Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4 Act 5
Episode #VS724


Howard's End

Crossing Jordan Virtual Season 7

“Howard's End”

Written by
Madambeth, NCCJFAN and jmkw

Art by
Harbor Runner


“Crossing Jordan Virtual Season 7” is a fan-based effort not intended to infringe on the rights of Tailwind Productions, NBC/Universal or any of the other copyright holders of “Crossing Jordan.” No money was made from the writing or posting of any content.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE


Jordan Cavanaugh
Garret Macy
Nigel Townsend
Mahesh “Bug” Vijayaraghavensatanaryanamurthy
Lily Lebowski
Kate Switzer
Woody Hoyt

Howard Stiles
AV Brian
Madeline

SET LIST

INTERIORS
MORGUE
   ELEVATOR
   RECEPTIONIST’S DESK
   CONFERENCE ROOM

HOWARD’S OFFICE
   HALLWAY
   INTERIOR OFFICE

EXTERIORS
MINUTEMAN CAMPGROUND – LITTLETON, MA
   CAMP AREA

 

TEASER

 

1. INT. MORGUE ELEVATOR - MORNING

GARRET and JORDAN get off together. There’s a crowd at the RECEPTIONIST’S DESK. Everyone’s getting their messages and mail.

GARRET
(to JORDAN)
Morning.


JORDAN
Morning.


GARRET
Good weekend?

JORDAN rifles through her messages and mail.


JORDAN
Yeah. You?


GARRET
Pretty good.

GARRET begins to rifle through his messages and mail. He pulls out an envelope and looks at it with a dismayed look on his face.


JORDAN
Good.

JORDAN looks through hers and pulls out an envelope identical to GARRET’S.


JORDAN (cont’d)
Oh, crap…

GARRET looks over her shoulder.


GARRET
You got one, too, huh? Welcome to the club.


JORDAN
Can I defect now? Cancel my club membership?


GARRET
‘Fraid not. Looks like we’re in this together.

JORDAN begins to walk down the MORGUE HALLWAY with GARRET to their offices.



2. INT. MORGUE HALLWAY - CONTINUING

JORDAN
Me, I can understand. He’s always after me.


GARRET
(smiling)
He’s not too crazy about me, either.


JORDAN
Then maybe that’s why we got the invite… maybe he’s trying to help us form a friendship circle… kind of like that cell phone offer.


GARRET
Something tells me he’s not interested in that.


JORDAN
Or maybe he’s into the whole Barney thing… I love you, you love me…?


GARRET
We’re a great, big family? Maybe a highly dysfunctional one.


JORDAN
(weak smile)
Fun is the middle word in dysfunctional.

JORDAN chuckles for a moment and then stops.


JORDAN (cont’d)
(looks uncomfortable)
Still….


GARRET
(waving the envelope)
This makes you a little nervous?


JORDAN
Just a little.

GARRET chuckles.


JORDAN (cont’d)
I mean, we talked after the crash


GARRET
We all did….


JORDAN
So why the summons?


GARRET
Your guess is as good as mine


JORDAN
Maybe we can go together? Be each other’s support?


GARRET
(nodding)
Sounds like a great idea.

JORDAN turns to go into her office.


JORDAN
Meet you at seven, then?

GARRET sighs, opening the door to his office.


GARRET
Sure.

He turns and mutters under his breath.


GARRET (cont’d)
Just the way I want to spend an evening… in Howard Stile’s office.


The door shuts and the camera stays on it as the theme music is introduced.

 

END OF TEASER

Crossing Jordan Theme

 

 

ACT ONE

 

3. INT. HOWARD STILES’ OFFICE HALLWAY – 7:00 P.M.

Scene opens with the camera on another door, one that says Dr. Howard Stiles on it. GARRET and JORDAN enter the shot. GARRET has his hand on the doorknob. They pause as they hear chaos and loud voices coming from inside the waiting room. GARRET gives JORDAN a look that plainly says, “What the hell?” JORDAN shrugs in response. GARRET turns the door knob and pushes the door open.

GARRET
What the hell…?

He glances over at everyone sitting in the chairs and on the couch. GARRET glares at NIGEL, BUG, LILY and KATE as they sit in the chairs and on the couch. BUG holds a squalling MADELINE.


JORDAN
… is going on?


NIGEL
It’s mad, I tell you.


BUG
All of us here at the same time. Shhh, Maddy… it’ll be okay.


KATE
I thought state mandated psych evaluations had to be done during regular business hours… unless of course you’re on DL for mental issues.

She gives NIGEL a look.


LILY
Who needs a psych eval? We’re all fine.


KATE
That’s easy for you to say. You get to leave early, come in late, and take time off if she… (motions to MADDY) has so much as a diaper rash.


BUG
(indignant)
That’s harsh!


KATE
It’s the truth.


LILY
Maybe we’re entitled…. You’ve only been in Boston a year or so. We’ve been at the morgue for years.


KATE
I know. And becoming part of the “club” is a hard thing to do. (crosses arms defensively) Not that I want to…


NIGEL
(wheedling to KATE)
Come on now, love….


KATE
(louder)
Don’t call me that!

WOODY enters. He’s out of breath.


WOODY
Sorry, I’m late….

WOODY’S voice trails off as he views the crowded waiting room and hears the total chaos and arguing within.


WOODY (cont’d)
What the hell?

.
GARRET
We just asked the same question.


NIGEL
I got this letter from Stiles… it said to be at his office at seven tonight

GARRET, WOODY and JORDAN all pull out identical envelopes.


JORDAN
We did, too.


KATE
Any clue why?

DR. HOWARD STILES enters, coming out of an inner office.


HOWARD
I’m glad you asked, Dr. Switzer. Good to see everyone

HOWARD pauses, scanning the room with beady eyes, mentally taking a roll and making sure everyone is there. EVERYONE mutters under their breath.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Nothing like a little state-mandated letter to get everyone motivated and here on time.


GARRET
Which brings us back to Kate’s question: why are we here?


DR STILES
Oh, I don’t know. Why do you think you’re here?

.
JORDAN
(rolling eyes)
We haven’t been through a mass disaster lately… we’ve all had our yearly psych exam…


WOODY
We’re all working and healthy… no gunshot wounds.


LILY
And our relationships are fine.

She catches BUG’S eye.


LILY (cont’d)
Just fine – with our significant others and other people.


KATE
There’s really no justifiable reason for us to be here.

KATE begins to edge toward the door.


HOWARD
(rubbing his hand together)
Obviously, there is… or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts wouldn’t have asked me to bring this little group together.


GARRET
(incredulous)
The state asked you to do this?


WOODY
Get us all together in one room?

HOWARD is obviously enjoying stringing this thing out and watching them squirm. He knows none of them really likes psych evals or him very much.


HOWARD
Not just together in one room. (beat) Together on a camping trip….


BUG
(disbelievingly)
A camping trip?


HOWARD
And not just any camping trip… a state mandated camping trip


NIGEL
(exasperated)
The bloody hell why?


HOWARD
I sign your evals –


JORDAN
(protesting)
But we all passed….


HOWARD
You did… you did… but… there were a few abnormalities that bothered me…


GARRET
(aggravated)
Like what?


HOWARD
After the crash, you all were shook up, but seemed to be processing the event in a normal way. Later, when you had to have your yearly psych exam, I noticed there was some anger… that the team spirit wasn’t there anymore.


Everyone begins arguing out loud. No one is listening to each other; they are all insisting that this trip wasn’t necessary and that they are fine. It is a conspiracy. Lots of finger pointing and blaming the other person.

HOWARD calmly climbs up on the top of the coffee table and puts his fingers in his mouth and whistles loudly.

The room becomes silent. Everyone looks at each other accusingly before looking at HOWARD again.


HOWARD (cont’d)
So this is why the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has mandated this camping trip as a way to help you re-bond… become a team again.

Before the fighting can start again, HOWARD begins to hand out Manila envelopes.


HOWARD
Here’s your directions… what to bring and not bring. We’ll all meet in the morning at 7 a.m… bright and early and go to the camp site.

There is more arguing.


HOWARD
The morgue in Cambridge will be covering for you… so no worries. Go home, get a good night’s sleep and I’ll see you in the morning….

There is still more arguing, but they head out the door and the camera zooms back to HOWARD who shuts the door and then leans back against it.


HOWARD
Whew…




4. INT. MORGUE CONFERENCE ROOM— NEXT MORNING 8:00 A.M.

Everyone is sitting in coats with backpacks and other gear, talking quietly and sipping coffee.

GARRET, WOODY and NIGEL are huddled in a group by the window, obviously scheming something to get out of this.

LILY and BUG are saying their goodbyes to MADDY who is being left with a friend of LILY’S for the weekend. JORDAN is finishing an outline for GARRET to give the relief to let them know where everything is.

NIGEL
(adamantly)
Come on now, gents, we’re all bright, inventive men, surely we can come up with some reason that this trip isn’t necessary.


WOODY
Bug and Lily can always use the baby as an excuse, and I’ve got about 25 active cases I’m not really cheery about leaving in Berman’s hands.

WOODY rolls his eyes and smiles as he realizes something. He points at JORDAN.


WOODY (cont’d)
(excitedly)
Brain tumor!

Across the room JORDAN slowly lifts her head from her paperwork and raises an eyebrow. WOODY looks embarrassed and rubs the back of his head.


JORDAN
(sarcastically)
Nice, Wood, nice.

JORDAN looks back at her paperwork.


GARRET
Alright, babies, Berman and… and brain tumors aside, I think we may actually have to go through with this one, guys. Howard Stiles is one tough nut to crack.


NIGEL
(quietly)
Well, at least you got the nut part right, Doctor M.

They all snicker until the door to the Conference Room opens and HOWARD enters with a bright smile and wearing a hooded parka.


HOWARD
Oooh… it’s a chilly one out there, kids. I hope everyone brought their long underwear.

