You can’t get to him. And even if you could, you don’t let a man like that get his hooks in you. You would know that if you were from here. You’ve been living in a kill zone, and you’re only now just looking for your son? You’re from outside.
Wilson Lin: You want to know how to inspire loyalty? You baptize someone with a new bada** name.
Wilson Lin: People don’t give a s**t about how relatable, or down-to-earth a leader is. They want spectacle, hm? I mean, come on!
Alma Ortego: I’m sorry. It’s just a lot to process. You used to peddle weed and pills from the hospital pharmacy. You’d tell me every day how well I wore my scrubs.
Wilson Lin: Goddamn. You wore those scrubs well.
Alma Ortego: You were a harmless flirt. You were cute.
Wilson Lin: You mean, powerless.
Alma Ortego: Maybe. Yeah.
Wilson Lin: You know, I can’t speak with anyone like this now that I’ve become a shrewd ruler. And, Alma, I am shrewd as f***. I mean, I can read a person like a ten cent comic, you know? Like the people here. They just want to be left alone. For the first time ever, people have been able to decide what it is they truly care about. For me, that’s Chinatown. All these other dingdongs jockey to rule the island. Meanwhile, I’ve got money, muscle, leverage, and I focus it on my twelve square blocks. I’ve rebuilt this into my Eden. It’s f***ing Mayberry in here.
Alma Ortego: Well, I’m looking for my son. I don’t even know if he’s here. We got separated on day one, and it’s why I came to see you.
Wilson Lin: I remember your kid. He was cute.
Odi Peerlis: You got a middle name?
Alma Ortego: You don’t want to know my first name?
Odi Peerlis: I like to know people’s middle names. I can’t remember mine.
Alma Ortego: I don’t really like my middle name.
Odi Peerlis: [after Alma tells him her middle name is Zarela] You got to celebrate that. It’s cool. Zarela. Zarela. I think I’m going to call you Zee.
Michael Bauer: Skel.
Alma Ortego: But you called him something else.
Michael Bauer: What? Parco’s son? You know, that psycho’s next in line to run the Kings. The bogeyman himself. S**t. This war better be over before that can happen.
Alma Ortego: [referring to DMZ] I have to go back.
Franklin: Look. You heard what those people said about that guy. Skel is not the son you remember.
Alma Ortego: That’s for me to decide. I have to get him out.
Little Girl: [as Alma is painting over wall with the crossed out names] Stupid on you, lady. Now you’re dead.
Alma Ortego: Not anymore.
2. Advent'The future isn't about kings. It's about partners.' - Alma (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Carmen: [to Parco] Look at us. Three years ago, we started with four blocks, and we’d shoot on sight to guard it. Now we got opened up roads, crew affiliations, free trade. That started with you.
Alma Ortego: Eight years and a civil war later, and this one’s still all bark.
Carmen: B**ch, I am right here. Say it to my face!
Alma Ortego: You know, you always wanted to be like me. Looks like you’re still trying. But this is impressive.
'Even a king kneels to the future.' - Wilson (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Parco Delgado: What do you want, woman?
Alma Ortego: I need to see Christian. Tell me where he is, and I’ll leave!
Parco Delgado: For one, he don’t go by that name no more. And he likes his privacy. Unlike you, I respect that.
Marcel: We come into this world naked and alone, right? And we leave it naked and alone. You got to get you and yours squared up. To hell with all y’all. You see, in the end it’s just you, and God. That’s it. It’s just you and God. That’s it.
Cedric: The preacher ain’t wrong. You’re looking for home. But home takes time. Making peace with yourself. That’s the first step to finding your place, and that takes real courage, Odi.
Susie: Tell me about the book.
Wilson Lin: A man is sent to Cuba to be a spy for the British. He lies about everything to everyone to get promoted, to make more money. Everyone believes his lies anyway. And real consequences play out.
Wilson Lin: And people start dying. But he doubles down on his lies, and the way others react make his lies come true.
Susie: What does that tell you about truth?
Wilson Lin: That it’s irrelevant.
Susie: Now your gold is disappearing, and only three people know where it’s hidden, and one of them is a rat. How to know which one?
Wilson Lin: It doesn’t matter. I can just choose. Either I’ll be right, or I’ll be wrong. In which case, either the truth, will be whatever I say it is, or it’ll emerge on its own. Is that what you’re telling me?
Wilson Lin: Even a king kneels to the future.
Alma Ortego: [referring to his followers] They adore you.
Wilson Lin: Well, I work hard for it.
