Episode 32 - "Math Class Squared"



OPENING SEQUENCE


Int. Day - Kevin's Bedroom

(Fade to a shot of a poster of Mickey Mantle.)

Every kid needs a hero - everybody knows that.

(The camera pans across the poster to briefly show Ted Williams, dissolves to a portrait of three astronauts, and continues panning slowly.)

They teach us about courage...about ideals...

(The camera pans to a photograph of John F. Kennedy.)

About life.

(Fade to a shot of Kevin's bed. A comic book is open and lying face down on it. The camera pans across more comic books.)

Sometimes heroes are easy to spot. But sometimes...they turn up in unlikely places.

(The camera stops on an open Algebra 1 book, lying upside down.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Math Class

(Shot of Mr. Collins writing on the blackboard.)

MR. COLLINS: And square both sides of the equation, and complete your solution...and then prove it...(gestures)...by substituting both roots...in the original equation.

(Shot of Kevin at his desk, looking up toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

Mr. Collins and I had be through a lot - a lot of math, anyway.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins writing on the blackboard.)

MR. COLLINS: The square root of "X" minus two..."X" minus two times "X" minus two..."X" equals "X" squared plus "X"...

We kinda started out on the wrong foot.

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

But the more I got to know him, the more I, well...I liked the guy.

(Shot of Mr. Collins at the board, pointing at the equation with a big wooden compass.)

MR. COLLINS: And that is how we solve equations involving a single radical.

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

He wasn't exactly what you'd call "cool".

(Close shot of Mr. Collins turning from the board and looking toward the class off-screen as he removes his glasses.)

MR. COLLINS: Questions?

(Shot of a small group of students as a boy raises his hand.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking toward the boy off-screen and gesturing with the compass.)

MR. COLLINS: Mr. McCormick.

(Close shot of Kevin looking from Mr. Collins toward McCormick off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective as McCormick lowers his hand.)

McCORMICK: Is there any of this stuff we should know for the test?

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking toward McComick off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: All of it.

(Shot of McCormick in a small group of students.)

McCORMICK: All of it? (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Mr. Collins looking toward McComick off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: I wouldn't teach it if I didn't think you should know it.

(Shot of McCormick looking over his shoulder toward a friend. They shake their heads.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking over the class off-screen.)

But he was fair.

MR. COLLINS: I suggest in particular that you study the equation on the board...(points)...that is likely to be on your quiz.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off and smiling.)

You had to respect the guy - at least I did. And I like to think that respect was mutual.

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: Mr. Arnold.

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

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: Do you find something amusing?

(Wider shot of Kevin in a group of students, as they turn slightly toward him.)

KEVIN: Uh, no.

(He glances toward a student and shakes his head slightly.)

KEVIN: Nothing.

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin off-screen.)

(Bell rings.)

(Wide shot of Kevin in the group of students, as he flips his book closed, and students start to rise.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): For tomorrow...

(The students pause and look toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins standing behind his desk with his hands on his hips.)

MR. COLLINS: Review unit 14 "Roots and Radicals".

(Closer shot of Kevin as McCormick and a friend walk past. McCormick turns to his friend.)

McCORMICK: What a doofus.

(McCormick's friend laughs and looks at Kevin as they exit past him. Kevin looks after them off-screen.)

Maybe to some, but to me...

(Kevin looks toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins seated at his desk looking at an open book, as students walk past him.)

The man was kind of a hero.

(Shot of Kevin smiling as he looks at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

He made me want to do my best.

(Kevin exits the shot.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Library

(Shot from across some desks and partitions as the camera moves forward, to just behind Kevin and Paul sitting side-by-side.)

Not that my best was anything to brag about. But...

(Shot from behind Kevin of Paul shaking his head.)

PAUL: This is a bear.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin looking toward him.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him.)

PAUL: Why'd I ever let Mr. Collins talk me into advanced math?

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Oh, come on, Paul - you're doing fine.

(Kevin looks back to his work.)

At least I didn't have to suffer the anxieties...

(Kevin looks at Paul.)

(Close shot of Paul frowning slightly at his paper.)

Of a major-league math jock.

(Paul sighs and shakes his head.)

PAUL: I don't know...

(Paul looks toward Kevin off-screen and holds his paper toward him.)

PAUL: Look what I got on my last quiz.

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

(Close shot of Paul holding his paper, looking at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: A "B".

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen. He smiles and gestures slightly.)

KEVIN: So what's wrong with a "B"?

(Close shot of Paul as he looks at his paper, then Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: A "B" is like kissing you sister. (Shrugs.)

(Close shot of Kevin holding up his paper.)

KEVIN: So who am I kissing?

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: Uh, look...(gestures)...I-I didn't mean it like -

(Close shot of Kevin smiling at Paul off-screen as he sets his paper down.)

KEVIN: No, it's alright, Paul. I'm fine about it, really.

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: I'm gonna go...check out some books.

