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Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4 Act 5
Episode #VS707


Reality Bites

Crossing Jordan Virtual Season 7

“Reality Bites”

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

Matt Seely
Uniformed Officer
Suspect
Mitch Duvall
Dana Thornton
Antonio Padova
Cast and crew of Dance Production
Homicide Lieutenant
Reporter
Principal
Teacher
Class
Student 1
Student 2

SET LIST


INTERIORS
POLICE PRECINCT
   BULL PEN
   WOODY’S OFFICE
   HALLWAY

MORGUE
   GARRET’S OFFICE
   HALLWAY
   RECEPTION
   ELEVATOR
   BREAK ROOM

GENERIC ARENA
   STAGE AREA
   ORCHESTRA PIT

SCHOOL
   HALLWAY
   CLASSROOM

DANCE STUDIO

TEASER

Mission Impossible - Lalo Schifrin

1. INT. POLICE BULL PEN. – DAY

The room is an organized chaos of crowded desks, ringing phones, uniformed officers, detectives, and others.

WOODY is near a desk, searching the surface. We see “Phil Berman’s” name plate.

WOODY
Has anyone seen Berman?

Mumbled, shouted “no’s”, “not my turn to watch him” from the room.

WOODY (cont’d)
He took my pen.

Nobody is paying attention

WOODY (cont’d)
My good pen…

Still no attention

WOODY
(realizing he’s on his own)
….I just put a new ink cartridge in it….

WOODY starts opening drawers. He stumbles on a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. He stops to thumb through it.

The bullpen doors open with a bang. MATT SEELY and UNIFORMED OFFICER wrestle in belligerent SUSPECT. Both MATT and SUSPECT are wet and muddy. SUSPECT is yelling indiscriminately.

MATT
Save it for your lawyer.

SUSPECT pulls away and tries to make a break for it.

MATT (cont’d)
(frustrated)
Not again…

MATT body slams SUSPECT against a desk near WOODY. WOODY puts magazine down and reaches for his firearm. Before he can do anything, the situation is under control. MATT pulls the SUSPECT up by the collar of his shirt and pushes him toward the double doors to booking. UNIFORM grabs SUSPECT by the elbow.

MATT
(fuming)
Get him out of here.

UNIFORM and SUSPECT exit amid shouts of police brutality and a struggle. MATT looks at his muddy clothes and swears under his breath.

WOODY walks over waving his hand in front of his face as if MATT smells.


WOODY
You smell like a gutter.

MATT looks at him like he’s out of place

MATT
Didn’t they give you an office?

WOODY
Right down the hall. It’s nice. (pauses with a grin) You seen Berman? I think he’s snagged my good pen again.

MATT gives him an incredulous look

WOODY reiterates, pantomiming writing with a pen

WOODY (cont’d)
Pen.

Handing WOODY a pen from a jar at the corner of Berman’s desk

MATT
(fake grin)
Here.

MATT turns heel to his desk --which is next to Berman’s. WOODY puts pen back and follows.

WOODY
So…are you going to tell me why you look like you’ve dragged along the banks of the Charles?

MATT
No.

MATT picks up two pink while-you-were-out notes and a thin long white envelope from the middle of his desk. After glancing at them MATT closes his eyes as if this day couldn’t get any worse.

He looks at the envelope in his hand.

What are you doing tonight?

MATT (cont’d)
What’re you doing tonight?

WOODY
I’m flattered, but you’re really not my type…

Looks at the envelope in MATT’S hand and smiles.

WOODY (cont’d)
Agganis Arena …unless those are Boston U hockey tickets, to which I have to tell you: I don’t kiss on the first date.

MATT slaps the envelope in WOODY’S hand.

MATT
It’s not hockey. It’s to that dance show thing everybody’s talking about…

WOODY
(opening the envelope)
Dancing with the Celebrities?

MATT
Yeah, that’s the one. It’s tonight and I’m…busy. Take Cavanaugh. Maybe you can finally get laid and think about something other than your pen.

WOODY
I like that pen.

He thumbs through tickets.

WOODY (cont’d)
Wait…are these back stage passes?

MATT
(silent chuckle)
I’m not surprised.

WOODY
I heard this thing sold out in like…fifteen minutes. Why would you just give me these?

MATT
I said. I’m not going.

WOODY
Nobody forks out this kind of money on tickets to give them away. What d’you want from me?

MATT
Nothing….Just call it a random act of kindness.

WOODY
(disbelievingly)
I’d believe that…..if you weren’t one of the most calculating people I know.

MATT
Fine. The tickets were sent to me. I knew….I know one of the cast members.

WOODY looks at tickets again with a low whistle.

WOODY (cont’d)
You must know ’em pretty good. Who is it?

MATT
(off handedly)
Her name’s Dana.

WOODY
Dana. Dana Thornton? You’re friends with Dana Thornton? She’s…

He catches himself before he gushes.

WOODY
. . . an incredibly talented dancer.

MATT
(sarcastic, knowing smile)
I see you’ve watched the show.

WOODY
(uncomfortable)
Tivo’d it.

MATT snorts

WOODY
You don’t have to watch Dancing with the Celebrities to know who she is. She topped Maxim’s Hot 100 list last year. She’s everywhere.

MATT
Do you want them or not?

WOODY hesitates. MATT holds the envelope over his trashcan

MATT (cont’d)
Going once…going twice…

WOODY snatches the tickets back out of MATT’S hand and thumbs through them again.

WOODY
Get this straight, I don‘t owe you my first born or anything.

MATT
(steps around)
Do me a favor. When you meet Dana…try not to make an ass out of yourself.

WOODY
(stops him)
Wait, wait. How do you know a woman like Dana Thornton?

MATT
She turned pro and moved to L.A. a week before we were supposed to get married.

Crossing Jordan Theme
MATT pushes past WOODY, who has a dazed look on his face.


END OF TEASER

 

 

ACT 1

2. INT. GARRET’S OFFICE - DAY

GARRET is sitting at his desk. JORDAN is standing in front

JORDAN
(irritated)
You’re kidding me, right?

GARRET
(deadpan)
Do I look like I’m joking?

JORDAN
I just did this…not that long ago.