JORDAN looks at WOODY and smiles. Oh, I don’t think I’ll be needing my long Johns to keep me warm — HOWARD follows her gaze to see WOODY smiling shyly back at JORDAN. WOODY’S cheeks are flushed red as he shifts nervously from one foot to the other.


HOWARD
Uhhh, actually, Jordan, you will, unless you plan on spooning with Lily.


JORDAN AND LILY
(in unison)
What?

Everyone in the room freezes and looks expectantly at HOWARD. HOWARD looks around the room.


HOWARD
I feel the need to remind you all that this little trip is being funded by the state. The purpose of this trip is business, anyone expecting a romantic getaway —

HOWARD looks pointedly at WOODY, JORDAN, BUG and LILY. — will find themselves extremely disappointed. JORDAN stands from her seat at the table.


JORDAN
(defiantly)
Ah come on, Howard, you’ve gotta be KIDDING me, man.


Before HOWARD can answer, the door to the room pops open and AV BRIAN falls in loaded down with an armful of camping equipment. We can’t even see his face.

Brian

BRIAN
Dr. Stiles!?

BRIAN falls forward dropping the tents and sleeping bags on the floor.


BRIAN (cont’d)
Oh, there you are. Here’s the tents and sleeping bags you wanted.

HOWARD claps his hands together.


HOWARD
Ah, thank you, my boy.

GARRET frowns as the reality finally sets in.


GARRET
Come on, Howard, there’s got to be some alternative to this.

HOWARD ignores GARRET. He smiles as he reads from a paper.


HOWARD
Here are your tent assignments.

Across the room, NIGEL and KATE are standing, shaking their heads as WOODY sidles up to them.


WOODY
He’s really serious about this, isn’t he?

NIGEL and KATE look dejected.


NIGEL
Oh, bloody Hell —


KATE
Son of a bitch —


HOWARD (cont’d)
Tent A, Bug and Woody; Tent B, Lily and Jordan;

His voice gets a little louder as the mumbling protests begin.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Tent C will be Garret and myself, and in Tent D, Nigel you and Dr. Switzer… I assume can be trusted to share a space for two nights unlike your paired off co-workers?

The camera cuts to NIGEL and KATE. Both look shocked.


KATE
Oh, bloody Hell—


NIGEL
Son of a —




5. EXT. MINUTEMAN CAMPGROUND, LITTLETON, MA - LATER

The gang’s all here. Everyone is climbing out of SUs, looking like children being forced to visit Aunt Edna’s for the day. WOODY is at the trunk of one vehicle, cursing as he pulls at a tent bag and two sleeping bags, while JORDAN, wearing sunglasses, sips a coffee and watches him.

WOODY stops once he gets the items out and drops them to the ground, huffing and puffing.

WOODY
(mockingly sweet)
Oh, I’m sorry, Angel… are both your arms broken or you think you could stop drinking and pick up a stinkin’ two pound sleeping bag?

JORDAN raises her eyebrows and lowers the shades with one finger. No, not that one.


JORDAN
I’m sorry, was that sarcasm? ‘Cause I’ve got one for you to figure out too. (smirks) Is the idea of sleeping on the couch permanently something that sounds appealing to you, orrrrrr did you ask me to marry you hoping you’d get to spend the next 40 years in a sexless marriage… Angel?

HOWARD walks by in time to hear the bickering as he barely looks up from his clipboard.


HOWARD
(lightly)
Easy, children, we’ve barely been here five minutes. Let’s not make uncle Howie turn the car around already…

JORDAN perks up and lifts the sunglasses to watch him walk by.


JORDAN
Sweet… there’s a turn the car around option?

There is a pause as she looks at WOODY.


JORDAN (cont’d)
‘Cause if so I could knock him around a little bit, too… you know, just where the bruises won’t show at work.

WOODY does his unnecessarily loud and obnoxious fake laugh thing and then stops and glares at JORDAN as he scoops up all of the camping crap from the ground.


WOODY
(nodding)
Ha, ha… You know why that was funny, Jordan? (beat) ‘Cause we all know how side-splitting domestic violence is. (sarcastic) Good joke though, that was touching. You probably would kill with that down at the battered women’s shelter.

GARRET steps between them, putting a hand on each of their shoulders as they walk towards the camp site. Everyone else is picking up their gear and heading the same way.


GARRET
(coolly)
Okay, children, that’ll be enough, thank you. (beat) It’s bad enough we have to be here in the first place, we don’t need the Cramdens to join us.

WOODY has to laugh at his joke. JORDAN finally takes one of the sleeping bags. WOODY uses his one now free hand to playfully ‘pop’ her in the chin with his balled fist.


WOODY
To the moon, Alice!

JORDAN rolls her eyes and shakes her head as GARRET laughs. Behind them a few steps KATE and NIGEL are walking, also carrying camping gear. KATE looks at WOODY and JORDAN ahead of them stopping to make camp. She watches them getting the tent pieces out while she and NIGEL pass by them.


KATE
I thought there was a ‘no cohabitating’ byline in this little getaway…

NIGEL laughs and shakes his head.


NIGEL
No, no, no, you misunderstand.

He nods toward the couple.


NIGEL (cont’d)
Woody is being the dutiful manservant and setting up Jordan’s tent for her.
 
KATE watches them a moment.

KATE
Manservant, eh? (pauses and thinks) I gotta get myself one of those.

NIGEL grins and drops the gear in his arms to bow before KATE.


NIGEL
At your service, my lady.

KATE raises her eyebrows. She’s fighting a smile and losing the battle.


KATE
(impressed)
Nice. (beat) You wouldn’t happen to be able to conjure up a hot caramel latte there, would ya?

NIGEL chuckles from where he is leaning over the canvas of the tent.


NIGEL
(smiling)
Alas, no, but I did see a Dunkin Donuts a few miles pre-wilderness. Maybe I could —


STILES cuts him off, suddenly appearing right beside him.

HOWARD quietly pats NIGEL’S arm.

HOWARD
Sorry, friend, but no unscheduled field trips.


He pats NIGEL’S arm again before continuing on in his walk around the campsite.

NIGEL and KATE watch HOWARD walk away. They share a look that says ‘this is going to be Hell.’

The tents are all set within fifty feet of each other and BUG and LILY are close enough to KATE and NIGEL setting up their tent that they have just been able to hear the exchange.

BUG nods towards the pair and mumbles to LILY.

BUG
What do you think has got those two all chummy recently?

LILY casts a glance at NIGEL and KATE and then looks back to BUG.


LILY
(shrugs)
I don’t know, but I think it’s sweet that they’re getting along.

BUG continues to watch them.


BUG
You don’t think they’re…

He trails off and LILY stands and straightens herself with her hands on her lower back.


LILY
(laughs)
Oh, God, no. (beat) Nigel would never go for someone like Kate…

She trails off but follows BUG’S gaze back to the two.


LILY (cont’d)
… would he?


The camera cuts to GARRET and HOWARD, setting up a tent together. It is located strategically between everyone else’s tents.

GARRET watches HOWARD a moment.

GARRET
So what’s this really about, Howard? (beat) This campground is in its off-season, there’s no one around for miles…

He stops and raises his eyebrows.


GARRET (cont’d)
Have you finally had a psychotic break and you brought us all out here for some kind of… shrink… ritual killing?


HOWARD
(tense and shocked)
You… you won’t tell the others, will you?


He and GARRET are involved in a standoff that lasts a few seconds as GARRET tries to decide if he’s kidding. Finally, HOWARD smiles coyly.

GARRET lets out the breath he was holding and tosses a sleeping bag into HOWARD’S arms.

GARRET
(shaking his head)
You’re insane, you know that?

HOWARD just smiles and shrugs as they finish setting up their area.



6. EXT. CAMP AREA - MIDMORNING

There is an overhead shot of a camp area. ALL are busy with the finishing touches. The tents form a crude “X” with a campfire pit in the center. JORDAN is now hauling more gear out of one of the SUVs. LILY is putting rolled sleeping bags inside a tent. WOODY is putting together a camp stove, while KATE stands over him with the instructions. BUG is standing in the back of a second vehicle. He’s inventorying the contents and making notes on a clipboard. NIGEL and GARRET are getting a fire in the pit going. The camera angle moves down as HOWARD enters the scene. In his hand is a brown gunnysack.

HOWARD
(brightly)
Outstanding!

ALL look up from what they are doing.


HOWARD (cont’d)
It looks like we’re about ready to start! (beat) There is a little task we need to take care of first. If I could have you all bring your personal gear out here so we can pool our resources.


KATE
Been there, done that. So, unless anyone needs a Xanax you can start without us. (to WOODY) I told you Tab D into Slot A… Here! Let me do it!

.
HOWARD
That can wait, Dr Switzer. (to ALL) Please. Everything. Out here.

There is some grumbling as bags and backpacks are dragged out. They form a line in front of HOWARD.


HOWARD (cont’d)
All contraband in the bag, if you please.


GARRET
(confused)
Contraband?


HOWARD
In the dossier you were given there was specific instructions on what you can and cannot bring.

All look guiltily at each other.


GARRET
You can’t expect -


HOWARD
These were not suggestions, Garret. Everything. Pens, pencils, paper. This is not summer camp. We’re not writing home.

HOWARD opens the bag as everyone grudgingly begins to go through their stuff. A few pens and notebooks are tossed in the bag. HOWARD stops in front of JORDAN.


HOWARD (cont’d)
… books, publications… extracurricular reading material….

JORDAN rolls her lips as she tosses in a stack of forensic journals. JORDAN look coyly down the line at NIGEL who looks back as he puts his own stash of publications in the bag. NIGEL shrugs apologetically.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Wallets… Electronics… cell phones….

A few cells and iPods are slipped in the bag. HOWARD stops in front of GARRET and opens the bag, waiting.

