"Karl and Jane Gustavson" - Episode 113 "Reunion"



(On the airplane.)
After all, this was more than just a trip back in time. We were headed home to family.
Are we there yet?
Mom's family. For better...
(Cut to the Gustavson front door as Norma knocks on it.)
Or worse.
(Norma's mother Jane opens the door and smiles.)
Mother!
(Jane steps outside and hugs Norma.)
Welcome home!
(Norma's father Karl appears in the doorway. Norma hugs him.)
Look at the two of you!
How's my little girl? (Smiles.) Look at those fine grandsons of mine! (Smiles.)
I almost didn't recognize 'em! (Smiles.)
(Jane puts her arms around them and hugs them.)
Hi, Grandma...(Smiles.)
Oh, Kevin, you've certainly grown...
(She chucks Kevin's chin.)
Since I saw you the last time. (Smiles.)
Well, you know it's been a long time, Grandma...(Nods.)
Oh, Wayne...
Homecoming at the grand-parents. We saw them, oh...about once every century.
(Jack approaches with four suitcases and pauses in the walkway.)
Hi!
(Everyone quiets down.)
How's everybody?
Maybe there was a reason.
(Jane looks over her shoulder toward Norma and Karl.)
Well, why don't we come on inside?
(Jane nudges Norma toward the door.)
You must be exhausted from your trip.
(Norma glances toward Jack as she goes inside.)
Come on, come on...
Maybe it was Dad.
Well...(Gestures.) Better get that luggage inside, before some of the local kids make off with it.
(Karl puts his tongue in his cheek and goes inside.)
Yeah.
(Cut to the living room.)
Oh, just look at all this! It's exactly the same! (Sniffs.) The smell even.
Your mother's been cooking for days.
Nothing's too good for my little girl. (Smiles.)
Oh, Mom...
You could say this for the oldsters...
(Jack enters with the suitcases.)
They loved their only daughter.
(Jack closes the door with his foot and drops the suitcases onto the floor.)
If not their only son-in-law.
Here we are...
Well, how was the trip?
Uh, it was...OK.
Except...Dad got a little sick.
(Jack frowns at Wayne.)
Well, uh...it's just that the flight was a little bumpy, Mom.
jane You're not going to get sick again, are you? (Frowns.)
No, I don't think so. (Nods.)
Because Roger gave us this great antacid. (Nods.)
(Jane leans slightly closer and lowers her voice a little.)
It's good for diarrhea, too. (Nods.)
No, really...(Gestures.) I'm just...
Roger's a doctor, you know...(Smiles.)
Mother...(Smiles.) Roger's been a doctor for fifteen years, now. (Nods.)
And a darned good one. (Nods.)
He's just been named...Chief-of-staff...at County General! (Smiles.) Isn't that impressive?
(Norma looks off and shrugs, then smiles and nods.)
And, of course, it was very impressive.
(Jack rests his arm against the wall, sighs, and looks down.)
Just one little question, here.
Who's Roger?
A long time ago...
Mother...We don't have to get into this right now, do we?
I suppose not.
Besides, we should probably unpack before dinner.
(she looks toward Jack.)
Don't ya think, honey?
(Jack perks up slightly.)
Yeah. Sure. (Smiles.)
So, Jack, uh...been workin' on your gin game? (Smiles.)
Yeah. Sure. (Smiles.)
Good. Cuz I thought after dinner, you and I might have a friendly little game...what do you say?
(Karl crosses his arms. Jack smiles and looks down.)
Fine, Karl...
(Jack spreads his arms, then pats Karl's shoulders.)
Fine. (Nods.)
(Jack picks up a suitcase.)
Yeah - ya had to hand it to Dad. No matter how cold the shoulder...he hung in there. Like a man at the gallows.
Where do I put these? (Smiles.)
Why, in Norma's old room, of course. (Giggles.) Just wait till you see it!
(Cut to Norma's old bedroom. Jack sets the suitcases down as Norma enters.)
Daddy and I haven't changed it one bit!
(Norma smiles and looks around.)
This was fun. Sorta like visiting a museum.
Look!
(Norma picks up a pair of red cheerleader pompoms.)
The Norma Gustavson memorial shrine.
Mother, I can't believe you kept these! Oh, Jack, look!
(Norma tosses the pompoms downs and hurries to the nightstand. She picks up...)
My sixth-grade citizenship ribbon.
karl I was proud of my little girl...Still am...(Nods.)