GARRET
Three years. We all rotate, and it’s your turn.

JORDAN counts silently and realizes he’s correct. Closes her eyes and sighs.

JORDAN (cont’d)
Can’t Kate do it?

GARRET
It’s just a school career day Jordan. You go in to the classroom, you tell them how exciting it is to be a medical examiner, you eat cake, drink punch and you take the rest of the day off.

JORDAN
What about Bug instead? He could use a half day.

GARRET stands and steps away from his desk.

GARRET (cont’d)
I had all the display materials delivered to your office. Last year Nigel organized it all into a PowerPoint. All you have to do is read off the slide.

JORDAN
Have Nigel do it.


GARRET grabs his coat of the coat rack. He slides it on and walks out. JORDAN follows.

3. INT. MORGUE - HALLWAY, CONTINUING

They walk toward the reception area and the elevators.

4. INT. MORGUE – RECEPTION, CONTINUING

They stop in front of the ELEVATOR, waiting.


GARRET
(pushing elevator button)
I don’t have time to argue with you about this right now, Jordan. I have a meeting at the Governor’s Office.

JORDAN
(earnestly)
You’ve been having quite few meetings there lately.

GARRET (cont’d)
Just put on a suit and be at JFK Elementary at 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. They’re expecting you.

JORDAN frowns accepting her fate. The elevator door opens WOODY is in the car. He and GARRET greet each other as GARRET exits. WOODY sees JORDAN and smiles.

WOODY
Just the person I was looking for…

JORDAN is still looking past his shoulder to where GARRET disappeared. WOODY notes her frown and looks over his shoulder as he approaches her.

WOODY (cont’d)
What’s wrong?

JORDAN
You know, we never did get to ride the London Eye…How ’bout it? ….If we leave right now we could be 400 feet over the Thames by this time tomorrow.

5. INT. MORGUE - HALLWAY, CONTINUING

They turn to make their way toward Trace.

WOODY
If I thought you were serious, I’d go home get my passport right now.

JORDAN
Who says I’m not?

WOODY
What happened?

JORDAN
(slightly frustrated)
Garret volunteered me for a fifth grade Career Day.

WOODY
(unsympathetic)
Is that all?

JORDAN
Is that all? I’d rather deal with cross examination by Alan Shore, of Crane, Poole and Schmidt, than face a group of fifth graders.

WOODY
Come on, it’s not that bad. They’re just a bunch of eleven year olds.

JORDAN
I don’t do well with kids.

They stop walking in front of the doors to Trace.

WOODY
Don’t underestimate yourself Jordan. I go to these things all the time.

JORDAN
Why am I not surprised?

WOODY
Eleven is a cool age. You’ll do fine.

JORDAN
(lopsided smile)
So what brings you by?

WOODY jumps like he just remembered why he was there and searches his pockets for the tickets. He finds them and hands the envelope to JORDAN

WOODY
It’s not another trip to London…

JORDAN
(looking at tickets with surprise)
Dancing with the Celebrities?

WOODY
(proudly)
First tier seats, back stage passes

JORDAN
(wincing)
…Back stage passes…

WOODY
You don’t sound very excited.

JORDAN
(apologetic)
No, no, it sounds like…fun.

WOODY
(wind out of his sails)
You don’t want to go.

JORDAN
Honestly…?

WOODY
(compliant sigh)
They were freebies anyway. Seely was getting rid of them.

JORDAN
Why? He couldn’t find a date?

WOODY
He said he didn’t want to go… But get this. He claims he was once engaged to Dana Thornton and she sent them.

JORDAN
(incredulously)
And you believe him?

NIGEL peeks his head out of the door to Trace

NIGEL
Our own Matt Seely and the delicious Dana Thornton?

WOODY steps aside as NIGEL joins them in the hallway

WOODY
(looking NIGEL up and down)
Do you have some kind of gossip radar?

JORDAN
What d’you think?

NIGEL
(takes tickets from JORDAN)
It’s plausible….Dana hails from Providence society….Took honors in both junior completion and adult before turning pro. Matt and she might have run in the same trust fund circles.

NIGEL flashes a big smile

NIGEL (cont’d)
That is, of course….before she left for the bright lights of Hollywood and three seasons of D.W.T.C.

JORDAN
Don’t tell me you watch Dancing with the Celebrities?

NIGEL
Are you kidding? I Tivo it.

WOODY gives NIGEL a high five.

JORDAN
Am I the only one that doesn’t watch reality TV?

She is met with silence

JORDAN (cont’d)
You know what? You two go. You can compare notes.

WOODY sighs

JORDAN (cont’d)
I really need to prep for this thing.

WOODY gets the tickets back and hands NIGEL one.

WOODY
Just don’t wear a tux.

NIGEL
(excited)
I’ll meet you at the front gate at six.

NIGEL slips back into TRACE. WOODY takes JORDAN’S arm and guides her toward her office.

WOODY
I hope you realize that one leggy brunette is not interchangeable with another.

JORDAN
I’m not a jealous person.

WOODY
(sighs)
I wish you’d reconsider. We haven’t had any time alone together in over a week.

JORDAN
(worried)
Agganis is not known for its intimate atmosphere. (pause) I’m serious. I really do need to figure out what I’m going to tell these kids tomorrow.

WOODY
Want some advice from somebody who’s been there?

JORDAN
(relief)
Anything.

WOODY
Relax. They can smell fear. Remember to appeal to a typical eleven year old’s interest level…..and if all else fails...

JORDAN
(listening intently)
What?

WOODY
Ask if the cake is chocolate or vanilla.

JORDAN
(smiles)
Gee. Thanks.

WOODY
How about a rain check?

JORDAN
After this school thing I’m meeting Lily at the florist to talk flowers. She’s going about as crazy over this Commitment Ceremony as she did the wedding. I have a feeling I’m going to need a cold beer and a foot rub by tomorrow night.

WOODY
I’ve been told I give outstanding foot massages.

JORDAN
(flirty)
Really…?

WOODY
And I cook too.

JORDAN
Say seven? And I’ll bring the beer.

WOODY
It’s a date.

Whistling, WOODY exits, leaving JORDAN shaking her head.

