"Let Nothing You Dismay" - Episode 103



OPENING SEQUENCE

(Shot of a banner reading "Freemont Community College 1972".)

MAN (V/O): And so, for you mid-year graduates, while this ceremony marks...

(The camera pans down to an elderly man in a graduation gown at the podium.)

(Shot past the audience of the man on stage. A row of graduates in gowns are seated behind him.)

MAN: The end of your time as students, it is called "commencement".

(Close shot of Jack sitting in the audience. He looks toward Kevin, and the camera pans across to him.

MAN (V/O): For now, the real work begins...

December, 1972, was a time of change for my family.

(Kevin looks toward Wayne. The camera pans across to Wayne, who is holding David, and Bonnie. Wayne is making faces at David as Bonnie smiles slightly and watches.)

MAN (V/O): Nicholas Abrams...

A time of strange occurrences. Improbable events.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of a long-haired man in a red graduation gown walking across the stage.)

MAN (V/O): **Pier Almquist**.

And, a few surprises.

(The man accepts his diploma and shakes the hand of the presenter.)

MAN (V/O): Norma Arnold!

(Shot of Norma smiling and walking across the stage.)

After a twenty-year sabbatical in the kitchen...

(Norma accepts her diploma and shakes the man's hand.)

My mother was graduating from State College.

(Closer shot of Norma as she turns toward the audience and smiles.)

We were all pretty proud of her.

(Close shot of Jack smiling and applauding.)

As for my father...after a half a lifetime at NORCOM...

(Jack glances toward Kevin off-screen and smiles, then looks back to Norma off-screen and claps.)

He decided to invest in the future.

Cut to

Int. Day - Furniture Factory

(High wide shot of Kevin, Jack and Norma looking around. Some workers operate noisy machines nearby.)

Well, the future of furniture, anyway.

NORMA: The place looks wonderful, honey!

(Jack leans closer to Norma.)

JACK: What?

(Closer shot of Kevin, Norma and Jack as Norma looks at Jack.)

NORMA: I said - it looks wonderful!

JACK: Oh! (Smiles.)

(Jack leads them past some machines.)

JACK: You think it looks good now...wait'll the deal closes. We're gonna retool the whole place. (Gestures.) Make it completely state-of-the-art! Wait'll ya see it...

(Close shot of Jack looking off and smiling.)

Amazing. In three short weeks, the guy had made the transformation...

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

From employee, to proud...

(Close shot of Jack smiling.)

Almost-owner.

(Shot past Jack of Charlie Barrett approaching with his arm out.)

CHARLIE: Hey, partner! (Smiles.)

Make that co-proud almost-owner.

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin, Norma and Jack.)

JACK: Charlie! (Smiles.)

(They shake hands.)

CHARLIE: Norma...

(They shake hands.)

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie looking at Norma off-screen.)

CHARLIE: How's the college graduate?

(He crosses his arms.)

CHARLIE: Ready to come work for us?

(Shot of Norma and Jack. Norma glances at Jack, then smiles at Charlie off-screen.)

NORMA: I'm keeping my options open, Charlie...(Smiles.)

(Norma and Jack look at each other, and Jack chuckles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie looking at him.)

CHARLIE: How about you, Kevin? You ready to come aboard?

(Close shot of Kevin pausing and glancing at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Well, I...

(Kevin looks at Charlie off-screen.)

KEVIN: Figure I'd finish high school first. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie as he points at Kevin while turning toward Jack off-screen.)

CHARLIE: Great idea. Oh, Jack.

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

CHARLIE (V/O): Uh, by the way, I called the bank.

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie looking at Jack off-screen.)

CHARLIE: I put off the closing till Friday.

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

JACK: Why - is there a problem?

(Close shot of Charlie looking toward Jack off-screen and gesturing.)

CHARLIE: No, no - I just heard about a real sweet deal we can get on some machinery in Pittsburg, and I want to get right on it.

(Close shot of Jack looking off.)

JACK: Oh. Sure. (Smiles.)

(Jack glances at Charlie.)

JACK: Good thinkin'.

(Jack looks off and nods.)

(Wide shot of all as Charlie taps Norma's arm and points.)

CHARLIE: Norma, Norma - have you seen the dining room sets they've got here?

NORMA: Well, no, actually, I haven't...

(Norma glances toward Jack, who smiles slightly and nods directionally.)

CHARLIE: Well, no time like the present. Come on.

JACK: Go ahead. (Nods.)

CHARLIE: Come on.

(Charlie takes Norma's hand and leads her past the camera.)

There was no denying it.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Charlie and Norma walking away, as Norma smiles over her shoulder.)

The Arnold fortunes were definitely on the rise.

(Shot of Jack and Kevin looking at each other.)

JACK: Come on. (Gestures.) I'll show ya some of the other stuff.

(Jack pats Kevin's shoulder.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack approaching a machine.)

We were riding high...

JACK: You know those, uh...

On wings of lumber, and glue.

JACK: Those little stools that you saw...

(Jack picks up a short table leg.)

KEVIN: Uh-huh...

JACK: Outside?

(Jack demonstrates the lever on the drill-press.)

JACK: Well, this drill-press...*makes the holes*...

And no-one was more excited than Dad.

JACK: To put the little bolts in...(Gestures.)

(Kevin works the lever.)

KEVIN: Yeah...

He was just like...a kid at Christmas.

JACK: *If we can get some directions...* (Smiles.)

Cut to

Int - The Mall

(Wide shot of Kevin and Jeff slowly approaching, then pausing at a window of a record store. "Jingle Bells" plays in the mall.)

Speaking of which...