(Paul stands up.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling and looking after Paul off-screen.)

Fact was, I was kinda proud of my paltry "C".

(Kevin looks forward and smiles.)

I'd worked hard for it. And heck...

(Close shot from in front of Kevin as he smiles in thought.)

We can't all be "Joe Algebra".

(Kevin looks at his paper.)

Besides, who knew? With a little more effort, and a teacher like Collins...

McCORMICK (V/O): Right. Collins?

(Kevin frowns as he listens.)

McCORMICK (V/O): The guy lives on the planet Pythagoras.

(Kevin looks up as he sets his paper down.)

McCORMICK (V/O): He couldn't find his nose with both hands and a slide-rule.

(Sound of kids laughing quietly.)

Wait a minute - what was this?

(Kevin starts to rise.)

(Shot of the partition as Kevin slowly rises behind it.)

BOB (V/O): I don't know...sounds risky.

(Kevin looks toward McCormick and friends off-screen.)

McCORMICK (V/O): You kiddin'? It's easy. Nothin' to it.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and two boys, as McCormick shows them a book.)

McCORMICK: Look at this...

BOB: It's our math book, so what?

McCORMICK: You sure about that?

(McCormick looks off.)

BOB: Whoa! It's the teacher's edition.

(Shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen, slightly surprised.)

KEN (V/O): Where'd you get it?

McCORMICK (V/O): Hey, I got it, OK?

(Close shot of McCormick looking down.)

McCORMICK: Collins' quizzes are straight out of the book. And this book...(nods)...has all the answers.

(McCormick smiles at a boy off-screen.)

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

It was weird. I'd never figured McCormick for a...cheater.

KEN: I don't know...

McCORMICK (V/O): Hey...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the three boys.)

McCORMICK: You were the ones complaining about your grades.

(He looks toward Bob.)

McCORMICK: If you want to start pullin' "B"'s...

(He looks toward Ken.)

McCORMICK: Instead of "D"'s...

KEN: Well...how would we do it?

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

McCORMICK (V/O): OK, um...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the three boys.)

McCORMICK: First we need a code. So whenever we talk about it we'll say, um..."how about those Mets?"

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

KEN (V/O): "How about those Mets?" That's great!

(Close shot of McCormick smiling, then looking toward Kevin off-screen and pausing.)

BOB (V/O): Cool.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off-screen, a little surprised.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the three boys frowning at him off-screen.)

McCORMICK: So, um...back to the grind, huh?

KEN: Yeah, let's go.

(They start to walk off.)

BOB: Yeah. Seeya, Eddie.

(Someone "shhh's" them off-screen.)

(Closer shot of McCormick pausing and frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at McCormick off-screen, then starting to descend slowly behind the divider.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he sits down and glances around.)

I couldn't believe it! Were these guys crazy? Cheating in Collins' class? That didn't seem right.

Cut to

Int. day - Gym Class

(Shot of Mr. Cutlip standing with his hands on his hips, frowning at the kids off-screen.)

MR. CUTLIP: Morality...is a luxury in combat, men. And "fair"...is for fairy tales.

(Shot of McCormick, Kevin and Paul in a group of boys sitting on the floor.)

(Shot past the kids of Mr. Cutlip.)

MR. CUTLIP: The laws of survival...

(Mr. Cutlip starts to pace and itemize on his fingers.)

MR. CUTLIP: Cunning...

(Shot past Mr. Cutlip's legs of the boys looking at him.)

MR. CUTLIP (V/O): Wits...kill...

(Close shot of Mr. Cutlip holding out his thumb and four fingers.)

MR. CUTLIP: Or be killed.

(He frowns and tucks his pinkie finger back, then puts his hands on his hips.)

MR. CUTLIP: Gentlemen...

(He bends over, then stands up holding a large red ball.)

MR. CUTLIP: I give you...dodge-ball.

(Close shot of Kevin in the group, looking toward Mr. Cutlip off-screen with interest.)

(Close shot of Mr. Cutlip as he winds up and throws the ball forward forcefully.)

Cut to

Dodge-Ball

(Shot of Kevin and others standing, as Kevin catches the ball. He runs forward with it.)

(Wider shot as he throws the ball.)

(Shot of Paul and three other boys as the ball passes by Paul. A boy throws a different ball as another boy picks up the first ball.)

(Shot of two boys in profile as they each throw a ball simultaneously. They step back, revealing Mr. Cutlip.)

MR. CUTLIP: Bingo - direct hit.

(Shot of Paul and others as Paul throws the ball.)

(Wide shot of the gym as the boys continue to play.)

Of course, in junior high school, you're never too far from the outer edge of civilization.

(Closer shot of a few boys as one runs past the camera to throw the ball, as another ball is thrown at the boys.)

(Shot of McCormick and a couple other boys as Kevin backs up past the camera.)

McCORMICK: Hey, Arnold!

(Kevin stands next to McCormick as they play.)

KEVIN: McCormick.

(Closer shot of McCormick.)

