The Valley of the Tools Episode 18

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Rob returns to the office, but quickly finds he's no longer welcome there. Hannah is tasked with finding a diverse enough new hire for the creative department since Miles' departure. An old friend of Luther's comes to LA for a wedding and ridicules him for dating a white girl.

Submitted: October 12, 2018

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Submitted: October 12, 2018

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THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“SHORTSIGHT”

 

TV-MA DLS

 

“Like feeling things that artists feel. Never knowing what's for real, like playing things that athletes play. Having nights that slipped away”

  • Zach Hill

 

(We open on a shot of Rob’s ankle monitor. A pair of hands enters the shot with a key fob that is pressed to the bracelet, causing it to snap off the ankle. Zoom out to see a police officer was holding the key fob, as Rob is sitting on the couch in his living room and Lilly is watching TV)

 

ROB: Oh, sweet freedom.

 

POLICE OFFICER: Yeah, must’ve been hard staying in this multi-million-dollar home for a whole month.

 

ROB: Your services are no longer, needed, thanks. (The officer shakes his head and walks toward down the stairs. Rob turns to Lilly) Babe, I’m free!

 

LILLY: Hold on. I’m watching this.

 

(Rob turns to the TV. Senator Lindsey Graham is questioning Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh)

 

SENATOR GRAHAM: Did you know that her and her stuff had this allegiz- allegations for over twenty days?

 

JUDGE KAVANAUGH: I did not know that at the time.

 

(Senator Graham turns to the Senate Democrats)

 

SENATOR GRAHAM: If you wanted an FBI investigation, you could’ve come to US! What you want to do is DESTROY this guy’s life, hold this seat open, and hope you win in 2020! YOU’VE said that! Not ME! (To Kavanaugh) You’ve got NOTHING to apologize for. When you see Sotomayor and Kagan, tell ‘em Lindsey said “hello”! Because I voted for them! I would NEVER do to them what- (to the Democrats) YOU’VE done to this guy! This is the most UNETHICAL SHAM since I’ve been in politics. And if you REALLY wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy. Are YOU a gang rapist?

 

JUDGE KAVANAUGH: No.

 

SENATOR GRAHAM: …I cannot imagine what you and your family have gone through. (To Democrats) Boy, y’all want power, God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you KNEW ABOUT IT and you HELD IT! You had NO intention of protecting Dr. Ford. NONE! She’s as much of a victim as you are! GOD, I hate to say it, because, these have been my friends. But, let me tell you, when it comes to this, you’re looking for a fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend. Do you consider this a job interview?

 

JUDGE KAVANAUGH: The advice and consent role is like a job int-

 

SENATOR GRAHAM: Do you consider that you’ve been through a job interview?

 

JUDGE KAVANAUGH: I’ve been through a process of advice and consent under the constitution-

 

SENATOR GRAHAM: Would you say you’ve been through Hell?

 

JUDGE KAVANAUGH: I’ve- I’ve been through, Hell and then some.

 

SENATOR GRAHAM: This is not a job interview.

 

JUDGE KAVANAUGH: Yeah.

 

SENATOR GRAHAM: This is Hell.

 

(Cut back to Rob and Lilly)

 

ROB: I think Hell is just listening to Lindsey Graham grandstand for eternity.

 

LILLY: I can’t believe this fucker- HE’S as much of a victim as Ford is?! A lot of these Republicans admit that she’s credible and was assaulted!

 

ROB: Not by HIM, though! She’s right about everything, except for it being him.

 

LILLY: How would he even know? Apparently, he was drinking beer 24/7.

 

ROB: He likes beer. I like beer. I like beer a lot, actually.

 

LILLY: Yeah, I’m well-aware.

 

ROB: But I’ve been cutting down on it. More than Richie McRageBoner over here.

 

LILLY: Well, good. (Lilly scoots close to Rob) We don’t want to give them any excuse to fire you.

 

ROB: You think they’re looking for excuses?

 

LILLY: Does the Pope shit in the woods?

 

ROB: …Is-is that a serious question?

 

LILLY: It’s up to you not to give them a reason to fire you. Got it?

 

ROB: Is there like some Catholic tradition of shitting in the woods that I’m unaware of? Because I was raised Catholic.

 

LILLY: Rob. It’s a figure of speech.

 

ROB: Can’t you just tell me something to make me feel okay about all of this?

 

LILLY: …I don’t usually do this, but, fine. (Unenthusiastic) I’m sure they’ll welcome you back with open arms tomorrow, babe.

 

(Rob nods and kisses Lilly. Cut to Whitney sitting on her desk, speaking with Bonnie, McKenzie, Luther and Hannah, who are gathered in her office)

 

WHITNEY: I want you to make Rob feel as unwelcome as possible today, alright?

 

HANNAH: HELL YES!

 

(McKenzie raises her hand)

 

WHITNEY: Yes?

 

(McKenzie puts her hand down)

 

MCKENZIE: Why?

 

WHITNEY: Because this AXE-smelling, goateed son-of-a-bitch has worked to undermine me. I can’t just let that go unpunished.

 

LUTHER: Why can’t you fire him?

 

WHITNEY: He has a partnership stake. We’d have to buy him out. We don’t have that kind of money right now, especially since we bought those therapy cats for the office.

 

MCKENZIE: They’re cute!

 

HANNAH: Question!
 

WHITNEY: Hannah?

