Episode 38 - "The Treehouse"


Ext. Day - RFK School

(Wide shot of the school, with a bus at the curb. Sound of a chorale singing.)

In junior high school...

Cut to


Looks mean a lot.

(Shot of a couple descending the stairs, holding hands.)

There's the look of love.

(They glance at each other and smile. They continue past a boy sitting alone on the stairs.)

The look of rejection.

Cut to


(Shot of the teacher handing back a test to a boy, who makes a fist and smiles after getting a good grade.)

The thrill of victory.

(Shot of a second boy rubbing his forehead after seeing his grade.)

The agony of defeat.

Cut to


(The camera rolls down the crowded hallway. "Jaws"-like music plays. The camera rolls up to Doug, who stands motionless, open-mouthed.)

But there was one look that was different. A once-in-a-lifetime look. The look that said that things would never be the same again.

KEVIN (V/O): Doug?

(Shot of Kevin and Paul as they glance at each other, then at Doug off-screen.)

KEVIN: Doug? You OK?

(Close shot of Doug.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at Doug off-screen.)

(Shot past Kevin and Paul of Doug.)

One glance at a face like that, and you knew...

(Close shot of Paul. He sighs.)

PAUL: Oh, man...when did it happen?

(Shot past Kevin and Paul of Doug.)

DOUG: Last night.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Was it your dad?

(Shot past Kevin and Paul of Doug. He nods.)

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: He gave you..."The Talk".

(Close shot of Doug. He nods.)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul. Kevin looks down, and Paul frowns.)

"The Talk". The old birds and bees.

(Close shot of Doug.)

DOUG: I actually had to listen to my father say - "genitals".

(Shot of Kevin and Paul grimacing.)

KEVIN & PAUL: Ahhhh!

(Close shot of Doug frowning and starting to turn away.)

It was horrible...

(Wide shot from behind Kevin and Paul as Doug walks away.)

Too horrible to contemplate.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking uncomfortable.)

The worst thing was, no one was immune. It could strike any time, any where. The fatal communication.

Cut to

Int. Evening - Arnold Livingroom

(Kevin is stretched out on the couch, looking at a biology book as Jack approaches.)

JACK: Kevin?

(Close shot of the book, which shows the developmental stages of an embryo, and Kevin's sneakers.)

(The camera pans up to Jack.)

(Very close shot of Jack's face. His voice is changed to very deep.)

JACK: It all begins with an egg. (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking worried.)

Oh, no!

(Very close shot of Jack.)

JACK: So when a man and a woman get together...(Frowns.)

(Close shot of Kevin glancing off.)

Oh, gosh!

(Very close shot of Jack.)

JACK: When your mother and I...

(Shot of Kevin rolling around in disgust.)

No - no, no - don't drag Mom into this!

JACK (V/O - normal voice): Kevin!

(Shot of Jack frowning at Kevin.)

(Wide shot of Kevin on the couch.)


(Shot of Jack gesturing.)

JACK: Shove over.

(Wide shot of both as Jack pushes Kevin's feet away, and sits down. He puts a pillow behind his back and crosses his arms.)

Fortunately, my father preferred to communicate with his kids as little as possible. Still you never knew if your luck was gonna run out.

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

Or when.

Cut to

Morning - Kitchen

(Shot of Jack kneeling down, inspecting the linoleum next to the cabinets.)

JACK: Looks like it's wearing pretty thin to me.

(Shot of Norma at the opposite counter, turning toward Jack.)

NORMA: Jack...

(Shot of Jack looking the floor.)

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

Day three of my dad's week off. So far, he had tightened every screw on every kitchen cabinet...

(Shot of Jack picking at the floor.)

Re-wired all our lamps...

(Shot of Kevin.)

And added another layer of insulation to the attic.

(Shot of Norma looking over her shoulder and frowning.)

In short, he was laying seige to my mom's domain.

NORMA: Honey, it's just a little crack.

(Close shot of Jack looking at the floor.)

JACK: Eh...it's fallin' apart. Where's my glue?

(Shot of Norma frowning.)

(Shot of Jack opening the cabinet drawer, looking for his glue.)

Of course, after years of experience...

(Shot of Norma turning toward the stove.)

Mom had learned to play Dad like a matador dealing with a bull.

(Shot of Norma picking up a piece of bacon, turning and smiling.)

NORMA: Honey?

(Norma dangles the bacon.)

NORMA: You want this last piece of bacon?