McCORMICK: You didn't happen to overhear our conversation today in the library, did you?

(McCormick ducks as a ball passes over his head.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward McCormick off-screen, then forward.)

KEVIN: Why? Worried about something?

(Shot of McCormick.)

McCORMICK: Nah, I know you'd never rat on us.

(Wide shot of Mr. Cutlip holding his clipboard as a boy throws the ball.)

MR. CUTLIP: Jungle tactics, men. Show no mercy.

(A few boys catch and throw the balls.)

(Shot of Kevin and McCormick side-by-side, as Kevin catches a ball and runs forward with it past the camera.)

(Wider shot of all as Kevin throws the ball - a repeated scene.)

(Shot of Paul and three other boys as the ball passes by Paul. A boy throws a different ball as another boy picks up the first ball - a repeated scene.)

(Shot of McCormick as Kevin backs up past the camera and stands next to him.)

McCORMICK: I was just gonna say, uh...(gestures)...if you want in...

(Closer shot of Kevin frowning.)

Was he joking?

KEVIN: No...not interested.

(He shakes his head.)

(Shot of McCormick.)

McCORMICK: Have it your way!

(Close shot of Mr. Cutlip holding his clipboard watching the boys in the near foreground.)

MR. CUTLIP: Come on, let's see a little offense.

(Shot of McCormick running toward the camera with a ball.)

(Wide shot of some boys as the ball heads their way.)

(Close shot of Mr. Cutlip looking at McCormick off-screen.)

MR. CUTLIP: Very nice, McCormick.

(Close shot of Paul as he winds up and throws a ball.)

(Shot of Mr. Cutlip as the ball hits him in the side of the face, spinning his hat sideways. He frowns and straightens his hat.)

(Shot of Kevin as McCormick backs up next to him.)

KEVIN: You're never going to get away with it, you know that.

McCORMICK: Why is that?

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: 'Cause you know Collins - he'll figure it out. And he'll eat you for breakfast! (Frowns.)

(Shot of McCormick as he puts a hand on his chest.)

McCORMICK: Wow, what was I thinking?

(Shot of Kevin as he dodges a ball.)

(Shot of McCormick with his hand on his chest.)

McCORMICK: It was a dumb idea. You're right, Kevin.

(Wide shot past a boys' legs of Mr. Cutlip and other boys.)

MR. CUTLIP: Come on, focus - concentration...commitment!

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: All I'm saying is that Collins -

McCORMICK (V/O): Come on, Arnold.

(Shot of McCormick.)

McCORMICK: Don't be a dunce. Collins isn't God.

(Shot of Kevin.)

(Shot of McCormick.)

McCORMICK: He's a middle-aged algebra teacher in a bad suit.

(Shot of Kevin shaking his head slightly.)

Oh, yeah? Well, this guy was in for a surprise.

KEVIN: Alright - it's your funeral. (Smiles.)

(Shot of McCormick.)

McCORMICK: We'll see.

(McCormick ducks out of the shot as a ball flies past him.)

Yeah - we'd see.

(The camera pans across to Kevin.)

At least he couldn't say I hadn't warned him.

(Kevin rests his hands on his knees and looks at McCormick off-screen.)

Now it was up to him if he wanted to get -

(A ball hits Kevin on the top of the head, and he falls down out of the shot.)

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

MR. CUTLIP: You're out, Arnold!

(Mr. Cutlip picks up his whistle and blows it. Sound of the school bell.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Math Class

(Shot from the rear of the class past some students of Mr. Collins handing out quizzes.)

MR. COLLINS: Have your pencils ready...

(The camera moves sideways.)

MR. COLLINS: Books off the desk.

(Mr. Collins starts to walk across the class in the opposite direction of the camera.)

MR. COLLINS: You have twenty minutes to complete this quiz.

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

Dodge-ball was one thing...

(He looks toward McCormick off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick pulling out a piece of paper and unfolding it.)

Mr. Collins was quite another.

(Shot past two boys of Kevin turning forward.)

I almost felt sorry for these guys...

(Kevin looks toward McCormick off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the three boys.)

Did they actually believe they could pull this off?

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at his watch.)

MR. COLLINS: Begin.

(Shot of Kevin as he looks at his paper and picks up his pencil.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins as he starts to walk the floor.)

(Shot of Kevin working on his quiz, then looking toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins walking down McCormick's aisle.)

(Shot of McCormick looking up casually, and slightly covering the paper.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins walking down McCormick's aisle.)

Well, that didn't take long.

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin looking at him and smiling slightly.)

Here it came.

(Close shot of Mr. Collins as he turns slowly.)

Target sighted.

(A little dramatic music plays.)

(Wider shot of McCormick, and Mr. Collins tapping his desk with a pencil.)

Lock on radar, and...

(Close shot of Mr. Collins looking down at McCormick.)

(Shot of McCormick and Mr. Collins.)

I believe we have contact...