 

6. INT. GENERIC ARENA STAGE AREA – DAY

There are two large floor-to-ceiling banks of speakers towering on either end of the open stage. There is a large marquee in the back of the stage that reads: Dancing with the Celebrities.

Dancers, paired off in couples, are rehearsing and/or stretching in various corners and fringes of the stage. Stage lighting is being adjusted. Stage hands are putting the finishing touches on the area. A Latin instrumental is coming out of the speakers.

MITCH DUVALL (played by Jean Claude Van Damme) is partnered with DANA THORNTON. They are dancing a Paso Doble center stage. MITCH is more just a strutting toreador while DANA is dancing circles around him as the “cape”.

Paso Doble

ANTONIO PADOVA is standing off just off the side. It is obvious he is the man in charge. He points to the stage lights and speaks authoritatively to someone in the rafters.

ANTONIO
The center left red jell. It needs to come out farther…

The light in question is redirected and ANTONIO flashes a pleased smile.

During a flourish in the music, MITCH lifts DANA over his head and stumbles. ANTONIO, along with several stage hands run to spot DANA before she’s dropped. ANTONIO helps her to her feet. DANA rolls her shoulder. She’s obviously in pain but is brushing it off.

ANTONIO touches DANA’S arm. We see a gold wedding band.

ANTONIO
(tenderly)
Are you hurt?

DANA covers his hand with hers and we see a matching wedding band

DANA
(soft smile)
No. I’m fine.

A handler approaches MITCH giving him a towel and bottled water. MITCH is mopping his neck with the towel

MITCH
I think you’ve put on a few pounds since the tour started, Dee-Dee.

ANTONIO
(diplomatically)
We’ll just take that lift out of tonight’s performance.

MITCH
Good.

ANTONIO
Manny! Cue the music again….from the reverse slip to the drag.

There is a bang from back stage as something’s dropped. ANTONIO leaves the stage yelling directions to one of the stage hands. They disappear stage left. DANA hits her mark while MITCH stands there drinking his water. She drops her arms and frowns at her partner. The music starts nonetheless.

MITCH
I’ve danced this damn thing until I can do it in my sleep. No lift. Got it. I’m good.

DANA
We haven’t done a full run-through in three days.

MITCH
(patronizingly)
We’re not out here to be judged. This is a reality road tour. Our audience is a bunch of overly indulgent parents and their ten year old daughters who only care about the costumes and the way Ohno looks in tight pants.

DANA
Still, they pay a lot of money to see a good show.

MITCH
Six more cities of this bull and my contract is over. Lighten-up, Dee-Dee.

DANA
Would you stop calling me that?

MITCH
(cups her cheek)
You didn’t say that when we were fine tuning some of the sizzle in our chemistry…

DANA
(hisses)
I wish you’d stop bringing that up.

MITCH
Oh, something was up that night, for both of us. We can always pick up where we left off….

DANA
(yells out)
Antonio! I think we’re done here for now. I’ll just add a flamenco circle right there. Mitch can pick it up from the down beat of the exchange.

DANA looks over her shoulder. ANTONIO is not there. All she sees is the local warm up dancers and a couple of the tour regulars are busy rehearsing. DANA looks off stage.

MITCH
When are you gonna get tired of that pansy and be with a real man?

DANA snaps her attention back to MITCH

DANA (cont’d)
He’s my husband and until this tour is over…your boss.

MITCH
I bet the little girls out there tonight are not the only ones that will be getting hot over Onho’s pants tonight.

DANA
You son of a ….

MITCH
(holds his hand up)
Save it, Dee-Dee. I’ve been called worse and by hotter women.

With a smirk, MITCH bows slightly at the waist and then turns to leave. The music for their dance comes to a final crescendo as MITCH reaches the speaker scaffolding at stage left. He stops and raises his hands in an Olé pose at the final beat. He winks at DANA. There is an understated crack and the speaker stack topples down on top of him.

Chaos erupts, stage hands scramble yelling for someone to call 911.

DANA puts her hand over her mouth and turns away in horror.

 

END OF ACT ONE

 

 


ACT TWO

7. INT. POLICE BULL PEN. - DAY

MATT is sitting at his desk, decidedly cleaner than earlier. He is doodling on a folded newspaper. We see it’s a story about the Dancing with the Celebrities show. There is a publicity picture of ANTONIO and DANA in a dancing pose. MATT has defaced ANTONIO with his doodles. The headline reads “Local Dance-Duo’s Reality Television Bug Bites Boston” MATT draws a bold line through everything but “Reality and “Bites”. MATT smirks at his handiwork.

Reality Bites


LIEUTENANT
(yelling)
Who’s up next?!

MATT looks up from his paper to see the LIEUTENANT standing just outside his office door with a coffee cup in his hand. Someone yells “HOYT”

LIEUTENANT
Someone find his ass and tell him there’s a call over at Agganis Arena.

MATT stands and hurries over to the LIEUTENANT and stops him before he can reenter his office.

MATT
Agganis? What happened?

LIEUTENANT
(sarcastic)
I assume it means someone’s dead. Don’t you have some paperwork to finish on this morning’s bust?

MATT
Finished-who-died?

LIEUTENANT looks at the coffee cup in his hand and notices it’s empty

LIEUTENANT (cont’d)
Dispatch didn’t say.

MATT
Would you mind if I tag-team with Hoyt on this one?

LIEUTENANT
(pause)
He’s DIC.

MATT
Of course.

LIEUTENANT
Knock yourself out….Oh, and no grandstanding. Got it?

MATT
I’ll meet him there.

MATT exits. The LIEUTENANT stands there scratching his head for a moment.

LIEUTENANT (cont’d)
(to anyone in general)
There’d better be some fresh coffee in the pot or one of you maggots is going to be pulling a double this weekend.


8. INT. GENERIC ARENA - STAGE AREA, CONTINUING

Uniforms and CSU are already there. Pictures are being taken of the pile of speakers in the orchestra pit. Witnesses are in the seats stage right. They include DANA and ANTONIO

MATT enters, showing his badge to uniform at the door. Uniform points to the group of witnesses. MATT scans the crowd and sees DANA before he acknowledges the uniform.