GARRET
This is utterly ridiculous. We may be out here in dumbfuckegypt but I’m still the Chief Medical Examiner… I still have responsibilities.


HOWARD
You were still the CME when you were stranded on the side of that mountain and the building didn’t come crashing down. It’s not going to happen now… or even after your no longer the Chief.


GARRET looks like HOWARD hit a nerve as he puts his phone in the bag.

LILY clutches an electronic picture frame to her chest. HOWARD looks at her sympathetically but holds out the bag. LILY kisses the frame before gently putting it in the bag. BUG puts his arm around her shoulders.

BUG
(irritated)
Is this necessary? Those are just pictures of Maddy.


HOWARD
You did leave her in capable hands?


BUG
(indignantly)
We’d never leave her with just anyone!


HOWARD
She’ll be fine. You need to trust your gut, Dr. Vijay. (beat) Second guessing only complicates matters.

HOWARD immediately turns to WOODY.


HOWARD (cont’d)
You too, Detective.

WOODY points to himself innocently.


HOWARD (cont’d)
I’ve been assured by your superiors that your case load is in competent hands. (beat) Let your fellow officers do their jobs, Detective Hoyt.


WOODY’S jaw twitches as he reaches in his pocket and pulls out his cell phone and tosses it in the bag.

HOWARD blinks but doesn’t move.

WOODY
(annoyed)
What now?!


There is a long pause as HOWARD waits him out. WOODY sighs and reaches in his backpack. He pulls out his badge and gun. He pulls the clip and puts all three items in the bag.

Non-Necessities

WOODY
(sarcastically)
Happy?

HOWARD doesn’t answer and just puts the bag on the ground.


KATE
That was enlightening. I feel more like a team already. Can we go home now?


NIGEL grins. HOWARD ignores them.


HOWARD
Survival of the human species depends on three factors.

BUG looks at the ground, his voice monotone and bored when speaking.


BUG
Food, shelter and water.


HOWARD
Give the man a gold star. Thanks to everyone’s efforts we have a warm place to sleep and the State sent rations… all we need is water.

JORDAN raises her hand.


JORDAN
I volunteer to drive back into town and pick up a few six-packs (beat) of water... of course, but if you give me back my ID, I can pick up something with a little more kick.


HOWARD
We are playing survivalists this weekend… remember. We look for it.


LILY
If you think I’m drinking out of a mud puddle, you have another thing coming. Haven’t you ever heard of Acid Rain?


HOWARD chuckles.

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

 

ACT TWO

 


7. EXT. CAMPGROUND - EARLY AFTERNOON

The group is standing where we last saw them, all staring at HOWARD, waiting for an explanation of their first activity. They now have looks of disbelief on their faces but HOWARD is still smiling.

KATE is the first to speak.

KATE
(stunned and angry)
What do you mean we have to find our water? What is this? Some sort of state funded torture?


The others look around at each other in disbelief.

HOWARD smiles again and shakes his head.

HOWARD wags a finger at KATE.

HOWARD
(brightly)
Some might call that melodrama, Dr. Switzer.


KATE
(nods, folds her arms)
Yeah, and some might call your little water hunt cruel and unusual punishment. I mean, who would —

HOWARD cuts her off, talking over her as he starts handing out maps and compasses: one to WOODY, one to LILY, one to KATE and the other to GARRET.

HOWARD
— You have until sun down to find your water supply. (beat) These maps and compasses should lead you to your payload. You’ll each be given two bottles each for the hike. (smile) Savor them.
 

Everyone grumbles and looks around.

JORDAN
(mockingly bright)
So, who’s with who, Howie?

HOWARD shrugs.


HOWARD
That’s one choice I’ll leave up to you this week, Jordan.

JORDAN lifts her head, looks around quickly and immediately reaches out to grab WOODY’S arm.


JORDAN
Dibs on the Boy Scout.


Everyone groans and pairs off silently. BUG with LILY, GARRET with KATE, NIGEL and HOWARD together. They all take their two bottles of water and head off with their compasses.

CUT TO:


8. EXT. WOODED AREA – A SHORT WHILE LATER

GARRET and KATE emerge into a clearing and look around.

KATE
We already went past this spot.

GARRET looks around and shrugs.


GARRET
We’re in the WOODS, Kate. (beat) It just looks like the same spot. Come on…


KATE groans and looks around before she drops down on a fallen tree and downs the remains of her first bottle of water. GARRET sits down beside her and offers her a strip of jerky from the little bag they’d been given.

KATE accepts it with murmured thanks.

KATE
Sorry… it’s just… my blood sugar… and we’re lost….

GARRET looks at her and frowns slightly. He can see it in her eyes. The same look he’d seen in her eyes when they’d crashed.


GARRET
(softly)
We’re not lost… we just haven’t gotten there yet, but we will. It’s… it’s not like the last time, Kate, people know where we are, we can —

She cuts him off by standing suddenly from the log.


KATE
Don’t go all Stiles on me, Garret.

She pauses and looks at the compass.


KATE (cont’d)
We’re heading north, right?

GARRET nods.


KATE (cont’d)
Then let’s get moving.

GARRET watches as she starts to walk off and shakes his head. It’s going to be a long weekend. CUT TO:



9. EXT. ANOTHER WOODED AREA – SAME TIME

WOODY and JORDAN are already at their water supply. They are smiling and loading it onto a cart to be pulled by an ATV nearby.

JORDAN
(laughing)
Man, am I glad I’m with you.

WOODY chuckles and fixes the collar on her coat gently.


WOODY
That’s me; always prepared.

JORDAN raises her eyebrows and steps closer to him.


JORDAN
(quietly)
Always prepared huh?


She looks around.

WOODY shakes his head.

WOODY
(sternly)
No way, uh uh, that’s not going to happen. (beat) What are you trying to do? Get me in trouble here?


JORDAN
(sweetly)
You know I don’t follow rules really well…

WOODY looks like his resolve is faltering.


WOODY
(shakes his head again)
No way, not right now anyway.

He pauses and thinks.


WOODY (cont’d)
Perhaps we could arrange a little… midnight rendezvous one night this weekend though?

JORDAN smiles and nods, reaching up to kiss his cheek.


JORDAN
We’ll have to work that out with our ‘roomies’, partner. Besides…

She pauses and wraps her arms around his shoulders again, kissing him once gently.


JORDAN (cont’d)
… I seem to remember you getting at least a little kissin’ action the last time we were trapped in the wilderness together.


She grins and wags her eyebrows at him. WOODY’S face falls. He steps back from her and looks like he’s been dropped back on that mountain. He looks around to confirm for himself that they are, in fact, in Massachusetts.

JORDAN looks stunned but doesn’t say anything until he turns and goes to find the key on the ATV.

JORDAN
(mumbles to herself)
Was is something I said?



10. EXT. THIRD WOODED AREA - DUSK

NIGEL stands in the middle of a clearing holding the map and the compass. He looks aggravated. HOWARD stands a few feet away watching him.

NIGEL
(anxiously looking around)
The map said to follow this ridge south for two clicks and then veer to the east for… According to my calculations we should’ve run into this stream an hour ago!

NIGEL turns the map in his hands, looking at it from different angles.


NIGEL (cont’d)
Bollocks. This map is bloody worthless.

HOWARD sits down on a nearby rock.


HOWARD
(dramatic sigh)
It would seem that we’re in a bit of a pickle.


NIGEL
It’s getting dark… and cold. I packed a bloody GPS just for such an emergency…

NIGEL unconsciously rubs his arm. The one broken in the crash.


HOWARD
I understand you were the one who saved everyone on that mountainside.


NIGEL
What?


HOWARD
You. Saved the survivors. When you fixed the radio….

He looks at the arm NIGEL’S rubbing.


HOWARD (cont’d)
… with only one hand.


NIGEL
Bug and I bodged the transmitter… together.


HOWARD
After which Dr. Vijay and… Detective Hoyt tried to take it up to the summit…


NIGEL
The transmitter fried the second they turned it on.


HOWARD
It probably lived long enough for search and rescue to pinpoint your location.


NIGEL
I should have been there to fix…

NIGEL stops in mid-train of thought.


NIGEL (cont’d)
We’re going to freeze to death if we don’t find camp.

HOWARD stands up and sniffs the air. He turns his back to NIGEL.


HOWARD
(big smile)
I think I smell chili.


HOWARD starts walking away. NIGEL is left to follow.



11. EXT. CAMP AREA – SAME TIME

KATE and WOODY are standing by the camp stove. KATE is stirring the contents of the pot on top. WOODY smells what’s in the pot. JORDAN and GARRET are sitting in front of the campfire, each with a coffee mug in their hands. They all look exhausted.

Four ATVs are parked just outside the camp. Looking off into the woods, Bug stands near the vehicles. He looks concerned. LILY approaches and puts her arm around his waist.

BUG
Maybe we should form a search party.


LILY
Dr. Stiles said some of the locations were further away than others. I’m sure they’re on their way back right now.


BUG
We should’ve stuck together.

LILY pulls at BUG’S arm.


LILY
(sympathetic smile)
They’ll be fine. Come on, let’s wait by the fire.

Flash to WOODY and KATE at the camp stove. Much to KATE’S chagrin, WOODY is tasting from the pot.


WOODY
It still needs… something.


KATE
No. It. Doesn’t.


WOODY
How much cumin did you put in?


KATE.
Enough.


WOODY
(haughtily)
I’ll have you know, I was an honorary judge at the Kewaunee County 8th annual chili cook-off.


KATE
Excuse me for not checking your credentials before I started… I still don’t need your help.


WOODY
… just sayin’.

KATE grabs a bowl and scoops a ladle full of chili in it and forces it into WOODY’S hand.


KATE
Here.

She slaps spice jar into WOODY’S free hand.


KATE (cont’d)
Knock yourself out, Your Honor.


KATE yells out that dinner’s ready.

