The Valley of the Tools Episode 46

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

Rob reconciles with his dad, now that he’s a born-again preacher, and seeks his advice as to whether he should choose to win Imogen back or start dating Colleen. Whitney feels overwhelmed by the process of selling Miles’ movie while Hannah hassles her to make their relationship official. McKenzie runs into a guy from High School she’s always had a crush on.

THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“THE LORD REMOVES ALL STAINS”

 

TV-MA DLS

 

“The time is right to put my arms around you. You're feeling right, you wrap your arms around too. But suddenly I feel the shining sun. Before I knew it, this dream was all gone. Ooh, I don't know what to do, about this dream and you. I wish this dream comes true”

  • Carlos Sosa

 

(We open on Brad Lamborn picking up a bottle of Windex and spraying it onto the tall windows overlooking Rob’s living room, which is a bit messy at the moment, the coffee table crowded with plates and soda cans. He liberally sprays the bottle onto the glass and wipes it with a rag. Rob walks in)

 

ROB: Oh, dad you don’t have to do that.

 

BRAD: These windows are filthy, Robert.

 

ROB: You also don’t have to- and shouldn’t- call me “Robert”.

 

BRAD: I just figured I should make myself useful while you’re working.

 

ROB: Yeah, I know I haven’t been cleaning up great since Imogen left.

 

(Brad moves to the other window and sprays again)

 

BRAD: Just pretend I’m not even here. I’m invisible. (Brad turns to Rob) Like God.

 

(Rob nods awkwardly and makes his way to his home office. Cut to Rob in front of his computer, being admitted into a Zoom meeting featuring Whitney, McKenzie, Luther, Miles, Noel and Alec)

 

WHITNEY: Alright, everyone’s here. Alec, what’s first on the agenda?

 

ALEC: “Untitled Peruvian Amazon Documentary Updates”. That’s McKenzie.

 

MILES: Exciting stuff.

 

WHITNEY: Miles, don’t talk. McKenzie, go ahead.

 

(McKenzie sighs)

 

MCKENZIE: I’m having trouble selling this one, considering how immensely insensitive it is, especially in these times of heightened racial tension.

 

ROB: Is there still racial tension now that Biden is President?

 

MCKENZIE: Jesus Christ- YES!

 

LUTHER: The other day I picked up a Postmates order from my front door and a cop almost arrested me for buying drugs.

 

ROB: Alright, alright, fair enough.

 

MILES: Was it really a Postmates order, though?

 

LUTHER: Well, no, it was weed- but that’s been legal in California for four fucking years!

 

MCKENZIE: Anyway, distributors have been turning me down left and right, so I could use some assistance.

 

MILES: I’ll help you out, Kenz-

 

WHITNEY: NO! I will help you out, Kenz, I was in it, and I think I know how to sell it. And it doesn’t involve depicting Rudyard Kipling over here in a very flattering light.

 

MILES: Hey, I have a phalanx of lawyers on standby if you try to depict me as anything less than a God to these people-

 

WHITNEY: Okay, Grothman, the portion of the meeting that’s relevant to you has hereby concluded, goodbye.

 

(Whitney expels Miles from the meeting and his box disappears)

 

KEVIN: Watching you guys fall out has been painful for all of us.

 

(Kevin clutches his heart)

 

LUTHER: Before we move on, though, I just wanna say that save-the-dates are going out, so everybody send me their address just in case I don’t have it already. (Kevin squirms uncomfortably. McKenzie squints) Y’all can do it in a DM, if you want.

 

MCKENZIE: What’s the date?

 

LUTHER: November 20th. But we may push it back if COVID-19 is still wiling out by that time.

 

KEVIN: Cool, cool, can we move on? I think we have non-matrimonial matters to attend to.

 

(Luther squints)

 

LUTHER: Yeah, sure, whatever.

 

WHITNEY: Wait a minute, though, where’s Evelyn been lately?

 

LUTHER: She’s been focusing on her Real Estate firm more.

 

WHITNEY: Thus, the folly of having multiple jobs.

 

LUTHER: Yeah.

 

WHITNEY: Okay, can you just e-mail our financials, I’ll take a look at them myself.

 

LUTHER: Actually, I think they’re gathering dust at our offices.

 

WHITNEY: …Our offices? You mean, the offices we haven’t used in almost a year?

 

(Luther shrugs)

 

LUTHER: It’s been a busy year for my fiancé. (Beat) We have a wedding to pay for, you know.

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, let’s talk after that. Next up, Alec?

 

ALEC: “Failure: The Story of The Guy Who Didn’t Invent the Telephone”.

 

WHITNEY: How are pre-sales for that?

 

MCKENZIE: Bad. Because we lost Garamendi’s backing. No one wants to distribute an unfinished film about a guy who’s most known for NOT doing something.

 

(Whitney sighs)

 

WHITNEY: Rob, have you gotten a chance to read that Mark Reitman script, about the talking dog and his drug addict owner climbing Mount Candy to find his overdosed girlfriend’s body?

 

ROB: Huh? No, not yet.

 

WHITNEY: Jesus, Rob, you’ve had that script for a week. We need some magical realism in this bitch if we’re ever gonna make any awards noise.

 

ROB: I know, I know, I got caught up in some other, work.

 

WHITNEY: I know it hasn’t been work, Rob. I read the tabloids. But it’s time to focus up, you still have a job here.

 

(Rob nods)

 

ROB: I know, I know. I’m sorry for being absent when you guys need me the most.

 

WHITNEY: Well. You know. We manage, but we’d rather have you here-

 

ROB: I know this place doesn’t function if I’m even a little bit distracted, so, I’m sorry.

 

WHITNEY: That is not what I said, you know what, let’s just move on. Alec?

 

ALEC: “The Powdered Wig” by Noel Masterson.

 

WHITNEY: How the fuck did that get in there?

 

NOEL: I don’t know, I think it’s worth a read.

 

WHITNEY: Leave.

 

(Noel nods and exits the Zoom. Cut to Rob walking into his living room, and seeing his dad sitting in an armchair reading the bible)

 

ROB: Hey dad, thanks for cleaning up.

 

(Brad puts his bible aside and stands up)

 

BRAD: You’re welcome, I find it relaxing to clean. Of course, it’s easy to clean a window. But you know what else is surprisingly easy to clean? The soul.

 

(Rob chuckles)

 

ROB: Dad. Come on. I’ve joined enough cults in the past few years. (Rob sits down on the couch. Brad walks over and sits next to him) I don’t want to be converted, I just want to know you.

 

BRAD: Alright, you can’t blame a guy for trying.

 

ROB: But that’s just it, dad. Sometimes when you do stuff like that, I can’t shake the feeling that this is all an act to gain my trust.

 

(Brad nods)

 

BRAD: Honestly, I can see why you might think that. I was a real POS, if you know what I mean.

 

ROB: You were. You really were.

 

BRAD: But then, I allowed Jesus into my heart. And all I want to do now is allow you into my life.

 

ROB: And?

 

BRAD: And maybe into Jesus’ life, if time permits. Jesus is a busy savior, you know.

 

(Rob shrugs)

 

ROB: Well. I do need some advice.

 

BRAD: Lay it on me, junior.