DANA looks at the entrance and sees MATT. She touches ANTONIO who sees MATT himself. MATT just glances at them and continues to the body.

9. INT. GENERIC ARENA – ORCHESTRA PIT, CONTINUING

We see the pile of speakers and scaffolding. High heeled male dance shoes stick out from underneath, ala Wicked Witch of the East. A young UNIFORMED OFFICER is standing to the side, fidgeting.

I'll get you my pretty...

MATT
Are you the first responder?

UNIFORMED OFFICER
(nervous)
Yes, sir.

MATT mumbles in time as he squats down to take a closer look

MATT
The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a stitch…

UNIFORMED OFFICER
Excuse me sir?

MATT touches a gloved hand on a cross bar in the wreckage.

MATT
(looks up)
Do we have an ID yet?

UNIFORMED OFFICER
(blubbering)
Um, yes…sir. It’s - it’s…

MATT stands, waiting

UNIFORMED OFFICER
(shifts closer and whispers)
It’s Mitch Duvall, sir, (pause) the ac-tor.

MATT
I guess that depends on your definition of actor. What’s the story so far?

UNIFORMED OFFICER
Mr. Padova, the dude sitting next to Dana Thornton, met us at the door. Apparently he’s the boss. Padova said that Duvall was finished for the afternoon and was leaving the stage when the speakers just…fell over.

MATT
Did he see exactly what happened?

UNIFORMED OFFICER
Just that the speakers fell. They couldn’t find a pulse…so they just… left him.

MATT
Has the M.E.’s office been called?

UNIFORMED OFFICER
Dr. Switzer is on her way.

MATT
(rolls eyes)
Great

WOODY enters openly gawks at the celebrities before he reaches MATT and the body.

MATT
The stiff is none other than Mitch Duvall.

WOODY squats to take a closer look.

WOODY
Mitch Duvall: The Ultimate Shadow! Really? No shit. Where was his stuntman when he needed him? Talk to anyone yet?

MATT
I just got here a few minutes ago. What’d you make of that….?

MATT points to the cross bar. WOODY looks closer.

WOODY
Looks like it’s in pretty good shape for a five hundred pound speaker to come down on it.

MATT
I’m not an engineer but I’d think with that much weight on that platform each one of these cross beams should have been bolted tight. This one looks like it didn’t have anything in it at all.

WOODY
Maybe it wasn’t load bearing. The lab rats at CSU will be able to tell us for sure.

WOODY stands and looks toward the witnesses.

WOODY (cont’d)
I’ll start asking some questions; you stay with Duvall.

MATT
(snaps)
I can...

WOODY holds up his hand to stop him.

WOODY
I think under the circumstances it would be best if I talked to her. Okay?

MATT looks like he wants to protest.

WOODY (cont’d)
Don’t dick with this case before we even get started. Just….stay here

KATE enters the auditorium.

WOODY
Good, there’s Kate. Catch her up.

MATT
(growls)
Hoyt….

WOODY escapes up the aisle, stops in front of KATE and points to MATT. KATE frowns. WOODY continues to DANA and ANTONIO as MATT watches.

KATE stops in front of the speakers and looks at the scene while pulling on a pair of gloves. She snaps her glove to get MATT’S attention.


KATE
(looks at the legs)
Is it my imagination or is the victim wearing high heels?

UNIFORMED OFFICER
It’s the Paso Doble.

KATE
Ah, that explains everything. Detective Seely…

MATT
(cuts her off)
Name’s…Mitch Duvall. He had an unfortunate run in with the sound system….I’ll be right over there.

MATT follows WOODY. Irritated, KATE is left standing there with UNIFORMED OFFICER, who smiles at her uncomfortably.

KATE
(to UNIFORMED OFFICER)
Get some help and let’s get these speakers off him.

10. INT. GENERIC ARENA - STAGE AREA, CONTINUING

The scene changes to WOODY, DANA, and ANTONIO. ANTONIO has his arm wrapped protectively around DANA.


WOODY
I know this is a very upsetting time for you both, but would you mind answering some questions? It’ll only take a moment.

DANA looks over WOODY’S shoulder as MATT approaches. ANTONIO visibly tenses up. MATT grabs WOODY’S shoulder.

MATT
(charming smile)
Kate’s got everything under control over there. Dana…Antonio. It’s been a long time.

WOODY opens his mouth to say something but is cut off when ANTONIO speaks.

ANTONIO
(holds his hand out to MATT)
Matt…I see you’re still a police officer…..I’m sure your father must be proud.

MATT shakes ANTONIO’S hand but looks like he’d rather be any place else. He looks even more uncomfortable when DANA leans in to kiss both his cheeks, continental style.

DANA
(whispers)
I’m glad you’re here.

WOODY holds up a finger to say something but is cut off by MATT.

MATT
So…what happened?

DANA
Mitch and I were just wrapping up rehearsal on our number for tonight. He was heading backstage when the speakers just…fell on him.

WOODY clears his throat…to no avail.

MATT
Did you hear anything odd or see anybody behind the scaffold right before it collapsed?

DANA
No….but I really wasn’t paying attention….the music was still on and the lights…you know how it gets, Matt.

MATT nods then looks at the lighting rafters.

MATT
The equipment belongs to the tour, correct? Who’s in charge of set up?

ANTONIO
We have roadies that do most of the manual labor, but I inspected the scaffolding myself, along with the stage manager, and everything was secure.

Silence. MATT looks at WOODY who just folds his arms as if to say this is your show. MATT takes a step forward.

MATT
Did Mr. Duvall have any problems with anyone on the crew?

ANTONIO
(pauses)
No.

MATT
Any threats to his life?

ANTONIO
None.

MATT
You don’t sound very convincing, Tino.

ANTONIO bristles at the diminutive of his name.

ANTONIO
It’s Antonio.

MATT
It was just plain Tino when you were giving tango lessons between calling bingo games on the cruise ship.

WOODY
What Detective Seely is trying to ask is if Mr. Duvall had any problems on the tour.

ANTONIO
Mitch found traveling with an ensemble like this challenging. Most of the celebrities we work with take the personal inconveniences of being on the road in stride.

WOODY
And Mr. Duvall…?