Wilson Lin: You are the only people who know where my gold is hidden. I entrusted you to secure those caches. And now, another one’s gone missing. One of you is my rat.
Wilson Lin: [after he shoots one of the men in the foot] I’ll return tomorrow with both of your mothers. If I don’t get a full confession from this group, I’ll kill them in front of you.
Wilson Lin: Would you ever have thought that I’d be the one fighting for a new republic here with total political freedom?
Alma Ortego: Actually, yeah.
Alma Ortego: So that’s what you’re peddling, political freedom?
Wilson Lin: People don’t want to be told what to do. The ecosystem of crews here it’s developed out of truly free choice. My people don’t want what the artist collective wants, and those folks don’t want the same thing as the kings uptown. What we all want is the freedom to self-determine. And I just want to guarantee it.
Wilson Lin: I know a lot about Skel.
Alma Ortego: Can you tell me where he lives?
Wilson Lin: You are stepping into stratospheres of consequence that can really hurt you, Alma. You need to stop and ask yourself if this is worth it. Skel’s the crown prince. If I touch him, the DMZ will have its own civil war.
Alma Ortego: Do you know where he lives?
Wilson Lin: Not today. I’m sorry.
Wilson Lin: A woman like Oona requires nuance and patience. Two ideas Parco knows nothing about.
Alma Ortego: Maybe.
Wilson Lin: You disagree.
Alma Ortego: I think you engage a woman like Oona with humanity, by going beyond yourself to help others. In time, you’ll help the right people. She’ll see you.
Alma Ortego: For the past seven years, elevens, twenty-five days, I’ve been thinking only about that name. About you. I’ve been looking for you. Dreaming about this moment. I lost you, and I’m sorry. I love you. I love you forever, and I swear, I will never leave you again.
Skel: You didn’t lose me. I ran.
Skel: You spent my whole life looking right through me. Whatever. The past doesn’t matter.
Alma Ortego: I can hear your father.
Skel: Yeah? Well, he sees it all clearly. He’s not living in some fantasy.
Alma Ortego: Right.
Skel: And he gave me the one thing you always took from me, power. And that’s all that matters now. I’m not your son anymore. And I don’t feel anger, or hate for you right now. I feel nothing. So get the f*** out of my home. Go cry for me somewhere else. And don’t you ever come back here again!
Cesar: [referring to the debate with Wilson] You ready for this?
Parco Delgado: Yeah, tú sabes. I’m going to whip this crowd into a fine lather.
Cesar: No, man. I mean governor. Neither army wants to see the DMZ getting strong. I know we got our plan, but there ain’t no going back.
Parco Delgado: Listen, bro, ten, fifteen years from now, this right here is what the kids are going to be talking about in history class, okay? In our schools, right here in Manhattan. Hell, yeah, I’m ready. S**t. How about you?
Cesar: I’m at your six, brother, all day.
Skel: Proud of you, pop.
Parco Delgado: And that woman that dropped in on us, esa bruja madre tuya, ain’t going to step on none of that. She changes nothing. I mean, so what, she snuck in here. After eight years? I give her two days before the DMZ eats her alive.
Oona: [to Alma] A liar who comes unarmed. Snake in the grass if I ever saw one.
Alma Ortego: [to Oona] Look, for the past eight years I’ve been all over the free states, and the united states. And that should matter to you, because while you’ve built your walled garden here, I know that the people in charge out there are just biding their time to come back here, and take this all away from you. But we can change that. if we act now.
Oona: Most people were chasing guns and gold, but they forgot about water. The one thing everyone needs to survive. So I took it.
Alma Ortego: To leverage it?
Oona: To keep it equal. And out of the hands of warlords like Parco.
Alma Ortego: Well, that’s why I want to take him down.
Oona: Your son is Skel?
Alma Ortego: Skel is the idea that Parco has turned him into. And the only way to break that spell is to break Parco himself.
Oona: And you think that’s through Wilson?
Alma Ortego: I think that’s through you. You have a voice here. This is your home. I’m not going to be sticking around. Parco will rule this place the only way that he knows how. By fear. It’s what he comes from. He’s driven by it. But I’m not.
Oona: Parco, Wilson. It’s all Kabuki theater, sweetheart.
Alma Ortego: We’re all looking out for our own. That doesn’t mean that we get to sit on the sidelines. Come to the table.
Oona: There is no table in the DMZ.
Alma Ortego: Then someone should build one.
Tenny: I used to do that. Like pretend, and live in daydreams. Then after a while, it started to hurt more than it helped. When I saw you today, just for a second, I felt myself looking forward.
