EXT. MAIN STREET, SMALL TOWN - DAY
A freight truck of late 1950's vintage pulls to the side of
the road in a small rural town. A handsome, well-built man
gets out of the passenger side and thanks the Driver. THE
NEWCOMER carries his coat over his shoulder and a beat-up
suitcase; he's got a jut jaw and a modified pompadour, his
shirtsleeves are rolled all the way up past his biceps. He
wipes his brow against the sweltering heat and looks around.
[Until noted below, this section of the movie is in BLACK &
I get outta the truck in this two-
bit town. I got no money and no
prospects. What I need right now is
a stiff drink, a cold shower, and a
hot broad. I'll take 'em in any order
EXT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY
Old three story gothic house in ill-repair beyond a peeling
picket fence and a scruffy yard. The sign says -- ROOMS TO
RENT. The Newcomer goes in the gate.
...Oh yeah, one other thing I need --
He squints through the dirty screen door but sees nothing,
then knocks and turns away to survey the neighborhood.
I was thinking -- if it weren't for
bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck
Can I help you?
The Newcomer turns toward the door. Standing there, holding
the screen open, is the LANDLADY. She's a knockout in a cheap,
small-town way: a cotton dress that buttons down the front
and clings with sweat to her generous curves.
Either my luck had just changed, or
Fate just bought me another round of
INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY
The Newcomer's POV of the Landlady as she leads him up the
narrow, gloomy stairs from the second floor to the third
story / attic. She has a Monroe-like sway to her walk. We
can barely HEAR her DISTANT, ECHOEY DIALOGUE:
...not very fancy... house needs
repairs... We haven't had a man around
here for so long...
She kept yammerin' the whole time,
but her hips were doing all the
The Landlady reaches the tiny landing at the top of the stairs
and opens a door to a squalid room with a bed, bureau and
tiny window. The Newcomer has to squeeze by her voluptuous
body to get inside and look around. It doesn't take long.
His gaze returns to the Landlady who is leaning against the
door, chest thrust forward. He focusses on her fingers, toying
with the button at her sweat-shiny cleavage.
It couldn't 'a been any clearer what
the set-up was. The next move was up
The Newcomer takes a step in the Landlady's direction --
Don't tell me!
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - (PRESENT) DAY
CLOSE-UP of MUMFORD wincing.
-- That's all the time we have.
(indicates his watch)
We see Mumford's office: the office of a Psychologist, a
therapist with a doctorate. It's modest, comfortable, neat,
with a calm, relaxed ambience. [The movie is now in COLOR.]
His patient, HENRY FOLLETT, looks nothing like The Newcomer
in the soft-core fantasy he's been narrating. Instead, he's
a mild-looking pharmacist with glasses and a receding
hairline. Only the voice is the same; it's as studly as his
fantasy alter-ego. Follett has been lying on a couch, but
now has twisted with some irritation to look at Mumford.
I have eighteen more minutes!
I don't want to hear any more today.
Mr. Follett, do you trust me or don't
Well, I don't know... I only been
seeing you --
Without trust, there's no point to
any of this. You might as well not
Now hold on, I didn't say I didn't
want to come --
Good, then go.
INT. LILY'S CAFÉ- DAY
Lunch crowd. Mumford can be seen out the big front window,
crossing from the two-story building that houses his office
on the main drag of this small town which, oddly enough, is
also called Mumford. He comes inside and goes to the counter
to pick up some take-out. The Proprietor is a woman around
forty named LILY, who talks to him as she works.
You're early... it's not ready. What
My patient had to leave early.
Who was that?
She comes over to the register with an order. Mumford is
am[...] her, likes her a lot.
Does the phrase "nosy" have any
meaning to you, Lily?
I think it's like... inquisitive.
It was Henry Follett.
Man, you see him a lot. And it's
very wrong to reveal it. Next you'll
be saying what his problem is.
What do you want to know?
You're terrible. I'm never telling
A Patron passes on the way out.
Hey, Doc... how's it going?
Fine, Vincent... how's yourself?
How long you been in this town?
Oh, I don't know...
Four months, two and a half weeks --
that's how long.
(Mumford gives her a
And you've already got more patients
than those other two shrinks combined.
Lily, I don't think even you could
know that --
Lily sees something out the window.
Look at that guy...
Mumford turns to look out the window. A young man of about
30, in jeans and a Hawaiian shirt, is skateboarding down the
street at high speed, weaving in and out amongst the cars.
He zips past the front of the restaurant.
You know who that is, don't you?
(Mumford does not)
You really don't? That's Skip
Skipperton, man. He gets himself hit
by a truck, this whole town shuts
Oh, so that's him? The Panda Man.
LILY hands over Mumford's bagged order, rings it up. Back on
So, what makes you so popular? What's
(takes his bag to go)
You like me. How come?
Not sure. Let me think about it.
Mumford is smiling as he goes out. Another Patron, LIONEL
DILLARD, a lawyer, brings his check to Lily, watching Mumford
cross the street. Lily can't stand this guy.
That's the new psychiatrist?
Psychologist. He's not medical.
Probably thinks he's pretty smart.
Lily gives him a look as she takes his money.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
An overweight, teenage girl named NESSA WATKINS is on
Mumford's couch. She fidgets as she talks and can't decide
whether to lie down (so she's looking away from him) or sit
up and face him. She plays with an unlit cigarette and keeps
taking out a lighter, then stuffing it back in her big, sloppy
...so he already had the tattoo that
said, "Naomi Forever"... and now
they're broken up, see, and he has
to have it removed. But while the
scar is still healing, or whatever
you call it when you have a tattoo
removed, he meets Chandra. And it's
serious, immediate love. So in no
time, he's gone from the most gorgeous
model in the world to the most
gorgeous actress in North America.
What do you mean, "in no time"?
In maybe three or four issues.
Weekly or monthly?
Monthly! God, how shallow do you
think Brad is? Why do I waste my
time telling you this stuff?
Why do you think you tell me, Nessa?
Don't do that thing...
...that shrink thing.
It's a big part of the show.
She jams the cigarette in her mouth and flames the lighter,
but is afraid to actually break his rules.
You really need to let people smoke
in here, you know. It's perverse.
What are they paying you to see me?
Mumford indicates "nothing".
The school board doesn't pay you?
What kind of deal is that?
It's called pro bono.
(he waits her out)
Pro bono, huh? For whose good,
It's my bit for the community.
Fuck the community.
(he won't go for it)
There was this article my friends
and I read. It was "25 Signs He's
Great in Bed". It was very
Where was this?
Where?... The New York Times. The
first one was -- "he handles produce
well." Which we already knew!
(an expression she
The point is, you have a lot of the
You been spying on me in the
Have women found you attractive?
I knew you wouldn't answer. I've
been thinking about what you said
last time. How me trying to lose
weight -- and constantly not -- is
like a lot of people with addictions.
How maybe I can't lose the weight,
Which we already knew...
That's not quite what I said --
It's a really weird thing for a shrink
to say... and then you said maybe
people'd be happier if they'd accept
that some things don't change --
that it'd be some kind of a relief
Well, I guess I'm just a dumb bitch,
but how depressing is that moment --
the moment when you give up?
EXT. HIKING TRAIL, MOUNTAIN FOREST - MAGIC
The last rays of sun are fighting their way through the trees
as Mumford comes up the trail he clearly knows very well.
EXT. BIG ROCK LOOKOUT POINT - MAGIC
Mumford climbs out on the Big Rock, settles himself on the
edge and takes a long drink from a water bottle.
WHAT HE SEES: far below at the foot of these hills, lights
just twinkling on, is the town of Mumford. He stares at it
for several long moments. Then he takes a small headlamp
from his pack and fits the straps over his head (it looks
like a miner's light). He twists the light on to test it and
turns his head to watch the beam move about.
WE CUT BACK WIDE. After a beat, Mumford settles back and
turns off the light.
INT. SCATTERGOOD'S TAVERN - NIGHT
The place is quietly busy with the regulars. Mumford has a
favorite spot at the far end of the bar. Right now he's
sitting alone, reading the remnants of a newspaper.
SKIP SKIPPERTON, the man on the skateboard, comes in. Everyone
in the bar is surprised to see Skip in here. Several patrons
greet him as he makes his way deeper inside, looking around.
He's uncomfortable. He seems relieved when he spots Mumford
and heads back there. Mumford doesn't notice Skip waiting
for his attention.
Mumford looks up, smiles. Skip offers his hand.
You're Doc Mumford.
How are you?
Fine. Okay. Pretty good. I've been
hoping we'd meet. I've heard a lot
Mumford waits, friendly. Skip runs out of gas, gets uneasy,
Do you think we could...? Can I buy
you a drink?
LATER. IN A BOOTH near the back. They've been at it a while,
but nothing is clear to Mumford, yet. Skip keeps his voice
down; he doesn't want anyone else in the bar to hear him.
..."Find the need and fill it" my
dad used to say -- I guess a lot of
dads say that -- but I did and it
just took off.
No kidding... Panda. Where'd that
Panda? I've always liked giant
pandas... I've been to China and
seen them in the wild. That's the
kind of thing I can do if I want...
now. I can do pretty much anything I
want to do these days.
Skip stares into his beer for a moment, as though the thought
depresses him. He catches himself and snaps back --
So now we make 23% of the modems in
the market, which is pretty good.
Skip glances around, leans in, confidential.
When I was growing up here, the town
was about dead. The timber business
was played out... Panda changed all
that. Now, just about everybody in
town either works for the company or
depends on it somehow. Which is kinda
Mumford waits, watches. Skip gets uncomfortable.
Would you like another beer?
(brightens, like a
Far out. Single malt?
Can I pick it?
Skip heads off to the bar. Mumford looks around. Everybody
LATER. The bar crowd has thinned. Both Mumford and Skip have
had a few. In fact, Mumford is now carefully pouring them
each another drink from a bottle of Glensomething on the
You want me... to be... your friend.
Skip beams. Mumford leans forward in the same confidential
way Skip did before; he indicates that Skip should lean in
too. Mumford is almost whispering --
But that's not what's really going
(Skip is excited)
...What's really going on is... you
have some problems and you want some
therapy, but you feel it could be
very bad for Panda Modem stock if
word got out that you were having
Skip confirms that's it.
Can I ask you a personal question?
Of course! That's exactly what I
Have you thought about getting a
Skip makes a face and gesture to indicate a large "YES!",
but also total frustration and failure.
When Panda started to happen, I was
dating women from New York, San
Francisco, L.A. They came out of the
woodwork. Models, actresses, venture
capitalists... These were not the
kind of girls who were interested in
me before I hit it... And you know
what I discovered? I discovered these
girls did not love me for myself.
The majority of them didn't even
like me. But a lot of them would've
gladly become Mrs. Skipperton for a
while. Can you imagine that --
marrying someone just because they've
Mumford considers that.
I gotta pee.
(he gets up, a little
Can I ask you something? This town
is called Mumford... Been that way
since... 18... 18-0... 18-0...
(Mumford: if you say
Now here's the question -- Your name
is Mumford, too.
Is that the question?
You moved here from back East and
your name is the same as this town.
Is that right?
Skip takes a few steps toward the men's room, then comes
back and leans down toward Mumford.
I hope you don't think I want you to
do this for free. Just because we're
gonna play it like we're friends,
doesn't mean I won't pay you like a
I have a lot of money. Do you know
how much money I've got?
Don't tell me, 'cause I'm not going
to tell you what I've got.
I've got three big ones.
