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Episode 4 - "Angel"

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OPENING SEQUENCE
(Nat King Cole "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" begins.)

(Fade to photograph of Jack and Norma in their tuxedo and wedding dress, holding a bouquet between them.)

"I love you"

(Click of a slide projector - photo of Jack and Norma at the wedding cake.)

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Jack and Norma toasting each other.)

"For sentimental reasons"

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Jack and Norma kissing.)

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Norma holding Karen as a baby, and smiling at the camera.)

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Jack uncomfortably holding Karen as a baby.)

"I hope you do believe me"

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Norma holding Karen as a baby, and Jack behind her.)

When my parents started out together...

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Norma, Karen about age three, and Jack in his service uniform, standing at the bottom of the steps to a house.)

"I'll give you my heart"

Everybody still listened to the Andrew Sisters.

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Norma and Jack holding Karen.)

Everybody was having babies, and everybody liked Ike.

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Jack kneeling on the driveway, holding Karen and Wayne's hand, and Norma holding baby Kevin.)

Everybody knew that if they just worked hard...

"I love you"

(Click of the slide projector - photo of them all standing, looking at the camera.)

And did all the right things...

(Click of the slide projector - photo of all, now at the approximate current age, opening Christmas presents.)

"And you alone were meant for me"

A sort of paradise of family life lay ahead.

"Please give your loving heart"

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Norma, Karen and Jack on the floor on Christmas morning, all in mid-laugh.)

(Click of the slide projector - photo of Karen smiling and hugging Kevin.)

"To me"

(Click of the slide projector - black screen.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Kitchen

(Karen enters with an 8-track playing Jimi Hendrix "Foxy Lady".)

I guess "paradise" is a relative kind of word.

(Wide shot of Kevin and Wayne at the table, and Norma at the counter, as Karen gyrates to the music.)

NORMA: Turn that noise down! (Frowns.)

(Karen sets the 8-track on the table and takes a cookie from Wayne's plate. Wayne and Kevin try to grab it back.)

KAREN: That noise is the best guitarist in the whole world!

(Karen picks up the 8-track and walks into the kitchen. Norma approaches her.)

NORMA: Yes, and I'm the best cook in the world! Now turn that down before you cause us all brain damage!

(Jack pauses at the dining room doorway.)

KAREN: You know, Mom...I live here too. And if I want to listen to my music...

(Jack frowns and walks forward.)

JACK: Mom told you to...

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne at the table as Wayne covers his ears with cookies.)

JACK (V/O): Turn it down, now turn it down!

(Shot of Jack, Karen and Norma.)

KAREN: I know what she told me...

NORMA: Karen...

JACK: If you want to live here, you play by these rules...

Cut to

Int. Night - Kevin and Wayne's Bedroom

(Shot of Kevin tossing around in bed. Sound of Jack, Norma, amd Karen arguing in the background. Kevin lies on his side with his eyes open.)

My sister - that sweet little blonde-haired angel...had turned into something stranger to my parents than an alien from space.

(The camera moves in slowly.)

The only thing that they agreed on was that the best form of communication was yelling at the top of their lungs.

(Kevin shifts onto his back, as the camera slowly swings around him.)

And that the best form of listening was...also yelling at the top of their lungs.

(Kevin covers his head with the pillow.)

Cut to

Classroom

(Close shot of the blackboard as Miss White writes "values" on it.)

MISS WHITE: Values. Literature very often is but a conflict of...

(Close shot of Kevin looking off, then at Miss White off-screen.)

(Wider shot of Miss White as she waits for a response, then taps the board.)

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin, Paul and others.)

CLASS: Values...

(Shot of Miss White as she gestures dramatically.)

MISS WHITE: Now! Where do we get...our values?

(Winnie raises her hand.)

MISS WHITE: Winnie.

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin, Paul and others.)

WINNIE: From school?

(Shot of Miss White as she gestures, then writes "school" on the board. She turns toward the class.)

MISS WHITE: Anywhere else?

(Close shot of Kevin as he raises his hand.)

MISS WHITE (V/O): Kevin.

KEVIN: From our parents.

MISS WHITE (V/O): Yes, OK, very good, Kevin!

(Close shot of Miss White as she gestures.)

MISS WHITE: Parents!

(She turns and writes "parents" on the blackboard, then quickly turns toward the class.)

MISS WHITE: Anywhere else?

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin, Paul and others.)

BOY: The Beatles?

(The class laughs.)

(Wider shot of Miss White as she gestures.)

MISS WHITE: Yes, that is very good! We do get a lot of our tastes and our values from our...(gestures)..."cultural heroes". (Smiles.)

(She turns and writes on the board.)

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin, Paul and others.)

MISS WHITE (V/O): Now...

(Shot of Miss White as she slowly walks around the front of her desk.)

MISS WHITE: Is there...anywhere else...

(She picks up a book from her desk.)

MISS WHITE: That we might get...our values?

(She swings the book up and holds it.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking off and frowning in thought.)

(Close shot of Winnie looking up from her paper.)

(Close shot of Miss White.)

MISS WHITE: Hmmm?

BOY (V/O): TV!

