The Valley of the Tools Episode 32

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Rob struggles to avoid relapsing on alcohol when Imogen starts drinking around him regularly. Luther tells Imogen he's sick of their emotionless sex life and relationship. Hannah is visited by her parents after agreeing to outpatient rehab in exchange for no prison time for her cocaine possession offense.







“I'll medicate myself. Suspect that idols lie to me. I'll medicate myself so that the world can lie to me. Words made out of dirt…you're dirt beneath my feet”

  • Marissa Paternoster


(We open on a bailiff coming into the shot and clearing his throat)


BAILIFF: All rise for the honorable Judge Juarez.


(Punch out to see a courtroom. John Whitney is in a suit, clean shaven, wearing glasses and flanked by lawyers. Judge Juarez walks in and takes his seat. He slams his gavel and people sit down)


JUDGE JUAREZ: Good morning. This is Los Angeles County File number 02CF039. The People of State of California VS. Jonathan Clement Whitney. Matter scheduled today is arraignment. The People of the State of California is represented by Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. The defendant is present with his attorney, Hunter Cannes. Mr. Whitney, you are formally being charged with one count of attempted rape. Mr. Whitney, how do you plead?


(John stands up)


RYAN: Your Honor, I plead Not Guilty.


(Cut to Whitney sitting at her desk at the end of a long workday, nursing a glass of whiskey on the rocks, staring blankly forward. Rob comes in)


ROB: Hey.


(Whitney hides her drink and sits up)


WHITNEY: What’s up.


ROB: I, uh… (Rob walks over and sits down across from her) you were really brave, in coming forward.


(Whitney shrugs)


WHITNEY: …Bastards like him get away too often…


(Rob nods)


ROB: …You’ve been noticeably distant all day, I’m not saying I blame you, but…do you think maybe you came back to work too early?


WHITNEY: …No, I came back too late. I’d just drive myself crazy at home. That week was enough. Look at how behind we are- (Rob nods) I mean, look at what became of this place while I was gone, the trash was piled eight feet high, the fridge is full of old cheese, I mean, Jesus, why do we even have interns? (Rob smirks and looks down. Whitney stands up) Debate’s about to come on, you wanna watch it?


(Rob stands up)


ROB: No, I’m gonna watch it with Imogen. Don’t work too late, okay?


(Whitney nods. Rob walks over and strokes Whitney’s cheek with his thumb. He then hugs her. Whitney awkwardly pats him on the back. He suddenly breaks away and leaves. Whitney begins to well up. Cut to Rob walking into his living room. He sees Imogen on the couch, watching the debate while drinking a beer)


IMOGEN: Hey, babe, how was work?


(Rob shrugs and sits down)


ROB: Where’d you get that?


IMOGEN: Oh, sorry, I brought a case. I’ll probably just have two. I won’t let you have shit, trust me.


(Rob chuckles and looks at the TV, where Vice President Biden is speaking)


VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: My son made a judgment. I’m proud of the judgment he made. I’m proud of what he had to say.


IMOGEN: So, not only is he saying that his son’s actions weren’t illegal, he’s proud of them!?


ROB: What’s wrong with Hunter having a job?


IMOGEN: At a Ukrainian oil company while his father’s the point man on Ukraine?


ROB: Look, it may not be GREAT, but he’s a Democrat, soooo, why are we talking about it?!


IMOGEN: I don’t know if you remember, but last time we had a candidate with a cloud of scandal, and it didn’t work out great.


ROB: I have forgotten everything pre-2017. So don’t ask me.


(Cut to Evelyn and Luther watching the debate in their home. Tom Steyer is on TV)


TOM STEYER: Well, Anderson, this is my first time on this stage, so I just want to start by reminding everybody that every candidate here is more decent, more coherent and more patriotic than the criminal in the White House.


(Awkward pause before tepid applause)


LUTHER: Goddamn, that “wait for applause” was painful- who is this motherfucker?


EVELYN: He’s a billionaire who bought his way on stage. Honestly, I applaud his craftiness.


(Cut to Hannah and Xandra watching the debate in their trashed living room. Senator Klobuchar is in a split-screen with Senator Warren)


SENATOR KLOBUCHAR: And I’m tired of hearing whenever I say these things, “oh, it’s Republican talking points”- YOU are making Republican talking points RIGHT now in this room, by coming out for a plan that’s gonna do that.


XANDRA: Why is this bitch’s voice quivering?


HANNAH: She just gets choked up with pain at the thought of people having healthcare. THOSE POOR INSURANCE INDUSTRY PROFITS!


(Cut to Rob and Imogen watching the debate- Joe Biden is speaking)


VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: The fact of the matter is you have Russia, influencing and trying to break up NATO, and what does the President do? He says- (Biden points to Bernie) “I believe Vladimir Putin!” I believe Vladimir Putin, I don’t believe our intelligence-


SENATOR SANDERS: Are you suggesting I’m Vladimir Putin here?




(Biden embraces Sanders as the two smile and laugh)


IMOGEN: You know somewhere deep down he was.


ROB: Nah, he would’ve pointed at Tulsi if that had been the case.


(Cut to Hannah and Xandra watching the debate. Xandra is has a bump of cocaine and her nail and snorts it while they watch Sanders and Biden go at it)


SENATOR SANDERS: Joe, you talked about working with Republicans and getting things done. But you know what you also got done- and I say this as a good friend! You got the disastrous war in Iraq DONE! You got a bankruptcy bill which is hurting middle class families all over this country- you got trade agreements, like NAFTA and PNTR with China done, which has cost us four million jobs-




(Xandra stands up)




(Cut back to Luther and Evelyn watching the debate. Senator Klobuchar is speaking)


SENATOR KLOBUCHAR: This wasn’t meddling. Meddling is what I do when I call my daughter on Saturday night and ask what she’s doing! (Dead silence, Klobuchar waves to her daughter) Sorry, honey!