 

ROB: Okay, I’m adding “junior” to the “shit you’re not allowed to call me” list.

 

BRAD: Fair enough.

 

(Cut to the glass doors of Stone Productions’ offices in Van Nuys, located on a sprawling office park campus. We see Whitney walking up to the glass doors wearing a mask. She takes out a key and jams it into the lock and pushes open the creaky door. She closes the door behind her and walks up to the kitchen area, where the coffee maker and snacks are. She runs her finger across the dusty surface and examines the clump of dust staining her finger)

 

WHITNEY: Do they not dust? (Whitney blows the dust particles off her fingers and walks toward the back of the office, where reception and several offices are located) Where was Evelyn’s office again? (Whitney spots an office in the corner with a “Bernie 2020” sign in the window. She smirks as she walks up to it) This must be McKenzie’s office. God, we were so naïve and innocent back then. (Whitney turns around and sees a window into a nondescript office with a desk featuring no pictures, no trinkets and no decoration whatsoever. Whitney nods) Totally barren office, free of decoration? That’s Evelyn.

 

(Whitney opens the door to Evelyn’s office and enters. Cut to Whitney and McKenzie in a Zoom meeting)

 

WHITNEY: So, like I hinted at earlier, the best way to sell this doc is as a scathing indictment of Miles Grothman as a human being.

 

MCKENZIE: I get that, but I feel a little conflicted about throwing Miles under the bus like that.

 

WHITNEY: Okay, I’m gonna turn on “screen-share” and show you one of the clips from the doc and see if you still feel that way.

 

(Whitney shares her screen, and a paused QuickTime video showing Miles conversing with the Chief of a Peruvian tribe against the backdrop of the wild Amazon jungle. Miles is brandishing a fake gold bar in front of him and is flanked by the translator. Whitney presses “play”)

 

MILES: See? You could buy whatever you want with this.

 

(The translator relates what Miles is saying back to the Chief in his language)

 

TRANSLATOR: (You can buy whatever you want with this).

 

MILES: You could buy, you know, coconuts, bananas, sticks. The works.

 

(The translator rolls his eyes)

 

TRANSLATOR: (He’s saying you can buy coconuts, bananas, and sticks).

 

CHIEF: (What is he talking about? Those things are all around us, they’re free).

 

TRANSLATOR: He says-

 

MILES: CO-CO-NUTS. (To translator) Did he get that?

 

TRANSLATOR: Jesus.

 

(Whitney pauses. McKenzie shakes her head)

 

MCKENZIE: Never mind, I no longer have any qualms. Let’s proceed.

 

WHITNEY: Cool, glad we got that cleared up. (Whitney exits out of screen share) So, I noticed one of the distributors you didn’t contact was Magnolia Pictures, and I think this is right up their alley.

 

MCKENZIE: What have they done?

 

WHITNEY: They’ve done a bunch of documentaries.

 

MCKENZIE: Like what?

 

(Whitney sighs)

 

WHITNEY: …They did that John Lewis documentary, Good Trouble.

 

MCKENZIE: So, you think they might do a documentary about a fat racist being condescending to Peruvian tribesmen?

 

WHITNEY: Do you got a better idea?! No!? Then, let’s come up with a pitch.

 

(McKenzie sighs and leans her head against her fist. Cut to Hannah sitting in her living room at her house in Compton. She is sorting through Netflix when she happens upon “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel”. Hannah smiles, and checks her phone. It’s 8:57 PM on Wednesday, February 24th. She goes to Whitney’s number in her contacts and calls it. Cut to Whitney at her desk at home, on the Zoom meeting with McKenzie, surrounded by notes and crumpled-up pieces of paper)

 

MCKENZIE: (On Zoom) Should I call Miles a curse word?

 

WHITNEY: …What curse word did you have in mind?

 

MCKENZIE: “Twat-waffle”.

 

WHITNEY: …I like it but pitch me another one. (Whitney gets a call) Hold on. (She picks up her phone and sees it’s Hannah. She mutes her Zoom and walks away from the computer as she answers) What’s up?

 

(Intercut between Whitney and Hannah)

 

HANNAH: Hey, do you wanna come over? This new Elisa Lam documentary is burning a hole in my Netflix.

 

WHITNEY: Elisa Lam- you mean that poor girl who was found dead in the water tank on top of the Cecil Hotel?

 

HANNAH: Yeah, name a better date night movie.

 

WHITNEY: What about “Date Night”?

 

HANNAH: That movie sucks.

 

WHITNEY: Listen, we’re developing a pitch for Magnolia, it’s really important and time sensitive, so I think I have to stay here.

 

HANNAH: Is it tomorrow?

 

WHITNEY: Well. No, but it’s very soon-

 

HANNAH: Whitney, come on, you can’t be burning the midnight oil all the time if we’re gonna get back together.

 

(Beat)

 

WHITNEY: …When did we get back together?

 

HANNAH: …Ugh…

 

(Hannah hangs up. Whitney is caught off guard)

 

WHITNEY: I was seriously asking! (Whitney sighs and puts her phone away. She sits back in front of the computer and unmutes herself) Hey, let’s brainstorm for another half-hour, and then I got to go.

 

MCKENZIE: What happened?

 

(Whitney scoffs)

 

WHITNEY: Women. Am I right?

 

MCKENZIE: Totally! What are you talking about?

 

WHITNEY: Nothing, nothing. Bitches be cray, is all.

 

MCKENZIE: Right.

 

WHITNEY: Where were we?

 

MCKENZIE: Speaking of bitches being cray, have you noticed how close Kevin and Evelyn have been lately?

 

(Whitney swallows her upper lip and squints)

 

WHITNEY: Hmm?

 

(McKenzie sighs)

 

MCKENZIE: Never mind.

 

(Cut to Hannah slathering some peanut butter onto a piece of bread in her kitchen. She hears a knock at her door and quickly scurries over. She looks through the peephole and sees Whitney. She unbolts the four locks on her door and opens up)

 

HANNAH: Hey. Thanks for coming.

 

WHITNEY: Sorry for being dismissive on the phone.

 

HANNAH: It’s fine. Take off your shoes and come in.

 

(Whitney walks in and slips her shoes off)

 

WHITNEY: Since when do you run a shoeless household?

 

HANNAH: It’s to check for hidden switchblades in people’s shoes or strapped to people’s ankles. It’s standard operating procedure around here. (Hannah eyeballs Whitney’s shoes and ankle) Looks like you’re good, though. (Hannah walks over to her couch and sits down on it) Go ahead, sit.

 

(Whitney sits down)

 

WHITNEY: I’ve just been under a lot of stress keeping this ship afloat. Losing Garamendi, and then the Chinese breathing down my neck, and all of Rob’s bullshit.

 

HANNAH: You bring up a good point, though. What are we?

 

(Whitney shrugs)

 

WHITNEY: What do you want us to be?

 

HANNAH: Well, now that I’ve escaped from Xandra’s orbit of madness, I want to make sure that if I get back together with you, I’m doing it for the right reasons. Not just to get back at her.

 

(Whitney squints and guffaws)

 

WHITNEY: That did not even cross my fucking mind.

 

(Whitney gets up and immediately heads for the door)

 

HANNAH: Whitney!