(Miss White shudders slightly and puts her hand under her chin.)

MISS WHITE: How about...books!

(Shot of the class as the students groan.)

BOY: Oh, yeah. Books.

(Close shot of Miss White.)

MISS WHITE: Now, do we always agree on, on...what values should be?

(Close shot of a boy as he raises his hand.)

That was Joey Santano.

(Shot of Miss White looking at him off-screen.)

He'd always wait for Miss White to ask a really easy rhetorical question.

(Close shot of Joey as he frowns and shakes his head.)

JOEY: Yes.

(Shot of Miss White shaking her head slightly.)

And then he'd get it wrong.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning in disbelief.)

(Close shot of Miss White as she gestures.)

MISS WHITE: Anybody else?

(Close shot of Paul as he raises his hand.)

MISS WHITE (V/O): Yes, Mr. Pfeiffer.

PAUL: No. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and gesturing at Paul off-screen.)

(Close shot of Paul shrugging at Kevin off-screen.)

MISS WHITE (V/O): Good! Now...

(Wider shot of Miss White.)

MISS WHITE: Do values change through time? Say, from generation to generation?

(Wide shot of the class as a girl raises her hand.)

Christine Hansen.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

She always gave these thoughtful, complete...

(Close shot of Paul frowning.)

Downright inspired answers. She made us all sick.

(Shot of the class as Christine stands up and smiles.)

But teachers loved her.

CHRISTINE: Yes, Miss White. Some values change from generation to generation.

(Close shot of Kevin silently mimicking Christine.)

CHRISTINE (V/O): But I think the really important ones...

(Close shot of Paul resting his cheek on his fist and sighing.)

CHRISTINE (V/O): Are the heart-felt human values.

(Close shot of Christine.)

CHRISTINE: And they stay the same throughout the ages.

(Close shot of Miss White as she claps her hands together.)

MISS WHITE: That is very good, Christine, OK!

(Miss White walks past the blackboard and sets the chalk down, then turns to the class.)

MISS WHITE: OK, now as we read...

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin and Paul and others.)

MISS WHITE (V/O): As we evaluate those characters that we meet, how do we know...

(Close shot of Miss White as she gestures.)

MISS WHITE: Which values should change, and which values are, as Christine so eloquently put it...(Gestures.)

(Close shot of Christine smiling, then lookng down.)

MISS WHITE (V/O): Heart-felt, and timeless?

(Close shot of Kevin looking off in thought.)

That was a tough question in any time. But in 1968...

(Wider shot of the class as Christine raises her hand.)

MISS WHITE: Yes, Christine!

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

CHRISTINE (V/O): Can I go to the bathroom?

In 1968, even Christine Hansen couldn't answer that one.

KAREN (V/O): "The answer is blowin' in the wind"

Cut to

Ext. Day - Arnold Front Yard

(Shot of Karen sitting on the grass playing Bob Dylan "Blowin' in the Wind" on the guitar and singing.)

KAREN: "How many roads must a man walk down..."

And yet, in 1968, maybe more than ever, the question kept coming up. Take that whole incident with my sister, Karen. And Louis. For two weeks, all we heard about was "Louis says this", and "Louis says that".

(Shot from behind Kevin in the street, as he throws a football to Paul off-screen, and a wildly-painted VW bus approaches.)

And then one day...

(Paul runs across the street and stands next to Kevin, watching the VW approach.)

We all got to meet him.

(The VW bus passes the camera, and the boys turn to watch it.)

(Shot of the door as Louis opens it and gets out. He looks toward Karen off-screen, then sets his felt hat on the seat.)

This...was Louis.

(Louis closes the door. The camera pans with him as he crosses the street.)

He was a junior at the State university...

(Louis hops up the curb and approaches Karen on the grass.)

An honor-student at political philosophy...

(Shot of Karen playing the guitar as Louis sits down next to her.)

Active in student government and various non-profit social causes.

(He kisses her on the back of the head.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at them off-screen.)

But I didn't know that.

(Closer shot of Karen and Louis as he takes the guitar from her.)

All I knew...

(They kiss.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at them off-screen.)

Was that he was on my sister like mold on cheese.

(Shot of Karen and Louis as they kiss more heavily).

(Close shot of Paul looking at them off-screen.)

PAUL: Wow...

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Paul! She's my sister!

(Close shot of Paul looking at them off-screen.)

PAUL: So what, she's not my sister.

(Shot of Louis helping Karen to her feet.)

For all my sister's rebelliousness, or maybe because of it...

(She picks up the guitar, and they walk toward the street.)

I couldn't help feeling she needed my protection.

(They pause on the sidewalk and kiss.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at them off-screen, and talking to Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Go out.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul as Paul looks at the football, smiles, and starts to run a pattern.)

(Shot from behind Kevin of Paul running past Karen and Louis.)

(Close shot of Kevin winding up.)

(Shot from behind Kevin as he throws the football toward Karen and Louis.)

(Close shot of Karen and Louis as the ball hits the guitar - twang! Paul puts his hands on his hips in the background, as Karen and Louis look at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he smiles slightly at them off-screen.)

KEVIN: Sorry!

