The Donahues Episode 262

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Ryan and Catherine, sick of the status quo, experiment with homelessness. Jacob and Renzi are sent to rescue Sheila Woods after a new tip as to her whereabouts and Madeline grows wary of Peter's newfound responsibility







“Is this what you wanted? To live, in a house, that is haunted? By the ghost, of you and me”

  • Leonard Cohen


(We start with Ryan standing in front of a brown background, looking directly at the camera)


RYAN: There’s an old joke. There’s two elderly women at a cat skill mountain resource, and one of them says to the other “boy, the food here is really terrible”. And the other woman says “yeah, and such small portions!” Now, I personally don’t get that joke, and it may be because I haven’t eaten in public in seven years, and I haven’t eaten at all in thirty hours. So, as I was saying-


(Cut to Catherine standing in front of the same brown background, looking directly at the camera)


CATHERINE: What are you talking about?


(Cut back to Ryan)


RYAN: I just really want to understand what that joke means.


(Cut to a shot of Ryan standing across from Catherine in Catherine’s apartment, in a room with fresh brown paint on the walls)


CATHERINE: Come on, Ryan, it’s easy. It’s funny because the elderly women say the food is bad, but they also complain how much of it there is. Why would they want larger portions if the food is terrible?


RYAN: Oooooh! That is, mildly amusing.


CATHERINE: Now, can we get back to painting this room?


RYAN: Are you sure you want this color?


CATHERINE: I…fuck, I don’t.


(Catherine sits on the floor. Ryan sits across from her)


RYAN: It’s alright, Kate.


CATHERINE: Now I have to start all over.


RYAN: Yeah. And we’ll probably have to return that brown couch and that wood etching that says “a Brown Home is a Happy Home”.


CATHERINE: Sometimes I just think being homeless would be easier. (Ryan chuckles) Wait a second. (Catherine raises her head and furrows her brow) Why don’t we?


RYAN: Why don’t we do what?


CATHERINE: Just, try being homeless for a while?


(Ryan looks at the camera)


RYAN: This was my girlfriend, Catherine. She was so impulsive, she made Donald Trump look like Gary Kasparov. I mean, going homeless for fun? There’s a reason people don’t camp in the city out of choice. And there’s a reason why camping sucks. (Ryan looks back at Catherine) That is such a chic minimalist idea, babe.


CATHERINE: Yes! I knew you’d understand.


(Catherine hugs Ryan. Ryan looks at the camera)


RYAN: Trust me, it won’t last. I might as well let her have her fun.


(Cut to Ryan and Catherine wearing jackets while walking down a street in Plattsburgh. They are bundled up, and shivering. They walk past a coffee place)


CATHERINE: Want to get some coffee?


RYAN: Wait, we’re allowed to go inside?


CATHERINE: …Yeah? We’re homeless, we’re not broke.


RYAN: Thank fucking God.


(Ryan and Catherine head inside, and sit down at a table)


CATHERINE: Can you order for me? I just want a machiatto.


RYAN: Sure.


(Ryan starts to walk away, but then Catherine grabs him by the arm)




RYAN: What?

CATHERINE: This is still materialism!


RYAN: …You’re right, it is.


CATHERINE: Get me a plain coffee. And we’ll drink it outside.


RYAN: Come on, do we have to-




(Ryan sighs)


RYAN: Okay, my God, let go of my arm before you break it, you know I haven’t drank milk in a year.


(Catherine lets go of Ryan’s arm. Ryan walks over to the counter to speak with the hipster managing the register)


HIPSTER: Hey man, how can I help you?


(Ryan faces the camera)


RYAN: Knock me out so I can get to a hospital room with a TV in it. (Ryan looks at the hipster) I’d like two plain black coffees please.


HIPSTER: Awesome, here you go. (The hipster hands Ryan two empty cups) Just choose from any flavor over here- (The hipster points to several coffee dispensers to his left) and then leave because we have a “no homeless” policy, sir.


RYAN: Cool, I’ll just-wait, what?


HIPSTER: Yeah, sorry, we can’t just let you stay here, I mean, if we did, all of them would start crowding in and sleeping here, and jerking off in the corner, and we can’t make exceptions for you guys. I’m sorry.


RYAN: How do you-how do you know I’m homeless?


HIPSTER: You can just kind of tell.


RYAN: I’ve been homeless for forty-five minutes.


HIPSTER: Thank you for choosing Agora Coffee.


(Ryan sighs, shakes his head and walks towards Catherine)


RYAN: They say we have to leave.


(Ryan hands Catherine her coffee)




RYAN: They know we’re homeless. Somehow.


CATHERINE: You know what? It’s fine. It’s actually better, because now our experience will be more authentic.


