Episode 86 - "Hero"



McKinley Gymnasium

(Shot from behind the basketball backboard of a basketball game. The camera moves sideways past the backboard.)

High school. It's a complicated time. Full of passion. Excitement.

(Close shot of a cheerleader waving her pompoms. The camera rolls across the line of cheerleaders. The McKinley Knight mascot gestures behind them.)

The crazy joy of being young.

(The camera pans across the cheering crowd.)

At my school one spring, all that craziness...

(Shot from next to the basketball backboard of the game.)

Came together in one word - basketball.

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin and Paul in the crowd, watching the game off-screen, and chanting "DE-fense - DE-fense - DE-fense" with the rest of the crowd.)

For us, it was more than just a game...

(Shot from next to the basketball backboard of the game.)

It was ritual.

(The ball is passed to a particular player (Bobby Riddle), who dribbles up court away from the camera.)

(Shot from under the opposite basket of Bobby dribbling toward the camera.)

For the first time in years, McKinley High had a winner.

(Bobby passes the ball as the camera rises slightly.)

(Closer shot of Bobby moving toward the top of the key and receiving a pass.)

And we owed it all to one guy.

(Bobby dribbles, then shoots a jump-shot.)

(Shot from behind Bobby of the basket.)

Number eleven...

(Close shot of Bobby watching the ball off-screen.)

Bobby Riddle.

(Wider shot from behind Bobby as the ball swishes through the net.)

(Close shot of Bobby frowning and clapping his hands together.)

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin, Paul and Chuck in the middle of the crowd, cheering.)

(Shot of Bobby gesturing, then moving toward the camera as the game continues. The camera pulls back slightly as Bobby assumes a defensive stance, waiting for the approaching player.)

Forget Cousy...forget Maravich...

(Shot from behind the opposing player as Bobby steals the ball and dribbles past the camera.)

Bobby was magic.

(Shot of Winnie, Kevin, Paul and Chuck as they stand up, and clap and cheer.)

A genuine high school hero.

(Closer shot of Bobby approaching the camera, which pans with him as he shoots a lay-up.)

(Close shot of Kevin clapping and cheering as he watches the game off-screen.)

Well, to me, anyway. And I should know.

(Sound of school bell.)

After all...

(Kevin looks left and right to his friends off-screen.)

Cut to


(Shot from behind Kevin at his open locker.)

Bobby had the locker next to mine.

(Kevin looks up as Bobby approaches past the camera.)

KEVIN: Hey, Bobby. How ya doin'?

(Wider shot past Kevin of Bobby smiling as he opens his locker.)


KEVIN: You really killed 'em, huh?

BOBBY: Yeah...well, they weren't much. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Bobby of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Tell me about it.

Which put me right smack...

(Shot past Kevin of Bobby looking in his locker.)

In the eye of the basketball hurricane.

GIRL1 (V/O): Hi, Bobby!

(Kevin and Bobby look over thei shoulders.)

(Shot of two cheerleders walking past them, smiling.)

GIRL2: Great game!

(They walk past the camera.)

BOBBY: Thank you.

GIRL1 (V/O): I know...

(Sound of giggles.)

(Kevin looks after them, and smiles and waves a little. Bobby returns to his locker.)

Which was a good place to be, all things considered.

(Kevin turns toward Bobby.)

KEVIN: So...(gestures)...how do you think we're gonna do this Friday, Bobby?

(Kevin turns to his locker.)

BOBBY: About the same.

(Bobby closes his locker.)

(Shot past Kevin of Bobby turning away.)

BOBBY: Comin' this way?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Bobby off-screen and smiling.)

KEVIN: Sure!

(Kevin closes his locker and approaches Bobby and the camera, which starts to roll back.)

Not that our relationship was all one-sided.

(Wider shot of Kevin and Bobby as Bobby waves to an off-screen student.)

BOY1 (V/O): Hey, Bobby...

I mean, he respected my opinion...

KEVIN: Yeah, I hear Claremont's got this center...he's hitting sixty percent of his shots.

And I respected his.

(Bobby smiles and shakes his head slightly.)

BOBBY: The guy's a cherry picker. He doesn't even get back on defense.

KEVIN: Yeah...

(They turn the corner.)

KEVIN: Yeah, you can probably shut 'em down with a floating zone...

TEAMMATE1: Hey, Bobby...(gestures)...you know Coach called a special practice today?

BOBBY: Oh, man - what's his problem? It's only Claremont...

KEVIN: Yeah, really...(Smiles.)

TEAMMATE2: Whoa! Did you see Peggy this mornin'? (Smiles.)

BOBBY: Yeah. She was hot. (Smiles.)

(Bobby and teammates pass the camera. Kevin pulls up and looks after them.)

OK, so we weren't exactly Butch and Sundance. So what?

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Bobby and his teammates walking away. Bobby looks over his shoulder.)

BOBBY: Seeya later, Kev.

(Bobby waves slightly.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling and waving slightly to Bobby off-screen.)

I was on first-name basis with a superstar.

(School bell rings.)

A guy who had the world at his fingertips.

(Sound of a slamming locker.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Arnold Dining Room

(Close shot of two Alka-Seltzer tablets being dropped into a glass of water.)

(Sound of Jack groaning. The camera pans with Norma's hand as she moves the glass over.)

As opposed to say...

(The camera pans up to Jack who is frowning.)

My dad.

(Norma rests her arm on Jack's back. Jack smirks and nods slightly.)

NORMA (V/O): Here, honey - maybe this'll help.