(Evelyn gives off a hearty laugh)


LUTHER: You serious? That wasn’t good.


EVELYN: I’m surprised you don’t see the humor in it!


(Cut to Rob and Imogen watching the debate. Imogen is on her second beer. Harris and Warren are going at it)


SENATOR HARRIS: Senator Warren, I just want to say that I was surprised to hear that you did not agree with me, that on this subject of what should be the rules around corporate responsibility for these big tech companies, when I called on Twitter to suspend Donald Trump’s, uh-uh-uh, account, that you, did not agree, and I would urge you to join me-


ROB: FINALLY! Someone’s talking about the REAL issues! KAMALA’S COMING BACK!


IMOGEN: Yep, people living paycheck-to-paycheck toss and turn at night worrying about Trump’s goddamn tweets.


ROB: I know I DO!


IMOGEN: You’re not living paycheck-to-paycheck.


ROB: But I, you know, I get a paycheck and then I got another paycheck, so, technically, I’m living paycheck-to-paycheck.


IMOGEN: Uh-huh.


(Cut to Xandra and Hannah watching the debate in their living room. Erin Burnett is asking a question to Senator Sanders)


ERIN BURNETT: Now to the issue of candidates and their health, Senator Sanders, I want to start with you-




ERIN: We’re moving on, Senator, I’m sorry-


SENATOR SANDERS: I’m healthy, I’m feeling great, but I would like to respond to that question-


(Laughter and applause)


ERIN: I wanna-I wanna start by saying…


SENATOR BOOKER: And, uh, Senator Sanders is in favor of medical marijuana, I wanna make sure that’s clear as well.


ERIN: Senator Sanders, this debate marks-


SENATOR SANDERS: I’m not on it tonight!


(Laughter. Hannah and Xandra also laugh)


XANDRA: Dude, I’d love to see Bernie coked up.


HANNAH: Why not just high?


XANDRA: Because people are boring when they’re high.


(Cut to the next day in Chelsea, Julia and Evelyn’s shared office. Chelsea is stirring tea on her desk while Julia is reading a Motorsport magazine at her desk. Evelyn walks in with a stack of papers and plops them on her desk. She sits behind it and sniffs the air)


EVELYN: What’s the foul aroma?


CHELSEA: Might be my tea. I’m doing a smelly tea thing, for health.


EVELYN: What in God’s name is a “smelly tea thing”?


CHELSEA: It’s like, unpleasant to taste and smell, and so I was told it was good for me.


EVELYN: Who told you such things?


CHELSEA: Some man outside a Trader Joe’s.


EVELYN: Hmm. Obtain his number for me, I’d like to be cut in.


CHELSEA: I’ll try.


(Evelyn sits down and covers her nose. Cut to Luther searching through the storeroom. Evelyn walks in)


EVELYN: Hello.




EVELYN: What are you trying to locate?


LUTHER: Those chocolates at reception? They’re gone.


(Evelyn closes the door)


EVELYN: You’re the only chocolate I desire.


(Luther looks at Evelyn)


LUTHER: Are you serious?


EVELYN: What? You told me to use more metaphors.


LUTHER: I told you to try to understand metaphors better, you clearly can’t use them for shit.


(Evelyn comes close)


EVELYN: Door’s locked. Let’s have sex.


LUTHER: Evelyn, we’re at work.


EVELYN: Come on, I share an office with a British immigrant and a Devil-may-care millennial. Let’s take advantage of this moment.


(Luther nervously laughs)


LUTHER: We really shouldn’t.


EVELYN: I suspect, deep down, you’d like to.


(Luther smiles and him and Evelyn begin making out and undressing each other. Luther lowers his pants and hoists Evelyn onto a table. Evelyn lowers her jeans and pants and Luther thrusts his penis into her vagina and they start having sex as quietly as they can. Cut to Evelyn and Luther walking out of the storage room. Luther wipes sweat off his brow as Evelyn puts her hair back into a bun. Julia and Chelsea stare at them)


LUTHER: See ya later, babe.


EVELYN: Farewell. (Evelyn sits down behind her desk) Hm.


(Evelyn opens her laptop and looks up “available offices spaces los angeles” on Google)


JULIA: Did you find that scrap paper I asked for?


EVELYN: No, I forgot your request, go find it yourself.




(Julia stands up)


CHELSEA: Hold on, Julia.


JULIA: What?


CHELSEA: Just warning you, the smell in that room may be worse than the smell in here.


(Evelyn glares at Chelsea. Chelsea just smiles and sips her tea. Cut to the pipeline meeting in the conference room, attended by everyone except Michael and Julia)


ROB: So that’s the story of the time James Franco and I arm-wrestled on a yacht.


WHITNEY: Great, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, can we move on to relevant topics?


MCKENZIE: First of all, welcome back, Whitney.


(McKenzie starts applauding, causing others to start applauding, but Whitney shakes her head and cuts the air with her hand)


WHITNEY: Nope, stop. STOP.


(They stop applauding)


MCKENZIE: …Anyway, we’re glad to have you back. I’m having trouble with the massive influx of applications for Bonnie’s position. They’re mostly- (McKenzie brings up a huge stack of papers) recent film school graduates and uh, fans of Rob.


ROB: Oh my God, hire all of them.


MCKENZIE: Did I say “fans”? I meant “people who want to punch you”.


ROB: Ah.


MCKENZIE: I need help sifting through all this crap.


NOEL: Did you print the applications out?




NOEL: Why?


MCKENZIE: To give a visual of how many there are!


NOEL: That’s wasteful.


LUTHER: Yeah, Kenz, the Amazon is dying, shit…


MCKENZIE: Okay! I’m sorry! Jesus, just someone help me, please!


WHITNEY: Rob, you can handle that, right?


ROB: Uh, sure.


MCKENZIE: Oh. No offense, Rob, but I trust Whitney much more with this…


ROB: Offense absolutely taken!


WHITNEY: I find it’s better to delegate more these days. I’ve been stressing myself out too much. Deal with Rob, we all have to.


