Brian, Contra Episode 7

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

Brian returns from three weeks of vacation, determined to find out if he still has his job at Sarandon S&L. Spencer tries to convince Brent Loveman to let him partner with his father on obtaining Annex. Jack works with Savannah to redesign Annex without Lindsay’s knowledge.

BRIAN, CONTRA

 

“BALL PIT”

 

TV-MA DL

 

“I found the simple life ain't so simple. When I jumped out on that road. I got no love, no love you'd call real. Ain't got nobody waitin' at home. Runnin' with the devil. God damn it lady, you know I ain't lying to ya”

  • Eddie Van Halen

 

(We open on a magnificent Honolulu beach, filled with locals, tourists and professional entertainers playing ukuleles for money. The sun glows bright in the sky and we pan across the beach, revealing a friendly game of beach volleyball between two twenty-somethings. We drift past the beach, vendors and tourists and towards The New Otani beachside hotel. Tourists are cycling in and out and we push through the revolving doors to find the hotel bar, where Brian Sarandon is sitting, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses, a Pina Colada at his side and talking on a phone that has a cord originating behind the bar)

 

BRIAN: …Yeah. Yeah, I should be back in just a couple days.

 

NINA: (OS) Do you still have a job?

 

BRIAN: I took my built-in vacation days, so I should be good.

 

NINA: (OS) But are you?

 

BRIAN: I have no idea.

 

NINA: (OS) Okay. Well. Please just come back. New York is Hell without you, babe.

 

BRIAN: It’s Hell with me, too.

 

NINA: Yeah, but. It’s a Hell worth burning in.

 

(Brian turns around in his chair and points to his Pina Colada and mouths “again” at the bartender, who gets right to it)

 

BRIAN: I wish you could’ve stayed longer.

 

(Cut to Nina talking on her landline at the apartment, while Jason and Jillian rambunctiously jump on the couch and run around. Intercut between Nina and Brian)

 

NINA: Believe it or not, the strip club doesn’t give me three weeks paid vacation.

 

BRIAN: What about dental?

 

NINA: Nope.

 

BRIAN: They don’t even cover parking tickets?!

 

NINA: Your company does that?!

 

BRIAN: Well. My dad does that. DID that, anyway.

 

NINA: …Just come home. And hey, if you don’t have a job when you get back, that might not be such a bad thing.

 

 BRIAN: Alright. See you soon.

 

(Brian hangs up and the bartender puts another Pina Colada in front of him)

 

BARTENDER: That’ll be $3.39.

 

BRIAN: Yeah, just put it on my company card.

 

(Brian hands the bartender his company card. Cut to an American Airlines flight landing at JFK International. Cut to the gate, where the plane is connected. He emerges from the tunnel along with a dozen other people wearing Hawaiian lays and lugging suitcases. A New Yorker with a Mets cap on walks up to Brian)

 

NEW YORKER: Welcome back to New York, fuckhead.

 

(He removes his lay and walks off. Brian shrugs and walks the opposite direction. Cut to Sarandon S&L. The office is in a flurry of activity. Calls being made, deals being struck, Frank is busy trying to successfully launch balls of paper in a waste basket. Brian awkwardly slinks in, holding his suitcase and his eyes darting back and forth. He slowly ambles toward his office, but he’s intercepted by a wild-eyed Gayle)

 

GAYLE: Brian!

 

BRIAN: Oh- my God, Gayle, hello.

 

GAYLE: Listen, I know we’re not “technically” supposed to be talking, but I know you know some people, and I really need a bump, just a little bump to get through the day, you know how fucking Mondays are-

 

(Gayle laughs hysterically. Brian’s eyes widen with bewilderment)

 

BRIAN: Yes, well, I don’t have any coke on me right now, at work, Gayle.

 

GAYLE: No, of course not right NOW, but you know, if you just wanna give me a number- my guy is out of town right now, and- (Brian smiles and walks past Gayle) where the FUCK are you going, asshole?!

 

(Brian walks over to his office, but he notices the door is bare)

 

BRIAN: Oh, fuck. (Brian opens the door and finds his plaque is gone and the desk is completely clear) Shit.

 

(A conservatively dressed secretary with a bob walks in)

 

SECRETARY: Hi- sorry, the floor manager is on vacation right now, but if you need to get in contact with him-

 

BRIAN: No, I’m the floor manager, actually.

 

SECRETARY: Oh! (She laughs) How embarrassing. My apologies, Mr. Garrity, I’m Harriet, your new secretary.

 

(Brian shakes Harriet’s hand, as his mind processes what she’s said)

 

BRIAN: Mr. Garrity?

 

HARRIET: Yes, that’s you, correct?

 

BRIAN: Y-yep, yep. That’s me. In the flesh. Pleasure to meet you.

 

HARRIET: Likewise! I hope you enjoyed your time in the Marshall Islands.

 

BRIAN: Oh, it was divine. Met a lot of beautiful women, my word.

 

HARRIET: Oh. Wasn’t your wife with you?

 

(Brian nods awkwardly)

 

BRIAN: Yes, she and I met a lot of women, who we are…interviewing, to see who will de renovations on our house.

 

HARRIET: Well. Good luck with that. I’ll get you some coffee, and you just let me know if you need anything!

 

BRIAN: Brilliant, thank you.

 

(Harriet leaves and closes the door behind her. Brian falls into the chair behind the desk and buries his head in his hands. Cut to Spencer in his office. He has a makeshift golf course on his floor, with a coffee cup on his side acting as a hole. He is lining up his putter with the golf ball on a tee, and as he’s about to swing, a knock comes at the door)

 

SPENCER: FUCK!

 

(A scream sounds out on the other side of the door)

 

HARRIET: (OS) My God, Mr. Sarandon, I’m so sorry- you startled me!

 

(Spencer puts the golf club aside)

 

SPENCER: It’s no problem. Come in.

 

(Harriet opens the door and Spencer sits on his desk)

 

HARRIET: Mr. Sarandon, Mr. Garrity is back early from vacation.

 

SPENCER: You’re kidding! He should’ve told me he cut it short. Send him in-

 

HARRIET: Yes, sir-

 

(Harriet goes to leave)

 

SPENCER: Wait! (Harriet turns back) I’ll go to him. It’s no time for power moves.

 

(Spencer walks out of the office and walks with Harriet towards Brian’s office. Brian notices this)

 

BRIAN: Shit!

 

(Brian quickly jumps up and closes the blinds and locks the door. He uneasily plops down onto the chair behind his desk. Cut to outside. Spencer knocks on the door)

 

SPENCER: Sean, my boy, it’s too early in the morning to lock yourself in the office and treat yourself to a whiskey! At least let me have a nip! (Cut to inside. Brian grabs a piece of paper and starts writing something. Spencer knocks again) Sean, please! You can’t have killed yourself already, it took Brian’s predecessor a lot longer to grow sick of this place!

 

(Cut to inside. Brian sets the note out on the desk, dives under it and scoots the chair into it. Cut to outside)

 

HARRIET: Maybe I can ask people if they saw him leave?