(Jack takes a drink.)

(Wider shot of Jack sitting at the table covered with stacks of paper and an adding machine, and Norma standing behind him.)

The only things at his fingetips were dull pencils and Alka-Seltzer.

JACK: I hate these damn reports.

NORMA: Well, do you have to do them all tonight?

(Wide shot of Kevin and Wayne on the couch. Kevin is looking at a newspaper as Wayne eats from a bag of potato chips.)

JACK (V/O): If I don't do it, nobody else will.

(Kevin looks up toward Jack and Norma off-screen.)

NORMA (V/O): Well...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack and Norma.)

NORMA: I just hope they appreciate all the work you do.

(Jack frowns and nods slightly as Norma rubs his head and kisses his cheek.)

There it was...

(Norma exits toward the kitchen. Jack smoothes his hair.)

Portrait of the worker ant.

(The camera moves in slowly as Jack looks at some papers.)

His nose to the grindstone...

(Jack presses some keys on the adding machine.)

And the weight of the world on his shoulders.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne on the couch. Sound of Jack calculating. The camera moves in slowly.)

Not that we didn't appreciate him...

(Wayne turns toward Kevin and grabs the newspaper.)

WAYNE: Gimme the sports section.

KEVIN: Nah - I'm readin' it.

(They struggle over the paper.)

WAYNE: Give it!


(Closer shot of Jack frowning and looking at the boys off-screen.)

We just had more important things on our minds.

JACK: Hey...Hey! Hey!

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne pausing.)

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

JACK: I thought you were supposed to be studying.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne.)

KEVIN: Well, I am.

(Wayne pushes Kevin away, and Kevin picks up the newspaper.)

KEVIN: I'm just taking a little break.

(Shot of Jack frowning and looking at his paperwork.)

KEVIN (V/O): And reading about the team this week.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the newspaper, then toward Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: You know, Dad - you really ought to check out a game.

(Close shot of Jack looking at the adding machine off-screen.)

JACK: I don't have time.

(Jack looks at Kevin off-screen and nods slightly.)

JACK: Somebody's gotta put the food on the table.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Wayne holds up a potato chip and smiles, then pops it into his mouth.)

WAYNE: Thanks, Dad. (Smiles.)

KEVIN: But, Dad - we're having a great season. (Gestures.)

(Shot of Jack looking at a piece of paper, then the adding machine, and frowning.)

KEVIN (V/O): We got this point guard...

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

KEVIN: Bobby Riddle...He can't miss. I mean, he's leading the league in...in almost everything. He's unbelievable.

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

JACK: Don't you have a test coming up?

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

KEVIN: Well, yeah, but I-I...

(Kevin looks at the newspaper.)

JACK (V/O): I don't think...

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

JACK: Basketball stats are gonna be on it.

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne as Wayne laughs.)

All in all...

(Shot of Jack frowning as he opens another package of Alka-Seltzer.)

Made ya wonder if the man ever went to high school.

(Jack tosses the tablets into the glass of water, with a "whoosh" and "fizz" sound effect. He frowns at the boys off-screen as he takes a sip.)

Cut to

Ext. Eve - Diner

(High wide shot of the front of a diner and the full parking lot. There is a banner reading "Go Knights!" across the front of the diner. People are milling around.)

Because out there...in the world of the young...

(Close shot of the diner door as the McKinley Knight mascot exits.)

Things were hopping.

(The camera pans with the macot as he turns and walks past Paul, Kevin and Winnie's table on the patio. The camera moves in on the threesome.)

And we were all caught up in it. To a man.

PAUL: Well, gotta hit the books.

(Paul tosses his wadded napkin onto his plate.)

KEVIN: What?! (Frowns.)

PAUL: We got a test tomorrow, remember.

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

KEVIN: Paul - we just slaughtered Claremont.

(Kevin spreads his arms and nods.)

KEVIN: We're supposed to be celebrating!

(Close shot of Paul looking between Winnie and Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: OK...I celebrated. Now I have to study. You should too.

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

Course the guy was right.

(Kevin glances off.)


(Close shot of Winnie looking over her shoulder, then toward Kevin off-screen.)

WINNIE: Look! There's Bobby Riddle. (Smiles.)

(Winnie looks over her shoulder again. The focus changes to Bobby and his friends at the table behind her.)

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

(Shot past Winnie of Bobby. The focus shifts back to Winnie as she turns forward and looks at Kevin off-screen.)

WINNIE: You know him, don't you? (Smiles.)

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

Hmmm. Let's see, here. I had a choice.

(Kevin looks toward Bobby off-screen.)

I could go home and cram...

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


(Cut to close shot of Bobby standing in the parking lot as a teammate passes the camera and shakes his hand.)

TEAMMATE1: Nice game.

BOBBY: Thanks, man. (Smiles.)

(Teammate1 turns to Teammate2.)

TEAMMATE1: Take it easy.

(Kevin, Winnie and Paul approach from the background as Teammate1 exits.)

TEAMMATE2 (V/O): Right on.

Hang around and be a bigshot at the burger place.

(Kevin pauses next to Bobby.)

KEVIN: Hey, Bobby! Great game.

(Shot past Kevin of Bobby looking at him.)

BOBBY: Oh, hey. What's up?

(Shot of all four.)

KEVIN: Oh, not much. Oh, this is Winnie...(gestures), and...

PAUL: Oh - we've already met. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Bobby looking at Paul off-screen.)

BOBBY: What's up, Pat?