 

HANNAH: Will you provide soap and pillow cases, or will we have to bring our own?

 

(Rob comes in with a cup of coffee in hand)

 

ROB: Bring our own what?

 

(They all turn around, startled)

 

WHITNEY: Oh. Welcome back, Rob.

 

ROB: Thanks. It feels good to be on the outside. Those long nights in the hole will get to you.

 

LUTHER: The hole? Weren’t you under house arrest?

 

ROB: Oh, but we have our own hole. Of a kinkier nature.

 

LUTHER: Why’d I even ask.

 

MCKENZIE: But you still spend all night there?

 

LUTHER: Just, don’t pry, Kenz.

 

ROB: Well. I look forward to working with you guys again. (Rob lifts up his coffee cup) There’s only coffee in here, for the record. So. If you’re proud of me, you can just say it. (Silence) …If you prefer to tell me in private, that’s cool too.

 

(Rob nods and leaves)

 

MCKENZIE: I feel mean.

 

WHITNEY: HE’S mean. Hannah, tell me about your shortlist for replacing Miles.

 

HANNAH: I have it. I just need to interview them.

 

WHITNEY: Alright. Get on it.

 

(Hannah nods)

 

HANNAH: Yes ma’am. (Whitney shoots Hannah a glare) I mean. Uh-huh, lover.

 

(Hannah smiles an awkward smile)

 

WHITNEY: Good luck, babe.

 

(Hannah nods and leaves, along with McKenzie, Miles and Bonnie. Cut to Hannah sitting in the conference room with a white guy in a leather jacket sitting across from her)

 

HANNAH: So, Mr. Lowell, you worked at Spike TV for-

 

MR. LOWELL: Ever. I will never ever forget my brothers and sisters at Spike TV- (He takes out a Spike TV logo necklace and kisses it) we’re more than a family. We’re brothers.

 

HANNAH: …I was gonna say, three weeks.

 

MR. LOWELL: Best three weeks of my life.

 

(Cut to Hannah interviewing a white male with long hair)

 

HANNAH: So you were a staff writer on Joey?

 

LONG-HAIR: Yeah, but only the first season.

 

HANNAH: Okay. And, since then?

 

LONG-HAIR: …I sued Jay Leno because he stole a joke of mine several years back.

 

HANNAH: …Did you win?

 

LONG-HAIR: We didn’t. Turns out I wrote the joke a year or two after he told it.

 

(Hannah nods intensely. Cut to Hannah interviewing a straight-laced white male in a business suit)

 

HANNAH: So, Mr. Robbins, you worked as a development executive at MGM for seven years?

 

MR. ROBBINS: Yes. I developed a sterling reputation there. Just flawless.

 

(Hannah squints)

 

HANNAH: Right. So, you developed a number of reality shows with Lifetime, TLC and Bravo?

 

MR. ROBBINS: Yes, and they all deserved awards.

 

HANNAH: …Uh-huh. You know, we were formed originally to produce a reality show.

 

MR. ROBBINS: Yeah, I know. “The Bronx”. It was-

 

HANNAH: “The Box”.

 

MR. ROBBINS: It was cute. I liked the ladies. (Hannah grinds her teeth) And I like any show about New York.

 

HANNAH: It wasn’t called “The Bronx”- are you aware you’re like this?

 

MR. ROBBINS: Pardon?

 

HANNAH: Never mind. (Cut to Hannah standing in front of Whitney) I’d be surprised if these guys could dress themselves.

 

WHITNEY: Then why were they on your shortlist?

 

(Hannah shrugs)

 

HANNAH: They write mean resumes.

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, well, they’re also rich in penis and lacking in melanin.

 

(Hannah nods)

 

HANNAH: I figured we already have majority women here-

 

WHITNEY: We’re ahead by two. And we’re hardly the Black Panthers.

 

HANNAH: Okay.  You’re right.

 

(Whitney stands up)

 

WHITNEY: Honey. You don’t need to stress out over this.

 

HANNAH: I know.

 

(Whitney puts her hand on Hannah’s)

 

WHITNEY: If CBS doesn’t have fresh eyes on our work soon they’ll slit our wrists. (Hannah’s jaw drops) Sorry. I need to sequence words better.

 

(Hannah shakes her head and leaves. Cut to Evelyn blowing out smoke on Luther’s balcony at night. She’ wearing jeans and a black dress shirt. Luther walks out onto the balcony, wearing just boxers and a muscle shirt)
 

LUTHER: Eve, you sure you don’t wanna borrow my sweats or something?

 

EVELYN: I’m not ready for bed yet, Luther. It makes no sense to take off my shoes and slip into loose, free-flowing clothing when I don’t need it to maximize comfort and expedite the onset of sleep.

 

LUTHER: …Right, but I thought maybe you’d want it for- (Luther wraps his arms around Evelyn’s waist) different type reasons.

 

(Evelyn smiles)

 

EVELYN: Oh. I wasn’t aware of your real intention. What a pleasantly surprising turn of events.

 

(Evelyn puts out her cigarette and starts making out with Luther. Cut to the two of them lying in bed together naked. Luther’s phone starts blowing up with messages, and we can see that it’s about 5am. The messages are from a guy named Warner, and they say stuff like “yo I’m coming to la and I need a place to stay 4 a bit and your place that place- see ya soon” and “yo couch better be quality my nigga”. Cut to sunrise. Luther drags his ass out of bed, not even looking at his phone. He saunters into the kitchen and finds Warner sitting on his couch. Warner is dressed in a black suit with an ascot between his purple collar and his chin)

 

LUTHER: HOLY SHIT!
 