 

SPENCER: No, this could be serious! I gotta get in there! (Spencer rears back and kicks the door. Harriet screams again) I CAN’T HAVE ANOTHER ONE DIE ON ME!

 

(The whole office turns to stare at Spencer. Cut to under the desk. Brian’s eyes are wide and his teeth are gritted. He winces with every kick to the door. Cut to outside Spencer gives the door another good kick)

 

HARRIET: SIR, WHAT ARE YOU-!?

 

SPENCER: Just one more, and we’re golden! (Spencer kicks the door in and it flies open. Spencer sees a note) Oh, GOD! A NOTE! (Spencer rushes forward and reads the note- it says “Went out for crullers! Be back in a few!”) Sone of a bitch!

 

(Harriet rushes in)

 

HARRIET: What?!

 

SPENCER: He went out for crullers and didn’t ask if I wanted any! (Spencer turns to Harriet) He better not pull this kinda crap at the all-hands meeting at three! Make sure he’s there!

 

(Cut to Brian under the desk, breathing a sigh of relief)

 

HARRIET: (OS) Yes, sir.

 

(Cut back to Spencer and Harriet)

 

SPENCER: Oh, and please find out when my son will be back at work.

 

HARRIET: Yes, sir.

 

(Cut to Brian. He’s befuddled. Cut back to Spencer and Harriet. Spencer leaves the office and Harriet chews nervously on her thumbnail and exits the room, closing the door behind her. Brian tries to emerge from under the desk, though he bumps his head at first)

 

BRIAN: Goddamnit! (Brian crawls up onto the chair and nervously rubs the back of his neck) A fate worse than death… (The camera punches in on him) Demotion.

 

(Cut to Spencer leaning against the railing of a balcony overlooking the Astoria neighborhood of Queens. He’s puffing on a cigarette and looking into the middle distance. He’s wearing his suit jacket and pants, but the top three buttons of his dress shirt are undone, and his vest is completely undone. Plus, he’s wearing dress socks but no shoes. A young brunette woman of about thirty, sporting a ponytail, walks out on the balcony in a robe and starts massaging Spencer’s shoulders)

 

WOMAN: …Something on your mind?

 

(Spencer shrugs)

 

SPENCER: …You ever think about how you’ll be remembered?

 

WOMAN: …Hopefully not as your secretary.

 

SPENCER: No, Joanna, I’m serious. How will I be remembered?

 

JOANNA: The world revolves around you, Spencer. This high-powered New York businessman thing, it’s all the rage now. Reaganism, Thatcherism, every asshole with a copy of The Fountainhead in their office is considered a genius these days.

 

SPENCER: Yeah, but. All the focus is on the young guys. Nobody over forty-five gets attention unless you just own everything.

 

JOANNA: So, what? You wanna own everything? Fine, start with this apartment, I hereby declare that it’s yours.

 

(Spencer smirks and kisses Joanna on the neck. He then looks her in the face)

 

SPENCER: It’s either that, or…I’m known for what’s probably a pretty unsustainable business model at Sarandon S&L.

 

JOANNA: Let’s not think about that now.

 

SPENCER: God bless the 80s.

 

(Spencer and Joanna start making out. Cut to an establishing shot of an office within in an office park- unit 346- “O’Halleran Leasing”. Cut to inside. We see a balding Irish prick named James O’Halleran shaking hands with Spencer in his sparse, messy office)

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: It’s a pleasure, Mr. Sarandon.

 

SPENCER: Thanks for agreeing to sit down with me.

 

(O’Halleran sits behind his desk and Spencer sits down in front of it)

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: So, I assume this has something to do with Annex? We haven’t made a decision one way or another yet.

 

SPENCER: It does have something to do with Annex, but I suspect you might be surprised where I land on that whole thing.

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: Oh?

 

SPENCER: Not to be crass, but I’ve seen whorehouses better run than Annex.

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: I don’t mean to contradict you, Mr. Sarandon, but I’ve been to many whorehouses in my day, and the vast majority of them have been run very efficiently and effectively, so I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make there.

 

SPENCER: No- of course! But-

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: Especially since this “club” is only barely a step up from a common whorehouse.

 

SPENCER: That’s my point, sir! It’s a den of sin and iniquity.

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: We don’t care. As long as they pay their lease, it’s not our problem.

 

(Spencer looks around)

 

SPENCER: Okay, I didn’t want to lean on this too heavily, but here goes. (Spencer leans forward and whispers) Lindsay Royce is a fag.  (Mr. O’Halleran stifles a laugh. But then he breaks completely, letting out a chorus of laughter. Spencer leans back, utterly perplexed) Don’t you care?!

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: Mr. Sarandon, half the club-owners in this city are fags! If I cut off contact with every fag that leased one of my properties, I’d be begging for change on the street! For Christ’s sake, the Mayor is a fag!

 

(Spencer pouts and looks away as Mr. O’Halleran keeps laughing)

 

SPENCER: …I can run that place better, I know it. You have to give me a chance.

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: Hey, if you can beat the kind of money Loveman is offering, be my guest. But something tells me you can’t- maybe it’s your good bag and your cheap shoes, but you look like a rube.

 

(Spencer holds up a purse)

 

SPENCER: Okay, this was just sitting here when I came in- it’s not mine! Although- (Spencer looks through it) there’s a lot of valuable stuff in it. I don’t know if I’d let go of it if I were you.

 

MR. O’HALLERAN: Please leave.

 

SPENCER: Yep.

 

(Spencer takes the bag and gets up, walks out of the room. Cut to Lindsay sitting at a booth at Annex, click-clacking away on a typewriter, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. We zoom out to see Savannah at the bar, enjoying a coke and talking with Jack. She looks bummed out)

 

JACK: Trouble in paradise?

 

SAVANNAH: What paradise? He’s barely spoken to me since the misunderstanding we had.

 

JACK: I have to admit, I’ve never heard of an open relationship.

 

SAVANNAH: We said “no labels”! I called myself an “unlabeled romantic companion”- doesn’t that, by its very nature, imply a lack of commitment?!

 

JACK: When my old man was alive, if my mom so much as kissed another man on the mouth for longer than two seconds, he lost it.

 

SAVANNAH: “So much as”?

 

JACK: Well, my father was a very timid man.

 

SAVANNAH: Did your mom ever do that?

 

JACK: No, but she got close! (Savannah shrugs and takes a drink) So, are you two broken up?

 

SAVANNAH: No, I think we’re just on a break.

 

(Lindsay gets up and walks over to the bar)

 

LINDSAY: I’m going to take a drive to clear my head. Be back later.

 

SAVANNAH: The traffic’s gonna be really bad soon, I doubt that’ll clear your head.

 

(Lindsay glares at Savannah)

 

LINDSAY: (To Jack) Cut her off. All that sugar is gonna give her diabetes.

 

(Lindsay walks out of the club. Jack waves)

 

JACK: See you later, boss.

