The characters, plotlines, quotes, etc. included here are owned by MCA-Universal, all rights reserved. The following transcript is in no way a substitute for the show "Probe".  It is provided as a service for those who have never been able to watch it, and as a source of information for those who have.  Transcribed by myself (Regina), contact me at vespertanmer@yahoo.com

This transcript is not authorized or endorsed by MCA-Universal.

Guide to brackets:

{} are cut scenes.

[] are comments by either myself or Suzanne

 

 

Probe

Opener: (Theme plays.)

  1. Black and white photo of Austin James, two years old, beside a tower of blocks that reads: Antiferromagnetic.
  2. Black and white photo with him, wearing a prize ribbon, standing beneath a large dinosaur.
  3. Slow pan across a scene from "Metamorphic Anthropoidic Prototype Over You".
  4. Black and white photo, signed "Love, Mom and Dad".  Has Austin (twelve years old) between two dummies dressed in fifties clothing, heads made of deep-dish serving platters, and arms made of dryer tubing.
  5. Pan across a panel of fifty year old men playing chess, ending in Austin (about fifteen) making a move.

Starring

Parker Stevenson

  1. Scene from the second part of the pilot.
  2. Scene from "Plan 10 From Outer Space"
  3. Black and white of a group of lab coated Asian men, ending with Austin (again fifteen)
  4. Black and white: an eleven year old girl in a ballerina tutu.
  5. Black and white: Michelle Castle standing in front of a blackboard, wide stunned grin, holding a diploma from Tidewater Secretarial School.  The blackboard has a bubble drawn on it, arrow pointing at Mickey's head, which reads "Most likely to get an understanding boss!"

And

Ashley Crow

  1. Scenes from the pilot.

Created By

Isaac Asimov

And

Michael Wagner

  1. Black and white: Mickey juggling balls, with a determined look on her face, Austin, sitting next to her, his right hand on his face.
  2. Two scenes from "Untouched by Human Hands".
  3. Scene from the pilot.
  4. Black and white: Austin, his index finger out, a grain of sand on it, the camera pulls in, then fades into
  5. The galaxy, then pulls way back to fade into another black and white of Mickey and Austin sitting at a table, a glass of water between them, staring at each other.

 

Guest Stars

Eileen Seeley

Jim McMullan

Phillip Richard Allen

Deborah Slaboda

Darleen Carr

 

Music By

Sylvester Levay

 

Produced By

Stephen Caldwell

And

Michael Piller

 

Written By

Phillip Reed

 

Directed By

Vincent McEveety

 

 

 

 

Episode 8  "Quit-It"

 

Act One, Scene 1

(Suburbia.  Kids on bikes, housing complex, sign proclaims 'Dorado Grande Estates'.) 

KIDS: Hey wait up.  Hold on.

(Cut to within one of the houses.)

FATHER: Boy, am I famished.

LITTLE GIRL: Did you sleep good last night, Daddy?

DAD:  Honey, I slept so well, I thought I died and went to heaven.

(Mother chuckles.  She takes a few pills.  Cut to wide-eyed elder daughter.  Back to mother.)

MOM: Oh be sure to pick up the cake on your way home, dear, and ice--two bags.

TEENAGE SON: Where are the hot dogs?  I didn't see any hot dogs in the refrigerator.

MOM: Oh, we're not having hot dogs.  This is Karen's birthday, we're having her favorite--shish-ka-bob.  The whole neighborhood is going to be there, honey.  We're so happy to have you home again.

DAD: You can say that again, sugarplum (glances at watch).  Oh, I'd better hurry up if I'm going to play squash with Barry (leans over and kisses the wife).  I'm going to run him ragged.

(They both stand.)

KAREN: Stop it!  Stop acting this way!  This isn't you, you hate mornings, you drink ten cups of coffee, smoke cigarettes and complain about your job.  (To MOM)  And look at you; you're always in your robe until noon, now you look like some kind of fashion queen.  Who are you people?  What have you done to my parents!

DAD: Honey, I think we're going to have to have a serious talk about your problem.

KAREN: (Stands up) There's nothing wrong with me.  It's you!  You're not my parents! 

(Runs to hallway door.)

MOM: Karen, listen, honey.  We only want to help you get well (touches KAREN's arm)

KAREN: Don't touch me, stay away from me.  (Runs out door and into street)

DAD: Karen!  Karen!  Wait!  Come back here.  (Calling to neighbor, clipping his hedges)  Stop her!  Barry, stop Karen.  (He drops his shears and chases after her)

BARRY: What happened?

DAD: Karen! 

(Another man joins them and KAREN runs in front of an old station wagon, where we see MICKEY CASTLE inside.)

KAREN: Please, get me out of here.  Please!

MICKEY: Are you okay?

(KAREN gets in the car)

KAREN: They want to hurt me.  Drive, drive.

(MICKEY drives off.)

DAD: Karen!  Karen!

(The crowd stops and the father runs back to the house.)

 

Act One, Scene 2

(MICKEY drives up to a curb and stops.  Cut to AUSTIN walking out of Serendip.  MICKEY gets out of the car and runs up to AUSTIN.)

MICKEY: Austin, Austin, Austin, I--

AUSTIN: Mickey, you're late.

MICKEY: I had a problem on the road.

AUSTIN: Did you pick up the ultra-violet detector?

MICKEY: I'm wearing it, can't you tell?  Austin, please listen.  Please, they're right behind us!

(They continue walking to the curb.)

AUSTIN: There is evidence the deposit of archo-saurian bones post-dating the Paleocenic Period lies under Serendip.

MICKEY: That's great.

AUSTIN: McKinley refuses to let me run a thirty-yard exploratory trench through the lobby.

MICKEY: Austin, please, could you--

AUSTIN: I don't understand it.

(They stop walking toward the car.  Another car pulls up next to AUSTIN's station wagon.  KAREN gets out of AUSTIN's car.  Her parents park their car and get out.  KAREN runs to hide behind AUSTIN and MICKEY.)

DAD: Karen!

KAREN: They're not my parents.  He's--they're not my parents.

DAD: Karen, stop it.

MOM: Karen, please, honey, you're scaring us to death.

AUSTIN: What's going on?

MICKEY: I was trying to tell you.

DAD: This is a kidnapping.  I could have you arrested. (Steps forward toward KAREN, who ducks behind AUSTIN.)

AUSTIN: Why don't you back off and give us some space?

DAD: You get out of the way or I'll have you arrested.

AUSTIN: Wouldn't you like to do what's best for your daughter, instead?

MOM: Ted, honey, maybe he's right, we can't go on chasing her like this.

DAD: Okay.  She's my daughter and I love her.  I'm going back to the car.  (Does so)

MOM: (Turns back to AUSTIN.)  She hasn't been well.  She's been in an institution.

KAREN: Listen to her.  My mother would never tell anyone I was in an institution.  My mother was ashamed of it.

MOM: (Tearing up.)  No.  It's her birthday today.  We were going to have a party for her.  We just want her to be happy.

AUSTIN: I'll see she gets to the party.  Promise.  (MOM leaves).

KAREN: I can't go back there.  I'll end up just like my parents.

(AUSTIN looks at MICKEY who gives him a worried look.)