ROB: What the hell!?


WHITNEY: Anything else?


EVELYN: Yes, if I could broach the subject of space.


NOEL: Oh my God, I’d love to talk about space- what are our thoughts on the endlessly expanding universe theory?!


EVELYN: No, Noel, you rube, I’m referring to the cramped space that we now occupy. I can’t even have se-


LUTHER: SALES CALLS! She can’t have sales calls, right, babe?


WHITNEY: She’s our Finance Chief, she doesn’t do sales calls.


EVELYN: The point is, we need a larger office space. We now have seven full-time employees and two interns. We need a larger space and I’ve found one.


(Evelyn takes out a printed out copy of a webpage of an office park in Van Nuys called “O’Toole Office Park”)


MCKENZIE: Wow! No once calls her out for printing stuff out!


ROB: I think it’s a good idea. It would stop everyone from bitching about the mixture of Axe and cigarette smoke my body naturally emits, if we had more space from each other.


ALEC: Yes, please, let’s do this.


WHITNEY: Fair enough. Rob, go tour it with Evelyn.


ROB: Oh, sure, you need anything else? Want me to tidy up your office?


WHITNEY: If you have time. (Whitney stands up) I’m gonna take a schvitz.


(Whitney walks out of the conference room. Cut to Rob and Evelyn walking on the campus of an outdoor office park with a very modern, wooden design style. They’re being led by a black-haired woman with sunglasses in her mid-40s)


IONA: I think you’re gonna love this one, it has a lot of character. (Iona walks up to the glass front door of an open-concept office, punches in a code and lets Rob and Evelyn walk in. They find a long table, a kitchenette, a hallway down to a reception area and several offices. Iona closes the door and walks over to them) What’s that smell?


(Rob sniffs)


ROB: Beer?


IONA: No, that’s because there’s a brewery located next door, but that’s not what I’m referring to.


ROB: Jesus.


(Rob rubs his temples)


IONA: I’m talking about the smell of the cream in your jeans when you see this place.


EVELYN: I’m a tad wet, but I have not cum as of yet.


ROB: Jesus Christ, stop.


(Iona leads them down the hall to the reception area, which wraps around, allowing for multiple people to work therein)


IONA: Check this out.


(Iona walks over to a wall and pulls out a mini-bar, complete with full bottles of liquor, ice, garnishes and glasses)


ROB: Oh my God.


IONA: Mini-bar installed RIGHT in the wall.


ROB: Why?!


IONA: It was designed in the sixties. Used to be an ad agency.


(Iona puts the mini-bar back in the wall)


EVELYN: It would be a proficient stress-reliever.


ROB: It’s causing ME stress.


EVELYN: Question, are there any clandestine areas where sound does not easily travel?


IONA: What kind of sounds?


EVELYN: Moans, thrusting and the like?


IONA: Of course! (Cut to Iona opening the door into the storage room, which is chock full of liquor. Rob is horrified, but Evelyn is deeply impressed) Used to be a fall-out shelter.


ROB: It’s at ground level!


IONA: Well, they weren’t very smart.


EVELYN: This is perfect.


ROB: This is horrible!


IONA: Wait until you see the FULL bar that’s on the other side of the office-


(Rob groans and sits down on a nearby stool)


EVELYN: Robert, what’s the problem?


IONA: Do you need a drink, honey?


ROB: YES! That’s exactly the problem!


IONA: If you’re worried about overdoing it, don’t worry- (Iona walks into the adjoining hallway and taps on a wall, causing a chute to reveal itself) a puking station was installed in 1964.


(Rob shakes his head and stands up)


ROB: It’s, let me just say this, it’s against company policy to drink in our office! So.


EVELYN: No, it’s not-


ROB: SHUT UP. It is now.


IONA: No problem, this office park is in walking distance of several bars and liquor stores, not to mention the food truck that sells alcohol and rum cake.


(Rob grits his teeth and digs his nails into his cheek)



(Rob walks away and Evelyn goes after him)


EVELYN: Robert, what seems to be the problem!?


(Iona sighs, takes one of the stored bottles and drinks straight from it. Cut to Xandra Dyson standing in a courtroom, flanked by her attorney Ross Desmond. A female Judge named Courtney Stiverson stares at her)


JUDGE STIVERSON: Ms. Dyson, you’ve been charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance. How do you plead?


XANDRA: I plead guilty or whatever.




XANDRA: Guilty! Jesus, can we get this over with?!


ROSS: Xandra, please, just plead guilty.


(Xandra sighs)


XANDRA: I plead guilty, your honoress.


JUDGE STIVERSON: I hereby sentence you to a year of mandatory outpatient rehabilitation. Case dismissed.


(Stiverson slams her gavel. Cut to Hannah Delaney in another courtroom, flanked by Ross Desmond, facing down an elderly white Judge named Ivan Posner)


JUDGE POSNER: Ms. Delaney, you’re being charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance. How do you plead?


(Hannah wipes tears from her eyes as they quickly streak down her translucent cheeks)


HANNAH: Guilty, your honor.


JUDGE POSNER: I hereby sentence you to a year of mandatory, outpatient drug rehabilitation. Case dismissed.


(Judge Posner slams the gavel. Ross rubs Hannah’s shoulder as she cries)


ROSS: It’s gonna be alright. (Ross hugs Hannah and leans forward to whisper in her ear) When can I expect my check for services rendered?


HANNAH: Bill it to Xandra, Jesus!


(Hannah breaks away from Ross and marches toward the courtroom exit. Cut to Hannah and Xandra sitting in their complete wreck of an apartment- scarred by countless parties and hang-overs too severe to motivate them to clean things up. They sit across from each other in silence)


XANDRA: …If you think about it, the timing isn’t that bad. We’ve wrapped on AstroManda for the season.


HANNAH: …Yeah, but then we’ll have to work around our rehab schedule to shoot season two in four or five months.