 

(Hannah stands up as Whitney closes the door behind her. Hannah sighs and rubs her eyes. Whitney pops back in, grabs her shoes and leaves once again. Cut to Kevin sitting in the living room, drinking a beer and watching Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, on Netflix. We see a shot of the Cecil Hotel)

 

NEWSCASTER: (OS) Elisa was staying here at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. (We see a few more shots of the Cecil Hotel) It has $85-a-night rooms and mostly guests from foreign countries.

 

(McKenzie walks in and sees Kevin watching this)

 

MCKENZIE: Hey, were you able to alphabetize all those business cards?

 

KEVIN: I wasn’t able to get to it, I can do it tomorrow morning.

 

(McKenzie sighs)

 

MCKENZIE: What were you doing all day?

 

KEVIN: You said you wanted to keep track of all the people you never want to contact, it didn’t seem high priority.

 

MCKENZIE: Are you okay?

 

(Kevin looks perplexed)

 

KEVIN: Yeah, why?

 

MCKENZIE: It seems like something’s been bothering you lately.

 

(Kevin shakes his head “no”)

 

KEVIN: I feel fine. I bought a new pen today! (Kevin holds up a pen) Isn’t that cool? The ink hasn’t faded at all.

 

(McKenzie narrows her eyes and quietly leaves the room. Kevin drops the pen on the side table and his face turns into a scowl. Cut to the next day. We see McKenzie and Whitney, masked, walking up to a picnic table under a canopy of trees at Carlson Park in Culver City. Approaching from the other direction is a skinny young dude with a short strawberry blonde haircut, even short on the sides, wearing a tailored blue suit, and a collar with no tie. Alongside him is an older woman, slightly overweight, with white hair and a turkey neck. They are both of course wearing masks. They nod at each other as they meet)

 

WHITNEY: I’m Whitney Stone, so nice to meet you.

 

WOMAN: Harriet Mulcair, pleasure.

 

(McKenzie’s eyes grow wide as she zeroes in on the young executive’s face)

 

WHITNEY: This is our head of sales and acquisitions, McKenzie Park.

 

MCKENZIE: Nice to meet you, Harriet- (McKenzie turns to the guy) could you lower your mask for a second?

 

WHITNEY: Why?

 

MAN: No, I was about to say, I recognize you too- are you McKenzie Park?

 

MCKENZIE: YES! You’re Gavin Wright!

 

(Gavin lowers his mask to reveal his face)

 

GAVIN: In the flesh!

 

HARRIET: Pull it back, Gavin.

 

(Gavin pulls it back up. Whitney looks annoyed)

 

WHITNEY: Well, how fun.

 

GAVIN: You were a few grades behind me, but I remember you, we had the same lunch period!

 

WHITNEY: Let’s sit down, huh guys?

 

(They all sit down)

 

MCKENZIE: Yes! I would sometimes sit with your friend group and I would barely get a word in, edgewise.

 

GAVIN: Yeah, I think we had a rule about, like, freshmen could only speak if spoken to.

 

MCKENZIE: Right.

 

GAVIN: I always thought it was dumb, but. Peer pressure, you know?

 

(McKenzie laughs girlishly)

 

MCKENZIE: Yes! Wow. Gavin Wright- look at us now!

 

WHITNEY: Ha HA! That’s great! So, let’s get started, shall we?

 

GAVIN: We’ll catch up later. Do you know what happened to Danny?

 

WHITNEY: So, you’re catching up now?

 

MCKENZIE: No, what happened?

 

GAVIN: We’ll talk later, but Danny joined a biker gang and he’s doing ten years in San Quentin for armed robbery.

 

MCKENZIE: YOU’RE KIDDING! We’ll talk later, but how long since you’ve spoken to him?

 

HARRIET: You’re talking about it, right now.

 

GAVIN: We’ll talk later, but my boys and I visited him like a year ago.

 

WHITNEY: COOL! Later then, let’s get to work.

 

(Cut to Rob driving on the highway in his car. NPR is playing on the radio)

 

NPR: We’ve just gotten word that President Biden has ordered an airstrike on Iranian proxies in Syria-

 

(Rob turns the radio down and starts thinking intently)

 

BRAD: (OS, echoey) Listen, son, you were married by a justice of the peace. You don’t have to stay with her if you don’t want.

 

JOE: (OS, echoey) Robert, remember that divorce is a sin. And if you do it, you’ll go to Hell. And you’ll be married to Satan- think about that! A gay marriage. It disgusts me.

 

BRAD: (OS, echoey) You should only leave Imogen if you think it’s best for the long-term. And if you love this Colleen woman truly, and she loves you back, she’ll give you time to recover from this before insisting on a new romance.

 

JOE: (OS, echoey) This doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re talking about, but I just want to say, you’re weak.

 

ROB: Fuck off, dad.

 

BRAD: (OS, echoey) What’s that?

 

ROB: Not you, my other dad.

 

JOE: (OS, echoey) Oh, THAT’S IT!

 

(We hear Joe growling and straining)

 

ROB: What do you think you’re doing?! You’re a voice in my head, not a ghost!

 

JOE: (OS, echoey) I CAN BE A GHOST! YOU JUST WATCH, YOU LITTLE SHIT!

 

(Cut to Rob walking into a legal boardroom, where the windows have been opened to circulate air. He’s wearing a mask and is flanked by his lawyer James Cordic, who is masked as well. Imogen and her lawyer Bob Robeson, both masked, stand up to nod at Rob and James)

 

ROB: Hi.

 

IMOGEN: Hello.

 

JAMES: Good to see you, Bob.

 

BOB: How are ya, Jim. (They all sit down) So, let’s cut right to the chase. My client’s been married to yours for about six months.

 

JAMES: Correct.

 

BOB: They have no children, and the house is in Mr. Altmire’s name, only.

 

JAMES: Are you suggesting we file a summary dissolution?

 

BOB: I’ve discussed it with Ms. Deckland, and I think we agreed it’d be the most painless way to do this.

 

ROB: Guys, can you excuse us?

 

(James and Bob shoot glances at Rob)

 

BOB: Excuse me?

 

ROB: I want to talk to my wife alone.

 

BOB: Imogen, I would strongly advise against speaking with the respondent without counsel present.

 

IMOGEN: It’s fine, Bob. He won’t have counsel present, either.

 

BOB: Mr. Cordic could’ve coached him-

 

IMOGEN: Bob. Be on your way.

 

(James and Bob reluctantly rise to their feet)

 

JAMES: You guys can’t have make-up sex in here.

 

ROB: Thanks for the tip, James. Please go.

 

JAMES: I’m just saying, it wouldn’t be the first time.

 

(James and Bob leave the room. Rob removes his mask and leans forward. Imogen pulls down her mask as well)

 

ROB: We don’t have to do this. We can still undrown this baby.

 

IMOGEN: You had that chance. And feel free to use a less disturbing metaphor next time.

 

ROB: I don’t ever have to talk to Colleen ever again.

 

IMOGEN: So that’s one baby you are willing to drown.

 

ROB: Imogen.

 

IMOGEN: Listen, it was unfair of me to ever ask that of you. I was emotional. Our problems go much deeper.

 

(Rob sighs)

 

ROB: Care to elaborate?