(Catherine gets up and, and the two of them walk out of Agora Coffee together)


RYAN: Fucking Agora Coffee. Is it legally required that a hipster coffee shop’s name begin and end with a vowel?


(Catherine walks over to the side of Agora Coffee’s building, and sees a space between the coffee shop and the adjacent building. There are a ton of cigarette butts, a trashcan, and an elevated wooden platform. Catherine sits on it. Ryan sits next to her)


CATHERINE: This will be our space.


(Ryan faces Catherine)


RYAN: It’s perfect.


(Ryan and Catherine start making out. Cut to Madeline sitting in her apartment, watching television)


NEWS ANCHOR ON TELEVISION: (Audio only) Protests are raging for a second straight weekend after President Trump’s controversial ban on immigration from seven Muslim majority nations. A Judge has stayed the executive order, after it created mass confusion across the nation’s airports. The White House, however, has refused to follow the court order.


MADELINE: Refusing to follow a court order when he’s trying to send Syrian refugees on a “trail of tears” back to their war-torn country? Man, he is really living up to his idol Andrew Jackson. No wonder his portrait is hung in the Oval Office.


NEWS ANCHOR: There is also controversy over Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council. Bannon is a Senior Advisor to the President, an alcoholic wife-beater and a political hack who previously ran a fake news website.


(Madeline puts a pillow on her face and screams. Peter, who looks very clean-cut with a nice haircut and tailored suit, walks in to the apartment. Madeline stops screaming, turns the TV off and puts the pillow to the side. Peter walks over to Madeline)




PETER: Hey Maddie! Take a break from being constantly sad and anxious to hear about the day I had.


MADELINE: Was it tough?


(Peter takes off his jacket and sits on a LA-Z Boy)


PETER: It was hectic as hell. Way too busy. People are trying to horde weed before Sessions gets confirmed, I think.


MADELINE: So it was stressful?


PETER: Very.


MADELINE: Ah, you slipped up and had a cigarette, didn’t you?


PETER: No, I made it through.


MADELINE: Oh. Well, you’ve had a rough day, so I won’t judge you if you have a ciggy.


(Madeline takes a pack of American Spirits from a drawer and puts it on the table)


PETER: Where’d you get those?


MADELINE: You must’ve left them sitting around. Like I said, no judgement.


PETER: No, I’m fine. You should be happy about that.


MADELINE: Oh, I am. (Madeline puts the pack back in the drawer) But seriously, if you can’t take it anymore- (Madeline takes the pack back out) feel free to fire off on of these, brother!


PETER: Put them away.




(Madeline puts the pack away)


PETER: …Anyway, I was reviewing our quarterlies for the end of 2016, and it turns out there’s a lot of deductions we could be taking advantage of, and we just aren’t. So I pointed this out to Rizzoli-


MADELINE: What are you talking about!? (Madeline sits up) Who are you!? Fuckin’ deductions!?


PETER: I’m responsible now! I thought that’s what you wanted!


MADELINE: Three weeks ago you would’ve looked through those quarterlies and been convinced that, that, the Rizzolis did the Oklahoma City Bombing!

PETER: That’s silly.


MADELINE: SEE?! You’re not the man who followed me home on New Year’s Eve 2016!


PETER: What are you saying?! You want me to go back to being a chain-smoking conspiracy theorist with no sense of responsibility?!




PETER: Maddie, I finally got my shit together, and STILL you’re not satisfied?


(Madeline breathes in)


MADELINE: You know what? I’m sorry, Peter. I just-I think I’ve realized recently how little this relationship is based on.


(Peter crosses his legs)

PETER: So, what are you saying?


MADELINE: See? I’ve never seen you cross your legs before.


PETER: I can go back! (Peter sits on his legs on the chair) See?! I’m a man-child again!

MADELINE: it’s too late. I think we need some time apart.


(Peter stands up)


PETER: …Maddie…


MADELINE: Just. Move your stuff out.


(Peter starts tearing up. Peter walks into the next room. He then comes back with a grocery bag with a few shirts, socks and pairs of underwear in it)


PETER: I hope you’ll reconsider.


(Peter hangs his head and walks out of the apartment)


MADELINE: …Jesus, he really did just use all my shit for a year, didn’t he?


(Cut to Jacob lying down on the bottom bunk of his bunk bed in Afghanistan. Renzi hangs from the top bunk to talk to Jacob)


PRIVATE RENZI: What are you so depressed about?


JACOB: I haven’t been in America in six months.


PRIVATE RENZI: Do you really want to go back there right now? Actually, CAN you even go back there right now?


JACOB: The travel ban doesn’t apply to soldiers in Afghanistan…right?


PRIVATE RENZI: With that dumb asshole we have for a President, who knows?


JACOB: Chill out, man, we work for that guy.