(Shot of Kevin looking toward them off-screen.)

(Close shot of Mr. Collins looking down at McCormick.)

(Shot of McCormick and Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins taps the desk as McCormick put his pencil on his lip.)

(Close shot of Mr. Collins looking down at McCormick, then turning and walking away. Music ends.)

(Shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Huh?

I couldn't believe it!

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his two buddies.)

Collins had missed it.

(The boys smile slightly.)

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

Right under his nose, and he missed it.

MR. COLLINS (V/O): Mr. Arnold.

(Close shot of Kevin looking quickly toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: Is something distracting you?

(Close shot of Kevin looking off, then at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

KEVIN: Uh, no, sir.

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: Then I would suggest you concentrate on your own work.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off, then at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

KEVIN: Yessir.

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin off-screen, then glancing at other students, then opening his book.)

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

OK, sure - if that's the way he wanted it.

(He glances forward.)

Let McCormick cheat.

(Kevin resumes working on his quiz.)

It wasn't my problem, anyway.

(The camera moves in slowly.)

Nope - I'd just go about getting my usual "C"'s, here.

Cut to

Int. Day - Cafeteria

(Close shot of hands holding a quiz marked with red felt pen.)

PAUL (V/O): A "D"?!

(Shot of Paul as he sits down opposite Kevin.)

PAUL: You got a "D"?

KEVIN: I don't understand. I mean, I got a 72. Last week I got a 72 and it was a "C".

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking down at the quiz.)

PAUL: Let me see this.

(Paul puts his hand on his chin.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

PAUL: Hmmm...

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at the quiz.)

PAUL: He must be grading on the curve.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin as he frowns.)

"The curve". You heard stories about it, but you never thought it'd happen to you.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him.)

PAUL: It's kind of a parabolic way of grading.

(Paul looks at the quiz, then off.)

PAUL: Imagine...

(Shot of Kevin frowning and looking off.)

PAUL (V/O): The grade distribution of your class - it's like a bell -

KEVIN: Paul, I know what a curve is. (Frowns.)

At least I knew enough about it to smell a rat.

(Kevin looks off toward McCormick off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends. Ken holds his test up and smiles at another boy.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking from McCormick to Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: So what you're saying is...if there were some students who were getting "C"'s and "D"'s last week, and this week were getting "A"'s and "B"'s...

(Close shot of Paul drinking his chocolate milk through a straw.)

PAUL: That's it! (Smiles.) That could affect your grade!

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

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends.)

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

KEVIN: Great...

PAUL (V/O): But I wouldn't worry about it.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: I'm sure it's just temporary. (Shrugs.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

KEVIN: What makes you think that?

(Shot past Kevin of Paul.)

PAUL: Well, the entire grade average doesn't change over night - that much is obvious.

(Paul sets his milk down.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin.)

Uh-huh. Obvious to Paul, maybe.

Cut to

Int. Day - Math Class

(Shot of the wall of the classroom, showing a poster of Einstein, and two smaller posters.)

(A little dramatic music plays.)

(Mr. Collins walks into the shot, holding his book under his arm.)

But what to about Mr. Collins?

(Mr. Collins approaches the camera.)

It was time for Mr. Tough-But-Fair to put a stop to this.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends taking a test.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins walking toward the camera.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward McCormick and Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends, as Mr. Collins approaches behind them.)

(Close shot of Mr. Collins walking toward the camera.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins walking past McCormick. The camera pans with him as he heads up the aisle. The music ends.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at him off-screen and frowning.)

KEVIN: (Sotto voce): Oh, come on.

It was so obvious!

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends, as McCormick looks up and slides out a sheet of paper.)

Right out in the open.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen and frowning.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins at the front of the teacher's desk.)

Could Mr. Collins be so...blind?

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward McCormick, then Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Bell rings.)

(Shot from behind the teacher's desk as students walk past it. Kevin is the last to rise in the background, and walks toward the camera.)

It was time to have a little talk.

(The camera pans with Kevin as he stops in front of Mr. Collins, and glances over his shoulder.)

KEVIN: Mr. Collins?

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins with his head on his hand, looking at Kevin.)

MR. COLLINS: Yes?

(He puts his hand down.)

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin.)

KEVIN: It's about the quizzes, sir.

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins.)

MR. COLLINS: What about them?

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Well...(gestures)...do they always have to come from the book?

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins.)

MR. COLLINS: That is what I told the class...(gestures)...at the beginning of the term.

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Yeah, well...isn't that a little bit predictable?

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins as he looks at Kevin, and rests his chin on both hands.)

There. Now he was catchin' on.

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin smiling slightly.)

I knew I could count on him.

MR. COLLINS (V/O): Kevin?

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins as he looks at Kevin.)

MR. COLLINS: Are you having a problem?

(Close shot of Kevin looking off and shaking his head slightly.)

KEVIN: Uh, no! (Frowns.) It's just this...curve, sir.