CUT TO:


12. EXT. THIRD WOODED AREA – CONTINUING

NIGEL and HOWARD are still walking. They stop in their tracks when they hear KATE’S call.

NIGEL
Did you hear that?


HOWARD
(rubbing his hands together)
Sounds like we’re just in time.

 

FLASH TO:


13. EXT. CAMP AREA - CONTINUING

Everyone is finding a place to sit by the fire with their bowls. BUG sits, but is still looking past the fire’s light into the darkness.

Suddenly, NIGEL steps into the light. There is a big smile on his face.

BUG
(relieved)
There you are! I was beginning to worry.


NIGEL
So was I. We got lost.

He rubs his hands over the fire.


NIGEL (cont’d)
Blimey, it’s cold.


JORDAN
(tiredly)
Where’s Howie? Did you drown him?

 

CUT TO:


14. EXT. CAMP AREA, STOVE - CONTINUING

HOWARD is standing at the camp stove, serving himself

HOWARD
I’m right here. And no, he didn’t drown me. Couldn’t. We never reached our goal.

HOWARD steps away from the stove and into the light of the fire.


HOWARD (cont’d)
We did have a delightful stroll. (to NIGEL) Enlightening, too. Don’t you think?

HOWARD sits down in front of the fire and begins to dig in.


HOWARD(cont’d)
(referring to chili)
Marvelous. My compliments to the chef.

There is a general round of affirmative comments. KATE smirks at WOODY. BUG stands to get NIGEL a bowl of chili.


BUG
(to NIGEL)
We found enough water for everybody…

BUG gestures to the ATVs and line of water containers lined up next to them as he hands NIGEL the bowl of chili.


BUG (cont’d)
We’re just happy you’re back.


NIGEL
(confused)
Four ATVs?


LILY
(smugly)
Bug and I found the extra one.

She points between herself and BUG.


LILY (cont’d)
It took a few minutes to figure it out… My butt may never be the same… but it was a blast!

BUG smiles proudly at LILY.


BUG
Remember that day you gave us a motorcycle lesson? It finally came in handy.

NIGEL smiles in spite of himself.


JORDAN
(stands and stretches)
Speaking of butts, I think I’m going to take mine to bed.

She gives a jaundiced glance at HOWARD.


JORDAN (cont’d)
That is if you don’t have any more surprises for us tonight.


HOWARD
(savoring his dinner)
I can’t think of anything… unless any of you would like to share about your experience searching for water…

KATE and GARRET exchange glances. Garret stands and clears his throat.


GARRET
Jordan’s right… it’s been a long day… (to HOWARD) and I’m sure it’s going to be even longer tomorrow. I suggest we all turn in.


HOWARD
Garret’s assumption is correct. We do have a busy, busy day ahead of us. Go get some rest, children. Nigel and I’ll clean up dinner since we failed at our mission.



15. INT. BUG AND WOODY’S TENT - LATER THAT NIGHT

BUG lies on his back, arms folded behind his head and looking at the zipper opening of the tent silently. Suddenly a flashlight turns on in his face, as WOODY aims the beam at him from the other side of the tent.

WOODY
(apologetically)
Oops, sorry, did I get ya?

BUG groans and covers his eyes.


BUG
(groggy)
No, please, don’t apologize. It’s been weeks since I last had a good retina burning.

He groans and sits up.


BUG (cont’d)
What’s wrong?

WOODY shrugs and sets the flashlight down so that the beam is straight up, illuminating the tent some.


WOODY
(quietly)
I dunno, you looked like you had something on your mind… thinking about Lily?

BUG waits a beat then shrugs.


BUG
(softly)
It was cold out today, huh?

WOODY is quiet a moment, then nods.


WOODY
Yeah, damn good thing Jordan left her ring at home. She might have lost it in the snow and then I would have cried like a baby…

BUG starts to smile but it falters and he looks at WOODY curiously.


BUG
In the s…snow? Where did you guys see snow? On your hike?

WOODY starts to answer as if it should have been obvious that there was snow. But there wasn’t. At least not this time. Not like the crash.


WOODY
(tries to laugh it off)
Oh… (laughs nervously)… no, I… I must have been mistaken. Just the cold. It felt like snow I guess.


BUG nods sympathetically. He knows what WOODY meant. He’d had the same feeling that day on the hike. CUT TO:



16. INT. JORDAN and LILY’S TENT - SAME TIME

JORDAN is tossing and turning in her sleeping bag. LILY is in a bag near her. We can see LILY is smiling and looking at JORDAN, who turns over with a sigh.

Girl Talk

LILY
(softly)
It’s tough, isn’t it?

JORDAN blinks her eyes open and looks confused.


JORDAN
Huh?

LILY sits up in her sleeping bag and wraps part of it around her shoulders as she looks at JORDAN.


LILY
(smiling)
Sleeping without him now that you’re so used to it…

JORDAN rolls her eyes and tries, once again, to get comfortable.


LILY (cont’d)
…it’s okay to miss sharing a bed with your fiancé. (smiles softly) It’s NORMAL actually.

JORDAN rolls her eyes again and nods.


JORDAN
Yah, I get it, but really, I’m fine, Lily… no worries.

LILY sighs and lies back down.


LILY
Well, I’m just saying… I mean, I missed Bug a lot when you guys were all on that mountain. (beat) At least you had each other. I was back here going insane not knowing what happened to any of you.


The camera pans to JORDAN again, laying still on her side now and staring at the side of the tent quietly. She is trying to pretend she is asleep.

CUT TO:


17. EXT. NIGEL AND KATE’S TENT - SAME TIME

We hear soft laughing coming from inside the tent. It is obviously KATE and NIGEL’S voices.

18. INT. NIGEL and KATE’S TENT - CONTINUING

Tent Mates

NIGEL
You think that’s funny, huh? Well, I’ll tell you what. He pauses and smiles.


NIGEL (cont’d)
Next time we go on a hike, you take Stiles and I’ll take Garret.

KATE snorts from her sleeping bag on the other side of the tent.


KATE
Deal. Garret got us lost out there. I’ll take Stiles psychobabble any day over getting lost with the morgue Magellan.

NIGEL laughs and shakes his head.


NIGEL
Garret got you lost? I’m surprised.

He pauses and shrugs.


NIGEL (cont’d)
Garret’s got a pretty good sense of direction far as I know…

He trails off as KATE’S face falls a little. She tries to shrug it off.


KATE
(laughs nervously)
Well maybe I’m playing a little fast and loose with the word ‘lost’. It seemed like we were in the same place over and over again. I didn’t think we’d ever get back.

NIGEL has also grown more serious. He nods quietly and offers KATE a small smile.


NIGEL
Well then, we’ve got an early morning tomorrow. (beat) Let’s get some sleep, shall we?

KATE smiles softly and nods.

KATE
(quietly)
Good night, Nigel.


NIGEL
Good night, Kate.


NIGEL reaches over to turn out the small lantern in their tent.

CUT TO:


19. INT. GARRET AND HOWARD’S TENT—SAME TIME

GARRET is lying on his back, one arm folded behind his head as he stares up at the top of the tent. He glances over at HOWARD to make sure the psychiatrist is asleep before he takes out a roll of Rolaids and pops one in his mouth. Apparently, the chili has not completely agreed with him.

He puts the roll away under his sleeping bag and grunts softly, reaching down to rub his stomach. He suddenly has a flashback to the plane crash where we see him hunched over holding his stomach, as JORDAN calls his name and leans over him.

Just as quickly, the flashback ends, and he is back in the tent. GARRET scrubs a hand down his face and, taking a deep breath, closes his eyes.

They open again moments later when HOWARD begins to snore. GARRET groans again and turns on his side away from HOWARD to try to avoid listening to the snoring.

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

 

ACT THREE

 


20. EXT. CAMP AREA - NEXT MORNING

Although the fire had been banked for the night, there are wisps of smoke coming up from the charred logs. The sun is rising. It’s a new day at Howard’s End. We see WOODY emerging from his tent, stretching and twisting his back. He makes his way over to the fire where he begins to add kindling and gently bring it back to life. He’s followed by BUG who helps WOODY add fuel to the fire.

WOODY
Morning, Bug. Sleep well?


BUG
(somewhat glumly)
As well as can be expected… sharing a tent with you.


WOODY
(a bit offended)
What? You sayin’ I snore? Jordan never complains about me snoring.

BUG gives Woody one of “those” looks.


BUG
Yeah, but Jordan loves you.

GARRET has come up behind them by now and reaches for the coffeepot to fill it with water and heat it for coffee.


GARRET
Snoring? You two haven’t heard snoring until you’ve tented down with Howard Stiles.


WOODY
(grinning)
That bad, Doc?


GARRET
I swear, I thought he was going to suck the sides of the tent in.


He puts the coffeepot on the camp stove.

By now, the whole camp is stirring to life. JORDAN and LILY are coming out of their tent, and so are KATE and NIGEL. GARRET walks over to the ATV, where some of the supplies are, and begins rummaging for instant coffee.

WOODY whispers conspiratorially to BUG.

WOODY
So we’re on, right?


BUG
(doubtfully)
I dunno, Woody.


WOODY
You can’t tell me you don’t want some cuddle time with Lily.

BUG rubs the back of his head.


BUG
I never said that. It’s just… well… it’s only a couple of days.


WOODY
Look, we’re not exactly breaking the rules. Just bending them a little. We won’t be with the girls the whole night – just a few hours and then – back to our own tents. Stiles won’t be any wiser and we’ll be a whole lot more… um… relaxed.

BUG is still doubtful, but willing. He does miss LILY.


BUG
Okay. We can try. You talk to Jordan and I’ll talk to Lily.


WOODY is holding out his fist so they can touch knuckles.

Now HOWARD STILES comes out of his and GARRET’S tent, stretching and yawning.

HOWARD
Good morning, children!


ALL
(mocking unison)
Good morning, Dr. Stiles.