Skel: I’m pretty sure I’m looking forward right now.
Odi Peerlis: My grandpa always told me, the best way to go on here is to keep moving. But I’m tired. And it’s not that I’m afraid of the dark. Just the night.
Parco Delgado: Let me tell you something that makes me mad. Our name, DMZ. That’s the name that they gave us. It ain’t ours. But I’ll tell you what is, this land is ours.
Wilson Lin: He puts on a good show. I’ll give him that. But let’s, let’s get real. Parco’s talking about some grand, unified United State. I’m talking about your freedom. Which is the first thing this guy’s going to take from you.
Oona: Parco stands up here offering you protection? Well, I’m hearing him threatening to take it away. This isn’t a powerful man offering power. This is a fearful man stoking fear. I don’t like this. I stay away from all of it, and I can, because I have power these men couldn’t even dream of.
Oona: [referring to Alma] I didn’t come here to endorse either one of these men. There is one person that I’m inspired by. Someone who recognizes what is broken, and challenges us to fix it. I came here to throw my support behind Zee. Where she goes, I go.
Alma Ortego: The future isn’t about kings. It’s about partners.
3. The Good Name'All men who rule by and for themselves alone will succumb. In the end, the cycle is the cycle.' - Susie (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Alma Ortego: [to Odi] You know, that is what friends do. You know, they talk about things with each other. Maybe you should try it.
Cesar: There are forces way bigger than you involved here, and they’ve already set the outcome. That’s your warning.
Alma Ortego: You done?
Cesar: You shouldn’t have come back.
Alexis: [referring to the clinic] Alma, I inherited a horror show. We’re barely managing. I need help here.
Alma Ortego: So do these people out there.
'It's the pores. See, when you can see the pores, that's when you see that even the big bads are just people.' - Wilson Lin (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Alexis: You’ve been here all of, what, four days? These are real people, who have lived here through it all, and they believe what you say. Not Wilson, you.
Alma Ortego: Well, that’s good. Wilson protects people’s access to health care. That means a safe clinic. Look. No more lacking meds.
Alexis: Well, I’ve seen enough to know Wilson is no messiah. Just saying. You better know what you’re doing beyond getting that man elected.
Alma Ortego: [referring to Wilson] So, you’re the mother of the man who would be king?
Susie: I’m not his mother. I just took care of him. Now he takes care of me.
Susie: You’re quite the mover.
Alma Ortego: Is that what Wilson told you?
Susie: It’s what I see with my own eyes.
Susie: [referring to Skel] You believe you can win him back.
Alma Ortego: Yes.
Susie: Back to what? Once you have what you’ve come for, you’ll make no further claim on this place for you or your son?
Alma Ortego: Oh, if you’re worried that I’m going to demand something more for my help…
Susie: I’m not worried. I’m curious if you know what you’re sowing.
Alma Ortego: You don’t believe one ruler is better than the other.
Susie: I think one ruler is the problem. From up close, they’re different, perhaps. Moment to moment. But that’s just an illusion, like the charade at City Hall. From above, no. All men who rule by and for themselves alone will succumb. In the end, the cycle is the cycle.
Alma Ortego: Then what’s the point, if it’s all the same in the end?
Alma Ortego: You want to know what happens after I win my son back? I leave. That’s it. Look, this isn’t my war here.
Alma Ortego: My only pursuit here is my son, nothing more.
Alma Ortego: What are you doing, flexing?
Wilson Lin: I appreciate your efforts over the last few days proselytizing my name. I’m clear on what I am to you. Means to an end.
Alma Ortego: What do you care? Votes are votes.
Wilson Lin: I care, Alma. If the DMZ’s taught me one thing, it’s that there’s no room for pretending here. No more code switching. That bulls**t’s behind us. I am now ferociously committed to always being me. And I respect you too much to have you
under any illusions about what I am.
Tenny: What do you think they’re doing out there right now?
Skel: What would you be doing?
Tenny: I don’t even know.
Skel: Walking the dog? Yoga?
Tenny: Yeah. Right. Well, maybe.
Skel: Putting an amazing dinner on the table as I get home from a long day?
Tenny: Oh, is that what you see?
Tenny: Because I see you putting dinner on the table for me.
Tenny: [referring to Wilson, to Skel] He has this thing, like wants to honor me, exalt me. He tells people that I’m his niece his princess. I’m not even Chinese. But I live in his gilded prison, which is why I don’t feel like rubbing my nose in the kind of freedom I’ll never have. You’re your father’s son, and I’m Wilson’s ward. Outside of whatever this is, it’s all we’re ever allowed to be.