(Close shot of Mr. Collins holding his hands together, looking at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking off, then frowning at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

KEVIN: Well, don't you think it's a little unfair?

(Close shot of Mr. Collins holding his hands together, looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: No, I don't think so.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off, then at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

KEVIN: Well...it just seems to me that...this system might not be right...for...this class, anyway.

(Close shot of Mr. Collins holding his hands together, looking at Kevin off-screen.)

There! I'd practically drawn him a map.

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

What was he gonna to say to that?

(Close shot of Mr. Collins looking down.)

MR. COLLINS: Thank you for your feedback, Mr. Arnold.

(Mr. Collins picks up the stack of tests and taps them on the desk to straighten them.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning slightly and looking off.)

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

MR. COLLINS: But I would suggest that you not concern yourself with the rest of the class.

(Close shot of Kevin glancing off.)

KEVIN: Huh?

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

MR. COLLINS: Every problem...contains its own solution, Mr. Arnold.

(Close shot of Kevin glancing off.)

What was this guy saying?

(Kevin looks at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

It was like talking to a fortune cookie - while my grade was sinking like a -

(Wider shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin.)

MR. COLLINS: Is there anything else?

(Wider shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: No.

(He shakes his head slightly, then heads for the door. The camera moves behind Mr. Collins and pans with Kevin.)

(Kevin looks over his shoulder, then pauses at the door. Mr. Collins takes off his glasses.)

And that's when I realized I'd been wrong about the man.

(Closer shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

This was no hero...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins wiping his glasses with his handkerchief.)

This was just a middle-aged guy in a bad suit, teaching junior high algebra.

(Mr. Collins blows his nose.)

(Close shot of Kevin turning toward the door.)

Cut to

Hallway

(Shot of Kevin stepping out the door, and approaching the camera up the crowded hallway.)

(Kevin pauses, and looks toward McCormick and his friends off-screen.)

It wasn't fair.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends talking in the hallway.)

Those jokers were getting a free ride...

(Close shot of Kevin glancing over his shoulder toward the classroom, then back toward McCormick off-screen.)

While the conductor was asleep at the switch.

KEVIN: Hey, McCormick! (Frowns.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends looking toward him.)

McCORMICK: Yeah?

(Shot from behind McCormick as Kevin approaches.)

It was time to put things right. I was gonna take control of the situation.

(Kevin pauses in front of McCormick.)

(Shot past Kevin of McCormick looking at him expectantly.)

McCORMICK: What?!

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

It was now or never.

(Shot past Kevin of McCormick looking at him expectantly.)

KEVIN: How about those Mets?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at McCormick off-screen and sighing.)

(Shot past Kevin of McCormick smiling at him.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking off. Twang of Snuffy's guitar.)

Fade to

Int. Day - Library

(Shot though a bookshelf of a boy holding out a paper.)

(Shot past the boy of Kevin on the other side of the shelf as he takes the paper.)

(Some Snuffy guitar plays.)

(The boy exits, and Kevin puts a few books back in the opening.)

(Shot from behind Kevin as he turns around, and glances around.)

And so began my life of crime.

Cut to

Int. Day - Math Class

(Close shot of Kevin's hand on top of a paper on his desk. He slides a smaller sheet of paper with answers on it from under the test.)

(The camera pulls back as Kevin looks toward Mr. Collins off-screen. McCormick and friends are in the background.)

The funny thing is I thought it'd be hard, but...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins at his desk, looking in his book and making notes.)

(Shot of Kevin, and McCormick and friends in the background. They look toward each other, and McCormick smiles.)

McCormick was right.

(Shot of Kevin looking toward McCormick off-screen.)

It was easy.

(Closer shot of McCormick raising his eyebrows and smiling.)

(Shot of Kevin looking forward toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

At first.

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Kitchen

(Close shot of Kevin's quiz on the refrigerator.)

NORMA (V/O): A "B"!

(Shot of Norma at the stove, looking over her shoulder and smiling.)

NORMA: Kevin this is wonderful - I'm so proud of you! (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin leaning back against the refrigerator, smiling self-consciously.)

Pretty soon though...

(He starts to drink his milk.)

NORMA (V/O): See?

(Shot past Kevin of Norma looking at him. She is wearing rubber gloves and wiping the stove with a sponge.)

NORMA: When you apply yourself, you get what you deserve.

(Close shot of Kevin against the refrigerator.)

Things started to get more complicated.

(He smiles and nods slightly.)

PAUL (V/O): You got a "B-plus"?

Cut to

Int. Day - Cafeteria

(Shot of Paul and Kevin in line.)

PAUL: Kevin...you math stud, you.

(They slide along, and a woman puts a spoonful of food on Paul's plate.)

Then again...

PAUL: Hey - maybe I should study with you!

(Kevin smiles slightly.)

KEVIN: What can I say?

(Closer shot of Kevin looking off.)

What could I say?

(He looks toward Paul off-screen.)