 

(Imogen shrugs)

 

IMOGEN: I don’t know! I feel useless! Shuffling around this mansion that YOU bought, as a failed actress, it’s too much!

 

ROB: Why don’t you drop my name more often?! It has a lot of purchase, you know!

 

IMOGEN: Yeah, people are tripping over themselves trying to work with you, Rob.

 

ROB: Yes! Exactly!

 

IMOGEN: Even if that were true, I wouldn’t want it that way!

 

(Rob clears his throat)

 

ROB: It is true.

 

IMOGEN: Robert. People are tripping over themselves to get a picture of you necking with Elizabeth Shue, that’s the only attention you get.

 

ROB: Elizabeth Shue?

 

IMOGEN: I don’t know, I just watched Leaving Las Vegas.

 

ROB: Imogen, this is all a huge cop-out. You’re blaming our problems on external forces, but what is it about ME that makes you not want to be with me?

 

(Imogen leans back in her chair)

 

IMOGEN: …You really want to know?

 

ROB: Yes. Go ahead. Be merciless.

 

(Imogen takes a deep breath)

 

IMOGEN: …You’re impressionable.

 

ROB: Fuck you.

 

IMOGEN: Do you want me to do this or not?

 

(Rob crosses his arms)

 

ROB: No, keep going.

 

IMOGEN: …You’re impulsive, self-centered, you’re an egoist, and you probably have extreme undiagnosed ADHD. Are you a tabloid star, a development exec, a politician or a goddamn scientologist? Pick a lane!

 

ROB: I am a complicated man, Imogen, it’s not a bad thing.

 

IMOGEN: You’re really not. You are in constant pursuit of ego embellishment, all to make up for the fact that when you were a kid, the man who raised you never made a secret of the fact that he wished you were never born.

 

(Rob is struck by this. He slumps down in his chair)

 

ROB: …Well, fuck.

 

(Imogen casts her gaze down, regretfully)

 

IMOGEN: …I’m sorry about that.

 

ROB: No, it’s, uh. Good to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

 

(Imogen reaches her hand out and grabs Rob’s. She clutches it lovingly as Rob avoids her gaze. James pokes his head in)

 

JAMES: Can we come back in? My Instagram is fully refreshed, there’s nothing new.

 

(Rob and Imogen nod, and put their masks back on as their hands separate. James and Bob walk in and sit beside them. Bob opens his legal brief as Rob and Imogen exchange a tender look)

 

BOB: Okay, where were we?

 

(Cut to Brad painting the walls of Rob’s office a Robin’s Egg blue. He’s only gotte Rob walks in)

 

ROB: Listen, Imogen’s not interested in reconciling- what the hell are you doing?

 

BRAD: I’m painting your office a more kid-friendly color, just in case you ever have to turn it into a nursery.

 

ROB: Wow, you had high hopes for Imogen and I, huh?

 

BRAD: I did, but I can paint over this, if you want. Though, you never know when the good Lord will surprise you.

 

(Brad pats Rob on the back. Rob smirks)

 

ROB: Right. Well. Definitely undo this.

 

BRAD: Okay.

 

(Brad removes his hand and puts his paint roller back in the pan)

 

ROB: What should I do now?

 

BRAD: What do you want to do?

 

ROB: …I want to check on Colleen.

 

BRAD: Then go to her. (Rob smiles and walks away. Brad takes out his phone) How do I cancel that crib delivery?

 

(Cut to Whitney and McKenzie walking to their cars, which are parked on a residential street outside Carlson park)

 

WHITNEY: Can you not just act like a professional?!

 

MCKENZIE: What!? I saw an old friend! Like you wouldn’t do the same thing!
 

WHITNEY: All my high school friends either overdosed on opioids or got black lung, so maybe I’m not as sentimental as you are, but I’d like to think- (Whitney and McKenzie arrive at their respective cars and face one another) if I did see someone from high school, I wouldn’t let it derail and distract from the entire meeting! You could hardly pitch, you were ogling that Gavin imbecile so much!

 

MCKENZIE: HEY! Don’t talk about Gavin like that!

 

WHITNEY: You turned off Harriet with all that shit! Don’t you see what this means?!

 

MCKENZIE: That we schedule another meeting and try again!
 

WHITNEY: No, it means we’re FUCKED!

 

(Whitney gets in her car and slams the door. McKenzie squints)

 

MCKENZIE: Wait, what do you mean? (McKenzie runs over to the passenger’s side door of Whitney’s Kia Soul and pulls on the handle, right after Whitney locks it) What do you mean we’re fucked?!

 

(Whitney drives away, leaving McKenzie confused in the dust. Cut to Whitney sitting on her back porch, while on the phone)

 

WHITNEY: Listen, Harriet, I’m sorry about McKenzie’s behavior earlier today. I’ve decided to take her off this project.

 

HARRIET: (OS) I’m glad to hear that. Her general enthusiasm was off-putting. I prefer to work with jaded hypocrites.

 

WHITNEY: Do you think maybe we could do a Zoom meeting tonight, just the two of us?

 

HARRIET: (OS) That sounds excellent. I also apologize about Gavin, his dad is a high-powered producer, so you know how that goes.

 

WHITNEY: I know exactly how that goes. I bet he lives in Beverly Hills, too!

 

HARRIET: I live in Beverly Hills.

 

WHITNEY: Oh- yeah, well, I- that’s great! It’s a great area. How’d you swing that?

 

HARRIET: Your finance chief sold it to me, actually. What’s her name, Evelyn?

 

WHITNEY: Oh, yes! Evelyn! She’s an indispensable part of the team. (Whitney rolls her eyes) Shall we aim for six?

 

HARRIET: (OS) Sure. A minute later, and I’ll leave.

 

WHITNEY: Of course.

 

HARRIET: Talk to you then.

 

WHITNEY: Goodbye.

 

(Whitney hangs up and stares off into the distance. Cut to Whitney opening her front door and entering the foyer. She takes off her mask, walks into the living room and throws it on the coffee table. Kevin walks in, holding an open gallon of milk)

 

KEVIN: What’s up? (Whitney frowns and plops onto the couch, covering her face with her hands) Hey! What is it?!

 

(Kevin puts the milk on the coffee table and sits by McKenzie)

 

MCKENZIE: It’s nothing, it’s-

 

KEVIN: Are you upset that the parliamentarian struck the minimum wage hike from the COVID relief bill?

 

MCKENZIE: Well, now I am!

 

(Kevin rubs her back)

 

KEVIN: Well, what else?

 

(McKenzie wipes tears from her eyes and sniffs)

 

MCKENZIE: Whitney just chewed me out for fucking up a meeting with Magnolia.

 

KEVIN: Oh my God, she can be so harsh sometimes.

 

MCKENZIE: I don’t know, maybe she was right.

 

KEVIN: What’d you do?

 

(McKenzie shakes her head)

 

MCKENZIE: Nothing, I was just off. I don’t want to talk about it.

 

KEVIN: Okay. You want some water? Or milk?

 

MCKENZIE: No, can we just…you know…

 

KEVIN: Finish the Elisa Lam documentary series? Absolutely!
 

MCKENZIE: No, I mean…you know…

 

KEVIN: What is this, a sitcom? You’re saying you want to fuck?

 

MCKENZIE: Yes, I want to fuck.