WARNER: Hey, what up, bro? Nice place you got here.

 

LUTHER: Warner, what the fuck?

 

(Warner stands up)

 

WARNER: Didn’t you get my messages? (Warner takes a cup of coffee out from under a Keurig dispenser) I’m in LA for Deckland’s wedding and I need a place to stay.

 

LUTHER: Oh. No, I haven’t checked my phone today-

 

(Warner takes a sip of his coffee)

 

WARNER: How much you payin’ the man for this place?

 

LUTHER: It was pretty cheap, actually, because there was a-you know what, never mind, please just give me more notice next time you need a place to stay.

 

(Luther walks into the kitchen and pulls out a coffee cup)

 

WARNER: A’ight, I feel ya, Luther.

 

LUTHER: Deckland’s getting married?

 

WARNER: Hell yeah. Some light-skin from the Torrance from what I heard.

 

(Luther starts brewing coffee)

 

LUTHER: I always thought I’d get hitched before him, shit.

 

WARNER: Well, he been a player since high school. (Warner sits on Luther’s table) Eventually you gotta settle for someone, even if she not a pure black princess. (Luther glares at Warner. Evelyn walks in, already dressed to the nines) Speaking of which…

 

EVELYN: Who is this?

 

LUTHER: This is Warner, a buddy of mine from High School.

 

WARNER: And what’s your name? Cindy McCain?

 

EVELYN: Excuse me?

 

(Luther clears his throat)

 

LUTHER: Her name is Evelyn. Evelyn Prost.

 

WARNER: Ah. Evelyn, my apologies.


(Warner extends his hand and Evelyn shakes it)

 

EVELYN: It’s a very limited pleasure.

 

(Warner takes his hand back)

 

WARNER: Where’d you two meet? A yogurt bar? Country Club?

 

LUTHER: Motherfucker, you’re wearing an ascot.

 

WARNER: I bought this at Prince’s estate auction, nigga.

 

EVELYN: We met at a bar.

 

WARNER: Hmm. How touching.

 

EVELYN: I don’t think you’re sincere. So I’m going to leave now.

 

(Evelyn walks up and kisses Luther)

 

LUTHER: See ya later.

 

(Evelyn smiles and exits the apartment)

 

WARNER: Is she a casting director for The Big Bang Theory or some shit?

 

LUTHER: Would you shut your ass up? She’s my girlfriend. She helped me find this apartment.

 

WARNER: That must be why you live in Santa Monica instead of Compton.

 

LUTHER: Maybe I’m trying to un-gentrify Santa Monica, Warner, ever think of that?

 

WARNER: Nah.

 

LUTHER: White people are moving out in droves. This place gonna be Harlem by New Year’s.

 

WARNER: It is?

 

LUTHER: You bet your dick. (Warner crashes onto the couch) And leave Evelyn the hell alone, or you can stay on the street.

 

WARNER: Whatever, bro, I’m gonna rest my eyes.

 

(Warner lies down and closes his eyes)

 

LUTHER: Nigga can afford Prince’s ascot but can’t get himself a hotel.

 

WARNER: What was that?
 

LUTHER: Nothin’, dude, shit.

 

(Cut to Rob sitting in his office, tapping on the desk and gazing around the room, seemingly unsure of what to do. Rob stands up and walks to the front desk, where Alec is reading a script)

 

ROB: What you reading there?

 

(Alec takes a beat)

 

ALEC: …What?

 

ROB: What are you reading?

 

ALEC: Oh. Some script.

 

(Rob nods his head)

 

ROB: Is it a good one?

 

(Alec shrugs)

 

ALEC: I’ve been tuning in and out.

 

ROB: …Of the script?

 

(Alec looks up at Rob)

 

ALEC: Do you want something?

 

(Rob shrugs)

 

ROB: Cup of coffee would be great. (Rob glares at Alec and walks into McKenzie’s office) Hey Kenz.

 

(McKenzie looks up sheepishly)

 

MCKENZIE: Oh. Hi Rob.

 

ROB: Wanna invite me to one of your famous board game parties?

 

MCKENZIE: Oh. Me? No. I’m back on my bullshit again.

 

ROB: Hey, that’s the way I like it anyway. (McKenzie stares at him) Sorry, that came out creepier than I intended.

 

MCKENZIE: How creepy did you intend it to be?

 

ROB: Is your “bullshit” clinical depression, by any chance?

 

MCKENZIE: …Sort of. It was a rough couple weeks. (McKenzie sighs) I have a lot of work to do.

 

ROB: Like what? I’ve been gone for a month, what have you been doing anyway?

 

MCKENZIE: I have to plan my board game ni- (McKenzie stops herself) ni-nihilism, experiment.

 

(Rob nods)

 

ROB: ‘Kay. (Rob walks away. McKenzie looks guilty. Cut to Rob popping his head into Bonnie’s office) Hey, Bon-Bon.

 

BONNIE: Please don’t call me that.

 

ROB: Sorry. I like to try new things.

 

(Bonnie looks up)

 

BONNIE: Mostly drugs, right?

 

ROB: No. I’m cutting down real hard. Check it.

 

(Rob takes out a glass weed pipe)

 

BONNIE: Holy shit.

 

ROB: Totally empty bowl.