(Close shot of Jack looking up. Sound of bullfight trumpet. Jack does a double-take.)

(Shot of Norma dangling the bacon.)

(Shot of Jack sliding his lips, and rising.)

(Sound of bullfight crowd and horns.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling.)

Olé, Mom!

(Sound of a dripping faucet.)

(Shot of Jack and Norma. Jack pauses and listens.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

(Shot of Jack listening, then approaching the camera, while chewing the bacon.)

(Close shot of the dripping faucet. Slow-motion shot of a drop falling and splashing - "boo-boop".)

(Close shot of Jack and Norma.)

JACK: Dammit! I just put a new washer in this thing.

(Norma turns toward Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA: Did the paper come yet?

(Close shot of Kevin.)

(Shot of Norma and Jack. Norma glances back and forth between Jack and the faucet.)

NORMA: I know you wanted to look at those tire sales.

JACK: Oh...

(Jack glances at Norma, then back to the faucet.)

JACK: I hope he hit the porch this time.

(Wide shot of the kitchen as Jack walks off toward the dining room, and Norma sighs in relief, sips her drink, and smiles.)

Yep. Mom had all the moves.

JACK: What the -

(Jack crosses the dining room, peering forward, in the background.)

(Norma turns toward Kevin, smiles and gestures.)

NORMA: You want another muffin, honey?

(Shot of Kevin reading a cereal box, then glancing up.)

(Shot of Norma. She pauses as she hears the tinkling of crystal.)

Until, that is...

(Norma runs toward the dining room and pauses at the doorway.)

NORMA: Jack!

(Shot of Jack looking at the crystal cabinet, swinging a squeaky door.)

The bull got into the china shop.

JACK: These hinges are going, Norma. (Nods and gestures.)

(Shot of Norma.)

NORMA: Jack...(sighs)...not my good crystal...

(Shot of Jack.)

JACK: Kevin - get my toolbox from the cellar.

(Shot of Kevin standing next to Norma.)

Now this was serious - this was Mom's stemware.

(Norma glances at Kevin.)

(Shot of Jack swinging the cabinet door.)

(Shot of Kevin and Norma. Kevin starts to turn away. Norma stops him.)

NORMA: Wait.

You could see her reaching back for some way to save the situation.

(Shot of Jack looking at the hinges.)

Some way to -

(Shot of Norma.)

NORMA: I know...why don't you do something with Kevin?

(Close shot of Kevin looking surprised, and looking at Norma.)

Stab me in the back.

(Shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: Huh?

(Shot of Norma.)

NORMA: You could...go to a movie, or...play catch...

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

(Shot of Jack frowning.)

(Shot of Kevin and Norma. She is still holding his shoulders.)

KEVIN: Well, I better get going.

NORMA: No, wait! I've got it. Jack...wouldn't this be the perfect time to build that treehouse that you two have always talked about?

(Shot of Kevin frowning.)

A treehouse?

KEVIN: A treehouse? (Frowns.)

(Shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: A treehouse?

(Shot of Kevin and Norma. Norma smiles.)

I couldn't believe it. After all I'd done for her - slept in her house, eaten her food!

(Kevin looks at Norma.)

NORMA: Why not?! I think it would be fun for both of you!

KEVIN: Come on, Mom.

(Kevin frowns and shrugs.)

KEVIN: I'm too old for a treehouse.

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Right, Dad?

(Shot of Jack thinking.)

I was sorry to bail out on old Mom...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Norma.)

But the fact was -

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Nonsense.

(Jack closes the cabinet and smiles.)

JACK: You're never too old for a treehouse.

(Close shot of Kevin. Norma pats his shoulder.)

I was a dead man.

Cut to

Ext. Day - Lumber Yard

(Shot of Jack and the salesman looking at Jack's plans. Kevin is sitting around in the background.)

See, it wasn't just a matter of being too old for a treehouse.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack and the saleman in the distance.)

Building something - building anything - with my dad didn't really mean "building".

(Jack turns toward Kevin, smiles, and gives him the thumb-sup sign.)

(Close shot of Kevin forcing a smile, then looking away.)

It meant sitting around...

(Shot of Jack standing next to the car.)

JACK: Kev.

(Jack tosses the end of some twine over the wood on top of the car.)

(The camera pans across to Kevin on the other side of the car. He grabs the twine.)

Holding twine...

(Jack runs around the car and takes the twine, bumping Kevin's head with his elbow.)

Being in the way...