(Shot of all four.)

When you're hot you're hot.

(Kevin and Paul look at each other. Paul smiles slightly.)

And when you're not, you're...Pat.

(Winnie smiles at Bobby.)

WINNIE: I really thought the team was great tonight.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Bobby and Winnie. Bobby smiles and looks down.)

BOBBY: Yeah, well...we were lucky.

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

Yeah - this was great. Hanging out.

(Kevin looks back toward Bobby off-screen.)

Hobknobbing with the stars...

(Shot of all four.)

PAUL: OK, it was nice seeing ya Bobby. We gotta go.

(Paul glances at Kevin and starts to move away.)

KEVIN: What?!

PAUL: I told you.

(Paul looks at Bobby.)

PAUL: We have to study.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen, slightly puzzled.)

Jeez - did this kid have no sense of social graces?

(Kevin turns toward Bobby off-screen, then back to Paul.)

KEVIN: Come on, Paul... (Smiles.)

(Kevin turns toward Bobby off-screen.)

KEVIN: Don't be a jerk!

(Shot of Bobby and Winnie smiling at each other.)

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

KEVIN: We got plenty of time. (Frowns.)

(Shot of all four. Winnie looks from Kevin to Paul and back.)

Pfff. So we skip an hour of homework.

(Paul looks at Bobby. Winnie smiles at Bobby and shrugs. Kevin turns toward Bobby and smiles.)

What's the worst that could happen?

(Winnie looks at Kevin.)

Cut to

Int. Evening - Arnold Kitchen

(Close shot of the back of a piece of paper. A circled red "D" is visible in the corner of it.)

JACK (V/O): A "D"!

(The paper is lowered to reveal Jack frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

JACK: How could ya get a "D"?

(Shot past Jack of Kevin standing in front of him. Norma is at the sink in the background.)


(Kevin rolls up the cuff on his flannel shirt.)

KEVIN: Well, I don't know, Dad - the test was hard.

(Norma looks toward the guys.)

JACK (V/O): Tests are supposed to be hard, Kevin.

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

JACK: How'd this happen?

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

KEVIN: I dunno.

(Kevin looks down as he continues to fix his shirt.)

KEVIN: Maybe I was just...

(Kevin glances at Jack off-screen and shrugs slightly.)

KEVIN: Tired.

(Kevin looks down again.)

JACK (V/O): "Tired"?

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen.)


(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at him.)

JACK: Maybe you were tired...(frowns)...because you've been hanging out too late, celebrating basketball victories.

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

He had me nailed.

(Kevin glances down.)

This called for a brilliant tactical move on my part.

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: You're absolutely right, Dad.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at him and relaxing slightly.)

JACK: Ya gotta be more sensible.

KEVIN (V/O): I will - I promise.

(Jack looks at the test.)

JACK: Good.

(Shot past Jack of Kevin, and Norma in the background.)


(Kevin backs up slowly.)

KEVIN: So, uh...

(Kevin hurriedly gets his jacket from the wall hook.)

KEVIN: Great!

(Kevin starts to cross to the door.)

KEVIN: I'll seeya later.

JACK (V/O): Where the hell are you goin'?

(Kevin pauses and looks at Jack off-screen. Norma is drying a dish in the background.)

KEVIN: To the game...(Gestures.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack taking a breath, and looking at Kevin.)

Fact. When you're sixteen...

(Shot of Kevin and Norma. Kevin looks over his shoulder at her.)

Your sense of irony isn't particularly well-developed.

(Kevin looks toward Jack off-screen and gestures slightly.)

KEVIN: Oh, come on, Dad. (Shrugs.) If we win this one, we'll go to the state tournament! (Gestures and smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at Kevin.)

JACK: Did you hear a word of what I just said?

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

NORMA (V/O): Jack, maybe we should let him go...

(Kevin looks over his shoulder.)

(Wider shot of Kevin and Norma as she approaches and looks at Jack off-screen.)

NORMA: He's only young once.

(Norma smiles, and looks at Kevin.)

And there...finally.

(Norma walks past the camera toward Jack. Kevin looks after her.)

A blow for the cause of freedom.

(Shot of Jack looking down and frowning, as Norma sets a cup in front of him. She puts an arm on his shoulder and looks toward Kevin off-screen as Jack sighs.)

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

I owed her my eternal gratitude. My undying respect.

(Kevin smiles slightly and waves slightly with his jacket.)

KEVIN: Thanks, Mom! Seeya, Dad!

(The camera pans with Kevin as he hurries to the door.)

But then...

(Wider shot of Jack and Norma looking after Kevin off-screen.)

I was in a hurry.

(Norma looks at Jack and frowns slightly as the door slams closed.)

Cut to

Basketball Game

(Close shot of Chuck clapping and cheering. The camera pans across him to Paul, Winnie and Kevin as they clap and shout "DE-fense - DE-fense - DE-fense".)

(Shot from the basketball court of Bobby guarding the approaching ballhandler. The opposing player slows up and passes the ball.)

(Shot from mid-court of Bobby guarding the opposing player.)

The final game of our regular season.

(Closer shot of Bobby.)

Win this and we moved on to the regional playoffs.

(Shot of opposing players passing the ball.)

(Shot of an opposing player taking a jump-shot.)

Our future was hanging in the balance.

(Shot past the player of Bobby, and the basket behind him, as the ball swishes through.)

(Shot of Chuck, Paul, Winnie and Kevin watching the game off-screen.)