 

BONNIE: While we’re showing off paraphernalia, wanna see my totally empty crack pipe?
 

ROB: Go ahead. (Bonnie rolls her eyes and types on her computer) Is Whitney in?

 

BONNIE: No.

 

(Rob squints)

 

ROB: I didn’t see her leave.

 

BONNIE: She’s busy.

 

(Rob sits in front of Bonnie’s desk)

 

ROB: What’s going on here? Everyone’s treating me like shit.

 

BONNIE: Maybe it’s time you’re on the receiving end.

 

ROB: Did Whitney brainwash you people?
 

(Bonnie looks up)

 

BONNIE: Ever consider the idea that we didn’t need to be brainwashed? (Rob sits back for a moment. Then he gets up and heads for Whitney’s door) Rob!

 

(Bonnie stands up and runs over there as Rob bangs on Whitney’s door)

 

ROB: Whitney, open up, I know you’re in there!
 

BONNIE: Rob, she’s not a suicidal mistress locked in the bathroom, just open the door!
 

(Rob opens the door and sees Whitney sitting on her couch with a drink in hand)

 

ROB: And I’m the one with a problem.

 

BONNIE: Do you want me to-?

 

WHITNEY: It’s fine. Just close the door.

 

(Bonnie closes the door and leaves. Rob sits down across from Whitney)

 

ROB: So, you’re trying to push me out.

 

WHITNEY: No. Just make it miserable here for you. Put you in a corner office with nothing to do but wander around like a ghost. (Rob sneers) Maybe if we’re lucky, you can go on house arrest again and we’ll get an even longer reprieve.

 

ROB: Well, call me Drake, because I’m upset. (Whitney shakes her head) What’s your problem?

 

(Whitney leans forward)

 

WHITNEY: I joined forces with a misogynist to defeat misogyny. But now I’m here. This last month has been the most productive month of our existence. So, I’ve realized, I no longer have an interest in your rehabilitation.

 

ROB: …What makes you think I won’t just leave?

 

WHITNEY: You’re too proud.

 

(Rob stands up)

 

ROB: You over-played your hand, Stone.

 

(Whitney stands up)

 

WHITNEY: You wanna walk away from your money?

 

ROB: I know you’ll have to buy me out. It might put you out of business. But I guess you assumed that I don’t turn on friends as easily as you do.

 

(Whitney glares)

 

WHITNEY: We can take whatever you throw at us, Altmire.

 

(Rob smiles)

 

ROB: This is just the first shot across the bow. Protect your starboard, Whitney. (Whitney squints) …I really need to think about the words I say. (Beat) But my point remains!
 

(Rob leaves her office. Whitney sits down on her couch, worried. Cut to Hannah sitting in the conference room across from a black woman in a navy-blue blazer)

 

HANNAH: So, Ms. Collins, you worked at FOX from 1998 to 2004?

 

MS. COLLINS: Yes, I was in their programming department.

 

HANNAH: It says here you advocated for “Firefly”?

 

MS. COLLINS: Does it? (Collins looks at the resume) Oh, that should say I advocated for it to be cancelled. Sorry. Typo, I guess.

 

(Hannah stands up and points to the door)

 

HANNAH: GET OUT.

 

(Cut to Hannah interviewing a middle-aged Arab man in a business suit)

 

ARAB MAN: I was in development at Bad Robot for a couple years, then I took a few years off to take care of my newborn. Now I’m ready to get back in the game.

 

HANNAH: That’s awesome, what’s your newborn’s name?

 

ARAB MAN: Her name is Nadia.

 

HANNAH: Cool. How old is she?

 

ARAB MAN: Fifteen? Or, sixteen? I think?

 

(Hannah tilts her head)

 

HANNAH: Oh. So- (Hannah flips the resume a couple pages) that would explain the gap in employment since 2002.

 

ARAB MAN: Yeah. But I took that time to really get to know her. You know? A deep, intense fatherly bond.

 

HANNAH: You didn’t know her exact age a minute ago.

 

ARAB MAN: You know what, she might be twenty.

 

(Cut to Hannah interviewing a white dude in a hoodie and Dr. Who t-shirt)

 

HANNAH: So, Mr. Morris, you worked on Doctor Who? That’s really cool.

 

MR. MORRIS: (British accent) I did, but it’s not the show you’re thinking of. It was about a young neurologist who performs brain surgery on himself, and the procedure goes wrong and he forgets who he is.

 

HANNAH: …Oh. Where did this air?

 

MR. MORRIS: It was on Crackle for four episodes. It has a cult following, actually.

 

HANNAH: And the Doctor Who shirt?

 

MR. MORRIS: I’m a big fan of the original show, don’t get me wrong!

 

HANNAH: Sorry, did you say he performed brain surgery on himself?

 

MR. MORRIS: I fought for that detail.

 

(Cut to Hannah sitting at her desk across from Luther and pinching her temple)

 

LUTHER: No luck?

 

(Hannah picks up a stack of resumes)

 

HANNAH: All these people are idiots.

 

LUTHER: There’s a shit ton of people in Hollywood with no talent but great resume writing skills.

 

HANNAH: In addition to that, I have to find a diverse set of people.

 

LUTHER: How diverse have you gone so far?

 

HANNAH: Black, Muslim, British. The whole nine yards.

 

LUTHER: What about religious and sexual diversity?

