Episode 48 - "Ninth Grade Man"



OPENING SEQUENCE
(Film clips of amoebae, mud pits, volcanoes. Clip of animated dinosaurs from the 1925 movie "The Lost World".)

Once upon a time life was simple.

Listen to that line.

Evolutionarily speaking. Then, things began to change.

(Shot of a glacier falling into the water.)

The competition got tougher.

(Shot of battling animated dinosaurs.)

There were winners...and losers. The struggle continued.

(One dinosaur falls off the cliff into the water.)

(Picture of a small earth from space. Theme from "2001" begins.)

Then in the fall of 1970, a new creature appeared...

(The camera zooms in on the earth, to nearly fill the screen.)

The likes of which had never been seen before.

Fade to
Int. Night - The Pizza Barn

(Shot of a pizza, the same size as the earth, on the wall.)

Noble, upright, virtuous.

(Kevin steps into the scene, his profile centered in the pizza.)

Ninth-grade man.

(Kettle drums from "2001")

Master of all he surveyed.

(Close shot of Kevin. He is smiling and looking past the camera.)

Which in this case was Woody's Pizza Barn where the elite went to meet.

(Shot of Kevin walking across the floor, carrying a pizza and pitcher of ice tea.)

Yep, by the last week of summer I was feeling pretty good about myself. Life seemed to be full of promise, full of hope, full of...

(Shot of Kevin setting the food down at the table where Winnie and Paul are waiting.)

PAUL: Patchy dry spots! I'm getting patchy dry spots.

(Close shot of Paul as he feels his cheek.)

KEVIN: Relax, Paul. You're just having back-to-school jitters. By tomorrow you'll be fine.

PAUL: Sure.

(He looks down, then towards Kevin.)

PAUL: Only...what if something goes wrong? What if I wear the wrong clothes?

(Shot of Kevin smirking.)

PAUL (V/O): What if I forget...?

KEVIN: Paul!

(Shot of Paul.)

PAUL: I gotta go put on some ointment. (Exits.)

(Shot of Kevin watching Paul leave off-screen. Kevin's gaze settles on Winnie off-screen, and he smiles.)

OK, so not everyone shared my sense of well-being.

(Shot past Kevin in profile of Winnie.)

That was understandable. Not everyone had a steady girl like mine.

(Camera reverses sides, Kevin is smiling.)

Winnie Cooper.

(Winnie turns, and they give each other a little smile.)

So long as we had each other, we had nothing to fear.

(Shot of Winnie. She toys with her straw.)

WINNIE: I'm scared.

(Shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: What?!

WINNIE: Well, I am.

KEVIN: Winnie, stop worrying. Everybody's gonna like ya.

(Shot of Winnie looking worried as she continues to play with the straw.)

WINNIE: That's easy for you to say. You're not starting in a new school. All the strange classrooms. The strange people. And you'll be so far away. (She looks sad.)

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin.)

WINNIE: You won't forget about me, will you?

KEVIN: What?!

WINNIE: Will you think about me?

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Of course I'll think about you!

(Close shot of Winnie.)

WINNIE: Think about me every hour. On the hour. And I'll think about you.

KEVIN: Winnie...

(Winnie looks at Kevin earnestly.)

WINNIE: Promise? Every hour?

KEVIN: I promise.

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie side-by-side as Winnie snuggles closer and smiles.)

Sure. I'd promise her the world. Why not? I was ninth-grade man. And I was ready - for anything.

Cut to
Int. Day - School Hallway (Shot of a hand slamming a locker shut. The camera pans up the arm to show a large, mean-looking face.)

TONY: This is mine!

(Shot of Tony, Kevin and Paul standing in front of the lockers.)

Make that almost anything.

(Kevin and Paul are surprised to see Tony.)

KEVIN: Tony?

PAUL: Barbella?

(Tony smirks.)

TONY: Welcome back.

PAUL (To Kevin): I thought he graduated...

TONY: I graduate every year.

PAUL: Oh.

TONY: And this - (points) - is my locker!

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the locker, then at Tony.)

