Episode 107 - "Unpacking"

(Black-and-white still shot of the rooftops of suburban houses under construction.)

Around the nineteen-fifties, something weird happened to America.

(The camera pulls back slightly.)

There was a name for it. The suburbs.

(Fade to a black-and-white aerial photo of a suburban housing tract. The camera zooms in.)

Each one had a school, a record store, and a name.

(Fade to a closer black-and-white photo of a house.)

Like Park Ridge, or Ridgefield Park.

(The camera pans across, showing a woman pushing a lawn-mower and two young boys on bikes.)

Or vice-versa.

(Fade to a black-and-white still photo of a commercial street. The camera pans across it.)

It didn't matter if Main Street ran north-south, or east-west. Somehow they were all the same.

(Fade to a black-and-white still photo of a row of houses and cars in the driveways. The camera moves in slowly.)

In fact, there was only one thing that set one apart from the others. Only one of them...

(Fade to a black-and-white still photo of a group of six young kids running on the sidewalk.)

Was yours.

Fade to

Science Class

(Shot of a skeleton and a chart on the classroom wall. Mr. Clemens cuts into the shot.)

MR. CLEMENS: Chemical interaction. If the solution turns blue, it's base...

(Shot of more-or-less disinterested students at lab tables. The camera pans across them slowly.)

By the middle of junior year, life at my school was becoming...routine.

(The camera stops on Kevin and Jeff. Kevin looks bored, and glances at Jeff.)

(Shot of Mr. Clemens.)

MR. CLEMENS: Carefully, OK?...Add twenty milligrams of reactant...to the solution.

(Wider shot of Mr. Clemens returning to his desk as students turn to their experiment. Jeff looks at Mr. Clemens.)

The teachers, the kids, the classes...they were all pretty predictable.

(Shot of Jeff and Kevin. Jeff leans toward Kevin.)

JEFF: Did he say twenty milligrams?

Most of them, anyway.

KEVIN: Yeah. Why?

JEFF: It...(looks off)...just doesn't sound like much.

Jeff Billings, the new kid in school.

(Shot over Kevin's shoulder of Jeff, who looks down at their project.)

JEFF: You know, maybe we should try fifty.

(Kevin looks up and smirks.)

KEVIN: Fifty?

JEFF: Yeah, you know, I mean, we're both scientists, aren't we?

(Kevin shrugs and smiles.)

When it came to unpredictable - this guy had the lock.

KEVIN: So...fifty...

JEFF: Yeah, or, you know...(makes a pouring motion.)

(Kevin looks at Jeff and smiles.)

KEVIN: We could put the whole thing in.

(Jeff nods and gestures.)

JEFF: You only live once. Right? (Smiles.)

KEVIN: Here goes nothin'...

(Jeff watches Kevin pour the powder into the liquid. It foams and overflows. Note: No goggles - safety violation!)

(Kevin looks at Jeff in surprise. Sound of heavy bubbling.)

(Close shot of Mr. Clemens looking up from his desk.)

("Boom!" sound of an explosion.)

Cut to

School Hallway

(Jeff and Kevin burst through the door into the hallway. The camera rolls back with the as they walk up the hall.)

JEFF: I can't believe you just did that.

KEVIN: Me?! It was you're idea. (Smiles.)

(Jeff glances over his shoulder at Kevin.)

JEFF: Never! Come on...

(They continue walking quickly.)

In the short time I'd known the kid, I'd learned this about him - he had brains...

(They round a corner and Jeff and a teacher collide.)


A sense of humor...

JEFF: Pardon me, sir.

(Close shot of the teacher.)

TEACHER: Watch you step, young man.

He had...

JEFF: Y-Yes, sir. And thank you for bringing that to my attention, sir. (Smiles.)


(Close shot of the teacher, then a wider shot as he brushes past, between Kevin and Jeff.)

(Kevin and Jeff continue to Jeff's locker.)

KEVIN: Very nice.

JEFF: I do my best...

(Jeff dials the combo.)

Yep, in a way, the guy had it all.

(Closer shot of Jeff opening the locker door, which has a 6x9-ish photo of a girl on it.)

Including a girlfriend I'd never met.

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

(Close shot of the picture.)

Julie McDermott, the legendary goddess from another town.

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: How is she?

JEFF: Who?

(Jeff is mildly puzzled. He looks at Julie's picture.)

JEFF: Oh, Julie...she's great.

(Shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: You seen her lately?

JEFF: Ah...nah...but we talked last week on the phone.

KEVIN: Whoa! (Smiles.)

(Jeff smiles.)

JEFF: What's that supposed to mean?

KEVIN: Nothing - it's just...(gestures at the picture)...how can you have a girlfriend a hundred-and-ten miles away?

(Shot of Jeff looking back to his locker.)

JEFF: Yeah, you're right...

(Jeff turns to Kevin as he slams his locker shut.)

JEFF: It's over.