Cut to

Ext. Day - Arnold Backyard

(Close shot of the power-saw as Jack cuts the ends off some boards.)

(The camera slowly pans over to Kevin standing behind the saw.)

Eating sawdust.

(Wide shot of Jack.)

And, watching him build.

(Closer shot of Jack wiping his mouth and glancing toward the sky.)

JACK: Well, startin' to lose the light. Let's knock off for today, eh, Tiger?

(Close shot past Jack of Kevin.)

"Tiger"? I didn't feel like a tiger. I felt more like...an elf.

(Close shot of Jack turning toward Kevin.)

JACK: We'll pick it up tomorrow.

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: I can't.

(Close shot of Jack)

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: I've got school tomorrow.

(Shot of Jack looking off in thought, then at Kevin.)

JACK: I'll pick ya up!

(Shot of Kevin as Jack pats Kevin's head and walks off toward the house.)

(Kevin looks off.)

KEVIN: Great...

It didn't seem fair.

(Kevin turns and looks after Jack.)

I was thirteen years old, and my father was still treating me like...a kid! I mean, what was it gonna take here?

Cut to


(Shot of the cover of a "mens" magazine, Adam, with the head and shoulders of a woman on it. A hand slides it around.)

HOBSON (V/O): Check this out.

(Shot of Hobson in profile at the table, as Kevin and Paul lean forward and look.)

PAUL: Put that away!

(Shot from above as Paul closes Hobson's notebook hurriedly.)

(Shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Sorry, Pfeiff - didn't mean to scare you.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul.)

KEVIN: Grow up, Hobson!

(Shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: What's wrong with it? (Gestures.) My dad looks at this stuff.

(Shot of Paul.)

PAUL: Yeah, your dad, maybe.

(Shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Uh-huh - like yours doesn't.

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: Of course not...(glances off)...my dad's an optometrist!

(Shot of Kevin glancing from Paul to Hobson.)

(Shot of Hobson frowning and shaking his head.)

HOBSON: Phhh...

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: Well, he doesn't.

(Shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: I don't want this to come as a shock to you, Pfeiff...

(Hobson glances around, then cups his hand next to his mouth.)

HOBSON: But men look at women.

(Shot of Paul.)

PAUL: No, duh.

(Shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: You're just a babe in the woods.

(Shot of Paul frowning.)

(Shot of Kevin smiling and looking at his plate.)

Craig Hobson - the "Masters and Johnson" of the lunch line.

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: So, Arnold, how's the big project comin'?

(Wide shot of the three of them.)

KEVIN: What do you mean?

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Saw your and your dad drivin' by with a car full of lumber. Whatcha buildin' - a new sand-box? (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin frowning.)

PAUL (V/O): For your information, Hobson...

(Shot of Paul and Kevin.)

PAUL: They're working on something very big.

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Really, like what?

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Paul...

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: I can handle this...it's a treehouse.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

Thanks, Paul. Really.

(Kevin looks at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Well, it's not really-

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: A treehouse, huh? Aren't you a little old for that?

(Shot of Kevin and Paul.)

PAUL: At least his dad doesn't sit around looking at magazines. They're building it together.

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: A treehouse, huh? What are you - the ladder-holder?

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Huh, yeah, right. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Hobson.)

The nerve of this guy.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

"Ladder-holder"? I was no ladder-holder. I was...

Cut to

Ext. Day - Arnold Back Yard

(Shot from the treehouse of Kevin holding the ladder and looking up at Jack.)

Holding a ladder.

(Jack starts to climb down, with a board.)

JACK: Damn!

(Shot from behind Kevin as Jack walks past Kevin and the camera. Kevin turns.)

(Shot of Jack at the saw-horse, marking a line on the board. Kevin is in the background.)

JACK: I cut it too long. What the hell was I thinking of?

OK - this had gone far enough. It was time to declare my independence.

(Kevin approaches.)

KEVIN: I'll cut it for you, Dad.

JACK: Huh?

(Closer shot of Jack and Kevin.)

Heck, what did I have to lose?

JACK: Nah, I better do it.

KEVIN: Dad! I want to do it. I want to help.

(Jack puts the pencil behind his ear and reaches for the saw.)

JACK: You are helpin'.

KEVIN: Holding a ladder?

(Kevin gestures toward the tree, and shrugs.)

KEVIN: Come on, Dad - I want to saw.

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

OK. Either one of two things was gonna happen here.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

Either Dad was gonna laugh in my face, or...