AUSTIN: (to KAREN) Excuse us.

(AUSTIN pulls MICKEY by the arm to a short distance away.)

AUSTIN: All right, give me the ten-second synopsis.

MICKEY: She ran out in front of me on the roadway.  She was yelling about people trying to hurt her.  She was frightened.  People started chasing after us.

AUSTIN: Time's up.

MICKEY: Think I fell for the old paranoid schizophrenic routine?

AUSTIN: Maybe, maybe not.

MICKEY: Maybe not, like maybe they're not her real parents?

AUSTIN: Do I look angry or perturbed right now when I have every right to be?

MICKEY: No.

AUSTIN: No.  That's because I just encountered two of the most incredible people ever to walk the face of the earth.  They're cigarette fiends.  I saw it in their teeth and the whites of their eyes.  He even had nicotine stains between his fingers.  That's three, four packs a day.

MICKEY: So?

AUSTIN: So neither of them has had a cigarette for the last month.  I heard it in the pitch of their voices.

MICKEY: Okay, so they quit.  What does that have to do with Karen?

AUSTIN: You don't understand.  I've studied nicotine withdrawal.  Its subtler effects can last for years.  But those two, they behaved as though they'd never had a cigarette in their lives.  I've only seen that kind of self-control in one other kind of personality.

MICKEY: Which is?

AUSTIN: Psychotic mass murderers.

MICKEY: Here we go again.

(They both look at KAREN.)

AUSTIN: (to MICKEY) When was the last time you went to a birthday party?

 

Act One, Scene 3

(Back in suburbia.  AUSTIN, KAREN and MICKEY in AUSTIN's car, front seat.  AUSTIN's driving.)

AUSTIN: Tell me one thing Karen--how are you so certain they're not your parents?

KAREN: They're too perfect--like somebody created them yesterday.  (Second-guessing) I don't know.

AUSTIN: Remember our agreement.  I'm going with you as an observer.  If I think you're right I'll back you up all the way, but if I don't--

KAREN: You'll see.  It's not just them, it's the whole neighborhood.  Turn right. 

(They go past an ice cream truck and motorcycles.)

MICKEY: Like what do you mean, the whole neighborhood?

AUSTIN: Like everyone buying new motor homes, quads, and dirtbiked.

MICKEY: Wow, RV paradise.

KAREN: My house is the one with the boat.

KID: Hey, wait for me. (Two kids run in front of the car to driveway of KAREN's house. Lots of balloons out front.)

KAREN: There's Wayne Laudormil and his family. (Shot of the family. The two boys are dressed like cowboys.)  He used to be a terrible alcoholic.  Now he jogs and dresses his kids like cowboys.  You want to know what's really wrong with this place?  All the original people are missing.

(They get out of the car, except KAREN.  AUSTIN bends down to look at her.)

AUSTIN: Let's go, Karen.  The legal necessities aside you gotta face your demons in the open.  (He extends his hand, she takes it.)  Let's find out what's going on.  (Shuts door and stares across the street.)

MICKEY: What's wrong?

(Austin leans against the car.)

AUSTIN: The front yards, the lawns, the whole neighborhood's perfect, all except for this guy.

(Shot of overgrown yard with palm trees.  They go toward KAREN's house.)

KAREN'S SISTER: Karen, Karen.

KAREN: Hey. (Picks her up.)

SISTER: You came back for your birthday.

KAREN: No, I came back to see you. (Sets her back down.)  You okay?

SISTER: I'm fine.  Roger's a jerk (short look at him, where he's standing by the boat).  Who are they?

KAREN: Some friends.

SISTER: How many children do you have?

(MICKEY and AUSTIN look uncomfortable.)

KAREN: Abby, they're not even married. (Apologizes)  It's a standard neighborhood question.

(KAREN's mom comes out of the house and joins KAREN and ABBY.)

MOM: Happy birthday, sweetheart.  Come in and get ready for the party.  You got so many presents.

(Takes KAREN by the hand and leads her to the house.)

KAREN: Thank you.

(TED looks at MICKEY and AUSTIN.  ROGER leaves.)

AUSTIN: I hate birthday parties.

 

Act One, Scene 4

(At the party.  Man comes up to AUSTIN and shakes hands with him.)

BARRY: Hi, Barry Boxell.  You're the anestheologist moved into the Criswell place, right?

AUSTIN: It was the old Bradley place.

BARRY: Bradley place.  I'm Barry Boxell.

AUSTIN: You said.

BARRY: (pointing backwards at TED) Ted and Sherry's neighbor.  I live right down the street.

AUSTIN: I like your lawn.

BARRY: Yeah?  I mow it twice a day.  Good for the roots.  How many children you got.  Hmm?  Uh--

AUSTIN: Austin.  None yet.  How long you been in the drug manufacturing business?

BARRY: Almost nine--hey, Ted tell you that?

AUSTIN: Pen in your shirt.  Boxell Drugs.

BARRY: I think I sleep with it.  And take some advice--remember the name.  (TED joins them).  I'm talking blue chips.

TED: Hey, Barry, what are you telling him?

BARRY: Uh, nothing yet.  Just that Boxell Incorporated is about to make this entire nation stop smoking!

TED: Oh, loose lips Barry.

BARRY: My advertising advisor.  Campaign's all set.  He thinks somebody's going to steal the secret formula. 

(Blond woman walks by).

WOMAN: Shoptalk already?  Come on guys.  (Walks away)

TED: Barry, there's something I want to show you in the workshop, come here.  (They leave, MICKEY joins AUSTIN.)

MICKEY: (Has a handful of potato chips that she eats.)  The Sheltons have two children, the Rands one, the Goldsteins one, and the Gerbharts four, oh, and nobody smokes.

AUSTIN: Where's Karen?

MICKEY: She's opening her gifts.  I think she's starting to get better.

MAN: (off stage) Excuse me, excuse me, coming through, excuse me, coming through, excuse me.

MICKEY: Where you going? (Puts a hand to his arm.)

AUSTIN: To talk to the man who doesn't take care of his front yard.  (To man)  Hi, Jimmy Austin.  I just bought the new Criswell place (extends his hand).

LOU: (Doesn't shake it.)  I'm Lou, this is my wife Barb.

BARB: Hi.

(LOU starts to root through cooler.)

LOU: No beer again.  I can't believe it.

MICKEY: It's a birthday party.

BARB: The kids.

MICKEY: How many do you have?

BARB: We don't have any--yet.

LOU: Don't apologize.  There's nothing wrong in deciding to wait.

BARB: I guess that's a good thing, Lou's married to his work.

LOU: Yeah, and it's paying off.  That's why my dealership is first in sales in the state.

AUSTIN: I was hoping you'd recommend a good gardener.

LOU: Gardener? Ha.  Nobody has a gardener in this neighborhood.  Everybody does it themselves.  Some kind of a--

BARB: Lou's not happy unless he's at the showroom.

LOU: I'm going to go find me a beer.  Excuse me (leaves).  'Cuse me.

(BARB looks embarrassed.)

MICKEY: Sorry if I asked the wrong question.

BARB: With Lou they're all wrong.  'Cuse me.

MICKEY: I'm going to go get something to eat.