I'm impressed. I couldn't make three
million dollars if I lived three
No, no... I have three billion
Skip stumbles off to take a leak. Mumford takes a moment to
digest that. It's difficult.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
Mumford is listening to Lionel, the arrogant lawyer who asked
about him in the restaurant. Lionel is lying on the couch,
talking with enormous energy; he has a serious superiority
complex. Mumford can't stand him and the session seems to be
lasting an eternity.
...so I'm watching Brokaw and they've
got some astronomer, this little
limey know-it-all, and he's telling
how, with this Himball telescope,
they've discovered there are maybe
400 million more galaxies than they
thought there were. And I guess that's
supposed to make me feel small? I'm
supposed to feel insignificant? Is
that the point? Because I can tell
you it didn't.
Mumfords eyes dart to look at --
THE CLOCK on the bookshelf: 2:23
Lionel, since this is our first
session together, maybe --
Lionel is twisting his neck around painfully to look back at
-- you can sit up and look at me if
you'd like --
(Lionel waves that
off and looks away)
-- maybe it would be helpful if you
told me a little about what brought
Kind of impatient for a big-time
headshrinker, aren't you? How 'bout
you let me explain it my own way...
As Lionel goes on, Mumford's eyes again dart toward -- THE
CLOCK: still 2:23! Hold on it. Finally, it moves. Mumford's
eyes dart toward his desk --
A deadly-looking letter opener in the shape of Excalibur
stands GLINTING LIGHT in a marble rendition of Arthur's stone.
...and in the dream, it's always the
same, I wake up in my room from when
I was I kid in Ohio, and I realize
this is the day of the big exam at
Mumford's head rocks slowly back for a moment as if he's
going to drift off. He snaps back to life and stares hard at
the top of Lionel's head, where there is a bald spot starting
to take hold. The sound of LIONEL'S VOICE begins to echo --
...which is no problem for me, because
I remembered it was coming and I've
attended every class, so I'm totally
prepared. Then I see myself running
down the hall at school...
MUMFORD'S GLANCE FLASHPANS from Lionel's bald spot to the
gleaming letter opener.
Mumford closes his eyes. We CUT TO:
INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
A boy, unmistakably the Young Lionel, runs down the deserted
hallway toward a bright doorway. [LIONEL'S DREAM has a BLUE
...but it's not really my school --
and this is very interesting -- it's
the school from the next district --
-- Go on!
INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM - DAY
Young Lionel comes breathlessly in the classroom door and
And even though I arrive a little
bit early, everybody's already there.
But the surprising part is --
WHAT YOUNG LIONEL SEES: Everyone in the class, including the
Teacher in the front, is naked. The Teacher holds out an
exam toward Young Lionel.
-- I'm the only one who's prepared!
INT. WAITING ROOM, MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
ALTHEA BROCKETT, a woman in her forties, sits on the couch
reading a mail order catalogue for home furnishings. There
are several other catalogues sticking out of her jammed,
The door to Mumford's inner office opens with some force.
Mumford stands looking back across his office at Lionel, who
is getting up from the couch in some confusion.
-- you crazy? You can't do this!
Sure I can, Lionel.
I'm a criminal lawyer -- you think I
like my clients? I can't stand most
of them! But I don't kick them out...
See that sign -- We retain the right
to refuse service to anyone. I'm not
going to charge you for this session,
but I don't want to see you back
Lionel looks around, but there is no such sign. He does spot
Althea watching the show from the couch.
Don't you at least have a back door
I can use?
Come out this way. There's no shame
in getting a little therapy... is
Althea stands up, smiling. She thinks Mumford is the bee's
Not at all. It takes guts, Lionel.
Lionel steams by them in a black mood.
Maybe some of us don't need this
And it's the Hubble Telescope, not
the Himball Telescope.
Lionel bangs out the front door. Mumford motions Althea inside --
Jeez... what an asshole.
Althea heads inside, giggling wildly. She can't get enough
of this guy.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE -DAY
Althea is sobbing. Mumford hands her a new Kleenex from the
box next to the couch. She wads it with her current one and
tries to stop crying. Mumford settles back in his chair,
What do they want from me?
What have I done that's so wrong?
(pulling it together)
They act as though they don't have
their own peculiar things... They
do! Believe me. Everybody's got
(looks at Mumford)
Even you probably have things.
Me more than most.
Why are they ganging up against me?
I'm not sure. But I think they're
worried about you.
It's the kids, you know, not Jeremy.
He had nothing to do with this --
except pay, of course. He's always
willing to pay. He's extremely
(a long beat)
I'm so humiliated that my own children
would threaten me.
How did they threaten you?
They said if I didn't get help, they
wouldn't deal with me any more.
(a beseeching look)
What do you think about that?
Althea stares at him a long moment. She knows he's right.
Tears well up in her eyes and roll down her cheeks. She grabs
another Kleenex. In the midst of the torrent she tries to
talk, but it's undecipherable:
Althea uses three new tissues to dry up her face.
I said... you must come out to the
house for dinner on Thursday.
Really? You think so?
Yes. Jeremy will be home for the
weekend. And you can meet the kids.
Mumford considers, then nods his assent.
EXT. MUMFORD'S STREET - MAGIC
Mumford hurries up the sidewalk carrying two grocery bags.
He's late. The modest houses are close together on this pretty
street, which rises out of the main business district, seen
EXT. THE DUPLEX HOUSE - MAGIC
Mumford comes to the house where he lives. He heads down the
driveway toward the stairs that lead up to his apartment.
The front yard is completely fenced. Lily, the owner of the
restaurant, is almost visible in there working among the
greenery of a lush garden. Her friendly dog, AINGE, sees
Mumford, leaps easily over the fence and does a circle around
Mumford, who has no free hand to pet him.
How ya doin', Ainge? Evenin', Lily.
(doesn't look up)
The dog leaps gracefully back into the yard. Mumford hurries
up the stairs.
INT. MUMFORD'S APARTMENT - MAGIC
Mumford comes in and puts the bags down on the kitchen
counter. He goes directly to the table by his main chair and
picks up the TV remote. He switches it on and changes the
channel. The opening segment of UNSOLVED MYSTERIES is just
beginning. It previews the stories on that evening's episode --
disappearances and unclosed cases -- with Robert Stack
CLOSE ON MUMFORD'S FACE as he watches. Only when the whole
show has been previewed does he seem to relax. He leaves the
show on as he goes into the kitchen and begins unloading the
INT. COOK'S HARDWARE STORE - DAY
Mumford is comparing different stepladders. MR. COOK, the
sixty-ish proprietor, has been watching from a distance, but
(doesn't really know
Could you come with me please?
Mystified, Mumford follows Cook through the door into the
BACK OF THE STORE. Cook motions for Mumford to take the seat
of honor in the work area, but Mumford prefers to stand.
Cook has a little trouble figuring how to start. Finally --
I know I shoulda come to your office.
I was gonna, actually, but then when
you walked in here today...
It's my daughter Sofie... she's gotta
We're not sure. She's been to all
kinds of doctors in the city and
they've said different things. Some
of 'em are callin' it --
(wants to get this
-- Epstein-Barr virus, and the rest
are callin' it... Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome... Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
That's it -- syndrome. So you know
all about it?
No... a little. There's a lot of
debate about it.
Yeah, I got that. Some people think
it's all in their heads.
It's been so bad she's had to move
back here to Mumford and live with
us. And I'm not sure that's the best
Oh... a lot of things. Several
different factors. Will you see her,
Sure. Why don't you bring her up to
my office at 3 tomorrow afternoon.
Cook nods, but looks worried.
I'm not sure she'll come. She's in a
mood. Do you ever go to somebody's
Generally that doesn't work out so
well. It sends the wrong message to
people who need to make a change.
Cook is quick to agree; he doesn't want to make waves. But
EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY
Mumford is walking up the busy sidewalk carrying his new 5-
foot stepladder hooked on his shoulder. Folks greet him.
Suddenly Lionel appears in front of Mumford, who stops.
You've got to have the right ladder
for the job. You don't know what
you're doing, you can get yourself
You're right, as usual. See you.
Mumford continues up the street. We STAY WITH Lionel, who
watches Mumford with a sour look, then turns to enter a small
INT. DR. DELBANCO'S OFFICE - DAY
DR. ERNEST DELBANCO, a middle-aged psychiatrist with longish,
vanity hair, and PHYLLIS SHEELER, a psychologist in her
thirties, sit on the doctor's comfortable furniture,
listening. The remains of their take-out lunch is on the
coffee table. They seem a little impatient with their as-yet-
unseen visitor --
...completely inappropriate and highly
unprofessional. Now I don't want to
presume to tell you how to run your
Lionel is sitting across the room, making an ardent case --
-- Whatever. Six months ago, you two
were the only games in town. The
value of your...
..."practices" could be seriously
undermined by this bozo. A town this
size has only so many headcases to
What exactly would you have us do,
Protect your turf! Check this guy
out. I smell a rat, I tell you.
Delbanco and Sheeler exchange a look; they find Lionel
Mr. Dillard, I'm sure Dr. Delbanco
shares my gratitude for your concern.
But I also know he'd agree that you
misunderstand the nature of our
calling to mental health. We're not
in some... widget business, trying
to crush our competition.
What the hell's a widget?
INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE DR. DELBANCO'S OFFICE - DAY
Lionel comes out of the office, miffed, and goes down the
stairs. A moment later, the door opens slightly and Delbanco
peeks out to make sure Lionel is gone. He closes the door on
INT. DR. DELBANCO'S OFFICE - DAY
Delbanco stands at the door looking across the room at
What an asshole!
Ernest, what do you think?
I think he's got a point.
So does she.
EXT. BASEBALL DIAMOND - DAY
Idyllic. The beautifully manicured field is surrounded by
lush woods. Standing about forty feet apart, Mumford and
Skip are alone on the field throwing a baseball back and
forth. For quite a while the only sounds are the birds, the
wind, and the regular SLAP of ball into glove. Finally --
This is great!
This is exactly what I wanted.
Skip, you must have lots of people
you can throw a ball with.
You'd be surprised. Most guys have
kids or wives or girlfriends. They're
busy. It's not as easy as you think.
Skip, you're the head of the whole
deal here. Are they busier than you?
Well, you know... that's the thing.
Like I said, just about everybody in
town works for me. And it's just not
the same asking someone to throw a
ball when they work for you. It's
like an order or something... And no
one -- no one -- asks me.
Mumford considers. SLAP... SLAP... SLAP.
So, would you say we're out here...
let me think how to put this... Is
your problem really that you're...
Don't you like this?
Hell yes, I like it. What's better
than this? Most guys would kill just
to have someone do this with them
whenever they like.
Have you got a lot of friends?
Lily and I talk a bit. You know Lily,
runs the coffee shop?
No... I've seen her. Good-looking
She's probably ten years older than
Lives downstairs from me. She's got
a great dog named for Danny Ainge.
(sparks to that)
Really? I'm the only person I know
that likes Danny Ainge, outside of
Celtic fans. Maybe Phoenix.
Well, there's Lily.
Did you know that Danny Ainge was
drafted by the Blue Jays? Do you
know what kind of athlete you have
to be to play in the NBA and in the
...And Lily named her dog after him?
What kind of person do you have to
be to do this?
Mumford gestures off in the one direction we have not yet
REVERSE ANGLE: The baseball diamond is sitting in the vast,
lush grounds behind the PANDA MODEM WORLD HEADQUARTERS, a
brand new, distinctively original, high-tech office park.
Wherever there is an opportunity for tasteful signage, it is
in the motif of a Giant Panda -- sweet white face, black
eyes and ears, round body.
Skip is suddenly self-conscious, embarrassed.
I would've traded any of it to have
made the Mumford High varsity.
Mumford takes that in. SLAP... SLAP.
So I guess Henry Follett is a patient
of yours. He's my pharmacist.