(Wider shot as Jeff gestures, and pretends to break down crying.)

And there you have it. A man with an answer for everything.

(Jeff smiles and taps Kevin in the stomach.)

JEFF: Hit my house this afternoon?

KEVIN: Yeah, sure.

(They exit the shot.)

Cut to

Jeff's Bedroom

(Shot of the doorway as Jeff enters, followed by Kevin.)

(Jeff drops his things on a chair and table.)

JEFF: So, make yourself at home.

KEVIN: Right.

(Jeff walks to the record player and picks up "Can't Buy A Thrill" - Steely Dan. Kevin slides magazines off a box and sits on it, in the background.)

If "home" was a two-bedroom, pool-side condo - with boxes.

KEVIN: So, I see you really fixed the place up.

(Jeff blows the dust off the album and puts it on the player. "Reelin' In The Years" plays.)

JEFF: Yeah, I think it's all coming together.

KEVIN: Aren't you ever gonna unpack?

JEFF: Nah, I like it like this...(rolls his hands)...sort of..."early-American divorce settlement", you know...

(Jeff moves some stuff, and sits on the bed.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling, then turning toward Mrs. Billings, who is approaching.)

(Close shot of Mrs. Billings knocking at the doorway and smiling to Kevin off-screen.)

MRS. BILLINGS: Hey, guys!

JEFF: Hey.

KEVIN: Hey, Mrs. Billings. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Mrs. Billings smiling at Jeff off-screen.)

MRS. BILLINGS: How was your day?

(Wider shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: A complete and total waste of time.

(Jeff gestures, and looks at Kevin.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Jeff and smiling, then looking toward Mrs. Billings.)

MRS. BILLINGS: Oh! I thought you learned that yesterday...

(She smiles and crosses her arms.)

(Shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: Hey, did Dad call?

(Close shot of Mrs. Billings.)

MRS. BILLINGS: Well...yes...

(She looks down, then toward Jeff.)

MRS. BILLINGS: But he said he can't come in this week.

(Shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: Oh. Sure...

(He gestures and looks around.)

JEFF: No problem.

(He gestures with his baseball glove, and smiles quickly at Mrs. Billings.)

(Shot of Mrs. Billings. She smiles softly, then exits.)

(Shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: So, you want to play some ball or something? I know I have a mitt around here somewhere...

(Jeff takes a box from the closet and puts it on the bed.

(Kevin is holding a record, and the cover, which is falling apart.)

KEVIN: Listen, Jeff, since your dad's not coming in this week, you want to do somethin'?

(Jeff rummages in the box.)

JEFF: Like what?

KEVIN: We can double, or somethin'.

(Jeff frowns and shakes his head.)

JEFF: Can't.

KEVIN: Why not?

JEFF: I told you - I already got a girl. So you gonna help me find this glove or not?

KEVIN: Sure.

(Kevin joins Jeff at the box. Jeff moves off, as Kevin picks up a camera and looks through it.)

After all, no skin off my nose. When it came to life's problems, Jeff had his...

(Music ends abruptly.)

Cut to

Ext. Day - Arnold House

(Close shot of the rain gutter choked with leaves, as Kevin's gloved hand cleans it out.)

(Shot of Kevin frowning.)

And I had mine.

(Close shot of Jack on a ladder. He gestures toward Kevin.)

JACK: Make sure you get all the leaves and mud outta there.

KEVIN: Yeah, yeah...

(Wider shot of Kevin and Jack on ladders. Wayne is on the roof between them.)

The Arnold residence. No pool...just - gutters.

KEVIN: Dad, haven't we done enough work for today?

WAYNE: Yeah. Can't we knock off for a couple of months?

(Shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: Just keep working.

To my dad, his house was his fortress.

(Shot of Kevin frowning.)

His children - his slaves.

(Wide shot of the three of them.)

(A gutter squeaks and one end falls.)

WAYNE: Oops! Heh-heh-heh.

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: I don't believe it.

(Close shot of Kevin. He frowns and gestures.)

KEVIN: What are we gonna do now?

(Shot of Jack.)

JACK: We...

(He gestures at Kevin, then himself.)

JACK: Go down to the hardware store, and pick up some new fasteners.

Wait a minute. Did he say - ?

(Shot of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Me? Why me?

(Kevin looks at Wayne.)

(Wider shot of the three of them.)

WAYNE: Nuh-uh, don't look at me! I work all day.

KEVIN: You're the one who broke it in the first place.

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: Kevin, you're 16 years old. It's time you had some reponsibilites. (Gestures.)

KEVIN: But -

JACK: You got until next weekend - you think you could fit it in your schedule?

(Wayne laughs.)

KEVIN: Fine.

(Jack looks at Kevin sarcastically.)

JACK: Thank you.

(Wide shot of the three of them. The camera pulls back slowly.)

Still, my father just didn't understand. I had better things to do than shop for gutters.