 

(Savannah sighs)

 

SAVANNAH: Dick.

 

JACK: I guess I can’t serve you any longer, so you can go ahead and finish that up and be on your way.

 

(Savannah squints)

 

SAVANNAH: Are you serious?!

 

(Jack crosses his arms)

 

JACK: …Lindsay said so- I don’t know what you want me to do?!

 

SAVANNAH: Such a teacher’s pet. (Savannah sighs and downs her Coke. She puts it down and gets up off her seat. She gulps and looks at the ground) …I really don’t want to go home right now…

 

JACK: …Why?

 

SAVANNAH: …This shit with Lindsay has got me all fucked up. I don’t want to face the silence…

 

JACK: …Okay. You can stay. (Savannah sits down) But PLEASE don’t tell Lindsay!

 

(Savannah rolls her eyes)

 

SAVANNAH: I’ll take the fall when he gets back, trust me.

 

JACK: …You know. I’ve also been avoiding going back home.

 

SAVANNAH: Why? Your mom is there- you love your mom!

 

JACK: Yeah, but now she loves this other guy. And he’s NOT my father.

 

SAVANNAH: Because your father’s dead.

 

JACK: Yeah, he’s some art dealer from Queens. It ticks me off just to look at his dumb face.

 

SAVANNAH: Well. I guess we’re both running from something. (Jack nods) I’m gonna go request something from Winslow. (Savannah turns around and tries to get off the bar chair, which is a purple cupped rotating type of chair you might seen in a club from the 70s. She wriggles herself off of it and lands on the floor) Goddamn, I hate that chair, it bruises my tailbone.

 

JACK: I know, I’ve been asking Lindsay to get new chairs for years.

 

SAVANNAH: It’s like sitting in the waiting area at a Swedish emergency room.

 

JACK: They’re left over from the 70s, we need to get rid of them already. I’m just waiting for Lindsay’s okay.  (Savannah looks up at Jack with a devious look) …What’s that look? (Savannah smiles deviously) NO! Savannah, NO! (Savannah starts pulling on the bar chair and Jack grabs his hair and goes wide-eyed) THIS IS NOT ALLOWED!

 

SAVANNAH: WE’RE GONNA FULLY RE-DECORATE, JACK, HOP ON BOARD OR GET OUT!

 

(Cut to Brian sitting in his office, with the blinds still close. He’s throws back a glass of whiskey, and grabs his phone)

 

BRIAN: I need to know how bad this is.

 

(Brian punches in a phone number and waits. Cut to Lindsay driving his 1982 Mazda Rx7 in dense traffic)

 

LINDSAY: MOVE! (Lindsay lays on the horn) MOVE, YOU COCKSUCKER, I’M TRYING TO CLEAR MY HEAD!! (Lindsay pulls away from the horn and rubs his temple. His car phone rings and grabs it and puts it to his ear) What?!

 

(Cut to Brian under his desk in his office, on the phone. Intercut between them)

 

BRIAN: Lindsay, you gotta do me a favor.

 

LINDSAY: I’m not gonna kill a cockroach in your room again, Brian, I’m busy.

 

BRIAN: No! Lindsay! I’m hiding under my desk at work, you gotta help me!
 

LINDSAY: Hiding under your desk? Did the Soviets fire on us, because I don’t think your desk or, even me, could do much about that.

 

BRIAN: No, I’m hiding because I think I got demoted, but I need you to come by and figure out what position I was demoted to! Also, do an informal poll of the women in the office, see how much they like the cut of my gib.

 

LINDSAY: Brian- why would I just come by asking about your position at the company?!

 

BRIAN: LINDSAY! THINK ABOUT IT! You’ll see my office is empty, and then you can ask where my NEW office is! DUH!

 

(Lindsay rolls his eyes)

 

LINDSAY: I’ll do it, but you owe me.

 

BRIAN: Sure, whatever favor you need.

 

LINDSAY: No, I mean cash. I expect a significant monetary reward for this.

 

BRIAN: FINE! Just get over here!

 

(Brian hangs up and scoots under his desk. Cut back to Lindsay, who hangs up the phone in his car and looks through his back window)

 

LINDSAY: Goddamnit, I have to turn around. (Lindsay inches into the left lane but is cut off by an old lady in a Buick) LET ME IN, YOU OLD BAT!

 

(Cut to Lindsay walking toward the glass door entrance to Sarandon S&L. He pushes the doors wide and walks in. Gayle is sitting at her desk, almost nodding off. But she notices Lindsay and quickly jumps to her feet and accosts him)

 

GAYLE: LINDSAY! Just who I wanted to see!

 

LINDSAY: Gayle, I’m in a bit of a hurry-

 

GAYLE: I just want some coke! My guy is being an asshole, I just need a dime bag to get through the day!
 

(Lindsay takes a baggie of coke out of his jacket and pocket and hands it to her)

 

LINDSAY: There you go-

 

GAYLE: YES! (Gayle takes a deep sniff of the bag) THANK YOU!

 

LINDSAY: Where’s Brian’s office these days?

 

(Gayle sets out a line on her desk. Everyone turns around and stares at her. Lindsay looks around himself)

 

GAYLE: I don’t know, all I know is that he doesn’t have THAT office over there, anymore.

 

(Gayle takes out a straw and inhales a line of blow)

 

LINDSAY: Jesus, Gayle, at least use a mirror, you know how much bacteria is on that desk?  (Lindsay shakes his head and walks over to Bill’s desk, where he is calmly reviewing some paper work) Bill, do you know Brian is?

 

(Bill doesn’t even turn around)

 

BILL: …He’s on vacation, Lindsay, that’s all I know.

 

LINDSAY: No, he should be back by now. I came here to…borrow his…paper clips.

 

SPENCER: (OS) ROYCE!

 

(Lindsay turns around and sees Spencer standing at the front of the office)

 

LINDSAY: Mr. Sarandon, my dear friend…’s father and sworn enemy.

 

(Spencer walks forward)

 

SPENCER: I would appreciate if you would not stop by my office and try to turn my employees gay.

 

LINDSAY: I’ll stop when you stop trying to buy Annex- ALSO, I’M NOT GAY!

 

(They all stare at him. Gayle puts her feet up on the desk)

 

GAYLE: That’s good to know, because I still want the option of trading sexual favors for drugs, if it comes to that.

 

SPENCER: Jesus Christ, Gayle, have some self-respect or at least some goddamn discretion and TAKE YOUR FEET OFF THAT DESK!

 

(Gayle quickly removes her feet from the desk and starts pretending to look over some paper work)

 

LINDSAY: …I’m just looking for Brian.

 

(Spencer walks forward)

 

SPENCER: Why, do you wanna fuck him?

 

LINDSAY: Are you ten years old, man?

 

SPENCER: No, would you like that I be? I know you homos like ‘em young.

 

(Lindsay gets in Spencer’s face)

 

LINDSAY: ALRIGHT, THAT’S ENOUGH!

 

(Spencer pushes Lindsay)

 

SPENCER: DON’T YOU DARE GET IN MY FACE LIKE THAT!