PRIVATE RENZI: You know his stupidity caused a Navy SEAL to die over the weekend?


JACOB: Yeah, I heard about that. But at least his Education Secretary will protect our kids from Grizzly Bears.


PRIVATE RENZI: You know, Betsy DeVos said that because bears were attacking a school in Wyoming, it didn’t come out of nowhere.


JACOB: So there was a bear attacking a school? Shit, the way Trump operates, I’m surprised he didn’t nominate the bear to be Secretary of Education.


PRIVATE RENZI: Yeah, and then Elizabeth Warren will read a letter by Stephen Colbert on the floor of the Senate.


JACOB: And they’ll silence her again, because I’m almost positive Montana has a bear for a Senator.


PRIVATE RENZI: Yeah, pretty sure.


JACOB: Isn’t the blood going to pool in your head causing you to pass out?


(Private Renzi jumps down)


PRIVATE RENZI: It gives you a mild high.


JACOB: Since when are you…my brother?


PRIVATE RENZI: I quit smoking, so, I gotta get my kicks somehow.


JACOB: Anyway, I miss Renee and Kyle. Seeing them over Skype isn’t enough anymore.


PRIVATE RENZI: Have you seen her boobs on Skype?


JACOB: Yeah, but the military filters that stuff. They super-impose American flags on her nipples. They don’t want us sexually distracted, I guess.


PRIVATE RENZI: Fucking fascists, man.


(General MaGarthur walks over to Jacob and Private Renzi, and they stand straight and salute)




(Jacob and Private Renzi relax themselves)


JACOB: What is it, sir?


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: We’ve received a communication from Sheila Woods.


PRIVATE RENZI: Really? Is it a nude? Please tell me it’s a nude


JACOB: See, this is why you don’t sexually starve your soldiers. I mean, Renzi didn’t used to like her that much.


(General MaGarthur takes out a letter)


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: I have it right here. It’s not a nude, because it’s not a picture. Just a letter that reads, simply-


(MaGarthur holds out the piece of paper. It reads, in large lettering, “Let My Finger Point You In The Direction You Need To Come Find Me!”)


JACOB: …Her finger?


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the letter came with this.


(General MaGarthur holds up a plastic bag with a severed index finger in it)




JACOB: JESUS! YEAH! That was an important detail!

GENERAL MAGARTHUR: On the back of her finger, they’ve carved- (MaGarthur turns the bag around to show the back of her finger has an inscription- it says “NE” and then has a drawing of a cave) “NE”, which may stand for northeast, and then a drawing of what appears to be a cave. Or maybe a tent. Or maybe the Gateway Arch?


PRIVATE RENZI: It’s definitely a cave.


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: The point is- (MaGarthur hands the letter to Renzi) you two are being sent on a special rescue mission to save Sheila Woods-or more accurately-arrest Sheila Woods, now that we have this new information.


(General MaGarthur hands Jacob the finger in a bag, but he puts his hands up)


JACOB: NO! Of course I don’t want that!

GENERAL MAGARTHUR: How are you gonna know to go to a cave in the northeast then?


JACOB: Text me a picture of the finger maybe!?


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: You’re right, that’s probably better.


(General MaGarthur takes a picture of the finger with his phone)


PRIVATE RENZI: With all due respect, sir, we don’t really have any new information, do we? I mean, a cave in the northeast? That’s so broad!

(General MaGarthur puts away his phone and the finger in a bag)


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: The President has personally requested that this mission be carried out. He thinks Sheila has been radicalized, and he feels embarrassed that a lady is “beating” us.


JACOB: The President said that to you?


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: Among other things.


JACOB: You know, there’s a reason sending three-hundred people to find one woman didn’t work. What makes you think sending two will?


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: My hands are tied, here. The President ordered this.


(Jacob sighs)




JACOB: Then let’s go.


(Jacob and Renzi salute General MaGarthur)


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: Good luck, boys.


(Jacob and Private Renzi, walk to the exit, going right past two portraits of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, respectively, hanging on the wall. Cut to Jacob and Renzi in a military jeep, traversing the desert, in full camouflage gear, armed with weapons. Private Renzi is driving)


JACOB: Are you sure you don’t want me to drive? I don’t mind!

PRIVATE RENZI: No, I don’t want you to drive.


JACOB: You act like I’m gonna do donuts or something- I tell you, I would never do donuts in my life, makes me nauseous. I would be throwing up the whole trip.


PRIVATE RENZI: I’m not concerned you’re gonna do donuts, just shut up for a minute and enjoy the desert air.


JACOB: Oh! Enjoy the desert air! It’s that simple, huh? (Jacob looks at the camera) Who enjoys desert air? Scratch that, who enjoys air at all? I tell you, I’d prefer it if the whole world was just AC. I really would. Maybe then we wouldn’t have tornadoes-or what do they call them here? Typhoons?