Great. Three minutes into the new year and the first face I see...

(Close up of Tony.)

Belongs on the wall of the post office. Still, I could handle this.

KEVIN (As if to a child): Uh, no, I don't think so, Tony, you see, that's your locker.

(Tony looks over, intently.)

KEVIN: Over there. (Gestures.) Remember?

TONY: Oh, yeah.

KEVIN: Yeah.

There. Simple reasoning. Solid logic.

TONY: So I guess I got two now, huh? Lucky me.

KEVIN: Yeah, but -

TONY: Do you think you could deal with that? But because if you can't, I'm gonna have to take your thumb and bend it back to your elbow.

Seemed that Tony had a logic of his own.

(Kevin smiles timidly.)

KEVIN: Help yourself.

(Tony put some things in the locker, slams it, and leaves.)

After all, no sense letting one gorilla ruin my whole day.

(The bell rings.)

I had places to go. Things to do. Lockers to find...

Fade to
School Hallway

(Close shot of Paul and Kevin at the lockers. Kevin is trying to find an empty one. Kevin opens a locker and smiles.)

(Shot from the other side of an open locker door. It is slapped shut, revealing Becky Slater. She glares at Kevin.)

(Shot of a surprised Paul and Kevin.)

People to meet.

(Becky glares at Kevin.)

BECKY: This is my locker.

(Shot of Kevin in surprise, then smiling.)

KEVIN: Becky! Hi!

(Shot of Becky.)

Becky Slater. Once my Nemesis, but now just a good friend.

BECKY: I hate you, Kevin!

KEVIN: What? Why?

BECKY: As if you didn't know!

KEVIN: But -

BECKY: Don't play dumb with me, Kevin. You introduced us.

(She opens the locker, and Paul and Kevin start to turn away.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul walking toward camera away from Becky.)

That answered that. With just one little question...

KEVIN: What is she talking about?

PAUL: Craig Hobson.

(Becky perks up in the background.)

PAUL: Didn't you hear? He dumped her. Then he left for military school.

(Becky slams her locker. Kevin turns.)

BECKY: This is your fault!


Listen to that line

(She walks up the hallway toward them.)

BECKY (Smiling.): But I don't get mad -

(Becky approaches, almost blocking camera.)

BECKY: I get even!

(Shot from behind Becky as she pushes her way between Kevin and Paul, and walks off.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking after her off-screen.)

Kind a like having your own personal welcome-wagon waiting at the door.

(Kevin and Paul look at each other in mild relief.)

Cut to
Int. Day - Classroom

(Shot of standing students reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.)

CLASS: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America...

OK...things were starting off a little bumpy. I wasn't worried.

(Shot of Kevin.)

I had more important things to do. Like think about Winnie.

(Shot of the clock. It shows 7:58 AM.)

KEVIN:...and justice for all.

(The class sits.)

Yep, In just two minutes she'd be thinking about me.

(Close shot of Kevin in profile.)

Poor kid, all alone in a new school.

(Kevin glances to the side, then forward again.)

I can only hope someone would be nice enough to say...

(Kevin turns again in disbelief. Sound of a harp or bells playing throughout.)

(Shot of a girl in profile, with Kevin in the foreground looking at her.)

Hnnhn...

(Shot of Kevin.)

(Close-up of girl's face. She slowly turns her eyes toward Kevin.)

Hnhnhnhnw...

(Shot of Kevin looking at her with awe.)

(Extreme close-up of the girl's lips, then eyes.)

(Extreme close-up of the girl brushing back the hair over her ear with her hand.)

Uhnuhnhunhuhh...

(The girl glances at Kevin, then bumps her pencil with her elbow.)

(Close-up of the girl's pencil rolling off the desk in slow motion.)

(Shot of Kevin watching the pencil. It bounces in slow motion, with sound effects.)

(Shot of Kevin bending to get the pencil. As he is bent over, he looks over the girl's body. Twang of guitar.)

(The camera pans up the girl's legs to her face. She sits calmly in profile.)

Gulp!

(Close shot of Kevin looking past the camera at the girl. Music ends.)