JEFF: Oh, look. Bread's got a new album out.

KEVIN: I hate Bread.

JEFF: Yeah, but the chicks love 'em.

(Shot through the store window of Jeff and Kevin, as Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: Listen, are you gonna help me or not?

(Jeff turns toward Kevin.)

JEFF: I thought I was!

KEVIN: Uh, listen. If you were Winnie...(gestures)...what would you want from me?

JEFF: Ah, well...

(Jeff looks off and nods.)

JEFF: I'd want you to hold me, and I'd want you to tell me that you love me...and, I think that would be present enough.

(Jeff looks at Kevin, who frowns. Jeff takes his hands out of his pockets.)

JEFF: Alright...(shrugs)...a Maserati.

(Kevin frowns, then walks off.)

KEVIN: That's helpful.

(Jeff turns to follow.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jeff in a crowd, approaching the camera.)

Maserati's aside, I was faced with the annual yuletide challenge of a lifetime.

SANTA (V/O): Ho, ho, ho!

(Shot of a window display of a clothing store.)

Finding a present for my best girl.

(Kevin and Jeff pass the camera and look in the window.)

(Shot through the window of Kevin and Jeff looking in.)

KEVIN: Look at these prices. (Gestures.) Who in their right mind would shop in a store like this?

(Shot past Kevin and Jeff as Winnie approaches with a large gift-wrapped box.)

WINNIE: Oh! Hi, Kevin.

(Winnie smiles slightly.)

Ask a stupid question...

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at her.)

WINNIE (V/O): Hi, Jeff.

KEVIN: Winnie, what are you doing here?

(Shot of Winnie looking at the box, then Kevin off-screen.)

WINNIE: Uh, just some shopping. (Nods.)

Uh-huh..

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at the box, then her.)

KEVIN: So, what'd you get? (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Winnie looking at him.)

WINNIE: Just some stuff. (Shrugs.)

Right...

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at the box, then her.)

KEVIN: Oh.

(Shot of Winnie holding the box, looking at Kevin off-screen.)

It was pretty obvious that in that box was something large, for a medium-sized...

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at the box.)

Arnold.

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

WINNIE: Well, I better get going. (Nods.)

(Wider shot of Winnie, Kevin an Jeff.)

KEVIN: Yeah.

(Kevin turns toward Jeff and nods.)

KEVIN: We're...gonna get going also.

(Shoppers pass the camera.)

JEFF: Yeah, we got some stuff to buy.

WINNIE: Seeya.

(Winnie exits past them. The guys look at her off-screen, the Jeff quickly turns to Kevin.)

JEFF: Did you see the size of that box?

(Shot of Kevin and Jeff. Kevin frowns slightly and looks off.)

KEVIN: Yeah.

JEFF: So, what are you gonna do, man?

(Jeff slides his sleeve up and glances at his watch.)

(Kevin looks toward the clothes store off-screen.)

There was only one thing to do.

Cut to

Int. Clothing Store

(Close shot of a woman's hands holding a black sweater.)

SALESWOMAN (V/O): Cashmere.

(The camera pans up to the woman.)

SALESWOMAN: It's the fabric of royalty.

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

Go for absolute broke.

(Close shot of Jeff looking at the woman off-screen.)

JEFF: How big of a box does it come in?

(Jeff glances toward Kevin off-screen.)

(Wider shot of the woman behind the counter, and Kevin and Jeff in front of it.)

KEVIN: You really think she'll like it?

SALESWOMAN: There's not a woman alive who wouldn't.

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

SALESWOMAN (V/O): And, it's on sale.

(Close shot of the woman.)

SALESWOMAN: Ninety-nine ninety-nine.

(Close shot of Kevin leaning forward and frowning at the woman off-screen.)

KEVIN: Ninety-nine?!

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

SALESWOMAN: Ninety-nine.

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

KEVIN: That's almost a hundred dollars!

(Kevin looks at the woman off-screen.)

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

JEFF: Very close, yeah. (Nods.)

(Shot of Kevin frowning slightly and looking at the sweater, then the woman off-screen.)

KEVIN: Uh, I'm gonna think about it. (Smiles.) She might be allergic.

(Close shot of Jeff frowning at the woman off-screen.)

JEFF: Yeah, she's got a hive problem. (Nods.)

(Wider shot of the woman behind the counter, and Kevin and Jeff in front of it.)

SALESWOMAN: I understand.

(The woman walks off. Kevin sighs and leans on the counter.)

KEVIN: Great, now what am I gonna do?

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

JEFF: Well, ya know...

(Jeff looks down.)

JEFF: Hickory Farms is having a sale on, uh, cheese-logs.

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

KEVIN: Thanks. (Nods.)

(Kevin exits.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Living Room

(Shot of the front door as Wayne enters, holding the end of a Christmas tree.)

WAYNE: Ow! I'm stuck in this tree!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

(Wayne backs into the wall.)

WAYNE: Ow!

(Close shot of Kevin holding the tree and frowning.)

KEVIN: Come on, Wayne - swing your end around.

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin.)

WAYNE: I got pine needles in my arm!

JACK (V/O): Come on! Quit foolin' around. Get the tree in there!

(Shot of Norma and Bonnie entering the dining room from the kitchen. Norma sets a box of Christmas decorations on the table.)

After all these years, Dad had finally bought a tree worthy of our mansion.

NORMA: That's some tree, Jack. (Smiles.)

BONNIE: What did you buy, the biggest one on the lot? (Smiles.)

(Shot of Jack at the bottom of the tree, and Kevin and Wayne holding the top of the tree.)

JACK: Come on - let's get it up. (Gestures.) Ya ready? One, two, three!