Guy's got some serious sex fantasies.
Skip is a little surprised to hear this from Mumford, but he
just throws the ball.
Pretty good, too. Lots of detail.
Nothing hard core. Old-fashioned
ones, from back when people cared
about atmosphere and character.
Problem is, his fantasy life's a lot
better than his real one. Nothing
can live up to it. His wife got sick
of it and left him. Took his kids
I wondered what happened to her...
Skip is fascinated, but a little uncomfortable. Mumford seems
oblivious, unusually talkative --
Of course, it's not that simple.
There's something powerful going on
there. We've got a lot of work to
It's hit to the warning track!
For the first time, Mumford throws the ball way high, like a
long fly ball. Skip, delighted as a dog, takes off running
and just barely catches it on the run. He pegs it back to
In these fantasies, Henry Follett is
played by a handsome guy with biceps.
Can you imagine that? Where your
self-esteem has to be?
(throws him the ball)
Man, I'd just like to move the guy
to the point where he gets to appear
in his own fantasies.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
Silence. Nessa sits staring at Mumford defiantly, an unlit
cigarette in her mouth. Mumford looks at the clock -- 3:00 --
and stands up, session over. Nessa quickly lights her
cigarette with the lighter concealed in her hand and stands
up too. She exhales a huge cloud of smoke and walks quickly
to the back door of the office, which Mumford has opened for
her, and goes out.
Mumford waves half-heartedly at the cloud of smoke as he
walks to the door to the waiting room and opens it.
MUMFORD'S POV: As the door swings open, the first figure we
see is Mr. Cook; he twists around at the sound of the door.
He acknowledges Mumford and then sighs as he steps aside to
reveal, sitting exhausted in a chair, his daughter --
SOFIE -- a young woman whose actual appearance is somewhat
disguised at present by her wan, ashen visage. She regards
Mumford with some resignation. Her father helps her out of
the chair. Sofie keeps her eyes on Mumford.
CLOSE ON Mumford, watching her.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
LATER. Mr. Cook is gone. Sofie is sitting up on the couch,
facing Mumford. She looks like she might pass out at any
moment, but her voice is stronger than you'd expect.
Feel free to lie down. Most people
I'd better not, I'll fall right to
sleep. I think it's too soon for me
to be sleeping with you.
A joke. Mumford smiles.
What can you tell me about this?
Oh, lord. It's almost too exhausting
to tell you...
(tiny smile, to herself)
...about my exhaustion. I didn't
really want to come. I'm not hopeful
right now. But I couldn't take the
look on my dad's face. He's a truly
kind person, which is pretty
extraordinary if you knew the story.
He's the opposite of me, I guess --
all stamina and resolve.
It's taken all her energy to say this and she sinks down a
bit into the couch.
When did you start to feel this way?
About six months ago, I guess it is
now. God, it seems like years. What
a bore! I'm embarrassed by it. Before
this happened -- when I'd hear people
talk about this kind of thing -- I
thought it was a bunch of bullshit.
She sees something in his face and suddenly laughs -- it's a
weak but magical sound.
You think that now! You think it's a
bunch of hooey, don't you?
I saw it. I saw it in your eyes.
Mumford is knocked off balance -- she's right. She saw him
That's okay. Maybe it is. My mother
always says -- "Everything that's
wrong with you is in your head." I
suppose that's true.
Back when this started, was there
anything unusual happening in your
life? A change of job, of living
situation... a loss of some kind?
No... but it started one year to the
day after my divorce became final.
That's not too suspicious, is it?...
But it wasn't like I was feeling bad
about the divorce. Just the opposite.
Hmm? Is that a professional opinion?
Hmm, as in -- that's interesting.
Sometimes, with enough clues, it's
possible to figure these things out.
Even if you don't think it's real?
I don't know what's real and what
isn't. That's never been my strong
suit. But if you're tired all the
time and you've had to give up the
life you were having and come back
home when you didn't want to... that's
worth trying to fix. Maybe I can
help you do that.
What would you do?
We... we would try several things.
But I need to see you a lot.
I don't know. I barely made it today.
I'll come to you. We'll try a little
Sofie suddenly looks defeated.
We'll take it slow. You'll never
feel you can't handle it.
I don't think I can afford it. I
don't want my dad paying.
We'll work it out.
Sofie gives him a long look.
You have the best answer for
You seem so... hopeful. Are you always
No one ever thought so. You must
bring it out.
Is it contagious? 'Cause everyone
agrees my immune system's way down.
Maybe you'll catch it.
Can I ask you something?
(Mumford: of course)
Didn't you tell my dad you didn't
think it was a good idea to come to
(he admits it)
So what changed?
Mumford just smiles. He doesn't want to tell her the truth --
EXT. BROCKETT HOUSE - MAGIC
A taxi drops Mumford in front of the Brockett's large and
beautiful house, which sits on an isolated lot on the
outskirts of town.
INT. HALLWAY TO BACK VERANDA, BROCKETT HOUSE - MAGIC
Althea leads Mumford toward the back of the lavishly appointed
house. The weird thing, what gets in the way of the decor,
is the cardboard boxes of all sizes which are stacked
everywhere. Many are unopened, but the rest are spilling
their styrofoam-nugget and bubble-wrap guts to reveal some
hint of their contents: a huge variety of catalogue-ordered
housewares, clothing, linens, gadgets, and knickknacks. If
it can be ordered from an upscale catalogue (and everything
can), it is here. Althea sounds very nervous, cheery.
-- sorry everything's in such an
uproar. Lots of big occasions coming
up, and of course Christmas is only
eight months away --
-- I don't know what's keeping Jeremy.
You know he stays in the city three
nights a week -- I guess I explained
...I know Katie's here, but I'm not
so sure about Martin... I'm making
dinner myself tonight, so I'll have
to leave you, I'm afraid...
EXT. REAR VERANDA, BROCKETT HOUSE - MAGIC
They come out onto the wide porch, which commands a
spectacular view of the surrounding countryside. There's an
elaborate bar cart out here, which Althea points Mumford
I'm awful I know, but will you please
help yourself. I just got a new copper
sauciere from Williams-Sonoma and
I'm afraid it'll be the death of us
all if I don't get back in there...
She disappears inside with a bang of the screen door. Mumford
gets a drink for himself, taking in the view. He sees
something out there.
MUMFORD'S POV: Way in the distance, coming out of the woods
and down toward the house is a teenage boy.
You're the doctor, aren't you?
Mumford turns to see that Althea's thirteen year old daughter
KATIE has silently appeared. Her jeans and little tee-shirt
are meant to be sexy; it seems sad on her. Mumford nods.
You must be Katie. People call me
C'mere. Quick... c'mon!
Mumford follows as she disappears around the corner of the
INT. SIDE HALL, BROCKETT HOUSE - MAGIC
Mumford follows Katie into a gloomy hall from a side entrance.
Here too, the walls are lined with boxes. She tiptoes to one
of two facing doors and waits for him.
When he has joined her, she motions him back a foot for
safety, then carefully opens the door to a large walk-in
closet. Katie's caution becomes understandable: the space is
packed so fully and chaotically with catalogue item cartons
that it might come tumbling out the door with one careless
move. Katie closes the door, then pirouettes to the opposing
door, which she swings open freely -- REVEALING: what was
once a study is now completely filled with hundreds of
cartons, in an infinite variety of shapes and sizes.
Mumford is taken aback. Katie points at packages and speaks
in a hypnotic WHISPER --
Cuddledown... Linen & Lace... Scully
& Scully... Smith & Hawken... Plow &
Hearth... Museum of Modern Art...
Smithsonian Museum... J. Crew...
Wolferman's... Hold Everything...
Nieman Marcus... Coldwater Creek...
Garnett Hill... Norm Thompson...
Victoria's Secret... Sharper Image...
EXT. REAR VERANDA, BROCKETT HOUSE - MAGIC
Just as Mumford and Katie come back around the corner, MARTIN,
Althea's sixteen year old son, crosses the yard and comes up
onto the porch. He's wearing an old black leather jacket
with a lot of zippers, dirty jeans and black Converse All-
Stars that are coming apart. In his hand, casually but
properly held, is a .22 caliber rifle. He looks Mumford over.
Is this him?
I showed him.
Do you get it now? This is no joke.
Mumford takes them both in and nods. He understands. Suddenly,
their manner changes, for the worse. What they can see that
Mumford cannot is JEREMY BROCKETT, Althea's husband, who has
come to the back screen door, with the bustle of a late
Hey, kids. Oh, hi.
Seeing Mumford, Jeremy steps out onto the porch to shake his
hand. Jeremy is quite handsome and a fantastic dresser; his
Armani outfit cost $4200 all in. His tone: hearty and strained --
You must be Dr. Mumford of Mumford.
Doc. Nice to meet you.
Sorry I'm late... traffic was a
motherfucker. Have another drink,
I'll be back in five.
Jeremy goes inside. Martin and Katie exchange a look with
each other, then to Mumford. Martin goes inside.
EXT. REAR VERANDA, BROCKETT HOUSE - NIGHT
LATER. Dinner is over. Jeremy comes out onto the veranda
carrying two Cuban cigars. His casual outfit is as stylish
and pricey as his work outfit. He joins Mumford and Althea,
who immediately gets up.
I'll be back.
She goes inside. The men each have a snifter of cognac. Jeremy
makes a ceremony of cutting the cigars --
I think you'll like this. Know much
about Cuban cigars?
Jeremy puts the cigars down, pulls a joint out of his cashmere
pullover and fires it up. After exhaling a huge cloud of
smoke, he offers the joint to Mumford, who declines.
Makes the whole thing that much
Jeremy takes another hit on the joint and puts it down. He
gives a cigar and his gold lighter to Mumford, who begins to
light up --
Just hold the flame a little bit
below the end... that's it... now
just turn it slowly as you draw...
Mumford does as he's told. Jeremy lights his own cigar.
Are you a man who likes to treat
I've had my moments.
I am. And I'm not ashamed of it.
Nobody ever said on their death bed --
"I treated myself too well."
I thought it was -- Nobody ever said,
"I should have spent more time at
Fill in the blank. I don't mind the
office. The point is, you only go
'round once. Like the Zens say -- Be
What do you do?
Althea hasn't told you?
We've been talking about her, mostly.
Well, in '85 four of us left our
firms and formed an investment banking
venture. We've got twenty-three people
working there now.
You've done well.
The marijuana is kicking in now -- Jeremy gets a self-
satisfied, condescending look on his face that no straight
mind would dare. His response includes their lavish immediate
We've done... very well. You know
anything about addiction, Doc?
Well, I'm addicted to winning. I say
when you're in the red zone, you
(watches Mumford smoke)
So what do you think?
No... I mean about Althea. About
(makes a face)
...behavior. Do you think you can
fix her up?
What do you think's wrong with her?
She's gone weird is what's wrong
with her. Out of control. Probably
from living out here in Mayberry.
Jeremy blows cigar smoke into his snifter, then takes a
mouthful of cognac, savoring the sensations. Mumford watches,
fascinated by this guy.
You're the doctor, what do you think?
She seems very unhappy.
Jeremy gives him a look, as if to say "duh."
I think we all knew that, professor.
The question... the real --
(drawn out, stoned)
-- quest-tio-nee... is... why?
Mumford looks at him a long time.
EXT. ROAD INTO MUMFORD - NIGHT
Jeremy Brockett's Mercedes 500 SL whips around a curve.
INT. BROCKETT'S MERCEDES - NIGHT
Martin is driving Mumford back to town.
But you know how to drive?
Got a license?
But no car?
Don't need it.
I just got my license two weeks ago.
I been drivin' since I was twelve.
That would explain it.