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: You think you can shave an inch-and-three-eigths off of that?

(Shot past Jack of Kevin.)

(Kevin nods.)

He was gonna let me saw! OK...I was on my way! There was just one little problem here...

(Shot of both as Jack demonstrates "how to saw".)

I'd never actually used a power-saw before. It looked...sharp.

(Close shot of the saw-blade as a sparkle of light glints off a tooth.)


(Shot of Kevin and Jack, as Jack points.)

JACK: Make sure that safety-guard is down - this thing can back up on ya.

KEVIN: Yeah, I know.

(Close shot of Kevin as he lines up the saw.)

"Back up"? "Safety-guard"? OK, no turning back now.

(Kevin pauses and glances up.)

It was saw... or be sawed.

(Close shot of Kevin's hand squeezing the trigger.)

(Kevin saws to the tune of "Ride of the Valkyries" - Wagner.)

(Close slow-motion shot of the saw cutting the wood.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

(Shot of the saw.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

(Shot of Jack watching.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

(Slow-motion shot of the end of the board falling off.)

(Shot of a pile of scraps as the piece falls to the ground.)

(Close shot of Kevin releasing the trigger.)

(Music ends.)

(Shot of Jack watching over Kevin's shoulder.)

(Shot of both as Jack picks up the board and runs his thumb over the cut.)

(Jack taps Kevin's arm.)

JACK: Not bad!

(Close shot of Kevin smiling.)

It was a small step. An inch-and-three-eigths, to be exact.

JACK (V/O): Come on.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack as he heads up the ladder.)

But it felt like we'd turned some kind of corner.

(Kevin follows.)

Fade to


(Wide shot of the kithen. Jack and Kevin are seated at the table discuss the treehouse plans. The camera rolls in slowly.)

(Shot of Norma near the dining room door, holding a book, and watching the guys off-screen. She leans on the door jamb and smiles.)

(Closer shot of Jack and Kevin gesturing over the plans.)

My dad and I.

(Shot of Norma smiling and turning away.)

Fade to

Ext. Day - Treehouse

(High shot of Jack and Kevin hammering. The camera zooms in.)

And our treehouse, at least the ground-floor, was lookin' pretty darn good!

(Kevin pushes on the boards.)

KEVIN: Feels solid, Dad.

JACK: Yeah, it does.

As Dad and I kicked back and hoisted a couple of cool ones...

(Jack hands Kevin a bottle of soda.)

JACK: Here ya go.

I had the strangest experience. Dad was talking to me - and I was listening.

(Shot of Kevin nodding.)

(Shot of Jack as he shakes his head.)

JACK: A rope-ladder...

(Close shot of Kevin.)

We were - communicating.

KEVIN: Wait a minute - nah, Mom can't get up a rope-ladder.

(Close shot of Jack smiling.)

JACK: That's the idea...(Chuckles.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he smiles.)

It was one of the nicest moments we ever shared, and it lasted...

(Close shot of Jack.)

(Sound of a woman humming "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off".)

(Wide shot of Jack and Kevin as they pause, stand up, walk toward the camera, and look off.)

About twelve seconds.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

(Wide shot of the neighbor kneeling in her garden. The camera zooms in slowly.)

Now she was just a woman, working in her garden, weeding her tomatoes.

(Shot of Kevin and Jack.)

She didn't know we were there.

(Jack grins.)

And we'd certainly never seen her before.

(Close shot of the neighbor fussing with a plant.)

It was all just kind of a...

(Shot of Kevin looking off.)

A coincidence.

(Close shot of the neighbor as she starts singing loudly. The camera pans from her tomatoes, to the tomatoes in the garden.)

(The camera pulls all the way back to the treehouse.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking from the neighbor to Jack.)

(Shot of Jack grinning.)

JACK: Hmmph...

(Jack looks at Kevin.)

(Shot of Kevin smiling uncomfortably, looking toward the neighbor.)

(Close shot of Jack looking off.)

(Close shot of the neighbor.)

The weird thing was...

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

It was really no big deal.

(Shot of Jack as he starts get nervous.)

Except for some reason, at that moment, it was a big deal.

(Shot of Kevin glancing away.)

It was horrible.

(Shot of Kevin and Jack, as Jack wipes his hand on his pants and looks the other way.)

We'd been two men at work...

(Jack turns back nervously.)

And suddenly everything had changed.

(Jack sips his soda and crosses his arms.)

Suddenly, we were a father and son.