WINNIE (V/O) "A minus."

Cut to

Hallway

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie at the top of the stairs, approaching the camera.)

WINNIE: Kevin, I'm so proud of you! (Smiles.)

(Kevin smiles at Winnie as they descend on opposite sides of the rail. The camera rolls back with them.)

It was all a little confusing.

WINNIE: I hear Mr. Collins is really hard.

(Closer shot of Kevin as he frowns and looks off, shaking his head.)

KEVIN: Well, yeah...but it...

(He smiles at Winnie off-screen.)

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

WINNIE: You're so smart.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at her.)

I mean...where was it all gonna lead?

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling at him. Twang of Snuffy guitar.)

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at her.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling slightly at him as they pause.)

WINNIE: Maybe you could help me with some of my math.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at her with his mouth open.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Math Class

(Close shot of a loose pile of tests on a desk.)

KEVIN (V/O): An "A"...

(Kevin's hand picks up his test, which has a "96" circled in red. The camera pans up to Kevin and pulls back.)

OK - maybe I'd gone too far.

(Kevin glances toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

But I couldn't help myself.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins at his desk, flipping through his grade book.)

After all, it was pretty clear no one was minding the store here.

(Shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

If Collins didn't care...

(Kevin turns toward the door.)

Why should I?

(The camera pans with Kevin, and includes Mr. Collins in the foreground. Mr. Collins frowns and looks toward Kevin.)

MR. COLLINS: Mr. Arnold.

(Close shot of Kevin looking over his shoulder.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins leaning back in his chair.)

MR. COLLINS: May I speak to you for a moment?

(Close shot of Kevin glancing off, and breathing heavily.)

And then suddenly...I cared.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins looking at his grade book, and setting his hand on it.)

(Close shot of Kevin glancing over his shoulder.)

OK - the important thing here is not to wimper.

(Kevin looks toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

Just put your head on the chopping block...

(Shot past Mr. Collins looking at his grade book, as Kevin approaches.)

And pray for a clean stroke.

(Mr. Collins has his hand on his chin.)

MR. COLLINS: I've just been looking at your grades.

KEVIN: Yessir...

(Mr. Collins points at the grades with his pencil.)

MR. COLLINS: You shot up...from a 72, two weeks ago, to an 85, to an 87, to a 92, and today, a 96.

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins as he turns toward him.)

MR. COLLINS: Now, wouldn't you say that was pretty remarkable?

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Well...

(Kevin pauses.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins looking at him.)

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: I guess so...

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins looking at him.)

MR. COLLINS: I've been thinking about what to do about it.

In a way...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen, then glancing off.)

It was a relief. I guess on some level I just wanted the whole thing to be over.

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

MR. COLLINS: I'd like to put you in my honors math class.

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

KEVIN: Ex-excuse me?

(Close shot of Mr. Collins looking off.)

MR. COLLINS: We'd have to juggle your schedule...

(He looks at Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: But I think we could manage that.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen, then glancing off.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): It's a very demanding class, but uh, based on your work in here - I think you're ready for it.

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at his grade book, then turning to Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: What do you think?

(Close shot of Kevin glancing off.)

KEVIN: Sounds like fun...(Frowns.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): Good.

(Close shot of Mr. Collins looking at his grade book.)

MR. COLLINS: You can start tomorrow.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen. He forces a smile.)

Well, there you had it.

(Kevin frowns slightly, and exits toward the door.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Advanced Math Class

(Shot of Mr. Collins writing on the blackboard.)

MR. COLLINS: Then prove it...

I was up the proverbial creek without a slide-rule.

(Wide shot up an aisle of Kevin in the middle of a group of students. Paul sits next to him.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): In the original equation. Thus...

(Paul nudges Kevin.)

PAUL: This is gonna be great, huh? (Smiles.)

(Kevin smiles at him.)

Yeah.

(Close shot of Kevin looking forward uncertainly.)

"Great" was the word.

MR. COLLINS (V/O): In order to remove the denominators...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins at the board.)

MR. COLLINS: We multiply both sides of the equation by...five "X", times "X" minus three.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen and frowning slightly.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): And the result is...

I was a stranger in a strange land.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins at the board.)

MR. COLLINS: Of course, when we solve quadratic equations by completing the square...it is necessary to make one member of the equation...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen and frowning slightly.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): A perfect square trinomial.

(Kevin frowns and taps the shoulder of the girl in front of him.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): Both sides of the equation...

(The girl turns over her shoulder and Kevin gestures toward Mr. Collins.)

KEVIN: Did you get what he just said?

(Close shot of the girl.)

GIRL: When you solve quadratic equations by completing the square...

(Shot past the girl of Kevin.)

GIRL: You have to make one member of the equation...

(Close shot of the girl.)

GIRL: A perfect square trinomial.

(She smiles, and turns forward.)

MR. COLLINS (V/O): Thus, we get "X" minus two squared, and...

(Shot past the girl of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Yeah.