PRIVATE RENZI: They’re just called tornadoes


JACOB: (To Private Renzi) Hey! This is MY soliloquy, got it?


PRIVATE RENZI: Sorry! Jesus.


JACOB: Hey, can we pull over at the Dairy Queen we just passed?


PRIVATE RENI: There’s no way we just passed a Dairy Quee- (Cut to Jacob and Private Renzi sitting in a booth in a Dairy Queen. Many Afghan citizens are dining in the establishment) wow, there really is a Dairy Queen here.


(A waitress wearing full body Hijab walks over with a pad and pen)


WAITRESS: (Southern accent) What can I get ya, sweetheart? (Afghani accent) I’m just kidding, I don’t sound like that.


JACOB: You speak great English though, so, kudos.


WAITRESS: Thank you.


JACOB: I’ll have a cheese burger and two scoops of chocolate, please.


WAITRESS: Yes sir. And you?


PRIVATE RENZI: (To Jacob) God, you’re so basic. (To the waitress) I’ll have the same.


(Jacob and Renzi hand their menus to her)


WAITRESS: Thanks, boys. That’ll be right out.


(The waitress walks away. Jacob takes out a cigarette and lights it in his mouth)


JACOB: These Afghan restaurants are great, because they still allow smoking.


(Jacob exhales smoke. Renzi furrows his brow and points behind Jacob. Jacob looks behind him to see Sheila Woods, in her fake beard, in a Dairy Queen uniform, talking to an Afghani General Manager with a short-sleeved dress shirt and clip-on tie. Jacob looks back at Renzi)


PRIVATE RENZI: (Whispering) That’s her!!

JACOB: (Whispering) What do we do!? Why is she here?! Wait, does that mean-


PRIVATE RENZI: That this DQ is run by the Taliban!? Maybe!!


JACOB: No way Dairy Queen corporate would allow that. Wait a minute.


(Jacob holds his cigarette in his mouth and pulls up the picture of Sheila’s finger on his phone. He shows it to Renzi, and it resembles the DQ logo, without the “DQ” part)


PRIVATE RENZI: Wow. So it wasn’t a cave.


(Sheila walks by, and Jacob grabs her arm. Sheila instinctively slaps it away and punches Jacob)




SHEILA: Oh My God! Jacob?!

(Jacob holds his cheek in pain)


JACOB: Don’t make a scene!

SHEILA: You guys actually found me? I told them it was way too cryptic. I mean, they didn’t even put DQ in the symbol.


PRIVATE RENZI: Wait a second, you have all your fingers!

SHEILA: Yeah. (Sheila holds up her hands) We found that finger in the beef vat.




(Cut to Ryan, Catherine, and some young homeless people sitting in the alleyway next to Agora Coffee. There are candles, blankets and books set up everywhere, and they are sitting in a circle, telling stories. The two homeless guys are college-age, have scraggly beards, torn and worn jackets, jeans and beanies)


HOMELESS MAN: So, I slept in this guy’s cupboard for a month.


(They all laugh)


RYAN: How did you manage that, Phil?


PHIL: I was sleeping in the one with all his cups in it, and he used this one Dunkin’ Donuts cup for all his beverages for like, weeks! So he never looked in there.


CATHERINE: You never made noise?


PHIL: Nah. I would make raccoon sounds when I beat off so he would think it was just raccoons in his basement.


CATHERINE: Hmm. That’s an admirable strategy.


(Ryan chuckles. A person walks by)





PHIL: Please give us weed!


(The person furrows his brow and just walks quickly away)


RYAN: Why?


PHIL: We want them to think we’re crazy so they don’t bother us.


HOMELESS MAN 2: And if one of them actually gives us weed, that’s an added benefit.


CATHERINE: Has that ever happened, Nick?


NICK: Not yet!


RYAN: Let me try this.


PHIL: Go ahead, kid. There’s assuredly more coming around the bend.


(A young white woman walks by)




WOMAN: I, uh-




WOMAN: You little monsters!!!


(The woman runs away. They all laugh. Ryan falls back into Catherine’s arms)


RYAN: She was so scared!

(Catherine kisses Ryan’s head)


CATHERINE: She sure was.


PHIL: Whoa, Nick. Get me my paints. I see an image of true love here.


(Nick retrieves a paint palette for Phil)


NICK: Do you need your brush and canvas too?


PHIL: What do you think, Nick!?


(Nick hands Phil a severed a raccoon tail and a blank canvas)


RYAN: Did you say “true love”?


(Phil starts painting)


PHIL: Yes, brother. I know it when I see it. And you too, in this moment, have it.