 

(Kevin nods)

 

KEVIN: Okay. Yeah. Sure.

 

MCKENZIE: Only if you want to!

 

KEVIN: Yeah, no, let’s do it.

 

(Kevin gets up and leads McKenzie into the bedroom. Cut to Whitney in her office, on a Zoom call with Harriet Mulcair. She’s screensharing a still of Miles on top of their river boat playing music for the natives through a set of speakers connected to his phone)

 

WHITNEY: So, as you can see, this documentary truly captures one man’s ego-hungry mania, as he seeks to exploit the native peoples of Peru for his own benefit. It is a character study of a mad man. We could even call it something like that if you’re open to it.

 

HARRIET: This scene of him playing music for the natives- it’s reminiscent of Fitzcarraldo, is it not?

 

WHITNEY: Fitzcarraldo?

 

HARRIET: The Herzog film, about an aspiring rubber tycoon who goes on a trip through the Amazon to access rubber territory that he can use the profits from to open up a theatre for opera? At one point, he plays opera for the natives through a gramophone.

 

(Whitney motorboats her lips for a second)

 

WHITNEY: I’m sorry, I haven’t seen it, I don’t watch a lot of movies.

 

HARRIET: You don’t watch a lot of movies?!

 

WHITNEY: I MEAN- I do! But, I haven’t seen a lot of Herzog’s stuff. I saw Tenet though.

 

HARRIET: That’s not Herzog.

 

WHITNEY: No, but it is a movie.

 

(Awkward beat)

 

HARRIET: …Listen, they’re about to cancel Dr. Seuss from what I’ve been hearing, so I don’t think we can be involved in this production.

 

WHITNEY: Oh, please, Harriet, just think about it at least-

 

HARRIET: I have. I’m afraid we have to pass.

 

WHITNEY: Please! How about this? Let’s meet in-person! Your backyard, with masks, thirty minutes!

 

HARRIET: I’m sorry, Whitney. Goodbye.

 

WHITNEY: NO! DON’T- (Harriet leaves the Zoom meeting) GODDAMNIT!

 

(Whitney stands up and runs out of the room. Cut to Rob pulling up to Johannsson, Farley & Otis Real Estate. A gaggle of paparazzo are camped out in the parking lot, and they start flashing pictures as Rob gets out, masked, and approaches the building)

 

PAPPARAZZI: Goin’ to see Collen, are ya, Mr. Altmire??

 

ROB: My friend Evelyn works here, you pestilential douchebags.

 

(The paparazzo all go “oooooh!” Rob enters the building, and the few people working therein look up with surprise. Colleen stands up at her perch outside Evelyn’s office. Rob walks over to her)

 

ROB: Hey. Can we talk in private?

 

COLLEEN: Not in Evelyn’s office, okay? She can smell sex better than anyone I know.

 

ROB: We’re not gonna- also, how would you know?

 

COLLEEN: She calls out people coming back from lunch all the time.

 

ROB: Let’s go to the conference room, okay? (Rob and Colleen walk into the conference room and shuts the door behind him. All the employees outside have their eyes trained on the two of them. But Rob takes the time to close all the blinds, and turns to Colleen) Are you okay? There’s obviously a lot of attention on you, right now.

 

COLLEEN: I’m good. Believe it or not, I don’t mind the attention.

 

ROB: Hey, maybe we’re not different after all.

 

COLLEEN: I think most people agree we’re pretty similar.

 

(Rob chuckles and nods his head. There’s an awkward silence, as Rob surveys the room)

 

ROB: How are things with the prosecutors?

 

COLLEEN: I don’t know. Fine. They always want me to sign stuff. (Colleen shrugs) They want me to do cursive, but I always print.

 

ROB: Cursive is bullshit.

 

COLLEEN: Thank you! It’s just writing all shitty, why is it considered fancy? (Rob smirks and takes a deep breath. He places his hand on the table to steady himself. Colleen takes a step toward him) …How are things with Imogen? Bad?

 

(Rob gives a pained smirk and nods)

 

ROB: …Yes. It’s-it’s over.

 

(Colleen leans in to whisper in Rob’s ear)

 

COLLEEN: (Whispering) …What a shame.

 

(Colleen grips Rob’s neck with her lips, but Rob pulls away in a panic)

 

ROB: I-I-I-sorry, I just realized I have to, you know, clear the lint out of the- you know, the dryer at my house, because if you don’t, ya know, it could catch fire, the house could burn- my wife could burn alive! I don’t think she’s there- but what if she is?! I have to go, see you later. (Rob rushes out of the room. Colleen rolls her eyes and plops down in a rolling chair. Cut to Rob driving on the highway. He has his phone to his ear. It’s ringing) …Come on, come on.

WHITNEY: (On the phone) This is Whitney Stone. I can’t come to the phone right now- but if this is Rob, whatever idea you were gonna bounce off of me, don’t do it.

 

ROB: She’s just saying that! (Rob hangs up and accelerates. Cut to Rob walking into his foyer) Dad? (Rob walks into his living room) Dad? You there? (Rob walks into the guest bedroom. He sees Brad is at his bedside, praying) Dad?

 

(Brad looks over)

 

BRAD: Oh! Robert.

 

ROB: Sorry, did I interrupt?

 

BRAD: No, I’ll just be another second. (Brad turns his head and clasps his hands together again and mutters to himself) Amen.

 

(Brad stands up and looks at Rob)

 

ROB: What were you praying about?

 

BRAD: I was praying for you and Colleen.

 

(Rob scoffs)

 

ROB: Why?

 

BRAD: …I don’t know. It just felt like you needed it.

 

ROB: So, what did God say? Did he say I should smash, or? Is it not worth it?

 

BRAD: He wouldn’t advise pre-marital sex.

 

ROB: But- I am married! Just not to…her.

 

BRAD: You’re not married in the eyes of God. Remember?

 

ROB: So, does he think I should… (Rob rolls his eyes) “smooch” her?

 

BRAD: …I don’t know what He thinks. But I know what I think. You need to figure out you before you jump into another relationship.

 

(Rob nods solemnly)

 

ROB: …God’s a real bro, huh?

 

(Brad nods)

 

BRAD: God’s a homie, for sure.

 

ROB: Okay, don’t push it.

 

BRAD: Sorry.