 

(Hannah nods)

 

HANNAH: Yeah. Let me look. (Hannah digs through her resumes and fishes out three) There- lesbian Native American, transgender Satanist and a pansexual pacific Islander Jew.

 

LUTHER: They put that information on their resumes?

 

HANNAH: Well, I was forced to make some assumptions. For instance, the transgender Satanist’s name is “Ru Paul Devilspawn”. So. (Cut to Hannah interviewing a Polynesian man with a yarmulke) Mr. Rubin, you worked in development at CBS for a year, correct? Why did you choose to leave?

 

MR. RUBIN: Hell, I didn’t choose. Damn women are too sensitive these days.

 

HANNAH: Okay. I think we’re done here.

 

MR. RUBIN: Hey, men too! Remember, I’m pansexual!

 

(Cut to Hannah interviewing a Native American woman. Hannah is sitting across from her, just staring. The woman points to herself and opens her mouth slightly)

 

NATIVE AMERICAN WOMAN: …Should-should I?

 

HANNAH: Yeah, you go first.

 

NATIVE AMERICAN WOMAN: I helped develop 13 Reasons Why for Paramount Television.

 

HANNAH: Okay. Please go.

 

(Cut to Hannah interviewing Ru Paul Devilspawn- a transgender woman with heavy make-up, black clothing and a pentagram on her forehead)

 

RU PAUL DEVILSPAWN: You wanna know how I got my name?

 

HANNAH: Sure. Why not?

 

RU PAUL DEVILSPAWN: It was my screen name back in the day.

 

HANNAH: Oh, so you’re not a devil worshipper-?

 

RU PAUL DEVILSPAWN: Do you see the pentagram?

 

HANNAH: Yeah, but I’m sure we can work past it, most of us aren’t religious.

 

RU PAUL DEVILSPAWN: Well. I mean, I am. I need one goat to sacrifice per day. Who’s your grocery company?

 

(Hannah closes her binder)

 

HANNAH: Thanks for stopping by.

 

(Cut to Luther and Warner on Luther’s balcony that Sunday night. Warner is lighting a joint. He takes a toke and hands it to Luther, who takes a toke)

 

LUTHER: Where’d you get this?

 

WARNER: Some GIT down the street.

 

(Luther hands the joint back)

 

LUTHER: You could get this shit on the discount rack at a head shop, dude.

 

(Warner chuckles as he takes a hit)

 

WARNER: Not used to them, I guess.

 

LUTHER: You dating anyone right now?

 

WARNER: Nah. Not since Myra.

 

(Warner hands the joint back)

 

LUTHER: Would you ever consider dating a white girl?

 

WARNER: Nah, I’m not tryin’ to do all that. They got flat ass, flat tits, flat personality.

 

LUTHER: Not Evelyn.

 

WARNER: Nigga, she speaks in a monotone.

 

(Warner takes his hit)

 

LUTHER: You don’t know shit about her.

 

WARNER: I know she’s a realtor. Prolly zippin’ around red-lining the black people out of the neighborhood. You know. Except the jungle bunnies she gets dick from.

 

LUTHER: Fuck you, nigga.

 

(Luther grabs the joint, puts it out and throws it off the balcony)

 

WARNER: Come on, dude, I’m just givin’ you shit. Who you fuck is your own business.

 

LUTHER: Let’s keep it that way, then, understood?

 

(Warner puts his hands up)

 

WARNER: I got it, man, shit. Didn’t have to waste a joint over it. (Warner walks back into Luther’s apartment and finds Evelyn standing in the foyer) Evening, ma’am.

 

EVELYN: Hello.

 

(Luther walks in)

 

LUTHER: Hey, what’s up, Eve? (Luther goes over and kisses Evelyn. He turns to Warner) Night, man.

 

(Luther and Evelyn turn away as Warner sits on the couch)

 

WARNER: Hold up. (Luther and Evelyn turn around nervously) Can I tour your office tomorrow?

 

LUTHER: …Why?

 

WARNER: I want to see the belly of the beast.

 

(Cut to Luther and Warner walking into the office on Monday. Alec barely glances up)

 

ALEC: Morning.

 

LUTHER: Hey, Alec. This is my friend Warner, he’s visiting today.

 

WARNER: What’s up, bro, you an intern?

 

ALEC: Yeah.

 

WARNER: So I can order you around, right?

 

ALEC: No.

 

LUTHER: Yeah. He hardly follows what we tell him to do. Come on, this way.

 

WARNER: I’ll see ya later, playa.

 

(Warner follows Luther into the creative lounge where Hannah is poring over resumes)

 

LUTHER: Hannah, this is my friend Warner. Warner, this is Hannah.

 

WARNER: Yo.

 

HANNAH: Hi. Nice to meet you.

 

(Hannah extends her hand. Warner hesitates, but shakes it)

 

WARNER: Soft as a bourgeois throw pillow.

 

(Hannah unclasps her hand from his)

 

LUTHER: You two play nice, I’m gonna hit up Whitney real quick.

 

(Luther walks out of the office)

 

HANNAH: How do you know Luther?

 

WARNER: We’re homies from high school. I’m in town for a wedding.

 

HANNAH: Cool.

 

WARNER: Let me holler at ya for a minute.

 

HANNAH: Okay. We’re hollering.

 

WARNER: You’re white, I take it.

 

HANNAH: Last time I checked. (Surprised by herself) Sorry about that.

 

WARNER: Are there any other brothers in this outfit?