HOWARD looks around at the campfire burning and the coffeepot on the stove.


HOWARD
My, we’ve been busy this morning. (rubs hands together) Is that coffee I smell?

GARRET is holding up a jar of some kind of disgusting instant coffee.


GARRET
If you have to call it that, yes.

HOWARD responds, taking a cup, adding coffee powder and water.


HOWARD
Out here you take what you can get.


He swallows a taste and grimaces.

By now everyone has gathered by the fire, is drinking coffee and talking amongst themselves. Finally, HOWARD breaks up the chit-chat.

One Tough Nut

HOWARD
I hope everyone slept well last night.


GARRET winces at the memory of the last eight hours.

HOWARD gives GARRET an “I-have-no-clue-what-you’re-talking-about” look.

HOWARD
We have lots of activities to get through today.


WOODY
Like what? Finding more water? Forging for nuts and berries? No – wait – I know. Bison hunting.


NIGEL
Bison hunting is illegal in Massachusetts.

Everyone gives Nigel a “Captain Obvious” look.


NIGEL
(defensively)
Well, it is.


HOWARD
No, nothing like that, Detective Hoyt. Nothing that drastic. Not even fishing.

There are murmurs of relief.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Unless you want to catch something that will add to our menu.


JORDAN
By the way, Howard, what is for breakfast?

HOWARD goes over to where the camping supplies are and rummages through a box.


HOWARD
It seems we have… let’s see… protein bars and water. Good enough for me. Good enough for you?

He begins to hand them off to everyone. HOWARD then peels the wrapper off of his own and eats it with gusto, all the while watching the rest of the crew slowly unwrap their own and begin to nibble.


HOWARD
I mean, I’ve had worse. Certainly you have, too.

They all slowly swallow as they catch each other’s eyes, remembering the meager fare they had at the crash site, even after pooling all their resources together.



21. EXT. CAMP AREA - A SHORT TIME LATER

LILY and BUG are policing the camp area for trash from breakfast. NIGEL and KATE are filling canteens from the water stores, while GARRET and WOODY are loading a large duffle bag in a trailer on the back of one of ATVs. JORDAN is securing the tents. STILES stands to the side overseeing the progress. He’s holding an Igloo cooler

HOWARD
(to KATE)
Dr. Switzer.


KATE looks up.

HOWARD crooks his finger at her.

HOWARD
A moment, please.

KATE heaves a sigh and walks closer.


KATE
You called.

HOWARD gestures to the cooler.


HOWARD
I’m putting you in charge of the food storage. This is lunch.


KATE
(rolls her eyes)
Fine.


HOWARD
You were in charge of food rations after the crash.


KATE
Yeah, so?


HOWARD
What a monumental responsibility. (beat) I understand you handled it with uncompromising firmness and quite admirably.


KATE
If you say so.


HOWARD
Had things become more desperate… you might’ve met opposition in your methods of management.


KATE
It didn’t came to that, did it? So unless you’re planning on dragging out this little adventure past Sunday afternoon… it won’t.

HOWARD hands her the cooler. We can tell KATE is confused by the weight. She opens the cooler.


KATE
There is only one of those God-awful protein bars in here….


HOWARD
(mock surprise)
Really?

HOWARD looks inside before he reaches in and pulls the lone bar out.


HOWARD (cont’d)
My goodness. I didn’t think it was this dire yet.

He slaps the bar in KATE’S hand and takes the empty cooler out of her other.


KATE
(incredulous)
You’ve got to be kidding. I went through Vijay’s supply inventory last night myself.

She points to the SUV that is holding the food stuffs.


KATE (cont’d)
We brought enough food to feed an army.

HOWARD pats down his pockets.


HOWARD
I seem to have misplaced the keys.

He waves his hand nonchalantly.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Oh, well… they’ll turn up somewhere. I’ll defer the rationing to your experience and judgment.

He gestures to the protein bar in KATE’S hand.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Perhaps you should keep it on your person for safe keeping.

HOWARD walks away. He stops in the middle of the camp and claps his hands to get everyone’s attention.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Let’s mount up. There’s much to accomplish today and by the look of those clouds over the ridge we might be in for some flurries this evening. Mr. Townsend, I suggest you team up with Dr. Vijay for this trip.

HOWARD tosses a set of ATV keys into the air. NIGEL’S hand reaches out just before they land in BUG’S.


HOWARD (cont’d)
I’m sure Dr. Vijay’ll be more than delighted to show you his newly acquired off-roading skills. After all he was the one who found the machine.

BUG grins and NIGEL looks lost.


HOWARD
Garret… you and Jordan take point.

He throws GARRET a set of keys.


HOWARD (cont’d)
We’re heading back towards the pond she and Det. Hoyt went yesterday. (to JORDAN) Make sure he doesn’t get lost again.

JORDAN makes a grabs for the keys.


JORDAN
I’ll drive.


WOODY
(chuckle)
I’d keep a firm grip on those keys, Garret… if you know what’s good for you.


GARRET
(smiles back)
I learned that lesson the first time I let her drive me to a scene. I thought we were going to make the trip back to the morgue in the back of the meat wagon instead of in front.

JORDAN puts her hands on her hips and glares at both men. GARRET gestures, as if to say, “ladies first”. JORDAN and GARRET climb on the machine and take off with BUG and NIGEL right on their tail. NIGEL turns to wave goodbye. HOWARD hands LILY a set of keys.


HOWARD
(to LILY)
Could you make sure the fire is thoroughly banked, my dear? I’d do it but I need to be there to direct our next task. Dr. Switzer and I’ll take the trailer with Det. Hoyt. (to WOODY) I hope you don‘t mind holding on to our supplies, Detective? I would have sworn we had some bungee cords somewhere. (beat) They must be with the Jeep’s keys.

LILY looked a little intimidated.


KATE
That’s ridiculous. Lily and I can ride together.


HOWARD.
If you don’t mind I’d like to finish that talk we started earlier. (to LILY) I hope you don’t mind bringing up the rear, my dear?

HOWARD doesn’t wait for an answer. He climbs on board the ATV. Eerily, it’s like he’s done it a thousand times before. KATE climbs on in back of him.


WOODY
I’m not comfortable with leaving her like this.

There is a pause.


HOWARD
It’s not the first time she’s been left behind. Don’t underestimate Ms. Lebowski’s strength. She’s proven time and time again. All we need to do is trust in it. (beat) Get in, Detective. With Jordan navigating, we all may end up in Canada if we’re not careful.


The ATV roars to life. WOODY looks torn, but reluctantly climbs in the back. They take off, following the tracks left by the other bikes, leaving LILY standing there very much alone.



22. EXT. OPEN FIELD - A SHORT WHILE LATER

The open area is flanked by trees on two sides and a pond on the third. There are numerous downed trees, boulders, stumps and other assorted smaller tree limbs and stones scattered about. The placement looks a little too organized to be natural. These things have been placed there and it looks like they’ve been there a while. There are small snow drifts in shady crevices.

We hear the sounds of the ATVs coming from the trees. GARRET and JORDAN are the first to appear from behind the trees. They are followed by HOWARD, KATE and WOODY, coming from a slightly different angle.. .like maybe HOWARD knows a better way to get there. BUG and NIGEL break through the trees seconds later. BUG pulls his ATV next to HOWARD, who has climbed off his machine.

BUG
(cuts off the engine)
Where’s Lily?


HOWARD
I’m sure she’ll be right along. (beat) Shall we get started?


BUG
But….


The distant sound of an ATV breaks the quiet. We see LILY ride into frame, following the same path HOWARD had. Her face is mottled from the cold air, but she looks exhilarated to see everyone.

Go Lily!

LILY
(big smile)
There you are! I got a little scared when the trail parted. That was… wow!


KATE and WOODY give each other a guilty look for doubting LILY.

JORDAN and GARRET climb off their ATV. JORDAN puts her hand to shade her brow and look around. GARRET does the same.

GARRET
What is this place?


HOWARD
I like to think of it as the commonwealth’s version of feng shui. We‘re here to balance our ch’i.

KATE snorts. JORDAN rolls her eyes.


WOODY
(rolls his stiff shoulders)
I hope this chai thing doesn’t include moving this stuff around. I’m still recovering from that ride.

JORDAN slides up and rubs his shoulders.


JORDAN
(to HOWARD)
So what gives? If you’ve got a stack of yoga mats in that magic kit of yours… count me out. I draw the line doing the downward-facing-dog in hiking boots and a parka.


HOWARD
Actually, our task is much simpler than that…

HOWARD begins to walk a path between the logs and stone.


HOWARD (cont’d)
I’m going to split you up into pairs. Then together, you and your partner, will walk from one end of the course to the other.


NIGEL
Is that it?


BUG
I don’t trust him. There‘s gotta be a catch.


HOWARD
Always the pessimist, Dr Vijay.

HOWARD continues to walk over to the bag in the trailer and opens it up. He pulls out a handful of blindfolds. He holds them up for everyone to notice.


HOWARD
One partner will be blindfolded and the other will simply talk that person down the path. Easy.


WOODY
(to JORDAN, smugly)
Piece-a-cake.

JORDAN high fives him.


HOWARD
Dr. Switzer, since you were so generous to offer to ride with Ms. Lebowski, why don’t you two team up? And Dr. Vijay, since Mr. Townsend wasn’t able to drive, why don’t you let him give you the commands first?


BUG
(looks at NIGEL)
Do I have to?

NIGEL takes the blindfold HOWARD hands to him.


NIGEL
It’ll be fun, Buggles.

BUG grudgingly allows himself to be blindfolded.


BUG
If I fall and break my leg, I’m suing.


HOWARD
If you trust your partner’s instructions and do as he says… you will not fall.

HOWARD hands the last blindfold to GARRET.


WOODY
(holds his hand up)
Ah, Jordan and I need one.


HOWARD
Fresh out.