Skel: [referring to leaving] If there was a way, would you go with me? Would you?
Alma Ortego: Skel’s going to walk into a trap, Carmen. I have to get to him before sundown, or they’re going to kill him.
Carmen: Who is?
Alma Ortego: Wilson.
Alma Ortego: I saw a play to get to Skel. I was very wrong.
Carmen: You think?
Alma Ortego: [referring to Carmen’s pregnancy] And you’ll understand this in about seven months, by my eye.
Alma Ortego: I only care about my son. Wilson, Parco, they’re all the same toxic s**t!
Carmen: You think I don’t know that?
Alma Ortego: Then what are you doing?!
Carmen: One of those guys keeps me and mine safe. You take out Parco, where you going to be when Wilson comes to cut my head off? And who you think looked after Skel when you were gone, huh?
Alma Ortego: You know, I thought my worst nightmare was losing my son. Turns out my worst nightmare is realizing he turned out just like my ex, and I can thank you in part for that!
Alma Ortego: F***, yes!
Alma Ortego: I don’t hate you. I just know that you’re smarter than this! You could be running this whole thing if you wanted, but you’re choosing the easy way.
Carmen: I’m choosing survival. Protection.
Alma Ortego: Now you’ve got someone to protect. And you and I both know more intimately than anyone else what it’s like to love someone so self-serving and dangerous. You hung around this long, that takes power, resolve. But you need to know something. I made a choice! A choice you’re going to have to make soon too. It’s Parco, or it’s your child. That’s it.
Cesar: See, that’s your problem. Always has been. You never know when to stay out of people’s faces. Do you understand…
Alma Ortego: [she hits Cesar in the face and takes his gun] You know what your problem is? You always underestimated me.
Nico: What about Zee? She like your stepmom now?
Odi Peerlis: Is a stepmom like when you get a new mom if your old one dies?
Nico: I think so. Yeah.
Marcel: [to Odi and Nico] It’s called The Starry Night. World’s most famous work of art. We may be in a war zone, but at this moment, we three are the most privileged people in the entire world. Just us, and God, here.
Alma Ortego: Christian, I’m not lying to you. I’m not part of this. You think you’re doing good by your father, but you don’t even know the f***ing rules of the game that you’re playing. Parco’s in bed with the US.
Alma Ortego: [to Skel, referring to Parcp] He’s lying. Which means everything he’s made you believe you are, what you’re doing right now, was all for a lie. You don’t have to let him use you anymore.
Alma Ortego: If you want to kill him, you’re going to have to kill me.
Wilson Lin: Alma, I’d never. This kind of leverage works best in mint condition. Oh, and very clever to pull that information from a dying man. It’s ruthless. My God. Feels like something I’d do.
Alma Ortego: Wilson, just let him go. He’s my son. You don’t need to do this.
Wilson Lin: You’re right. But talk about a feather in my cap, huh?
Wilson Lin: [to Skel] Always wanted to see you up close. Yeah, it’s the pores. See, when you can see the pores, that’s when you see that even the big bads are just people.
Skel: You look at me and feel sorry, don’t you? I can feel it. But the truth is, you never even knew me. I was good. I got the grades. I smiled. Gave a firm handshake, but you never trusted me.
Alma Ortego: I just didn’t want you growing up like I did.
Skel: You didn’t want that. You.
Alma Ortego: I was doing my best. I know I made mistakes.
Skel: Is that what you tell yourself?
Skel: You want to know the one thing I was thinking on Evacuation Day? “What’s going to happen to Dad? He’s locked up.” I was just a kid, but I made a choice. I went to save him because you put him there. We both did.
Alma Ortego: I had no idea, Skel.
Skel: You don’t even know what that name is, do you?
Alma Ortego: Yes, I do. It was your tag.
Alma Ortego: [referring to the name Skel] It was a good name. It was your name. Parco knew that. Must have felt good when he’d say it. Is that why you crawled under his wing when he opened it up to you? Why you let him steal that name from you?
Skel: He made me what I needed to be to survive.
Alma Ortego: No, you don’t believe that. I can see it in your eyes.
Skel: Stop trying to make yourself feel better!
Alma Ortego: Hey! You don’t talk to me like that. You think I’m here to make myself feel better? I’ve nearly killed myself looking for you! Eight years! No. You know what? Maybe I’m an idiot. Maybe you don’t deserve saving. Maybe you’re just a goddamn fiction in my head.