(Ryan looks into the camera)

RYAN: This is one of those moments where life brings something up that’s maybe a little uncomfortable, but still feels about right. I’m telling you, if there is a God, he’d be the least tactful person you’ve ever met. He’d be terrible company at parties.


(Ryan faces back towards Phil)


CATHERINE: So, you’re an artist?


PHIL: Before I got laid off, I was a courtroom artist. Until suddenly, I was on trial. For tripping a cop.


RYAN: Huh. (Ryan looks up at Phil) You hear that, babe? He says we embody true love.


CATHERINE: …That is cool.


(Catherine smiles. Ryan smirks and looks in the camera)


RYAN: She thinks I am satisfied with that answer, but I am not!


(Cut to Ryan and Catherine walking around the streets in shabby clothes)


CATHERINE: See, this isn’t so bad.


RYAN: I know. I’m really surprised by how much I’m enjoying the vagrant experience.


CATHERINE: You notice a lot more things, I think. Like that guy sitting on the bench over there. He’s totally selling drugs. But if you didn’t live outside, you might just think he’s lending one person a stick of gum.


RYAN: Exactly. Hey, do you want to go get some gum?


(Catherine pulls Ryan towards her)



RYAN: Okay, sorry! (Catherine lets go, and they keep walking) Quick question. Why did you just say “that is cool” when those homeless hipsters said we embodied true love?


(Catherine sighs, and stops walking. Ryan stops too and looks at Catherine. Catherine looks at Ryan)


CATHERINE: Because that makes it too real.


RYAN: I want it to be real.


CATHERINE: I get that, but…I want to warn you, I’m not easy to deal with.


RYAN: Neither am I. I’m probably the most difficult person to deal with on the planet. My brother went to Afghanistan to get away from me.


CATHERINE: So, we’re two difficult people.


RYAN: Which just might be perfect.


(Catherine sighs)


CATHERINE: I do love you. I’m sorry I hesitated. It’s just that, even after almost thirty-one years, stuff like that makes me feel icky.


(Ryan looks at the camera)


RYAN: She says this while our clothes are literally covered in mud. (Ryan looks back at Catherine) I love you too.


(Ryan starts kissing Catherine. Cut to Madeline sitting in a therapist’s office. Her shrink is a middle-aged woman with glasses and a ponytail)


MADELINE: I just feel like stress is coming from all directions right now. Bryan stresses me out because he thinks I like him still, but I don’t. He tries to play footsie with me, using his prosthetic leg, and all it does is scrape my fucking leg. And then, there’s stress coming from kicking out Peter. He leaves like a million voice mails a day, and tries to convince me that he hasn’t changed, but I know he’s the different ol’ Peter.


THERAPIST: And how does that make you feel?


MADELINE: Like I wasted my fucking time. I’m just tired of men defining my life. It’s always about what men are doing for me, or what I should do for men, or what the men in my office think I should do with my hair.


THERAPIST: What do they think you should do with it?


MADELINE: Cut it shorter. Honestly, they’re probably right, but I’m goddamn sick of hearing it.


THERAPIST: How do you want to break out of that?

MADELINE: …I want to get to know myself. I want to, just, focus on my own dreams for a while. You know? Not to be cliché, but, I don’t need no man.


THERAPIST: That was pretty cliché.


MADELINE: Yeah, that’s why I said it was?


THERAPIST: I’m just saying you shouldn’t have said it.


(Madeline sighs)


MADELINE: I’m also concerned about the state of the world. I mean, they just confirmed Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General. That guy looks like the dude who brought snacks to the lynchings.


THERAPIST: How does that make you feel?


MADELINE: Sad. Like evil is winning.


THERAPIST: Well, that appeals court just upheld the halt on the travel ban, so, does that not give you hope?


MADELINE: Yeah. It does, I suppose. But it doesn’t help when the President tweets “I’ll see you in court” like he’s in an episode of Law & Order. Even Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s own Supreme Court nominee, hates how he talks about the courts. It’s a little nerve-wracking when a child is in charge of the country.


THERAPIST: It’s made my industry a lot of money.


(Cut to Madeline turning on one of the cryotherapy machines in the therapy room at her clinic. There is a middle-aged man in the machine, and Sophie is speaking to him)


SOPHIE: How are you feeling?


MIDDLE-AGED MAN: I feel trapped.


SOPHIE: Who referred you here?

MIDDLE-AGED MAN: My wife. But I don’t believe in any of this mumbo-jumbo.


MADELINE: (Whispers to Sophie) How does he know the name of cryotherapy’s inventor?


SOPHIE: (Whispered, to Madeline) I don’t know. (Out loud, to the man) You just stay tight in here, honey, we’ll be in the next room. Press the button if you need anything. (Sophie and Madeline go into the control room, where they are looking at the middle-aged man through a one-way mirror) So I notice Peter hasn’t been bringing you Chik-Fil-a recently. What gives?