Can you help Mom?
They drive in silence for a bit. Then --
Nessa Watkins... She comes to you,
doesn't she? You're treating her,
Mumford gives him a surprised look, then acknowledges it.
What's wrong with her?
Is she a friend of yours?
No... sort of. Man, she could be
cool, but all she does is get wrecked
and do all the guys. She's blowin'
them in the parking lot.
Mumford knew that.
A person's got to hate themselves to
act like that.
Mumford regards Martin with respect, then turns to look out
front. After a few moments --
Have you ever met a bigger shithead
than my stepfather?
EXT. THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
Lily is walking Ainge as the Mercedes pulls up and Mumford
gets out. Ainge runs happily around the car and puts his
paws up on the driver's door to greet Martin; we HEAR the
clicking SCRATCH of his nails on the surface. Martin rubs
the dog's head.
That's okay. Jeremy won't mind. Good
The dog obediently leaves Martin and runs back to Lily.
Mumford waves as Martin pulls away.
Do we run into the street? No, I
didn't think so.
(looks after Martin)
Nice car. How's that place?
It's a pretty piece of land.
They walk up the block with the dog.
And the Brocketts?
Horror show. What'd you do tonight?
It was insane here, man. 'Hadda call
in the National Guard.
Then I did my laundry... watched
Shocking. Did you know the government
You heard it here first. Oh, and
being a supermodel... it's no walk
in the park.
Why do you watch?
No gentleman caller, Doc.
(they turn back)
Not that I care. I've had it with
men. They're so fascinated by their
own crap. Took me four years to get
the last one out. Almost turned me
into a dyke... These days my idea of
a hot date is a long shower by myself
before bed. Now that feels good. And
you don't have to do all that...
Oops... sorry. I guess that's the
story of your life.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
TIGHT ON COMPUTER SCREEN. A health information "library"
website has been called up on Mumford's office computer.
Right now it's beginning to spew information about "CHRONIC
FATIGUE SYNDROME" -- Definitions, Signs and Symptoms,
Diagnostic Measures, etc.
Mumford is hunched over the computer, reading avidly. His
printer is churning out hard copies.
EXT. FRONT PORCH, COOK HOUSE - DAY
Mumford comes out the front door and holds it open for Sofie.
He offers his arm and she takes it tentatively.
I'm not making any promises.
We'll turn back anytime you want.
Oh boy... this should be interesting.
Mumford looks out toward the street. A woman in her fifties
is turning into the front walk. She stares at them, unsmiling,
as the two parties converge. She is MRS. COOK.
Hello, Mother. I want you to meet
Mumford... like the town?
(offering his hand)
Yes. It's nice to meet you, Mrs.
She finally takes his hand, but it's not friendly.
What's happening here?
We're going for a walk.
Do you think that's a good idea?
Dr. Mumford does, yes. I've put myself
completely in his hands. For today,
What kind of doctor are you?
Oh... not a real doctor.
That's right, the fake kind.
Mrs. Cook is not amused. Sofie pulls on Mumford.
We'd better go or I'm liable to bail
on the whole thing.
Mrs. Cook steps aside as they move up the walk.
EXT. SIDEWALK, NEAR THE COOK HOUSE - DAY
Mumford and Sofie, foreground, walk slowly up the block. In
the background, Mrs. Cook watches for awhile before going
Mom's such a cutie.
People usually have to get to know
me before they hate me.
She's not in a bad mood. She's like
that all the time.
It doesn't bother me anymore. It's
my dad and my brother I worry about.
Maybe... but you're the one whose
ass is dragging.
Is that the technical description of
what I've got?
Is she against you getting help?
We don't discuss it.
Something's bothering her.
Oh, we've all disappointed her. Me,
especially, but Dad, of course. She
thinks my brother's all right, but
she didn't expect much. It's what
happens when you "marry beneath
Sofie suddenly seems to be fading.
Please... forgive me.
Negative thinking makes everything
more difficult. If you're going to
have enough strength to do this, we
have to talk only about positive
things. All right?
She looks at him, unsure if he's serious. It seems so corny.
But she agrees.
Okay then... Are you positive your
mother's a bitch?
(she laughs, surprised)
You've got a funny idea of funny.
I've offended you!
Really? What would it take?
She laughs again; surprised again. He's got her off balance
makes a "rim shot" sound.
Is this the treatment?
Sorry... I'm done.
'Cause I'll tell you, none of the
others have tried this approach.
They've come to the corner. He gestures to ask -- "shall we
cross?" She considers for quite a while, gauging her strength,
then, still on his arm, steps off the curb --
Hey, 'Just do it!'
THEY CROSS OUT OF FRAME as we HEAR:
I want you to tell me all your
EXT. PATH BY RIVER - DAY
ANOTHER DAY. They're dressed differently. Sofie seems more
I'm embarrassed. The list is so long.
Well... I'm tired all the time,
obviously. I always feel like taking
a nap. But when I try to sleep, I
My muscles ache. And my joints. I
feel like an old person, or like I
did back when I used to work out too
hard... What else?...
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
CLOSE ON COMPUTER SCREEN. Under the list of Signs and
Symptoms: "Sore throat."
ON THE SCREEN: "Low grade fever... Painful lymph glands...
Low grade fever?
EXT. PATH BY RIVER - DAY
Painful lymph glands?
Forget fulness... irritability...
Yes, yes, and definitely yes. Also...
I get confused.
Yeah, most people have that. It's
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC FIELD - DAY
ANOTHER DAY. Mumford is leading Sofie through the lightest
set of calisthenics ever devised. Now they're doing waist
bends and arm waving. Even so, it's taking everything Sofie's
I don't know if I mentioned the
Did you get headaches before this?
But you get more now? Or more severe?
No, not really. They're about the
same. My marriage was one long
So the headaches may not even be a
part of this?
She considers that, reluctantly agrees.
I can give myself a headache
Is that like a party trick?
All I have to do is have two
conflicting thoughts at the same
time... Like I'll think -- 'Taking
these walks is going to help Sofie
get better.' But then I'll also think --
'Mumford, you just enjoy taking these
walks and you're kidding yourself
about the benefits.'
Sofie's not sure how to take that. She looks away.
There... I've given myself a real
You actually address yourself by
name in your thoughts?
So you really think having two
opposing ideas in your head does
some kind of damage?
Sometimes, yeah... pulling in two
different directions at once. It
makes tiny little tears in our fabric.
Well then, my life has been some
kind of huge rip.
INT. BOARDING HOUSE (IN HENRY FOLLETT'S FANTASY) - DAY
The handsome Newcomer of Follett's fantasy comes down the
steps from the attic wearing a sleeveless undershirt, towel
thrown over his shoulder. He goes into the bathroom off the
second floor hall and begins to wash up. [Again, Follett's
fantasy world is in BLACK & WHITE.]
The town was a rube's heaven, but I
found work my first day out down at
Old Man Sutter's gas station and
diner. I knew his stacked young wife
was going to be a problem, but, hey,
life is full of problems. Back at
the boarding house, I was washing up
when I heard a load of yellin' and --
IN THE BATHROOM MIRROR, the Newcomer's POV: a nubile teenager,
17 going on 35, in a tight cheerleader's outfit, comes up
the stairs and stops at the top to turn and yell back down
at her mother. Her dialogue distant and echoey:
...get off my case! You don't like
any of my friends...
...I got my first look at the
The LANDLADY'S DAUGHTER looks up and sees the Newcomer
watching her through the half-open bathroom door. She gives
him a petulant, white-hot look, then turns on her heel and
goes into her room at that end of the hall. She bangs her
door behind her, but it bounces open again about a foot. The
Newcomer, still watching in the bathroom mirror, now has a
view of the bureau mirror in the Landlady's Daughter's room.
In there, seemingly oblivious, the girl quickly strips off
the top of her outfit, revealing a '50's-era white bra.
Lucky for me, she was plenty upset
but not too careful.
Suddenly, in mirror reflection of mirror, the Landlady's
Daughter meets the Newcomer's smoldering stare and her lip
begins to curl.
Or maybe it wasn't an accident at
-- 'cause in that instant I saw the
beginning of a vixen's smile and I
Mysteriously, the door to the girl's bedroom slams shut,
cutting off the Newcomer's view. He looks with surprise into
his mirror -- it suddenly shatters.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
Follett sits up abruptly on the couch and twists toward
Why? I'm paying for this.
Not for this. Not me, you're not.
You find it distasteful, don't you?
It doesn't matter how I feel about
it. It's how you feel about it that
I enjoy it. Does that make me some
kind of pervert? Just because a man
has a rich imaginative life --
You didn't come to me because you
have a rich imagination.
You came because it's taking over.
You're in its grip.
I never said that.
Mumford's tone suddenly picks up a touch of steel.
Where's your wife, Henry?
Follett flinches, settles back down onto the couch, sulking.
Where's your wife, Henry?
Go to hell.
I didn't hear you.
Follett mutters something to himself, then is silent until --
We got divorced.
I had to get rid of her. She couldn't
(shouts, Follett jumps)
Follett seems to shrink in size. They've been here before
and he doesn't like it.
I was... never satisfied.
Now we're back on track.
Again, Follett says something under his breath.
You are so mean.
EXT. HIKING TRAIL - MAGIC
Mumford strides up the trail on his late day excursion. He
comes around a bend and is surprised to find Skip waiting
for him, looking serious.
Doc. I know we're not supposed to
get together till Wednesday...
That's all right. What's on your
Mumford indicates that Skip should walk with him up the trail.
How many sessions have we had now,
(Mumford tries to
Six. And it's been good... like we
were two buddies hanging out. Just
shootin' the shit.
They walk in silence for a while.
This is really hard. Everything I
want to say is hard...
EXT. BIG ROCK LOOKOUT POINT - MAGIC
Mumford and Skip come out of the trees, climb onto the big
rock, and settle down. The sun is falling over the town of
...We're like friends, almost... who
trust each other.
He checks Mumford's reaction. Mumford nods, offers Skip water,
who turns it down. Mumford takes a swig.
I want to tell you something, Doc,
but before I do, I need to ask you a
question... Because, for me to tell
you this thing -- well, I haven't
told anybody about this. It's the
biggest secret I've got.
Sometimes it's best to keep a few
things just for ourselves.
You're a shrink, Doc. Aren't I
supposed to be able to tell you
It's just a thought.
Skip, even more unsure now, looks away, at the town below.
That really relates to the thing I
want to ask you... I've noticed that
sometimes, not a lot, but sometimes,
when we're hanging out, throwin' the
ball... or that time we went
bowling... sometimes you'll like --
(gets it out fast --)
-- tell me things about your other
Mumford lets that hang a few moments, then acknowledges it
silently. Now Skip is even more nervous.
Hey, maybe that's all right! I don't
know all that much about psychology
or therapy or... ethics, so maybe
there's something I missed... or
You're concerned that maybe I can't
be trusted with a secret.
I trust you. Definitely. No question.
But, yeah, I'm a little concerned. I
mean, you're not supposed to tell
anyone about your patients'
problems... are you?
Mumford looks at Skip for a long moment.
That is correct, Skip. I'm going to
have to take a long look at that.
The conversation seems to end there. Skip's not sure where
to go next. Finally --
Yeah, well... what I was gonna tell
-- Skip. Knowing what you do about
Doc, I trust you! You've listened to
me better than anybody... maybe ever.
(leans in, intense)
And this secret I've got, I can't
stand it anymore. I don't know if
I'm some kind of --
Skip looks around at the darkening woods, though clearly
there's no one around.
-- I don't know if I'm a pervert or
what. It's taken me this long to get
where I can come out and say it... I
can't back away now. I can't spend
another day not knowing if I'm nuts.