 

HANNAH: Not yet, but, maybe soon. (Hannah pats her stack of resumes) We’re looking for a new hire.

 

WARNER: So, it’s just white people and Luther here?

 

HANNAH: No! Well- yes, but, there’s many different types of diversity. I’m lesbian, my boss is lesbian, and, uh…McKenzie is bipolar-

 

WARNER: But you all white?

 

HANNAH: Right, except for Luther. Although, I think Miles is vaguely Serbian, or something. Plus, he’s gay.

 

WARNER: Where is he at?

 

HANNAH: …We fired him. Look! (Hannah holds up her resumes) I’ve interviewed black women, black men, lesbians, muslims, transgender people, Latinas, Native Americans, Jews and fucking Satanists! One of these applicants will be qualified, and I bet they’ll be a POC LGBT or, whatever the hell!

 

(Hannah slams down the resumes)

 

WARNER: You forget one category.

 

HANNAH: What’s that?

 

WARNER: Class.

 

HANNAH: Class?

 

WARNER: Who among those applicants isn’t pampered and privileged? Some Brett Kavanaugh-ass motherfucker with a turban?

 

HANNAH: Geez. Think about the FBI investigation that guy would get.

 

WARNER: Sometimes race ain’t as important as class.

 

HANNAH: …You’re right.

 

WARNER: Pull a homeless guy off the streets. They got some good ideas.

 

HANNAH: Warner. (Hannah stands up) You’ve really inspired me today.

 

(Hannah shakes her hand and runs out of the office)

 

WARNER: …No problem, you crazy white bitch.

 

(Cut to Miles mixing a drink in his kitchen, while a hopping dance party goes on in his living room. His club is new, improved and in full swing. He puts the drink to his lips and dances through the living room, eventually grinding on an older gentleman in a diaper. Rob enters Miles’ house with a cigarette in hand)

 

MILES: AY!

 

ROB: HEY, MAN!

 

(Miles steps forward)

 

MILES: NO! “HEY”! GET THE FUCK OUT!
 

ROB: MILES, RELAX!

 

(Two bouncers approach)

 

MILES: NO, YOU CHAIN-SMOKING TESTESTERONE DEMON! YOU’RE OUT OF HERE!
 

(The bouncers grab Rob’s arms)

 

ROB: MILES, I GOT FIRED!
 

(Miles pauses)

 

MILES: Hold on. Put him down. (The bouncers put him down) …Fired?

 

ROB: Well. I quit. They pushed me out.

 

MILES: Yeah. Well. Now you know how it feels.

 

ROB: Miles. Look at this. Look around you.

 

MILES: Are you talking about the sleeping junkie in the corner? Because I was about to go ask if he’s okay-

 

ROB: No. I mean. Look at the success you’ve had. We can make this our success.

 

(Miles squints)

 

MILES: What the fuck are you talking about?

 

ROB: Let’s start a production company. Out of spite. To rip Altmire-Stone a new asshole!

 

MILES: Are they gonna keep the “Altmire” part?

 

ROB: Damn, I haven’t even thought about that.

 

MILES: Look, I’m not interested in getting back in that business. THIS is working. (Suddenly, two clubgoers get in a physical altercation on the other side of the room) HEY!
 

CLUBGOER: DON’T YOU SAY THAT ABOUT AVIICCI, MOTHERFUCKER!
 

(Rob runs over and pulls the clubgoers apart)
 

ROB: HEY! COOL IT OR GET THE FUCK OUT!

 

CLUBGOER: HE SAID AVICII WAS JUST OKAY!

 

ROB: HE WAS! OKAY? HIM DYING DOESN’T CHANGE THAT! TAKE A WALK!

 

(Clubgoer shakes his head)

 

CLUBGOER: All those drops he made for you and you’re ungrateful.

 

(The clubgoer walks away)

 

ROB: Hey. (The other clubgoer looks up at Rob) Remember to stay hydrated, get a G&T or something.

 

(Rob walks back to Miles)

 

MILES: Rob, were you ever a bouncer?

 

ROB: Yeah, for years. Boston-area clubs and occasionally I did freelance Sox Fan-wrangling.

 

MILES: Would you do me a favor and keep the peace here tonight? There’s been a lot of fights breaking out, and I don’t mean sexy mud-wrestling.

 

ROB: Yeah, that’d be hard to have happen naturally.

 

MILES: I think there might be rival gangs and stuff here.

 

ROB: Listen, I’ll be a bouncer for the night on one condition.

 

MILES: Rob, I’m not gonna-

 

ROB: Take the day to think about it. That’s all I ask.

 

(Rob finishes his cigarette and puts it out under his foot)

 

MILES: …Fine. Whatever. Just grab a t-shirt and get bouncing.

 

(Rob nods and walks off screen. Cut to Rob wearing a black shirt that reads “Shortsight- est. 2018” and standing outside the club, as a line has formed outside. Some seventeen-year-old kid in an obnoxiously large jacket and sideways cap is at the front)

 

ROB: Show me your fake ID or get the fuck out of here.

 

SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD KID: A’ight.

 

(The kid flashes his fake. Rob eyes it)

 

ROB: Convincing. (Rob opens the door) Stay safe, kid.

(The kid walks in)

 

KID: Whatever, man.

 

(A group of gussied-up girls steps up)

 

ROB: Hey girls, I don’t know if you heard, but this is a gay club.

 

GIRL 1: We are gay.