XANDRA: That’s assuming we get a second season, though!


HANNAH: Don’t you want one?


XANDRA: Fuck yeah I do! UGH! (Xandra sinks into her chair) Fuck the law. They hate fun. We’ve been trying to live our best lives and they just swoop in and fuck us over.


HANNAH: Is THIS our best life, Xandy? Look at this place! Cocaine hidden everywhere, plants dying, goldfish dead from overdoses because you accidentally fed them cocaine! (Xandra takes a big gulp) Deep down, you knew that when we started screwing around with coke, this was gonna happen. You know we need this. (Xandra solemnly nods. Suddenly, there’s a rapping at the door) Christ, you didn’t throw a “plea deal party”, did you?


XANDRA: Nah, I swear.


(Hannah gets up, walks over to the door and opens it to see a middle-aged couple. The woman, a strawberry blonde with a pixie cut and the other a curly redhead with muscles and freckles)




CARTER: You need some.


RACHEL: Honey, can we come in?


XANDRA: Who is it?!


(Carter and Rachel walk in)


HANNAH: Mom, dad, please-


CARTER: Who is this?! Is this your druggie lesbo accomplice?!


(Rachel whacks Carter on the shoulder)



XANDRA: These are your parents?!


(Xandra stands up)


RACHEL: Honey, this place is a wreck!


CARTER: We read about your verdict in the trades! Why wouldn’t you tell us anything!?


HANNAH: Mommy, calm down, let’s go discuss this over dinner, okay!?


XANDRA: I’m Xandra, by the way-


HANNAH: Xandra, please. Not yet. (Hannah looks at her parents) I’ll take you to the best restaurant in West Hollywood.


CARTER: I wanna go to Olive Garden!


(Hannah shrugs)


HANNAH: Or there! Sure! (Cut to an Olive Garden. Hannah is sitting across from Rachel and Carter. They’re staring at her) …They have good wine specials, I think-


RACHEL: What happened to you? The little girl I raised would never do this.


HANNAH: It- (Sigh) it started off as something I would do to impress this girl I liked-


CARTER: That Sandra woman!?


HANNAH: Xandra!


CARTER: What am I saying?


RACHEL: I think it’s Xandra, with an X.


CARTER: Still! You did it because of peer pressure!? You never gave in to peer pressure in high school, why would you start now?!


RACHEL: You used to refuse to have lunch off-campus because it was against the rules!


HANNAH: I KNOW! But, she showed me how to let loose, but yeah, it went too far! Okay?!


CARTER: This is the problem with these lesbian relationships, ANYTHING GOES!


RACHEL: Oh, Carter, shut up!


CARTER: NO! Hear me out! (To Rachel) As soon as you got involved with YOUR girlfriend, suddenly you were partying every weekend!


RACHEL: We would go to bars and have cocktails, we wouldn’t do fucking cocaine!


CARTER: Cocktails of DRUGS maybe!


HANNAH: Can you please stop? This is ridiculous, it’s 2019 and you’re acting like lesbianism is some sort of witchcraft!


CARTER: THANK YOU! That’s exactly what it is.


HANNAH: Sorry you lost your wife and your daughter to lesbianism, but don’t take it out on Xandra! My problems are MINE.


RACHEL: Your father’s right about one thing though, Xandra is a bad influence on you.


HANNAH: Jesus, I AM TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OLD! I make my OWN decisions!


(The waiter comes over)


WAITER: Hey, I heard you guys yelling, so I figured you might want an awkward respite, anyone want wine or breadsticks to get started? (They stare at him)m Alright, I’ll return at another inopportune time, then.


(The waiter winks and walks away. Hannah stands up)


HANNAH: Enjoy your endless bread sticks. STAY OUT OF MY LIFE! IT’S MY LIFE, I CAN LIVE IT THE WAY I WANT!


(Hannah marches away, leaving her parents dumbstruck)


RACHEL: …She’s never talked to us that way before…


(Carter shakes her head and moves to the other side of the booth)


CARTER: Do you want to split a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon?


RACHEL: What? Are we that divorced couple who are still friends now?


(Carter shrugs. Cut to Rob in Alcoholics Anonymous group therapy. Jay is speaking)


JAY: It took every cell in my body to resist taking that shot. I couldn’t abandon my friend on his birthday, but goddamnit, I just-


GERALD: Shhhh!


JAY: What?


GERALD: Shhhhh. (Gerald turns to Rob) Robert?


JAY: I wasn’t done-


ROB: I think it’s just-




ROB: I think what’s most frustrating is how ubiquitous alcohol is in American life, you know? Especially in California, it’s in grocery stores, convenience stores, I was looking at this office park for a potential new office space for my company and the whole place revolves around wine, beer and liquor. Had to reject it for that reason alone, otherwise it was a great space. (Beat) In Vermont, where I loved for about two years, the state basically owns all the liquor stores. Here, you can get a shot at a daycare if you wanted. I should know, I go to daycares often. (They all glare at him) Relax, we’re scouting a location for this movie we’re doing. Anyway. I can’t even go out with my work friends these days, for fear that I’m gonna break and start drinking. (Sigh) It’s exhausting.


GERALD: What about that woman you were talking about? About a month ago? The Australian woman?


ROB: Australian woman? (Rob rubs his chin theatrically) Do I know an Australian woman?


GERALD: Yeah, you were talking about-


ROB: OH! You must be referring to my good friend Margot Robbie, yeah, we get mimosas all the time-


GERALD: I don’t think it was her-


ROB: It was her, yeah, we gab it up ALL the time. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t- (Bad Australian accent) “thrown my shrimp on her barbie” (American accent) or anything- not, not that I have a shrimp dick, that’s not what I mean-


GERALD: We should move on. Just remember. Getting in a romantic relationship is not good for sobriety. Be careful about that.


(Rob nods solemnly)


JAY: So, like I was saying-


GERALD: Alright, good meeting everyone!