KEVIN: Excuse me.

(The girl turns with a half-smile and leans a bit closer.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: You, uh...dropped this.

(Shot of girl looking on patiently.)

KEVIN: And I...uh, um...uh, pick-picked it up.

(The girl slowly raises an eyebrow.)

KEVIN: For you.

(The girl nods slightly, and smiles.)

GIRL: Thank you -

KEVIN: Ke-K-Kevin.

(Shot of the girl and Kevin. She smiles and reaches for the pencil. Sound of electrical buzzing noise as the girl grabs the pencil.)

Fact! Lead conducts electricity.

(Stronger electrical noises.)

(Close-up of their hands holding the pencil between them.)

(Shot of Kevin and the girl jerking apart. All effects end.)

(Shot of the girl looking forward with Kevin in the background. She appears to be waiting for Kevin to speak.)

(Kevin turns back to his desk.)

(The girl wants to continue the conversation. She glances at Kevin in preparation.)

GIRL: I wonder whether you could help me?

(Shot from in front of the desks as she leans over, looking at a paper. Kevin leans over and looks at her hair.)

GIRL: Is this class at the other side of the quad?

(She coolly looks at the paper.)

(Kevin is still looking at her hair, dreamily.)

KEVIN: Uh...

(Kevin looks at her schedule. The girl turns her head to face him and smiles.)

KEVIN (Brighter): Yeah. Yeah, just...down to the left.

(Kevin turns back. They are inches apart. Kevin is a little surprised.)

GIRL: Thank you.

(She smiles and sits back, out of the shot.)

KEVIN: You bet.

(He smiles and keeps looking toward her. The bell rings.)

(Shot of Kevin, still smiling, turning and looking toward the clock.)

(Shot of the clock showing 8:02 AM.)

(Shot Kevin in the foreground, the girl in the background, as Kevin slaps his desk.)

KEVIN: Darn it!

(Kevin shrugs, as the girl stands up and exits. Kevin looks after her.)

OK - so I dropped the ball.

(Shot of the girl walking away from the camera toward the door.)

Just being hospitable.

(She glances over her shoulder with a slightly bewildered look toward Kevin as she exits.)

Winnie would understand.

(Paul cuts in front of the camera.)

PAUL: I don't understand this!

KEVIN: Huh...?

PAUL: My schedule! Look what they gave me. Chemistry!

KEVIN: So, what's wrong with that!?

PAUL: Are you kidding? You know what happens if I get near chemicals. I'm allergic to soap!

KEVIN: Paul...

PAUL: I knew this year would be a disaster. Well, what did you get?

KEVIN: Uh, let me see.

PAUL: I bet you got something neat. Like astronomy. Or physics!

Sure, something neat. Like, say...

Cut to
Shop class

(Kevin enters the shop. Lots of machinery and noise.)

Industrial arts? Shop? It was encouraging to know the board of education had such confidence in my intellectual prowess.

(Shot of Kevin walking through the shop, then leaning on a machine.)

BOY: Hey! Hey, don't stand next to that machine!

(Kevin jerks back.)

KEVIN: What? Why?

BOY: That baby ate Ray Spike's index finger.

(Shot of Kevin looking off.)

BOY (V/O): It's kind of a shrine.

(Close shot of the boy frowning toward Kevin off-screen.)

BOY: You're new here, aren't ya?

(Shot of Kevin looking towatrd the boy off-screen.)

KEVIN: Yeah. But it's a mistake.

(Close shot of the boy chuckling.)

BOY: That's what they all say...

(He lowers his goggles.)

(Wider shot of Kevin as he reaches for his schedule.)

KEVIN: No really! See there's been a mistake on my schedule.

(Kevin approaches the boy. The boy snatches the schedule from Kevin.)

If it had been a blueprint this kid might have been able to read it.

(The student flips the paper over and looks.)

But since it was in English, it was pretty obvious - he didn't have a clue.

KEVIN: Is there a teacher here?

STUDENT: Ah, yeah, Nestor. But, uh, you don't wanna talk to Nestor.