MR. COLLINS (V/O): Gives us "X" equals "X" squared...

KEVIN: That's uh...that's what I though he said.

MR. COLLINS (V/O): That's four "X", plus four. Alright...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins stepping toward the class.)

MR. COLLINS: Who can solve the equation?

(Wide shot up the aisle as everyone except Kevin raises their hand. Kevin glances around.)

Ah, Isaac Newton? Enrico Fermi?

(Close shot of Mr. Collins.)

MR. COLLINS: Kevin Arnold.

(Wide shot of Kevin. Bit of dramatic music as the camera zooms in very quickly on him.)

KEVIN: Uh...

(Shot past Kevin of Paul as Kevin looks down at his book and sighs.)

KEVIN: Uh...

(Paul raises his hand.)

(Shot up the aisle of Mr. Collins as other students raise their hands.)

MR. COLLINS: Put your hands down.

(The students lower their hands, then turn toward Kevin.)

MR. COLLINS: Mr. Arnold?

(Shot past Kevin of Paul turning toward him, and lowering his hand.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and looking off.)

I was trapped.

(He looks at Mr. Collins off-screen.)

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

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

KEVIN: Could you repeat the question?

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

MR. COLLINS: Seventy-three...two-eighty-six...twelve-twelve.

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

KEVIN: What?! (Frowns.)

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

MR. COLLINS: Thirteen, four-forty, eleven-fifty-seven.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen, and tapping the girl in front of him.)

KEVIN: What's he talking about?

(Close shot of the girl.)

GIRL: Four, seven, six-fifteen, forty-two.

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

KEVIN: What?!

GIRL: Five-sixty-eight, ninety-three.

KEVIN: I don't know what you're saying!

(Wider shot of Kevin and other students as they all start to rattle off numbers to him.)

KEVIN: What?!

(Close shot of the girl looking at him off-screen. The camera tilts at an odd angle.)

GIRL: Sixty-nine, one-thousand, two-hundred...

KEVIN: But I don't know this stuff!

(Close shot of Paul looking at him off-screen. The camera tilts at an odd angle.)

PAUL: Forty-four ninety-six...twenty-seven ninety-two.

(Close shot of Kevin looking worried.)

KEVIN: I don't know what you're saying.

(Very close shot of the girls mouth.)

GIRL: Three-oh-five...one-seventy-two...

(Close shot of a boys mouth.)

BOY: The square root of fourteen minus...

(The camera pans up the boys face to his eye.)

BOY (V/O): Three-thousand-six-hundred and twenty-two...

(Close shot of Kevin looking around him.)

KEVIN: Stop! No! Please!

(Close shot of Paul's mouth as he smiles.)

PAUL: Eighty-nine, seventeen, sixty-seven twenty-four...

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward the ceiling and yelling.)

KEVIN: Stop! No!!!!

(He drops his head forward as the camera pans quickly in a blur.)

(The camera stops on Paul as Rod Serling, on "The Twilight Zone" set, holding a lit cigarette in his crossed hands. Mathematical props are in the shot.)

PAUL (as Rod Serling): Submitted for your approval - a boy...suffering the tortures of algebra. He went looking for easy answers, but somehow it didn't add up. Let "X" equal an unknown quantity. Let "Y" go left unanswered.

(The camera moves in slowly.)

PAUL (as Rod Serling): If six bald men...get on a train...going a hundred miles per hour - how many stops before they reach - The Twilight Zone?

Cut to

Restroom

(Shot from behind Kevin at the sink, putting water on his face. He looks into the mirror.)

Well, I'd learned one thing in advanced math.

(He grabs a paper towel.)

I'd learned I was going to fail.

(He dries his face.)

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow - but soon, and for the rest of my life.

(He looks at himself and frowns.)

BOB (V/O): Hey, McCormick - wait up!

(Kevin looks toward the door off-screen.)

(Shot of McCormick backing up with his hands in front of him, followed by his two buddies.)

McCORMICK: Hey, guys...

(Shot of Kevin at the sink, looking at McCormick off-screen.)

KEVIN: Hey, McCormick!

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends looking at him.)

(Shot of Kevin at the sink, looking at McCormick off-screen.)

KEVIN: I got a problem.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends looking at him.)

McCORMICK: Hey, man - I got my own problems. (Frowns.)

(Shot of Kevin at the sink, looking at McCormick off-screen.)

KEVIN: What are you talkin' about? (Frowns.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends looking at him.)

McCORMICK: Didn't you hear?

BOB: We all got "F's" on the unit test! And the unit test...

(Shot of Kevin at the sink, looking at McCormick off-screen.)

BOB (V/O): Counts for fifty percent of our grade.

(Close shot of McCormick looking at his friends.)

McCORMICK: It's Collins, man. He's totally out-to-lunch.

(Shot of Kevin at the sink, looking off.)

McCORMICK (V/O): He's supposed to take the tests out of the book.