You should hear him brag to the boys in Kiwanis about that new job.
Always knew she'd end up being something important. (Smiles.)
(Karl looks toward Jack and frowns slightly.)
No matter what got in her way.
(Jack frowns slightly.)
All in all, kinda reminded you of the Walton's.
I hope you two are gonna be comfortable here.
(Jane looks concerned.)
We only have the one bed.
So, uh...where do we sleep, Grandma?
Down the hall in the guestroom. (Gestures.) Just uh...right down the hall and to the left. (Nods.)
Great.
(Kevin and Wayne start to walk down the hallway.)
After all, no sense hanging around all that hostility.
(A Doberman, "Princess", sits in the hallway and barks.)
Oh, there she is. Boys...I'd like you to meet Princess.
(The dog growls.)
She's a little shy around new folk. Aren't ya, girl?
Nice doggie. (Smiles.)
Isn't this cute? There's nothing so sweet as a boy and his dog. (Smiles.)
(Cut to dinner table. All are slowly eating in silence.)
And so, here we were. One big happy family.
(Princess growls.)
Plus beast.
(Jack frowns at the dog.)
Eagerly catching up on one another's lives.
Furniture, huh?
What?
Oh, I was just telling Daddy how well your furniture business is doing, honey.
Uh...yeah, we've been pretty successful so far. (Smiles.)
I don't hold much truck with this new stuff. In my day...people knew how to build furniture. Take this table.
(Karl bangs the table.)
Solid. Made to last. Had it since we were married. It'll be here for you boys when I'm gone. (Nods.)
(Wayne looks up and frowns.)
Woops.
What was that again?
Daddy, don't talk like that.
Well, it's true...you boys'll be gettin' this place one day...(Nods.)
Really? You mean...this house?
Yeah. And everything in it. Hell, I gotta leave it to someone. And I'm not gonna be around forever, ya know.
(Wayne blinks slowly to the sound of a cash register.)
Thanks, Gramps. (Smiles.) You're the best.
Now, now, sweetheart. You don't have to worry about Daddy. (Smiles.) Not as long as he has Roger as a doctor.
He's quite a guy...(Smiles.)
(Karl glances toward Jack and frowns.)
He certainly is.
(Jack looks down and frowns.)
And there it was. Roger again.
Mother, we don't have to hear more about Roger. Do we? (Smiles.)
Of course not, dear.
(Sound of the doorbell.)
There he is now. (Smiles.) He can tell you himself.
Oh...(Sighs.) Good...(Smirks.)
(Cut to later in the living room.)
Those were really some great times we had, Norma. (Smiles.) I can still remember the look on your face, when I gave you my class ring.
Roger Baldwin - in the flesh.
Remember how jealous Jerry Yost was when he saw you wearing it for the first time?
Jerry Yost? (Laughs.) I haven't thought about him in years!
Oh, here it is!
(Jane holds a photograph toward Roger.)
The prom picture. (Smiles.)
That evening was like the tea party from hell.
Kevin...
(Jane approachs holding out the photograph.)
Weren't they a striking couple?
Grandma played match-maker...Roger played bigshot...While my brother played...
That's a nice frame, Grandma. What is that - pewter?
Gin! Aha!
(Karl claps his hands together, smiling broadly.)
Gin! Well, it looks like you're down another forty points, Jack. (Laughs.)
As for Dad...
Honey, everybody's going to be so thrilled ...to see you two at the picnic tomorrow. (Smiles.)
Jack and I wouldn't miss it for the world.
I meant you and Roger, dear. (Smiles.)
You know, sometimes I wonder what might have happened if I hadn't gone away to medical school.
(Jack bangs the table then stands up.)
OK...
(Jack turns around, making a face.)
It was clear the big guy had had his fill of this malarkey.
(Jack looks off, then yawns and stretches.)
I'm goin' to bed.
Night, honey. Get some rest. (Nods.)
Goodnight, Jack.
Yeah.
And there ya had it. What had begun as a simple trip home...was suddenly turning into...
(Cut to later. Kevin looks out the bedroom window and sees Roger and Norma below, chatting.)
Nightmare on Gustavson Street. And the worst part was...I was the only one who seemed to notice.
*