JORDAN
Damn our luck. (points to an ATV) We’ll just sit over here, out of the way


HOWARD
Jordan, you team up with Garret. (beat) Det. Hoyt and I’ll sit this one out.

WOODY flashes JORDAN a disappointed look. She gives him a lopsided smile before going over to have GARRET tie the blindfold on her.


GARRET
(to JORDAN, whispered)
For the fist time in your life Jordan… listen to me. The quicker we get through this the quicker we’re done.


JORDAN
(salutes)
Just lead the way, Mon Capitán.


WOODY leans against one of the ATVs. HOWARD appears next to him. They both watch as each team begins to argue and fuss with each other as they work the way through the obstacles. KATE and NIGEL bicker with each other more than try to lead LILY and BUG through the maze. LILY is hopelessly turned around by the conflicting commands. BUG trips on the rough terrain and yells at KATE and NIGEL both.

JORDAN and GARRET bring up the rear. They, too, are arguing, but their voices don’t carry. JORDAN stops and puts her hands up to pull the blind off, and GARRET stops her. She charges out again, but progress is very slow. JORDAN trips over something and falls hands first onto a log. WOODY jumps up, ready to go to her. HOWARD puts his hand on WOODY’S arm to stop him.

HOWARD
She’s fine. Garret’s got her.

JORDAN stands back up, brushing herself off. She looks none-the-worse for wear and continues on, still fussing with GARRET. WOODY sits back down.


HOWARD
It’s not easy to watch her stumbling around in the dark, is it?


WOODY’S stare turns to HOWARD until JORDAN trips again. This time we hear her swearing. JORDAN rights herself and takes off again. In the wrong direction. She falls into the same log she did before.

Bonding Games

HOWARD
Especially when every cell in your body is screaming to go over there and take over.


WOODY
(snorts)
I sure as hell wouldn’t walk her into a trap.

HOWARD is looking at JORDAN, who seems to be totally disregarding GARRET’S guidance now.


HOWARD
She seems to be doing a fine job of that all by herself. (beat) Tell me, when you were on that mountain side… what was really going through your head?


WOODY
(glaring at HOWARD)
Getting rescued.


HOWARD
(still looking at JORDAN)
Was it that or doing whatever it took to make sure Jordan was safe?


WOODY
Same thing.

A cheer goes up as KATE and LILY cross the finish line. BUG stumbles across a split-second later.


HOWARD
Are you absolutely sure?

WOODY looks back out at JORDAN and GARRET as they continue to fight their way through the exercise. We can almost see the wheels grinding in his head. After a moment he scrubs his hand down his face.



Mission Impossible - Lalo Schifrin
23. EXTERIOR CAMP AREA - NIGHT

It’s dark as Egypt; the fire has died down. From out of the shadows of their tent, we see WOODY quietly exit his and BUG’S tent. He looks around and, satisfied that no one is watching, he begins to skulk towards LILY and JORDAN’S tent. He trips once or twice, stopping each time to listen if anyone heard him. Once again satisfied that no one has discovered this “undercover mission,” he continues on towards the girls’ tent, finally getting there some minutes later and lightly taps on the flap of the tent.

WOODY
(whisper)
Jordan? Lily?

JORDAN unzips the tent and lets him in.


24. INT. JORDAN and LILY’S TENT- CONTINUING


JORDAN
(whisper)
Took you long enough.


WOODY
It’s dark as Egypt out there.

He comes in and sits next to JORDAN on her sleeping bag.


LILY
(whispering)
Shhhhh! Is the coast clear?


WOODY
Yeah. Not a creature is stirring, not even a Stiles.


LILY
(giggling softly)
Okay then. I’m outta here.


WOODY
(grinning)
Remember… two hours. We need to be back in our respective tents in two hours.


LILY
I’ll remember. You two just keep up your end of the agreement.


LILY exits tent and begins making her way across the camp in the dark, towards BUG’s tent. She trips once and then stumbles and falls. We see her freeze in place and hold her breath, listening to see if anyone heard her and is coming out to investigate. No one does, and she finally makes it to the tent, slipping inside and zipping the flap of the tent up after her.

And all is dark in Camp Chaos. For the moment.

CUT TO:


25. INT. GARRET and HOWARD’S TENT - CONTINUING

GARRET is lying on his back, one hand behind his head, listening to HOWARD’S snoring. GARRET shuts his eyes in vain, only to open them again, a really irritated look on his face. He rolls over on his side, away from HOWARD, and pulls one end of the pillow over his ear in an effort to drown out the snoring. It doesn’t work. With a sigh, GARRET sits up. He is reaching out one arm to shake HOWARD awake and tell him to roll over when a sound catches his attention. A sound that isn’t HOWARD snoring. We see him listen intently, and he hears it again. Then he quietly unzips the flap of the tent, grabs a flashlight and steps outside.



26. EXT. CAMP AREA - CONTINUING

He hears giggling, coming from JORDAN’S tent.

And then a soft, masculine laugh.

A Grinch-like grin curves across GARRET’S lips.


27. INT. JORDAN and LILY’S TENT - SAME TIME

JORDAN’S sleeping bag is moving slightly in the dark. We can see the outline of an elbow over here, a knee over there, until WOODY’S head pops out of the top with a small yelp.

WOODY
(hushed)
Hey! (quietly) Take it easy, Jordan.

He looks around quickly then back to her.


WOODY (cont’d)
You and your grabby hands are gonna get us busted.

JORDAN rolls her eyes.


JORDAN
(sarcastically)
If you have a problem with the grabby hands, then this whole idea was kind of a bust, Woodrow.


WOODY looks like he might argue back, but realizes she is right and pulls the sleeping bag back over their heads.



28. EXT. JORDAN and LILY’S TENT - CONTINUING

GARRET is leaning in, listening through the thin fabric of the tent. Once he is sure, as a result of some more noises, what is going on inside, he leans down, grabs the zipper and pulls up until the flap opens.

29. INT. JORDAN and LILY’S TENT - CONTINUING

The sleeping bag goes still.

GARRET smirks as he looks at the bag, waiting.

A few beats pass, and WOODY stands from inside the sleeping bag. He’s wearing only a pair of flannel boxer shorts. His hair is sticking out in all directions on his head. As gracefully as he can, he puts his hands on his hips as JORDAN’S head and upper torso pop out of the top of the bag. She’s got on a tank top and her hair is mussed.

They are both pretending that they don’t see GARRET.

WOODY
And… that’s… one way you to survive being lost… in the cold… with another person.

He pauses and JORDAN nods, biting her lip.


WOODY (cont’d)
Good session. See ya in the morning.

JORDAN is sarcastic, but trying to be serious.


JORDAN
Night, dear.

As GARRET watches, WOODY doesn’t answer, just saunters away and back towards his tent, not even bothering to make note of the fact he’s without the boots and most of the clothes with which he came into JORDAN’S tent.


GARRET
(to WOODY, dryly)
I assume you’ll be happy to steer Lily back in this direction, Detective?

WOODY does not turn around.


WOODY
(trying to sound casual)
No problem.

GARRET turns back to JORDAN.


GARRET
Now you I expected this from, but corrupting the boy scout?


JORDAN
(defensively)
It was the boy scout’s idea, man.


GARRET
(shakes his head)
You know, the four of you could stand to learn something about decency and respect for the rules of this weekend from Nigel and Kate.

 

You Wanna Make a Memory - Bon Jovi

30. INT. KATE and NIGEL’S TENT - SAME TIME

KATE and NIGEL are lying on their sides, both with serious expressions on their faces as they lean in close to one another.

NIGEL
(softly)
Are you sure?

KATE is quiet a moment, looking up into his eyes.


KATE
(quietly but confidently)
Yes.

Making Lovers out of Friends


NIGEL nods almost imperceptibly. They both hesitate a moment longer before their lips touch, softly at first. They kiss slowly, tenderly until KATE reaches up to wrap a hand around the back of NIGEL’S neck as she reaches up to deepen the kiss. He responds with equal enthusiasm and slowly rolls her to her back as they continue kissing.

FADE TO BLACK

END OF ACT THREE

 

ACT FOUR


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Ennio Morricone

31. EXT. CAMP AREA - EARLY MORNING.

ALL PLAYERS are seated around one side of the fire. HOWARD is pacing on the opposite side.

HOWARD
Seventy two hours of acting like professionals. That’s all I asked. Seventy. Two. Hours. And what do I get? A mischief of hormonal rabbits.


BUG
I think you mean colony. It’s a mischief of rats.


HOWARD
I think mischief is more to the point.

He cuts them all a harsh look.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Inconceivable!

KATE and NIGEL scoot their chairs a few inches apart. JORDAN sticks her tongue out at GARRET for tattling. They both smile at her teasing.


JORDAN
We’re all adults here, Howard. I don’t see the big deal with a little time out from all your psychobabble.

NIGEL sticks out his feet in effort to get more comfortable in the too-short camp chair and accidentally kicks KATE’S foot. They both sit up and move a fraction of an inch further apart. WOODY notices, but his look just says he thinks they’re just being fussy with each other again.


GARRET
She’s right. We played your games all day…

There are murmurs of agreement from most of the gang, except NIGEL and KATE. They are both obviously silent.


HOWARD
We’re not playing a game here.

NIGEL groans. The only one to notice is KATE. She kicks his foot.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Do they speak to you?


GARRET
(incredulous)
What?


HOWARD
Your scars.

He looks to NIGEL, who begins to blush.


HOWARD (cont’d)
You, too. I’ve seen you rub your arm more than once, Mr. Townsend.


KATE
Of course they’re feeling old injuries. It’s pretty damn cold out here. We’re all aching.


HOWARD
Aching, yes… but I think these scars are talking. What are they telling you, Garret?


JORDAN
(to no one in particular)
I think the outdoors has finally snapped his brain.


GARRET
They’re telling me that Jordan might have a point.

GARRET looks obviously fed up.