(Shot of Kevin thinking and looking around.)

Of course I did. After all he was a teacher, an employee of the public school system.

KEVIN: Where is he?

STUDENT: Over there!

(He indicates the direction with his thumb.)

(Kevin sees old Mr. Nestor in the midst of a group of students, preparing to lift a band-saw to show his strength.)

(Kevin joins the circle of students.)

(Shot of Mr. Nestor grabbing and straining to lift the equipment.)

MR. NESTOR: Awright. Let's go. I got it.

(Shot of some kids as Kevin joins them.)

(Shot of Mr. Nestor straining as he holds the saw.)

MR. NESTOR: It's up.

(Close shot of the floor, Mr. Nestor's legs, and the base of the saw is lifted just off the ground.)

MR. NESTOR (V/O): It's up.

(Shot of Mr. Nestor straining as he holds the saw.)

MR. NESTOR: It's clear!

(Close shot of the floor, Mr. Nestor's legs, and the base of the saw as it is dropped onto the floor.)

(Wider shot of all as students clap.)

MR. NESTOR: Awright, bulletheads! Get back to it.

(The students go back to their work.)

KEVIN: Uh, Mr. Nestor?

MR. NESTOR: Yo.

KEVIN: Hi. I'm Kevin Arnold.

MR. NESTOR: That so?

KEVIN: Yeah. I wanna speak with you about my schedule.

MR. NESTOR: Schedule? Huh?

KEVIN: Uh, yes, sir. About this class.

MR. NESTOR: This class? Hah?

KEVIN (Raised voice): Well, I think, possibly, there's been a mistake.

MR. NESTOR: Mistake? Hah?!

(They look at each other, expectantly.)

OK. So far, so good. So far as I could tell.

KEVIN: Yeah. Well...the fact is that I'm not very good in industrial arts.

(Mr. Nestor is looking at an off-camera student with a power tool.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: I think I'd be better at something like, uh, chemistry, or, uh...

(Mr. Nestor looks toward a student off-screen.)

MR. NESTOR: Masha! Your eyes...

(He points to his eyeglasses.)

MR. NESTOR: Watch your eyes! Bullethead.

MR. NESTOR (To Kevin): Oh, where were we?

KEVIN: Well, as silly as it sounds, uh, I think they've got the wrong Arnold.

MR. NESTOR: Wrong Arnold? Hah?

KEVIN: Uh, right. So...

(Mr. Nestor looks at a student sitting next to them.)

MR. NESTOR: Burber! No, no. Not the screwdriver, the chisel!

(Mr. Nestor looks at Kevin.)

MR. NESTOR: Idiot!

(Kevin and Mr. Nestor take a few steps, then Mr. Nestor faces Kevin.)

MR. NESTOR: So, you want out?

(He puts his hands on his hips.)

MR. NESTOR: Is that it?

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

KEVIN: Kinda. I mean if that would be all right with you.

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

MR. NESTOR (Nodding): OK. I'll let you out.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Mr. Nestor off-screen as he sighs and smiles.)

There. Finally!

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

MR. NESTOR: There's only one thing, though.

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

(Close shot of Mr. Nestor looking at Kevin off-screen as he starts to kneel and raise his arm.)

MR. NESTOR: You gotta arm wrestle me for it!

(Shot of Kevin frowning. Twang of guitar.)

(Shot of Mr. Nestor smiling and nodding at Kevin off-screen.)

Uh-huh.

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

Things were starting off with a bang. And it wasn't even lunch yet.

Cut to
Cafeteria

(Shot of a group of kids in profile, eating at rows of tables. Kevin and Paul are in the middle.)

If misery loves company...

(Shot of Kevin looking at Paul.)

PAUL: I'll tell you Kev, this is great!

I was hanging out with the wrong guy.

PAUL: Chemistry is such a fascinating science.

(Shot of Paul.)

PAUL: The wonder of water. The mystery of fire.

(Kevin looks bored as he picks up a fish stick.)

Uh-huh. Not to mention the remains of Ray Spike's finger.