(Kevin looks down. Jack holds onto a branch and looks away.)

(Close shot of the neighbor.)

And a neighbor.

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

And there didn't seem to be room up there for the three of us.

JACK (V/O): Um...Kev?

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Kev, uh...

Down went the lines of communication.

JACK: Let's take a break. (Nods.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Yeah...

(Shot of the neighbor.)

(Wide shot of Kevin and Jack.)


JACK: Yeah...

And there you had it.

(Wide shot of the treehouse, with the ladder leaning against it.)

(Kevin leads the way toward the ladder.)

One minute we were on top of the world, the next minute...

(Kevin turns around, and knocks the ladder over with his foot.)


(Jack grabs Kevin and pulls him back.)

We were up a tree - without a ladder.

(The camera drops lower, looking up at the treehouse.)

Fade to

Living room

(Shot of the TV - on which the woman asks the scientist man about his green-house plants..."Tell me - is this thing really a strawberry?" Man: "This, we hope, is the future of the American farmer.")

(Shot of Jack and Kevin on the couch. Jack is reading a newspaper as Kevin watches the TV.)

For the next day or so, Dad and I didn't talk much.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

Let me amend that - we didn't talk at all.

(Wide shot of the guys on the couch, as Wayne approaches and sits between them.)

(Man on TV -"...freaks of nature.")

WAYNE: Oh, do we have to watch this?

(Shot of the TV. The woman looks at a plant - "How'd they get so big?")

(Shot of Jack glancing at the TV, then his newspaper.)


(Shot of Kevin.)

I wasn't really sure if Dad knew that I knew that he saw that I saw what he saw...

(Shot of Jack glancing sideways at Kevin, and back to his paper.)

Or vice-versa.

(Close shot of Kevin looking off.)

All we both knew was...

(Kevin glances at Jack off-screen.)

We weren't goin' back up that tree.

(Wide shot of the dining room as Norma enters and puts her purse on the table. She looks toward Jack and Kevin off-screen.)

NORMA: What's happening with the treehouse?

(Wide shot of the guys on the couch.)

JACK: Uh, we, um...

NORMA (V/O): Well, what's the matter with you two?

(Close shot of Norma, pulling items from a green shopping bag.)

NORMA: You were having so much fun up there! I've never seen the two of you work so well together.

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

Dad? You want to take this one?

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Well, uh...the forecast said there was a...possibility of rain.

(Wide shot of Norma. She frowns and looks out the window.)

(Close shot of Jack.)


(Close shot of Kevin.)

It said zero possibility.

(Close shot of Jack glancing at Kevin.)

NORMA (V/O): Well, as long as I have you two in here...

(Shot of Norma holding some flat packages.)

NORMA: Maybe you can help me choose a table-setting.

(Shot of Jack looking up from his paper.)

NORMA (V/O): We could go with the gingham, or the stripes, or the ducks...

(Shot of Kevin glancing at Norma, then Jack off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): Or, we could mix-and-match...

(Shot of Norma displaying the packages.)

NORMA: What do you think?

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Looks like it's clearin' up, Kev.

(Wide shot as Jack slaps the paper on the coffee-table.)

(Kevin and Jack stand up and start to walk off.)

(Close shot of Wayne.)

WAYNE: Have fun, huh-huh.

(Jack and Kevin walk past the camera.)

(Shot of Norma as the guys walk past her.)

Sure - fun!

Cut to


(Kevin and Jack are at the saw-horse. The neighbor is singing "Que Sera, Sera" throughout the scene.)

We gave it the old college try.

(Jack marks a line on the board.)

We tried to ignore it.

(Kevin starts to saw.)

(Shot of the saw on the board.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack. Kevin glances toward the neighbor, and the saw bogs down.)

(Jack frowns.)

But we were over-matched.

JACK: Not like that, Kev.

(Jack takes over the saw from Kevin.)

KEVIN: What's wrong with that?

JACK: You're over the line.

KEVIN: No I'm not!

JACK: Yes, you are!

(Jack glances toward the neighbor.)

JACK: Look, I'll do this. Just go get my hammer.

(Close shot of Kevin hesitating.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack.)

JACK: What?!

(Shot past Jack of Kevin. He glances at the toolbox in the treehouse. Jack glances over his shoulder, frowns and sighs.)

(Wide shot of the toolbox on the corner of the treehouse. The camera zooms in quickly.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack.)

JACK: Never mind - where's your hammer?

KEVIN: I think I left it in the garage.