ANTONIO
He didn’t.

MATT
Did he ever take any of these frustrations out on anybody in particular?

ANTONIO’S arm slips around DANA again.

ANTONIO
No.

 

END OF ACT TWO

 

 

ACT THREE


11. INT. MORGUE BREAK ROOM – THE NEXT MORNING

LILY, NIGEL, BUG and JORDAN are sitting at a table in various stages of break-brunch-breakfast.

The TV is on. On screen, the REPORTER is standing in a parking lot reporting MITCH DUVALL’S death.

REPORTER
Movie star, Mitch Duvall, was killed yesterday afternoon in a bizarre accident. He was rehearsing what would have been last night’s Dancing with the Celebrities performance at B.U.’s Agganis Arena. The show’s executive producer and his dancer-wife could not be reached for comment.

The feed changes to a clip of the day before and DANA and ANTONIO being whisked away in a limousine amid security and police. MATT is in frame momentarily. Then it’s back to the live feed.

REPORTER
Mitch Duvall is probably best known for his action adventure movies and his high profile divorce in 1997, but he has seen a resurgence in his popularity in the last year due to an appearance in the highly rated reality show Dancing with the Celebrities where he finished runner-up to....

We see the table, everyone is watching the TV.

LILY
Anyone seen any of his movies?

JORDAN
(munching on a doughnut)
I once dated this guy who could quote every line from every movie. He even had a life size cut-out of Duvall from one of his special ops flicks hanging on the wall in his bedroom. It was a little intimidating.

NIGEL
For you or him?

JORDAN
(smirks)
Why d’you think I left him?

BUG
(looking at the TV)
There’s Kate!

Back to the REPORTER on the TV. They are showing a tape of KATE and WOODY working their way past a mass of press.

REPORTER
(voice over)
Details are still sketchy at this hour, but sources report that an autopsy has been ordered. When leaving the scene the Medical examiner reporting to the scene had this to say….

REPORTER
(to KATE)
Dr. Switzer, can you tell us how Mitch Duvall was killed?

KATE
(on TV)
The Medical Examiner’s Office won’t have a definitive cause of death until a full autopsy has been completed.

REPORTER
(to KATE)
When will that be?

KATE
That depends on when I can get to work, now doesn’t it? If you’ll excuse me…

KATE tries to break away but the REPORTER shoves the microphone in her face again.

REPORTER
Is there any reason to believe his death may not be the result of an accident?

KATE
I can’t comment on that…

WOODY enters the screen taking KATE by the elbow

WOODY
Mr. Duvall’s death is being investigated at this time. The police department will issue a statement as details become available….

KATE enters. She sees them watching the news report.

KATE
(mutters)
Damn vultures…. They kept me up half the night calling.

JORDAN
You need an unlisted telephone number.

KATE
It is.

GARRET enters

GARRET
(to KATE)
Good, you’re here. The Mayor’s Office is getting pressure to make a statement about the Duvall death. Get started on the autopsy first thing.

KATE
I already have a full morning scheduled.

GARRET (cont’d)
Bug can handle it. This takes priority. Grab someone to assist. The sooner we get this done the quicker we can get the press out of my hair.

NIGEL snickers and LILY punches him in the shoulder. JORDAN raises her hand.

JORDAN
I’ll do it.

GARRET
(to KATE)
Jordan has a previous commitment. Nigel can clear his schedule.

NIGEL
I’m in the middle of….

GARRET
(to KATE)
Autopsy One is set up and waiting. Nigel can bring the body up while you change.

NIGEL
(chagrined)
…Right away.

JORDAN
You know, I have no trouble playing assistant. Nigel can take the school and I can…

GARRET
(looks at his watch)
You’ve got one hour to be to at JFK Elementary. (looks at her jeans and tee) That’s about enough time to change and drive across town. Brian has already loaded everything in the back of the van.

JORDAN
(sarcastically)
You’ve been busy this morning.

GARRET
It’s an ugly job, but someone has to do it.


With a grin GARRET exits quickly followed by everyone but JORDAN who stands and tosses her paper coffee cup in the trash with a sigh.

 

12. INT. EMPTY HALLWAY OF SCHOOL – 10 a.m.

JORDAN, dressed in a dark suit with a smiley-face visitor sticker on the lapel of her jacket, is walking down the hallway struggling with a dolly of supplies behind her. The PRINCIPAL, a forty-something female, is walking along side.


PRINCIPAL
I can’t tell you how pleased we are to have you speak to our Ms. Mason’s fifth grade class today.

JORDAN politely as she can, as she fights the dolly

JORDAN
I’ve been looking forward to it.

They come to a crossroads in the hallway JORDAN continues straight ahead, the PRINCIPAL turns.

PRINCIPAL
This way, Doctor Cavanaugh.

JORDAN awkwardly turns the dolly around to catch up to the PRINCIPAL.

PRINCIPAL
(over her shoulder)
Ms. Mason’s class is the jewel of academic excellence here at JFK. I think you will be impressed at how insightful and inquisitive they are.

JORDAN
(nervous smile)
I’m…sure.

PRINCIPAL stops in front of a door.

13. INT. CLASSROOM – CONTINUING

The PRINCIPAL opens the door and claps her hands to get the class’s attention. We see a typical classroom with a couple of dozen children scrambling for seats.

PRINCIPAL
Children, this is Doctor Cavanaugh, she is from the Massachusetts Medical Examiner’s Office to talk to you about her exciting career in forensic medicine. I’d like you all to sit quietly with your listening ears and show her why JFK students are the best in the city.

JORDAN looks on as the TEACHER picks up a large pile of folders and heads out the door.

CLASS
Yes, ma’am…

PRINCIPAL
Well, we’ll leave you. Any problems just call the office. (looks at her watch) I’ll be back before the fourth period bell.

JORDAN
Um, where’s Ms. Mason going?

PRINCIPAL
She’s doing some parent conferences this morning.

JORDAN
But…I…is that a good idea?

PRINCIPAL
You’ll be fine.

PRINCIPAL (cont’d)
(to the CLASS)
Remember: your best behavior.


The PRINCIPAL exits leaving JORDAN in front of a classroom of eyes. She pulls her dolly closer between her and them, like a shield.