(They lift the tree.)

(Close shot of the top of the tree jammed into the ceiling and wall.)

OK. Maybe it was a little too worthy.

(Shot of Jack and Kevin as Jack sighs and looks at Wayne off-screen.)

JACK: You better get the saw.

WAYNE (V/O): Great!

(Shot of Wayne next to the tree.)

WAYNE: Bonnie and I get the top part. (Smiles.)

(Wayne exits.)

WAYNE (V/O): Suckers.

(Shot of Jack and Kevin.)

(Shot of Norma and Bonnie.)

NORMA: Don't you think you're going a little overboard, honey? (Smiles.)

(Shot of Jack and Kevin as Jack pants and removes his jacket.)

JACK: What are ya talkin' about? (Smiles.)

(He glances over his shoulder at Kevin, then looks at Norma again.)

JACK: Besides, it's Christmas.

(Shot of Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

JACK (V/O): I felt like splurging.

(Norma smiles.)

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

It was incredible. It was like Santa Claus making a house-call.

KEVIN: Uh, Dad?

(Shot of Jack rolling up his shirt sleeves.)

JACK: Yeah, Kev?

(Close shot of Kevin as he steps around the tree and approaches.)

And I was gonna be next on his list.

KEVIN: Could I, uh...borrow a couple bucks? (Smiles.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack as Jack looks at Kevin slowly and frowns.)

Like say, ninety-nine, ninety-nine.

(Shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: It's just...you know, I want to get somethin' for Winnie, and I'm running a little short, so...(Shrugs.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack. He glances off.)

JACK: Sure. (Shrugs.) No problem.

(Jack reaches for his wallet as some xylophone music plays.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin smiling and looking down at Jack's wallet.)

Bingo.

(Close shot of Jack's hands holding his wallet, thumbing through $20-dollar bills.)

Down the chimney he came.

(Shot of Norma at the table, unloading the box of decorations.)

NORMA: Oh, honey...Charlie called while you were out.

(Shot of Kevin and Jack looking toward Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): He said he won't be able to make it over tonight.

And then...

(Wayne enters from the kitchen with the saw and smiles.)

WAYNE: What's he getting - cold-feet?

(Shot of Kevin and Jack as Wayne passes the camera. Jack looks after Wayne. The music grinds down.)

My Santa went south.

JACK: What's that supposed to mean?

NORMA (V/O): It means nothing!

(Jack drops his wallet-arm and frowns at Wayne off-screen.)

(Shot of Norma unloading the box.)

NORMA: He said everything was fine - he had a few last-minute things he has to take care of...

(Norma looks toward Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: And he'd see you at the bank on Friday. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Kevin looking at Jack, who is looking at Norma off-screen. Jack nods and looks off.)

KEVIN: Dad?

(Kevin holds out his hand, and Jack turns to him, slightly startled.)

JACK: Oh!

(Jack looks down and opens his wallet.)

(Close shot of Jack's hands as he thumbs through the bills.)

JACK (V/O): Sure!

(Jack pulls out a $5-dollar bill and holds it up.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Kevin off-screen. He nods slightly and winks.)

JACK: Buy her somethin' special.

(Shot past Jack of Kevin holding the bill, as Jack exits.)

KEVIN: Right. (Smiles.)

(Kevin looks after Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Thanks, Dad.

Well, like they say - if at first you don't succeed...

Cut to

Int. Evening - Chong's Chinese Restaurant Kitchen

(Shot of Mr. Chong backing through the double doors into the kitchen. Sound of a gong.)

MR. CHONG: #&%$*$(&^($(^$%&^#&.

Ask Mr. Chong.

(Mr. Chong turns and walks into t he kitchen, frowning at a cook off-screen. Kevin is in the background.)

MR. CHONG: &^%#$&^#^&#. &#$$%(^%)&^)&%(^$^*#^@^@%^^$.

(Mr. Chong frowns and approaches the camera. Kevin follows.)

KEVIN: Mr. Chong?

(Mr. Chong half turns and touches his forehead, then points at an off-screen cook.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong turning toward Kevin and frowning.)

MR. CHONG: What?!

(Shot past Mr. Chong of Kevin looking at him and holding a delivery bag.)

KEVIN: I've been thinking. And, you know, I've been working here for about six months. And, I've done...a pretty good job. (Shrugs.) Wouldn't you say?

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong as he hesitates, then laughs and turns away.)

All-in-all, a promising start.

(Shot of Mr. Chong approaching the camera, and Kevin holding the bag behind him. Mr. Chong glances over his shoulder and laughs again as he crosses the camera.)

KEVIN: Well...(Smiles.)

(Kevin follows Mr. Chong to the other side of the counter. The camera pans with him.)

KEVIN: What I mean is...I like it.

(Mr. Chong looks at Kevin and frowns.)

MR. CHONG: Huh?

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

KEVIN: You're a great guy.

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

MR. CHONG: Hmmm...(Nods.)

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

KEVIN: Yeah, I...I learn a lot here. (Nods.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong frowning at him.)

MR. CHONG: Hmmm.

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

KEVIN: And, you know, this being Christmas and all. (Smiles.)

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

MR. CHONG: Hmmm? (Nods.)

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

KEVIN: So what do you say? (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong frowning at him.)

MR. CHONG: You don't have to give me a gift.

(Shot past Mr. Chong of Kevin frowning at him.)

KEVIN: No!

(Kevin frowns and shakes his head.)

KEVIN: No, I meant me!

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong frowning at him.)

MR. CHONG: I'm not giving you a gift either.

(Mr. Chong frowns and turns away.)