 

GIRL 2: Also, you couldn’t deny us entry even if we were straight. I learned that in civil rights class.

 

ROB: Alright! Alright, fine, ACLU, don’t sue me. (Rob opens the door for them. Cut to Rob and Miles sitting at the make shift bar in Miles’ kitchen. A tattooed bartender with bleached hair and a vest mixes drinks in front of them) I’d forgotten how good it feels to be a bouncer. (To people offscreen) HEY! TAKE IT OUTSIDE! (Back to Miles) So much power.

 

MILES: Those two were whipping each other, you don’t need to worry about that, hon. (To people offscreen) GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS!

 

ROB: Still. I kicked out two gay bros for having a karate fight, and it just gave me a tingle in my dingle. You know what I’m saying?

 

(Rob takes a sip of his drink)

 

MILES: You’re kind of saying you’re gay.

 

ROB: No sir. But I’m gay for power. (Rob gets a phone call) Hold on, I gotta take this. (Rob walks outside. Cut to him outside on the phone) Uh-huh. Yes, this is Mr. Altmire. (Beat) Oh, you did? There’s a night club closing in Westwood? You think we could use that office space? Hm. (Beat) For a club? No, I don’t want to hold some UCLA chick’s hair back while she vomits on her friend’s shoes. It’s a production company. (Beat) Unless…

 

(Cut to Rob and Miles walking into an empty, abandoned night club)

 

MILES: …I should’ve known you took me to Westwood to murder me and stash my body here.

 

ROB: No, sir. (Rob turns to Miles) Though I can’t guarantee no one will try to do that here.

 

MILES: What are you saying?

 

ROB: This can be the new home of Shortsight. And in the back- (Rob jumps over the bar, lands on his ass, stands up like nothing happened, and opens the back door to a small office with two desks) is the new offices of Altmire-Grothman.

 

(Miles steps forward and sits on the bar stool)

 

MILES: So, Robert. Are you saying we’re a full-fledge Entertainment Company?

 

(Rob smiles)

 

ROB: I believe I am.

 

(Miles reaches into the wall and pulls out a bottle of whiskey, pops off the cap and takes a swig)

 

MILES: Then we need three platforms in here for interracial strippers. Maybe some stripper cages full of zoo animals.

 

(Miles smiles)

 

ROB: I can arrange that. (Beat) What would we do about animal droppings?
 

MILES: We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

 

(Rob and Miles shake hands. Cut to Luther and McKenzie sitting in front of Whitney’s desk)

 

LUTHER: So, CBS wants us to pitch “Really Old Sheldon” to them.

 

WHITNEY: Why?

 

LUTHER: They’re too embarrassed to admit it was their idea.

 

WHITNEY: What is it?

 

LUTHER: It’s Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory in hospice, from what they told me.

 

(Whitney sighs)

 

WHITNEY: Jesus. (To McKenzie) Kenz, what are you doing here?
 

MCKENZIE: Oh, not too much, quick question, do I still have a job?

 

(Warner walks in)

 

WARNER: Hey, there, partna. (Warner walks over to Whitney’s bar) Look at this shit, there ain’t no sign of gin and juice from what I can tell, my nigga.

 

(Luther turns around)

 

LUTHER: Warner, we’re in the middle of something.

 

WHITNEY: Who the hell is this guy?

 

(Warner pours rum into a glass)

 

WARNER: Just a good friend of your token negro. (Warner walks closer to Whitney’s desk) Just call me the Colin Kaepernick to Luther’s Paris Dennard. Or, considering who he’s dating, he’s more like the black James Carville.

 

WHITNEY: Is this the new guy Hannah hired?
 

LUTHER: NO!

 

MCKENZIE: I’ll be his assistant! I swear I can do it!
 

(Luther stands up)

 

LUTHER: Warner, get the hell out of here.

 

WARNER: Fine, fine, I’ll leave ya to your important white people meeting. Gotta decide whether to cast that mugger as black of half Puerto-Rican and half-black.  I get it.

 

LUTHER: GET OUT!
 

(Warner smiles)

 

WARNER: Wise choice of words. See you at the wedding, nigga.

 

(Warner pats Luther on the shoulder and leaves. Luther sits down)

 

LUTHER: I’m so sorry.

 

WHITNEY: It’s alright. I just hope Hannah hires a black guy, so I don’t have a liberal guilt hangover tomorrow.

 

(Cut to Luther on his computer in his office, on the Facebook page for “Maria and John Deckland’s BIG LA WEDDING feat. Tiesto)

 

LUTHER: Do I really have to go to this thing…  (Luther notices the description reads “My LA BONITA fiancé is going to do the CUCARACHA all the way down the aisle and marry my black BANO”) Black bano? Like, black bathroom? Wait, does he mean “black ass”? (Luther stands up) WAIT, IS HIS FIANCE LATINA?!?

 

(Cut to a homeless white man in a musty jean jacket, dusty face and long, scraggly hair, sleeping on the street, covering himself up with a newspaper that reads “White House Limits Scope of Kavanaugh Investigation, Vote Scheduled for Later This Week”. Hannah walks up to him. He looks up at her)

 

HOMELESS MAN: Ma’am, would you mind giving me a dollar-

 

HANNAH: How about a job?

 

HOMELESS MAN: If you just came here to MOCK me, you can move on-

 

HANNAH: No. I mean. Really. (The man looks confused. Cut to the man sitting across from Hannah in the conference room) So. That’s your idea for the next season of Game of Thrones?