(Cut to Rob pulling up to Imogen’s house, which is decorated with cobwebs and paper skeletons. Rob emerges from his car wearing a tracksuit and slicked-back black wig with gray streaks, and a prosthetic bug nose. He has a gun tucked in his waistband. He walks into the house and hears Courtney Barnett music playing upstairs. He walks up the spiral stairs and into the living room, where he sees Imogen hanging out with her Australian roommates and drinking beers. Imogen is dressed up as Mrs. Maisel and her friends are dressed as Nick Cave, Steve Irwin and Black Panther respectively)


IMOGEN: Robert!


(They all raise their beers as Imogen comes over and hugs Rob)


ROB: Thanks for having me.


IMOGEN: Of course!


(Imogen kisses Rob and invites him to sit down beside her. They sit down beside each other)


ROB: So, you’re like, Betty Draper?


IMOGEN: No, silly, I’m Mrs. Maisel.


ROB: I still gotta watch that show…


STEVE IRWIN: Did you dress up or are you just going gray, mate?


ROB: Nah, I’m Paulie from The Sopranos!


STEVE IRWIN: Oh! I love that show, don’t you just hate the ending, though-


ROB: Chill! I’m only on the third season.


BLACK PANTHER: You haven’t even finished it and you’re dressed up as one of the characters for Halloween?


IMOGEN: And why didn’t you go with Tony Soprano?


ROB: It just wouldn’t have gone with my svelte figure and full head of hair to be a fat, bald bastard likes James Gandolfini is.




ROB: Hmm?


NICK CAVE: He’s dead, mate.




IMOGEN: No, honey, the actor is dead.


ROB: Jesus, since when?


NICK CAVE: He’s been dead for like six years, you LIVE and work in the industry, how’d you not know this?


(Black Panther leans forward and grabs a beer)


BLACK PANTHER: You want a beer?


IMOGEN: Oh, no, guys, Rob doesn’t drink.


BLACK PANTHER: That’s not what I’ve read.


ROB: Forget what ya read, because your boy Rob is clean and sober- goddamn, it’s so hard to make this sound cool.


IMOGEN: Don’t worry, you don’t need to, babe.


NICK CAVE: Georgie- (to Steve Irwin) remember that one time I got so fucked up that I cannon-balled into the pool and threw up ON THE WAY in?


(They all laugh)


GEORGIE: That shit got everywhere, mate, it was nuts! Not to mention, Imogen, that time you got so sloshed that you proposed to like, seven people at a party.


(Imogen shakes her head)


IMOGEN: People knew I was joking!


GEORGIE: No, you broke a few hearts that night, I’m sorry to say, love.


(Imogen’s face goes red and she covers her face in shame)


ROB: I got all of you beat! One time, my stepfather died and so I had to fly back to my hometown of Boston- (The room suddenly gets quiet and somber) to go to the rotten bastard’s funeral, and I got SUPER TRASHED beforehand, showed up, gave a long-winded eulogy where I recounted nearly every shitty thing he ever said or did to me, I mean- (Rob laughs) I could barely STAND UP! I broke a beer bottle under my heel on stage because I guess I thought it was a Jewish wedding or some shit, and even SAT on the coffin and told somebody to lift it up. (Rob slaps his knee and laughs to himself. Everyone is dead silent and looking around awkwardly) …You’re right, I’m no fun sober, at least let me get a buzz, hand me a beer.


GEORGIE: Right on.


(Georgie hands Rob a beer, but Imogen grabs his arm)


IMOGEN: Rob, no, don’t do this!

ROB: Imogen, it’s fine! Casual, social drinking is fine, it’s drinking alone that’s the problem.


(Rob cracks open the beer and sips it. Imogen sits back, gravely concerned. Cut to Luther and Evelyn at home that same night. Evelyn is sitting on the couch reviewing papers, while Luther is in the dining nook playing chess against himself)


EVELYN: …Shoot.


LUTHER: What is it?


(Evelyn sits back)


EVELYN: I am wondering how the heck I am going to make a profit on selling this bungalow in Culver City with all the repairs and remodeling I will have to spend to make it even remotely marketable.


(Luther shrugs)


LUTHER: You always end up figuring that out.


(Luther moves a piece)


EVELYN: …Would you like to copulate?


(Luther sighs)


LUTHER: Sorry, babe, I’m balls-deep in this game.


(Evelyn stands up, walks over and moves a piece, and then moves one of Luther’s pieces, and then moves another piece)


EVELYN: Check mate. May we have sex now?


(Luther pushes away from the table)


LUTHER: Christ, Evelyn, I’m not your stress ball!

EVELYN: Whatever do you mean?


LUTHER: Every time you get stumped, or you hit a wall, you have sex with me and then suddenly you know exactly what to do! Like, earlier with that “new office” idea!


EVELYN: I admit that having sex with you clears my mind, but what of it? What’s, the problem with that?


(Luther stands up)


LUTHER: Because I feel like I’m being used! Our relationship’s gotta be more than this!

EVELYN: Who said it was just about this?


LUTHER: What else do I get from you, Evelyn!? You’re a robot!


EVELYN: Why do people always make this claim?


LUTHER: Maybe because I’ve never seen you have a singular-ass emotion! Even right now, you’re staring at me like I’m a puzzle you’re trying to solve!


EVELYN: What is life, other than a series of metaphorical puzzles?




EVELYN: No, I don’t understand what you speak of.


LUTHER: Well, that’s the problem.


(Luther shakes his head and goes to the fridge. He pulls out a beer and cracks it open)


EVELYN: I have many human qualities.


LUTHER: That’s the least human thing a person can say!

EVELYN: I have love. I have love for you.


LUTHER: No offense, but when you say “I love you”, it’s like you’re a motherfuckin’ teddy bear with a voice box, and I just gotta press your stomach and you say it to me!


EVELYN: Do you not believe it, then?


LUTHER: No, I do- it’s just- (sigh) it’s just, right now, for example, you’re not even yelling at me, you’re not mad, you’re just trying to compute what the situation is. That’s insane to me.