Cut to


(Kevin walks from the cashier into the main area and pauses.)

I had my own life...my own friends.

WINNIE (V/O): Kevin!

(The camera widens to include Winnie and another girl.)

My own girlfriend.

WINNIE: Kevin, this is Ann Sheer. She's new in school.

My old girlfriend's new girlfriend.

ANN: Hi.

KEVIN: Hi. Well, how do you like it so far?

ANN: Oh, fine. I'll see you guys in a bit.

(She exits. Winnie smiles at Kevin as they walk toward a table.)

WINNIE: She's cute, isn't she.

KEVIN: I guess so.

WINNIE: She's funny.

KEVIN: Uh-huh.

(Winnie frowns.)

WINNIE: She's also a little lonely.

(Kevin frowns and looks away.)

Uh-oh. I knew where this was heading.

WINNIE: Maybe we could fix her up with somebody. (Smiles.)

There it was. "We" again.

KEVIN: Winnie, don't do this.

(Winnie pauses as Kevin walks past her.)

KEVIN: I hate fixing people up - it never works out, and it always ends up being my fault.

(Winnie looks off and sighs as they sit down.)

KEVIN: Besides, I don't know anyone who needs a date.

(Shot of the empty side of the table as Jeff sits down, without food.)

JEFF: Hey, you guys!

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie. She turns toward Kevin and gives him the eye. He looks surprised.)

JEFF (V/O): What's happenin'?

KEVIN: Oh, no. No - forget it!

(Winnie frowns.)

(Shot of Jeff looking on patiently.)

(Shot of them all, in profile.)

After all, the guy had a girl. No way he was gonna -

(Ann approaches the table.)

ANN: Hi! I'm back.

(She glances at Jeff and sits next to him.)

(Close shot of Ann and Jeff looking at each other.)

JEFF: Hi...

ANN: Hi...

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie.)

WINNIE: Ann, this is Jeff. Jeff, this is -

(Close shot of Jeff, smiling.)

JEFF: Welcome to the monkey-house.

ANN: You read Vonnegut?

JEFF: Oh, sure...when-whenever I can. (Smiles.)

ANN: Did you read "Slaughterhouse Five"?

JEFF: Yeah, Billy Pilgrim and Montana Wildhack...

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie.)

ANN (V/O): She and Billy were so much in love.

JEFF: Yeah, but he time-travelled.

(Shot of Ann and Jeff. The camera zooms in slightly, slowly.)

ANN: But they kept...coming back together.

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

It was kinda like being in the middle of a furnace.

(Close shot of Winnie looking toward Kevin.)

But then...

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

(Shot of Ann and Jeff. They are smiling at each other, then Jeff gets flustered.)

JEFF: Um, yeah - I gotta get going.

(Jeff rises.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie looking concerned.)


(Close shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: I just got some stuff to do...

(Shot of Ann looking at Jeff off-screen.)

JEFF (V/O): Anyway, it was nice talking to you.

(Ann smiles.)

(Wider shot of Jeff looking over his shoulder as he walks away.)

(Shot of Ann, as she turns back to Kevin and Winnie.)

ANN: Uh...(she stands)...I gotta get a drink of water. (Exits.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie. Kevin is a little confused, Winnie is smiling.)

WINNIE: Wow! Did you see that?

KEVIN: Yeah...(Smiles.)


There was absolutely no denying it.

Cut to

Science Class

(Close shot over Kevin's shoulder of Jeff, as they are doing an experiment.)

JEFF: I have no idea what you're talking about.

Unless, of course, you denied it.

KEVIN: So you're telling me there was nothing going on between you two...

JEFF: Wh- She was nice.

KEVIN: Nice...

JEFF: Yeah, she was cute, ya know...

KEVIN: So you gonna ask her out or not?

JEFF: Kevin, I told you I've already got a girl.

And after hearing that about eight-hundred times, it finally seemed clear.

JEFF: Unless, you know, i-it wasn't like, like a...a date, you know, I mean...if it were something more like...I don't know...

KEVIN: Unofficial...

JEFF: Yeah, unofficial.

(Shot of Kevin smiling.)

Unofficial - I knew just the place.

Cut to

Ext. Night - Miniature Golf Course

(High wide shot of a miniature golf course, with the windmill in the middle.)

Peter Pan's Putt-Putt. The miniature-golf capital of suburbia.

(Wide shot from behind Jeff as he takes a baseball swing off the tee.)

It was hip, it was happening...it was cheap.

KEVIN (V/O): Jeff!

(The camera starts to descend as Jeff turns around, and Kevin, Winnie and Ann walk into the shot.)

(Shot of Ann, Winnie and Kevin. Kevin and Winnie slow up, and Ann walks past the camera.)

Yep, you couldn't get anymore unofficial than this.

(Shot of Jeff and Ann approaching each other.)

ANN: Hi...

JEFF: Hi...