(Closer shot of Karen and Louis. Karen frowns at Kevin off-screen as they start to walk off.)

(Some Snuffy music plays.)

(Wide shot from behind Kevin as Karen and Louis walk into the street out of the shot. Paul picks up the football and runs toward Kevin.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he catches the football, and Paul trots into the shot.)

(Close shot of Louis getting into the VW.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning slightly at them off-screen.)

(Shot from behind Kevin and Paul as the watch the VW start to pull away off-screen.)

I don't know what it was about Louis that I didn't like.

(The boys turn with the car as it crosses the shot.)

Guess there was something about him I didn't understand.

(Shot of the car going down the street.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul taking a few steps forward, looking after the car off-screen.)

Something that was...taking my sister away from us.

(Music ends.)

TVMan (V/O): Get out of here...!

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Living Room

(Shot of the color (!) TV. A "western" is on. One man is talking to another man.)

TVMan: And leave my wife alone.

(Dramatic music plays as the the wife looks on with concern, and stands up. The men start fighting.)

(Close shot of Kevin resting his head on his fist, watching the TV off-screen disinterestedly.)

(Shot of the TV as the men continue to fight. The man knocks the other man across a chair. The wife looks at her husband. He pants and smiles at her. The woman runs forward into his arms and they kiss.)

TVWoman: Steve!

(Swelling dramatic music plays.)

KAREN (V/O): It's gonna be at the college, and it being a weeknight...

(Shot past Kevin and the TV as Karen and Louis approach, with their arms around each other.)

KAREN: And my parents, I mean...(Sighs.)

(They pause and turn toward each other.)

KAREN: It's just gonna be such a hassle.

LOUIS: Well, I know a few Vietnamese peasants who probably feel...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): That's worth the hassle.

(Kevin looks back to the TV.)

TVMan (V/O): Come here, you...

(Closer shot of Karen and Louis as she leans her cheek against him.)

KAREN: Oh, I can't come march. Not tonight.

LOUIS: OK.

(They start to hug and kiss.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at them off-screen in disgust, then back to the TV.)

(Shot of Karen and Louis.)

KAREN: Iced-tea OK?

LOUIS: Yeah, sure. Can I make a phone call?

KAREN: Sure.

(They kiss again, then separate. Louis walks past the camera. The TV music is winding up.)

KAREN: Kevin?! (Frowns.) Can you turn that stupid thing down?

(Shot past Kevin and the TV of Karen, and Louis dialing the phone.)

KEVIN: I was here first!

LOUIS: It's OK, Karen.

(Karen frowns at Kevin as she exits toward the kitchen.)

LOUIS: I sort of like watching these old Fascist films. They're like parodies of themselves by now.

(Shot of Kevin sitting on a stack of pillows, looking at Louis off-screen, then frowning and looking back to the TV.)

(Shot past Kevin and the TV as he gets up moves toward it, as Louis sits on the couch.)

LOUIS (On phone): Hi! It's me.

(Kevin turns off the TV and starts to walk past Louis toward his bedroom. The camera rolls a little forward.)

LOUIS (On phone): Yeah, sure I had fun, Marissa.

(Kevin pauses and looks over his shoulder.)

Marissa? Did he say he had fun, with Marissa?

(Kevin leans on the back of the couch and listens.)

LOUIS (On phone): Listen uh, tonite, seven-thirty...we're marchin' from Jenkins Hall to the administration building, and........you what?

LOUIS (On phone): Of course you can crash at my place.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Louis off-screen, and frowning slightly.)

And that she could crash at his place?

LOUIS (On phone) (V/O): OK. Good. I love you, too.

And that he loved her? I couldn't believe it - what a sicko. It wasn't enough that this guy was all over my sister like a fungus in a damp basement.

(Kevin starts to squint and breathe harder.)

No - he was a multi-basement kinda guy. I was outraged.

(Shot of Louis and Kevin as Kevin steps beside him.)

LOUIS (On phone): OK, so I'll pick ya up at seven.

(Louis hangs up the phone. He stands up and turns toward Kevin. Kevin looks up at him.)

(Shot past Kevin of Louis smiling slightly at him.)

(Shot over Louis' shoulder of Kevin looking up at him.)

KEVIN (As western hero): Louis? I'm gonna have to ask you to step outside.

(Shot past Kevin of Louis frowning in fear.)

LOUIS: But - what do ya mean?!

(Close shot of Kevin looking up at Louis off-screen.)

KEVIN (As western hero): I'm on to you, Louis. (Points.)

(Shot past Kevin of Louis shrugging.)

LOUIS: I-I don't know what you're talking about.

(Shot past Louis as Kevin punches him in the stomach.)

LOUIS: Ugh!

(Shot of both from the side as Kevin grabs Louis by the shirt, then punches him on the jaw.)

(Louis reels backwards over the couch. Kevin points at Louis.)

LOUIS: Ugh...ugh.

KEVIN (As western hero): Take that, you low-down, snake-bellied, lily-livered weirdo.

(Dramatic TV music plays.)

KAREN (V/O): Ahhh!

(Shot of Karen hurrying from the kitchen and pausing.)