LINDSAY: FUCK YOU, YOU FASCIST CUNT! (Lindsay lunges at Spencer, but Brian quickly runs out of his office and grabs Lindsay from behind) NO, LET ME AT HIM, BRIAN! LET ME AT HIM!

 

BRIAN: NO, JUST CALM DOWN! EVERYONE!
 

(Pan over to Frank, who’s sitting at his desk chewing on his nails)

 

FRANK: Fuck, this is not good for my recovery. I need to get out of here before I start betting on this shit. (Frank stands up) A HUNDRED BUCKS ON THE GAY ONE! (Spencer glares at Frank) To lose! To, uh, to lose.

 

(Spencer looks back at Lindsay, as he calms down)

 

SPENCER: Don’t let your boyfriend hold you back, Lindsay, take a swing.

 

(Lindsay spits at Spencer’s feet)

 

LINDSAY: I am TOTALLY STRAIGHT, but I do NOT tolerate homophobia!

 

(Brian lets go of Lindsay, as he stands there, seething)

 

SPENCER: Brian, what the hell are you doing here?

 

BRIAN: I, uh, came in through the back door.

 

SPENCER: We don’t have a back door.

 

BRIAN: I came up with the window washer’s and broke through the window- what do you want me to say?!

 

(Suddenly, a handsome man of about 35 with black eyebrows, dark brown hair and a sly smile and sharp suit, walks in and shakes Spencer’s hand)

 

HANDSOME MAN: Spencer! So good to meet you in person!
 

SPENCER: Sean! So glad you’re here, how opportune! First, go ahead and meet this vector of HIV, Lindsay Royce.

 

LINDSAY: Come on.

 

(Sean nods to Lindsay)

 

SEAN: Pleasure. I’d rather not shake your hand, if that’s okay.

 

LINDSAY: That’s not how it transmits, asshole, also I DON’T HAVE HIV!

 

(Everyone stares at him again. Lindsay closes his eyes and shakes his head)

 

SPENCER: …And this is Brian Sarandon, he’s Ms. Foster’s secretary.

 

(Brian’s jaw drops to the floor, as Sean extends his hand)

 

SEAN: Pleasure.

 

LINDSAY: Who’s Ms. Foster?

 

(Brian looks at Lindsay)

 

BRIAN: IT’S GAYLE!

 

(Gayle perks up)

 

GAYLE: NO FUCKIN’ WAY!

 

(Gayle sneezes a mist of cocaine, as everyone stares at her. Cut to the Uranus Room, a strip club in Howard Beach. Spencer is sitting in a booth, enjoying a BLT as Russian strippers robotically work the poles. One of the scantily clad waitresses walks over)

 

WAITRESS: (Russian accent) Do you want another drink?

 

SPENCER: Yes- (Spencer pushes his empty glass toward her) do this again. Also- is Brent Loveman here, right now?

 

WAITRESS: Ever since Five-Alarm banned him, he’s rarely not here. I think he’s in a private room with Nadia right now.

 

SPENCER: Okay, thanks.

 

(The waitress leans in)

 

WAITRESS: Tell him to wash his back teeth more thoroughly, the girls hate his breath.

 

SPENCER: …How do you suggest I broach that? (The waitress rolls her eyes, grabs Spencer’s glass and walks away. Spencer takes another bite of his BLT and then spots Brent emerging from the private room on the far end of the club. He quickly gets up from the booth, straightens his suit and makes a B-line for Brent. Brent is chatting casually with a stripper who’s wearing a Marilyn Monroe wig. Spencer walks up to them) And here I though Marilyn Monroe died over twenty years ago!

 

STRIPPER: She did. JFK killed her to keep her quiet- look it up!

 

BRENT: Marilyn, could you give us a minute.

 

MARILYN: She killed him in retaliation!

 

SPENCER: But she was dead?

 

MARILYN: That’s what they want you to think, honey. (Marilyn grabs Spencer’s hands) I can tell you all about it in there if you want.

 

(Marilyn licks her lips. Brent grabs Spencer’s shoulder as he makes eyes with Marilyn and he takes him aside)

 

SPENCER: I’ll catch up with you later, Marilyn.

 

(Brent and Spencer retreat to the bar as Marilyn walks off)

 

BRENT: What the hell are you doing here, Spencer? My father and I are after Annex, and that’s the end of it.

 

SPENCER: That’s the thing, Brent, we have a mutual enemy.

 

BRENT: And who’s that?

 

SPENCER: My son.

 

BRENT: That’s fucked up, man. As a guy who has significant daddy issues, I gotta say, that’s fucked up.

 

SPENCER: Wow, that’s, honest.

 

BRENT: So, you’ve had a falling out with your shithead son, what’s that gotta do with moi?

 

SPENCER: I want Annex, too. But I know I can’t compete with your dad’s money, so I want to pitch myself as a business partner.

 

(Brent laughs heartily and slaps the bar)

 

BRENT: Why the hell would my dad accept you as a business partner?! If you applied to be his personal Werther’s tester- you’d have to go through multiple rounds of interviews. And even though you’d probably ultimately be hired, it’d be grueling! So don’t act like you’re an obvious for business partner!

 

SPENCER: Werther’s?

 

BRENT: Yeah, he likes those.

 

SPENCER: Listen. Your dad owns a lot of clubs in the city. (Spencer takes out a packet of legal papers) And not just in the city. In Jersey, too. He owns so many that, I had my lawyer look over it, he’s in danger of skirting antitrust law.

 

(Brent shakes his head and looks toward the bartender)

 

BRENT: I’ll have a gimlet.

 

SPENCER: If he makes me majority owner of Annex, maybe he can throw the Feds off the scent.

 

BRENT: And then what? You’ll be his puppet?

 

SPENCER: I mean, I’d prefer a different term, but if that’s how you choose to see it-

 

BRENT: Who the fuck are you kidding?

 

SPENCER: What?! You don’t want the Justice Department to after you on this stuff, do you?

 

BRENT: My dad was in the same frat as the Attorney General! He saw Edwin Meese stick an entire steak dinner up his ass, all while humming The Flight of the Bumblebee! So, there’s no way in HELL he would go after my dad! (The bartender hands Brent a Gimlet, and he knocks it back and slams it back on the table) Good luck, Spence.

 

(Brent pats Spencer on the back and walks off. Spencer turns toward the bar, sullen and upset. He takes out a pack of cigarettes, fishes one out and lights it. He inhales and lets out a plume of smoke as a bartender drifts his way)

 

BARTENDER: Can I get you something?

 

SPENCER: Yeah. Get me a dark & stormy.

 

BARTENDER: Weren’t you the guy at that booth who ordered that earlier? Because it’s at your table, right now.