(Shot of Mr. Chong passing the camera and looking after him.)

Hmmm. Seems what we had here was a failure to communicate.

(Kevin glances off, then approaches the camera.)

(Shot of Kevin following Mr. Chong away from the camera. They walk around the counter.)

KEVIN: I don't think you understood what I meant!

(Mr. Chong shouts out orders to no-one in particular.)

MR. CHONG: &^%#$&^#^&#. &#$$%(^%)&^)&%.

(Mr. Chong turns the corner and approaches the camera.)

At least in English.

KEVIN: I need a raise!

(Mr. Chong pauses and Kevin hurries up to him.)

There! The universal language.

MR. CHONG: Hmmm.

(Mr. Chong puts finger on his mouth and looks down in thought.)

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

And what else could the guy say, but -

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong frowning and reaching behind him.)

(Wider shot of Mr. Chong and Kevin as Mr. Chong puts two delivery bags on the box Kevin is holding.)

MR. CHONG: Get back to work.

(Mr. Chong looks off and frowns, then approaches the camera.)

MR. CHONG: &^%#$&^#^&#. &#$$%(^%)&^)&%.

(Some "Chinese" music plays as Kevin looks after Mr. Chong off-screen and sighs. Sound of a gong.)

Cut to

Int. Day - The Bank

(Shot of Jack standing near a large, white-flocked Christmas tree.)

December seventeenth.

(The camera pans down slightly to Jack, who turns and frowns, then walks toward the camera, which rolls back.)

Closing day for Dad's new company.

(Jack walks in front of Norma, Kevin and Wayne who are seated on a bench. Wayne is reading a bank brochure.)

It was Jack Arnold versus the First National Bank.

(Jack taps one fist in the palm of his other hand, frowns, then turns and paces the other direction. Kevin is tapping his fingers impatiently.)

Needless to say...

(Shot of Norma and Kevin on the bench. Norma looks at Jack off-screen as Kevin slides his sleeve up.)

It was a pretty big moment for the old man.

(Kevin looks at his watch.)

And we, in turn, were more than happy to share it with him.

(Kevin looks at Norma, glances toward Jack off-screen, then looks at Norma again.)

KEVIN: So, how long is this gonna take? (Gestures.)

JACK (V/O): Where's Charlie?

(Jack's crosses the camera.)

JACK (V/O): He's fifteen minutes late!

(Shot of Jack frown behind.)

NORMA (V/O): Honey...just be patient.

(Jack turns.)

(Shot of Norma, Kevin and Wayne on the bench. Wayne is still reading. Norma looks at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: He's probably stuck in traffic. You know, with everyone out holiday shopping...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of an older man, Banker1, in the doorway of an office in the distance.)

BANKER1: Uh, Mr. Arnold?

(Shot of Jack turning toward the camera, with his hands in his pockets.)

BANKER1 (V/O): We're ready for you now.

JACK: Uh...(points)...what about Barrett? Shouldn't we wait?

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the man in the doorway of the office.)

BANKER: Oh, that won't be necessary. We can start on the preliminaries. (Nod.)

(Shot of Jack looking Norma.)

JACK: Uh, well...

(He adjusts his jacket as Norma stands up.)

JACK: Here goes nothing.

(He spreads his arms and smiles. Norma smoothes his jacket lapels.)

NORMA: Good luck, honey. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne looking at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Yeah, go get 'em, Dad. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma as Jack approaches the camera.)

JACK: Yeah.

(Jack smiles and gives a thumbs up, then exits past the camera.)

WAYNE (V/O): Knock 'em dead.

(Norma looks after Jack off-screen and smiles.)

With that, Dad went to lay claim to his corner...

(Wide shot of the man standing behind his desk, and Jack smiling at the Arnold's off-screen as he approaches the doorway.)

Of the American dream.

(Jack enters the office, which has glass walls.)

BANKER1: Aw, come on in, Jack.

(The shake hands and Jack walks toward a chair.)

BANKER1: Uh, just help yourself, there...(Gestures.)

JACK: Thanks.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Kevin looks toward Jack off-screen as Wayne reads the brochure.)

It was kind of...inspiring.

(Wayne frowns and shakes his finger.)

WAYNE: Hey - if I open up three accounts...(Smiles.)

(Wayne looks at Kevin and itemizes on his fingers.)

WAYNE: I can get the coffee-maker, the toaster, and the can-opener. (Chuckles.)

(Shot past Norma of Kevin and Wayne as Kevin stands and approaches her.)

After all, this was a savings and loan.

(Kevin looks toward the office off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack and Banker1 standing at the desk.)

And in a place like this...

(The phone rings, and Banker2 seated outside the office picks it up.)

Anything could happen.

BANKER2: Yes, Mr. Barrett.

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

BANKER2 (V/O): I see.

(Norma and Kevin frown slightly.)

BANKER2 (V/O): No, I understand.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack and Banker1 sitting, as Banker2 enters the office.)

BANKER1: Well, it is, uh...a bit late, but uh...

(Banker1 rises.)

BANKER2: I think we may have a problem.

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

And I mean anything.

(Wider shot of Norma, Kevin and Wayne as Norma and Kevin talk a few steps toward the camera, frowning.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the three men standing in the office. Jack is looking at a document.)

BANKER2: Apparently his finances are shakey...he's withdrawn his application.

(Jack looks at the bankers.)

One thing was clear...

(Shot of Norma, Kevin and Wayne.)

JACK (V/O): What?!

(Wayne stands and steps next to Kevin as they all frown.)

Whatever it was...

(Kevin looks toward Jack off-screen.)

JACK (V/O): That's impossible.