(Shot of Kevin looking over his shoulder at Karen off-screen, as Louis holds his jaw behind the couch.)

KEVIN (As western hero): Sorry, sis. He was no good.

(Shot of Karen as she hurries toward Kevin off-screen, with more dramatic music.)

(Shot of Kevin and Louis as Karen passes the camera and stops in front of Kevin and smiles.)

KAREN: Oh, Kevin! I'm so glad I have a brother like you!

(She hugs Kevin.)

KAREN: I'm gonna make your bed for you from now on.

LOUIS (V/O): Can I help you?

(Music ends.)

(Shot over Louis' shoulder of Kevin looking up at him.)

KEVIN: Who's Marissa?

(Shot past Kevin of Louis.)

LOUIS: A friend...(Smiles.)

(Shot over Louis' shoulder of Kevin looking up at him.)

KEVIN: What kind of friend?

(Shot past Kevin of Louis frowning slightly, then smiling at him.)

LOUIS: Are you asking if she's my lover?

(Shot over Louis' shoulder of Kevin looking up at him, and frowning slightly in disgust.)

Ughhhh...Did he have to use that word?

(Shot of both as Louis sits on the couch in front of Kevin.)

LOUIS: You must be Kevin, huh?

(Louis getures toward the phone.)

LOUIS: You must have heard me talking on the phone with Marissa.

(Shot past Kevin of Louis.)

LOUIS: You want to punch me? Do something violent?

(Shot past Louis of Kevin.)

LOUIS: Kevin, your...

(Shot past Kevin of Louis.)

LOUIS: Your sister and I...(gestures)...we love each other...(nods)...but it's, uh, it's an open and a trusting love.

(Shot past Louis of Kevin, as Louis holds Kevin's elbow.)

LOUIS: We don't own one another like a farmer owns a cow.

(Kevin tugs his arm free.)

(Shot past Kevin of Louis.)

LOUIS: You understand that?

(Shot past Louis of Kevin.)

KEVIN'S INNER-VOICE: Yeah. You're saying if it weren't for cattle-rustling laws, you'd have cows sleeping over at your place, too.

LOUIS: Kevin, I can share love...with your sister...(Gestures.)

(Shot past Kevin of Louis.)

LOUIS: And she can share love with me. (Smiles.) That doesn't mean I can't share love with Marissa, too.

(Shot past Louis of Kevin.)

It sounded like a lot of sharing to me...

(Shot past Kevin of Louis.)

I had a hunch everybody was getting pretty small portions.

(Shot past Louis of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Does Karen know about this?

(Shot of both a Louis smiles slightly and looks off.)

KAREN (V/O): Louis? Is he bugging you?

(Louis and Kevin look toward Karen off-screen, as she passes the camera. She sits next to Louis and hands him an iced-tea. She sets hers on the coffee-table, and they kiss once. They pull apart, and Karen looks at Kevin.)

KAREN: Kevin. Do you think that maybe you could play somewhere else?

(Louis sips his drink, then waves his hand.)

LOUIS: Oh, Karen, he's fine.

(Louis looks at Kevin.)

LOUIS: We were just talkin' about relationships.

(Kevin pauses, then turns toward the hallway. Louis turns to Karen.)

LOUIS: Uh, I talked to Marissa - she can make it tonight.

KAREN: Oh, good.

(Karen smiles and snuggles closer to Louis.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking over his shoulder at them off-screen.)

KAREN (V/O): That makes me feel a little less guilty.

She really did know about Marissa.

(Kevin takes a step toward the couch and leans his hands on it.)

OK - now I was officially confused.

(Kevin frowns.)

I felt like I had to take action.

(Shot of Karen and Louis kissing, and Kevin leaning on the end of the couch watching them.)

To...make a stand - to do something...But I had no idea what.

(Karen slows down and notices Kevin.)

Fortunately, my sub-conscious had a plan.

KAREN: Kevin? Are you just gonna stand there?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at her off-screen, then glancing away, and back and nodding.)

KEVIN: Yes.

(Shot of Karen, Louis and Kevin. Karen and Louis look at each other and Louis shrugs slightly. They resume kissing.)

(Twang of Snuffy music.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

I watched Louis and my sister make out for about twenty minutes...after awhile, I started feeling like a third wheel. Fortunatley, my subconscience had a plan.

(Kevin walks off.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Kitchen

(Twang of Snuffy music.)

(Shot of Norma at the kitchen table, shelling peas. She looks up as Kevin approaches and pauses, crossing his arms.)

KEVIN: Louis is here.

(Shot past Kevin of Norma turning toward him, then back to her peas and shrugging slightly.)

NORMA: Oh?

KEVIN: Yeah. He's in the living room.

(Shot past Norma of Kevin.)

KEVIN: With Karen.

NORMA: Hmmph.

(Norma frowns and nods as she shells more peas.)

KEVIN: Well, don't you want to meet him?

(Shot past Kevin of Norma turning toward him, then back to her peas.)

NORMA: I'm sure if your sister wants me to meet Louis, she'll introduce him. I don't want to interfere in her life.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma of-screen.)

Oh, really? Would it help you to know that this guy is screwing around with half the State university system?