 

(Spencer looks over at a fresh Dark & Stormy sitting at his table. He sighs)

 

SPENCER: It’s too far away, just make me a new one. (The bartender shrugs and gets to work. Spencer looks back at the dark & stormy. But then he looks one table over and finds, to his surprise, John Gotti, Frank DeCicco, Patrizio and Sammy Gravano speaking with two Russian-looking guys in track suits. A sinister grin grows on Spencer’s face, and he gets up to walk over there, but stops short. He looks toward the entrance to the bar and ambles over to the bartender) Call off the storm.

 

(Spencer puts a few bucks on the bar)

 

BARTENDER: Whatever. Thanks.

 

(Spencer walks outside The Uranus Room and leans against the building, smoking his cigarette. His eyes dart around nervously. Cut to John, Sammy, Patrizio, Frank and the two Russian guys conversing at the booth in The Uranus Room)

 

JOHN: Listen, Ivan, the bottom line is, I live around here. I don’t mind you guys makin’ money, it’s the American way, but how does it make me look?

 

IVAN: (Russian accent) Well, John, as you know, making money is not the Russian way, so maybe we don’t know rules.

 

SERGEI: (Russian accent) And that’s on us. We try to do better.

 

SAMMY: We really appreciate that.

 

JOHN: It takes a big man to admit his mistakes and apologize.

 

SERGEI: No more bookmaking in your neighborhood, we promise.

 

JOHN: Alright, fantastic.

 

(Everyone stands up and starts shaking hands. Cut to Spencer outside the strip club, smushing his cigarette butt under his shoe, as John, Sammy, Patrizio and Frank exit the strip club)

 

FRANK: I gotta say, those Russians are very reasonable.

 

JOHN: Yeah, why can’t Reagan get along with those guys?!

 

(Spencer walks up to them and extends his hand to John)

 

SPENCER: John! How are you?

 

(John reluctantly shakes Spencer’s hand)

 

JOHN: Hello, Spencer. I’m just super.

 

SPENCER: Congrats on your recent promotion!

 

JOHN: Thanks, I think I earned it. (His minions laugh. Spencer smiles and nods his head) Listen, though, we’ll have to talk later-

 

SPENCER: Hey, I just wanted to casually mention, Thomas Loveman is trying to buy the building that Annex is leasing, did you hear about that?

 

(John furrows his brow)

 

JOHN: No? I didn’t hear about this!

 

PATRIZIO: Cocksucker’s trying to embarrass us. Again.

 

JOHN: He went over our heads with Patrizio, and now he’s trying to take our shit?!

 

SPENCER: I know! I don’t imagine he’d want them to tithe to you guys. But hey, Loveman can’t possibly run that place worse than that faggot Lindsay.

 

SAMMY: Lindsay’s a faggot?!

 

SPENCER: YEAH! You believe that?!

 

(Sammy squeals with delight)

 

SAMMY: Oh my God, that’s so juicy!

 

(They all glare at him. He composes himself and gazes at his shoes. John turns to Spencer)

 

JOHN: Lindsay’s a pillow-biter, eh?

 

SPENCER: Yep. I mean, the miscreants they employ there- a homo, a whore and of course, my son.

 

JOHN: Who’s the whore?

 

SPENCER: Nina- she’s a stripper at Five-Alarm. (Patrizio’s eyes go wide. Suddenly, everyone in the crew grows tense) …What is it?

 

PATRIZIO: She works there?!

 

JOHN: Listen, we gotta go-

 

SPENCER: Do you know her?

 

(Patrizio chuckles)

 

PATRIZIO: I knew her husband pretty well.

 

(John grabs Patrizio by the ear)

 

JOHN: ALRIGHT! We have a baby shower to shake down, so we’ll be off.

 

PATRIZIO: BYE!

 

(John, Sammy and Frank walk off as John drags Patrizio by his ear over to Gotti’s Rolls-Royce. Spencer looks on with wonder)

 

SPENCER: Alright, well. Let’s go bowling soon! (They get in the car, start it, and drive off. Spencer’s jaw is on the floor. He scratches his face) Either Spencer and Nina’s husband are secret lovers, or…something else is going on.

 

(Spencer heads for his car and gets in. Cut to Annex. Savannah and Jack are overseeing a group of workers unscrewing the outdated bar stools from the ground)

 

SAVANNAH: Do you guys want some water?

 

(One of the workers looks over at Savannah)

 

WORKER: We have some, thanks.

 

(The worker returns to unfastening the chair from the ground- as another worker assists him)

 

SAVANNAH: No problem. We could make you a drink if you want.

 

JACK: You want them to be drinking on the job?

 

SAVANNAH: Why not? This looks boring and hard.

 

WORKER: Really, ma’am, we’re good. Thank you.

 

(The workers lift up the stool and haul it away)

 

JACK: You know what else I was thinking would be a super cool addition to this place?

 

SAVANNAH: Ooh, yes! Go ahead.

 

JACK: Close your eyes.

 

SAVANNAH: Just say it.

 

JACK: Two words.

 

(Jack mouths “ball pit”)

 

SAVANNAH: …What? Ball point? Like a ballpoint pen?

 

JACK: No, “ball pit”! Like they have at the McDonald’s Play Places!
 

(Savannah looks puzzled)

 

SAVANNAH: Uh…Jack, this is a bar for, ya know, adults. Why would we have a ball pit?

 

JACK: Do you remember using the ball pit when you were a kid?

 

SAVANNAH: Sure? Until I realized how many helpless animals McDonald’s kills every year-

 

JACK: Yeah, so, anyway- I would use those things until I was like, seventeen! But suddenly, McDonald’s wouldn’t let me anymore. Suddenly, no more slides for Jacky boy.

 

SAVANNAH: Seventeen?!

 

JACK: Ever since, I’ve wanted to install one in my home, but our landlord won’t let us. Plus, everybody looks at me weird when I try to buy a ball pit.

 

SAVANNAH: Does “everybody” include the FBI?

 

JACK: Why would it?

 

(Savannah sighs)

 

SAVANNAH: Never mind. (Savannah walks over to the bar, just as workers finish screwing in a new, more modern bar stool. She sits in it as they walk away) I really don’t think we should do that, Jack.

 

(Jack sits on one of the new stools right next to Savannah)

 

JACK: Come on, Savannah, haven’t you ever tried to fulfill a childhood wish?!

 

SAVANNAH: I wanted to be a giraffe when I grew up, Jack, most of my wishes are out of reach.

 

JACK: Come on. Do me a favor and let me have this. My mommy has a new beau, after all, and I’m upset.

 

(Savannah sighs and rubs her eyes)

 

SAVANNAH: …Fine, whatever.

 

(Jack pumps his fist)

 

JACK: Sick!

 

SAVANNAH: But only if you let me have something!

 

JACK: Anything! What is it?

 

SAVANNAH: I can barely eat anything here. We need a vegan menu. (Jack lets out a high-pitched whine) Oh, come ON!