 

HOMELESS MAN: Yes ma’am.

 

HANNAH: That’s…breathtakingly good, Robin.

 

ROBIN: Well. Most people I talk to think I’m just babbling when I tell them. But I’m really trying to pitch it.

 

HANNAH: You should be working here.

 

ROBIN: …Really?

 

HANNAH: Yes.

 

(Robin shrugs and puts his feet on the table)

 

ROBIN: Well, who the hell I gotta talk ta’ to make that happen?

 

(Cut to Hannah and Robin sitting before Whitney’s desk. Whitney looks skeptical)

 

WHITNEY: … (To Hannah) You sure you don’t want to go with the rude black guy?

 

HANNAH: What?

 

WHITNEY: I mean, never mind. What’s your name again?

 

ROBIN: Robin. It’d be mighty fine to work here. I think I have the raw talent for the job.

 

HANNAH: Some rude black guy told me to think about giving a member of a different class a chance. And this guy’s the real deal.

 

WHITNEY: …But you don’t have any experience?

 

HANNAH: He has natural talent-

 

ROBIN: Hold on now, Hannah, let me speak for myself. (Hannah nods) Ma’am, I done grew up in the deep south, outskirts of New Orleans. We was a devout family. I always keep a copy of the good book in my jacket pocket. (Robin points to his jacket pocket and it thumps) But our luck ran out one summer when our chicken business went under. We was no longer sellin’ chickens in the numbers we was used to sellin’, no sir-ee. After I graduated, I done realized there was nothin’ for me in Louisiana. So I packed up and went west, only to find that there was even less for me here. I walk around with all these ideas floatin’ around my head, and not one damn outlet for ‘em. I been lovin’ TV since I was a kid watchin’ re-runs of The Andy Griffith Show and Mary Tyler Moore Show, and also Skinemax. I’ve even written stories on loose paper I find in the streets. But it all goes to waste. Until now, if you’ll have me.

 

(Whitney smiles)

 

WHITNEY: …My family’s business went under too, actually. I know how you feel. I’m from West Virginia.

 

ROBIN: I could tell.

 

WHITNEY: How?
 

ROBIN: Only so much hidin’ you can do, Ms. Stone.

 

(Robin smiles. Whitney nods)

 

WHITNEY: My only remaining concern is this. Are we really going to hire a white, straight Christian man in a time that demands diversity?

 

HANNAH: Well, I think-

 

ROBIN: Oh, Ms. Stone, you’re sorely mistaken. I am not straight nor Christian.

 

WHITNEY: Oh. But the good book?

 

(Robin pulls out the Satanic Bible from his jacket. There is a rainbow pentagram on the front, above the words “The Satanic Bible- Anton Szandor LaVey”)

 

ROBIN: I am actually a bisexual Satanist.

 

WHITNEY: Oh. Well. That checks some boxes. You’re hired!
 

(Robin smiles and shakes Whitney’s hand. Hannah squeals with excitement. Cut to Warner, Luther and Evelyn walking into a Church wearing wedding attire- two suits and a dress)

 

WARNER: Hey, man, I’m sorry about the other day, I shouldn’t have scored on you like that in front of your cracker-ass co-workers.

 

LUTHER: It’s a’ight, man, I’ll have the last laugh anyway.

 

WARNER: What?

 

(Luther and Warner walk into the main chapel. One side of the pews are filled with Hispanic folks, the other side filled with African-American folks. The priest on stage is a Latino man. Warner is caught off guard)

 

EVELYN: Wow. There’s an abundance of race traitors here, wouldn’t you say?

 

WARNER: Uh. Could just- could just be a whole family of, of, light-skinned black people.

 

LUTHER: Yeah, those odds seem pretty good.

 

EVELYN: Let’s sit down, my legs ache greatly.

 

(Luther and Evelyn walk past Warner and take their seats. Warner shakes his head)

 

WARNER: Motherfucking Uncle Tom.

 

(A middle-aged Latino man in a suit walks over)

 

UNCLE TOM: You rang? (Uncle Tom laughs) You must be the groom.

 

WARNER: What?
 

UNCLE TOM: I like how you’re already calling me Uncle, but you know what, you can just call me “Tom”.

 

(Uncle Tom smiles. “Doing Things That Artists Do” by The I.L.Y’s comes on, as we cut to Miles directing a pair of movers as they carry cages into the club. Rob unpacks boxes behind the bar of their new club. Cut to Hannah walking into the break room and finding Robin digging through the trash. She’s disgusted at first, but then Robin comes up holding a Diet Coke can which he then throws in the recycling can. Hannah pats him on the back. Then he traces a pentagram on the wall and Hannah shakes her head “no”. Cut to Luther and Evelyn applauding John Deckland and his new wife as they kiss as husband & wife for the first time. Cut to Warner standing in the back listlessly but respectfully applauding. Cut to Whitney pulling into her driveway with Hannah in the front seat. They both get out of the car, clearly exhausted and distant, and walk into the house. Cut to Rob sitting on the bar while smoking a cigarette. Miles is sitting right next to him. The club is full of boxes, but they look hopeful and ready to get to work. Miles jumps off the bar, takes a “NO SMOKING” sign out of a box and puts it on the wall. Rob rolls his eyes and stubs out the cigarette on his arm. A shot of the ash falling to the bar as we fade to black)

 

THE END


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