(Shot past Kevin of Norma looking toward him, then back to her peas.)

NORMA: What's he like? (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling slightly.)

Bingo.

KEVIN: Disturbing...(Nods.)

(Close shot of Norma smiling slightly in surprise at Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA: What kind of a word is that for you to use..."disturbing"?

(Close shot of Kevin shrugging slightly.)

KEVIN: I don't know.

(Close shot of Norma frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA: Well, what does that mean - "disturbing"? Kevin?!

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

NORMA (V/O): What does that mean?

KEVIN: OK! Don't get mad at me!

Heh-heh-heh. If I couldn't stop this guy myself...

(Shot past Kevin of Norma frowning and looking off as she tosses some peas in the bowl.)

(Norma and Kevin turn to Karen and Louis who are entering the kitchen off-screen, giggling.)

I could at least get the troops fired up.

(Shot of the dining room doorway as Karen and Louis enter, smiling, and Karen tucks her blouse in.)

(Close shot of Norma frowning slightly at them off-screen.)

KAREN (V/O): Mom, this is Louis. Louis, this is my Mom.

(Norma smiles slowly.)

NORMA: Well, hi, Louis.

(Norma starts to stand up.)

(Close shot of Kevin watching them off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): It's nice to meet you.

KAREN (V/O): Mom? Do we have any carrots?

(Shot of Norma standing next to the table, looking at them off-screen.)

NORMA: Yes, honey, we have carrots. But I thought it might be nice...(gestures)... if I said hello to your...friend.

(Norma takes a few steps forward and smiles slightly, as Louis passes the camera with his hand out. They shake hands.)

LOUIS: It's really nice to meet you.

(Close shot of Kevin watching them off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): So, uh, I'm making dinner, now, Louis. There's plenty of chicken if you'd like to stay.

(Kevin looks slightly surprised.)

(Shot of Norma facing Karen and Louis.)

LOUIS: That's very nice of you...

(Shot past Karen of Norma looking at Louis off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): But, actually, um...

KAREN: Louis doesn't eat meat, Mom.

LOUIS (V/O): It's no big deal.

(Shot of Norma facing Karen and Louis.)

LOUIS: I just have some qualms with the way livestock's raised. That's all.

(Shot past Karen of Norma looking at Louis off-screen.)

NORMA: Well, you're...more than welcome to stay and fill up on salad and vegetables if you like. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Norma facing Karen and Louis. Louis looks at Karen and smiles.)

LOUIS: Well thanks!

(He smiles at Norma.)

LOUIS: Maybe, uh, maybe I'll take you up on that.

(Norma walks toward the counter.)

(Shot of Kevin sitting on the counter next to a plate of raw chicken as Norma picks up a cleaver and smiles slightly at Louis off-screen. She looks at a piece of chicken as she breads it.)

NORMA: So...you don't eat any meat?

(Norma looks at Louis off-screen and smiles.)

(Shot of Louis seated at the table, and Karen seated in the background.)

LOUIS: No, I really don't.

(He looks down and shakes his head, then smiles at Norma off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Louis off-screen.)

Hah!

(Kevin looks toward Norma and smiles slightly.)

My mother was going to expose this guy for the weirdo he was.

(Shot of Kevin and Norma as Norma chops the chicken with the cleaver.)

LOUIS (V/O): Mrs. Arnold...what do you do?

(Norma looks at Louis off-screen and frowns slightly.)

NORMA: I beg your pardon? (Frowns.)

(Shot of Louis and Karen.)

LOUIS: I mean, you know, for a living?

(He smiles and gestures.)

(Shot of Norma and Kevin, as Norma looks at Louis off-screen with embarrassed surprise.)

NORMA: Oh...of course...right. For a living...

(Norma chops some more chicken.)

NORMA: Nothing. (Shrugs.) I mean...I'm a housewife.

(She frowns slightly at Louis off-screen as she whacks the chicken.)

(Shot of Louis and Karen.)

LOUIS: Ah, that's certainly not nothing.

(Shot of Norma and Kevin, as Norma smiles and nods.)

NORMA: No...you're right about that.

(She whacks the chicken.)

NORMA: God knows...it's demanding at times.

LOUIS (V/O): I'll bet. You find it fulfilling?

(Norma pauses and looks at Louis off-screen in mild surprise.)

NORMA: Fulfilling?

(She smiles and laughs, then chops more chicken.)

Who the hell did this guy think he was?

(Close shot of Kevin frowning slightly at Louis off-screen.)

Asking my mother if her life was fulfilling?

(Shot of Norma and Kevin as Norma looks at Louis off-screen.)

NORMA: I guess I've never really thought about that. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Louis and Karen as Karen leans forward and nods.)

KAREN: Maybe you should, Mom.

Yikes.

(Shot of Norma and Kevin as Norma pauses and looks at Karen off-screen. She resumes chopping the chicken more forcefully.)

LOUIS (V/O): Did you go to college, Mrs. Arnold?

NORMA: Oh, yes, I was a...history major in college. (Smiles.) But I...met Karen's father in my freshman year, so I, I never finished.

(Shot of Louis and Karen as he nods slightly.)