EVELYN: Would you like me to yell and be mad? FUCK OFF TO YOU, MR. MOON! FUCK YOU OFF RIGHT GOOD!


(Luther puts his beer down and grabs his hair furiously)


LUTHER: …I think we may need a couples therapist.


EVELYN: …I think we may.


(Cut to Imogen standing outside Rob’s bathroom. He can clearly be heard vomiting inside)


IMOGEN: …Babe…


(Rob is breathing heavily)


ROB: …What…


IMOGEN: …Georgie texted me saying you owe him for that bottle…


(Rob vomits more as Imogen recoils. Cut to Imogen and Rob plopping down on Rob’s couch)


ROB: Christ, I think I pulled my back just throwing up, so goddamn old.


IMOGEN: No, Rob, that’s normal. Well. It’s not normal to get this drunk when you’re in AA, or to chug a bottle while flossing on my kitchen table-


ROB: I know, okay? I fucked up.


IMOGEN: No, honestly, I shouldn’t have let you have even a nip of the stuff. You’ve backslid now.


ROB: No, my God, don’t blame yourself, you didn’t put a gun in my mouth. You couldn’t force me not to drink if you tried. And trust me, plenty of people have tried. And they’re all dead.


(Imogen smirks and shakes her head. Rob leans in to kiss Imogen and she backs away a bit)


IMOGEN: Your mouth smells like vomit, still.


ROB: Okay, I’ll get the mouthwash, hold on.


(Rob runs out of the living room. Cut to Bonnie and Evelyn sitting in a therapist’s office. The shrink is a middle-aged woman with black hair and glasses. Luther is hunched forward while Evelyn is sitting with her legs perfectly crossed. Dr. Mary Foxe analyzes them with utmost acuity)


DR. FOXE: …I’m billing you, even if you don’t speak. In fact, for insurance purposes, you get penalized for each 30-second period of utter silence.


LUTHER: Jesus.


EVELYN: Luther thought it best that we try this.


LUTHER: It was both of our ideas.


DR. FOXE: What set off this decision? To see me?


EVELYN: Luther, explain.


LUTHER: I been seeing Evelyn for over a year now, and we live together, and I love her, and it’s great. But she doesn’t have emotions.


DR. FOXE: You mean, she doesn’t express emotions?


LUTHER: No, you don’t get it, she don’t got ‘em.


EVELYN: I have desires, wants, needs, objectives-


DR. FOXE: Those are all basically the same thing-


EVELYN: But emotions? I’ve never had them, really. Kind of a quirk, you know? Like how some people have a protruding navel.


DR. FOXE: No, ma’am, lacking emotions is not the same as having an “outie” belly-button, emotion is an integral part of the human psyche.


LUTHER: I don’t believe she doesn’t have emotions; I think she just hides them. And I’m sick of it. I mean, she loves me, ain’t that an emotion?


EVELYN: I see “love” as a strong form of “want” and “desire”.


LUTHER: See what I gotta put up with?


DR. FOXE: If you are holding back, Evelyn, why do you think that is?


EVELYN: I don’t think I’m holding back. This is just how I am.


DR. FOXE: Evelyn, tell me about your childhood, if you don’t mind.


EVELYN: Very well. I was born at 10:30 AM on January 1st, 1986 at Greys Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington to Reynold Prost and Deborah Ledet-Prost, weighing approximately seven pounds and four ounces. I have two brothers and one sister, their names being Janet Prost-Hartwell, Hillary Prost and Gabriel Prost. I was enrolled in-


DR. FOXE: My God, Luther, you tell your story instead.


LUTHER: A’ight. Uh. I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago…and, uh, I like movies and stuff. Guess that’s why I became an actor. I also dig those- what the fuck are they called? Pigs in a blanket or kolaches?


DR. FOXE: Luther, focus on your childhood. What was that like?


LUTHER: Right, right. Uh. My mom was a cashier at a grocery store, my daddy was a mechanic. We didn’t have much for a good while there. My mom always said we didn’t have a pot to piss in, but then my dad would be all like “I bought yo’ ass this perfectly good pot and you just ain’t use it, bitch” and shit like that. (Beat) Dad started slingin’ dope because we had no money, and, damn, did he sling it. Became a drug lord in Chicago. I mean, he did the shit professional, money-laundering and all, Tony Soprano shit. He built this home theatre at our place, and I would just watch movies all the damn time, I’d invite people to my house to use my home theatre, everyone dug it hard, made a lotta friends that way.


(Luther looks down and studies his feet)


DR. FOXE: …Was your father caught?


LUTHER: Yeah, they picked his ass up. (Luther starts leaking tears, which he desperately swats like incoming flies) We lost all that money, lost my motherfucking home theatre. (Luther breathes in heavily and bites his upper lip) Lost those fuckin’ friends too. (Evelyn’s visage falls to deep sympathy) I wasn’t shit any more. Just another kid whose daddy was in jail. Mom couldn’t afford to get him shit for Christmas.


(Evelyn grows concerned and rubs Luther’s back as he starts crying. Dr. Foxe smiles. Luther looks over at Evelyn in amazement)


EVELYN: (Voice cracking) Why’d you never tell me that?


LUTHER: …I guess I didn’t know you’d react…I should’ve told you.


(Luther and Evelyn hug and Luther cries in her arms. Dr. Foxe gets up and begins popping and locking in celebration. Cut to Rob sifting through applicants for Bonnie’s old job in his office. McKenzie comes in and sits down)


MCKENZIE: So, I’ve got my shortlist. Although, you should see my long list, it includes Jameela Jamil.


ROB: But, she’s not good enough?


MCKENZIE: No, it’s because she’s not-


ROB: Yeah, I guess her arms could use work.


MCKENZIE: No, what’s wrong with her arms!?


ROB: I like this guy.


(Rob holds up an application for a guy named Lawrence Jessup)


MCKENZIE: Wha- the mormon dude?