It wasn't good.

BANKER2 (V/O): Apparently not.

JACK (V/O): Thank you.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack shaking the hand of Banker1, then turning away quickly.)

BANKER1: We're sorry, Jack, uh...

(Jack looks at the Arnold's off-screen and spreads his arms.)

(Close shot of Norma and Kevin.)

JACK (V/O): I don't believe it!

(Shot from behind Wayne, Kevin and Norma as Jack approaches quickly, frowning.)

NORMA: Jack? What happened?

(Jack hurries past them and they turn after him.)

(Shot past Norma and Kevin of Jack picking up his coat.)

JACK: He's not coming - he crapped out! (Frowns.)

(Shot of Wayne, Kevin and Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: Why?! (Frowns.)

(Shot past Norma of Jack putting on his coat and looking at Norma.)

JACK: I'll tell ya why. (Frowns.) He doesn't have the money.

(Shot of Wayne, Kevin and Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

It was horrible. And then...

(Wayne points his thumb at himself.)

WAYNE: I knew it. (Nods.)

Things got worse.

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: Let's get the hell outta here.

(Jack turns and walks off.)

(Shot of Wayne, Kevin and Norma, as she approaches the camera.)

NORMA: Jack...(Frowns.)

(Shot past Norma of Jack looking toward the boys off-screen and gesturing.)

JACK: I said...let's go! (Gestures.)

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin as Kevin taps him on the stomach.)

KEVIN: Nice going, butthead! (Frowns.)

WAYNE: What'd I say? (Gestures.)

(Shot of Jack looking at the boys off-screen as Norma puts on her coat.)

JACK: Now!

(Shot of Wayne and Kevin as Wayne motions Kevin forward.)

And with that...

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne hurriedly getting their jackets off the back of the bench and following.)

There went Christmas.

(Kevin walks past the Christmas tree.)

There went that cashmere sweater.

WAYNE: There goes my can-opener.

(Kevin puts his jacket on.)

And we were left with nothing but...a stocking full of coal.

Fade to

Int. Day - Jack's Den (Karen/Wayne's Former Bedroom)

(Shot through the doorway of Jack on the phone, pacing.)

JACK: I'm tellin' ya, Harv, it's a terrific opportunity. They've got a solid customer base, and a lot of potential.

(Shot of Kevin and Norma looking at Jack off-screen as they decorate the tree.)

JACK (V/O): Well, just let me know...

(Norma looks down.)

JACK (V/O): There's a lot of people interested in this.

(Norma looks toward Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Jack on the phone.)

JACK: Yeah. Merry Christmas to you, too.

(Jack hangs up the phone.)

Whoever it was who said holidays were a time for joy and celebration...

(Jack puts his hands in his back pockets and approaches.)

(Shot of Kevin hanging an ornament and Norma smiling at Jack off-screen.)

Obviously wasn't hanging around my house that week.

(Shot past Kevin of Norma handing Jack a tree ornament.)

NORMA: So, how's it going, honey?

JACK: Oh...(sighs)...I don't know. I think I've a...(gestures)...couple prospects.

(Jack nods and smiles tightly at Norma.)

(Shot of Kevin and Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: Did ya talk to the bank? Maybe they can help.

(Close shot of Jack looking at the tree and frowning slightly.)

JACK: I don't have enough collateral to carry the whole loan...

(Jack looks at Norma off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin and Norma looking at Jack off-screen.)

JACK (V/O): You know how conservative banks are.

(Norma smiles tightly.)

JACK: But don't worry.

(He smiles and nods slightly.)

JACK: Maybe there's a way we can make this work.

(Jack smiles tightly, then looks at the tree.)

Still, even though Dad was doing his best to keep our spirits up...

(Jack looks toward Kevin off-screen.)

JACK: Kev...

(Jack holds his hand out.)

JACK: Hand me one of those ornaments, huh?

(Shot of Jack, Norma and Kevin as Kevin hands Jack a red ball.)

Ya had the feeling things weren't exactly tinsel and glitter.

(Close shot of Jack looking at the tree.)

JACK: I don't know...(Frowns.)

(Jack glances toward Norma off-screen, then back to the tree.)

JACK: Maybe I oughtta make a few more calls. (Nods.)

(Shot of Jack, Norma and Kevin as Norma smiles and Jack exits past the camera.)

And the worst part was...there was nothing we could do to help.

(Norma hangs an ornament.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Cafeteria

(Shot of two girls approaching with trays. A chorale group wearing blue robes is in the background, singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas". The camera pans with the girls as they approach.)

Not that my life was any bed of mistletoe.

(The girls cut behind a table. The camera pans with them.)

PAUL (V/O): Come on, you gotta be joking! I mean a hundred bucks?!

(The camera pans down to Chuck and Paul seated at the near table. Paul is looking across the table.)

PAUL: For a sweater?!

(Shot past Chuck of Kevin and Jeff. Kevin glances at Jeff, and gestures.)

KEVIN: Well, it-it's cashmere.

JEFF: The fabric of royalty.

(Shot past Kevin of Chuck and Paul.)

PAUL: So? (Frowns.) Ninety-nine bucks is too much to spend for any woman.

(Shot past Chuck of Kevin and Jeff as Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: What am I supposed to do? (Gestures.) I think she's gonna buy me something really expensive. (Frowns.)

CHUCK: Well, maybe you should go for it.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul and Chuck, as Chuck gestures.)

CHUCK: Last year, I spent eighty-seven bucks on a gift! (Smiles.) And she...(gestures)...loved it! (Smiles.)

(Shot past Chuck of Kevin and Jeff.)

JEFF: Who was that for?