GARRET (cont’d)
I don’t care if the Governor himself signed off on this little team building event but I’m still the chief here…

GARRET tosses the last drags of his coffee into the fire.


GARRET (cont’d)
And I say we’re done here.


BUG
(under his breath)
Thank God.


HOWARD
But for how long, Garret? You almost died on that mountain. You told Jordan you were at peace with it.

GARRET looks at JORDAN, who looks guilty at being outed for betraying the confidence of the conversation they had before the helicopters came.


GARRET
Twain said it best -


HOWARD
(cuts him off)
-The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. Is that the way you feel, Garret? Do you think you shouldn’t have survived the crash?


****Music****

HOWARD and GARRET enter a Sergio Leone (Spaghetti Western) style staring contest, all with extreme close-ups. LILY puts her hand on BUG’S shoulder, waiting for the explosion. JORDAN counts on her fingers, like she’s planning on what needs to be done to pack up and leave. NIGEL and KATE glance at each other coyly.

WOODY stands and put his hands out. The music stops.

WOODY
If we leave now they’re just going to make our happy asses come right back…


JORDAN
Huh?


WOODY
Let’s just get this over with.

He tightens the collar of his jacket against the cold.


WOODY (cont’d)
The next time it might be raining.


HOWARD
(smiles smugly)
Dr. Switzer? Any more of those protein bars? I’m famished.



32. INT. KATE and NIGEL’S TENT – A BIT LATER

KATE is fussing with her sleeping bag, straightening up her side of the tent, and NIGEL has come in with a cup of coffee for her. He watches her a moment before he begins to speak. We get the distinct impression that there is now an “elephant in the tent.”

NIGEL hands her the cup of coffee.

NIGEL
Morning, love.

KATE turns around to look at him and takes the coffee. She smiles tightly. The moment is definitely an “awkward morning after” one.


KATE
Morning. (takes a sip) And don’t call me that.


NIGEL
Can’t help it. Sorry. (beat) How’re you this morning? You were still asleep when I woke up.


KATE
Fine. You?


NIGEL
(smiles warmly)
Never better. Can I help you with any of that?

He motions to rumpled sleeping bags.


KATE
No. I think I’ve got it.

There is a beat and then she cuts to the chase.


KATE (cont’d)
This is really awkward, you know.

NIGEL is still smiling warmly. We get the idea he’d really like to tuck her back under those sleeping bags and spend the rest of the day with her there.


NIGEL
Why’s it awkward?

KATE blinks, not believing he even has to ask that question


KATE
You have to ask? We had sex.


NIGEL
(smile kicks up a notch)
Yes, we did.


KATE
Well… don’t you think that makes things a little… different between us now? We had sex. With each other…


NIGEL
(shaking head)
And?

KATE is frustrated at his lack of understanding.


KATE
We work with each other!


NIGEL
So?


KATE
You don’t get it, do you?

NIGEL sighs the sigh of a long-suffering man; he gently puts his hands on her shoulders.


NIGEL
We made love because we both wanted to. Not because it was a heat-of-the moment thing or because we both had too much to drink and it just happened. We did it because we both wanted to—


KATE
(nods her head)
I know, but –

NIGEL continues as if he hadn’t heard her.


NIGEL
We made love, Kate. Pure and simple. And now the only thing we can do is just let it see where it takes us. It doesn’t have to change anything else -

KATE turns slightly away from him.


KATE
But it will. It always does.

NIGEL urges her back around to look at him before continuing with an earnest note in his voice.


NIGEL
It doesn’t have to, Kate. We won’t let it. I won’t let it.


KATE
Don’t you think you’re reading too much into this?


NIGEL
(slowly shakes his head)
I don’t know. I don’t think so. I think we just need to … see where things go from here. Wait and see how things work out once we get back to Boston and back to work.


KATE
What if this…?

She gestures between the two of them.


KATE (cont’d)
… gets in the way of everything?


NIGEL
I’m betting it won’t. We’re both adults. We’re both professionals.


KATE
(still unconvinced)
Sleeping together always changes things between people. You should know that.

NIGEL drops a kiss on her forehead.


NIGEL
It will, only if we let it.



33. EXT. CAMP SITE - LATE MORNING

Everyone is sitting around the area where the campfire was previously lit. We come in on the middle of HOWARD’S explanation of what is going to take place.

HOWARD
Now that doesn’t seem too difficult, does it?

He pauses and looks around.


HOWARD (cont’d)
I mean, you were all on that mountain together, with the exception of you, Lily, of course.


NIGEL
(nods)
Right, so then what kind of bloody sense does it make to “pretend” we’re one of our mates we were up there with, when we all had the same experience?


HOWARD
(smiles)
Did you now? (surprised) The very same experience?

Everyone groans and there is a murmur of mixed protests and agreements. Finally, JORDAN speaks.


JORDAN
Okay, you got us, Howie. (beat) We didn’t all have identical experiences out there. (looks around) Woody and Bug gave taking the transmitter up the mountain a shot; Garret had severe, internal bleeding; Kate hated flying to begin with so it must have just been her worst nightmare coming true; and you know, I’m sure it was no picnic for the people who died up there.

She raises her hands defensively.


JORDAN (cont’d)
But don’t take my word for it, why don’t we just go dig ‘em all up from their graves and ask them to join the sharing circle?

Everyone looks around, a little taken aback by JORDAN’S tirade.


HOWARD
I notice you left your own experience out of that little diatribe, my dear.

He stands up from the log he’s been sitting on.


HOWARD (cont’d)
Perhaps that’s something you’d feel more comfortable sharing one on one.


JORDAN
(snorts)
I’m all good on being psychoanalyzed by you for the weekend, Howie, but thanks for asking.


HOWARD
Did I say by me?

He pauses as everyone looks around again.


HOWARD (cont’d)
I’d like you to split into groups of two now. Go wherever you like within the camping area. Try putting yourself in the shoes of your partner. (beat) Try to imagine how they must have felt up on that mountain after the plane crash. (smiles) You might be surprised by how dissimilar your experiences were.


LILY
Do we have the choice of our partners?


HOWARD
(thinks for a moment)
Yes, yes I think that’s a fantastic idea. Though I think you might all do well to partner with someone with whom you aren’t so familiar, if you understand my meaning… Also, (smirks) one lucky person will be with me….


HOWARD trails off, making sure to look between the sets of couples in front of him.

They all look around briefly before nodding and starting to pair off. JORDAN goes with KATE; NIGEL with WOODY; BUG with GARRET and LILY with HOWARD.


34. INT. WOODY and BUG’S TENT – MOMENTS LATER

NIGEL is sitting on BUG’S sleeping bag; WOODY sits on his own. They both look a little lost.

WOODY
(hesitantly)
So… cold out here, huh?

NIGEL offers WOODY a pained smile.


NIGEL
(sighs)
Really now, Woodrow, we’ve known each other for how many years, I’ve worked every angle I could to play matchmaker for you and your bride-to-be, we’ve been in a plane crash together, and you’re commenting on the weather?


WOODY
(rolls his eyes)
What are we supposed to talk about then? (beat) Stiles said we’re supposed to - to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, or in your case black leather biker boots.

He smirks.


NIGEL
(scoffs)
Oh ha, ha, says the man who considers a wedge of cheese on his head accessorizing.


WOODY
(frowns, then curtly)
I think the more disturbing issue here is why do you even know what accessorizing is?


NIGEL
(starts to respond but stops)
Okay, that’s about bloody enough. Now, we’re adults here, not school children. Let’s show some propriety shall we?


WOODY
(thinks, then nods)
Yeah… I uh… I guess you’re right. We’re acting pretty childish.


NIGEL
(nods)
Hey, did you notice on the mountain we didn’t bicker like our usual selves?


WOODY
(thinking)
You’re right. (beat) But really, Nige, there were bigger fish to fry at the time. (nods towards NIGEL’S arm) Besides, what kind of guy would I be to pick on a cripple?

He winks.


NIGEL
(grins and shakes his head)
I don’t know, the same guy who would sneak around like a government operative to get some time between the sheets with his lady love.


WOODY
(blushes)
Alright, alright, touché.

WOODY chuckles and watches NIGEL a moment before smiling.


WOODY (cont’d)
You’re a little bit impressed, aren’t you?

NIGEL smiles, thinks a moment and nods.


NIGEL
Well, now that you mention it… yes, I do think I’ve rubbed off on you a bit, Woodrow. My little, country bumpkin protégé is all grown up.

They both laugh softly together as the camera pulls back out of the tent. CUT TO:



35. INT. JORDAN and LILY’S TENT – SAME TIME

JORDAN and KATE are sitting across from one another. Neither is speaking. JORDAN is fiddling with her watch.

JORDAN
(muttering)
Piece of crap… this thing has the time, the date, a compass, the phases of the moon and I’m… (fiddling with the watch some more) … pretty sure it gives the temperature in Tokyo, but I haven’t been able to fix the damn thing since daylight savings time began.


KATE
And I’m sure that ‘piece of crap’ set you back over a hundred bucks, right?


JORDAN
(smiles)
No uh, Woody got it for me, it’s a knock off, I’ve got three more at home in different colors. (rolls her eyes) Fell off of a truck is what the cops say, confiscating merchandise off of street vendors is what I hear. (chuckles) He said the compass is for if I ever stray from him again, I’ll have no excuse not to be able to find my way back.

KATE shakes her head, but with a hint of a smile.


JORDAN (cont’d)
I know, I know, it’s corny.

She pauses and looks at the watch.


JORDAN (cont’d)
(smiles)
That’s kind of how our relationship works though, ya know? I find his corniness… endearing.


KATE
(laughs softly)
Yeah, I guess it’s strange the type of things one can find… endearing in a partner.


JORDAN
(raises her eyebrows)
Speaking theoretically or from experience?


KATE
(smiles enigmatically)
Let’s just say I might be getting a… compass myself sometime soon.