LOUIS: You regret not finishing?

(Shot of Norma and Kevin as Norma smiles and shakes her head.)

NORMA: Oh, no...

LOUIS (V/O): Wow. That's great.

(Shot of Louis and Karen as he gestures.)

LOUIS: I mean...a lot of women find it demeaning, spending their lives serving their husbands and children.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at Louis off-screen.)

OK - look out.

(Kevin looks at Norma off-screen.)

Mom is gonna nail this guy now.

(Shot of Kevin and Norma as Norma makes a big chop, and the chicken flies toward Louis off-screen.)

(Shot of Louis and Karen as the chicken lands on his lap. He raises his arms and smiles.)

NORMA (V/O): Uhhhh! Oh, my God!

(Norma passes the camera and picks up the chicken.)

NORMA: Oh, I am so sorry!

(Close shot of Norma looking at Louis off-screen.)

NORMA: And you being a vegetarian and everything. I'm sorry - I am such a klutz.

(She smiles and shrugs slightly.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen.)

I couldn't believe it. Why was she apologizing to him?

(Kevin frowns at Louis off-screen.)

KEVIN: My mom likes serving us!

(Close shot of Norma slowly looking at Kevin off-screen in mild disbelief.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Kevin and Wayne's Bedroom

(Close shot of Kevin sitting on the bed, looking at Wayne off-screen.)

KEVIN: This Louis guy's a major butthead! (Gestures.)

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin as Wayne flips to the centerfold of a Playboy magazine.)

OK. Historically, Wayne was not the guy I turned to in times of crisis.

(Wayne opens up the centerfold and assesses it.)

But bottom-line...

(Wayne reaches for a pair of scissors.)

The Wayner...was my brother.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Wayne off-screen.)

And when it came to protecting our kinfolk, I knew we stood as one.

(Shot of Wayne as he starts to cut the centerfold.)

WAYNE: So, he's a butthead. It's just Karen...

(Twang of Snuffy's guitar.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne as Wayne continues to cut the page, and Kevin looks off.)

KEVIN: So, he said stuff to Mom. (Gestures.)

WAYNE: So?

KEVIN: And he's a radical! You know...(nods)...like at college...(Gestures.)

WAYNE: So?

KEVIN: And he and Karen are lovers.

(Close shot of Wayne pausing and looking up.)

KEVIN (V/O): And I'm not sure if Karen knows about this...

(Wayne begins to "think".)

KEVIN (V/O): But he's got another love named Marissa.

WAYNE: Whoa!

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Wayne off-screen.)

WAYNE (V/O): Two lovers?

(The camera pans with Wayne as he stands up.)

WAYNE: You know, I bet they do it in the microbus.

(Wayne turns and looks at Kevin off-screen.)

WAYNE: I mean, I swear I saw it rocking back and forth before.

(Shot of both as Wayne points excitedly at Kevin.)

WAYNE: You know what we could do?! We could drill a hole in it! And set up a camera!

(Wayne puts his hand on Kevin's shoulder and walks behind him.)

WAYNE: You know, I bet sometimes, when he's doing it with Karen, he shouts...

(Wayne hugs Kevin.)

WAYNE: "Oh, God! Marissa! Oh God! Oh..."

(Wayne makes kissing sounds as Kevin frowns.)

WAYNE: "Marissa".

Well, there was one more hope.

Cut to

Evening - Arnold Dining Room

(Close shot of Jack as he sits down and looks at Louis off-screen.)

JACK: Hi, Louis. Nice to meet you.

(Wide shot of all at the dining room table.)

And it was no small hope. It was Dad. The Maginot Line of family resistance.

(Close shot of Kevin smiling slightly at Jack off-screen.)

Things were gonna be OK...

(Close shot of Jack looking down and smiling slightly.)

Dad would take care of this guy.

(Jack looks toward Kevin and Wayne off-screen, smiling slightly.)

Now the Arnold men would stand together.

(Shot across the table of Wayne leaning toward Kevin, as Jack picks up a serving bowl.)

WAYNE: "Oh, God. Marissa, Marissa."

(Kevin frowns.)

Well...some of the Arnold men.

(Shot of Louis and Karen as Louis passes the plate of chicken without taking any.)

JACK (V/O): No chicken?

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Louis doesn't eat meat, Dad.

(Close shot of Jack looking at Kevin off-screen in mild surprise.)

Hey, just thought I'd mention it.

(Jack looks toward Louis off-screen.)

JACK: No meat, Louis?

(Shot of Louis and Karen, as Louis picks up a glass of water.)

LOUIS: No. Meat, uh, meat just doesn't turn me on, really. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack looking down.)

JACK: No meat, huh?

(Jack looks toward Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Imagine that.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Jack off-screen.)

I knew it.

(Kevin looks toward Louis and smiles slightly, then back to Jack, then eats some mashed potatoes.)

Dad would carve through this guy like a butcher carves through a pork loin.

(Wide shot of all at the table.)

NORMA: Oh, I heard, honey, why the Vandover's didn't go to Brian's funeral.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: They were in Chicago. (Frowns.) Dick's mother had a stroke. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Norma off-screen.)