 

JACK: …Fine…

 

(Cut to Brian sitting across from Gayle’s desk, while she talks on the phone and paints her toenails with her feet propped up on her desk. Brian looks miserable)

 

GAYLE: …Yeah, well, he barely used that car anyway. Just to drive to work and back, and to drive to his kid’s soccer practice, and drive back. And to drive to dinner parties and back. He’s always just going places and then going back, he’s such a bore. So, I sold his car, I needed the money. (Gayle puts the phone to his chest) Get out the phonebook and find a Mazda dealership in Queens. (Gayle returns to the phone, as Brian reluctantly takes out a phonebook and starts flipping through it) If he’s gonna be such a baby about it, then I’ll give him the number for a dealership where he can get a new one. You ready? Okay. (To Brian) You ready?

 

(Brian nods)

 

BRIAN: …718-445-

 

GAYLE: 718-44- hold on! Brian! Hold on! (Brian looks up at her wearily) Go slower, hotshot? Alright? 718-445, what?

 

BRIAN: …9040.

 

GAYLE: (To phone) 9040. Did you get that? (Beat) Good. (Beat) No! No, I won’t pay for the new car- I just got this money, I’m not just gonna throw it away! (Gayle scoffs and hangs up) Siblings, I swear. (Brian gets up) Where are you going?

 

BRIAN: …To the bathroom.

 

GAYLE: Not right now- I need you to go out and buy me a mirror and some false nails. It’s not what you think! My old mirror at home broke after I smashed it in a drug-fueled rage.

 

BRIAN: That’s very close to what I thought.

 

GAYLE: And the fake nails are so I can easily scoop coke and inhale it.

 

BRIAN: Okay, so that’s exactly what I thought.

 

GAYLE: Go on.

 

(Brian nods and leaves the office. Outside he’s confronted by Lindsay, who is smoking a cigarette in the hallway)

 

LINDSAY: You feel good about yourself?

 

BRIAN: What are you still doing here?!

 

LINDSAY: Dude. He is demeaning you. Making you his bitch. Worse- making you Gayle’s bitch. Do the dignified thing and quit.

 

BRIAN: He wants me to quit. That way he doesn’t have to give me severance. There’s no way I’m giving him what he wants.

 

(Brian walks past Lindsay. Lindsay sighs and shakes his head. Cut to an all-hands meeting later that day. Spencer is speaking before almost all of the employees and their secretaries. Brian is sitting behind Gayle, who’s sitting at the table. Spencer is pointing to a chart showing quarterly earnings for the second quarter of fiscal year 1986. It shows them flattening out)

 

SPENCER: Unfortunately, the trend is clear. After a solid ’85, ’86 has been flat so far. Maybe it’s been all the tumult recently, but I suspect it’s been a lack of work ethic around here. So, I wanna hear ideas about what can be done about this. Bill?

 

(Bill clears his throat)

 

BILL: Well, it’s my belief that the best way to increase productivity is to eliminate all distractions. So, for instance, the snack machine is a source of intense acrimony. Constant carping about when it will be replenished with snacks has distracted us from our task- which is loaning out cash to people with bad mediocre to bad credit.

 

SPENCER: Well said. Snack machines are going tomorrow! (Brian groans) You have a problem with that, Brian?

 

(Brian clears his throat)

 

BRIAN: No, sir.

 

SPENCER: Good. Gayle, you want to chime in?

 

GAYLE: Absolutely. (Gayle stands up) To get higher productivity, we need energy. And what energizes people more than anything?

 

(Everyone groans)

 

SPENCER: Gayle, come on.

 

GAYLE: Hear me out! Brian, go ahead. (Brian sighs and takes out a piece of cardstock with a picture of a bag of cocaine and puts it on the pedestal, obscuring the quarterly earnings. Everyone groans and rolls their eyes) Well, can anyone argue with me?!

 

DEBRA: Gayle, honey, you need help.

 

GAYLE: Trust me, I have all the help I need. (Gayle walks over to Brian and pats him on the back) This one here? He’s a superstar. (Brian frowns and returns to his seat. Gayle takes her seat, too. Spencer grabs the card stock and breaks it over his knee. Gayle jumps to her feet) NO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

 

SPENCER: Gayle, it’s not real!

 

(Gayle takes a gulp and sits back down)

 

GAYLE: …I-I know….

 

(Brian rubs his eyes with fury. Cut to an establishing shot of a local police precinct in Manhattan. We cut to inside, where we see a desk jockey cop doing a crossword in the lobby. Police officers march by with a black dude sporting a fade in their custody. He nods at them as they walk by. Spencer walks in and approaches reception)

 

SPENCER: Hi, I’m looking for Detective Malcolm Hauser?

 

COP: Take the hallway about halfway and then take a left.

 

SPENCER: Okay, thanks-

 

(A grizzled detective with salt and pepper hair approaches Spencer jovially)

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: No need! I will come to you.

 

(Spencer gladly shakes Hauser’s hand)

 

SPENCER: Malcolm, how the hell are ya?

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: Fan-fuckin’-tastic, it’s a beautiful time to be a New Yorker.

 

SPENCER: Thanks for meeting me on short notice.

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: No problem, follow me. (Spencer and Hauser walk down the corridor towards Hauser’s office. Cut to them inside. Spencer is enjoying some coffee as Hauser shows Spencer a framed photo of Hauser as a beat cop shaking hands with former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller) Yeah, this was when the Governor dropped by a PBA meeting in- I think it was ’70 or ’71. We nearly pissed ourselves, we were so surprised. One cop did, but that’s because he was a drunk. He was actually already asleep by the time Rockefeller got there. Somebody had drawn a dick on his face, and- (Hauser takes out another framed photo- but this time of Rockefeller and Hauser posing in front of a passed-out cop with a dick drawn on his face) he posed for that, too.

 

(Hauser and Spencer share a laugh)

 

SPENCER: What a trip.

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: Yeah, well, anyway. Enough about me. (Hauser puts the framed photo away) I looked into your friend, Nina.

 

SPENCER: Yes? And?

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: Well, it’s fascinating. (Hauser takes out a file and pulls out a black-and-white mug shot of a skinny Italian dude with a buzz cut and a leather jacket. The mugshot board reads “NYPD 11087 LOGAN SPERANZA”) Logan Speranza is her husband. Or was her husband. This wasn’t a divorce though, or if it was, it didn’t through the proper channels.

 

SPENCER: What does that mean?

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: He disappeared in the summer of 1984. Without a trace. According to Nina, anyway. Just didn’t come home one day.

 

SPENCER: Huh. Do you believe that?

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: No, we didn’t, but- (Hauser puts the picture down) we don’t know why SHE would’ve wanted him gone. By all accounts, their marriage was tumultuous- but not abusive or anything. We suspected the Gambinos, above anyone else.

 

SPENCER: And why’s that?

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: Rumor had it that he was into them for a ton of money.

 

SPENCER: But why would they want to kill someone who owed them money?!

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: Exactly. You don’t set fire to an ATM machine. So, we hit a dead end. Nina had no discernible motive and neither did the Gambinos.

 

SPENCER: Did Nina have any theories?

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: The weird part is, no. We asked her if the Gambinos had threatened him, or if she suspected them, and she said “no”.