Skip closes his eyes for a second and gathers himself.
All right, I'm just gonna tell you,
as simple and direct as I can.
(one last spasm of
And you understand that this is a
big secret? Just between us?
Okay. You know I've got this gift
for certain kinds of... machines.
You are Panda, monarch of modems.
That's right. And you also know that
even though I make 23% of the modems
in the world... I cannot make one
simple connection with any woman who
could truly love me.
Okay... let's say that, for now.
It's true, believe me. So... do you
know what I've been doing, all alone,
in my workshop, for almost two
years?... Mr. Find-the-Need-and-Fill-
It. How I spend my every solitary
Mumford shakes his head, "no."
Go ahead, guess!
(if he must)
No!... Although that's a good guess.
No, what I've been working on, what
the world really needs and no one
has been able to create --
(leans in, whispering)
-- a virtually life-like, humanoid,
functional... sexual surrogate slash
Mumford tries to put that all together. Finally --
Sexual surrogate... slash...
No, Doc, not a doll. I am Panda. I'm
talking about much, much more than a
doll. The world has never seen what
I'm talking about... except maybe in
Mumford considers that a long time, watching as the sun
finally sinks below the horizon. He looks back at Skip.
How's it coming?
You don't think I'm insane?
And that's your secret?
You meant -- like a trade secret?
No, Doc, a private secret! It's
perverted, it's pitiful. What am I --
Dr. Frankenstein? Aren't you repulsed?
Sounds like kind of a good idea.
It's getting dark fast now. Mumford reaches into his bag and
takes out the headlamp we saw earlier. He fits the straps
carefully over his head.
Skip, that's not much of a secret.
Oh, it's okay. It's just not something
to be ashamed of. Maybe you don't
want people knowing -- and believe
me, it's safe with me -- but on the
scale of dirty little secrets, I'd
give it, say... a two.
Mumford twists the headlamp and the light shines out in the
dusk. Mumford turns the beam directly at Skip.
You want to know a secret? I'll tell
you a secret. Since it's just between
us and all...
Skip, hanging on every word now, agrees emphatically.
The secret, Skip, is this -- I am
not now, nor have I ever been... a
At first, Skip thinks he's misunderstood Mumford. But in the
huge silence that ensues, he replays it and knows he's heard
right. Mumford looks around, adjusts his headlamp, and gets
We'd better get going. Just follow
my light. And, Skip, watch your step.
EXT. MUMFORD'S PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
This porch is directly above Lily's porch. Mumford and Skip
sit nursing beers. There's a cooler on the floor. Mumford's
legs are propped up on the porch railing
Who else knows?
It's time you did some talkin', Dr.
Mum -- Wait a minute. That is your
name, isn't it?
Mumford takes a drink of beer.
Damn! What is your name?
Doesn't matter. You can call me Doc.
It matters to me.
Mumford gestures: "sorry, no can do."
I've told you a lot of private stuff.
I can tell you anything else.
What about everything? How did this
Mumford looks at Skip, considering. He takes a long pull
from his beer, then looks at the frosty bottle.
Did you know that every species of
mammal has found some way to drug,
inebriate, or anestnetize itself?
Even if it's just banging its head
against a rock. Seems to be some
natural urge... to get away for a
(one more look at
I've had it for as long as I can
remember. The first place I wanted
out of was home...
AS MUMFORD TALKS we SEE IMAGES FROM HIS PAST, all FROM
MUMFORD'S POV. We do not see him in the scenes. Instead,
everyone else in the scene RELATES TO THE CAMERA AS MUMFORD,
even if they're just ignoring him.
EXT. MUMFORD'S CHILDHOOD HOME, BALD KNOB, WEST VIRGINIA -
MOVING FAST (MUMFORD'S CHILDHOOD POV) toward the back door
of a rundown, little house in a poor mining community. We
reach the back door and bang inside --
INT. MUMFORD'S CHILDHOOD HOME - MAGIC
The cramped interior is grimy and depressing. MUMFORD'S MOTHER
worse for wear, has just put a glass of liquor on the sink
and returned her attention to the smoking stovetop. She
glances briefly at Mumford and greets him pleasantly, clearly
drunk. Suddenly, her attention shifts and we -- PAN TO THE
FRONT DOOR which is opened roughly by MUMFORD'S FATHER, a
coal miner whose face still shows the grime of his work. But
it's his scary scowl that impresses. His eyes take in his
wife (and her drink) but he says nothing. He barely gives
Mumford a glance as he drops his lunch pail on the table and
disappears into another room.
I thought I had the best parents in
Bald Knob, West Virginia... till I
was seven years old and got a look
at some others. They weren't bad
AT THE DINNER TABLE. Across the table, MUMFORD'S OLDER SISTER
eats with her head down. On the right, Mumford's Mother is
picking at her food. Mumford's POV shifts to his Father, who
is yelling something at his wife.
...but they were real unhappy about
being who they were...
Now, his Father looks suddenly at Mumford; his hand shoots
out to slap Mumford's face, and the IMAGE GOES BLACK, then
immediately FADES UP AGAIN on --
INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM, WEST VIRGINIA - DAY
TIGHT ON A TEST PAPER being laid on an old-fashioned student
desk. Scrawled in red pencil at the top: "A -- Outstanding!"
TILT UP to the old classroom, full of kids getting their
tests back. ACROSS THE AISLE, looking at camera with disgust,
is a sixteen year old boy, MUMFORD'S CLASSMATE.
It made no sense that school came
easy for me... I didn't do much work,
and there was a proud tradition in
my family of being really dumb. My
friends didn't like it much. It made
them distrust me...
EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD - NIGHT
FROM INSIDE A HELMET: the brutal chaos of crashing bodies in
a Friday night high school football game. Mumford is violently
hit. Our view is smashed so deep into the muddy turf that
again the IMAGE GOES BLACK, then quickly FADES UP AGAIN on --
INT./EXT. LOVER'S LANE, WOODS - NIGHT
TIGHT ON A CAN OF "IRON CITY" BEER in MUMFORD'S POV as he
puts it on the roof of a green Nash Rambler and ducks into
the back seat. In the shadows is a teen-age girl, MUMFORD'S
DATE. As Mumford moves toward her, she flames a Bic lighter
and gleefully lights a fat joint; her blouse is unbuttoned
On the other hand, it made some of
my classmates like me better... I
don't know what it was in me, maybe
some genes from my mom, maybe some
discomfort with myself, but early on
I was drawn to any substance that
made me numb...
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FIELD - DAY
Graduation Ceremonies. MUMFORD'S POV moving across a platform
toward the diploma being proffered by the PRINCIPAL. PAN TO
Mumford's Parents, dressed up and proud, in the audience.
When I got a scholarship to go out
of state to college, I was the first
one in my extended family who'd gone
beyond high school. At graduation,
my folks looked like a normal, happy
couple, which I guess they were about
10% of the time... out in public.
INT. UNIVERSITY DORMITORY HALLWAY - DAY
TIGHT ON A DORM ROOM DOOR as it is pushed open. MUMFORD'S
NEW ROOMMATE, a crazed, middle-class doper, has his stuff
spread around and is settled in the midst of the chaos. He
looks up at the arriving Mumford with a maniacal, stoned
My roommate was from a planet I had
never heard of called Scarsdale,
where everything was the opposite of
INT. COLLEGE APARTMENT - NIGHT
TIGHT ON A BONG filling with white smoke. We FOLLOW IT UP
THE TUBE to a PRETTY COED, who inhales deeply, then blows a
seductive cloud directly at Mumford. The room is full of
All the other kids, in fact, seemed
to know things I didn't. They were
friendly enough, but in four years,
I never got over feeling that I had
sneaked in... and was about to be
exposed as the hillbilly and imposter
I actually was.
INT. BEDROOM, STUDENT APARTMENT - NIGHT
Funky decor, red scarf over the lamp creating a sexy glow.
MUMFORD'S POV moves toward an undulating shape hidden by a
sheet on the bed. He reaches out and lifts the edge to REVEAL
the Pretty Coed, now naked, giggling, her extended hand
offering a tab of acid right up to camera.
The thing that always made those
feelings go away was... fun. Fun was
drugs, fun was sex, fun was
aggressively doing nothing. The only
problem I had with degenerate, self-
destructive behavior was... I couldn't
get enough of it.
INT. UNIVERSITY CLASSROOM - DAY
A PROFESSOR approaches camera and lays a fresh examination
on the desk in front of Mumford. The problem is -- Mumford
is so doped up the classroom is swimming and the examination
paper keeps changing shape.
All that fun eventually had an impact
on the work I was doing. I figured,
what the hell, it was only college,
after all. I'd straighten up when I
went out in the real world...
INT. OFFICE BUILDING CORRIDOR - NIGHT
TIGHT ON SEVERAL AMPHETAMINE CAPSULES being dumped into
Mumford's palm over a water fountain. They disappear toward
camera as we dip down toward the stream of water.
I didn't want to jump into my career
right out of college. And since I
had no career, that turned out to be
not much of a problem...
MUMFORD'S POV lifts from the fountain and turns to the
endless, deserted corridor of the huge building. We begin
TRACKING DOWN the hall, checking out the various doorways. A
Cleaning Crew appears far up ahead.
I had a series of challenging jobs
over the next few years...
EXT. ALLEY - DAY
We PAN from the back of a garbage truck to a mess of garbage
containers, and MOVE TOWARD THEM.
INT. GAS STATION - NIGHT
TIGHT ON TWO LINES of cocaine. We DIP TOWARD THEM, then UP
AGAIN and they're gone. PAN to REVEAL we're in a closet off
the brightly-lit office of an all-night gas station. A PATRON
is waiting impatiently out by the pumps.
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
BACK TO PRESENT. Skip watches Mumford intently.
...pizza delivery, pipe fitting,
pest control... lots of jobs that
started with the letter "p". For
some reason, I kept losing these
(takes a swig of beer)
The only mind-altering substance I
never had a problem with was alcohol.
I never got drunk. I didn't like the
feeling. But really, when you're as
fucked up as I was... big deal.
Mumford stands up and stretches, then sits on the railing
Eventually, doing all these different
jobs, I noticed something. For some
reason, probably because I was too
stoned to talk, everywhere I went --
INT./EXT. SERIES OF SHOTS-- TALKING HEADS
We see various CO-WORKERS from Mumford's jobs. The
environments are radically different, but the activity is
always the same -- the Co-Worker in question is pouring his
heart out to camera.
-- people would talk to me, tell me
everything... their stories, their
problems, their innermost thoughts.
Sometimes they'd pretend they needed
advice, but mostly people just wanted
someone to listen.
INT. CRAWLSPACE UNDER HOUSE - DAY
MUMFORD'S MOVING POV as he crawls into the darkness, an
insecticide sprayer ahead of him. He pushes at a cinderblock --
Anyway, one day I was spraying for
termites when I had a vision --
The cinderblock tips over and a swarm of scary-looking spiders
comes rushing out toward camera.
-- it was time to put my college
degree to work and get a job with a
SMASH CUT TO:
INT. GOVERNMENT OFFICES - DAY
FROM BEHIND A DESK in the middle of a huge sea of desks.
I took the civil service exam and
found myself working at the Internal
Revenue Service, District 14, Central
Administrative Office. I started off
as a general records clerk...
SERIES OF SHOTS: computer records scrolling rapidly, paper
files being pulled, documents being routed.
I guess the standards weren't too
high there, because my superiors got
excited and pushed me to take the
INT. YMCA GYM - NIGHT
An intense basketball game. The ball zips from behind camera
(Mumford) to an older guy, MUMFORD'S SUPERVISOR, under the
basket; he lays it in easily, then comes over to high-five.