PAUL: If fact, even that seemingly ordinary fish stick...is in reality a miraculous lattice work...

(Kevin is just about to bite off some fish stick.)

KEVIN: Paul!

PAUL: Huh?

KEVIN: Will you cut it out? I'm trying to eat here!

PAUL: Well, sorry.

(Kevin sighs and drops his fish stick.)

KEVIN: I need a locker.

PAUL: Well, there's got to be an empty one somewhere.

KEVIN: I know...maybe I can share yours?

PAUL: Mine?

KEVIN: Yeah, sure. Why not?

PAUL: Well, I guess I can make some room...

KEVIN: Great!

PAUL: In the back, in the corner. Exactly how long are you going to be staying?

KEVIN (Sighs.): Never mind.

PAUL: Come on, Kev. I-it's not so bad. Things will work out.

KEVIN: Yeah, it's easy for you to say.

Still, maybe Paul had a point. The day was only half over.

(Kevin holds up a half-full milk container.)

Maybe it was the matter of seeing the glass half full.

(Shot of a girl's hand taking the milk container from Kevin.)

Or half empty.

(Shot of the girl's hand as she pours the milk onto Kevin's tray.)

(Shot of Becky. She shakes the container and hands it back to Kevin.)

Or completely empty.

(Shot of Becky.)

BECKY: I hate men.

Listen to that line.

(Becky turns and walks off.)

(Kevin and Paul look at each other.)

MRS. FALCINELLA (V/O): Répétez après moi!

Cut to
French Class

(Shot of Mrs. Falcinella.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: Bonjour la classe!

(Shot of seated students.)

CLASS: Bonjour Madame!

MRS. FALCINELLA: Bonjour la classe!

CLASS: Bonjour Madame!

(Shot of Kevin.)

MRS. FALCINELLA (V/O): Bonjour la classe!

Now, here was something hopeful. Shop was foreign to me. French was simply a language I didn't understand.

CLASS: Bonjour Madame!

(Shot of Mrs. Falcinella.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: Class, this year we're going to try something new. From now on we are only going to speak en français. Ce bien? (Gestures.)

(Shot of the class. The students groan.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: Alright. Who would like to go first? Guillomme.

(Shot of Kevin watching Guillomme stand up.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: Comment-allez vous aujourd'Hui? ("How are you, today?")

(Guillomme pauses in thought.)

GUILLOMME: Frere Jacques? ("Brother Jacques?")

(The class giggles as Mrs. Falcinella looks on.)

Uh-huh...

(Shot past Kevin as Guillomme sits down.)

Things were getting back to normal.

(Shot of Kevin smiling.)

And I wasn't going to miss my one o'clock "think about Winnie" promise.

(Shot of the clock, showing 12:57 PM.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: Mademoiselle? Dites-moi votre nom, s'il vous plait. ("Young lady, tell me your name, please.")

(Shot of Kevin looking forward and smiling as the girl stands up a couple desks away behind him.)

GIRL: Je m'appelle Madeleine. ("My name is Madeline.")

(Kevin is surprised to hear her voice and turns around to look at Madeline. Twangy guitar music starts.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: C'est excellent, Mademoiselle. ("That's excellent, Mademoiselle.")

MADELINE: Merci beaucoups. ("Thank you.")

(Shot of Kevin in the foreground looking at Madeline in the background.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: Dites-nous où habitiez-vous l'année dernière? ("Tell us where you lived last year.")

MADELINE: Alors, j'ai habité à Lyon, à la midi de la France. J'aime beaucoup voyager avec mon père. ("Well, I lived in Lyons, in the middle of France. I really love to travel with my father.")

(Kevin turns forward in his desk. Madeline is still standing in the background.)

And suddenly I understood why French was the language of diplomacy, of poetry, of romance.

(Kevin turns toward Madeline and stands up. There is a swell of music.)

Of amore.

(A halo of light comes up behind Kevin.)

Suddenly I understood every single word.

(A halo of light glows behind Madeline as she turns to Kevin. She speaks directly to him.) ("French countryside" organ music starts.)