 

END OF ACT FOUR

 

ACT FIVE

 


36. EXT CAMP AREA - LUNCH TIME

GARRET’S not letting it go, despite WOODY’S best-intended intervention.

GARRET
Don’t think that this is over, Stiles.


HOWARD
Certainly not. We have a whole twenty-four hours ahead of us, Garret.


GARRET
That’s not what I mean.

He walks up to STILES and turns the pudgy psychiatrist around to face him. GARRET’S still angry


GARRET (cont’d)
If you and the state think you can waltz into my morgue and pull me and my staff out for a mandated weekend camping trip to pick over wounds that have healed, you have another think coming. We’ve worked through this. We’ve been through all the psycho-babble Massachusetts required us to do. Now leave. Us. Alone.


HOWARD
You really think you’re over the mountain?


GARRET
Yes. The crash is history. Relegated to the back pages of newspapers and brief mentions on the CNN ticker.


HOWARD
(slowly raising one eyebrow)
I didn’t ask about the crash, Garret. I asked about the mountain. Are you over what happened on the mountain?


GARRET
Of course. We’re here. We’re all alive…

HOWARD says nothing, just continues to look at GARRET for a long beat, before continuing quietly.


HOWARD
You survived. But you nearly died. That’s surely got to change a man.


GARRET
Change?


HOWARD
Sure. Don’t you treasure each day more? Admire the sunrises that you’d normally ignore?


GARRET
(long beat)
I suppose so.


HOWARD
You suppose so? (pressing harder) So maybe you haven’t changed at all, then? Maybe this is an exercise in futility. Maybe we should pack it all up and head back to Boston, if nearly dying on that snowy mountainside had no effect at all?

GARRET is now bending under the force of the HOWARD’S Superego.


GARRET
I didn’t say that…


HOWARD
Then what are you saying?


GARRET
(long pause)
I’m saying… I think more, now. (beat) For a guy that’s spent his career among the dead, I’ve never thought of myself … dying. Now I do. And yeah, I do wonder why I didn’t die up there. I had made peace with the fact that I probably was. I had left instructions. And then I lived…


HOWARD
And you feel guilty that you didn’t die?


GARRET
No.

There is a beat and then he continues in a quieter voice.


GARRET (cont’d)
I just wonder why.


There is a long, quiet pause while everyone ponders the interchange between the two, GARRET’S last statement echoing what they’ve all thought at one time or another.

WOODY replies just as quietly, but with conviction behind his voice.

WOODY
I think we’ve all wondered that, Dr. M.

The camera pans back to STILES, who regards them silently for a long moment before finally giving them a small, understanding smile



37. EXT. CAMP AREA FIRESIDE - NIGHT.

BUG is rocking in his seat.

KATE
(to BUG)
Harmony! If you have to go, just get up and go!

She turns to address HOWARD.


KATE (cont’d)
I vote we take a time out anyway. (raises her hand) All in favor?

HOWARD ignores KATE and addresses BUG.


HOWARD
Do you have something you want to say, Bug?


BUG
Four weeks, three days, and sixteen hours. (beat) It was all I had.


HOWARD
All you had for what?


BUG
Four weeks, three days and sixteen hours before I got on that plane. I brought Lily and Maddy home with me and promised I’d always be there for them. (beat) I let them down.


LILY
You could never let me down!


BUG
I did! I had a choice. I didn’t need to go.


JORDAN
(softly)
We all volunteered, Bug.


BUG
(to GARRET)
You dropped everything and went to New Orleans after Katrina and published a paper on your experience. (to KATE) And you told us you didn’t step foot out of the New York City Morgue for eighteen straight days after 9/11 and were recognized by the governor for your dedication. (points at himself) I hatch beetle larva in the break room fridge.


NIGEL
You forget the law firm building, Mate. (shudders) Not to mention when the EL derailed.


BUG
Sidney told me he’d take my place. He thought I’d rather stay home with Lily and Maddy…, (looks at LILY) but I wanted to make you proud of me.


LILY
Oh, Bug.


BUG
I didn’t think twice when I packed my bag. It was so cold out and Maddy had the sniffles. I told Lily I’d just take a cab to the airport.

BUG stands and rubs his arms.


BUG (cont’d)
Maddy dropped her rattle. I was in such a hurry, I don’t even remember putting the toy in my pocket. (beat) I didn’t even remember if I kissed them goodbye…


LILY
Maddy was fussy. It was chaotic.


BUG
We were only going to be gone for a couple of days… at most. We only had a month together! Why didn’t I say goodbye?!

BUG storms away. LILY moves to go after him. WOODY put his hand on her shoulder.


WOODY
Let me.




38. EXT. CAMP AREA, OUTER RIM - CONTINUING

WOODY follows BUG out past the tents. The air is markedly colder away from the fire. WOODY can see his breath. He finds BUG standing beside the SUV.

WOODY is looking at the same point as BUG.

WOODY
I’m surprised Stiles didn’t let the air out of the tires when he discovered that Jordan had lifted the keys.


BUG
What do you want?


WOODY
Checking the tires.


BUG
I don’t need your wisecracks.

WOODY points his thumb towards the fire.


WOODY
Were you being honest over there?


BUG
(offended)
Of course.


WOODY
I just mean… all that stuff about not being a hero?


BUG
What about it?


WOODY
If it weren’t for you, we would’ve died on that mountain side.


BUG
We all worked together to stay alive.


WOODY
No. I’m talking about you and me… climbing to top. (beat) What adrenalin I had left was running out.

WOODY stuffs his hands in his pockets.


WOODY
It felt like we were walking in circles with a pile of circuits and wires that may or may not work. My ankle was burning like hell and all I wanted to do was give up. (beat) You wouldn’t let me stop.


BUG
We were suffering from severe hypothermia. If we stopped, we would have died.


WOODY
And the signal would have never gone out. Even if they had found the others, Garret wouldn’t have made it and Nigel might’ve lost his arm.

BUG grunts.


WOODY (cont’d)
Maybe it was selfish. After all, you had two beautiful women to come home to. (beat) I didn’t.


BUG.
You had Jordan.


WOODY
(smiles)
It wasn’t the same. At least at the time, it wasn’t. (smile kicks up a notch) And I didn’t have a keychain rattle in my pocket….



39. EXT. CAMP AREA - CONTINUING

LILY stands, anxiously watching the darkness. JORDAN stands up and wraps an arm around her shoulders.

LILY
They’ve been out there a while.


JORDAN
He’ll be okay. (whispers) As much as I hate to admit this, I think Howard might be right. We’ve all been carrying around a lot of baggage since the crash….


We see HOWARD smile smugly, having overheard JORDAN’S comment. He grabs a sharp stick from the ground beside his chair.

HOWARD pulls a bag of marshmallows out from hiding under his chair.

HOWARD
Marshmallows, anyone?

 

I Feel Home - OAR

40. EXT. CAMP AREA, FIRE - CONTINUING

The group is huddled around the campfire. HOWARD’S toasting and eating marshmallows while everyone else is still waiting for BUG and WOODY to get back.

GARRET speaks quietly, primarily to HOWARD, but the others can hear him.

GARRET
So is this little trip ending the way you planned?


HOWARD
The way I planned? I think the question is: is it ending the way you expected?


KATE
You mean, are we surprised that we haven’t killed each other yet?


NIGEL
(slightly crestfallen)
Love….


KATE
Don’t call me that!

There is a pause.


HOWARD
No, I mean have you found each other yet?


JORDAN
(confused)
Found each other?

WOODY and BUG emerge back at the fireside and sit with the group.


WOODY
I think what Dr. Stiles means is, have we stopped being mad at ourselves and each other for what we did or didn’t do at the crash site?

HOWARD nods.


BUG
And can we go back to being the same friends we were? The same team?

JORDAN looks thoughtfully into the fire.


JORDAN
Most of us have worked together for such a long time…


GARRET
…that we can finish each other’s sentences. Know what each other’s thinking.


LILY
We don’t even have to ask.


HOWARD
And this stopped after the crash?


GARRET
(shifting uneasily)
We were still a team. We were always a team. (looks around at his crew) But afterwards, well… it seemed harder. I kept asking why I made it and the airplane crew didn’t.


JORDAN
And all I could think of… (takes WOODY’S hand) was a lifetime of regrets from the “what could have beens”.


NIGEL
Before… you know, BC – before the crash… (laughter) it was easier. Sure, we thought about each other, but then on the mountain, the decisions we made… (looks at the others) were life and death.


WOODY
We were responsible for each other.


HOWARD
And you still felt that way when you got back to Boston?


KATE
(thoughtful look)
I… think… so. I do. And maybe that’s why relating to each other was so hard. We suddenly realized how much we all meant to each other.


LILY
I guess we’ve always known that. It just took the crash to make us realize it. Face up to it. Own it.

NIGEL looks around at the group again.


NIGEL
We all have a part of each other in us. That’s what makes us so special – such a good team and good friends. And I think we should never forget that. So… maybe we should give each other something personal. As a way to commemorate this camping trip.


NIGEL pulls off the Goth t-shirt he’s wearing over his long johns and hands it to WOODY. WOODY looks dubious for a moment but pulls it on over his shirt. JORDAN slides her watch off and hands it to KATE, nodding for her to take it. This goes on for a few minutes. HOWARD is sitting back in his chair, observing all this, saying nothing, but smiling like an idiot

After it’s all over, and the group is quiet, LILY is mulling over what they’ve just said and done. She speaks in her very serious, counselor tone.

Family

LILY
You know, I think there’s a little piece of each of us in every one of us.

NIGEL responds bawdily, because he’s had enough serious stuff. He lobs this at WOODY.


NIGEL
And some have a bigger piece than others in them.

Laughter sputters around the campfire and it fades to black.


WOODY
(voiceover)
You pervert.

 

END

 

 

Next time on Crossing Jordan:

"Righteous"


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