ROB: Racist of you to assume he’s Mormon.


MCKENZIE: He used to work for the LDS Church! And his only relevant experience is running a public access church-type show in Salt Lake City!


ROB: Look, all I’m saying is, give him a shot. Somebody gave me a shot. I was nobody, now I’m somebody.


MCKENZIE: You were a very well-established reality star when you co-founded this place.


ROB: Regardless, let’s bring him in. I watched some clips of his show, it’s very convincing and clean and fun and I’m running out of adjectives, so let’s just do it.


(McKenzie shrugs)


MCKENZIE: O-kay then, seems like a waste of time though.


(Cut to McKenzie and Rob interviewing Lawrence Jessup, a short-haired Mormon fellow in a short-sleeved dress shirt and tie)


LAWRENCE: I’m so glad you brought me in today. This is really, quite swell.


ROB: Cool, man, no problem-


(Julia walks in)


JULIA: Hey, you want a coffee or a Diet Coke or something?


MCKENZIE: Does he look like he does, Julia?


(Julia shrugs)


LAWRENCE: No thank you, ma’am, I’d love a glass of tepid water, though, if you don’t mind.


(Julia squints and leaves)


JULIA: Alright.


MCKENZIE: So, you used to work at a public access station in Salt Lake City.


LAWRENCE: Yes, I did, it was great. The people involved were terrific, we spread the word like nobody’s business. One night, oh my goodness, I shouldn’t tell you this, after the finale of our fifth season, at the party we threw, we swapped out our usual oatmeal cookies for FULL ON chocolate chip. Jeez Leweez, I must’ve gained a ton!


(Lawrence laughs. An awkward silence ensues)


MCKENZIE: Right, so, as far as-


ROB: I don’t like you.


LAWRENCE: Excuse me?


MCKENZIE: Cool, have you gotten whatever this is out of your system?


LAWRENCE: If you’d like to strike me, I’m ready to turn the other cheek.


(Lawrence turns his cheek. McKenzie and Rob squint in confusion)


MCKENZIE: Okay, that just seems like some weird fetish.


(Rob storms out of the room. Cut to Whitney lying down on her couch with a glass of whiskey, throwing pencils at the ceiling. Several are stuck up there. Rob bursts in, goes to her mini-bar and starts fixing himself a drink. Whitney pops up)


WHITNEY: Whoa, you can’t just barge in here and- what are you doing?!


(Rob finishes making the drink)


ROB: What do you think?


(Rob takes a sip)


WHITNEY: You’re relapsing, and I refuse to let you do it!


ROB: Sure, go ahead and get up, and stop me. That couch doesn’t like super comfy or anything.


WHITNEY: Why are you doing this?


ROB: I don’t like people who don’t drink. I don’t want to work with them, I certainly don’t want to BE them. (Rob tosses back the drink and slams the glass down on the table) I’m pulling the trigger on that office space in Van Nuys.


(Whitney shrugs and lies down)


WHITNEY: Fine. Whatever, I’ve got bigger fish on my plate…to fry?


ROB: When’s the last time you ate?


WHITNEY: September. You?


ROB: Do olives count? (Whitney chuckles) Because I ate like a jar of olives this morning.


WHITNEY: Oh, I thought you were joking about a drink garnish. You ate a jar of olives?


ROB: It was the only thing in my house.


(Cut to Rob walking into his living room, keys in hand. He sees Imogen on the couch)




ROB: What are you doing here?


(Imogen gets up and walks over to Rob. She puts her arms around him)


IMOGEN: I was wrong to bring you around that much drinking. From here on, we’ll stay sober together.


(Imogen hugs Rob)


ROB: Oh.


IMOGEN: …I mean, when I’m around you, anyway.


ROB: Right.


(Cut to Hannah and Xandra sitting in group therapy at a sterile-looking drug rehabilitation institution, led by a middle-aged female with glasses named Pamela. A middle-aged Hispanic bald guy named Julio is talking)


JULIO: So, check it, I did a MOUNTAIN of cocaine during my cousin’s bachelor party, never went harder in my life-


XANDRA: That’s awesome-


JULIO: My friends started calling me “Edmund Hillary”-


HANNAH: Because you did a mountain of cocaine?


JULIO: Exactly!


HANNAH: Clever.


PAMELA: Guys. Stop. This is rehab, not a place to RE-hash, old cocaine stories like they’re super cool.


HANNAH: That was less clever.


PAMELA: Xandra, you seem like one of two important patients, you wanna tell us about your problem?


XANDRA: I’m here because the court system is full of assholes, that’s it. I made a personal choice. To have cocaine. And I’ve made that personal choice, many times. Literally sue me.


PAMELLA: Well. They- this is the equivalent of that.


XANDRA: I don’t have a coke problem. (Hannah stifles a laugh) Oh! I see. Hannah, you wanna talk shit? Go ahead, babe.


HANNAH: …Xandy, I love you, but we both have coke problems. I honestly never thought I’d say that. Just over a year ago, I was this shy girl who was always a wallflower at parties, if she ever went to them.


XANDRA: Yeah, babe, and I helped you with that.


HANNAH: Well, I’d rather be that girl than the girl who blows up at her parents! MY parents, who are only concerned about my well-being! They saw their little girl in a salacious tabloid article, I CAN’T take the SHOCK of that away from them! And then I compound it by SCREAMING at them?! (Hannah shakes her head) This isn’t me…


(Hannah gets up and leaves)


XANDRA: Hannah!


(Xandra goes after her)


PAMELA: Hey! GUYS! (Xandra leaves) Neither of you are legally allowed to leave yet!!


(Cut to Luther driving in the middle of the desert, with Evelyn in the passenger seat. NPR is playing)


NPR: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders has caused controversy among fans of the freshman Latina Congresswoman, especially those who know her name and ethnicity but nothing else about her. In other news, House Oversight Committee Chairman Congressman Elijah Cummings passed away this morning at the age of 68. Cummings was a revered leader on civil rights and has served in Congress for nearly 37 years-


(The radio begins to grow staticky)


EVELYN: Why did they not imprison your father closer to home?