(They look at each other a moment.)

(Shot of Winnie and Kevin looking at them off-screen and smiling at each other.)

And there was only one thing to say.

(Kevin turns to Jeff and Ann off-screen, and holds up the score card.)

KEVIN: So, uh, I guess I'll keep score, OK?

(Shot of Jeff and Ann. They are still smiling at each other.)

JEFF & ANN: Sure...

(V/O): "Fore!" as "Tequila" plays through the scene.)

So we entered the wonderful world of...

(Shot of the doors of the barn obstacle opening.)

(Close shot of Kevin and Winnie as he swings.)


(The ball hits the closed barn doors.)

(Shot of Kevin swinging, and a shot of the ball rolling past the cup.)

Now, golf was a game of skill. A game that required finesse...

(Series of shots of Kevin swinging, with not-so-great results.)


(Kevin takes a big swing. The ball goes airborne.)

And of course -

(Shot of the other following the ball's trajectory, accompanied by a "whoosh!" sound.)


(The ball hits a statue on the nose. "Honk!", "Tequila!")

(Close shot of the ball, the putter, and Kevin's shoes, in the rocks. The camera widens to show Kevin, and Winnie behind him.)

WINNIE: Maybe you should just pick it up. (Gestures.)

(Kevin glances at her.)

KEVIN: What - and take the penalty?! Forget about it.

(Kevin checks his grip, and takes a big swing. Winnie flinches.)

(Shot of the water trap as the ball flies into it.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie. He bangs his club in frustration and walks up the dirt hill. Winnie hurries off, up the path.)

It became obvious that while my form needed work...

(Kevin starts to walk forward, and the camera pulls back, between Jeff and Ann. Ann putts and frowns.)

Ann and Jeff seemed to have theirs down just right.

JEFF: So why'd you move out here?

(Jeff walks past Ann to the next tee.)

ANN: My dad got transferred. How about you?

(Jeff is looking at the tee.)

JEFF: Divorce.

ANN: Hnnnn. For awhile I thought my folks were going to get divorced. I mean, they never talk to each other or anything.

JEFF: I know what you mean.

(Jeff retrieves the ball from the cup.)

ANN: I'm never going to be like them.

JEFF: Me neither.

(Kevin and Winnie are in the far background.)

It was like watching "Romeo and Juliet".

KEVIN: Fore!

(Kevin slices another shot - "whoosh...", bouncing in front of Jeff and Ann.)

(Jeff watches it bounce away as Kevin hurries up, questioningly. Winnie follows. Jeff turns toward Kevin.)

JEFF: I think you're supposed to put it...(gestures)... in the hole.

(Close shot of a cup as a ball rolls into it.)

By the eighteenth hole, two things were clear.

(Ann walks to the cup.)

JEFF: Oooh, nice shot!

ANN: Thanks.

One, the unofficial date was a rousing success.

(Ann retrieves her ball and stands next to Jeff, and Winnie, as Kevin putts.)

ANN: This is fun.

And two...

(Kevin swings. Slow-mo shot of the ball bouncing off the back lip of the cup and away.)

Golf was for idiots.

(Kevin frowns as he walks to the ball. He takes two taps to get it in.)

KEVIN: There.

(Kevin retrieves his ball and walks toward the group.

(Jeff takes a step forward.)

JEFF: So! Anybody for another round?

(Close shot of Kevin looking over his shoulder.)


(Shot of Jeff and Ann.)

JEFF: Yeah, you're right. There's no sense in fooling with perfection. (Smirks.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie. Kevin smirks at Jeff off-screen. Winnie smiles.)

WINNIE: Well, maybe we could, uh...go somewhere else.

(Kevin looks at Winnie.)

KEVIN: Like where?

WINNIE: I don't know...

(She moves close to Kevin and smiles at him.)

WINNIE:...the Point?

(Shot of Jeff and Ann. Ann looks toward Kevin and Winnie off-screen, and smiles.)

ANN: Well, that sounds nice.

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie. Kevin smiles at Winnie, then Ann and Jeff.)

The Point. Where unofficial dates became...

(Shot of Jeff and Anne. They look at each other.)

Official couples.

JEFF: Um, actually...(rubs forehead)...I-I-I...I can't.

(He looks toward Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie looking surprised.)

(Jeff steps in front of Anne, and gestures.)

JEFF: Uh, I should actually get home.

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie. Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: Wh...Jeff - it's only 9 o'clock...

(Close shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: Actually, ya know, I live a few blocks from here, so I'll...so I'll walk.

(He glances toward Ann off-screen.)

JEFF: But i-it was a lot of fun.

(Close shot of Ann. She nods.)

ANNE: Yeah.

(Shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: Bye.

(Jeff turns and starts to walk away.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie frowning.)

Just like that...Romeo took a powder.

(Kevin looks at Winnie, then hurries after Jeff.)