(Cut to LOU going through refrigerator.  AUSTIN wanders around a bit, and then sees LOU look around and walk up to a blonde woman, the same one who said 'shop-talk'.  He strokes her shoulder.)

LOU: Hi.  (They walk together).

(Cut to ABBY inside the house.)

ABBY: Karen, listen to my tape.

KAREN: No heavy metal, Abby, not today.  (Walks outside).

(ABBY places tape in deck and presses play.  Cut to MICKEY and AUSTIN.)

MICKEY: So how did you know he doesn't take care of his front yard?

AUSTIN: Look at how he was dressed.  He looked like his front yard.  Okay, give me your ten-second opinion.

MICKEY: This is the most normal party I've ever been to, with the most normal people I've ever met.  Still think they're mass murderers?  (AUSTIN looks around).

AUSTIN: Worse than that.  The number of stressed out personalities at this party is 800 times the national norm.  I don't know why but I'm gonna find out.

(Through this speech he notices a male teenager talking to the blonde woman and LOU.  The woman walks away and LOU, who was smoking, blows a final puff in the boy's face and walks away, tossing aside the cigarette.)

AUSTIN: (To MICKEY) Why don't you try wearing your hair up sometime.  Might look nice.  (Starts to walk off).

MICKEY: You think so?

TED: (Off camera.) Watch where you throw that football.

(Football hits BARRY in the back of the neck.)

BARRY: Hey!

(AUSTIN and MICKEY look at the commotion.)

TED: This is the last time I'm gonna warn you, Roger.  You apologize to Mr. Boxell.

ROGER: Dad, go suck an egg. 

(Pushes past his father.  TED looks bewildered by this.)

BARRY: (To his son) You go home.  I'll talk to you later.

BARRY, JR: Go shoot yourself. (Walks away).

(BARRY and TED both walk off, AUSTIN follows them.  People start clapping.  SHERRY has brought out the cake.  From outside the house, AUSTIN watches TED poke a hole in an egg and suck it.  Turns to MICKEY.)

AUSTIN: Barry Boxell!  (SHERRY turns to look at him).  Quick, where would a man go to shoot himself at a party?  (Without waiting)  You're right!  The garage.

(Runs off.  Opens a door where BARRY is raising a gun to his head.  Cut to outside where we hear a gunshot.  Cut back inside where AUSTIN has grabbed BARRY's wrist and pointed the gun away from him.)

 

Act Two, Scene 1

(Still in suburbia.  People leaving the party.  MICKEY comes jogging up to AUSTIN who has two coffee cans in each hand.)

MICKEY: Austin, they're taking Barry to county hospital.  They say he doesn't even remember any of it.  What's in the coffee cans?

AUSTIN: Samples of the food.

MICKEY: You're taking samples of the food? 

AUSTIN: We've got a neighborhood full of stressed out parents who enjoy chewing their lawns and being manipulated by their teenage children.  (He puts the cans in the car.)  I'm checking the food because I don't know what else to check. 

(In the distance we can see ABBY and KAREN approaching).

MICKEY: But I ate the food.

AUSTIN: I know.  You'll make an excellent test reference.  Right now, let's worry about getting Karen out of here.

KAREN: I can't go.

(They turn to face her.)

AUSTIN: Karen, you have to leave.

KAREN: (Puts her hand on ABBY's shoulder.)  I'm needed here.

AUSTIN: All right, I gave you my number.  Call any hour.

KAREN: Thank you.

 

Act Two, Scene 2

(In the Batcave--AUSTIN's lab/warehouse/apartment.)

AUSTIN: (In front of his chemical set, poking at a petrie dish with a tool.)  Normal bacterial count, no toxins, no unacceptable chemical additives.  That's it.

MICKEY: That's it?

AUSTIN: How do you feel?

MICKEY: Fine (pinning her hair up).

AUSTIN: I knew it wasn't the food.  What'd you find out about Frick and Frack and their no smoking drug?

MICKEY: A patent has been applied for under the trade name 'Quit-It'.  The food and drug people are testing it now.

AUSTIN: In pill form?

MICKEY: Yep.  Barry just borrowed 8 million dollars for Ted's ad campaign, radio and TV.

AUSTIN: Sounds like they're were pretty sure of themselves and Quit-It.

MICKEY: Well, maybe that's how Ted and Sherry kicked the habit.  Maybe this stuff really works.  (AUSTIN spears a paper-wrapped candy and examines it.)  Austin, we could be witnessing a scientific miracle.

(AUSTIN really looks at her.)

AUSTIN: What did you do to your hair?

MICKEY: Put it up.  Like it?

AUSTIN: Old way's better.

MICKEY: A few hours ago you said you thought it looked--

AUSTIN: I know what I said.  You ought to know by now when I'm being facetious.  (Gets up.)

MICKEY: I like it this way.  I think I'll keep it up…for awhile.  (Touches the top of her head and follows him.)  Austin, I'm not so sure that you're right about that neighborhood.  (AUSTIN wanders around.)  Maybe those people are a little strange, but they don't seem like lunatics.  They have conquered their bad habits; they're affectionate with their children--

AUSTIN: (Sits down on the couch.)  They also have bourgeois spending habits, mow their lawns twice a day and try to shoot themselves in garages.

MICKEY: Well, may be that was an isolated incident.  Barry must have been under terrible pressure.  You can't condemn an entire neighborhood based on the actions of one trouble individual.

(AUSTIN moves from the couch where he'd sat for all of eight seconds.)

MICKEY: Where are you going?

AUSTIN: To see somebody.

MICKEY: Well, who?   It's gotta be past eight o'clock.

AUSTIN: This just might be the right time to see him.

(MICKEY chases after him.)

 

Act Two, Scene 3

{(MICKEY is driving. AUSTIN puts a tape in the tape deck. As she talks, MICKEY takes the bun out of her hair.) 

MICKEY: Do we have to listen to that tape? It’s wearing a little thin.

AUSTIN: It’s my thinking tape. I lower my pulse rate and breathing to match its allegro tempo.

MICKEY: Can’t you do the same thing to Miles Davis? (AUSTIN closes his eyes briefly, then reopens them.)

AUSTIN: Turn right here.

MICKEY: I knew it.

AUSTIN: Pull into Lou’s driveway.

MICKEY: Why do you want to talk to Lou?

AUSTIN: (Gives MICKEY a long look.)  Your face looks beautiful in the moonlight.  (He says this as if realizing it for the first time.  MICKEY shoots him a shocked look.  AUSTIN looks down, as if he can’t understand why he said that.  He quickly changes the topic.)  Well, he and Barb are the only sane ones at the party.  He’s the one who sold the neighborhood all these RVs.}  (MICKEY pulls into a driveway and a teenage boy riding his bike, darts in front of her.  MICKEY almost crashes into him.)

AUSTIN: Mickey, look out.

MICKEY: Hey, you shouldn't be out riding your bike this late--you'll get hurt.

TEENAGER: Get your eyes examined, lady.

MICKEY: The little wisenheimer.

(They get out of the car and walk to the door of the house.  AUSTIN takes out his handkerchief, holds it and twists the outside light off, then rings the bell.)