One guy in particular thought I should
be a Revenue Officer. There was more
money to be made as your
classification went up. Which had a
lot of appeal to me...
INT. KITCHEN TABLE, MUMFORD'S CITY APARTMENT (PAST) - NIGHT
A COCAINE MILL is loaded with white chunks and screwed shut
in MUMFORD'S POV; the steady grinding begins. Spread across
the messy kitchen table is the regular user's paraphernalia.
...since, even though I was certain
I could stop anytime I wanted, I had
developed a real affection for
cocaine. It was my favorite hobby I
had ever had.
INT. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE OFFICES - DAY
MUMFORD'S POV SHIFTS around the office. First, he's looking
at an irate TAXPAYER yelling across a desk at a REVENUE
OFFICER, who remains unruffled --
But I sure didn't want to be a Revenue
Officer, where you were face to face
abusing -- and getting abused -- all
His POV PANS with a couple of intense COLLECTION AGENTS who
pass behind the first scene on their way out of the offices.
...And being a Collection Agent was
definitely not in my genetic make-
His POV STOPS, letting the Collection Agents go, on another
fellow, with the disreputable, cocksure demeanor of a private
dick, who is lolling near the water cooler, watching the
altercation with amusement. He is GREGORY, an IRS
But there was one job that looked
like it might be fun -- Investigator.
Are you telling me your last job
before becoming a psychologist was --
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
BACK TO PRESENT. Skip is leaning intensely toward Mumford.
-- an investigator for the Internal
Everybody has a story, Skip.
Sounds like you have several.
What it felt like was... a series of
separate, unconnected lives --
hillbilly kid, wrecked college boy,
garbage man, civil service guy...
(Yul Brynner accent)
...et cetera... et cetera. Every
time I'd leave a life, it felt good.
Whatever problems I was having were
suddenly gone. I had no friends and
I didn't talk to my family. The only
constant, stabilizing force in my
life was... drugs.
An IRS investigator with a drug
It wasn't the best situation.
Did you carry a gun?
Didn't need one. We didn't even need
a warrant for most of the shit we
did. Man, the IRS... we could go in
your bank account, your credit
cards... hell, we used to go into
doctors' files and get all the juicy
details. Nobody wants to argue with
EXT. ALLEY, REAR OF DRY CLEANING FACILITY - MAGIC
MOVING POV as Mumford follows GREGORY down the gloomy alley
to a corner where they can spy at the scene beyond.
I got teamed with one of the top
guys, a fanatic named Gregory. He
always got his man, whether they
deserved it or not. He was a "closer"
and everybody admired that...
WHAT THEY SEE: The DRY CLEANING BOSS, a Middle-Eastern fellow,
is standing at the back door of his place paying his Asian
employees in cash as they leave.
He'd make the case and the Collection
guys would come in and clean up. Our
specialty was... sleazy skulking...
Gregory turns to look at camera (Mumford) with a devilish
We were a good team. I was a dope
addict and Gregory was insane.
INT. GREGORY'S HOUSE, CITY STREET - NIGHT
MUMFORD'S POV as he supports a drunken Gregory as they stagger
down the sidewalk to a row house. Holding Gregory up on the
other side, is CANDY, Gregory's pretty wife. They wrangle
Gregory up the front steps. Gregory stumbles inside and
Mumford retreats down the steps, his eyes still on the front
door. Candy appears there and stares down at Mumford, who
stops where he is.
Of course, him being insane didn't
make it all right that I fell in
love with his wife.
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
Mumford settles back in his chair as Skip shakes his head,
"Get to know your therapist."
You were messed up, man.
But look at me now...
Hey, you've done good. Look at
yourself... you've cleaned up, you've
got a career --
Skip stops, remembers the truth, realizes. Mumford smiles.
At least you pulled yourself out...
Things got a lot worse.
You and Candy...?
INT. BEDROOM, MUMFORD'S CITY APARTMENT - DAY
MUMFORD'S POV from his bed. Candy finishes dressing across
the room. She looks at camera, her face full of the pain of
EXT. FIRESCAPE/ROOF, BUILDING IN CITY - DAY
MOVING POV as Mumford follows Gregory up the ladder and onto
the roof of this old building in a rundown industrial
The way the District Managers got
ahead and won their bonuses was by
generating maximum payments. That
meant the revenue officers had to
use all their "collection tools" --
seizures, liens, levies -- even if a
more reasonable compromise could
have been worked out. The best way
to reduce resistance from the
taxpayers was to build a convincing
case -- whether there'd actually
been a violation or not...
Mumford follows Gregory, crawling, to the edge of the roof
and looks down on a building one block over. It is a small
furniture factory. Employees are eating their lunches on the
That's where we came in. Our DM was
a particular sonuvabitch, and he
knew just how to get Gregory crazy.
INT. ETHNIC RESTAURANT - NIGHT
MUMFORD'S POV takes in his ATTRACTIVE DATE next to him, then
PANS TO Candy and Gregory across the table. Everybody's
laughing. Candy flashes Mumford a momentary special look.
MUMFORD'S POV guiltily PANS TO Gregory. Did he see it?
So several things were working on
Gregory when we started building a
case against a furniture maker named
EXT. PARKING LOT, FURNITURE FACTORY - MAGIC
BINOCULAR VIEW of EDMOND WORRELL and MRS. WORRELL as they
get in a Cadillac at the end of a workday.
...and his family.
INT. BUSINESS OFFICE, WORRELL FURNITURE FACTORY - NIGHT
Lit by powerful flashlights, Gregory and Mumford attack the
files of the company, both in cabinets and on computer.
Gregory was acting more and more
irrational. We started doing things
that were over the line even for the
IRS. When I look back on it now, I'm
sure Gregory must have known about
Candy and me. On our team, I had
INT. MEN'S ROOM, WORRELL FURNITURE FACTORY - NIGHT
EXTREME CLOSE-UP A LINE OF COCAINE on the top of a toilet
tank as it is sucked out of sight.
...the responsible one.
INT. BEDROOM, MUMFORD'S CITY APARTMENT - DAY
MUMFORD'S POV IS A BLURRY SHAPE until Candy moves up and
away, her face sweaty and aroused, torso naked. She's on top
INT. GOVERNMENT CAR - DAY
Mumford's POV slides into the passenger seat. Gregory is
already sitting in the driver's seat. He stares at Mumford a
INT. CORRIDOR, SHABBY OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Mumford is following Gregory and REVENUE OFFICER MCLURE down
the hall. They reach a door with the painted sign: "SAMUEL
Sometimes when a case didn't work
out right, Gregory and this Revenue
Officer named McLure would put the
squeeze on the subject's accountant...
As they start to enter, SOFT CUT TO:
INT. GORBECK'S INNER OFFICE - DAY
GORBECK listens, intimidated by McLure, who sits on the
accountant's desk, and Gregory, who is moving around the
office -- snooping.
There aren't many accountants who
don't have something to worry about
with the Service...
INT. IRS OFFICES - DAY
Edmond Worrell, his wife, his adult SON and DAUGHTER,
WORRELL'S LAWYER, and, finally, the accountant Gorbeck are
ushered toward a conference room by McLure, Gregory and some
other IRS types. Gorbeck sneaks a nervous look at Mumford.
Gregory, who now appears slightly mad, motions for Mumford
to join them.
The parties met repeatedly over a
period of months. The IRS offered to
settle for a sizable but, they said,
fair amount. Worrell said he'd done
nothing wrong and threatened to fight
it all the way to Washington. He
seemed pretty strong. I was secretly
pulling for him. McLure and the
District Manager stepped up the
EXT. PARKING LOT, WORRELL FURNITURE FACTORY - DAY
MOVING POV OUT THE WINDSHIELD of Gregory's government car as
it comes speeding into the parking lot. There are two flashing
Squad Cars and an Ambulance at the entrance. As Gregory's
car hits a speedbump, the IMAGE BEGINS TO SLOW DOWN --
What none of us down at the Service
knew was that Edmond Worrell had a
story too... Worrell's was that he'd
been fighting chronic depression for
thirty years. Under the heat of the
investigation, he fell off his
medication. One Tuesday morning, he
went down to the factory early, wrote
his family a letter, then used the
9mm automatic they kept there to
kill himself... The DM dropped the
case that day and started proceedings
to get rid of Gregory...
The IMAGE HAS SLOWED TO A STILL. It now DISSOLVES TO:
EXT. GREGORY'S HOUSE, CITY STREET - NIGHT
Mumford's POV as he comes up the steps. The front door opens
before he gets there. Candy, her face bruised, her eyes red,
comes into view, she has a suitcase in hand.
Gregory went home drunk, beat up
Candy and went out to drink some
more. Candy told me she didn't want
to see me again. She hated us both
and she was leaving us both... It
made perfect sense to me. I felt the
INT. BEDROOM, MUMFORD'S CITY APARTMENT - NIGHT
Mumford is frantically, futilely looking for an imagined
drug stash. He's ransacked the place and is now throwing the
clothes out of a drawer.
INT. BATHROOM, MUMFORD'S CITY APARTMENT - NIGHT
Mumford looks desperately through the pill bottles and
detritus in his squalid medicine cabinet.
...In fact, I was jealous of Candy.
I wanted to leave too, just like
her... get as far away from --
Giving up, Mumford slams the medicine cabinet shut and FOR
THE FIRST TIME SINCE HIS STORY BEGAN, WE SEE MUMFORD in his
previous incarnation. And this is probably as bad as he ever
looked. He stares at his image in the mirror.
-- me... as possible.
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
Skip is staring at Mumford. Empty beer bottles are lined up
on the porch railing.
And so you did...
And the drugs?
Harder than I thought. Took me three
tries. But I was highly motivated --
figured there was no point in leaving
me and taking that along. After two
bomb-outs, I found a place in the
INT. DESERT DRUG REHAB CENTER - SUNRISE
A venetian blind is raised, revealing sunrise over a desert
The joint wasn't fancy -- it was run
by an order of monks -- but it worked.
When I got out of there, I was just
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
Mumford gets up from his chair and moves toward his door.
...which seemed perfect for starting
something new. Be back.
Mumford goes inside. Skip sits listening to the night. From
downstairs, in Lily's apartment, he HEARS A SHOWER GO ON.
Mumford comes back out.
Somebody's taking a shower down there.
That'd be Lily.
I wish I could live in the shower.
I'd take five a day if I had the
time. I went to this spa in Germany,
a sanitarium practically, up on this
mountain. And the great thing --
they just kept you wet all day.
Who'd you go with?
That's not good.
How'd you do it?
(Mumford is confused)
The new you.
You know how easy it is. A kid can
manage it if he wants a fake I.D.
You can do practically the whole
deal at your local Kinko's. The only
variable is how much pride you take
in the product.
I know it starts with a birth
All new people start with that...
INT. ANONYMOUS WORK ROOM - DAY
ON A COMPUTER SCREEN an elaborate graphics program is creating
the filigreed border of a birth certificate that already
bears the official-looking designs of "Green County, State
of West Virginia".
With desktop publishing, you don't
have to deal with printers, supply
houses, or pesky government agencies.
Eventually you do have to get your
hands on a typewriter. Ever seen one
of those, Skip?
As the border is completed, we PUSH IN and DISSOLVE THROUGH
SURFACE OF A DESK, with an electric Smith-Corona typewriter
(late '50's vintage). EXTREME CLOSE-UP of the keys hammering
out individual letters and numbers: date, hospital, attending
Is that like a mimeograph?... What
about the name?
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
Mumford looks at Skip.
What about it?
"Mumford"... I mean, why pick the
name of the town you were going to?