(Shot of Jeff in the foreground, walking toward the camera. Others are in the background.)

KEVIN: Hey, Jeff - wait a minute!

(Jeff pauses and turns as Kevin runs up to him.)

KEVIN: What just happened back there?

JEFF: Well...(looks away)...let's see...I shot a sixty, and you got about...(makes face)...a hundred-and-eighty..

(Jeff looks at Kevin.)

KEVIN: Jeff, will you knock it off! (Gestures.) I don't get it. I mean, you two were hitting it off.

But of course, I should have known.

JEFF: I told you Kevin, I already got a girl...

(Jeff turns away slowly and exits.)

(Shot of Kevin looking after Jeff off-screen.)

And there it was.

(Kevin pounds the putter, and glances at the girls in the background. The camera pulls back slowly.)

The same old song.

(The camera pulls back as Kevin looks after Jeff.)

Fade to

School Library

(Shot of Kevin taking a book off a shelf. The camera rolls next to Kevin as he walks across the room.)

By the next morning, the disaster on the eighteenth hole was history.

(Kevin turns down an aisle, finding Winnie and Ann.)



(Close shot of Winnie and Ann from Kevin's perspective.)


(The camera pans to Ann.)

ANN: Hey, Kevin.

(Ann looks down then up.)

I dont know why...

(Shot of Kevin looking uneasy.)

But I felt like I had to apologize for Jeff's behavior.

KEVIN: Listen, uh, about last night...(Gestures.)

ANN (V/O): It's OK.

(Shot over Kevin's shoulder of Winnie and Ann.)

ANN: I thought about it, and Jeff's really not my type.

KEVIN: Well...

(Shot of Kevin smiling awkwardly.)

KEVIN: Yeah...of course...(Smiles.)

(Shot over Kevin's shoulder of Winnie and Ann.)

ANN: I'll see you guys later.

(Ann looks at Winnie, the walks away.)

(Shot of Kevin and Winnie.)

Translation - he'd broken her heart.

(Winnie frowns, Kevin looks concerned, and gestures with a book.)

KEVIN: I really feel bad. I mean, I feel like it's...kinda my fault, or something.

WINNIE: It probably was.

(Kevin turns to Winnie.)

KEVIN: What?!

(Close shot of Winnie.)

WINNIE: Well, you fixed them up!

(Close shot of Kevin. He is speechless.)

I knew it!

WINNIE (V/O): Seeya.

(Kevin frowns.)

(Shot of Winnie walking past the camera, as Kevin looks after her. The camera zooms in on Kevin.)

It didn't seem fair. I was taking all the heat, for a guy...

Cut to

Science Class

(Sound of school bell.)

(Shot of the students, with Kevin in the front row. Mr. Clemens stands next to Kevin.)

MR. CLEMENS: Ah...we seem to be missing Mr. Billings today.

Who wasn't even around.

(Mr. Clemens walks past Kevin slowly.)

MR. CLEMENS: Mr. Arnold, I'll assign you a new lab partner today - try not to blow him up.

(Closer shot of Kevin. He nods and smiles as Mr. Clemens walks past him, then looks at Jeff's empty spot.)

Cut to

Ext. Afternoon - Jeff's Apartment Complex

(Shot of Kevin pulling open the glass door and entering.)

That afternoon, I headed for Jeff's.

(Kevin pauses as he sees Jeff off-screen.)

(Shot of the apartment pool area. Jeff sits in a lounge chair, writing on a tablet. The camera rolls forward slightly.)

I figured maybe he was sick, or dead.

(Kevin walks past the camera toward Jeff.)

Or...maybe something in-between.


(Shot of Kevin. He smiles, then gestures with both arms.)

KEVIN: What's goin' on?

(Shot of Jeff settling in the chair. He looks at Kevin and points up with his pencil.)

JEFF: Well, ya know, I'm writin' a letter.. working on my tan...

(Shot of Kevin gesturing.)

KEVIN: In your coat?

JEFF: Yeah, well, you can't be too careful with these...(looks up)...dangerous, ultra-violet rays.

(Jeff looks down at his writing.)

(Shot of Kevin sitting down and frowning.)

KEVIN: So why'd you skip school today?

(Wider shot of Jeff and Kevin from across the pool.)

JEFF: I don't know, I just had some things to think about.

KEVIN: Oh...

(Kevin leans back, and looks down. He looks up and gestures.)

KEVIN: I saw Ann.

(Closer shot past Kevin of Jeff. Jeff looks at his paper.)

JEFF: She...say anything interesting?

(Shot of Kevin.)

I didn't know what to tell the guy.

(Kevin gestures.)

KEVIN: Well, you know.

(Close shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: I talked to my dad this morning.

KEVIN: Oh, yeah? How'd that go?

JEFF: Not good.

(Jeff glances at Kevin and gestures.)

JEFF: Bad connection.

(Kevin frowns and gestures, and leans forward.)