(Madeline sighs)


MADELINE: Well, first, I found out Chik-Fil-a is homophobic.


SOPHIE: Honey, you JUST heard about that story?


MADELINE: Second, Peter and I are taking a break.


SOPHIE: Oh. That’s…too bad?


MADELINE: No, it’s not.


SOPHIE: Right.


MADELINE: I’m focusing on myself. I got a tattoo yesterday. (Madeline rolls up her sleeve and shows a tattoo of her own face) The amount of detail is stunning.


SOPHIE: Well, good for you. What will your first “me first” action be?


MADELINE: First, I’m gonna convince this fucker that cryotherapy is great.


SOPHIE: Come on, you’ll never convince these types.


MADELINE: No, I will. We always get skeptics in here, whose wives forced them to come, but we’ve never convinced one it worked. Today that changes. It’s my personal goal. (Madeline takes her microphone) How’s it feeling, Chad?


CHAD: It’s cold as hell! Turn on the heat!

MADELINE: That would defeat the point, Chad. I’m gonna make it colder, and then you tell me whether the pain begins to subside.


CHAD: I’ll tell you the court date for when I’m suing you! BECAUSE IT’S TODAY!




(Madeline backs away from the mic, and turns down the temperature. Chad begins squirming)


CHAD: That’s too cold!


(Madeline takes the mic)


MADELINE: Just give it a chance. The pain will subside if you just withstand the temperature.


CHAD: This gobbledey-gook is really beginning to get my goat! Get me out of here!

MADELINE: (Over the mic) Mr. Patille. Trust me. (Chad looks at the one-way mirror) I know you can’t see me, but I want you to know that I’m looking right at you. You are completely safe. I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think it would help ease your suffering from that surgery, okay? So my question is; do you trust me? If not, I’ll let you out of there right now.


CHAD: …Okay, I trust you.




(Madeline turns down the temperature a little more, and then steps back)




MADELINE: I took a speech class in High School. So.


SOPHIE: …Everyone did, Maddie.


CHAD: I think my leg is starting to feel better.


(Madeline leans into the microphone)


MADELINE: Good, Chad. (Madeline turns off the microphone) Shit. This still technically doesn’t pass the Bechdel test.


(Cut to Jacob, Private Renzi and Sheila speaking at the Dairy Queen in Afghanistan)


JACOB: (Whispering) We have to get you out of here.


MADELINE: Guys, I’m fine. I make a ton of money in tips, and honestly, these Taliban are so repressed it’s sexy. And they fuck me a lot.


PRIVATE RENZI: So they’re not that repressed.


MADELINE: Well, in theory they are.


JACOB: Woods, do you realize what you’re saying? If you stay voluntarily, this could be considered treason!

SHEILA: The President’s National Security Adviser is making booty calls to the Kremlin, treason isn’t that big of a deal anymore.


JACOB: When you’re powerless like you are, it is. Either come with us, or we’ll have to force you out of here.


SHEILA: Fine! Take me. But how are you going to do that when you is SCREWED, SON!?


PRIVATE RENZI: What do you mean?

SHEILA: You’re in a Taliban-run Dairy Queen wearing American soldier uniforms. They’re gonna put up a fight.


JACOB: She’s right.


(Jacob and Private Renzi take out their assault rifles and grab Sheila. The Manager of the Dairy Queen comes out of his office, wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt and a turban, and holding a gun)


DAIRY QUEEN MANAGER: (Arabic accent) Where do you think you’re going?



(A bunch of other Dairy Queen employees pull out weapons and point them at Jacob and Renzi)


PRIVATE RENZI: (Whispering) We’re gonna need a different strategy than “appeal to authority”.


JACOB: (Whispering) How about pathos? (To Taliban) Have you ever been a military boy, wantin’ more than anything to pull off that first big military rescue?


(Private Renzi puts his gun to Sheila’s head)





PRIVATE RENZI: Oh, I see. (Private Renzi points his gun at Sheila’s vagina) You guys figured out her beard was fake after a while, huh?


JACOB: Yeah, where did the beard go?


SHEILA: I gave it to one of their kids, they thought It’d be cute.


DAIRY QUEEN CASHIER: It’s like he was trying to be a grown-up terrorist, just like his father.




PRIVATE RENZI: So put your guns down.


(The Taliban members gradually drop their guns. Jacob and Renzi point their guns at Sheila’s head, and slowly back out of the Dairy Queen)


DAIRY QUEEN MANAGER: ???? ?? ? ??? ? ????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ????! ?? ?? ?? ? ??? ????? ??????? ?? ????? ?? ?? ??!