CHUCK: What's going on here? I thought you told me these guys were supposed to skate...

KEVIN: Don't worry. We'll pull it out.

CHUCK: "Don't worry"?

(Chuck looks up toward the scoreboard off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin watching the game off-screen.)

CHUCK (V/O): We're three points down, with thirty seconds left.

(Kevin looks toward Chuck off-screen.)

CHUCK (V/O): I'm worried!

(Kevin looks back toward the game off-screen.)

(Shot from mid-court of Bobby in a defensive posture as an opposing player advances toward him with the ball.)

It was pretty clear what we needed...

(Close shot of Bobby.)

Was a miracle.

(Close shot of two cheerleaders and the McKinley mascot cheering and watching the game off-screen.)

Still, miracles...

(Close shot of Bobby looking determined.)

Were commonplace to Bobby Riddle.

(Shot past Bobby of the other player trying to manoeuver around him.)

(Close shot of Bobby.)

(Close slow-motion shot of Bobby's outstretched hand deflecting the passed ball.)

(Wider slow-motion shot of the opposing player, Bobby, and another McKinley player as the McKinley player gets the ball.)

(Wide slow-motion shot of Chuck, Paul, Winnie and Kevin standing up and cheering with the rest of the crowd.)

(Slow-motion shot of Bobby and the other McKinley players approaching the camera.)

Face it - it didn't matter if we were down by three points...

(Slow-motion shot of Bobby running forward to catch the passed ball.)

Or thirty or three hundred. This wasn't just basketball.

(Bobby gets the ball.)

It was magic.

(Bobby shoots a lay-up.)

It was fate.

(The camera pans up with the ball as it goes throught the hoop.)

(Normal shot of Chuck, Paul, Winie and Kevin in the middle of the standing crowd, cheering and clapping.)

(Shot of Bobby dribbling while being defended.)

And when Bobby took that ball down court for the last time...

(Close shot of Kevin watching with mild apprehension.)

KEVIN: Come on, Bobby...

(Shot of Bobby dribbling while being defended.)


(Bobby pulls up and looks for someone to pass to.)

We all knew.

(Close shot of Kevin watching.)

The game...

(Slow-motion shot of Bobby being defended.)

(Slow-motion shot from behind Bobby as he shoots a jump-shot.)

The night...

(Slow-motion close shot of Bobby watching the ball off-screen.)

(Slow-motion shot of Kevin clapping and watching.)

The title...

(Wide slow-motion shot of Chuck, Paul, Winnie and Kevin in the middle of the crowd, all watching the ball off-screen.)

The world...

(Slow-motion shot of the basket as the ball swishes into it.)

Was ours.

(Shot from behind Bobby as he jumps up in celebration as the buzzer sounds.)

(Close slow-motion shot of Kevin standing up and cheering. Snuffy's "The Test" plays.)

(Normal speed high wide shot as teammates congratulate each other, and people run onto the court.)

(The crowd cheers "Bobby - Bobby - Bobby"...Bobby is lifted onto several people's shoulders as more people gather around.)

(Close shot past Bobby of Kevin as they high-five and shake hands.)

And all because of one guy.

(Shot past Kevin of Bobby smiling, and pointing at him.)

Number eleven. A real hero.

(The crowd continues to chant "Bobby - Bobby".)

Fade to

Int. Day - Gym

(Close shot of a banner reading "McKinley Knights". Cheering crowd noise is heard. The banner is raised, revealing "Conference Champions 1972".)

(The banner rises past the camera, revealing a high wide shot of girl at a microphone near the side of the court, addressing the spectators in the background as cheerleaders jump up and down.)

GIRL: Fellow students, it's my pleasure to introduce...

(Close shot of the girl, and the hanging banner in the background.)

GIRL: The 1972...conference champions...McKinley Knights.

(High wide shot of the girl and spectators.)

On the day of the big game...

(A row of players in street clothes jogs onto the court.)

Basketball fever had turned into basketball frenzy.

(Close shot of Chuck, Paul, Winnie and Kevin clapping and cheering.)

We were on our way to the regional finals.

(Close shot of Bobby in a suit and tie, as he smiles and waves to the crowd off-screen.)

And we all knew whose shoulders this rested on.

(Bobby makes a "Number 1" gesture.)

(High wide shot from behind the row of players toward the crowd. Sound of an air-horn.)

It was the most amazing thing...

(Sound of an air-horn.)

Any of us had ever been a part of.

Cut to

Arnold Kitchen

(Close shot of Jack's hand pushing some buttons on the adding machine, and a glass of Alka-Seltzer next to it. Jack reaches for the glass. The camera pans up as he takes a drink.)

Almost any of us, anyway.

(Kevin approaches from the living room, putting on his jacket hurriedly.)

KEVIN: Seeya, Dad.

(The camera pans with Kevin as he crosses toward the door.)

JACK: W-a-i-t a minute...

(Kevin pauses and turns.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at the adding machine and making notes.)

JACK: Where are you goin'?

(Shot past Jack of Kevin. Jack is frowning at the adding machine.)


KEVIN: I gotta go meet the guys...on the bus. To the arena?

(Shot past Kevin as Jack turns toward him and frowns.)

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

KEVIN: Dad, the big game's tonight. (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Jack.)

JACK: Oh...

(Jack looks off in thought, and nods slightly.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin as he turns toward the door.)

JACK: Wait a minute.

(Kevin pauses and turns toward Jack.)

JACK: Did you finish your homework?

Oh, brother.

(Kevin glances off.)