 

(Spencer rubs his chin)

 

SPENCER: …Thank you, for this.

 

(Spencer gets up)

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: Sure you don’t want to stay for a drink?

 

SPENCER: I’m sorry, I can’t. For I have a face that I need to deface with a dick.

 

(Hauser furrows his brow)

 

DETECTIVE HAUSER: …I’m sorry, what?

 

SPENCER: It’s a metaphor- you know what, never mind. See ya soon, officer.

 

(Spencer shakes Hauser’s hand and exits Hauser’s office. Cut to Annex. A ball pit has been installed in the center of the dance floor. Two pairs of club rats are in the ball-pit, playing chicken- as in two club rats are straddling the necks of another, as they engage in a knife fight)

 

CLUB RAT: GET BACK!
 

CLUB RAT 2: FUCK YOU, DUDE, I’LL CUT YOU!

 

(They keep thrusting the knife in each other’s directions, narrowly missing each time. Pan over to Jack and Savannah at the bar. Savannah’s watching in disbelief)

 

SAVANNAH: Jesus God, Jack, look what you’ve unleashed!

 

JACK: Oh, come on, they’re missing intentionally.

 

SAVANNAH: How do you know that?!

 

JACK: Why aren’t you happy? You got your vegan menu!

 

(Savannah picks up a laminated copy of the vegan menu)

 

SAVANNAH: For Christ’s sake, Jack, this menu consists of TWO items! A “lettuce sandwich” and a cup of Jell-O, which isn’t vegan by the way!

 

JACK: Jell-O has meat?

 

SAVANNAH: NO! Jell-O is made of gelatin, which is a substance extracted from the skin and bones of pigs!

 

JACK: Fine, what do you suggest?

 

(Savannah takes out a piece of paper with several menu items scribbled onto it)

 

SAVANNAH: If you had just WAITED until I sent you my ideas for what could be on the menu, we could’ve avoided this!

 

(Jack picks up the piece of paper and reads through it)

 

JACK: Tofu burgers, tofu chicken, tofu veal, almond milk, almond Jell-O?! Savannah, all due respect, but tofu costs a lot of money. (Jack puts the menu down) Also, it’s icky and I don’t want it.

 

SAVANNAH: Why do you think you have to eat it?

 

JACK: My mom’s new boyfriend makes me try vegetables.

 

SAVANNAH: He makes you?!

 

(Suddenly, a lanky bohemian couple with two rug rats following in tow walk into Annex)

 

FATHER: Yo, I heard this place has a ball pit?

 

MOTHER: We got banned from the Mickey D’s down the street, so we figured the kids could play here while we go antiquing.

 

KID: MOMMY!! THERE IT IS!

 

(The kids run toward the ball pit)

 

JACK: WAIT, NO! BE CAREFUL!

 

CLUB RAT: It’s alright, kiddos, come on in!

 

FATHER: Just look after them for a bit, we’ll be right back.

 

(They walk away, as the kids start wrestling in the ball pit, feet away from the ongoing game of knife-fighting chicken. Jack looks on in horror. Savannah looks at him)

 

SAVANNAH: Vegan ingredients are too expensive, huh? Let me ask you- how much are the lawsuits gonna cost?! (Jack shrugs and rubs his neck nervously) GET THEM OUTTA THERE!
 

(Jack winces and shuffles off)

 

JACK: (OS) Come on, guys, let’s go- AH! Please don’t throw pocket suckers at me- AGH!

 

(Cut to Nina Bonaccorsi and her kids Jason and Jillian in their apartment, watching television. Nina has made herself comfortable and is holding a glass of red wine. They’re watching Scarecrow & Mrs. King on CBS. We see an establishing shot of Capitol Hill, punctuated with ominous music and the sound of thunder. We then  see Billy Melrose, an older black spy, played by Mel Stuart, wearing a suit and trench coat and holding an umbrella aloft on the streets of D.C. Suddenly, a limo pulls up, the window goes down and reveals Gregory, an intimidating middle-aged man in a suit, played by James Cromwell)

 

GREGORY: Want a lift?

 

BILLY: Gregory. I didn’t expect to see you back in D.C. so soon. Or ever! (Gregory opens the door and lets Billy into the limo. He closes the door behind him, and the limo starts driving, as they sit in the back) …I thought our last escapade finished your career.

 

GREGORY: It should have, Billy, really. But I just happened to have salted away some very fine videotapes…for a rainy day.

 

(Gregory smiles. Nina sips some wine, as a knock sounds at the door. Nina quickly swallows the wine and puts the glass down on the coffee table)

 

NINA: COMING! (To her kids) Don’t move a muscle.

 

JASON: Okay, mom.

 

JILLIAN: Okay!

 

(Nina gets up and ambles casually to the door. She looks through the peephole and sees Spencer standing there. She recoils from the peephole)

 

NINA: …What do you want?!

 

SPENCER: (OS) I think we should talk out here, Nina.

 

NINA: What the hell would we have to talk about?!

 

SPENCER: (OS) Come out here and find out. I think you’ll find it very interesting.

 

(Nina turns to her kids, as their eyes are glued to the television)

 

NINA: Jason, Jillian, I’m gonna step out for a second. If I start screaming, call 911.

 

JASON & JILLIAN: (Without looking away from the TV) Okay, mom.

 

NINA: Love you, guys. (Nina unlocks the door and steps out into the hallway, closing the door behind him) What do you want?!

 

SPENCER: Is your husband home?

 

NINA: (Whispering) What the fuck is that supposed to mean, you piece of shit?!

 

SPENCER: Listen. What I’m about to say is not a threat-

 

NINA: That sentence has NEVER been followed by something that’s not a threat!

 

SPENCER: But I know about Logan. I know what happened to him. And I know YOU know, as well. (Nina looks shocked) But I don’t care about that. I understand that you were only trying to protect your family. And I want to help you do just that.

 

(Nina’s eyes widen and her jaw hangs open)

 

NINA: Are you threatening me?!

 

SPENCER: …I mean, yeah. I’ll drop the bullshit, yeah, I’m threatening you.

 

NINA: What the fuck is wrong with you?!

 

SPENCER: In order for all of this to go away, you just need to do some recon on Annex for me.

 

NINA: Recon!? Like, spying?!

 

SPENCER: Yes! You got it!

 

NINA: No fucking way! (Nina shoves Spencer) Get the fuck out of here, or I’ll call the police!
 

SPENCER: You sure you wanna do that?! Don’t you realize what the Gambinos are capable of?!

 

NINA: You’re a monster!

 

SPENCER: I’m a person who knows what I want. And don’t act like Brian’s so INNOCENT. Brian and Lindsay have been paying tithes to the EXACT SAME PEOPLE who murdered your husband in cold blood- for MONTHS now!

 

NINA: Shut the fuck up, you don’t know what you’re talking about!

 

SPENCER: Don’t I?! Why don’t you ask them? See where their eyes go when they deny it! Will they look you in the eyes, or will they check out what’s on the floor?! (Nina looks rattled) Well. Their eyes will probably drift down to your tits, but either way, you’ll have your answer. (Nina nervously gulps) And I think I already have yours. You know where to contact me.