(Close shot of Chuck.)

CHUCK: Uh...(smiles)...just somebody I know. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Jeff frowning at Chuck off-screen.)

JEFF: Oh, come on, Chuck. It was for your mother, wasn't it?

(Close shot of Chuck frowning and nodding.)

CHUCK: Maybe...

(Chuck sucks the straw in his milk carton.)

(Shot past Kevin as Winnie approaches.)

WINNIE: Hi, Kevin! (Smiles.)

Woops.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at her.)

WINNIE: I was just wondering...

(Shot past Kevin of Winie looking at him.)

WINNIE: Are you coming over Christmas Eve?

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin and Jeff. Jeff looks at Kevin and smiles.)

KEVIN: Sure! (Smiles.)

(Close shot past Kevin of Winnie smiling.)

WINNIE: Oh, good...

(She leans closer.)

WINNIE: I can't wait till you see what I got you. It's really neat.

(Shot of Paul and Chuck smiling.)

KEVIN (V/O): Well, listen, Winnie...

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

KEVIN: I hope you didn't go overboard, or anything.

(shot past Kevin of Winnie looking at him.)

KEVIN: I mean, I would love anything you got me, and...

(Close shot past Winnie of Kevin looking at her.)

KEVIN: Besides, it's just the thought that counts. (Smiles.)

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

WINNIE: Don't be silly. It's Christmas.

(Shot past Winnie of Kevin nad Jeff as Winnie exits past Kevin.)

WINNIE (V/O): I can't wait! (Exits.)

(Kevin looks after her off-screen, then looks forward.)

(Shot of Paul and Chuck smiling.)

CHUCK: Man, are you in trouble.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning at Chuck off-screen, glancing at Jeff off-screen, then looking over his shoulder toward Winnie off-screen, then looking forward.)

It boiled down to this - my goose was cooked.

Cut to

Int. Evening - Chong's Chinese Restaurant

(Shot of three cooked ducks hanging up. Sound of a gong. The camera pans down to Mr. Chong.)

KEVIN (V/O): Mr. Chong.

(Mr. Chong looks over his shoulder and frowns.)

(Shot of Mr. Chong and Kevin facing each other.)

KEVIN: I know we talked about this - but I gotta have that raise!

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong frowning at Kevin.)

MR. CHONG: Hmmm.

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

KEVIN: Look, look, I wouldn't ask you if it wasn't really important.

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong frowning at Kevin.)

MR. CHONG: Mmm.

(Shot past Mr. Chong of Kevin looking off and gesturing.)

KEVIN: Hey, I just thought -

MR. CHONG: You got it.

(Kevin pauses.)

KEVIN: I do?

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong looking at him, then looking off.)

MR. CHONG: Fifty cents more an hour.

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

It was like discovering Scrooge had a heart.

KEVIN: Wow! (Smiles.) Thank you!

(They nod.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong looking at him, then looking off.)

MR. CHONG: Starting tomorrow. (Nods.)

(Mr. Chong turns away.)

(Shot of Mr. Chong approaching the camera as Kevin looks at him.)

KEVIN: Tomorrow? (Frowns.)

(Mr. Chong turns toward Kevin and looks down.)

KEVIN: But, that's Christmas Eve. (Frowns.)

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

MR. CHONG: So?

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

KEVIN: So...(nods)...no one works on Christmas Eve. (Frowns.)

(Shot past Kevin of Mr. Chong as he opens a Santa hat and puts it on Kevin's head.)

MR. CHONG: Congratulations. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Mr. Chong of Kevin frowning at him.)

MR. CHONG: Now you're one of Santa's little helpers. Ho-ho-ho. (Exits.)

Yeah.

(Kevin rolls his eyes up and frowns.)

Ho...ho...ho.

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

Cut to

Ext. Night - The Road

(Shot through the windshield of Kevin. Some Snuffy guitar plays throughout.)

Driving home that night, it seemed...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Christmas lights on houses.)

That the yuletide spirit...

(Shot through the windshield of Kevin.)

Was everywhere. The suburbs were practically blazing with holiday cheer.

(Wide shot of Kevin's car approaching up his street.)

It was almost as if every house on every street in America...

(Kevin pulls to the curb.)

Had its Christmas lights on.

(Kevin parks the car in front of the dark house.)

Except one.

Cut to

Int. Night - Jack's Den

(Shot through the doorway of Jack seated at a desk, crunching numbers on the calculator.)

There was only one light burning in our house.

(Shot past Jack as Kevin approaches in the doorway. Music ends.)

KEVIN: Dad?

(Jack puts his hand on some papers on his desk.)

JACK: Huh?

(He looks toward Kevin.)

KEVIN: How's it goin'? (Smiles.)

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

JACK: It's goin'.

(Jack looks at his paper and frowns.)

NORMA (V/O): Jack?

(Shot past Jack of Kevin as Norma approaches behind him, wearing a robe. Norma smiles at Kevin and looks at Jack.)

NORMA: Honey...tomorrow's Christmas Eve. Don't you think we should put up the lights? (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack frowning at his paper.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin and Norma, as Jack looks at more papers on his desk.)

JACK: Sure...(Frowns.)

NORMA: Jack...

(Jack looks toward Norma.)

NORMA: Why don't you come to bed? (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Jack smiling at Norma off-screen then sighing.)

JACK: In a minute, Norma. I just want to run these figures again.

(Shot past Jack of Kevin and Norma as she nods and exits. Jack sips some coffee. Kevin looks after Norma, then at Jack.)

(Shot from behind Kevin of Jack as Kevin walks off. Jack looks after him, then resumes crunching numbers on the calculator.)