KEVIN: Well...no...(gestures)...But I was gonna do it when I got home.

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

But it was clear, it was going to take...

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

An impassioned plea here to turn the great curmudgeon around.

KEVIN: Dad, this is important, OK?

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

KEVIN (V/O): I mean, twenty years from now, I'm not gonna remember my homework.

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

KEVIN: But this game...

(Trumpet fanfare starts.)

KEVIN: This is something I'm gonna tell my children about. Maybe even my grandchildren.

(Close shot of Jack looking off in thought.)

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

There. Worthy of the Gettysburg Address.

(Close shot of Jack looking off. Trumpets end.)

JACK: Fine, then.

(Shot past Jack of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Great. (Smiles.)

JACK: I'll take you.

(Jack frowns and looks toward the adding machine.)

KEVIN: What? (Frowns.)

JACK: This way, you can finish your homework...

(Jack nods slightly and looks at Kevin.)

JACK: And still make the tip-off.

(Jack looks back to the adding machine and frowns.)

KEVIN: Yeah, but Dad...(gestures)...the guys are expecting me!

JACK: Besides, you say this team is that good...

(Jack turns toward Kevin.)

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

JACK: Maybe I oughtta take a look. (Shrugs.) See what all the fuss is about. What d'ya say? (Smiles.)

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

So what could I say? Except...

KEVIN: Sure, Dad.

(He forces a smile.)

KEVIN: That sounds...great.

(Sound of Jack cranking the handle on the adding machine.)

Cut to

Int. Eve - Basketball Game

(Shot from behind Kevin and Jack as they walk toward the steps to the stands. The camera rolls forward with them.)

ANNOUNCER (V/O on PA): Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Division 3...

And there ya had it.

(They walk up the steps.)

Possibly the biggest night of my high school's life...

(They pause and look around.)

And I was arriving with...

(Shot of Jack looking around.)

ANNOUNCER (V/O on PA): Southwestern Bengals...

JACK: Big, huh?

(Jack glances at Kevin and continues to look around.)

My own personal truant officer.

(Shot of Kevin looking off and frowning.)

KEVIN: What'd you expect?

PAUL (V/O): Hey!

(Kevin looks off.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul standing and waving with both arms, and Chuck and Winnie sitting, in seats a few rows away.)

PAUL: Kev!

(Winnie turns and smiles, and Chuck points.)

PAUL: We got some seats over here. (Points.)

(Shot of Jack and Kevin.)

JACK: Oh, great. (Smiles.)

(Jack starts to walk forward.)

KEVIN: Uh, Dad?

(Jack slows and looks at Kevin.)

KEVIN: Let's sit over here. (Gestures.)

(Jack shrugs and nods slightly. Kevin looks at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN : No, thanks - we got two over here!

(Jack smiles and waves a little and heads for a seat.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul, Chuck and Winnie. Paul shrugs then starts to sit down.)

Which is not to say...

(Shot of Kevin looking after Jack.)

That I was embarrassed to be seen with the guy.

(Kevin sidesteps across the aisle sits next to Jack. They sit simultaneously.)

Even though I was.

(Buzzer sounds.)

(Jack and Kevin look at each other.)

JACK: Game's gonna start. (Smiles.)

(Jack looks off and continues to smile. Kevin looks a little puzzled.)

Yep, this was great - just me and...Mr. Basketball.

(Kevin frowns slightly as Jack leans forward and looks off.)

(Cut to slow-motion high shot directly above the basketball as the referee blows his whistle and tosses the ball up for the tip-off. The opposing players leap up.)

(Slow-motion shot of the basketball as the players swat at it.)

(Slow motion shot of a player tossing the ball toward the camera.)

(Slow-motion shot of Bobby dribbling the ball.)

(Normal speed shot of Bobby's legs and the ball as he dribbles forward.)


(Shot of Bobby driving across the camera.)

Once the game started...

(Shot from behind Bobby as he pulls up and shoots a jump-shot.)

(Slo-mo shot through the transparent backboard of Bobby, and the referee behind him, as the ball swishes through the basket.)

A funny thing began to to happen.

(Wide shot of one end of the court as the players head the other way. Cheerleaders cheer in the background.)

ANNOUNCER (V/O on PA): Bobby Riddle...two points!

(Shot of Kevin and Jack clapping, and Jack whistling. Jack leans toward Kevin slightly.)

JACK: He's got a good shot.

KEVIN: I told ya so!

(Kevin frowns at Jack and gestures, as Jack looks toward the game off-screen.)

JACK: Yeah!

(They continue to clap.)

My dad began to get swept up by Bobby Riddle's magic.

(Jack whistles again.)

(Fade to slow-mo shot past a Bengal player as a Knight passes the ball toward the camera. Bobby runs into the frame to catch the pass, and shoots a lay-up. The camera pans up with him, and is directly under the basket as the ball drops through.)

(Fade to very close shot of Kevin and Jack watching excitedly. Jack whistles.)

JACK: Alright!

(Fade to wide slo-mo shot from the baseline as Bobby receives a pass at the free-throw line. He spins around as a Bengal jumps past him.)

And the way Bobby played...

(Bobby takes an open jump-shot. The camera rises slightly as the ball goes into the basket.)

Pretty soon, we were cheering together.

(Fade to close shot of Kevin mouthing "Good shot! Alright".)

(Fade to slo-mo shot of a Bengal and a Knight as the Knight passes the ball directly toward the camera.)

(Close shot of Bobby receiving the ball and starting to shoot a lay-up.)