AUSTIN: And another thing about Lou--he's having an affair with one of the neighborhood wives.

MICKEY: You're kidding!  Who?

(He hides around the corner.)

AUSTIN: (Whispers) Stand on your toes.

MICKEY: Why?

LOU: (Opens door.  He holds a can of beer.)  Julie, you're late.  I thought that you--

AUSTIN: (suddenly appearing) Jimmy Austin, Lou.  I don't know any Julie.

LOU: I thought it was the kids around here; they're always ringing the doorbell.  What's going on?

AUSTIN: We're looking for a motor home--a nice big one, heard you were the man to see. (He walks inside.)  Can we come in?

LOU: Well it's a little late.

(Kid outside rides past again, stopping to look at the house.)

AUSTIN: Nice place.  Barb home?

LOU: She's, uh, shopping. (Takes a sip of his beer then sets it down.) Look, I don't think this is going to work out right now.  Why don't you come down to my show room tomorrow--?

AUSTIN: What are you hiding, Lou?

LOU: Hiding?  What are you talking about?

AUSTIN: Forget Julie.  That's nothing but a neighborhood escapade.  It's all these RV's I want to know about.

LOU: Who sent you?  The business bureau?

AUSTIN: They've built up a staggering debt--Ted, Barry, Wayne, these others--when's it going to stop?

LOU: (Genuinely doesn't) I don't know.  It's this crazy neighborhood.  I don't have to do anything to sell them this stuff.  I mean they're standing in line.  Who am I to stop them?  It's my job.

AUSTIN: But--

LOU: I don't know.  I've never seen anything like it.  (Walks past and turns back to face them).  I mean they got to stop buying soon; they're going to go bust soon.  They can't keep buyin'.  The golden goose--it's all going to explode.  This neighborhood is uh, crazy.  (Twirls his finger next to his temple).

(AUSTIN sighs and pulls out a pack of cigarettes [Strange--he doesn't smoke].)

AUSTIN: Like a smoke?

LOU: (Takes one).  Yeah, thanks.

AUSTIN: Besides not having gardeners, nobody in this neighborhood smokes, do they?  Or drinks, or cheats on their wives, except you.  You do all three.  What makes you so different, Lou?

(LOU pokes around in his shirt for a light.  AUSTIN pulls one out and lights the cigarette. Cut to AUSTIN and MICKEY leaving.)

MICKEY: I suppose you're going to tell me you learned something from that two-timing creep?

AUSTIN: Not really.  It did tell me who I should go see next.

MICKEY: Who?

AUSTIN: Karen.

MICKEY: Do you think we've bothered them too much?

AUSTIN: No!

MICKEY: What did you put in your pocket?

AUSTIN: Specimen gathering kit.

(Cut to ROGER watching television.  Doorbell rings.  He gets up, still trying to watch the TV and goes to the door.)

TV: Come in, over.  In two minutes it's going to be all over.

AUSTIN: Is Karen home?  We'd like to see her.  Remember us from the party?

ROGER: I remember.  (Leaves AUSTIN and MICKEY and they walk in).  She's in the kitchen. 

(KAREN is washing dishes, gloves on, sponge in hand.)

KAREN: (all chipper) Austin, Mickey.  I was just thinking about you guys.  Wasn't it a great party?  Sorry, but Mom and Dad are out.  They took Abby to the movies.

AUSTIN: (notices the difference) We just wanted to see if you were all right?

KAREN: I feel terrific.  I can't thank you guys enough.  How about another piece of cake?

AUSTIN: No thanks, we really should be running along.

MICKEY: Yeah.

KAREN: Bye.  Thanks for being so wonderful to me.

(They leave, and stop right outside.)

MICKEY: Austin, that's not Karen.

AUSTIN: Agreed.

MICKEY: I looked in her eyes and it wasn't her.  What are you doing?

(AUSTIN is opening what looks like a wallet).

AUSTIN: I'm getting the chloroform ready.  I studied her before she was infected and now this is a valuable opportunity to study her afterward. (Pours chloroform on his handkerchief).

MICKEY: The specimen you were after was her?

AUSTIN: I had an idea this was going to happen. (Sniffs handkerchief)  Ugh.

(They go back inside.  KAREN is drying a dish humming "Row, Row Your Boat".  AUSTIN walks up behind her and puts the handkerchief to her nose.  She passes out with a minimum of fuss and he picks her up in his arms.  ROGER is still watching TV as they leave.)

TV: (Old man) You can't collect your social security till you're sixty-five.  (Other man) I just aged thirty years.

(Outside.)

MICKEY: What if somebody sees us?  This is the second time today I've tried to kidnap this person.

AUSTIN: I've a theory about Karen, get her away from here and she'll be all right.

(Cut to extreme close up of a hand with red-painted fingernails holding a gun.  Three shots.  The camera pulls in to the home across from KAREN's.)

LOU: (holding his front) Julie, why? 

(He falls down.  JULIE looks down on him, no emotion in her face.  Mickey and Austin see JULIE's teenage son looking at them, a triumphant smirk on his face.)

 

Act Three, Scene 1

{(News footage of Lou on a stretcher being placed in an ambulance. There are sirens and flashing lights. Concerned neighbors watch as the ambulance drives away.) 

NEWS REPORTER: (voiceover) The peaceful community of Dorado Grande Estates is in shock tonight over the apparently motive-less shooting of one neighbor by another. The victim, Louis McNally, is listed in serious condition at County Medical. The suspect, Julie Cutler, is in police custody, but appears confused and disoriented. She has not yet been able to give a reason for her actions. Doris Keitel, Channel Six News.}

(Cut to: the batcave.  AUSTIN walks into the batcave, looking for Mickey.

AUSTIN: Mickey? (AUSTIN goes upstairs.) 

AUSTIN: Mick, I want you to--  (MICKEY comes out of a room and holds her finger to her mouth.  He stops talking.  She closes the door quietly and whispers)

MICKEY: I just got her to sleep.  What a day.  (They go downstairs.)  A birthday party a suicide attempt, a plan to make the country stop smoking, a man who sucks eggs and a woman who shoots her lover for no apparent reason.  Is Lou okay?

AUSTIN: Oh, he'll live. (Doesn't sound too happy about that.) Julie claims she doesn't remember what happened--any of it.

MICKEY: Why would she want to kill her lover?

AUSTIN: Cause--it's breaking down.

MICKEY: What's breaking down?

AUSTIN: The perfect society Ted Lewis tried to create.  The one where all your bad habits magically disappear and then suddenly you're trying to kill yourself for somebody else.  I've gotta get one of those Quit-It pills (turns his back to her and she stands behind him, blinking her eyes.  He turns to look at her slowly, the camera pulls in close on her concerned face).

MICKEY: What's wrong?

AUSTIN: I can hear you blink your eyes.

MICKEY: (Blinks exaggeratedly.)  My eyes?  Is that bad?

AUSTIN: Oh, I think it's beautiful.  (He smiles and leans in closer.)

MICKEY: Austin, you're doing it again.

AUSTIN: What?

MICKEY: My hair at the party.  {My face in the moonlight.}

AUSTIN: Well, can't I say something nice to you for a change?