(Kevin looks toward McCormick off-screen.)

McCORMICK (V/O): Just like the quizzes.

(Close shot of McCormick turning toward Kevin off-screen.)

McCORMICK: He doesn't know what he's doing!

(Shot of Kevin at the sink, looking at McCormick off-screen.)

May be... But suddenly I was beginning to wonder.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormick and his friends looking at each other.)

BOB: You're dead, Eddie! (Frowns.)

(McCormick frowns.)

McCORMICK: Come on, you guys...

(McCormick starts to push his way through them toward the door.)

(Shot of Kevin looking after McCormick off-screen.)

McCORMICK (V/O): Get out of my way.

BOB (V/O): Hold it, McCormick - we're not done with you, yet.

(Kevin turns and looks at himself in the mirror.)

About a lot of things.

Cut to

Int. Afternoon - Arnold Kitchen

(Wide shot of Norma in the kitchen, reaching up into a cabinet as Kevin enters from the livingroom in the background and pauses.)

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

(Close shot of Kevin's test stuck on the refrigerator.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the refrigerator off-screen, then glancing around.)

I began to realize that with the curve, if I'd just stayed put, then my "C" could have been a "B".

(Close shot of Kevin's test stuck on the refrigerator.)

A real "B".

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the refrigerator, then Norma off-screen.)

(Shot of Norma turning toward Kevin off-screen and smiling.)

One that I earned.

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

Fade to

Int. Afternoon - Kevin and Wayne's Bedroom

(Shot across Wayne's bed of Kevin sitting on the edge of his bed, disinterestedly flipping through the pages of a comic book as the clock ticks.)

The funny thing is, McCormick and the others had paid their price, while I was left alone.

(Kevin tosses the comic book on Wayne's bed.)

With nothing but my conscience...

(Shot of Kevin's reflection in the dressing mirror on the wall. The camera moves in on it as he looks at himself.)

Staring me in the face.

Fade to

Int. Day - Math Class

(Shot past Mr. Collins as Kevin enters through the door in the background and pauses.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins writing at his desk.)

This wasn't going to be easy.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen, then looking down and stepping forward.)

(Wide shot across some desks as Kevin approaches slowly. The camera moves forward.)

(Kevin and the camera pause as Mr. Collins flips through papers, then notices Kevin.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins turning toward him, then looking back to his papers.)

(Shot past Mr. Collins of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Mr. Collins?

(Kevin looks off hesitantly, and Mr. Collins takes off his glasses.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Collins as he leans back in his chair and looks at Kevin.)

MR. COLLINS: Had enough?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Collins off-screen, slightly surprised.)

(Shot of Mr. Collins smiling slightly at Kevin off-screen.)

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

KEVIN: But...how - ?

(Shot of Mr. Collins looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: Every problem has its own solution, Mr. Arnold.

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

(Shot from outside throught the window of Kevin and Mr. Collins facing each other.)

Fade to

"Later"

(Same shot through the window, but the class is full as kids take their seats.)

MR. COLLINS: Alright, now, please take your seats and settle down.

So...

Cut to

Int. Classroom

(Close shot of Kevin as a girl passes tests back to him.)

It was back to long hours, hard work, and respectable "C"'s.

(Kevin passes the tests to the kid behind him.)

It felt good.

(Kevin looks toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Mr. Collins seated at his desk as he holds his jacket sleeve back and looks at his watch.)

MR. COLLINS: You may...begin.

(Close shot of Kevin looking up from his test toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

As for why Collins had singled me out...

(Kevin looks across the class.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of McCormack at his desk, looking forward,.)

I could only guess.

(McCormack frowns and lowers his head.)

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Mr. Collins off-screen and smiling slightly.)

But the man had said, every problem...

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

Contains its own solution.

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Mr. Collins off-screen and smiling slightly.)

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

MR. COLLINS: Mr. Arnold.

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

(Closer shot of Mr. Collins looking toward Kevin off-screen.)

MR. COLLINS: Do you have a question?

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

KEVIN: No.

(Closer shot of Mr. Collins looking toward Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin looking toward Mr. Collins off-screen.)

KEVIN: No. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Mr. Collins as he looks back to his papers.)

(Wider shot of Kevin and others looking at their tests and writing. The camera pushes in.)

So, I guess he'd wanted me to solve this one...

(Kevin writes briefly.)

On my own.

(Kevin looks toward Mr. Collins off-screen. Music "American Tune" starts. The camera pushes in as Kevin smiles, then resumes his work. He pauses and frowns slightly, then erases his answer. He smiles brightly, then rewrites his answer.)

Fade to

CLOSING CREDITS

Supporting Cast
Mr. Collins - Stephen Gilborn
McCormick - Chris Demetral
Mr. Cutlip - Robert Picardo
Bob - Joshua Smith
Ken - Eric Ratican

Music
"The Twilight Zone" Theme - Marius Constant
"American Tune" - Paul Simon



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01/02/05 10:10