Till finally...

(Shot from behind Bobby as he shoots a left-handed lay-up. The camera pans up as the ball goes through the basket.)

(Shot of Chuck, Paul and Winnie in the crowd. Chuck turns over his shoulder, then stands up. Everyone cheers.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack, already standing, and cheering and clapping.)

Dad was even asking the same questions we'd all been asking.

(Jack leans closer to Kevin as he looks off.)

JACK: How'd he do that? (Smiles.)

(They look at each other and smile.)

(The camera pans down the row of cheerleaders as they shake their pompoms, and the mascot behind them.)

Sure, the game was close, but...

(Shot of Bobby dribbling upcourt toward the defending players.)

Bobby was incredible.

(Shot from the baseline as Bobby splits two defenders and shoots a short jump-shot.)

He just couldn't miss.

(The shot is blocked. Everyone starts to run toward the opposite end of the court.)

(Shot across the court of the cheerleaders, as the referee trots across the shot.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack, seated, watching the game off-screen. Jack has his thumb on his teeth.)

Until he did.

(Kevin turns toward Jack.)

KEVIN: He'll make the next one.

(Jack raises his eyebrows and nods slightly.)

JACK: Hmmm.

(Shot of Bobby getting the inbounds-pass from another player, and dribbling up the court quickly.)

(Shot of the coach on the sideline, shouting encouragement.)

(Shot of the scoreboard - McKinley 31, Southwestern 33, with 11 seconds left.)

After all...

(Low wide shot from the near baseline of the players approaching near mid-court.)

We hadn't come this far to blow it now.

(Slo-mo shot of Chuck, Paul, Winnie and the rest of the crowd standing up and watching apprehensively.)

(Shot of Bobby dribbling near an opponent.)

(Shot of the scoreboard clock counting down past 5 seconds.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack as they stand up and watch apprehensively.)

(Wider shot of Bobby and other players as Bobby dribbles toward the basket.)

We had destiny on our side.

(Close shot of Kevin watching the game off-screen.)

(Slo-mo close shot of Bobby taking a jump-shot. A Bengal tries unsucessfully to block it.)

(Shot of the backboard and hoop as the ball enters the shot and bounces off the back of the rim, then into the basket.)

(Normal speed shot of Kevin and Jack smiling and clapping.)

JACK: Alright!

(Slo-mo shot of Bobby clapping his hands together and mouthing "Yes!", and backing away.)

(Shot of three cheerleaders shaking their pompoms. Two more cheerleaders are included as players cross the camera in the foreground.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack clapping. Jack looks at Kevin and nods.)

Then we went into half-time...

(Sound of the buzzer.)

All tied up.

(Shot of Chuck, Paul and Winnie standing with the rest of the crowd and clapping and cheering.)

Cut to

Snack Bar

(Shot past the counter-boy of Jack and Kevin at the snack counter looking at each other.)

JACK: So what do you want on your hotdog? (Smiles.)

KEVIN: I'll have the works.

(Kevin turns toward the server and gestures. Paul and Chuck approach from the background.)

PAUL: Hey, Kev! (Smiles.)

(Kevin turns toward them.)


(Jack starts to turn toward them.)

PAUL: Man, this is close.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin and Jack.)

KEVIN: I'm not that worried.

(Jack smiles slightly.)

(Shot of Paul and Chuck.)

CHUCK: Did you see that lay-up Bobby made from behind the basket?!

(Shot of Kevin and Jack smiling.)

KEVIN: The guy's amazing.

(Jack looks at Kevin and smiles, then at Paul and Chuck off-screen.)

OK - we were all in agreement.

(Kevin smiles and looks over his shoulder, then at Jack.)

To a man.

CHUCK (V/O): So...

(Kevin and Jack look toward Chuck off-screen.)

(Shot of Paul and Chuck as Chuck eats some popcorn and smiles.)

CHUCK: Mr. Arnold...What do you think?

(Shot of Kevin and Jack.)

JACK: I don't know...(Smiles.) I just hope Southwestern doesn't have Bobby's number.

(Jack looks toward his food order.)

(Shot of Paul and Chuck frowning slightly.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

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

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

KEVIN: The guys got like...nineteen points. (Frowns.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at him.)

JACK: Yeah, but that was before they double-teamed 'em.

(The camera pans with Jack as he walks to get the food.)

JACK: Looks like they'll...

(Jack looks over his shoulder at Kevin.)

JACK: Keep two men on Bobby, and use the three-man zone to defend the rest of the team.

(Jack looks down at his hotdog.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul and Chuck. All are frowning.)

And in the face of this sage piece of basketball wisdom...

(Kevin looks at Paul and Chuck, then back to Jack off-screen.)

There was only one response.

PAUL: I think we'd better get back to the seats. (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

CHUCK (V/O): Yeah. Seeya.

(Kevin smiles slightly in acknowledgment.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul and Chuck frowning, then turning and walking away. Chuck looks at Paul.)

CHUCK: Jeez - what's his problem?

I couldn't believe it.

(Kevin turns to Jack off-screen.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack holding his tray.)

JACK: You say "the works"? (Smiles.)

(Jack walks past the camera. Kevin turns with him and the camera moves in on him.)

Here I'd been nice enough to bring this guy along...practically dragged him to the game...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack at the condiment table.)

And he had the nerve to stand around...

(Close shot of Kevin as he walks forward. The camera rolls back with him.)

And pop my balloon?

(Kevin pause in front of Jack. The camera stops slightly behind Jack.)