KEVIN: You want to talk about any of this?

(Jeff looks a his letter a moment, then leans forward.)


(Shot of Jeff in the foreground and Kevin past him. Jeff sets his paper and pencil down, and puts his feet up.)

And finally, we were gonna break through all the wisecracks, and glibness.

(Close shot of Jeff. He puts his fist on his chin and looks off.)

JEFF: Well, ya know, I was thinking, uh...(looks at Kevin)...your golf game needs work.

(Shot of Kevin looking puzzled.)

JEFF (V/O): Maybe if you should try using a bigger ball...(gestures)...ya know what I'm sayin'...

(Shot of Jeff. He is looking off, and motioning with his hands.)

JEFF: I don't know a tennis ball, or... a bowling ball...or -

KEVIN: I don't believe this!

(Shot of Jeff. He makes a "squinty" face.)

(Shot of Kevin standing and frowning, and gesturing with both arms.)

KEVIN: What is it with you?...(glances off, and back)...Is everything a joke to you?

JEFF: What do you mean?

(Closer shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: I mean, you have an answer for everything - but...you never try and fit in!

(Close shot of Jeff. He frowns and rolls his eyes.)

JEFF: What are you - Ann Landers? (Gestures.)

KEVIN: What?!

JEFF: There's a proper way to do this...a proper way to do that...

(Jeff looks away.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking angry.)

JEFF: I mean, it's really none of your business.

OK, if the guy wanted to keep it to himself...

(Close shot of Jeff looking at Kevin.)

Fine with me.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

KEVIN: Yeah, well...forget it!

(Shot of Kevin in the foreground with Jeff behind. Kevin turns away and walks toward the camera.)

JEFF: Hey!

(Kevin slows and looks back.)

KEVIN: What?

(Jeff puts his hands on the chair and drops his feet.)

JEFF: You know...

(Jeff stands up quickly and takes a step foreward, pointing to himself.)

JEFF: For your information, I didn't ask to move here.

(Shot past Jeff of Kevin.)

JEFF: I didn't ask to have all my stuff put in a moving van, and come to some new place, and...and meet new people and "fit in"!

JEFF: My family was back there...(jerks his thumb)...and nobody asked me!

(Close shot of Kevin. He looks puzzled, with his arms out.)

KEVIN: So that's it? You're just gonna to sit there...

(Kevin waves his hand out and frowns.)

KEVIN: By yourself...?

(Jeff frowns and sighs. He gives Kevin a dismissing wave.)

JEFF: Oh, man, you don't know anything.

(Jeff sits down and picks up his pencil and paper. He looks at Kevin.)

(Close shot of Kevin.)

JEFF (V/O): Just leave, will ya?

(Kevin shrugs and starts to turn away.)

KEVIN: Terrific.

(Wide shot of the pool area, with Jeff in the distance. He puts his chin on his fist and looks off.)

Hey, I didn't have to stay there and be yelled at.

Cut to

Int. Morning - Arnold Living Room

(Close shot of Jack frowning.)

JACK: What do you mean you didn't get the fasterners yet?

I could be yelled at, at home.

JACK: It's Saturday! How we gonna fix the gutters?

KEVIN: Well, I'm sorry, Dad - I forgot! I didn't do it on purpose...

(Shot of Jack.)

JACK: I want you to get dressed, go to the store, and get 'em, right now!

(Shot past Jack of Kevin at the table.)

KEVIN: OK, Dad. (Gestures.) Fine.

(Kevin stands up, then walks toward Jack, frowning.)

KEVIN: It was nice talkin' to ya.

(Jack frowns and watches Kevin exit past the camera.)

JACK: And don't forget this time.

Cut to

Arnold Driveway

(Shot up the driveway, between Jack's car, and the side of the house, as Kevin enter the shot and approaches the camera.)

And there you had it. Banished to the mall.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jeff, leaning back against Kevin's car. Jeff stands up straight as the camera rolls up on him.)

JEFF: Oh, hey!

(Shot of Kevin. He frowns.)

KEVIN: What are you doing here?

JEFF (V/O): Well, um...

(Shot of Jeff looking down.)

JEFF: I kinda need a ride.

(Jeff looks at Kevin.)

JEFF: I need to get back to my hometown.

(Jeff looks away.)

(Shot of Kevin. He frowns.)

KEVIN: Well, forget it - I'm busy.

(Kevin starts walk away.)

(Wide shot of Jeff and Kevin standing next to the Chongmobile.)

JEFF: Well, sure, yeah - that's OK...

(Jeff gestures broadly.)

JEFF: I mean...you can just give me the keys to your car, ya know...(gestures)...and...

(Close shot of Kevin. He glances back to the house.)

JEFF (V/O): I'll take it from there...

(Kevin looks at Jeff a moment.)

(Close shot of Jeff looking at Kevin.)

(Shot of Kevin. He smiles and gestures.)