Career Day

JORDAN
(nervously)
Hi. My name is Jordan. I’m a medical examiner with the….

A hand raises from the middle of the CLASS

JORDAN
(cont’d)
Yes. You have a question…

STUDENT 1
I heard when someone burns up in a fire their brain boils and their skull explodes!


JORDAN’S jaw drops

 

14. INT. AUTOPSY – SAME TIME

KATE is standing over MITCH DUVALL’S CORPSE. NIGEL walks in and stops to look at the screen with a set of X-rays of a head and neck. The neck is broken.


NIGEL
The tox results are back (holds up a paper) but I think the COD is pretty obvious.

KATE
(working in the body)
Humor me, I’d still like to hear what the report says.

NIGEL
He’s a walking pharmaceutical cabinet.

KATE
You mean besides the steroids?

NIGEL is looking at the CORPSE’S bulking muscles

NIGEL
They’re pretty evident, huh?

KATE lifts the drape over the CORPSE’s groin.

KATE
In more ways than one.

NIGEL
There’s one good thing to be said about being a skinny chap.

KATE
Your point?

NIGEL
There’s a variety of painkillers and omeprazole…

KATE
(wrinkles her nose)
His gut was full of cheap Mexican food, so the Prilosic makes sense.

NIGEL
All the drugs do. Outside of the steroids there was nothing in questionable levels. If anything he was toughing it out. His medical history reads like an orthopedist’s idea of erotica. Broken bones, torn ligaments, multiple surgeries to repair damage to his spine and joints over the years.

KATE
Duvall’s got more pins in him than the seamstress put in that dress Lily is making us wear for her commitment ceremony.

NIGEL glances at her figure

NIGEL
(a flirty grin)
I’m sure you’ll be stunning no matter the dress.

KATE
(eye roll)
What is the point of a commitment ceremony anyway?

NIGEL
Yet you agreed to be part of it. I think there’s a romantic buried underneath that cynical exterior.

KATE
What I am is confused.

NIGEL’S grin kicks up a few degrees.

NIGEL
Confused. About why you said ‘yes’ or romance in general.

KATE
No. Mr. Duvall. He wasn’t wasted…so he didn’t just stumble into the speaker scaffolding. How then do we explain why a twice-inspected steel structure just …falls… on a person?

Door opens and WOODY enters. He notices KATE is almost done with the autopsy.

WOODY
I thought you had two other autopsies scheduled before this one.

NIGEL
Mr. Duvall here got bumped to the head of the class.

WOODY nods in acceptance.

WOODY
Speaking of class, has anyone heard from Jordan?

15. INT. CLASSROOM – CONTINUING

CUT TO JORDAN standing at the chalk broad drawing the diagram of an eye with optic nerve, illustrating what she says as she says it.

JORDAN (cont’d)
We have to use a pretty large gauge needle to draw fluid out of the eye. It deflates just like a basketball if you do it right…but if you use too much pressure…it pops like a water balloon.

STUDENT 2
Awesome!

Ooooohs and Ahhhs from the CLASS. JORDAN smiles.

16. INT. AUTOPSY - CONTINUING

NIGEL
I’m sure she’s fine. I wrote the lesson plan to be completely foolproof. All she has to do is point and click.

WOODY looks a little worried nonetheless

WOODY
Yeeaahh…

WOODY moves to stand directly over KATE’S shoulder to look at her work.

WOODY
So what did I miss?

KATE
(stops and looks at him)
Since my last name is not Cavanaugh you can take a step or two back.

WOODY looks a little put out but complies. MATT enters, like WOODY he notices KATE is close to finishing.

MATT
(pointing at the body)
I thought you said…. I thought she had two other autopsies scheduled before this one.

WOODY
(mildly sarcastic)
Duvall was moved to the front of the line.

MATT
(to WOODY)
What’d I …. what’d we miss?

KATE
(sighs)
I’m finished. His neck snapped between C2 and C3. Death was instantaneous.

MATT
So it was an accident?

KATE
I can’t say that until the report on the scaffolding comes back from the crime lab.

NIGEL
(put out)
It would have been in already if I were working on it.

WOODY
We couldn’t exactly pack a half ton of equipment in a body bag and bring it in here to the morgue, Nige.

MATT
I doubt it’s going to be any help but I finally tracked down the security tape from that morning. I hand carried it to the crime lab.

NIGEL
(frowning)
…ohh

MATT reaches in his coat pocket and brings out a DVD.

MATT (cont’d)
But, I made a copy

NIGEL takes the disk. He’s giddy, heading toward the door

NIGEL
I take back every nasty thing I’ve ever said about you. I’ll start right on this.

WOODY
(following NIGEL)
Pay close attention to the stage set-up. I’d like a list of everybody who came in contact with that scaffolding.

WOODY, NIGEL and MATT exit.

KATE
(calls out)
Don’t worry about me. I’ll finish up here…..by myself….

No reply, she tsks.

17. INT. MORGUE HALLWAY - CONTINUING

NIGEL animatedly talks about a new process he has for using surveillance footage in a crime reenactment simulation. NIGEL and WOODY enter the door to TRACE.

MATT’S phone rings he stops and answers.


MATT
(snaps)
Seely. (pause) No, no…you didn’t catch me at a bad time. (pause) Yes. I remember where it is. (pause) I’ll be there in ten minutes.

MATT hangs up and looks up to see LILY go into her office. He looks at the phone in his hand for a moment, then turns to exit.

 

END OF ACT THREE

 

ACT FOUR

 

18. INT. DANCE STUDIO, LATE MORNING

One wall is mirrored, another has a dance bar. Another holds a trophy case, full of trophies and ribbons. DANA is standing in the middle of the room staring off into space.

The sound of a heavy door opening. Enter MATT. He stops and looks at the trophy case with a smile.

MATT
Nothing’s changed….even after twelve years.

DANA
(small grin)
Not even the hiding spot for the spare key.

MATT looks out the door like he’s remembering the spot himself.

DANA
Thanks for meeting me here.

MATT
You said you wanted to talk.

DANA
I needed to get out of that hotel room before I went crazy. (pause) How many hours do you think we spent in here?