 

(Spencer walks away. Tears well in Nina’s eyes, as she retreats, hands shaking, back into her apartment. She closes the door behind her and puts her body up against it. Jason and Jillian glance in her direction)

 

JILLIAN: Who was that, mom?

 

NINA: No one, honey. Just the mailman.

 

JASON: Why as the mailman yelling at you?

 

NINA: Just. Watch TV, okay?!

 

(Jason and Jillian go back to watching TV, caught off guard by her curtness. Nina sits behind them and chews on her fingernails as the camera gradually closes in on her. Cut to the next morning. Spencer is smoking a cigarette as he reviews paperwork in his office. Brian marches in and sits down across from him)

 

BRIAN: I’m not gonna give you what you want.

 

(Spencer looks up)

 

SPENCER: Sorry, did Gayle and I have a meeting? Will she be joining us?

 

BRIAN: Shut up. I know what you’re doing. But you won’t win. You can’t get rid of me. I’ll work my way up, just like anyone else. 20k a year may not seem like much, but I can manage, because I have other sources of income-

 

SPENCER: I’m sorry, did you say 20k a year?

 

BRIAN: …Yes, 26K is how much secretaries make, right?

 

SPENCER: No, no, that’s how much MALE secretaries make. I decided you’d be making a woman’s wage. Thirteen thousand.

 

(Brian’s eyes flare with anger)

 

BRIAN: …You asshole.

 

SPENCER: Let’s just say, pay equity suddenly became important to me.

 

(Brian pouts and white knuckles his elbows as he sits cross armed)

 

BRIAN: …Fucking fine, I quit.

 

(Brian gets up, takes his ID badge out of his wallet and slaps it on the desk. Spencer laughs and sits back)

 

SPENCER: Goodbye, my son. (Brian flips him off and leaves) …I’ll be closer than you think, you little shit.

 

(Cut to Jack sadly hanging a sign on the netting surrounding the ball pit. “Temporarily closed”. He frowns as he looks at it. Savannah walks over and puts her hand on his shoulder)

 

JACK: ...When do you think it’ll reopen?

 

SAVANNAH: …Once we get a bouncer who doesn’t let in kids, Jack.

 

JACK: But I like Ryan!

 

BARB: (OS) Jack.

 

(Jack and Savannah turn around and see Barb standing there, holding hands with an older guy with a twirly mustache, a crimson jacket and a thinning head of hair)

 

JACK: Mom! (He looks at her boyfriend) …Hello, Mike.

 

BARB: Jack, you’ve been here all night, it’s time to come home.

 

SAVANNAH: You’ve been here all night?!

 

JACK: Mom, MIKE IS NOT MY DAD!
 

MIKE: I know I’m not, kiddo.

 

JACK: STOP THAT!

 

MIKE: Sorry. Listen, I’m not trying to be your dad, I know I can’t be. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be friendly towards one another.

 

(Jack looks down and rubs his shoulder)

 

JACK: Can I go in the ball pit?

 

(Mike looks confused)

 

MIKE: …It looks like it’s closed, bud?

 

SAVANNAH: Yeah, and YOU closed it.

 

JACK: My dad would let me go in the ball pit!

 

SAVANNAH: I thought you didn’t WANT him to be your dad!

 

MIKE: Alright, Jack, you can use the ball pit. Christ.

 

JACK: YES!

 

(Jack tears through the opening to the ball pit and roots around in it. Barb shakes her head as Mike rubs her shoulder)

 

MIKE: …I’m sorry, Barb, I didn’t know what to do.

 

(Lindsay busts in with Brian)

 

LINDSAY: EVERYBODY, LISTEN UP! (Lindsay whistles loudly, and everyone turns to watch him. Including Jack, who emerges from the ball pit with an inquisitive look) We have some FANTASTIC news- what the fuck is that?!

 

(Lindsay points at the ball pit)

 

JACK: Savannah and I made some changes while you were gone-

 

LINDSAY: Well, that shit has GOTTA go!

 

JACK: Okay, yes, sir.

 

SAVANNAH: Jesus!

 

JACK: What about the vegan menu, though?!

 

LINDSAY: The WHAT?!

 

BRIAN: Guys, can we focus on my announcement-or?

 

SAVANNAH: I felt like this place should be more vegan-friendly, so I had the idea of having a vegan menu.

 

LINDSAY: Well, that makes sense, because you have a LOT of stupid ideas.

 

(Savannah looks furious)

 

SAVANNAH: I know you’re angry with me, but you do NOT talk to me like that!
 

LINDSAY: YOU DON’T WORK HERE! You can’t redecorate shit and make a new menu, even if you’ve gotten permission from Lenny over here!
 

BARB: HEY! Don’t talk to him like that!

 

LINDSAY: (Immediately contrite) I’m genuinely so sorry, Mrs. Wilgus. (To Savannah) Please leave!
 

(Savannah flips off Lindsay and marches out, leaving through the back door. The energy in the room is tense. Lindsay clears his throat, and Brian nervously walks up and pats Brian on the back)

 

BRIAN: Upsetting events aside, there’s good news! I quit my job at Sarandon S&L!

 

(Everyone applauds and cheers, even Barb and Mike, who look confused. Nina pops out from behind the bar and claps politely. Lindsay takes Brian over to the bar and slaps the bar)

 

LINDSAY: Nina, two shots of Maker’s Mark for two free men.

 

BRIAN: And one for you, of course.

 

NINA: Sure thing.

 

(Nina takes out a bottle of Maker’s Mark and starts pouring. Jack walks over and shakes Brian’s hand)

 

JACK: Congratulations. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like being in the grasps of a verbally abusive boss, like that.

 

BRIAN: It was Hell, for sure. But now it’s over. (Nina pushes the shots toward Brian and Lindsay,  and takes one for herself, as Jack hugs his mom in the background) Cheers.

 

(Brian, Lindsay and Nina clink glasses and take their shots. Jack turns to them)

 

JACK: I’m gonna go home for a while and sleep- Nina, can you handle things for a bit?

 

NINA: Definitely.

 

(Jack gives a thumbs-up and leaves with Barb and Mike)

 

BRIAN: There’s precious little time to celebrate, because the Lovemans and my piece of shit dad are doing everything they can right now to get O’Halleran to sell this place.

 

LINDSAY: We can’t let it happen. It’d be like letting Hitler walk into Downing Street, kick Churchill in the balls and call him a bitch.

 

NINA: So, uh. What do we do then?

 

BRIAN: We execute the plan. The plan we talked about at Five-Alarm.

 

(Nina hesitates for a moment. Closes her eyes. Then opens them)

 

NINA: …What’s the plan?

 

(“Runnin’ With The Devil” by Van Halen comes in as Brian and Lindsay lean in and start sharing their plan with Nina. We gradually zoom out and fade to credits, as the song continues)

 

THE END


Submitted: January 14, 2021

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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