MADELINE: J'ai attendu toute ma vie pour toi. (Subtitles appear on screen: I've waited for you all my life.)

KEVIN: Voulez-vous de beurre? (Subtitle: Do you want some butter?)

MADELINE: A l'instant je t'ai vu, je su qu'il n'etait personne d'autre. (Subtitle: The moment I saw you I knew there was no one else.)

KEVIN: Voulez-vous de beurre? (Subtitle: Do you want some butter?)

MADELINE: Mon coeur est remplit de toi. (She fingers her heart necklace.) (Subtitle: You fill my heart.)

MADELINE: T'a pensé m'obsede. (Subtitle: You haunt my mind.)

KEVIN: Voulez-vous de beurre? (Subtitle: Do you want some butter?)

Hey, it was the only thing I knew in French.

MADELINE: Kevin! (With a Fr. accent.)

KEVIN: Madeline! (With an Amer. accent.) (Music ends.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: Kevin! (Amer. accent.)

(Kevin turns around as the class laughs.)

MRS. FALCINELLA: En français, s'il vous plait!

(The class laughs.)

(Kevin looks at Madeline off-screen.)

(shot of Madeline smiling toward Kevin off-screen as she sits down.)

(The bell rings. Kevin looks toward the clock.)

(Shot of the clock showing 1:03 PM.)

Darn it!

(Shot of Kevin frowing as the class starts to leave.)

This much was clear - in any language...

Cut to
School Hallway

(Shot of the backside of a door with a glass panel, marked with GUIDANCE COUNSELOR (reads reversed.)

. I needed help. I had to take action, seek answers.

(Shot of Kevin appearing through glass. He knocks on the door.)

(Shot of back of chair behind the desk.)

MALE VOICE (V/O): Come in.

(Kevin enters.)

Yep, this is what I needed. A man of wisdom, a man of vision. A man...

(Shot of the chair as it swivels around to reveal Mr.Cutlip with a book in his hands.)

Who taught gym.

MR. CUTLIP: Ah, Arnold.

(He puts the book down.)

KEVIN (Surprised): Mr. Cutlip?

MR. CUTLIP: What can I do for you?

KEVIN: I uh...I came to see the guidance counselor. Is he in?

MR. CUTLIP: Mrs. Dalla Betta...(he taps the nameplate on the desk)...is the regular guidance man. I'm just filling in. Temporarily. Till December. Can it wait?

KEVIN: Uh, well...umm...

MR. CUTLIP: Relax, Arnold. Take a load off. Have a seat.

(Kevin sits down.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Cutlip.)

MR. CUTLIP: Right. I understand your hesitation. You're thinking, "Ed Cutlip, a crack physical education instructor. What's a man of action like him...(nods)...doing in a swivel chair?" Am I right?

KEVIN: Well.

MR. CUTLIP: Unusual? Maybe. Unexpected? Certainly. But think of it this way, Arnold, there might be more in this old bean - (taps temple twice, with sound effects) - than meets the eye.

(Kevin looks on blankly.)

MR. CUTLIP: Maybe I can even help. (Smiles.)

The way he said it, for one moment, I actually wondered if he could help.

(Mr. Cutlip puts his hand on a goblet of peanuts.)

MR. CUTLIP: Peanut?

KEVIN: No. No, thanks.

MR. CUTLIP: Come on, son. What is it?

(Shot of Kevin as he sighs.)

KEVIN: It's ninth grade.

(Cutlip puts on a pair of glasses.)

MR. CUTLIP: Ah.

KEVIN: It's not turning out the way I thought it would. I-I don't have a locker...

(Cutlip nods his head and writes notes.)

KEVIN: And my classes are all wrong and...

MR. CUTLIP: I see!

KEVIN: You do?

MR. CUTLIP: It's a complex problem. But there's a simple solution.

KEVIN: There is?

(Close shot of Cutlip looking sincerely at Kevin.)

Maybe I had him wrong.

(Shot of Kevin starting to perk up.)

Maybe there was more to Ed Cutlip than met the eye.

KEVIN: So, what do we do now?