MATT
Hundreds….at least.

DANA
Antonio’s been on the phone to Hollywood all morning to see if he can get someone to take Mitch’s spot. We’re scheduled for three shows in New York this weekend and he doesn’t want to postpone.

MATT
I assumed the tour would be canceled.

DANA
(smile)
Wasn’t it you that insisted we still dance the MIT Open even though it was the same day as your grandfather’s funeral?

MATT
I never liked the man anyway.

DANA
Your father was livid when you didn’t show up.

MATT
(smiles nostalgically)
My interest in dancing was his fault anyway. He demanded I take ballroom lessons in the first place. I can still hear him. A Seely needs to be as commanding on the dance floor as he is in the boardroom. He just didn’t plan on me giving up everything else for it.

DANA
Do you still dance?

MATT
No. I haven’t been on a dance floor since the last time I was in this room.

DANA
That’s a shame. You were good, Matt. The best.

MATT
I was always just the frame. You were the talent, Dana. That’s why I quit and you went pro.

DANA
That was so long ago. Now, I’m just a glorified taxi dancer trying to make washed up stars look like they know what they are doing.

DANA points out an old photo of the two of them, in costume and dance pose, in the trophy case. They both chuckle.

DANA
Do you ever regret staying on the police force?

MATT
I have moments, but nothing could ever be bad enough for me to go back to work for my old man.

DANA
I noticed you’re not wearing a wedding band. Is there anyone…special?

MATT
(frowns)
I thought maybe…but she was already in love with someone else before I even met her.

MATT pauses and the phone rings. He converses quietly and then hangs up.

DANA
What’s wrong?

MATT
That was Hoyt. The results are back from the crime lab. (almost to himself) We were right… There were enough bolts missing from the support beams to bring down the whole damn thing.

DANA
What does that mean?

MATT
Who would want to kill Mitch Duvall?

DANA
(shocked)
You really think he was murdered?

MATT
It looks that way.

DANA nods. MATT notices but doesn’t comment.

MATT
(nods his head toward the door)
At the arena I asked if Duvall had any beefs with anybody.

DANA
Mitch wasn’t there to make friends. He just wanted the money and exposure.

MATT
Did he have any relationships that might have ended ugly?

DANA
(turning to the trophy case)
He once told me he felt like a performing bear and the whole idea of America voting on his performance was like being poked with a stick.

MATT
So why’d he sign for the tour? Why not just leave the show the end of the season?

DANA
You know, no come back offers yet. He was used to being the star. Not being the center of attention really got to him.

MATT
Anybody in particular bothered by this?

DANA
You’ve got a list of the cast and crew. Everyone of us had issues with him at one time or another.

MATT
What about you?

DANA
Am I a suspect now?

MATT
As of this moment…yes.


19. INT. CLASSROOM. - CONTINUING

JORDAN is standing in front of the CLASS. They are all sitting at the edge of their seats. JORDAN is talking with great animation.


JORDAN
….What threw us off was the victim’s time of death. You see next to the body was a smorgasbord of some really bizarre foods including a wheel of Casua Marsu. Only we didn’t know that until Bug identified it….

The bell rings. Nobody notices.

STUDENT 1
What’s a Cass…Casua?

excited students

JORDAN
Casua Marsu. It’s an exotic Italian cheese. The fermentation process goes past the regular aging to actual decomposition. Loosely translated it means rotten cheese...or more to the point maggot cheese because it contains live maggots.

STUDENT 2
Cool!!

JORDAN
They tell you to wear goggles when eating this stuff because the buggers can jump up to a half a foot…which is why this guy was covered with them…. After we figured out what this guy was snacking on, we determined the victim had been dead for about twenty-four hours instead of the five days we first thought. Which put a hole in the murderer’s alibi big enough to drive a truck through.

The door opens and the PRINCPAL walks in. Nobody notices. She looks pleased with the way her class is hanging on every one of JORDAN’S words. Until she takes it all in…

JORDAN (cont’d)
The larvae had burrowed inside the knife wounds and begun to pupate. The ones that hadn’t yet were still crawling just beneath his skin making it look like the flesh was boiling…..

PRINCPAL
(outraged)
DOCTOR CAVANAUGH!!!

Everyone in the room jumps, including JORDAN. The PRINCIPAL takes in the gory drawings on the chalk board and graphic forensic photos on the overhead screen.

PRINCPAL
What is the meaning of this?!

JORDAN
(swallows)
Wow. Time already up?

 

END OF ACT FOUR

 

 

ACT FIVE

 

20. INT. ARENA – AROUND NOON

NIGEL is setting up a mass of equipment in the orchestra pit. The laptop screen shows a crime scene reenactment program. KATE and BUG are standing on stage waiting. WOODY leans over NIGEL’S shoulder.

WOODY
Jordan called. I told her we were trying out your new program.

WOODY fidgets, looking around

WOODY (cont’d)
God, what’s taking so long?

NIGEL
Patience, dear Woodrow. I’m still trying to work the bugs out of this. I loaded in the dimensions and placement of everything stationary from the security tape. I still need to enter in the positions of all the witnesses according to their statements.

WOODY
Yeah , yeah, but when do we get to see who’s telling the truth and who isn’t?

NIGEL
Why don’t you take this laser pointer and pretend you’re Duvall. The program interfaces with the laser’s trajectory and we’ll have an accurate visual of the witnesses’ statements. Kate, you’re Dana….and Bug I need you back stage where Mr. Padova said he was standing.

KATE
Here?

NIGEL
Perfect, love.

MATT and DANA enter the rear of the theater seating area. DANA sits.

MATT
Are you set up yet?

NIGEL looks between MATT and WOODY.

NIGEL (cont’d)
You’re just in time. Here.

He hands MATT a laser pointer.

NIGEL
You’re the lighting technician. He said he was standing above stage right.

MATT pulls a built-in ladder out of the wall and climbs to the lighting rafters. Once there gives an okay sign. Everyone falls into position and flips on the lasers.

WOODY
(looks at NIGEL)
According to the witness’s statements Duvall and Dana were talking just left of center stage.

NIGEL types something in his program and nods.