MICKEY: Well, sure, but it isn't like you.

AUSTIN: (Loses his smile and backs away.  Back to his brusque manner.)  I want you to keep your eye on Karen.  I want to know how she behaves when she wakes up.  (Walks away.)

MICKEY: Well, you don't have to go.

AUSTIN: I want to get another look at the neighborhood.  I want to find out why they've excluded Lou.  The answer to this mess!

MICKEY: (Looks sorry to see him go.)  'Night, Austin.

(Time elapses, established by a shot of a full moon and the exterior of the warehouse.  Inside MICKEY is asleep on the couch.  KAREN comes downstairs.  She runs around, picks up a butcher knife from the kitchen counter, then runs over to MICKEY, who wakes up and gasps.)

KAREN: Shh.  They're here.

MICKEY: Who?

KAREN: My parents, the neighbors.  They came after me, Mickey.

MICKEY: Where, where are they?

KAREN: I heard them talking.  They want to take over my body.

MICKEY: Karen, it was just a dream.  Nobody's here.   (Takes the knife.)

KAREN: I'm scared, I'm so scared. 

MICKEY: (Hugs her.)  Okay, it's okay.  I'm here.  There's nothing to be afraid of.

KAREN: (Steps out of the hug.)  I don't want to be crazy.

MICKEY: You're not crazy.  If you are, we all are.  Now you remember, Austin and I are on your side, you got it?  (They sit down on the couch.)  Karen, after Austin and I left what happened with you and your parents?

KAREN: (Takes something from her pocket.)  Nothing.  Everyone was upset about Mr. Boxell--we hardly talked.  (Puts something in her mouth.)

MICKEY: What was that?

KAREN: Just some pills.

MICKEY: The no-smoking pills?  (KAREN nods.)  But, Karen, you don't smoke.

KAREN: I know.  They're my mother's.  They make me feel better.  They make me fall asleep. (KAREN closes her eyes and lays her head on the couch.)

MICKEY: Karen?

KAREN: Fine.  Everything is fine.  Mickey, maybe tomorrow we can go get our hair done.

MICKEY: Karen? (More bewildered.)

KAREN: Or we could go to the mall and try on some spring dresses.  (Falls asleep.  MICKEY looks like she doesn't believe it.  She sighs and takes the pill bottle from KAREN's hand.  She takes the top off and tries to empty it into her hand--no pills are left.  She covers KAREN with the blanket.

 

Act Three, Scene 2 

(Establishing shot, exterior, Phoenix.  Day.  Interior: warehouse.  AUSTIN walks up to MICKEY asleep on a chair.  He tugs on her jacket and she wakes up.

AUSTIN: How's Karen?  (MICKEY stands up.)

MICKEY: She was asleep on the couch!

AUSTIN: Well, she's gone now. 

MICKEY: (Puts her hands to her face.)  I'm sorry.

AUSTIN: Probably back home.  (He walks over to the couch.)

MICKEY: Austin, she came out of it last night.  For a few minutes she was her old paranoid self.  Then she took some of those pills.

AUSTIN: Did you get any?  (MICKEY reaches into her jacket pocket and hands him the bottle.  AUSTIN shakes it.)  It's empty.

MICKEY: I know.  I thought you could take a look at the microscopic residue like you always do.  (AUSTIN goes over to a machine.)  You've got to explain it to me--how a simple no-smoking remedy can change people's entire psychological behavior.

AUSTIN: I can't explain it--as far as know it can't happen.

MICKEY: What about the neighborhood?  Did you find anything out?

AUSTIN: Yes, when you go walking through a residential neighborhood at night you're liable to be attacked by a dog--I spent the night in the car.

(Shot of the computer:

            CHEMICAL BREAKDOWN

followed by long string of numbers.  MICKEY looks concerned.  AUSTIN glances at her, then takes a longer look.)

AUSTIN: What's the matter?

MICKEY: What do you mean 'what's the matter'?

AUSTIN: You're drilling a hole through my head with your thought waves.  It's about last night, isn't it?

MICKEY: Well, you're obviously back to normal.

AUSTIN: I was normal to begin with.  I think you're a bit out of your element.

MICKEY: Me?  You were the one listening to me blink my eyes.

AUSTIN: I think Lou is the most admirable man I've ever met.

MICKEY: (Shocked.)  That creep?

AUSTIN: I can't understand for a second why his neighbors would ostracize him.

MICKEY: (Understanding.)  You're changing the subject.

AUSTIN: No, I'm not.  We're talking about relationships--why some people don't like people and why some people who do like people don't get like in return.  You and Dorado Grande Estates can't accept Lou.  Why?

MICKEY: Because.  Because he's an obnoxious, loud-mouthed, beer-guzzling, two-timing car salesman.

AUSTIN: Give me something better.

MICKEY: He's slothful.  He combs his hair funny.  He has shifty eyes, and he won't even discuss the idea of children with his own wife.

AUSTIN: You're right, you're absolutely right.  In the land where children are king, Lou is childless.

MICKEY: (Trying to understand.)  So Lou doesn't get any personality pills because he doesn't have any kids?

(The computer goes budoop, boop.  Shot of the computer screen which reads:
                        GELATIN

----------------------------------------------------

CHEMICAL BREAKDOWN COMPLETE

----------------------------------------------------)

AUSTIN: Gelatin.

MICKEY: Gelatin?  Same stuff I put in my salmon mousse?

AUSTIN: The same--it's what they use to coat pills with.  It doesn't give me a clue to what was inside.

MICKEY: Which means we're on our way back to Dorado Grande.

(AUSTIN pulls out his keys.)

AUSTIN: You drive.

MICKEY: Okay.

 

Act Three, Scene 3

(Dorado Grande Estates.  Their station wagon goes past an ice cream truck, playing its tinkling music, accompanied by the babbling of children.)

ICE CREAM MAN: Okay, one cotton candy and an ice cream sandwich.  Calm down! Who's next?

(Inside the station wagon.  Shot from the back of the car.)

AUSTIN: Ted has some kind of workshop in the garage.  My guess is I'll find the Quit-It in there.

MICKEY: What are you going to do?  Walk in there and order a gross?

AUSTIN: No.  I'm going to break in and steal it.

MICKEY: Austin, that's a major felony.

AUSTIN: I like it when you worry about me.  (He touches her cheek with the back of his hand, a lover's gesture.  He gets out, leaving MICKEY stunned, touching the same spot he did.  Cut to: Shot of AUSTIN opening the house door.  He closes it and TED, who with others is playing a card game, looks up at the sound.  ABBY is playing on the floor.)

SHERRY: Something the matter, dear?

TED: Umm, just hearing things I guess. Uh, one down

BARRY: Pass

BARRY’S WIFE (ELAINE): Two Clubs.

{(AUSTIN creeps through the hallway, and watches them with an amused smile. SHERRY and TED laugh.)}

TED: Two down.

ELAINE: Pass

BARRY: Three down.

SHERRY: Pass.

TED: Uhm, I pass. 

(ABBY gets up and goes into the garage.  AUSTIN opens a cabinet, in which are five bottles of pills.)

ABBY: What are you doing in here?