 

(Cut to Rob sitting out by the pool, basking in the sun and smoking a cigarette with sunglasses on. “Digital Love” by Daft Punk comes in as Rob takes a drag of his cigarette and ashes it onto the ground. Rob crosses his legs. Cut to Xandra sitting in front of her laptop in the living room of her apartment. She’s smoking a joint, and we’re in slow-motion now. She blithely exhales smoke to her side as her finger hovers over the right-click on her mouse. Her mouse icon is positioned on top of the “upload” button on Spotify’s upload screen for the “Closure” episode featuring Rob, Colleen, Imogen and Bonnie. She curls her lips into a question mark. Cut to Hannah walking up to the thin, shitty curtains of her run-down Compton home. She peeks out the window and sees a homeless dude pushing a flat screen in a grocery cart down the street and yelling about it. Residents emerge from their windows like townspeople in Beauty and the Beast and start shouting at him while waving dollar bills around. Hannah closes her blinds and pulls up Whitney’s number on her iPhone. Her finger hovers over it as well. Cut to Kevin and McKenzie having sex on their bed. Kevin is thrusting awkwardly and wincing with each gyration. McKenzie looks uncomfortable. Kevin pulls out and sits on the edge of the bed. McKenzie looks over at the back of his head as he wipes the sweat off his brow. He turns to her, takes her hand and appears to apologize. McKenzie pats Kevin’s hand understandingly, but her face betrays her concern. Cut to Rob bouncing off his diving board in slow-motion. He is descending into the pool. Cut to Xandra in front of her laptop. Her face twists into an evil grimace and her finger moves toward the right-click on her mouse. We cut to Rob creating an enormous splash in the pool. We cut to Xandra pressing the right-click  button and uploading the podcast. The upload bar gets busy. Cut to Rob’s pool- underwater. Rob’s eyes are closed as he moves into frame, bubbles rising all around him. Cut to Hannah about to call Whitney- when a notification comes up on her phone. It’s a Facebook notification from Xandra Dyson reading “New Episode of ‘Closure’ is Up! Featuring Rob Altmire, Colleen Diamond and MORE! This one will blow your mind!” Hannah’s eyes widen, and she looks incensed. Cut to Rob, at regular speed, emerging from his pool as his phone vibrates on the hot pavement nearby. Rob picks up the phone as the song drops out)

 

ROB: What’s up, Hannah? (Beat) WHAT?!

 

(Cut to a dumbfounded Rob walking out in front of his house. The throng of paparazzi outside his gate, are all wearing headphones and listening intently to something. They all stare at Rob and start shouting questions and snapping photos)

 

PAPARAZZI: WHY DID YOU CONVINCE COLLEEN TO TESTIFY?!

 

PAPARAZZI 2: ARE YOU IN LOVE WITH COLLEEN DIAMOND?!

 

PAPARAZZI: LET US SMELL YOUR DICK!

 

(As the questions are barked rapid-fire, Rob walks over to his car in the driveway and leans against it. Brad runs out of the house and stands on the yard)

 

BRAD: ROB! I just got a text from everyone I’ve ever met about this podcast thing! Don’t do anything stupid!

 

(Rob jumps onto the hood of his car and climbs up onto the roof as paparazzo chatter and chirp like mad crickets. Rob stands defiantly on the roof as cell phones and professional news camera like capture this moment)

 

ROB: It’s okay, dad, I’ve got this.

 

BRAD: Oh, no.

 

ROB: ATTENTION, YOU LOWLY RODENTS! (Silence falls upon the assembled press) I’d like to make an announcement. Within minutes, I will enter my vehicle, and I will depart, running you over if necessary, with one singular goal in mind. To FUCK Colleen Diamond.

 

BRAD: Oh, God!

 

(The assembled press roar with gasps and start barking questions at an incredible clip. Rob climbs down off his car and turns to Brad)

 

ROB: I’ll be right back, dad.

 

BRAD: Robert, what the HELL are you doing!?

 

ROB: Trust me.

 

(Rob winks and climbs into his car, leaving Brad confused. Rob presses the clicker, and the gates start to make way. Paparazzo and reporters clear the way as Rob backs out and drives away, as more and more pictures are taken. Brad rubs his eyes and runs inside. Cut to Colleen stuffing her wallet and make-up stuff into her purse at her desk outside Evelyn’s office. Evelyn walks out of her office, wearing an N-95)

 

COLLEEN: I’m heading out for the day, Ms. Prost- is that alright?

 

EVELYN: Yes, please, go out and enjoy your evening. But if you don’t, don’t feel the need to fill me in on why upon your return tomorrow.

 

COLLEEN: Yeah, okay. Sure.

 

(Colleen takes her purse and leaves. Evelyn gets a call on her phone. It’s from Whitney, so she picks it up)

 

EVELYN: Yes?

 

WHITNEY: (OS) Did you sell a house to a woman named Harriet Mulcair?

 

EVELYN: The pudgy, humorless woman from Sacramento? Yes, I believe I did.

 

WHITNEY: (OS) Can you please tell me her address?!

 

EVELYN: That seems unethical, but okay. Permit me some time to locate it.

 

(Evelyn walks into her office. Cut to Hannah sitting in her living room, on the phone)

 

HANNAH: Whitney? Are you there?

 

(Cut to Whitney speeding down the highway, almost weaving in and out of cars, while on the phone. Intercut between Whitney and Hannah)

 

WHITNEY: What is it!?

 

HANNAH: Jesus! Nothing, I was just calling to see if you’re gonna stop by tonight, so we can talk things out.

 

WHITNEY: Fine, I’ll come over, but I have to stop by this woman’s house, first.

 

HANNAH: What woman’s house?

 

WHITNEY: Harriet Mulcair, this BITCH that won’t give us the time of day.

 

HANNAH: Were you invited?!

 

WHITNEY: NO, but you have to play hardball sometimes, that’s what Chris Matthews taught me.

 

HANNAH: What- because he hosted a show called Hardball?!

 

WHITNEY: No, because he compared the progressive movement to the Nazi invasion of France- THAT’S Hardball!

 

HANNAH: Whitney, you’re gonna scare this woman away if you do this- you have to let this go!

 

WHITNEY: NO! (Whitney cuts off a  big delivery truck, which responds in kind with a loud honk) FUCK YOU, DELIVER YOUR PORK SOMEWHERE ELSE!

 

HANNAH: How do you even know where she lives?!

 

WHITNEY: Evelyn told me- just, let me do this and I’ll be by later.

 

(Whitney hangs up. Cut to Hannah)

 

HANNAH: Whitney, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but if you do this, you’ll ruin your reputation- (Dial tone) wha- (Hannah looks at her iPhone’s home screen) how is there a dial tone on an iPhone?!

 

(Hannah sighs and brings up Evelyn’s contact information and calls her. Cut to Harriet Mulcair sitting in her study, quietly reading “Lagoon” by Nnedi Okarafor. She hears a knocking at the door. She furrows her brow and gets up. She grabs a mask off her desk, and she exits the study and approaches the front door of her impressive Beverly Hills house. She looks through the peephole)

HARRIET: Oh, my goodness.

 

(Harriet opens the door and finds Whitney standing there, wearing a mask and waving)

 

WHITNEY: Hi! Sorry to drop by like this-

 

HARRIET: You should be! You’ve given me no notice and frankly, you’re being a nuisance!

 

WHITNEY: Please, all I ask is that you hear me out-

 

HARRIET: I will not be harassed! I will call the police, don’t think I won’t! I already have twice today!

 

WHITNEY: PLEASE LISTEN! (Whitney gets on her knees) Do you want me to beg?! If this sale doesn’t go through- we are FUCKED. Don’t you care?!

 

HARRIET: That’s the free market, ma’am, it’s not my problem.

 

WHITNEY: PLEASE! I WILL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! I’ll sell it you for 50% off!

 

HARRIET: Stop groveling!
 

WHITNEY: I’LL DO 100% OFF, I SWEAR!

 

HARRIET: That wouldn’t help your situation!

 

(Hannah’s car pulls up to the house. Whitney starts crying)

 

WHITNEY: PLEASE, PLEASE, I CAN’T LOSE THIS! THIS IS ALL I HAVE!
 

