The story takes place in a single day (Good Friday) with some flashbacks.
It is an inspirational story of temptation and redemption, a disillusioned attorney faces a day of life-defining choices after he unwittingly undermines a young accident victim for the benefit of a powerful businessman.
The lead character, Lucas Cole, is a complicated and flawed man, both driven and deterred by conflicting motivations. The goal in his mind is justice, but his subconscious objective is order. The want in his heart is control, but in reality he craves meaning. And the need in his soul is not just to regain temporal love, but also to embrace true faith.
At the beginning of our story, Lucas’ belief system has been transformed by tragedy into a duality: a conscious atheism masking a core belief in an unjust God. This false belief is reinforced by the central event of the day in question.
In the first half of the story, Lucas seeks to live a “proper” life: a diligent if distant father to his son Johnny and a successful Assistant District Attorney. He has persevered, facing the day’s challenges with skill and determination, but with a misguided passion.
This passion to prosecute a high-profile case leads to a miscarriage of justice for Mark, a young accident victim. At the midpoint, when Lucas arrives late to his son’s big game, he realizes that the path he’s cut for himself out of a conscious sense of duty (and an unconscious sense of anger & guilt) has benefited him neither as a father nor as a man.
Lucas’ reflexive response to this insight is a self-centered one, which takes him on a more errant path: recognizing that he can’t undo the injustice to Mark, he chooses to exploit the new reality for personal advantage.
His “dark night of the soul” comes when he acquiesces to play ball with a media magnate in exchange for the opportunity to become District Attorney.
Johnny’s disappearance triggers the turn into Act III. Lucas and his son open up to each other – and, through their actions, offer forgiveness to the other. Johnny’s key question (“How would you know?”) also sparks Lucas’ realization regarding the missing piece in the puzzle of Mark’s accident.
Armed with new knowledge, Lucas returns to the mansion, though to what end is again left open to the viewer’s interpretation: is Lucas going to confront the three men for good purpose (and, if so, how?) or will he leverage the new information for selfish purposes?
The pivotal conversation with Sandrick, a self-styled “civil rights leader” leveraging social tensions for personal gain, sets the stage for our protagonist’s epiphany of faith, as Lucas divines a true message from the words of a false prophet.
The context of our story is a man juggling his professional and personal responsibilities, from the intrigue of a high-profile legal case to the support for his son’s big event.
The subtext is a soul reconciling the skepticism of the angel, the seduction of the cynic, the superficiality of the secular king, and the sincerity of the saint.