Cut to

Int. Day - The Mall

(Shot through a shop window of Kevin looking in.)

That Christmas Eve day, I had a lot on my mind. I'd like to say I was thinking only of my dad, but...I still hadn't found a gift for Winnie.

(Kevin frowns and turns away.)

(Wide shot of Kevin turning away from the window and colliding with Charlie Barrett, who is carrying a large stack of presents. Both fall to the ground, as do the packages.)

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin gathering some packages.)

KEVIN: Sorry.

CHARLIE: That's OK.

(They pause and look at each other.)

Then, I ran into...

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie looking at him and frowning slightly.)

The grinch.

(Charlie looks away, toward his packages.)

KEVIN (V/O): Mr. Barrett.

CHARLIE: Hey, Kevin...

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

(Shot of Charlie glancing at Kevin, then his packages.)

CHARLIE: So, uh...how ya doin'?

(Wider shot of both facing each other.)

KEVIN: Uh...you know...I'm OK.

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie gathering his packages.)

CHARLIE: How's your dad?

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

KEVIN: Great. He's just...(nods)...great.

The thing is, for a guy who couldn't come up with...

(Shot from behind Kevin of Charlie.)

His share of the money...

(Charlie nods.)

He sure was buying a pile...

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin.)

Of presents.

CHARLIE: Thanks.

(They rise.)

KEVIN: So, uh...

(He looks at the packages and gestures.)

KEVIN: You're doing a little shopping. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie glancing at the packages, then at Kevin and shrugging.)

CHARLIE: Yeah, well, the uh...company gave us a small bonus for Christmas.

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: Company?

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie frowning and looking down.)

CHARLIE: Yeah, well...

(He glances off.)

CHARLIE: I kinda went back to NORCOM.

(He looks at Kevin.)

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: Oh..

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie looking at him.)

CHARLIE: Listen...(shrugs)...you understand. I got a wife. Three kids.

(Charlie looks off.)

CHARLIE: The economy the way it is. (Shrugs.) You understand.

(Charlie shakes his head slightly.)

CHARLIE: Right?

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: Right. (Smiles.) Sure. (Nods.)

But I didn't.

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie looking at him.)

I just didn't.

CHARLIE: Anyway, I gotta get goin'. Say hi to your folks for me. (Nods.)

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin smiling and nodding slightly at him.)

CHARLIE (V/O): Merry Christmas, Kevin.

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie looking at him.)

(Shot past Charlie of Kevin nodding slightly at him. Charlie exits, and Kevin looks after him off-screen.)

And that's when I saw Charlie Barrett for who he was.

(Shot past Kevin of Charlie walking away in the distance.)

Not a grinch - just a scared little man...

(Charlie looks over his shoulder at Kevin, then continues.)

Who'd turn tail and run from a risk.

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Garage

(Shot of Jack at the workbench fiddling with an electrical plug. A string of christmas lights blinks.)

As opposed to say...my dad.

(Jack jerks the plug.)

JACK: Damn these things.

A man who hated Christmas lights.

(Shot of Kevin at the small door as he closes it behind him, frowns, and steps forward.)

KEVIN: You OK, Dad? (Gestures.)

(Shot of Jack holding the light and looking at Kevin off-screen.)

JACK: You know I paid a fortune for these things? Almost four bucks.

(Shot of Kevin smiling slightly and looking off.)

Yeah. Back in 1946.

KEVIN: You need any help?

(Shot of Jack looking at the lights and frowning.)

JACK: Nah...I got some more lights in this box.

(Shot of Kevin at the lights, then at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: I'll give you a hand.

(Kevin smiles and approaches.)

(Shot of Jack reaching in a box next to him, as Kevin stands next to him. They pull out a tangled bunch of lights. Jack starts to stretch it out and frowns.)

JACK: Oh, jeez. I can't do anything right.

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

(Close shot of Jack frowning at the lights.)

Of course I could see he needed help.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

Something to lighten the mood.

(Kevin glances at Jack, then looks down.)

Take his mind off things.

KEVIN: I ran into Charlie at the mall.

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Jack frowning at the lights.)

JACK: How is he?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the lights, then glancing at Jack, then down again.)

KEVIN: Well...

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: He went back to NORCOM.

(Shot of Jack frowning at the lights.)

JACK: Yeah, I heard.

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

KEVIN: Oh.

(Kevin looks at the lights.)

KEVIN: Well, I was just thinking...

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen and smiles.)

KEVIN: I bet you could go back.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack frowning at him, then looking at the lights and sighing.)

KEVIN: I mean, I bet NORCOM would love to have you back.

(Jack shakes his head, then looks at Kevin.)

JACK: I can't go back, Kevin.

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

KEVIN: Well, sure you can! (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at him.)

JACK: Listen! Charlie Barrett did not talk me into this. I did it because I wanted to. I did it because I had to.

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

JACK (V/O): I did it...because it was time.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at him.)

JACK: Ya understand?

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

KEVIN: Sure, Dad. (Smiles.)

(Wider shot of both as they untangle the lights.)

JACK: Besides, I got better things to do with my life.

(Jack looks at Kevin and hold the lights up.)

JACK: I gotta untangle these lights.

(They chuckle. Some Snuffy guitar starts, and the camera moves in very slowly.)

And the funny thing is, standing there, that winter afternoon - I knew things would be alright.

(Kevin looks at Jack.)

Maybe my father would never be his own boss.

(The camera moves past Kevin slightly to Jack, who holds up the lights as he untangles them, frowning.)

But in my eyes, he was something more. He was his own man.

(Shot of Norma entering through the small door. Music fades.)