KEVIN: Nice goin', Dad!

(Shot of Jack and Kevin on opposite sides of the condiment table. Jack looks up.)

JACK: Hah?

(Jack resumes fixing his hotdog, and sucks something off his thumb.)

KEVIN: Ya have to spoil everything! (Gestures.)

(Jack looks at Kevin and pauses.)

JACK: I was just talkin' about strategy. (Gestures.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: You have to put everything down!

(Kevin frowns and nods.)

(Shot past Kevin of Jack frowning in puzzlement.)

KEVIN: I mean, you just can't stand it if I'm having a good time!

(Shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him, then walking past the camera.)

(Shot of Jack slightly turning with Kevin as he exits.)

KEVIN (V/O): Can ya?

(Jack frowns and looks off.)

Cut to

Spectator Seats

(Shot of Kevin in his seat.)

(Sound of buzzer.)

OK - so maybe I'd flown off the handle.

(Jack scooches into the frame. Kevin looks at him.)

A little. I wasn't sorry.

(Jack crosses in front of Kevin to his seat.)

I was just waiting for my team...

(Jack grimaces as he sits down.)

To show this stick-in-the-mud how wrong he was.

(Jack holds the tray toward Kevin who takes a cup from it and sets it between his feet. Jack looks at him.)

ANNOUNCER (V/O on PA): Here we go with the second half!

(Very close shot of the referee blowing the whistle.)

(Slow-motion high shot directly above the basketball as the referee tosses the ball up for the tip-off. The opposing players leap up.)

(Shot from below the players as they swat the ball.)

(Shot from behind Bobby as he gets the ball. The camera rolls with him as he dribbles forward aggressively.)

(Wider shot from above the baseline as Bobby is double-teamed. He drives forward and attempts to split the defenders.)

And I knew Bobby wouldn't let me down.

(He shoots an awkward left-handed shot which misses.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack looking dismayed.)

(Fade to a slo-mo shot of Bobby driving into the lane.)

Only somehow...

(Shot from beside Bobby and the defender as another Bengal moves in and swats the ball away.)

Things went wrong.

(Shot of the ball being chased down by the two Bengal players.)

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

It was if the other team followed my father's strategy to the "T".

(Shot of Bobby driving into the key. He is triple-teamed, but tries a shot, which is blocked.)

(Shot of McKinley cheerleaders looking downcast.)

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

And the more my team fell behind...

(Shot of Kevin and Jack. Jack has his hands together. Kevin looks at him.)

The more I resented my Dad.

(Slo-mo shot of Bobby dribbling behind his back. He stumbles and recovers, then pulls up for a jump-shot.)

I guess magic doesn't last forever...

(The camera pans with the ball.)

No matter how much you wish it would. Destiny can turn on a dime...

(Bobby's shot bounces off the rim.)

(Close shot of Kevin and Jack looking dismayed. Kevin looks down.)

And cut like a knife.

(Fade to slo-mo shot of Southwestern player #10 shooting a jump-shot.)

(Slo-mo shot of the ball swishing into the basket.)

(Slo-mo shot of Southwestern #33 shooting a jump-shot.)

That night a high school dream of victory came true.

(Slo-mo shot from beneath the hoop as the ball swishes through.)

(Slo-mo shot of Southwestern player #42 shooting a jump-shot.)

But not for us.

(Wide shot of the ball arcing through the air and swishing through the basket.)

(Slo-mo shot of Southwestern #55 shooting a jump-shot.)

And as they pumped in point after point...

(Shot of the basket as the ball drops through it.)

(Shot of Bobby frowning.)

Bobby Riddle's season of glory ended...in defeat.

(Bobby turns away as the final buzzer sounds.)

(Normal speed shot as Southwestern cheerleaders, players, and fans storm onto the court.)

(Closer shot of a couple players and the coach cheering and running toward the other players.)

(Shot of Kevin looking upward to the clock off-screen.)

(Shot of the scoreboard - McKinley 65, Southwestern 76)

ANNOUNCER (V/O in background): The final score...Southwestern Bengals 76, McKinley Knights 65. Thank you...

(Shot of Kevin and Jack, with the sounds of fans cheering in the background. Kevin looks down from the clock. Jack looks off.)

(Fade to shot from Kevin's perspective of the Knight mascot walking slowly with his helmet off, along the row of chairs at the side of the court. The camera pans as he passes Bobby. The gym is now silent.)

(Shot of Kevin and Jack still seated. Kevin is looking toward Bobby off-screen, while Jack looks off in the other direction.)

We sat there for a long time. I just wasn't ready to leave.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Bobby sitting in a courtside chair.)

(Shot of Kevin starting to stand up.)

Somehow I just couldn't quite believe it was over.

(Kevin walks past the camera, and Jack looks after him.)

(Close shot past Bobby in profile, as Kevin approaches from the background.)

Besides, I figured, we'd stuck together in victory, we'd stick together in defeat.

KEVIN: Bobby?

(Bobby slowly looks up at him.)

KEVIN: You played a good game, man. (Smiles.)

(Shot past Kevin of Bobby looking off.)

KEVIN (V/O): It wasn't your fault.

(Bobby shakes his head very slightly.)

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: They had their whole team on you. Besides, we wouldn't have even gotten this far if it wasn't for you.

(Bobby looks at Kevin.)

It was a homage to a guy I really admired. A real hero.

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


(Close shot of Kevin. His face clouds slightly.)

(Close shot of Bobby.)