LUTHER: Because me might still run shit from the inside if he was up there. Hard to do that when your in the middle of goddamn Arizona. It’s hard to do anything when you’re in Arizona, it’s so goddamn hot. Who wants to live there, honestly?


(Cut to Luther sitting in the visitation area at a correctional facility in Eloy, Arizona. He is behind a pane of glass with a phone nearby. Evelyn is standing behind Luther. Guards escort a 57-year old black man in worn prison fatigues, thinning hair and a gray mustache, to his seat on the other side of the glass. He plops down on the seat, completely stone-faced. He picks up the phone and Luther does the same)


DARRYL: …Luther.




DARRYL: You come here after eighteen fuckin’ years? Leave yo’ daddy all alone here like this?!


LUTHER: Dad, I’m sorry, I live far away-


DARRYL: So do I, nigga! But I still send a Christmas card to yo’ apartment every fuckin’ year!


LUTHER: Dad, I don’t get any Christmas cards.


DARRYL: You still live in Chicago, right? (Luther shakes his head “no”) Motherfucker, yo’ moms never tells me anything.


LUTHER: I just wanted to check up on ya.


DARRYL: Nah, you wanted to shame me. Go ahead, nigga, I got it comin’.


(Luther sighs)


LUTHER: Dad, why you always gotta be like that? Why can’t I have a normal fuckin’ conversation with you?


DARRYL: It’s our first conversation in eighteen goddamn years, and you treatin’ it like it’s just our old rapport? “Luther, get the fuck over here, I oughta whoop you for what you did to that Quentin boy!”


EVELYN: What did you do to that Quentin boy?


LUTHER: It wasn’t that bad, we told him real Gs drink soap and he had to get his stomach pumped- we were eight!

DARRYL: Who the fuck is this behind you? Thought she was a motherfuckin’ mannequin.


LUTHER: This is my girlfriend, dad-


(Evelyn steps forward and extends her hand)


EVELYN: I am Evelyn Victoria Prost, pleased to meet you, sir.


DARRYL: Care to tell this bitch I can’t hear a goddamn word she’s saying?


LUTHER: HEY! Don’t call her that. (Evelyn puts her hand down) …I do want you to address what went down, you know. You never have.


DARRYL: …Look, if I could change things, I would. But what the fuck’s that gotta do with anything? Life moves on. (Beat) I love you, Luther. I’m sorry for what I did. I thought I was providing- shit, you’ve heard it all before.


LUTHER: No shit. Every day for a year.


DARRYL: Look. I’m due to get out in four years, but I been on good behavior. I’m havin’ a parole hearing in a few weeks. I’d like it if you stopped by. Tell ‘em how I used to teach ya…


LUTHER: How to case a house?


DARRYL: Preferably how to play catch, or some shit. Say something, shit, do I gotta write it down for you? (Security guard taps on his watch) A’ight, boy. I’ll talk to you later. Think about it, okay? Get back to me.


LUTHER: Alright. Love you, dad.


DARRYL: Yeah. Same.


(Darryl hangs up and is escorted out of the room by guards. Luther wipes tears from his eyes as he hangs up. Evelyn is welling up too. They both hug and cry together. Cut to Hannah and Xandra walking into their apartment, arguing)


XANDRA: You’re being crazy- do you even get what we just did!? We violated the terms of our conviction!


HANNAH: We’ll be FINE! Just as soon as I do this-


XANDRA: Do WHAT!? (Hannah walks into the bathroom and closes it behind her. She starts pulling cocaine baggies out of random hiding places, like under the sink and behind the toilet tank. Xandra opens the door as Hannah flips the toilet seat up) What is this gonna- WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!


(Hannah throws the cocaine baggies in the toilet and presses the button to flush, causing Xandra to tackle her onto the floor of the bathroom as the cocaine swirls down the toilet. Hannah and Xandra land on the ground with a thud)








(Hannah pushes Xandra off of her. Xandra gets up and covers her mouth with her hands. Hannah gets up and inspects her shoulder. There’s a bruise)


XANDRA: Oh my God, babe I am so sorry-


HANNAH: You bruised my FUCKING shoulder.


XANDRA: I didn’t mean to, I’m so sorry-


HANNAH: Fuck you, Xandra.


(Hannah shoulder-checks Xandra as she leaves the bathroom. Xandra takes a deep breath and sheds several tears. Cut to Hannah lying awake in the middle of her parents’ hotel room bed, as her mother strokes her hair, and her father sits right by with his hand on her shoulder)


RACHEL: It’s gonna be alright, sweetie…


HANNAH: You think so.


RACHEL: I know so, you’re gonna get better.


CARTER: Rachel, can you call the front desk and ask for the pamphlet with all the channels, I’ve looked and there isn’t one.


(Rachel sighs and reaches for the phone. Cut to Rob pulling up to the office in Van Nuys Evelyn and him toured earlier. He parks his truck and gets out to greet Iona)




IONA: Everything’s in order, papers are all signed, so here are the keys.


(Iona hands the keys to Rob. He looks at them. A church key (a beer opener) is attached)


ROB: …Thanks…


IONA: Let’s celebrate! There are plenty of bars nearby.


ROB: So I’ve heard.


IONA: It’s on me.


ROB: Nah, I’m good. I get recognized too often at places like that.


IONA: …Recognized for what?


ROB: …Okay, now I really don’t want to get a drink with you. (Rob walks away from her and uses the key to open the door to the new office. Iona sighs and walks away. Rob enters the new office, which is completely empty, and breathes in the air. His visage is anxious. He sits on the floor, takes out a cigarette and lights it. He exhales the smoke and watches it dance toward the ceiling) …Fucking fuck.


(Cut to black)



Submitted: October 23, 2019

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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