WOODY (cont’d)
The lighting guy said he watched him move to the edge of the stage and lost sight of him…

MATT shines his laser to the point that point. WOODY steps there, pauses for a second and takes a few more steps.

WOODY (cont’d)
This is where the body was….

NIGEL
(looking at his simulation)
I have everyone accounted for except the stage manager….He said he saw Duvall look up just before the speakers fell but according to this, his view would be blocked by the rigging the technician used to climb to the rafter…

WOODY
So where would the manager be?

NIGEL
Bug, move to your left one step. Can you see Woody?

BUG
(points laser)
To see him I’d have to be standing….

There’s a loud crash as a stage door opens. Everyone looks around as JORDAN all but runs in. She’s dressed the same way she was at school, right down to the visitor’s tag. She stops directly where BUG’s laser is pointing.

BUG (cont’d)
….right behind the scaffolding.

JORDAN
(out of breath)
Did I miss anything?


21. INT. POLICE PRECINCT - WOODY’S OFFICE, EARLY EVENING

JORDAN is sitting at the desk, waiting. She has one shoe off rubbing her foot.

WOODY appears in the doorway.


WOODY
Don’t tell me you’re starting without me.

JORDAN slips her shoe back on and stands.

JORDAN
Just warming up. Finished?


WOODY takes her hand and they walk out to the hallway.

Long Day, No See

22. INT. POLICE PRECINCT – HALLWAY, CONTINUING

WOODY
Done. He confessed to everything. Loosening the bolts…waiting for Duvall to get into range. He just didn’t mean to kill him.

JORDAN
So he says.

WOODY
Not that it makes a difference, but I believe him. He just wanted to scare him into leaving the tour. I guess Duvall was a real jerk to everybody.

He stops and smiles at her.

WOODY (cont’d)
How did flower shopping go?

JORDAN
Who would have guessed there are so many different colors of roses.

She nods back up the hallway.

JORDAN (cont’d)
Why aren’t you in the middle of processing?

WOODY slips his arm around her.

WOODY
I told Matt I was seeing you later and he offered to wrap everything up by himself.

JORDAN
Seely is doing you another favor? Pretty soon you’ll be carpooling together.

WOODY
He’s not that bad of a guy, Jordan.

JORDAN
I’ll have to take your word for that.

GARRET enters.

JORDAN
(to GARRET)
Garret! Hi. What are you doing here?

GARRET
I was hoping to catch you.

JORDAN
You could have just called.

GARRET
Probably…but I thought I should talk to you in person.

ARRET shakes his head at her and JORDAN waits lecture she knows is coming.

GARRET (cont’d)
I got an email from the Superintendent of Education this afternoon. He said he heard you made quite an impression at JFK Elementary today.

WOODY
Impression?

JORDAN
It was nothing. (pause) Honest.

GARRET
(to WOODY)
Nothing. Security escorted her to the parking lot.

WOODY
What did you do?

JORDAN
I did what you told me to. I appealed to the interests of a typical eleven year old.

GARRET
By uploading the files on the Hansard case for a little show and tell.

WOODY
(shivers in memory)
Maggot Man?! I couldn’t even look at cheese for a month after that case. Whatever possessed you to…?

JORDAN
It started when they asked to see the pictures I have from that conference I went to at the Body Farm.

WOODY
(shocked)
Isn’t that the place in Tennessee were they study human decomposition?

JORDAN
(indignant)
I left out the pictures of any naked cadavers where you could still tell what sex they were.

WOODY
(rubs his forehead)
Of course.

GARRET
JFK Elementary requested that you don’t return for the next career day…or ever.

WOODY
She’s lucky they‘re not pressing charges.

GARRET
They would’ve if the class didn’t spend the rest of the day talking about what they needed to do to get into medical school. The superintendent wants to talk to you about maybe doing a less graphic presentation for some more schools.

JORDAN
See! I made a connection. I could really get into this mentoring thing.

WOODY sighs

JORDAN
(to WOODY)
Hey! Maybe next time you and I can tag team career day.


GARRET simply shakes his head.

Paris In Your Eyes - Janis Ian

23. INT. POLICE BULL PEN – SAME TIME

MATT is getting ready to leave. He stops reaches inside the top drawer of his desk. He pulls out WOODY’s pen and smiles to himself. He doesn’t notice DANA entering.

DANA
I figured you’d still be here. I had to thank you for everything you did.

MATT
(looking over her shoulder)
Where’s Antonio?

DANA
Probably half way to L.A. by now. He decided to cancel the rest of the tour.

MATT
That’s too bad.

DANA
I quit Celebrities tonight. I’m going to take some time off. Regroup.

MATT
Good for you.

DANA
We decided to take some time off from each other also.

MATT
I’m sorry to hear that.

DANA
I’m the one who should be apologizing. I never should’ve hurt you like I did.

MATT
I loved you.

DANA
I thought that that would be enough. We were so young. Too young.

DANA runs her finger along the edge of MATT’S desk

DANA
I had this idea that you’d eventually change your mind about the police force and go back to work for your father.

MATT
(shrugs)
It would’ve never happened.

DANA
I knew if I married you it would just be a matter of time before that phone would ring and someone would tell me something happened to you. Running away with Antonio seemed a little less frightening.

MATT
What are you going to do now?

DANA
I thought I’d stick around Boston for awhile. Maybe see if the old studio needs a teacher.

MATT
(surprised)
That would be quite a step down for you.

DANA
I want to try to make up for everything that happened…if you’ll let me.

MATT
I’d be a liar if I told you I wasn’t tempted. But you know what… it’s twelve years too late. I’m happy where I am in my life.

MATT looks at the pen in his hand

MATT (cont’d)
I have a good job and friends…

MATT sets the pen on the edge of Berman’s desk, in plain sight.

DANA
(smiles in spite of herself)
I had to give it a try. Could you do one more favor for me….for old times’ sake?

MATT
What?

DANA
Dance with me.

MATT
(holds out his hand)
I’d be honored.



They dance a simple box step between the desks.

Dance with me

 


FADE TO BLACK

 

Next time on Crossing Jordan:

"Up In Smoke"

Up In Smoke

Trailer by Cissou


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