JACK: How many times I tell ya not to leave your tools lying around?

KEVIN: Well I didn't think -

JACK: Look - just go get it!

(Shot of Kevin walking toward the camera. Jack is in the background.)

Face it - we needed help. Someone sympathetic. Someone who'd understand.

Cut to


(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: You lucky dog.

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: I don't believe it!

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: You guys don't understand.

(Wide shot of the three of them at the table.)

HOBSON: I think we do.

KEVIN: Will you cut it out, Hobson?!

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: I could use a little help here.

(Shot of Paul and Hobson.)

HOBSON: You don't need help - you need binoculars.

(Close shot of Kevin sighing and looking off.)

(Shot of Paul and Hobson.)

PAUL: Why?

HOBSON: Pfeiffer, you're hopeless.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Look - all I know is this can't go on. My dad and I are at each others throats!

HOBSON (V/O): In that case...

(Shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: There's only one thing to do.

(Shot of Kevin smiling.)

At last - a little counsel!

(Close shot of Hobson.)

HOBSON: Let me build that treehouse.

Cut to


(A kind of "stealthy spy" music plays. Close shot from the floor of the treehouse as Jack and Kevin tentatively climbing up the ladder. They pause at the top, glance at each other, and Jack motions forward.)

Well, one thing was clear. Dad and I were in this together, for better or worse.

(The camera pulls back as they walk toward the edge.)

But wait a minute -

(Wide shot toward the neighbors empty yard. The camera moves slightly around the leaves of the tree.)

(Shot Kevin and Jack. They look at each other, then sigh and smile.)

JACK: Awright! Let's get goin' here.

(Jack taps Kevin on the shoulder.)

JACK: We got work to do, huh?

(They smile at each other.)

KEVIN: Yeah!

(They head away toward the ladder.)

Yeah - let's lap up some studs! Make some noise!

("Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" starts.)

(Close shot of the end of a board as the saw cuts through it.)

(Shot of Jack handing a pry-bar to Kevin.)

(Shot looking up as Jack lays a plank across the floor joists.)

(Very close shot of a nail getting hit once with a hammer.)

(Close shot of Kevin sawing.)

(Close shot of Jack kneeling, digging tools out of his toolbox.)

(Very close shot of a nail getting hit once with a hammer.)

(Shop of Kevin and Jack hammering.)

(Very close shot of a nail getting hit once with a hammer.)

(Close shot of Jack drilling a hole in a board.)

(Very close shot of a hammer wiggling a bent nail out of the floor.)

(Close shot of the edge of the floor, as Jack's hand gives the pencil to Kevin's hand. Kevin marks the board.)

(High wide shot of Kevin and Jack kneeling in the center of the floor, hammering.)

(Close shot of the toolbox and Jacks legs. Kevin hands Jack a tool.)

(Close shot of Kevin cutting a board with a hand-saw.)

(Close shot of a board as Kevin measures it with a tape-measure, and makes a mark. Kevin turns away as Jack moves in with the saw.)

Yep - we were rollin' now.

(The camera pans up to Jack.)

Like a smoothly-oiled machine.

(Shot panning up from the hammer in Kevin's hands to his face. He looks toward Jack off-screen and smiles.)

(Shot from floor level of Jack looking up and smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling.)

(Fade to high wide shot of Jack walking to the saw-horse and setting the toolbox on it. Kevin catches up, and Jack taps his shoulder as they walk toward the house.)

(Shot of them smiling as they approach the camera, with the treehouse in the background.)

And who knew? We might even finish it by tomorrow if our luck held out.

(Jack grabs Kevin around the neck and gives him a knuckle-head.)

And we didn't get another visit from -

(Jack runs forward past the camera.)

Cut to


(Shot of the door as Jack and Kevin enter laughing and smiling.)

(Kevin looks toward the off-screen table and is mildly surprised. Jack does the same. Music grinds down.)

(Shot of Norma and the neighbor at the table. A bowl holding a dozen large tomatoes is in the foreground.)

NORMA: Look at the size of those tomatoes, Jack!

(Norma and the neighbor smile.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack as the door closes behind them. They are still a little in shock.)

(Shot of the tomatoes, and part of the neighbor and Norma.)

The singing gardener.

(The camera pans up to the neighbor. She looks from the tomatoes to the guys off-screen and smiles.)

(Wide shot from behind the women. Jack looks uncomfortable.)

JACK: Yeah...