(Mr. Cutlip's smile changes to a stern frown.)

MR. CUTLIP: Laps!

(Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle. Kevin sits upright.)

Cut to
Ext. Day - Athletic Field

(Close shot of Kevin running laps in street clothes, toward the camera.)

Well, think of it this way. Every cloud has a silver lining. The way this day was going, I was probably better off being alone.

(Long shot of Kevin running alone out of the curve onto the straight. Sound of running hoofs. A herd of girls in PE uniforms trots onto the track behind him. Kevin looks over his shoulder as he runs.)

And suddenly I knew what Custer felt like.

(Closer shot of Becky running toward the camera.)

(Shot of Becky running equal with Kevin, while the group of standing girls watch them.)

Great Sitting Bull herself. And she was gaining on me.

(Close shot of Kevin, and Becky behind, running toward the camera.)

(Shot of them running side-by-side.)

Instinctively I knew - this was a challenge, a test - and I was up to it.

(Various shots of them running. Sound of panting.)

(Long shot of them running alone, around the curve. Becky is a few feet behind.)

Sure, it was dumb. But at that moment, all I knew was - I had to win!

(Shot of girls cheering.)

(Shot from behind of Becky, and Kevin ahead of her.)

I pulled up even. I pulled ahead.

(Closer shot of girls watching.)

(Telephoto shot down the empty straight. Girls line the sides just at the edge of the frame, leaning in and clapping.)

(Image changes to slow-motion as Kevin and Becky come into view and run side-by-side toward the camera.)

As we rounded that final turn, I felt like I had wings. Sure, maybe I couldn't find a locker. Maybe I was stuck in shop...

(Slow-motion shot of Becky running.)

But I was gonna beat this girl.

(Close slow-motion shot of Kevin running toward the camera, as Becky comes into view behind him.)

I was gonna win this race.

(Slow-motion shot of Kevin crossing the finish line first.)

This was going to be a massacre.

(Theme from "2001" plays throughout. Slow-motion shot of Kevin jumping up and down in victory, with his arms up.)

(Close slow-motion shot of Becky frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

(Slow-motion shot of Kevin still celebrating.)

Heh-heh. No hard feelings, huh "Slates"?

(Kevin walks toward Becky.)

(Slow-motion shot from behind Kevin as Becky punches him in the stomach. Music ends.)

KEVIN (V/O:) Ughhhhh...

(Slow-motion shot of Kevin as he doubles-up in pain.)

KEVIN: Ughhhhh...Uhhh.

(Close slow-motion shot of Kevin holding his stomach and falling backwards, as Becky retracts her fist.)

(Normal speed close shot of Kevin falling backwards onto the track, and holding his stomach. He grimaces and looks toward Becky.)

(Shot of Becky and the girls smiling and giggling as they turn to leave.)

And...that about did it.

(Long shot of Kevin lying flat on the track. The girls are walking away in the background.)

The perfect end to a perfect day.

(Shot from above of Kevin lying down with his eyes closed.)

MADELINE (V/O): Kevin? (Sound of a harp or bells.)

(Shot of Madeline looking down at him from above, "glowing" from the backlighting of the sun.)

KEVIN: Madeline?

She'd seen the whole thing...

(Close shot of Kevin still lying down.)

The whole humiliating episode!

(Kevin starts to rise.)

KEVIN: Ugh...

(Close shot of Madeline from Kevin's perspective.)

It was pretty clear that she'd just come over to laugh at me.

(The camera pans with Madeline as she kneels, and Kevin sits up, just into the shot.)

MADELINE: I just came over to thank you...

(Shot of Kevin in surprise.)

KEVIN: Huh?

(Shot of Madeline looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MADELINE: For being nice to me.

(Shot of Kevin looking blank.)

(Shot of Madeline looking at Kevin off-screen.)

MADELINE: You don't know how hard it is to be the new girl in school.

(Shot of Madeline looking at Kevin.)

(Shot over Madeline's shoulder as she moves in and gives Kevin a gentle kiss on the lips. She pulls back. Kevin has the same blank look.)