KEVIN: Nah...I've seen you drive.

(Kevin pauses then nods.)

KEVIN: I'll take ya...

Cut to

Ext. Day - On the Road

(High shot of the road as Kevin's car drives into the shot. The camera descends to eye-level behind it, as the car recedes.)

So I forgot about the gutters, and drove the hundred-and-ten miles to Jeff's old town.

(Wide shot of Kevin's car passing a row of shops. The camera pans with it.)

I couldn't say why.

(Close shot of Kevin driving.)

All I knew was - the guy asked me, and I couldn't say no.

(The camera pulls back to include Jeff. He is looking out the open window.)

(Jeff looks forward and gestures.)

JEFF: Hang a right, here.

(Wide shot of an intersection, with a park in the background. Kids are playing ball. Kevin drives into the shot and stops at the corner.)

The funny thing was, his town looked almost exactly the same as mine.

(Close shot of Jeff looking out the window.)

JEFF: See this park over here? One time, this guy named Tommy Burns drank three six-packs and puked for four hours, straight.

(Shot of the park and kids playing.)

(Shot of Jeff and Kevin. Kevin smiles.)

KEVIN: They out to declare it a historical landmark.

(Shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: Yeah, there was a petition.

Cut to

Int. Day - Diner

(Close shot of a restaurant table, with two glasses, each a chocolate soda, in the middle, and Jeff's hands, left, and Kevin's hands, right. The camera pulls back.)

This town had history...

(Jeff is glancing around anxiously, as Kevin sips.)

It had tradition.

JEFF: Good soda, yeah?

KEVIN: Yeah!

It had soda.

(Kevin looks around puzzled, while Jeff sips, then looks around, over his shoulder.)

But the fact was, I still had no idea why we were here.

(Wide shot from their perspective as a girl walks in and pauses.)

(Close shot of Jeff, with Kevin behind, looking past the camera.)

(Jeff rises past the camera. Kevin watches him.)

(Wider shot of Jeff standing next to the booth.)

JEFF: Julie...

(Close shot of Julie turning and recognizing Jeff, off-screen.)

JULIE: Jeff...

(Shot over Julie's shoulder of Jeff approaching and smiling.)

(Shot of Julie.


JEFF: Hi. Uh, God - I had to see you.

(Julie smiles.)

JEFF: So h-h-how is everything? I mean...(Gestures.)

JULIE: It's about the same, I mean...well the kids are the same - and the teachers...

JEFF: Yeah...

JULIE: How are things at your school?

JEFF: Well, you know, it's...it's kinda tough when you're the coolest guy there, you know...(Smiles.)

(Julie smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at them off screen.

And suddenly I understood why he'd come - to get back something he was losing.

JULIE: I, uh, finished reading the book of Vonnegut short stories.

JEFF: Oh, you did? D-d-did you like 'em?

(Julie smiles.)

JULIE: Yeah. I loved the one where the business-man lets the deer go free.

(She smiles and sighs.)

JULIE: It made me cry.

(They look at each other a moment.)

(Close shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: Yeah...

(Jeff sighs, and looks down.)

JEFF: Uh, listen, Julie...

(Jeff looks at Julie.)

JEFF: I-I-I wanted to write you a letter, but-but, uh...I came here, because, uh...

JULIE: I know...(Nods.)

(Jeff looks down.)

JEFF: Uh, I-I couldn't do this any longer.

(He looks up.)

(Shot of Julie. She looks sad.)

JULIE: I know...

JEFF: I met somebody else.

(Jeff looks down and frowns.)

(Julie nods slightly.)

JEFF (V/O): But-but-but sh-she'll never replace you, you know.

(Julie smiles and nods.)

JULIE: I met someone, too.

(Julie nods and smiles.)

(Shot of Jeff.)

JEFF: Y-Y-You did?

JULIE: But I think about you all the time.

(She shakes her head and smiles.)

JEFF: Me too...

(Jeff looks off.)

JEFF: God, I hate this.

(He wipes his eyes slowly.)

(Julie shrugs and looks off.)

JULIE: Yeah, me too.

(She looks down.)

(Shot of Kevin. The camera moves in slowly.)

And I guess that's when I knew. He hadn't come to here to hold on...

(Shot past Jeff of Julie. She shrugs and shakes her head.)

JULIE: I, uh...guess I better get going...

(Wider shot of Jeff and Julie, as she turns and walks away.)

(Jeff watches her leave.)

JEFF: Yeah.

He'd come...to let go.

Cut to

Ext. Day - Jeff's Old Street

(Close shot of Jeff looking out the window, with Kevin in the background.)

When you're sixteen, you have no real control over your life.

(Close shot of Kevin. He looks at Jeff.)

(Close shot of Jeff looking out the window.)

It can be turned upside-down and inside-out in a moment's notice.

(Jeff perks up.)

JEFF: Stop here...

KEVIN (V/O): What?

JEFF: Right-right here.