(Shot of Norma and the neighbor. Norma gestures.)

NORMA: This is Donna. My husband, Jack.

(Shot from behind Donna as she holds her hand out. Jack hesitates, waving his hand in the air.)

JACK: Ah, nah, my hands are dirty - I've been working. (Gestures.)

(Shot of Norma and Donna, as Donna has her hand out.)

DONNA: That's OK - my hands have been in the dirt all day.

(Jack smiles and shakes her hand.)

NORMA (V/O): And that's my youngest - Kevin.

(Kevin is still a little stunned, with his mouth hanging a bit.)

DONNA: Well, hi, Kevin!

(Jack still has a frozen smile, and elbows Kevin.)

KEVIN: Uh...hi.

(Kevin shakes her hand and smiles. Kevin glances at Norma, then Jack.)

NORMA (V/O): Donna and I met at the supermarket.

(Shot of Norma and Donna.)

NORMA: We started talking in the checkout counter and it turns out Donna lives on Oakdale almost right behind us! (Gestures.)

DONNA: Yeah, just a little over from here!

(Shot of Kevin glancing up at Jack. Jack still has a frozen smile.)

NORMA (V/O): So she told me about her tomatoes...

(Jack is still smiling and glances down at Kevin.)

NORMA (V/O): And said she'd bring me some.

DONNA (V/O): Uh-huh...

NORMA (V/O): And I told the checker...just to put mine back!

(Shot of Norma and Donna. Norma smiles excitedly and looks at Donna.)

NORMA: Didn't I? (Laughs.)

DONNA: Well, then...

(Donna is smiling as she turns from Norma toward the guys.)

DONNA: I guess I just had to bring 'em, huh?

(She turns back toward Norma and shrugs. They both laugh.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack as Jack forces a laugh. Kevin smiles.)


(Jack glances at Norma.)

This was homey!

(Shot of Norma and Donna smiling.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

I just sort of stood there, but fortunately...

(Shot of Kevin and Jack.)

My dad was a little more socially-adept.

(Jack gestures toward Kevin and himself uncomfortably.)

JACK: We, um...break. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Norma frowning.)

NORMA: What, honey?

(Shot of Jack pointing awkwardly at Kevin.)

JACK: Kevin and me.

(Close shot of Norma looking a little confused.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking up at Jack, then toward the neighbor.)

So, a little small-talk...

(Close shot of Jack grinning toward Donna.)

(Close shot of Donna smiling toward Jack.)

The Arnold charm...

(Shot of Kevin and Jack. Jack is starting to fidget.)

JACK: Let's go Kev.

(Jack brushes past Kevin.)

DONNA: It was nice to meet you!

(Kevin smiles broadly as he backs up.)

And we were out the door.

(Kevin slams the door as he hurries off.)

Cut to

Back Yard

(Wide shot from ground level of the treehouse and ladder. Jack and Kevin are kneeling and nailing.)

By mutual unspoken consent, my dad and I fell into a plan.

(The camera moves up and in.)

Work as hard as we could, as fast as we could - and get out of that tree. As our hammers rang in the air, bending metal and steel to our wills...an amazing thing happened - we found a common bond.

(The camera stops at eye-level with Jack and Kevin.)

JACK: Nails.

KEVIN: Here.

(Kevin hands some nails to Jack.)

KEVIN: Pry-bar.


(Jack hands it to Kevin.)

JACK: I need a, uh...

(Jack holds his hand out.)

KEVIN: Ratchet.

(Kevin hands it to him.)

JACK: Yeah, and some, uh...

(Kevin hands him some screws.)

KEVIN: Wood screws.

JACK: Dammit! Where's the...

(Kevin takes the pencil from behind his ear and hands it to Jack.)

KEVIN: Pencil.

(Jack takes it and looks at Kevin.)

JACK: Yeah.

(Very close shot of Jack's hand and face as he works. Kevin is in the background prying out a nail.)

It was almost...heroic. There we were, two men, side-by-side...

(Wide shot of both of them working.)

Struggling without words...

(Jack stands up, gets a board, and swings one end toward Kevin.)

JACK: Kev.

Against the thing we couldn't talk about - running from a common enemy.

(Close shot of the camera panning across the board to Kevin.

Running from -

NORMA: (V/O) Ready or not - here I come!

(Kevin pauses, then glances toward Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin in the foreground and Jack in the background.)


JACK: Norma.

(Kevin looks off, then toward the off-screen ladder.)