NORMA: Jack?

(Shot of Jack and Kevin looking toward Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): Hi.

JACK: Hi.

(Wide shot of all as Norma stands in front of Jack and Kevin.)

NORMA: I see you got the lights out.

JACK: Yeah...how was shoppin'?

NORMA: Fine. Honey, I have to talk to you about something.

(Shot past Jack of Norma looking at him excitedly.)

NORMA: I think I figured a way to make this work. (Nods.)

(Shot past Norma of Jack and Kevin as Jack sighs.)

JACK: Norma, I've been over those figures six ways from Sunday. And without a loan, there's no way to make it work - I don't have enough collateral.

(Shot past Jack of Norma looking at him.)

NORMA: Actually, Jack - you do.

(Shot past Norma of Jack and Kevin as Jack frowns at the lights.)

JACK: What do ya mean?

(Shot past Jack of Norma looking at him.)

NORMA: I just went down to the bank.

(Closer shot past Norma of Jack looking at her.)

JACK: You did what? (Frowns.)

(Shot past Norma of Kevin glancing from Jack to Norma.)

NORMA: I talked to that loan officer. (Nods.)

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

NORMA: I told him about your plans and...projections. But, mostly I told him about you.

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

NORMA (V/O): About the kind of man you are.

(Jack looks down.)

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

NORMA: I told them - they should believe in you. The way that I do.

(She smiles and nods slightly.)

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

NORMA (V/O): They think that's collateral enough.

JACK: You did that? (Smiles.)

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

NORMA: They want to see you on Monday.

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

JACK: I don't know Norma - it's a helluva risk.

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

NORMA: I don't think so, Jack.

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

I guess some gifts are simple.

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

They come from the heart...

(Jack glances down, then smiles at Norma off-screen.)

With a lifetime guarantee.

(Jack looks down again, then at Norma emotionally.)

JACK: Come on. (Smiles.) Let's get these lights up.

(Wider shot of all three as Kevin smiles at Norma. Snuffy's guitar starts again. The camera pulls back slightly as Norma sets her things on the counter, then holds Kevin's arms. Jack plugs in the lights.)

And that afternoon...

JACK: Oh...hey...(Smiles.)

(Jack and Kevin hold the lights up.)

Christmas finally arrived.

Cut to

Ext. Christmas Eve - On the Road

(Shot of Kevin's car approaching the camera. Snuffy's guitar continues. The camera pans with the car as it passes the house with the lighted Santa in the yard.)

That Christmas Eve, I delivered egg rolls and pork lomein - for fifty cents more an hour.

Cut to
Int. Night - The Cooper House

(Black screen, which is actually a sweater. The sweater is lowered, revealing Winnie sitting on the couch, holding up the sweater. She smiles as she admires it.)

WINNIE: This is so beautiful.

(The camera pulls back as she speaks to show Kevin sitting to her left, turned to face her.)

WINNIE: I can't believe this.

(She looks at Kevin, suddenly more concerned.)

WINNIE: It must've cost a fortune.

(Kevin smiles.)

Then, I turned right around and squandered the profits - on cashmere.

(Kevin touches the sweater and smiles. Winnie holds it close to her and smiles at Kevin.)

WINNIE: I love it.

Still, I think it was worth it.

(Winnie turns and picks up a flat, square gift.)

WINNIE: I hope you like this.

(She hands it to Kevin and shakes her head.)

WINNIE: It's not like yours, but...

(Kevin smiles and unwraps the gift as Winnie scooches closer and watches.)

As for that big box, it turned out to be something much, much smaller.

(Kevin hesitates, then smiles.)

KEVIN: The new Bread album.

(Winnie looks at Kevin expectantly.)

WINNIE: Do you like it?

(Kevin glances at Winnie, then the album.)

KEVIN: Yeah, they're my favorite! (Smiles.)

I hated it. I loathed it.

(Kevin flips the album over and looks at it.)

I despised it.

WINNIE: Merry Christmas, Kevin. (Smiles.)

(Kevin looks up from the album to Winnie.)

KEVIN: Merry Christmas.

Then again, on the other hand...

(Kevin puts down the album, slowly puts his arm around Winnie, and they kiss. Sound of silverware clinking against a glass.)

Cut to
Int. Night - Furniture Factory

(Shot past Norma of Jack sitting at a table, clinking his knife against a glass of champagne.)

JACK: I'd like to make a toast. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin, Norma, Bonnie and Wayne sitting around the table. The baby stroller is next to Bonnie. They all pick up their glasses, and Jack stands.)

That night we skipped the customary dinner at home. Seemed there was a more fitting place to gather.

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: To, uh...(shrugs)...new beginnings. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Bonnie and Wayne.)

JACK (V/O): New possibilities. (Chuckles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at him.)

JACK: To my family. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin as he smiles at him.)

(Shot of Norma smiling at Kevin, then looking up at Jack off-screen.)

JACK (V/O): And to my girl.

(Norma smiles slightly.)

(Shot of Jack as he hold his glass out.)

JACK: Merry Christmas. (Smiles.)

(Wide shot of all as they reach to the middle of the table, clink glasses.)

WAYNE: Merry Christmas.

NORMA: Merry Christmas.

(Wide shot of all as Jack sits down. The camera pulls slowly back as Snuffy's guitar changes into "Silent Night" and they start to talk.)

We stayed up late. We talked about old times, new times. We ate turkey and dressing...and egg rolls. After all, the way I saw it, that year, we had a lot to celebrate.

Fade to

CLOSING CREDITS

Supporting Cast
Charlie Barrett - John Pleshette



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08/20/00 20:15