Oh. You got it backwards. I already
had the name when I started looking
for somewhere to settle. When I saw
this town on a map, I thought maybe
it was a sign. See...
INT. ANONYMOUS WORK ROOM - DAY
The typewriter is just pounding out: MICHAEL OLIVER MUM-F-O-
...Mickey Mumford was in Miss Rice's
kindergarten class with me. He was
killed with his parents in a wreck
on their way back from a Steelers
game. He was only six years old,
which is a real plus, so there's a
birth certificate if anyone checks --
but not much else. They died in
Pennsylvania, so there's no death
certificate in West Virginia... that's
ON A KITCHEN TABLE, the new birth certificate, now filled
out for Michael Mumford, is carefully lifted from a shallow
bowl of light tea (the tea bags are nearby). The paper has
taken on an aged, sepia look. CUT TO:
A STACK OF BOOKS. The ones on top are lifted away. The bottom
book is opened to reveal the birth certificate. It has been
folded in an official way. Now Mumford unfolds it, then
refolds it differently -- with its smudges and creases, it's
starting to look old.
And a birth certificate is enough?
Everything flows from that, and what
doesn't... can be easily purchased.
SERIES OF SHOTS of Mumford's DOCUMENTATION PILING UP. A post
office box is emptied, official-looking correspondence is
opened, the bounty is laid out for perusal: Social Security
card, driver's license, college and graduate school diplomas,
license and accreditation to operate as a therapist.
Of course, my IRS training made it
easier. Once you've done that, there's
not much data you can't access and
use any way you want.
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
In a free society, you are who you
say you are.
People should remember that before
they go around knocking this country.
(he gets up)
Skip, all this beer's got me sleepy.
Skip looks upset.
But you studied psychology, right?
You did the training and just never
got the degree?
No... no training.
Jeez, man. But you're good at it!
I understand what it's like to want
to leave a problem behind. That's
all most people are looking to do.
Mainly, I listen.
He heads inside.
Where ya going? I've got a million
See you Thursday... regular time.
Mumford goes inside. Skip nods, head spinning.
EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET - SUNRISE
Mumford and Sofie are delivering newspapers in lovely first
light. Mumford has a canvas sack full of newspapers around
his neck. At each house, he consults the list in his hand,
then hands Sofie a rolled-up paper, which she throws -- with
varying success -- toward the front doors. The activity is
tiring for her, but she's committed.
...so we get on this incredible steam
engine train that runs up into the
(she tosses a paper,
...and this trip is everything it's
cracked up to be... an open car,
great views, the mountain air blowing
through. We're sitting there, married
for six years, and he says how he
likes it better when I put my hair
Mumford hands her another paper, which she heaves with all
her limited strength, missing the front porch badly. Mumford,
who can't get enough of watching her, doesn't notice at first.
That wasn't so good.
Mumford snaps out of it. He goes up on the lawn and flips
the paper deftly onto the porch. As they continue --
You're doing great.
I don't know if I'm going to make it
the whole way.
It doesn't matter. Go on.
Oh... this makes me sound irrational,
which is probably right, but there
was something about him saying this --
it was maybe the millionth time he'd
told me about some preference of
his. Well, I was so... tired of it.
Seems like my whole life someone's
been telling me... I'm just not
getting it right. Can we rest for a
She leans against the iron handrail on some front steps,
You're purposely making me talk while
we do this...
...because you think this is good
...and you're a sadistic bastard...
...who thinks there's nothing really
wrong with me.
Oh, there's something wrong with
you, all right. Especially after
hearing that dream of yours, about
She laughs. They're playing with each other.
That was really bad, wasn't it?
And I'll bet you can interpret the
It's pretty obvious to a trained
Sofie starts walking again, taking another newspaper from
his sack. He points to the next house.
I hate those dreams where everything
Sofie heaves the paper squarely onto the porch. She turns to
him with pride, but when she sees the way he looks at her,
she glances away, uncomfortable.
Is that when you split up?
No, that'd be a good story, but that
was just the beginning of the end.
We went on for another year or so.
Mumford hands her another paper and indicates the next house.
So whose route is this?
Brady Peck's. Fourteen years old.
Lives next door.
And he's where?
In the capitol for Boy's Nation.
Five days. Why?
(heaves another paper)
I'm thinking a gal could make a good
living doing this. How hard could it
be squeezing out some fourteen year
You like it?
It's all right.
Then you can expect me at 5:30
And this is legitimate therapy?
Therapy? Hell no, I just don't want
to do it alone.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
TIGHT ON RAPID SERIES OF IMAGES on slick, glossy magazine
pages: each change of image is punctuated by the AMPLIFIED
SNAP of the page being turned, like a gunshot. We're SO CLOSE
to the images we can't tell when the magazines change --
from Glamour to Vogue to Us to Mademoiselle to W to Vanity
Fair. And it doesn't matter. Whether the images are ads or
fashion spreads or celebrity candids, the look is the same --
jaded, hip, disinterested, apathetic, either impossibly buff
or anorexic, but always severely beautiful. The PAGE TURNING
starts at a fevered pitch and becomes even more intense.
What is it, Nessa?
The IMAGES CONTINUE.
Isn't she amazing? That is such a
What do you want me to see?
Just chill for a second. Look at
this guy, it appears he's actually
dead... but gorgeous.
Mumford is sitting next to Nessa on the couch. At their feet
is a mess of magazines. Nessa discards one and immediately
starts flipping through a new one beneath it. She is very
agitated. Mumford stands up, walks over and sits in his chair.
What are you doing? We're not done.
I just need to find the thing...
If you don't want to have a session
today, it's okay.
I want to have the session. I thought
it would be cool if I could show you
some of the things that interest me.
But I guess you're not into it...
which we already knew.
What happened today?
What are you talking about?
Was it something that happened at
These appointments were not my idea,
True. Should we stop them?
A look of panic crosses Nessa's face, but she instantly hides
it, busily taking out cigarette and lighter, which she doesn't
use. Instead, she lies down on the couch, balancing the closed
magazine on her chest.
I don't think you know what you're
This shrink school you went to...
did you hear about it on an
Mumford waits. Nessa refers to the magazine beneath her chin.
I want to live in the world these
people are in. No one ever says
anything in there, have you noticed?
So they're very cool. Like they're
all really deep. It's when people
start talking that everything goes
Nessa suddenly seems on the edge of tears, but beats it back.
There's this kid at school... Martin
Brockett. He has some gigantic idea
of himself that no one else shares.
You wouldn't believe the crap he
lays on me... Who appointed him my
spiritual leader? If he has everything
so figured out how come his best
friend is a .22 rifle? And why's he
spend all his time chasing after me?
Probably thinks I'm gonna give him a
Do you think that's what he wants?
(after a beat)
No. I don't know what he wants. But
I know I don't like being watched.
Nobody's ever paid any attention to
what I did, and I liked it just fine.
Where does he get off telling me I
Fuck him. Look in a mirror, bozo.
EXT. LILY'S CAFÉ, MAIN STREET - DAY
Mumford crosses the street from his office. A huge bus with
"APPLEJACK TOURS" on the sides, is disgorging its passengers,
a large group of elderly JAPANESE WOMEN, all of whom file
neatly into Lily's Café. Lily stands on the sidewalk outside
greeting them merrily.
What's the deal?
Lily continues her welcomes, but points out a hand-lettered
sign in her front window -- "Closed for Lunch. See you
They come through a few times each
(greeting one cheerily)
Hello, Mrs. Saito, good to see you
(back to Mumford)
It's a tour.
Where am I supposed to eat?
You're on your own today, honey.
Mumford's attention is suddenly drawn to something across
the street. He glances thoughtfully at Lily for a moment,
then back out there.
WHAT HE SEES: Skip is once again zipping down the street on
his skateboard in the midst of traffic. He has not noticed
Skip looks over, then immediately changes course toward them,
barely checking the surrounding traffic. He is extraordinarily
skillful. When he gets to the curb, he pulls a snazzy board-
flipping maneuver to dismount and come up on the sidewalk.
Some of the Japanese matrons react with delight.
Skip notices the tour members filing by, but is immediately
distracted by the presence of Lily, who's a little excited
to meet the local celebrity.
Lily, I want you to meet Skip. Skip,
It's a pleasure to meet you.
Yeah... me you, too... I was at your
Upstairs, with Doc... Yeah, it's
very nice... I heard your shower.
Skip can't believe what he just said. Neither can the other
two, actually. Mumford can't stop himself from laughing, but
he cuts it off fast. Lily blushes, but Skip's agitation has
charmed her. Something's happening here.
I've seen you going by on your board,
but I didn't realize -- you're so
young... to be so...
(gives him a look)
I may be young, but Doc can tell
you, I'm very immature.
He's making a joke and it represents quite a recovery. They're
all relieved. Then there's an awkward silence. Skip watches
the last of the tour enter the restaurant.
So, is this like a Japanese
I'd better get in there.
That's a lot of people all at once.
It's okay. They pre-order. There's a
choice of three entrees.
What are they?
Lily gives him a careful look: Is he really interested?
There's something about him...
Meat loaf, turkey quesadillas, or
Salad nicoise? I love salad nicoise.
Well, come on in.
She motions him in and starts to follow. Mumford makes a
"what about me?" sound. Lily, grinning, just points to the
sign and leaves Mumford standing on the sidewalk.
Mumford turns to find Dr. Delbanco and Phyllis Sheeler, the
shrinks Lionel had conferred with, standing nearby. It takes
a moment for Mumford to remember Delbanco. Finally, shaking
Dr. Delbanco. It's nice to see you
I don't think you know Dr. Sheeler.
She's the other therapist here in
(shaking her hand)
Of course... I've heard great things
You never got back to me.
...I called to say we'd like to take
you out for a meal?... Kind of a
Mumford makes a show of remembering.
Forgive me, please. What a gracious
thought. We must do that.
Why don't I call you when I've got
my calendar in front of me?
What are you doing for lunch?
The other two nod in unison. Mumford considers, trapped.
INT. THE LANTERN AND THE LAMB RESTAURANT - DAY
The town's upscale dining spot. Mumford, Delbanco and Sheeler
are in a red leather booth. Sheeler listens with rapt,
admiring attention as Delbanco speaks --
...annihilation anxieties engendered
by bad experiences with a depriving
mother... but no one can escape the
fear of death. It is, as Henry James
put it, "the worm at the core." Try
as we may to forget or ignore our
mortality, James said --
-- "the skull will grin in at the
Mumford nods appreciatively. (He really is an extraordinary
listener.) Delbanco catches his own vanity in Sheeler's
adoring gaze and becomes self-conscious --
I've run on. Forgive me. We're here
to talk about you.
What Ernest means, I think, is we're
very interested in other
methodology... different kinds of
training. We're great believers in
learning from each other. I've learned
so much from Ern -- Dr. Delbanco...
...And I from Phyllis.
(back to a previous
So... the University of Kentucky.
Who runs the program down there?
My mentor was an amazing teacher
named Benton Mandlebaum. Died quite
tragically in the collapse of a
I think I've heard of him... a
disciple of Rothberg, wasn't he?
Mumford's response, and all that follow, is calm and pleasant.
It's possible. I don't know about
I suppose your extended training was
at an institution in that area?
Lots of institutions. My graduate
advisor believed we should experience
as many environments as possible --
prisons, clinics, half-way houses.
For a while I was chief therapist in
a shopping mall. Had a little spot
next to the yogurt place.
Interesting approach. What was his
Dorothy Fowler. Fantastic woman. She
passed last year in a train wreck.
Delbanco and Sheeler exchange a look. Sheeler adopts a
"casual" tone --
I trained in the east, myself --
Cornell -- and I don't care what
anyone says, there really are regional
differences. I found the state
certification exams out here quite
harrowing... Did you?