(Shot of Madeline. She sighs and smiles a little self-consciously. She stands up and turns.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he turns his head to watch her off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin in the foreground leaning back on his hands, Madeline trotting away from the camera, to the girls in the background.)

(Close shot of Kevin starting to get upset.)

And then, it happened. Something inside of me snapped.

(Twangy guitar music carries over.)

Cut to
School Hallway

(Shot of the double-doors opening toward camera and Kevin emerging into the hallway. He is dirty, and his clothes are rumpled. He has a determined look on his face as he quickly walks up the hallway.)

(Paul watches Kevin pass by.)

PAUL: Kev?

(Kevin keeps walking.)

KEVIN: Later!

I'd had enough. I'd been pushed too far. And I knew what I had to do.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Tony at his locker. The camera "walks" toward Tony.)

KEVIN (V/O): Hey! Barbella!

(Shot of Tony turning and frowning. The muisic stops.)

(Close-up of Kevin, standing near Tony.)

KEVIN: I want my locker back.

(Shot of Tony looking at Kevin.)

KEVIN: Now! (Gestures.)

(Tony smiles. Kevin gets a worried look, and glances toward his thumb. Twang of music.)

Fade to
Ext. Night - The Pizza Barn

(Shot of Kevin walking slowly toward the camera on the sidewalk approaching the Pizza Barn.) (Light guitar music plays throughout.)

Ninth-grade man. Noble, upright, virtuous. I went into my last year of junior high thinking I knew all the answers. And suddenly, all I had were questions.

(Kevin flexes his hand, and continues past the camera.)

Plus a dislocated thumb.

(Shot from inside the Pizza Barn as Kevin looks in through the window.)

It's funny. I remembered the time when I knew who I was. But that was eight hours ago. Suddenly I felt on the outside, looking in. Looking for...

(Shot of Winnie alone at a table, facing the camera. She is looking away, then turns and spots Kevin. She smiles and waves.)

Winnie.

(Shot of Kevin through the window. Kevin smiles and waves back.)

(Shot from the street of the front of the Pizza Barn, as Kevin walks out of the shot to enter the building.)

(Shot of Winnie at the table, jukebox behind her, as Kevin sits down next to her. "Be My Baby" plays throughout.)

WINNIE: Hi! (She smiles.)

KEVIN: Hi.

WINNIE: How was your day? (She gestures and smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking past the camera at Winnie off-screen.)

I wanted to tell her everything, every bit of it. All the setbacks, all the screw-ups.

KEVIN: Fine.

(Close shot of Winnie smiling.)

Heck. I knew she'd understand.

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

KEVIN: How about yours?

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

WINNIE: OK.

(The music plays louder.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie side-by-side, with the jukebox in the background. Kevin reaches his arm out to hold Winnie as she leans over to Kevin. Winnie rests her head on his shoulder and closes her eyes.)

After all when you're fourteen, you can't always put words to life. All I knew was - I felt home again.

(A pink skirt and white top just enters the frame and pauses at the edge of the table. Kevin looks up uncertainly.)

(Madeline cuts across the scene, and out of the frame, as she walks around the table.)

(Kevin glances after her, then looks forward somberly.)

(Madeline cuts into the scene behind Kevin and walks to the corner of the jukebox. She leans against it, and looks over her shoulder at Kevin and Winnie.)

(Winnie's eyes flutter open.)

WINNIE: You don't know how hard it is to be the new girl in school.

(Kevin looks at Winnie as she closes her eyes again. Madeline turns back to the jukebox. Kevin resumes looking forward, somberly. Music swells as the picture fades. Music continues over credits.)


CLOSING TITLES

Music
"Be My Baby" - The Ronettes

Supporting Cast

Becky Slater- Crystal McKellar
Madeline Adams - Julie Condra
Mr. Nestor - Charles Tyner
Tony Barbella - Anthony Nittoli
Mr. Cutlip - Robert Picardo
Mrs. Falcinella - Julie Payne
"Guillomme" - Josh Berman
Shop Kid - Blake Soper



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02/05/05 10:00