(SUBTITLES: “Let's get her back as soon as possible! Otherwise letting her live was not worth it!”)




(SUBTITLES: “Yes sir”)


(A customer stands up, holding a receipt)


CUSTOMER: ?? ??? ??? ???? ???? ??????? ?? ?? ?? ?????? ?????


(SUBTITLES: “I had a double cheeseburger, is that almost ready?”)


(Cut to Jacob and Private Renzi driving Sheila home. Sheila is tied up in the back of the Jeep)


SHEILA: Why the hell am I tied up!? You guys are WORSE than the Taliban!

JACOB: Because I don’t trust you. I Can’t guarantee you won’t jump out and walk back to Dairy Queen.


SHEILA: That’s a decent enough point.


PRIVATE RENZI: Of all places to find you, a Dairy Queen? Don’t the Taliban hate American shit?


SHEILA: Yeah, it’s sort of an extremist hipster thing here. They’re doing it ironically.


PRIVATE RENZI: Or they just love fast food.


SHEILA: The reasons are complicated.


JACOB: I just don’t understand, Sheila. Why did the Taliban grow on you?


SHEILA: I don’t like what they do. But I’m a survivor. I made my way.


PRIVATE RENZI: And then they lured us into a trap for what reason?


SHEILA: They thought MaGarthur would send three-hundred like last time and they’d be able to have an epic holy war/food fight. But it didn’t happen.


JACOB: …You better not tell half of this shit to MaGarthur.


PRIVATE RENZI: Who knows? It might come up during pillow talk.


SHEILA: Shut up. I’m not gonna fuck him anymore once I reach base.


PRIVATE RENZI: You’re gonna break his heart, Sheila.


SHEILA: Is he really obsessing over me?


(Cut to General MaGarthur on the phone in his office)


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: I will see to it that no one on base wears Nordstrom’s, sir. Although I don’t see why they would. (Jacob and Renzi bring Sheila in) Gotta go, Mr. President. (General MaGarthur hangs up and gets up from his seat) OH MY GOD, MY SWEET, YOU’RE BACK!

(General MaGarthur hugs Sheila)


SHEILA: Ugh. Hi, MaGarthur.


(MaGarthur lets go of Sheila)


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: You are my rock.


SHEILA: Uh-huh.


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: Good work, guys.


JACOB: You’re welcome.


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: Sheila and I need to be left alone.


(Sheila grabs Jacob and Renzi’s arms)


SHEILA: No we don’t!


(Cut to Ryan, Catherine, Nick and Phil banging and clanging on pots and pans in a percussive fashion, as they sing “This Land Is Your Land”)


RYAN, CATHERINE, NICK AND PHIL: (Singing) This land is your land! This land is my land! From California, to the New York Island, from the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters! This land was made for you and me!


(Ryan looks at the camera)


RYAN: I’ve quite literally never been this happy.


(Ryan looks away from the camera)


RYAN, CATHERINE, NICK AND PHIL: (Singing) As I was walking that ribbon of highway, I saw above me, an endless skyway! I saw below me, that golden valley! This land was made for you and me!


(Cut to Ryan and Catherine sitting across from each other at a patio table outside a Chipotle)


RYAN: My phone died a week ago, but I’m pretty sure it’s Valentine’s Day today.


CATHERINE: Yeah, I’m almost positive on that.


RYAN: I got you something. (Ryan pulls out a cookie in a Subway wrapper) I found this on a bench.


(Catherine holds Ryan hand across the table)


CATHERINE: I’m not going to eat that, babe.


RYAN: What’d you get me?


(Catherine takes out a bottle of wine)


CATHERINE: I got this bottle of wine for a song.


RYAN: That’s amazing.


(Ryan and Catherine are suddenly sprayed with water, so they get up and face who is doing it. Pan over to reveal Terrence, wearing a Chipotle uniform, is spraying them)


TERRENCE: Get out of here, you bums. Paying customers only!

RYAN: Terrence?!


(Terrence turns off the hose)


TERRENCE: …Jesus, Ryan!? Catherine!??!


RYAN: Yeah.


CATHERINE: Hi, Terrence.


TERRENCE: Why are you…?


RYAN: We’re minimalists.


TERRENCE: You look homeless.


CATHERINE: I mean, we’re that too.


RYAN: By choice!


TERRENCE: Catherine, you used to be my boss.


CATHERINE: …I suppose that’s true.


TERRENCE: I’m sorry I sprayed you guys, they make us do it.


RYAN: It’s okay. We’ll just move on.


TERRENCE: Hold on a second. Is this why you’ve been so hard to reach?


RYAN: Yeah, this is pretty much why.


TERRENCE: My God, Ryan. You smell like shit.