Skel: For once, you’re right about something. Now please, leave.
Alma Ortego: Susie was right.
Wilson Lin: What?
Alma Ortego: The cycle is the cycle.
Parco Delgado: [to Wilson] You know, I tried to play it civil. But the truth is, I always wanted to sort this out with blood and bone.
Alma Ortego: What we had once upon a time, it was so good. We were family. It’s sad how it shook out. You were always so confident, so cocky in a good way. You at your best. I felt like I didn’t need a single thing. But that was pre-war Parco, and what did I know? I do know that that guy would have never let anyone pull his strings.
Parco Delgado: I ain’t no puppet. It’s the US that needs me. There’s a whole wide war out there, and for what? For this land, this symbol of progress, of America, and it’s mine. That’s leverage.
Alma Ortego: No, it’s ignorance.
Parco Delgado: [to Alma] What we had was good, and you know you’ll always be family to me. It’s game over. I won. So let me tell you what you’re going to do. You’re going to run away from here as fast as you can, and don’t you ever let me see you again. Because if I do, it’ll be the last, and the only thing you’ll see, as your life leaves you are these eyes staring down on you, just like this.
Parco Delgado: I think your mother’s got you twisted up about what’s what. I’m a little unsteady about you, boy. So, time to declare.
Wilson Lin: This is his fight, not yours.
Parco Delgado: Show me who you are.
Wilson Lin: You don’t have to do this, Christian.
Skel: All hail the king.
[he then tosses Wilson out the window, which kills him]
4. Home'A leader must discern what she must control and what she must cede to her people.' - Susie (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Athena: It’s amazing how a steady supply of toilet paper can turn a man into a god.
Alma Ortego: And in return what? He let you use Chinatown as a weapons depot with a ready militia?
Athena: Our deal with Wilson is irrelevant now. He wasn’t under any of the illusions he preached. He knew that one day war would resume, and on that day he’d have safe passage off the island.
Alma Ortego: [to Athena] If you’ve been watching, you know that Wilson was nothing more than a middleman in his neighborhood. I can give you a direct line to Susie. You’re playing for a foothold in the DMZ. I’m offering you real influence.
'It's amazing how a steady supply of toilet paper can turn a man into a god.' - Athena (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Athena: [referring to Susie] How can you know she’ll be amenable?
Alma Ortego: Her son was just thrown out of a window by the man stealing his landslide. She’ll be amenable.
Tenny: I need you to know that your son is gone. Skel will never leave this place. He’s stuck here. We all are.
Alma Ortego: No. He’s in there. I saw him last night when he looked at you.
Tenny: What you saw was shame and betrayal.
Alma Ortego: And guilt. And hurt. And love. Call it what you want, but that was the first moment I saw my son’s eyes. And I can see in your eyes that you know what I mean. So, no, I’m not giving up on him. Not yet.
'I can't undo the past. But I can try to repair the broken parts for the future.' - Alma Ortego (DMZ) Click To Tweet
Tenny: And always keep it dope.
Alma Ortego: You’re…
Tenny: Welcome to Radio DMZ.
Tenny: Last night, I realized I’m surrounded by monsters here. But you’re different, and I’m royalty in Chinatown. And Susie, she calls the shots. I can give you their votes. Chinatown leans your way, other neighborhoods will follow.
Alma Ortego: I didn’t mean I’d run against him.
Tenny: If you want to crush Parco, this is how.
Tenny: The people here just need someone to listen to. They’ll listen to you.
Alma Ortego: I can’t.
Tenny: Why not?
Alma Ortego: Because I’m not staying.
Tenny: Whether or not you’re here, what you have to say matters to us. If nothing else, Zee owes us a reason to believe in the process. Parco cannot win.
Alma Ortego: [over radio] Your hands are the makers of this world, and they’ve built a movement that has brought us to this special day, your election. Some of us have used our hands to tear one another down. To sow lies, and incite fear.
Alma Ortego: [over radio] A few days ago, I told you a vote for Zee was a vote for Wilson. Now a vote in Wilson’s box is a vote for Zee.
Alma Ortego: [over radio] Together, we are all more powerful than any one man, more than any one dream. I am asking you to help me build something new here. What are we if we don’t believe in our own voice, if we don’t believe that we can serve one another? We’re just animals killing each other, is what. So be brave with me, and know that this election will reflect your choice, and when you see Parco and Wilson at the voting booth, and you think that your hands are tied, know that you have Zee.
Susie: What do you need, Alma?