(Shot of Norma smiling as she reaches the top of the ladder.)

NORMA: Well! This is fun! (Smiles.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack as the neighbor starts singing.)

(Shot of Norma.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack. Jack glances toward the neighbor, then hold his hand out toward Norma.)

JACK: Uh, Norma, the footing up here is a little tricky.

(Kevin backs up next to Jack.)

KEVIN: Yeah - It's not all nailed off! You don't want to fall!

(Close shot of Norma standing up and smiling.)

NORMA: Oh, don't be silly. It feels sturdy to me!

(Shot Jack and Kevin. Jack holds a branch above Kevin and they try to act non-chalant.)

(Close shot of Norma looking off.)

NORMA: Oh! And just look at this view!

(Shot of Kevin standing with his hands together, as Jack looks in the opposite direction.)

JACK: Yeah!

(Jack gestures away from the neighbor and smiles.)

(Norma approaches and ducks under Jack's arm.)

NORMA: Excuse me!

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

(Close shot of Jack looking at Kevin, then frowning and sighing.)

(Close shot of Norma from behind as she looks off.)


(Wide shot of all three.)

Now at that moment, it's possible a simple explanation would have helped.

(Close shot of Norma from behind as she looks off.)

But of course we couldn't explain...

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

We couldn't talk about it at all.

(Shot past Kevin off Jack. He frowns, sighs, and looks off.)

(Close shot of Norma from behind as she looks off.)


(Norma slowly looks over her shoulder toward Jack.)

(Shot of Jack as he smiles sheepishly, then looks down.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling in sympathy.)

(Shot of all three as Norma turns back to the guys.)

NORMA: Well, I should start dinner.

(She looks at Jack, then exits.)

And that was that.

(Close shot past Jack of Kevin, looking from Norma to Jack.)

We'd been accused, tried, and convicted.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack. Jack frowns and sighs.)

And suddenly I had an awful feeling that I knew what that sentence would be.

JACK: Son...

(Shot past Jack of Kevin.)

(Shot of Jack glancing toward the neighbor.)

JACK: We have to talk. (Nods.)

(Close shot of Kevin. He looks around.)

There was no escape. It had come down to this.

(Kevin looks at Jack.)

"The Talk".

(Shot of Kevin and Jack. Jack claps his hand on Kevin's shoulder.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he has a flash-back.)

(Eerie music plays as Doug's face appears. "I actually had to listen to my dad say 'genitals'". The screen returns to Kevin looking at Jack.)

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: Son...

(Close shot of Kevin waiting.)

(Close shot of Jack nodding.)

JACK: I think you're too old for a treehouse.

(Close shot of Kevin looking surprised.)


(Shot of both. Jack frowns.)

JACK: I'm goin' inside.

(Jack tosses his pencil down, and exits past Kevin and the camera.)

(Kevin looks after Jack off-screen, then back, and sighs.)

Fade to


(Wide shot from the kitchen as all five Arnolds eat in silence.)

My father and I never had the talk. And we never finished the treehouse.

(Close shot of Kevin looking down and eating. He glances at Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Jack absent-mindedly eating.)

I guess some things between fathers and sons are left unspoken, and unfinished.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Wayne gestures with his fork and frowns.)

WAYNE: Don't we have any vegetables?

(Close shot of Norma frowning slightly at Wayne, then glancing sideways at Jack off-screen.)

(Shot of Jack frowning and glancing at Wayne off-screen, then sighing.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne as Wayne picks at the chicken carcass.)

(Shot of Jack slowly putting a forkful of food in his mouth as he is lost in thought.)

(Shot of Kevin chewing, and looking from Jack to Norma off-screen.)

(Wide shot from the kitchen. The camera pulls back slowly.)

And for years after that, my mother could never say the word "tomato", without giving my dad a funny look.

("Let Me Tell Ya "Bout the Birds and the Bees" starts.)

(The camera rolls all the way back into the dining room, and shoots through the doorway.)

Fade to


(Shot from ground level of the treehouse. The camera moves sideways a little bit then stops. A board and railing pop apart, and one end drops down.)

(Music continues over credits.)

Fade to


Supporting Cast
Donna - Janet Wood
Hobson - Sean Baca
Doug - Brandon Crane

"Ride of the Valkyries" - Richard Wagner
"Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" - James Brown
"(Let Me Tell Ya About) The Birds and the Bees" - Jewel Akens

Next Episode
Episode Info
Wonder Years Menu

11/27/98 12:45