CATHERINE: You know, I got used to it, but now that I think about it, you’re right.


TERRENCE: Have you been going to class like this?


RYAN: Yeah, but people don’t notice the smell because they don’t sit very close to me-ooohhhhh.


TERRENCE: I have to go back inside, but, let me just say…reconsider all this.


(Terrence goes back inside. Catherine and Ryan look at one another)


CATHERINE: Is he right? Have we taken this too far?


RYAN: I mean, I was feeling really happy for the first time in…ever, but I also miss showering in a shower, instead of using a bucket.


CATHERINE: How about this? Compromise time. Let’s head to your dorm, get a shower, change into fresh pairs of clothes, and then head right back into it.


RYAN: Good idea.


(Ryan and Catherine hold hands. Terrence comes out with a broom and starts poking at Ryan)


TERRENCE: They seriously want you to go!

RYAN: Okay! God!

(Ryan and Catherine leave. Cut to Ryan lying on his bed, looking at his cell phone, which is plugged into the wall. Catherine comes out of the bathroom wearing a towel)


CATHERINE: Done! I’ll just change and we can go.


RYAN: Uh-huh.


(Catherine heads into Ryan’s closet to change)


CATHERINE: (Off-screen) So, what should we do when we get back out there? Play in the fountain again? Watch a street performer for way too long?


RYAN: Uh-huh.


(Catherine comes out of the closet, wearing a fresh t-shirt and jeans)


CATHERINE: Are you paying attention?


RYAN: ….Uh-huh….


CATHERINE: Ryan, don’t get sucked back in.


(Ryan sits up)


RYAN: Oh, it’s too late for that.


CATHERINE: Shit! What did you do?


RYAN: I’ve scrolled through Twitter for the last three minutes and I already feel as miserable as I was before.


CATHERINE: Then put it down.


RYAN: I can’t.


(Catherine smacks the phone out of his hand)


CATHERINE: We’re above that now, remember?!



(Ryan grabs his phone and starts scrolling)


CATHERINE: Ryan, you were so happy.


RYAN: But it was cold. I’d rather be miserable and comfortable than happy and fucking cold.


(Catherine sighs, and sits down next to Ryan)


CATHERINE: At least we tried.


(Catherine kisses Ryan on the head. Ryan looks at the camera)


RYAN: Sometimes you can only take life in small portions. But sometimes you want to send the food back, too. Luckily, this isn’t one of those times.


(Ryan goes back to scrolling through his phone. Cut to Madeline driving her car)


MADELINE: Okay. You gotta stay informed if you want to resist, so let’s just take a bit of news. Not too much, just a bit.


(Madeline turns up NPR)


NPR: Michael Flynn, President Trump’s National Security Advisor, resigned last night, after the White House was put under immense pressure. Flynn was accused of lying to Vice President Pence and the FBI about whether he had contacted Russian officials to inform them that Trump would work to ease sanctions. Many pointed out this may have been a violation of the Logan Act.


MADELINE: Okay, so, at least he’s gone, right?


NPR: New reports say that the Trump campaign had constant contact with Russian officials throughout the election.


(Madeline takes a deep breath)


MADELINE: I’m sure there’s no more of that, though…


(Madeline pulls into her apartment complex, and parks. She gets out of her car and sees Peter standing in front of her apartment)




(Madeline furrows her brow)


MADELINE: Peter. I said we were taking a break.


PETER: I know, but, aren’t you at least a little turned on that I’m stalking you again?


MADELINE: Oddly enough, no. Listen, I’m focusing on myself, right now, I don’t want whatever you’re selling.


PETER: Well, I was focusing on myself too, and you shit on me for it. I know you don’t like responsible Peter, but I’m not gonna go backwards. That’s why I did something special for us. (Madeline furrows her brow. Cut to Madeline and Peter standing in front of a two-story house in a suburban neighborhood) …Like what you see?


MADELINE: You…bought us a house?


PETER: Yeah.


(Madeline looks at Peter with widened eyes)


MADELINE: ...That is so insanely financially irresponsible... (Madeline hugs Peter) …Thank you...


(Cut to Jacob sitting across from General MaGarthur)


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: …I just wanted to reiterate, you did a great job with that rescue.


JACOB: Well, I didn’t do it alone.


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: I know, but you really just, delivered. I was giving up hope she’d be rescued, but just like Tom Brady, you came in with the touchdown and two-point conversion.


JACOB: God. I live in New England and I don’t even like The Patriots anymore.


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: Well, you’re going back there tomorrow.


JACOB: …Wait, really?


GENERAL MAGARTHUR: Yep. You’re going home, Donahue.


(Jacob smiles. General MaGarthur stands up and shakes Jacob’s hand. Cut to black)



Submitted: February 17, 2017

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