JACK: Mmm...(Frowns.)

(Close shot of Norma looking at Louis off-screen.)

NORMA: One of the boys on our block was killed in Vietnam several weeks ago.

(Shot of Karen and Louis. Louis nods as he cuts his food.)

LOUIS: Oh, I-I know. I mean, uh, Karen told me. Another meaningless death.

(Close shot of Kevin looking from Louis to Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking up, then toward Louis, in mild shock.)

JACK: I beg you pardon?

(Shot of Karen and Louis as he sets his fork down at looks at Jack off-screen.)

LOUIS: I-I just meant that...it's just a shame, uh...a kid has to die for basically no reason.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Louis off-screen, then glancing at Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Louis off-screen.)

(Close shot of Norma looking from Louis to Jack off-screen, then at the table.)

NORMA: More broccoli, anyone?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma off-screen, then glancing toward Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking down and nodding slightly.)

JACK: I don't think it's meaningless...

(Jack looks at Louis off-screen.)

JACK: When a young man dies for freedom and for his country.

(Close shot of Louis as he takes of his glasses.)

LOUIS: I just have a little trouble...justifying dying for a government that systematically represses its citizens.

(Close shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: Oh, honey. Try the potatoes - I put grated cheese on them. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Louis off-screen.)

JACK: What the hell is that supposed to mean?

(Shot of Karen and Louis. Louis puts his hand up.)

(Karen looks at Jack off-screen.)

KAREN: It means the United States government is responsible...

(Karen glances toward Norma, then back to Jack.)

KAREN: For the oppression of blacks, women, free speech...(Gestures.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Karen off-screen.)

JACK: Well perhaps, little lady, you'd like to go live in Russia for a little while...

(Shot of Karen and Louis looking at Jack off-screen. Louis smiles.)

JACK (V/O): Hah?

LOUIS: Oh, uh...I think what Karen is saying is that -

JACK (V/O): Look, buster!

(Louis pauses.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Louis off-screen, then glancing toward Jack.)

(Close shot of Jack looking off, slightly agitated.)

JACK: I happen to believe that freedom and democracy...

(Jack looks at Louis off-screen.)

JACK: Have certain advantages that Communist dictatorships don't, and that is what Vietnam is all about!

(Close shot of Kevin glancing from Jack to his plate.)

LOUIS (V/O): No, man, that's what they brainwash you to believe it's all about.

(Shot of Louis and Karen.)

LOUIS: They...(sighs)...they turn people into brainwashed morons.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Wayne off-screen, then Jack off-scren.)

My hunch was that my father would not let being called a brainwashed moron at his dinner table...

(Kevin glances toward Louis off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking off, rubbing his hands together.)

Go unremarked.

JACK: So...you think I've been brainwashed, do you, Louis?

(Jack looks toward Louis off-screen.)

(Shot of Karen and Louis. Louis shakes his head as he takes a drink of water and sets the glass down.)

LOUIS: No. No. Look...(Gestures.)

(Louis looks toward the center of the table.)

LOUIS: I think anyone...who supports the American war effort in Vietnam...(shrugs)...is having the wool pulled over his eyes.

(Louis looks toward Jack off-screen and smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Louis off-screen, and nods slightly.)

JACK: I see...

(Jack looks at Norma off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): Just like they did with Korea.

(Jack looks at Louis quickly, and looks at him evenly.)

JACK: What the hell do you know about Korea? I was in Korea. I lost a lot of good friends there.

(Close shot of Kevin glancing from Jack to Karen off-screen.)

KAREN (V/O): Daddy, that doesn't have anything to do with what we're saying.

(Kevin glances toward Jack off-screen.)

JACK (V/O): And they weren't brainwashed!

(Close shot of Jack looking at Louis off-screen.)

JACK: They were brave men who weren't afraid to fight for what they believed in. (Gestures.) Now if you're afraid to fight - why don't you just say so?! Why don't you just admit you're chicken?! (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Louis looking down and smiling.)

LOUIS: You're damned right!

(Louis looks at Jack off-screen seriously.)

LOUIS: I am chicken. I don't want to die like your friends!

(Louis frowns and shrugs slightly.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Louis off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): What do you think that you achieved over there? Hmm? Do you think that those people are free?

(Close shot of Louis looking at Jack off-screen and shaking his head slightly.)

LOUIS: They're not free, man. Except to buy Coca-Cola, and...(smirks)...Nestle's Quik...

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Louis off-screen.)

LOUIS(V/O): Get loans from Chase-Manhattan National Bank...

(Kevin looks toward Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Louis off-screen.)

JACK: That's crap!

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jack off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): You were used, man, and your friends were used.

(Kevin looks toward Louis off-screen.)

JACK (V/O): That's crap!

(Kevin flinches slightly, and looks toward Jack off-screen.)

KAREN (V/O): Daddy, you never listen to what we say!

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Karen off-screen.)

KAREN (V/O): Some of what we say is true!

(Kevin looks down.)

(Some Snuffy guitar plays in the background throughout.)

(Shot of Karen and Louis, as Louis looks at Kack off-screen.)

LOUIS: Don't accept all this death and then justify it. It is wrong! (Frowns.)