AUSTIN: (Takes a bottle and shuts the cupboard.)  Hi, Abby.  Just checking out your Dad's workshop.  What's he do in here? (Goes past monitors and a tape machine.)

ABBY: Work.

AUSTIN: I thought he was in advertising.

ABBY: He is.  He makes commercials and funny noises.  Roger helps.  Sometimes I get to speak into the microphone. (AUSTIN smiles.)

SHERRY: Abby, is that you?  Is there somebody in there with you?
(AUSTIN looks for an escape.)

ABBY: It's Karen's friend.

THE GROUP: What?

AUSTIN: Have them send the bill to my office.  (Jumps out the closed window.  MICKEY gasps.  Gets up and sees ROGER, holding a football, looking at him.)  Hey, Rog.  How ya doing?
(ROGER runs past him.)

ROGER: Dad!  Dad!

(AUSTIN jogs to the car and gets in.)

MICKEY: Did you get it?

AUSTIN: Enough to stop a marine division from smoking.  Watch the kids.

(She starts driving.  Cars pull out in front of them, effectively blocking and stopping them.)

MICKEY: Oh, what's that?

AUSTIN: Ocean liner.

(They look behind them and see about twenty people walking toward the car, very determined, very sinister.)

MICKEY: The whole neighborhood's after us.  What are we going to do?

AUSTIN: Back up plan.  Surrender.

(BARRY opens MICKEY's door and TED opens AUSTIN's.)

AUSTIN: Yes?

TED: I guess we're gonna have to do something about you two.

(AUSTIN nods at MICKEY and then looks back to TED, giving him a twitch of a humorless smile.)

 

Act Four, Scene 1

(MICKEY and AUSTIN are seated, tied with white rope in the garage.  A large amount of people, including KAREN, SHERRY, TED, and BARRY are looking at them.  TED pours some pills into KAREN's hand.)

KAREN: They'll change your life.  Your insecurities will all disappear.

AUSTIN: Thanks.  I have no insecurities.

TED: Then take it for your bad habits.

AUSTIN: No bad habits either.

SHERRY: Do you want ambition, physical strength, health, intelligence?  Anything you want; it's all there.

AUSTIN: In one pill?  I'd like to hear the recipe.

TED: I don't know the chemical composition, but Barry does.

MICKEY: Barry tried to shoot himself!

(The people murmur in the negative and shake their heads.)

MICKEY: There's something wrong with the pills, can't you see that?

TED: They keep me from drinking, smoking, and they make me love my children and my wife.

SHERRY: (nods) I can sleep nights now.  I've learned to control my eating.

TED: I had a job for twenty years that I hated and now I like it.  I have goals in life.

KAREN: I used to be crazy, now I'm not.

SHERRY: We're not drug addicts.  The pills aren't like that.  They--they only give you complete control over yourself again.  I can't go back to being the way I was--I'd rather die.

AUSTIN: (To TED.) I saw your teenage son make you suck an egg.

TED: That was a suggestion.  Fact is, I consume a raw egg everyday.  Roger knows that.

AUSTIN: The fact is, when you take the pill it makes you open to suggestion--any suggestion. Julie Cutler shot Lou because somebody suggested it.  It's a bad drug Ted, you know it.

TED: What I know is you won't understand it until you experience it.  (Everybody agrees.  TED nods at KAREN.  KAREN moves forward and holds a pill out to AUSTIN.  He closes his mouth tightly.)

TED: Go on take it, or we'll force you.  We have lots of ways.  (MICKEY looks concerned at this and AUSTIN looks at her.  She moves her head as if to say 'take it'.  He looks at her as if to say, 'what? okay' and then sticks his tongue out.  MICKEY gulps.  AUSTIN swallows the pill.)

TED: Now open your mouth.  (AUSTIN sticks out his tongue again.)  Thank you.

KAREN: (To MICKEY.)  And now you.  (MICKEY opens her mouth and shuts her eyes.  KAREN places the pill inside MICKEY's mouth and she swallows it.)

TED: We find that relaxation is necessary the first time.  (Ted shuts the tape deck and soft piano music starts.)  A quiet room. Mood music.  We'll be back in a few minutes.  Then your point of view will be different.  (People start to leave.)

AUSTIN: You know what I feel like?  Playing touch football.  Everybody can play.  Roger's got the ball.

TED: You're lying,

AUSTIN: Come on.  Mickey and I will choose up sides.

TED: That's a bad habit.  Of course, when the pill takes effect you won't have any urge to do that anymore.

(All the people leave.)

MICKEY: Okay, Einstein, get us out of this one.

(AUSTIN looks around, then shrugs out of the rope.)

AUSTIN: Ah, that's an old trick.  Expand your chest and tighten your muscles--they tie you up and then you relax. (Grabs a crowbar and starts to loosen the board over the broken window.)  We have about seven minutes to get those pills out of our stomachs.

MICKEY: I'm getting nauseous.

AUSTIN: Good, that's a start.

MICKEY: A start?

AUSTIN: Well, it's the only way.

MICKEY: You're kidding!

AUSTIN: Well, I don't see any vinegar or spoiled eggs handy.  Guess it's up to the old finger method.

MICKEY: (stares at him open-mouthed) Finger method.

AUSTIN: Be sure to catch it on the way up.  I need samples. (He puts the board on the floor.  MICKEY closes her eyes in disbelief.)

{(We see the group of couples playing cards again.  Cut to: AUSTIN helping MICKEY climb out of the window.) 

AUSTIN: Faster!  I think I spotted Roger.

MICKEY: Can we stop for mouthwash on the way home?  Please?

(AUSTIN and MICKEY get in the station wagon.}  MICKEY and AUSTIN drive away, past ROGER and his friends. ROGER throws his ball to the ground and runs inside.) 

ROGER: Those stupid idiots! Can't they do anything right?

 

Act Four, Scene 2

(The warehouse.  AUSTIN puts his microphone on and turns to MICKEY.) 

{AUSTIN: Bring the pills over here. (To OSEP) Beethoven, Seventh. (Music begins to play.) Mickey, I need the pills. 

MICKEY: Austin. 

AUSTIN: What's wrong? 

MICKEY: I got to thinking.  There's got to be someway--I, I know they don't have a perfect society at Dorado Grande…  But at times they seem happy and honest and Karen, she seems healthy now.  Are we forcing her life back into hell by pursuing this? 

AUSTIN: (Increduously.) What? 

M: Maybe the pills can be fixed.  Maybe what happened to Barry and Lou can be avoided.  It would be nice to see the world a happy place.  Maybe 'Quit-It' is the answer. (Austin’s look turns from one of disbelief to one of adoration.)} What's the matter?

AUSTIN: I need, I need--

MICKEY: What?
AUSTIN: It's happening again, Mickey.  I need to…say things to you.

MICKEY: Is this one of those 'Mickey, your hair, your face, your eyes' deals?

AUSTIN: Yes, I can't help it, I have to.  My head is filled with things to say.  (Moves toward her, his hand raised and she backs away.)  Your skin is so soft.  When I touched it in the car I thought it was the softest skin in the world.  (MICKEY puts a chair between them.  AUSTIN pauses, wondering at himself.)  Listen to me.  And I think I believe every word of it.

MICKEY: Do you want me to leave?