(Next day. Jack hurt his back during a sack race at the picnic. Now he's on the couch.)
And there ya had it. An inglorious end to an even more inglorious weekend. Not that I was particularly sorry to see this whole charade over with.
Isn't this always the way? (Frowns.)
What do you mean, Mother?
You travel all the way out here. (Frowns.) And just when the good times begin...
(Jane looks toward Jack.)
Somebody ruins it.
(Jack rolls his eyes and frowns.)
Our poor little girl's gonna miss her big evening. (Nods.)
(Norma laughs and pats Jane's hand.)
It's a shame, alright.
Jeez - talk about compassion.
Look...It's just a dance, right? (Smiles.) I mean, if he can't go, he can't go!
(Jack frowns in pain.)
Norma, I think you should go.
Jack...(Giggles.) You can't even move.
You're mother's right. It's your big night. We came all this way...you shouldn't miss it because of me. You should go. (Nods.)
Absolutely not.
Maybe Roger could take you.
What?! (Frowns.)
That's a good idea! (Smiles.)
And with that, the wheels came off.
*

(Later, Roger drives up to the house and honks the horn.)
OK, there he is...(Smiles.) Well, I guess it's time for me to go. (Smiles.)
That evening, while the rest of us stayed home...
Oh, honey, you're sure that this is OK?
Absolutely. (Nods.)
Awright, then. Bye.
Don't be too late. (Smiles.)
I watched my mother waltz out the door for the night of her life.
(Sound of Princess barking.)
Gin!
(Karl lays his cards down. Jack sighs.)
And for all that, Dad's only response was...
(Jack looks at Karl's cards and chuckles.)
Your deal or mine? (Smiles.)
*

(Kevin returns after being chased around the neighborhood by Princess.)
Six picket fences, fourteen garbage cans, and thirty two backyards later...it was official. This trip was a bust.
(Kevin heads toward the stairs.)
Hey, butthead! What happened to you?
The dog and I took a three-hour tour of the neighborhood. (Frowns.)
Gin! (Gestures.) That's three straight hands! Hah!
Yeah, ya got me again, Karl.
(Jack shows Karl the cards in his hand. Karl grunts.)
My mother was AWOL...my father had turned into a punching bag...
Well, I better turn in. I haven't been feeling quite up to par, lately.
And my brother...
Gee, Gramps - I hope it's nothing serious. (Frowns.)
Had become a ghoul.
Oh, I wouldn't worry, Wayne. Us Gustavson's are made of strong stock.
(He slaps Kevin's shoulder.)
Hadn't been a one of us didn't live to at least ninety-five.
What? (Frowns.)
(Karl rests on the bannister, looking at Wayne.)
Yep. (Gestures.) Might as well put that calculator away...
(Karl laughs, and starts up the stairs.)
Night, all.
Ninety-five...(Gestures.) Really?
(Wayne hurries after Karl.)
So, how old are you now?
*

(Norma has returned from the dance. Jane looks at her from the stairway.)
So how was the dance? (Smiles.)
Actually...it was a little boring. (Nods.)
But you had a good time? (Nods.)
Yeah. (Nods.) I did.
After all, maybe there are some things in life that just can't be changed.
(Jane smiles at Norma.)
A child's hopes. A parent's dreams.
Well, goodnight, everyone. (Exits.)
G'night. (Smiles.)
(Norma turns toward Jack.)
So...did you let Dad beat you?
Just enough to make him happy. (Nods.)
Thanks. (Smiles.)

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04/3/05 14:05