(Wide shot of all at the table.)

LOUIS: Your friends should be alive - they should be...(gestures)...enjoying dinner, and arguing with their kids, just like you are.

(Close shot of Jack looking at Louis off-screen, visibly upset.)

JACK: What do you know about it?! Who the hell are you to say that?! (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Kevin glancing from Jack to Louis off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): You see this, man?

(Shot of Karen and Louis as Louis stands up, holding his wallet and a folded piece of paper. He looks at the paper as he unfolds it.)

LOUIS: This is my draft notice.

(Louis holds it up and looks at Jack off-screen.)

LOUIS: In two weeks...

(He looks at the paper.)

LOUIS: I can go to jail...

(He shrugs and smiles slightly.)

LOUIS: I can go to Canada...(gestures)...or I can go get shot...

(He glances at Norma off-screen.)

LOUIS: Full of holes...

(He looks at Jack off-screen.)

LOUIS: Like your friend Brian Cooper.

(Close shot of Kevin looking up at Louis off-screen, then down.)

LOUIS (V/O): You keep thinking the way you do, Mr. Arnold...

(Kevin looks at Louis, then Jack off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): And these two will be next.

(Kevin looks at Louis off-screen.)

LOUIS (V/O): And I just hope that's what they want.

(Kevin looks down.)

(Snuffy's guitar ends.)

(Shot of Louis pausing, then looking at Norma off-screen.)

LOUIS: Excuse me. (Nods.)

(Wide shot of all as Louis exits toward the front door. Norma looks after him, then toward Jack.)

(Karen stands up, slides her chair against the table, looks at Jack, and exits hurriedly.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking after her off-screen.)

And so, after all...

(Kevin looks down.)

Karen left with Louis.

(Close shot of Jack frowning toward the boys off-screen, then blinking and standing up.)

(Wide shot of all at the table as Jack stands up and throws his napkin down.)

And Dad, and Mom and I...

(Jack walks toward the kitchen as Kevin and Norma watch. Wayne continues to eat.)

Were left with our thoughts.

(Close shot of Norma looking down, then off in thought, as Jack goes outside through the kitchen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking down as he plays with his food.)

(Close shot of Wayne looking off in thought, then turning toward Norma off-screen.)

WAYNE: Can I have her potatoes?

(Wide shot of them around the table, as Kevin and Norma look at Wayne.)

(Norma looks off and sets her napkin down.)

And Wayne was left...

(Norma stands up and heads toward the kitchen.)

With himself.

(She smoothes her hair as she walks toward the basement. Kevin frowns at Wayne and stands up, tossing his napkin down.)

(Kevin exits toward the bedroom as Wayne picks up the bowl of potatoes and begins to eat.)

Cut to

Ext. Night - Arnold House

(Shot of the yard and house. "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" plays.)

Who was right, and who was wrong?

(The living room lights go out.)

"I love you"

Cut to

Int. Night - Kevin and Wayne's Bedroom

(Shot of Kevin in bed, awake.)

"For sentimental reasons"

Well, I'm supposed to be an adult now, and I still can't completely figure that one out.

(Kevin glances off and frowns as the camera moves in slowly.)

"I hope you do believe me"

But at some point, late at night, near sleep, the ideas and the disagreements sort of dissolve, and you're just left with the people.

Fade to

Ext. Night - The Street

"I've given you my heart"

(Shot of Louis' VW driving up the street. The camera pans with it as it gets closer.)

And people were no different then, as they've always been.

(Louis stops the car. The camera is quite close.)

And always will be.

"I love you"

(Karen opens the door, and the interior light comes on. Louis looks forward as Karen tearfully turns toward him.)

KAREN: You told me you loved her. You never told me you were sleeping with her.

"And you alone are meant for me"

(Karen frowns and pauses, then gets out. The camera pulls back as Louis puts the car in gear and drives off.)

"Please give your loving heart to me"

(The camera continues back and up as Karen walks onto the grass, then turns around, looking down.)

"And say we'll never part"

Young girls get their hearts broken.

Cut to

Int. night - Jack and Norma's Bedroom

(Shot of Norma sitting up in bed in the foreground, looking off. Jack is holding the window blind apart, looking through it, in the background.)

"I think of you every morning"

Men and women suffer alone, over the choices they've made.

(Jack looks at his watch, then puts his hands in his pockets, and looks outside.)

"Dream of you every night"

Cut to

Int. Night - Kevin and Wayne's Bedroom

(The camera slowly pans down across Wayne, who is snoring.)

"Darling, I'm never lonely"

And young boys, full of confusion...

(The camera pans across the night-stand and clock - it is 11:00PM.)

Full of fear...full of love and courage...

(The camera pans over to Kevin, asleep in bed.)

"Whenever you are in my sight"

Grow up stealthily in their sleep.

(The camera stops panning, and swings past Kevin slightly.)

"I love you"

Cut to Black

Cut to Closing Titles

"For sentimental reasons"


Supporting Cast
Miss White - Wendel Meldrum
Christine Hanson - Melanie Gaffin
Louis - John Corbett

Music
"(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" - Nat King Cole

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12/24/04 21:00