BOBBY: Hey, get off my back, will ya, kid?

(Shot past Bobby of Kevin as Bobby gets up and walks past the camera. Kevin looks after him, crestfallen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective as Bobby disgustedly throws his towel to the floor.)

(Shot of Kevin looking after Bobby off-screen. The camera moves in slowly.)

I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I wanted to crawl under the floorboards. And I was sure that everyone in that arena...

(Kevin quickly glances over his shoulder.)

Had heard.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jack standing alone with his hands in his jacket pockets, looking at Kevin.)

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

And everyone had.

(Kevin looks at Bobby off-screen.)

Fade to

Ext. Night - The Road

(Shot through the windshield of Kevin and Jack. Kevin is looking off.)

Things were pretty quite heading home.

(Jack looks at Kevin, then forward again.)

There wasn't much to say.

(Close shot of Kevin looking forward, then out his window.)

I'd made an idiot of myself. I knew it...

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

And worse - I knew he knew it, too.

(Jack looks forward.)

JACK: Tell ya what. There's a diner a few miles up here. Mind if we stop for a cup of coffee?

(Close shot of Kevin looking forward, then off.)

KEVIN: Sure, Dad.

Why not?

Cut to

Int. Night - Rae's Diner

(Shot of a row of coffee pots, and Jack and Kevin at a table in the background. The camera moves sideways along the row of coffeepots.)

I'd always heard coffee went well with crow.

(Shot past Jack of Kevin. Both have a cup of coffee on the table. Kevin is looking off.)

The thing is, I wasn't sure which he was gonna do first...

(Jack takes a sip.)

Bust me for being a snotty-nosed wiseguy...

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking down in thought.)

Or gloat about the game.

JACK: Ya know, Kev...

(Shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

My guess was...gloat.

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking off.)

JACK: They really didn't play that bad.

KEVIN: What?

(Jack looks at Kevin.)

JACK: Your team.

(Jack looks off again.)

JACK: They gave it a pretty good shot, right?

(Jack looks at Kevin.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Dad - they got creamed.

JACK (V/O): And that Bobby kid...

(Close shot of Jack looking down slightly.)

JACK: He did OK. Don't ya think?

(Jack looks at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin as he rolls his eyes.)

KEVIN: Pfff...

JACK (V/O): I mean, good ball-handler...

(Close shot of Jack looking down slightly.)

JACK: Tough from the corner. And that...(frowns)...little loopy jump-shot...

(Jack mouths "ooh" and shakes his head slightly, then looks down.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking down in thought.)

And that's when I realized, he wasn't just gonna gloat...

(Kevin glances at Jack, then frowns and looks off.)

He was gonna take Bobby Riddle and rub him into me till I -

(Kevin turns toward Jack.)

KEVIN: Look, Dad.

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

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

KEVIN: In the first place...

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen.)

KEVIN: Bobby stunk, OK?

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

KEVIN (V/O): In the second place, he's not that good - he was never that good, OK?

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

KEVIN: So, I'm sorry you had to waste your time coming down.

(Kevin looks off.)

KEVIN: I'm sorry about the test...I'm...sorry...

(Kevin pauses, then shrugs.)

KEVIN: I'm sorry we can't all be like you!

(Kevin looks at Jack off-screen.)

(Close shot of Jack looking down at his coffee.)

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

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at his coffee, chuckling, then shaking his head and taking a sip.)

(Shot past Jack of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Something funny? (Gestures.)

(Jack shakes his head slightly.)

JACK: Nah, it's just...

(Shot past Kevin of Jack looking at his coffee, then Kevin.)

JACK: You're a hard man to please, you know that? (Smiles.)

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

And then that man...

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

"Mr. Pencil stubs and Alka-Seltzer"...

(Close shot past Jack of Kevin looking off.)

"Mr. Pay the bills and go to work"...said something I'll never forget.

(Close shot of Jack looking down, then forward in thought.)

JACK: Let me tell ya something, Kev...

(Close shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

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

JACK: It's not easy being a hero.

(Close shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

And I knew he wasn't talking about Bobby Riddle.

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

He was talking...

(Close shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

About himself.

(Jack takes a sip.)

KEVIN: No...

(Jack turns toward Kevin.)

KEVIN: I guess it isn't.

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

(Close shot past Jack of Kevin looking at him.)

(Close shot of Jack looking at Kevin off-screen, then forward in thought.)

(Snuffy's "The Test" starts.)

JACK: You know how I knew they were gonna double-team 'em?

(Jack turns in his seat to face Kevin.)

JACK: Use that three-man zone?

(Shot through the diner window of Kevin and Jack sitting face-to-face, as Jack speaks. The camera pulls up and back slowly.)

Some heroes pass through your life and disappear in a flash. You get over it. But the good ones, the real ones, the ones who count - stay with you for the long haul.

(The diner sign, "Rae's", and a car in the parking lot come in to view as the camera continues moving back and up.)

The thing is, after all these years, I couldn't tell you the score of that game.

(A car pulls into the empty parking space outside Kevin and Jack's window.)

What I remember is...sitting in that diner, up late...being young...

(The camera stops moving back as the driver gets out of his car and walks across the front of diner.)

Drinking coffee with the only real hero I ever knew. My Dad - Jack Arnold. Number one.

Fade to


Supporting Cast
Bobby Riddle - James Caviezel

Jeff Kindig helped with some scenes. Thanks, Jeff!

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Episode Info
Wonder Years Menu

3/20/05 19:15