Alma Ortego: It’s about my son.
Susie: A leader must discern what she must control and what she must cede to her people.
Susie: You already know what still needs to be done. That’s why you’re here. That’s why I’m here. You have my block. I see the daughters of Lilith. That’s nearly enough to win, to cut the rot out of your boy. But the question remains. What will you do with these orphans that call the DMZ home?
Alma Ortego: I’m just asking you to come at sunset. Just help cement my boy’s exit.
Parco Delgado: So you’re a friend of Zee’s, huh? Me too.
Odi Peerlis: She hates you.
Parco Delgado: No. She don’t hate me. She’s just running against me.
Parco Delgado: We are at war, gentlemen! We are soldiers, and whether we like it or not, we must be extraordinary. That’s our burden to carry. That’s our duty. We do not get a choice.
Cesar: [referring to Parco] You know he’s going to kill you, right?
Alma Ortego: If he gets his way, he’s going to get us all killed.
Alma Ortego: Parco, if you would just take a breath, you would see that you’ve become everything that you hated. And worse, you are doing it to our son! You’re raising him to be exactly like you, another grunt just getting used by the war criminals in power. Kill me, and you know you lose Skel.
Parco Delgado: You just couldn’t keep away, could you? This is what you wanted? This is what you get!
Alma Ortego: Parco, stop! The US is lying to you! They just want an excuse to reinvade, and you’re about to give it to them!
Alma Ortego: You are about to reignite all-out war!
Parco Delgado: Wake up, Zee! The war never ended!
Parco Delgado: [to Skel, as they’re fighting] Oh, that’s how it’s going to be? You want the crown, boy? You better come and take it.
Parco Delgado: [as Skel points his gun at him] The only way to grow is to kill your gods. Good for you, kid. Go ahead. I’m ready.
[Skel knocks him out]
Cedric: [as Odi imagines his grandfather by him] Come a long way, Odi.
Odi Peerlis: I’m okay now.
Cedric: I know you are. Standing up on your own two feet. You don’t need me anymore, Odi. It’ll get hard again, but when it does, I’ll be right here, always. I’m so proud of you.
Alma Ortego: You can’t stay here. You have to know that.
Skel: I deserve what I got coming.
Alma Ortego: I don’t know what we deserve, but what we need is a second chance. Let me help you.
Skel: You don’t want me.
Alma Ortego: That’s not true.
Skel: No. Trust me. You don’t want any part of me. I know you came here for me, and thank you. But you don’t know me.
Parco Delgado: [referring to the US] Son, this is the only place I ever known. Don’t send me over there.
Skel: Over there is all you got left.
Alma Ortego: This has never been about the election. This is about you. You are why I came. You can reclaim your name, leave all this, the Kings.
Skel: I don’t deserve this.
Alma Ortego: You can’t undo what you’ve done, just like I can’t change everything I missed and did wrong. I wish I could. You are my son, and I will always love you. So of course I want you, damaged and all. But you don’t belong to me. You don’t belong to anyone. You are your own man, and you have a chance to start over on your terms.
Skel: You’re not coming?
Alma Ortego: I came here looking for you, and I found my calling. It’s here. And I have to answer that. There’s so much that I wanted to share with you. But I lost that time, and I can’t undo the past. But I can try to repair the broken parts for the future. I came here to save you, and this is how. You have so much life to live, so much art to create, so much love to give. We’ll find each other again.
Alma Ortego: [to Skel, after they embrace goodbye] Eyes forward, love.
[Skel then leaves the DMZ with Tenny]
Odi Peerlis: Is Parco coming for me now?
Alma Ortego: No. Hey, he’s gone. He’s not coming for anyone anymore. I’m here. I’ve got you, Odi. I’m home.
Odi Peerlis: [as he embraces her] Me too.
Alma Ortego: [after she’s won the election] Eight years ago today, I lost my son. My search for him led me back here, but instead of finding that boy, I found all of you brave, displaced people. Some of you had chosen to stay here. Some of you had been left behind. All of you survived. And now you’ve voted as citizens of the DMZ. So today, I invite you all to a new table, our table. One that ensures a fair allotment of resources, easy access to healthcare, and open dialogue and diplomacy. Now I’m not going to be roll calling any crews, but I am calling upon all of you to join me in leading this land to empower each other, and to turn the memory of the last eight years into the guiding hope of what we together will build here.
Alma Ortego: The DMZ is not either of two Americas, not anymore. But it is our home, and it is our future! Now we begin.
[they watch the US army leave]