AUSTIN: No.  We're going to have to let this run its course if I'm ever going to understand what's going on.  Help me, Mickey, just…keep clear of me for the time being.

MICKEY: Okay. Okay, do you want me to take notes?

AUSTIN: Yes, yes take notes.  (She grabs a notepad and pencil. He starts advancing on her again.)  You're so beautiful.  If you had children, you'd have the most beautiful children in the world.  (He moves the chair out of the way and takes her hand in his.)

MICKEY: Austin, you got my hand.

AUSTIN: I know.  (Leans very close to her as if to kiss her and she bends as far back as she can.)  I just want to hold you, Mickey.

MICKEY: But, but I don't know if that's such a good idea.

AUSTIN: Why?  Why isn't it a good idea?  Be descriptive.

MICKEY: Because, you don't mean it, it isn't real, it isn't you.

AUSTIN: (Releases her.)  Exactly.  It isn't me.  (Moves away.)  Just like all those people at Dorado Grande Estates with their artificial happiness and their artificial lifestyles it isn't real.  (With a tone of horror at himself.)  I'm one of them, Mickey.  I have been ever since the party.

MICKEY: But you didn't take any pills--you don't even live there.  How?

AUSTIN: I'm going to find out.  (He reaches toward her and she brings up her hands defensively.)  The pills.  (She smiles and takes them out of her jacket pocket and sheepishly hands them to him.  He smiles at her and runs off to run tests.  Cut to: computer screen reading:

            L-TRIPTOPHAN

            MAGNESIUM

            PYRIDIZINE  HYDROCHLORIDE

            DIAZIRANIDE ASCORBATE

CHEMICAL BREAKDOWN COMPLETE)

AUSTIN: Triptophan, histadine, methionine, valine.

MICKEY: Sounds like pretty heavy stuff.

AUSTIN: Amino acids, everyday normal amino acids, with no psychological effect whatever.

MICKEY: You're saying there's nothing in those pills?

AUSTIN: Less than nothing.  (Dips his head toward hers, she moves back.  He talks to OSEP.)  Up the music another ten DB.

MICKEY: What are you doing?

AUSTIN: I've got to think.  It's all wrong.  (He gets into his cupboard.)  Nothing makes sense.  I don't know what's going on.

MICKEY: What should I do?

AUSTIN: (From inside.) Type up a memo from me to you apologizing for my behavior.

MICKEY: (Smiles.)  If I were you I'd change the song.  You've heard it so many times you can't think straight.

(The door flies open and he looks out and up at her, startled.  Cut to: MICKEY and AUSTIN heading to a console.  AUSTIN holds a cassette tape in his hand.)

AUSTIN: My tape from the car.  Right before every romantic episode I was listening to music, the party, the car, and here.  (He puts the tape in a deck and presses play.  A monitor displays a visualization.)

MICKEY: Well, so was I.

AUSTIN: Just wait.  I have a hunch about this and it involves children.

MICKEY: Children?

AUSTIN: When Barry tried to kill himself, when Ted sucked an egg, they got their instructions from children.  I'll bet you a month's pay it was Julie's son who sent her over to blast Lou. (To mic:)  Roll the tape, thirty IPS.  Drop out all symphonic harmonies and scan for irregularities.  (Something beeps.)  Good.  Go back and pick that up, hundredths the speed and twice the volume.

VOICE: (Somewhat distorted.)  This is a message for Mr. Austin James.  You love Mickey, Mr. James.  You think she's the most beautiful woman in the world. (AUSTIN adjusts a slider.  He smiles with the joy of hitting the solution.)  Every time you hear this music you will think you want to marry her and have lots of kids.  (AUSTIN looks up at MICKEY, who looks disturbed, and stops smiling.)  Bye for now.

MICKEY: I don't believe it.

AUSTIN: Subliminal programming.  So low and so fast it can only be heard by the subconscious mind, where our deepest motivations come from.

MICKEY: But that sounded like Roger!  How could a kid do something like this?

AUSTIN: He does what his old man does--electronic manipulation in advertising.  Only in this case, it's Roger manipulating his parents.  The other kids in the neighborhood must have it too.  Lou has bad habits because he doesn't have a kid to tell him what to do.

MICKEY: But the pills.

AUSTIN: That's the funny part.  When Ted and Sherry started to feel better they thought it was the pills.  So did I.

MICKEY: (Teasing.) Now why would Roger want to make you fall in love with me?

AUSTIN: Who knows?  He's only a kid.  And that's the danger.  The most powerful mind control technique ever conceived and it's in the hands of children.

 

Act Four, Scene 3

(Cut to a hand putting a cassette tape in a car deck.  We hear the sounds of playing children and the tinkling music of an ice cream truck starts.  We see the truck and children running after it.)

MICKEY: Austin, are you sure this is going to work? (AUSTIN and MICKEY are in the truck wearing blue bowties and aprons, white shirt and pants, with white berets on their heads and sunglasses with white rims.  He looks at her.)  Are you or not?

AUSTIN: I could only guess at the exact technique, but I took a stab at it.

MICKEY: A stab?  You took a stab?
AUSTIN: I haven't seen the day I couldn't handle a bunch of kids.

MICKEY: Great.  Those were Lou's last words.

AUSTIN: (Stops the truck.)  It's going to be a while before I know if this is going to work or not.

MICKEY: If it doesn't we can get them sick on fudgesicles.

AUSTIN: Right.  (Nods and they get out of the truck.)  All right, we've got free ice cream.  (All the kids cheer.)  That's right, free ice cream.  Step right up and get it.  {(The kids are all clamoring for ice cream.)  Chocolate on a stick-- my favorite!  Vanilla!  Tutti Frutti Special!  No pushing!  There’s plenty to go around.  Free ice cream for all of you.} (Grabs a clipboard.)  Okay, I've got fudgesicles and-- (He sees ROGER and his friends, dressed in black leather jackets.  The kids stop cheering and scatter.)  Hey guys, better hurry, it's going fast.  (ROGER takes the clipboard and tosses it over his shoulder.)  Rog, we've got to have a talk about your attitude.

ROGER: (Lifts a baseball bat threateningly.)  I've had it with you; this is my neighborhood.

AUSTIN: (Takes his sunglasses off.)  Not anymore.  I'm taking it away from you.

ROGER: I'm going to bash your lousy head in.  (Breaks a truck light.)

MICKEY: Austin, it's not orkingway. (Pats him on the shoulder and motions for him to get in the truck.)

AUSTIN: Good swing.  I'll get my mitt.  (He gets in the back of the truck and pulls the door down.)

MICKEY:  All right, get us out of here.  (She sits down and AUSTIN closes the side driver's door.  ROGER pulls out a knife.)  Just a bunch of kids, huh?

AUSTIN: I'll get us out of here.  (ROGER stabs the front left tire.)  Somehow.  (The teenagers start rocking the truck.)

TEENAGERS: Rock the boat.  Yeah, come on, come on.  Yeah, let's go.  Ha,ha.

MICKEY: Do something.

AUSTIN: Only one thing we can do. (Turns the volume higher on the tape deck.)

MICKEY: Austin. (She glances out the rear window to see the adults walking up to the truck.)