(Wide shot of a house, as Kevin pulls up to it. Two small boys are playing in the yard.)

(Shot of Kevin's car as Jeff gets out.)

JEFF: This is my old house. My dad sold it about a month ago.

(Jeff partially turns, and looks at Kevin.)

(Shot of the kids running across their yard. They pause and look at Jeff and Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot of Jeff standing at the open car door. Kevin stands on his side.)

JEFF: Hey!

(The boys stop and look.)

JEFF: You guys happen to see a glove around here? (Gestures.) It's a-a "Brooks Robinson"...

(Shot of the boys. They run toward the house.)

JEFF (V/O): Ya know, the webbing's kinda shot...and, and...

(Closer shot of Jeff and Kevin. Jeff smiles.)

JEFF: Hhhh...

(Jeff looks at Kevin.)

JEFF: Well, nice try, anyway, huh?

KEVIN: Yeah. (Smiles.)

(Jeff looks toward the house. He gestures and shakes his head faintly.)

JEFF: This was a great house.

KEVIN: Yeah.

Maybe there are times, after all the wisecracks and jokes...

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Jeff and the house behind. Jeff turns toward Kevin, and looks down.)

When everybody has to come clean.

JEFF: I think my dad's never coming back.

(Jeff looks up at Kevin.)

(Shot of Kevin. He looks sad.)

(Shot of Jeff and the house behind him.)

BOY (V/O): Hey!

(Jeff turns toward the boy.)

(Shot of the boys running up to the fence. One holds out the glove.)

BOY: We found it...

(Wider shot of Jeff, and Kevin behind him.)

(The camera pans with Jeff as he steps up to the fence and takes the glove.)

JEFF: Oh, hey...thanks alot...

(Shot of Kevin. He smiles.)

JEFF (V/O): Hey, look, I really appreciate this.

(Shot past Jeff of the boys.)

BOY: You're welcome.

(The boys run off toward the house.)

(Shot of Jeff looking at the glove. The camera pans as he goes back to the car, to include Kevin. They look at each other over the car. Kevin smiles and gestures.)

KEVIN: So where are we going next?

(Close shot of Jeff. He looks at his glove, then at Kevin.)

JEFF: Home.

(Close shot of Kevin.)

(Close shot of Jeff. He looks at his glove, then smiles at Kevin.)

(Wide shot of the car from Jeff's side as they get in and drive off.)

So...we went home.

Cut to

Afternoon - Arnold House

(Shot of the house and street as Kevin drives up.)

That day, I thought about a lot of things, like hometowns, like family...

(Kevin pulls in the driveway.)

The shortcomings, the flaws...

(Wide shot of Jack sitting on the couch, and Kevin walks in the door behind him. Jack frowns and looks at his watch.)

JACK: Where the hell have you been?!

(Kevin pauses, and Jack whacks his newspaper down and stands up.)

The arguments.

JACK: And where are those damn fasteners?!

(Close shot of Jack. He is mad.)

JACK: You leave here six hours ago, and you come back with nothin'. What's the matter with you - where's your head?!

(Close shot of Kevin. He gestures, and smiles at Jack.)

KEVIN: I love you, Dad!

(Kevin exits to the front door.)

(Close shot of Jack. He looks off, perplexed, then toward the door after Kevin closes it.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Jeff's Bedroom

(Shot of Jeff putting up a poster, then putting something on his dresser.)

Still, in the world of inconsistency and doubt...

(Jeff reaches in a box and pulls out a framed 5x7 photo of Julie. He looks at the picture, then his wall.)

Maybe home is what you make it.

(Jeff quickly set the picture in an open bureau drawer, and closes it. He picks up a pile of books and walks to the bookshelf.)

Like I said, most suburbs were about the same. Sure, some may have been a little bigger...

Cut to

Ext. Day - Outside School

(School bell rings.)

(Shot of Jeff walking up the walkway, joined by Kevin.)

And some may be have been a little greener...

JEFF: I'll meet ya later.

(Jeff turns toward Kevin and gestures.)

But basically...

KEVIN: Yeah, sure.

(Kevin smiles and walks toward the building.)

There was only one real difference.

(The camera pans with Jeff, as Ann approaches, smiling.)

JEFF: How ya doing?

ANN: I'm doin' good!

JEFF: Hey, I was wondering maybe you want to do something Friday night...

(Jeff and Ann turn and walk away toward school. The camera pulls up and back as Kevin and Winnie join them in the distance. Kevin puts his arm around Winnie, as the four walk side-by-side.)

Only one of them...was yours.

Fade to


Supporting Cast
Jeff Billings - Giovanni Ribisi
Anne Sheer - Alisa Scheindlin
Julie McDermott - Erin Bryn
Mr. Clemens - Bruce Ed Morrow
Mrs. Billings - Marnie Andrews

"Reelin' In The Years" - Steely Dan

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4/2/05 16:45