(Hannah runs out of the car and towards Whitney)

 

HANNAH: WHITNEY, STOP!

 

HARRIET: Is she yours?!

 

(Hannah hugs Whitney from behind)

 

HANNAH: Shhhhh, come on, Whitney, let’s go.

 

WHITNEY: Why won’t she-

 

HANNAH: She just won’t, okay? Let’s head out.

 

(Harriet slams the door on them, as Hannah helps Whitney get up and leads her toward the car. Cut to Whitney sitting on Hannah’s couch in Compton. She’s wearing a blanket. Hannah brings her a cup of tea and sits next to her. She sips the tea)

 

WHITNEY: …I looked over the financials that Evelyn’s been ignoring.

 

HANNAH: Yeah?

 

(Whitney rubs her eye and lets out a sigh)

 

WHITNEY: I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know how bad.

 

HANNAH: How bad?

 

WHITNEY: Bad.

 

HANNAH: Stop- just tell me in more words, than that.

 

WHITNEY: Losing the capital infusion from Garamendi was a tremendous loss. I thought the potential profit from Alien AIDs would make up for that, but, considering we have no other projects that aren’t at least six months away from making us a goddamn dime, we are screwed in the short-term.

 

HANNAH: …I assume that means Alien AIDs is underperforming?

 

WHITNEY: Severely. Apparently the Chinese don’t want to risk their lives to watch Rob Altmire tongue a ghost.

 

HANNAH: So, without a major sale or a big capital infusion-

 

WHITNEY: We won’t be able to pay salaries by the end of the summer. Not to mention renting that office that we never use.

 

(Hannah runs her tongue across her cheek)

 

HANNAH: …So what are you gonna do?

 

WHITNEY: Try to get capital, what else can we do?

 

HANNAH: You think maybe that’ll be a bit hard, considering-

 

WHITNEY: The meltdown? Yeah, that’s crossed my mind.

 

HANNAH: Luckily, nobody filmed it, unlike Rob’s meltdown today.

 

WHITNEY: Rob had a- ugh, never mind, I don’t care.

 

(Whitney stands up and walks into the kitchen. She grabs a glass out of the cupboard, pulls a bottle of whiskey out of a cabinet below and pours. Hannah walks in. Whitney throws a finger of whiskey back)

 

HANNAH: Easy.

 

WHITNEY: Everything I’ve built, all of it, will be for nothing. This- (Whitney turns to Hannah) THIS wasn’t even my idea! I could’ve done my time at BuzzFeed, moved on, got hired at the goddamn A.V. Club or something, gotten laid off and started a Medium account that ten people subscribe to!

 

HANNAH: Why is that preferable to you?!

 

(Whitney pours another finger of whiskey and throws it back)

 

WHITNEY: BECAUSE IT’S SIMPLE! But what’d I do? I hitched my wagon to this egotistical sasquatch and got dragged through the forest, my face just being scraped with mud the entire time, all the while asking where to go next.

 

HANNAH: Whitney, you lead a successful-

 

WHITNEY: And I let him hire half the staff! Who the fuck is McKenzie- some theatre kid from Santa Monica with zero industry experience, and I agreed to bring her in!

 

HANNAH: Whitney, you had no experience in this going in-

 

WHITNEY: I have COMMON SENSE! That’s what she lacks, that’s what all of them lack! What are we known for, other than being Robert Altmire’s side gig when he’s not running for Congress or fucking every pair-of-tits that glances his-

 

(Hannah leans in and starts making out with Whitney. Whitney is caught off-guard at first but begins to embrace it. “Digital Love” by Daft Punk comes back in. Hannah pushes Whitney against the fridge and begins pulling down her spaghetti straps. Cut to Rob busting into Colleen’s apartment. She’s on the couch watching TV, when she jumps to her feet. Rob casts his mask off, almost runs up to Colleen and throws her against the wall and begins making out. Her front door is still open as Rob undoes his belt buckle and his jeans collapse to the floor. Cut to Hannah fingering Whitney as she devours her neck, pressing her against the fridge. She winces with pleasure. Cut to Rob fucking Colleen on her couch, with her hands clinging to Rob’s back, rapt with ecstasy. There are a few neighbors who are peering curiously into the apartment from the still opened door. Cut to Hannah lying Whitney down on her bed, making out with her, before gradually migrating, with a trail of kisses, down to her bright-red pussy. Cut to Rob making two final thrusts as they climax, roaring with pleasure. The crowd at the door are taking pictures surreptitiously. Cut to Hannah and Whitney lying next to one another, breathing heavily. Cut to Rob pulling out of Colleen. He pulls up his underwear and pants, zips them up and walks over to the front door, where all the people are staring in disbelief)

 

ROB: Little privacy? Thanks.

 

(Rob shuts the door on them and locks it. Cut to a naked Whitney, leaning on her side on the bed, looking at Hannah as she lies there with her eyes closed)

 

WHITNEY: …Maybe things will be alright…

 

(Hannah smirks)

 

HANNAH: I don’t know, probably not.

 

(Whitney and Hannah break out laughing and trade looks. Cut to McKenzie on her back porch, smoking a cigarette that evening. Kevin walks out onto the back porch and lights up as well)

 

MCKENZIE: Kevin.

 

KEVIN: …McKenzie.

 

(Kevin stands next to McKenzie and blows smoke in the direction of the wind)

 

MCKENZIE: I have an indecent proposal.

 

(Kevin squints)

 

KEVIN: Is it like the movie Indecent Proposal?

 

MCKENZIE: No, it’s just a proposal that happens to be indecent.

 

KEVIN: What is it?

 

(McKenzie nervously flicks her cigarette and turns to Kevin, her teeth gritted)

 

MCKENZIE: You know Gavin Wright?

 

KEVIN: No?

 

MCKENZIE: Well. I had a huge crush on this guy named Gavin Wright in high school.

 

KEVIN: Why would I know him, then?

 

MCKENZIE: Because you’re my assistant and you’re supposed to set my meetings.

 

(Kevin looks uncomfortably at the ground)

 

KEVIN: Right, Gavin, yeah I remember the name. You had a meeting with him?

 

MCKENZIE: Yeah, it was totally unexpected. We got along real well, even though the meeting didn’t go great, because of his boss.

 

KEVIN: Melissa?

 

MCKENZIE: Harriet. Don’t feel the need to guess just because you’re embarrassed about not doing your job.

 

KEVIN: Okay.

 

MCKENZIE: I guess I should just come right out and say this.

 

KEVIN: Uh-oh.

 

MCKENZIE: I want a hall pass.

 

(Kevin squints)

 

KEVIN: …What?

 

MCKENZIE: I think it’s only fair. I had a thing for Gavin for a long time, you already slept with somebody else, I should be allowed to sleep with Gavin. Then we’re even.

 

(Kevin nods his head and shrugs)

 

KEVIN: …Okay.

 

(McKenzie juts her head forward and squints indignantly)

 

MCKENZIE: What?!

 

KEVIN: Go ahead. That’s fair.

 

MCKENZIE: …Are you cheating on me?!

 

KEVIN: What are you talking about?!

 

MCKENZIE: Why would you say “yes” so fast unless you were guilty about something?!

 

KEVIN: Because I AM guilty about something! Cheating on you a year ago, that’s what I’m guilty about!
 