AUSTIN: What is it?  Help?

MICKEY: No.  More Indians.

TED:  Roger.

ROGER: Stay right there.  We're going to fix this ourselves this time.

TED: Just who do you think you're talking to, young man?

ROGER: You heard me.  Get out of here or I'm going to ground you for a month.

TED: (Grabs ROGER by the collar of his jacket.)  You're not too old for a good shellacking, mister, and I'm not too old to give it to you.  (The other teenagers stop rocking the truck.)

ROGER: (Busted.)  Dad, okay, lighten up.  No big deal.

{(The other teenagers stop rocking the truck.) 

ROGER: (Busted.) Dad, okay, lighten up. No big deal. (TED hauls him away. Barry grabs his son)

BARRY: You’re gonna mow the lawn whether it needs it or not.

BARRY, JR.: Aw, dad, not the lawn.

ANOTHER FATHER: We’re taking back the the ten-speed, the dirtbikes, and both RVs.} 

(The other parents grab their kids as well.  AUSTIN gets out of the truck, turning it off and takes his hat off.  The music stops.)

MICKEY: What happened?  (Takes her hat and sunglasses off and fluffs out her hair.)

AUSTIN: The message.  It worked.  You see, I directed it at the adults, not the kids.  I figured they'd be easier to control.  (MICKEY smiles and looks at something off camera.)

MICKEY: Look who's coming.

(ABBY comes toward them, holding a doll.)

ABBY: You guys married yet?
MICKEY: Abby!

AUSTIN: I played the recording too slowly.  It was her voice, not Roger's.  (He bends down to get face to face with ABBY.)  Abby, I want you to tell me how you did it, how you made you parents do what you wanted them to do.

ABBY: Well, Roger and I were playing with Dad's machine when Dad wasn't home.  I started making noises and the fish in the fish tank started going around in circles.

MICKEY: And you showed Roger.

ABBY: Uh, huh.  And he made the fish jump up and turn upside down and all sorts of silly things, and then we started making Mom and Dad to do things.

AUSTIN: It was you who made them stop smoking.

ABBY: We learned at school you shouldn't do things like that.

MICKEY: Abby, why did you want Austin to fall in love with me?

(AUSTIN gives MICKEY a 'why ask that question' look.  She looks back, 'it's just a question'.)

ABBY: Because you're supposed too.

(Which surprises them both.  Cut to KAREN walking toward them.  They look at her and she waves.  AUSTIN looks at ABBY, smiles and shakes his index finger at her.  AUSTIN gets in the truck and MICKEY follows after waving back.)

 

Act Four, Scene 4

(The warehouse.  AUSTIN and MICKEY are playing cards on the couch.)

MICKEY: Go. (AUSTIN sighs and places a card down.)  I'll never forget their faces, Austin.  They were cold-blooded killers.

AUSTIN: No, they weren't.  They were children without parents, with all the power in the world and no idea how to use it.

MICKEY: What about Karen and her parents?  Do you think they'll go back to their old ways?

AUSTIN: That's entirely up to them.  They've got to learn they've got to rely [cringe at the grammar] on themselves in life, not pills or subliminal messages.

MICKEY: Well, what's to stop Roger or somebody else from using this terrible mind control thing again?

AUSTIN: I'm creating another message--one that says 'forget' and then I'm taking the ice cream truck for another drive through the neighborhood.  (She smiles.)  The technique is so precise; it's so unusual it won't be discovered again for decades.

MICKEY: You'll have it.  Go.

AUSTIN: (To his mic) Beethoven, Fifth Symphony.  (Lays a card down.)

MICKEY: Hm.  Imagine, a nine year old girl making the great Austin James act against his will.  (Chuckles, and picks up the card and places it in her deck.)

AUSTIN: Actually, I enjoyed it.

MICKEY: You did not!

AUSTIN: I certainly did.  I was fascinated.  I studied myself.  I couldn't wait to hear what I was going to say next.

MICKEY: Did you think it was authentic for one tiny little moment?

AUSTIN: (Vehemently) No!

MICKEY: (Chuckles) Why is it you decided not to get involved with relationships?

AUSTIN: But I have.  Me and the universe--it's all I can handle.

MICKEY: It's a shame, Austin.  You're such a wonderful person.  Warm, strong, handsome, articulate.  I don't know anybody more courageous.  (He seems enthralled by what she's saying.)  You're not corrupted by envy, or jealousy.  You're trustworthy, steadfast, loyal, dependable.  (She starts to walk her fingers up his arm.)  Your face looks beautiful in the moonlight.  (He flutters his eyelids.  She looks at her hand and registers the music and says:)  Austin James! (She slaps his arm.)

AUSTIN: And you were so sincere.

(She laughs.)

AUSTIN: Gin.

(Music finishes with a flourish.)

 

Executive Producers

Alan J. Levi, Michael Wagner

 

Executive Story Consultant

 William Link

 

Co-Producer

Gary L. Messenger

 

Associate Producer

 Martin Goldstein

 

Also Starring

                    Josh Arnold                                                                                                                      Barry Jr.

                    Lance Harpham                                                                                                                Chris

        Polly Chapman                                                                                                                 Barb McNally

        Linda Jurgens                                                                                                                   Elaine Boxell

                    Paul Mancuso                                                                                                                   Robert Black

        Fred Nelson                                                                                                                     Barry Boxell

                    Danny Sullivan                                                                                                                  Wayne Laudormil

        Connie Kranz                                                                                                                    Julie Cutler

 

Director of Photography

Frank Raymond

 

Visual Consultant

John Leimanis

 

Film Editor

Alan Shefland

 

Unit Production Manager

Robert Bennett Steinhauer

 

First Assistant Director

John Slosser

 

Second Assistant Director

Alisa Matlovsky

 

 

                    Casting Director                                                                                           Darlene Wyatt

                    Art Director                                                                                                  Mike Ferrell

                    Set Decorator                                                                                               Susan Volk

                    Costumes By                                                                                                Mary Ann Ahern

                                                                                                                                        Guy Erickson

                    Stunt Coordinator                                                                                         Steve Kelso

                    Property Master                                                                                           Marcia Calosio

                    Hairstylist                                                                                                     John Kennedy

                    Makeup By                                                                                                  Tony Elwood

                    Sound Mixer                                                                                                Bill Fraiser

                    Sound Editor                                                                                                CMS Productions

                    Music Editor                                                                                                 Martin Bram

                    Music Coordinator                                                                                       The Clearing House, Ltd.

                    Titles and Opticals                                                                                        Howard A. Anderson Co.

                    Cameras By                                                                                                 Panavision, Inc.

Filmed By

Westland Productions, Inc.

Phoenix, Arizona

 

THE CHARACTERS AND EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS PHOTOPLAY ARE FICTITIOUS.  ANY SIMILARITY TO ACTUAL PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL

 

THIS MOTION PICTURE IS PROTECTED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER COUNTRIES.  UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION, DISTRIBUTION, OR EXHIBITION MAY RESULT IN CIVIL LIABILITY AND CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

 

COPYRIGHT © MCMLXXXVIII [1988] BY MCA TELEVISION LIMITED

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

From MCA Television