(McKenzie sighs)

 

MCKENZIE: …Okay, I believe you. But don’t think I’m gonna back out, I’m gonna use this hall pass.

 

KEVIN: Good! Go ahead. Have a good time.

 

MCKENZIE: Assuming he consents to it, that is.

 

KEVIN: Of course.

 

MCKENZIE: I want you to make me a physical hall pass, too.

 

KEVIN: Why?

 

MCKENZIE: So, you can never claim that you weren’t being serious!

 

(Kevin sighs)

 

KEVIN: Fine.

 

(McKenzie nods and walks inside. Kevin drops his cigarette and crushes it under his foot, frustratedly. Cut to Rob and Colleen in her bed, naked, basking in the afterglow)

 

COLLEEN: I’m so glad this happened.

 

ROB: …I’ve wanted this for a long time.

 

(Colleen turns onto her side, facing Rob)

 

COLLEEN: I thought you’d never come around.

 

(Rob turns toward her)

 

ROB: It just took that podcast dropping. What’s the point in hiding anymore?

 

(Colleen smiles)

 

COLLEEN: We should release a sex tape!

 

ROB: One step at a time.

 

COLLEEN: Okay. (Beat) You know, I was so close to taking back my testimony.

 

(Rob furrows his brow)

 

ROB: You were gonna recant? Why?

 

(Colleen traces a circle on the bed with her finger)

 

COLLEEN: …I don’t know… (Colleen wipes a tear from her eye) …I don’t wanna face the world on my own. At least in jail, you get three meals a day, television, internet, nail salons, free massages-

 

ROB: Jail doesn’t have most of what you said there.

 

COLLEEN: Shit, really?

 

ROB: Listen. You don’t have to face the world on your own.

 

(Rob holds Colleen’s  hand. She smiles)

 

COLLEEN: …So, what do you wanna do for our first weekend facing the world together?

 

(Rob looks down and purses his lips awkwardly)

 

ROB: …Speaking of jail, um…you might remember that I beat the shit out of your ex-boyfriend two months ago?

 

COLLEEN: Yeah, so?

 

ROB: So, I have to report to weekend jail tomorrow night. I have to serve the first of, like, twenty-six weekends in jail.

 

COLLEEN: …Oh, right.

 

(Colleen sits up and her face sags. Rob sits up and puts his hand on her shoulder)

 

ROB: Hey, it’s alright. I’ll make the weekdays worthwhile. As long as it fits with my schedule.

 

(Colleen turns to Rob with puppy dog eyes)

 

COLLEEN: You really mean that?

 

ROB: I do. Again, as long as it fits my schedule.

 

(Colleen leans her head Rob’s chest, and Rob strokes her hair. Cut to Rob walking into his house. He takes off his mask and wanders into the living room. Brad is sitting on the couch, reading the news on his laptop. He looks up)

 

BRAD: Hey! What happened?

 

ROB: I decided to go with my heart.

 

BRAD: …You sure it was your-

 

ROB: It was my heart, dad.

 

BRAD: …As long as you’re happy.

 

ROB: Thanks.

 

(Brad gets up, picks up a pile of scripts on the coffee table and hands them to Rob)

 

BRAD: I thought you might wanna get some work done in jail, so I printed off the scripts you need to read.

 

(Rob nods and accepts the scripts)

 

ROB: Thanks, dad. You know. When you first came by, I had a sneaking suspicion that you had an ulterior motive.

 

(Brad shrugs)

 

BRAD: I can understand that.

 

ROB: But I can tell that not only are your motives pure, but that I was wrong to ever doubt you.

 

(Brad nods and pats Rob on the back)

 

BRAD: I’ll pick you up Monday morning. And I’ll bring something from your favorite breakfast place!

 

ROB: Petit-déjeuner Rosée du Matin!??

 

BRAD: …I was thinking Denny’s, but. Sure.

 

ROB: Sorry, my tastes have been pretty bougie since I earned my fortune. (Brad nods and hugs Rob) Love you.

 

BRAD: Love you too, son.

 

(Rob and Brad release one another. Rob picks up a duffel bag, nods and heads toward the front door. “Digital Love” by Daft Punk comes back in. We cut to McKenzie and Gavin meeting in a tented outdoor dining space, wearing masks. They each take a piece of paper from their respective pockets and trade them. An insert lets us know that the papers are negative COVID-19 tests. They nod at each other and go in for a hug. Cut to Colleen curled up on her bed, her head pressed against the window. She gazes forlornly out the window as she puts a single hand upon it. Cut to Hannah cooking eggs in her pajamas in her kitchen. Whitney walks in, wearing her pajamas, and gives Hannah a smile. Whitney looks out the window, and sees a black guy in a mask, pushing his elderly grandmother across the street in her wheelchair. Whitney smirks and closes the blinds. She walks over and kisses Hannah on the neck. Cut to a manic Kevin in his bed, screaming into his pillow, with a bunch of beer bottles and cigarette butts polluting his bedside table. Cut to Rob walking into a building labeled “T.G.I.M Weekend Incarceration Facility”. He walks into the relatively clean lobby, wearing a mask, and ambles up to the masked receptionist sitting behind a glass screen. The receptionist opens up the slot on the bottom of the screen and Rob surrenders his phone and his wallet. Cut to Gavin and McKenzie, maskless, enjoying enchiladas and laughing up a storm at the restaurant. Cut to Rob pushing scripts through the slot at T.G.I.M, as the receptionist uses a staple-remover to rip the staples out of each one and replaces them with paper clips. Cut to Colleen lying on her bed, looking at a picture of Rob on her phone, and pleasuring herself. Cut to a masked T.G.I.M employee in plainclothes, opening the door to Rob’s cell- which features a desk, a bed, a television, a toilet, a sink and a couch. Rob walks in and appears impressed with the digs. The T.G.I.M employee shuts the door behind him and Rob sighs and plops down on the couch. Cut to Kevin vomiting liberally into his toilet at home. Cut to McKenzie and Gavin fucking furiously in Gavin’s bed. Cut to Kevin writhing on the floor of his bathroom, tears streaming down his face. Cut to a close-up of Colleen’s bright red face as she finishes. Cut to McKenzie sitting up in bed, lighting a cigarette. Gavin shoots up from behind her and kisses her neck. Cut to Kevin gripping his head in pain while splayed out in the bath tub. Cut to Brad messily eating popcorn while watching a movie in Rob’s house. Cut to Colleen throwing a piece of paper towel in the toilet and flushing. Then cut to McKenzie and Kevin having breakfast the next morning, silently, across the table from one another. Tension heavy in the air. The song fades out and we end up in Rob’s cell, where he’s taking a look at the pile of scripts he has to read. He thumbs through several of them, with generic names like “The King’s Table”, “Madness” and “The Infinite Rose”. One of the scripts slips out of the pile and onto the ground. Rob puts the other scripts aside and bends down to pick it up. He squints as he reads the title- “The Lord Removes All Stains” by Bradley Lamborn. Anger grows in Rob’s eye, and he throws the script onto the floor and stares forward. We cut to a wide shot of Rob, stewing to himself, alone in his jail cell. Cut to credits)

 

THE END


Submitted: March 06, 2021

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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