Oh, yeah, very tough. But I guess
that's good... to keep out the quacks.
Which examiner did you have? I
probably know him.
Wallace Franklin... from Greensburg.
A dark look comes over Sheeler's face for a moment.
That was a terrible thing.
I don't even know why hang-gliding
is considered a legitimate sport.
(back on track)
We're interested in any new therapies.
How would you characterize your
Yes... your particular approach.
I don't have one really. Most of the
time I'm faking it. See, I think
there's not much that can be done
about most problems... they're too
complicated, too deep-rooted by the
time I hear about them. The most I
can do, usually, is look and listen
real closely, try to catch some
glimpse of the secret life everybody's
got. If I can get a sense of that,
well then, maybe... just maybe, I
can help them out a little.
Mumford sits back, considering the couple across the table.
His gaze is so crystalline that, after a moment, they become
uncomfortable and steal a glance at each other. Finally --
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
CLOSE ON Althea Brockett.
-- The argument had nothing to do
I understand. I just want to know
what the argument was about.
(hates to say)
I had ordered some books. "The 100
Greatest Books Ever Written."
Uh-huh. What are they?
Oh, all the great writers --
Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Moby
Dick... those people. Each is bound
in genuine premium leather with 22
carat gold accents. It's a magnificent
set -- and only $33.50 per volume.
Right away you get Great Expectations
for just $6.99.
One hundred books?
It's irrelevant. It had nothing to
do with what happened.
Althea is sitting on the couch facing Mumford. She has a
bulky knit cardigan sweater hugged tightly around her -- the
only sign that she's not completely calm.
We argued on Sunday. He went to work
on Monday and stayed in the city
during the week, like always. But on
Thursday, when he normally comes
home, he didn't. Didn't call either.
Not till Saturday afternoon.
You must have been concerned.
It's happened before.
I'm shocked by how little I'm feeling.
I can't understand it.
(a real question --)
I'll probably have a complete
depressoid collapse soon, won't I?
Doubtful. What did he say?
He said he wasn't coming back. He
said it wasn't working for him any
more. That it hadn't "worked for
him" for quite a while... You know
what I regret the most? I'm sorry I
let him make the kids take his name.
He was an acquirer.
(off Mumford's look)
He liked to acquire things.
Mumford looks away. Althea realizes what he's thinking.
You think that has something to do
with my problem? Ordering all those
It hadn't occurred to Mumford, but it's an interesting
...Like I was on some kind of campaign
to out-acquire him...
(excited now, playing
...If I was just an acquisition to
him, and he lost interest once he
had me --
She stops, shakes her head.
That can't be it. It's too simple.
And besides, I still like it. This
morning I ordered a marble turtle
cheese board from The Horchow
(an odd look)
Can I tell you something just awful?
You know how people who are just
assholes will sometimes look at a
woman who's got problems and say,
"What she needs is a good shtupping!"?
Well, there may be something to that.
Jeremy didn't keep up his end -- Oh,
what difference does it make?
Why do I feel elated? Am I in denial?
You know what it feels like?...
She glances at her watch, then starts talking fast --
I know my time's up, but I've got to
get this out while I've got hold of
Take your time.
(no slowing down)
-- When I was in high school, the
thing I wanted most, when I was stuck
in class, the thing I was always
desperately in pursuit of -- was a
hall pass. That's all I wanted. I
loved moving freely around the school
while everybody else was trapped in
there... And that's how I feel right
now... Like I have some giant, all-
day hall pass.
She is beaming, but suddenly becomes self-conscious. She
stands up abruptly, flushed.
My god, did it just get hot in here
She takes off the bulky sweater and bends to pick up her
purse. She is wearing a simple cotton dress that buttons up
the front and hugs her body. WE SEE for the first time what
all her other outfits have hidden: Althea has a terrific,
See you next time. I'll probably be
a basket case by then.
She heads toward the door to the waiting room. Mumford
indicates the back door.
You can go out there if you like...
"There's no shame in getting a little
therapy", right, Doc?
She opens the door to the waiting room, startling Henry
Follett, who jumps up from a chair out there, magazine still
INT. WAITING ROOM, MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
Follett is embarrassed to be discovered here. But that's
secondary to the impact Althea's current appearance -- sexy
body framed in the doorway -- is having on him. She's been a
customer in his store, but he's seeing her now as if for the
first time. All his libidinous buttons are being pushed.
Althea breezes by, oblivious to his reaction.
Hello, Mr. Follett. Have a good
session. Bye, Doc.
She goes out.
But Follett continues to stare in the direction Althea has
INT. LOBBY ATRIUM, PANDA MODEM WORLD HEADQUARTERS - DAY
Mumford is being escorted across the spectacular atrium by a
PANDA SECURITY AIDE. Her informal uniform, and all the other
details in the building, carry out the Panda design motif.
As they head down the main corridor --
Mumford looks that way. In the distance, Skip is descending
from an upper level on his skateboard via a unique system of
ramps designed for that purpose alone. None of the hustling
Panda Employees in the area take any particular notice of
Skip meets Mumford and his escort at the bottom of the ramp
with a spectacular stop.
Thanks, Jennifer, I'll take him from
The Security Aide retreats as Skip (riding slowly alongside)
leads Mumford into a side corridor.
INT. BOWELS OF THE BUILDING, PANDA MODEM HEADQUARTERS - DAY
SERIES OF SHOTS. Skip and Mumford move through a maze of
hallways with progressively less foot traffic.
I've never brought anyone down here
Doc, there's something about what
you told me the other night I can't
get out of my head. It's driving me
(Mumford nods, waits)
Why me? How did you know you could
You're completely reliable.
Skip is pleased. They approach a heavy steel door, the
entrance to Skip's Workshop. A VERY OLD SECURITY AIDE sits
at the end of the intersecting hallway, watching this area.
Skip shouts down there --
It's just me, Dino!
The old man nods, barely awake.
Skip, I've got a problem and I need
You want my advice? Far out!
Skip puts his hand in a scanning device in the wall. Some
lights blink and the heavy metal door pops open a few inches.
Skip has to put all his weight into opening the door. He
hesitates, suddenly concerned --
I hope nothing you're about to see
will shake your faith in me.
Mumford reassures him with a look. Skip pushes the door open
far enough for them to enter, then pulls it closed behind
INT. SKIP'S WORKSHOP - DAY
Mumford and Skip enter the large, windowless workspace. What
at first appears chaotic is, in fact, carefully organized.
Many different disciplines interface here:
THE BODY SECTION: The first thing one notices -- some
incredibly life-like, anatomically correct,
sculpture/mannequins -- both male and female. You half expect
them to breathe. From there, a full wall of forms descends
from store mannequins and skeletons all the way down to a
huge variety of inflatable sex dolls.
THE CYBER SECTION: A dizzying array of computers and screens,
some showing wire-form outlines of body parts in repeated
motion. Above them, on a huge corkboard, hundreds of computer
generated renderings of skin, eyes, limbs, sexual organs.
THE BODY PARTS SECTION: Medical models of teeth, eyes, lips,
limbs. Hundreds of porn store samples: plastic dildos, rubber
vaginas, sucking machines and sundry genitalia.
THE FORM-CASTING SHOP: All the machinery you need to make
rubber and acrylic forms of anything that can be computer
All these weird objects are set upon shiny, spotless, high-
tech work surfaces. Skip watches Mumford move about in awe,
picking up the odd item.
Pretty creepy, huh? Are you totally
Skip, you're a visionary. That can
be a burden.
This doesn't seem a little...
There are a lot of lonely people in
the world. Somebody's gonna figure
this out someday.
It's not going to be me. I'm giving
It's all your fault. In the last 48
hours, I've completely lost interest.
What'd I do?
Skip looks at Mumford, a wide grin on his face.
...Skip, that's great! You and Lily.
Oh, she doesn't know about it yet.
Right now, of the two of us, I'm the
only one in love. But I'm very stoked.
Skip settles in front of the Body Parts section, framed by
an array of limbs and sex toys. There's an assembled pelvic
section with upper legs lying in the clutter behind him.
Doc, how I can be of help to you?
Skip leans back against the table and accidentally hits a
button. The pelvic section begins to hump, slowly and
sensually, in place. It's amazingly life-like, but it makes
a mechanical WHIRRING SOUND. Skip fumbles to turn it off.
Skip gets the pelvis switched off and turns back to Mumford.
I'm here for you, Doc.
Skip, you know that it's improper --
completely unethical -- for a licensed
psychologist to carry on a romantic
relationship with one of his patients?
I guess that makes sense.
Yes, yes it does...
Mumford sinks into silence. He begins to wander the room.
You've fallen in love with one of
Mumford nods. Skip is desperate to say something useful.
Suddenly, he has an alarming thought.
Doc!... It's not me, is it?
Mumford understands and can't stop a laugh.
No, Skip, it's not you. But I like
you a lot.
Skip is relieved. He has another thought and brightens.
Doc, what about this? You're not
really a licensed psychologist!
Mumford turns to meet Skip's gaze. Skip realizes the
ramifications of what he's just said.
Hmm. I guess that doesn't help... I
see where you're going here. It's a
INT. DR. DELBANCO'S OFFICE - DAY
Lionel is here with Delbanco and Sheeler. This time, Delbanco
is behind his desk, Sheeler across the room on the sofa.
Don't you find it incredibly
convenient that everyone who could
possibly corroborate his story has
recently died some exotic death?
They're neither all recent nor exotic.
But they're certainly dead. And yes,
personally, I find it a bit odd.
It could happen. What about his state
certification exams? The records
seem to be in order.
Lionel's derisive snort is so obnoxious, it's hard to bear.
What's easier than hacking your way
into a state computer and inserting
some numbers? For all you know he
never even took the exams!
I don't know that it's all that
Doctor, correct me if I'm wrong, but
it sounds to me like you've gone for
this guy's story hook, line and bull-
You do seem much more disposed toward
him than I understand, Ernest. Did I
Oh, for god's sake, Phyllis -- we
have no reason to doubt the man! Are
we listening to Lionel now?
Sheeler jumps, so shocked is she by his outburst, and so
humiliated for Lionel to witness it. Fighting tears and trying
to maintain her dignity, she gathers up her things and walks
to the door. Delbanco, immediately contrite, stands up.
Phyllis, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to
No, Dr. Delbanco, it is I who am
sorry. Sorry to have wasted your
time with such...
She breaks into tears and rushes out of the office. Delbanco
is left facing Lionel, who gives him exactly the look the
doctor least wants to see.
INT. LILY'S CAFÉ - DAY
Mumford is eating his lunch at the counter. He watches Lily
busily working the midday rush. She sees him grinning at
her, but doesn't say anything for a while. Finally, blushing --
Stop it! He's a kid. I'm old enough
to be his... older sister.
Mumford smiles, eats.
INT. ENTRY HALL, COOK HOUSE - NIGHT
Mr. Cook opens the front door to Mumford.
Dr. Mumford. Please, come in.
Mumford comes in, reluctantly.
Hello, Mr. Cook. I was wondering if
Sofie was around?
Were you supposed to have a session?
No. It's sort of spur of the moment.
INT. LIVING ROOM, COOK HOUSE - NIGHT
Mumford follows Mr. Cook into the room. Mrs. Cook and Sofie's
thirtyish brother, BEN, are in there, watching television.
Mrs. Cook keeps knitting; Ben stands to shake Mumford's hand,
muting the TV with a remote.
Look who's here. Have you met Sofie's
-- We've met.
And our son, Ben...
This is a real honor, Doctor. Have a
seat, will ya?
Mumford continues to stand.
Well, actually, I can't really... Do
you think I could see Sofie?
I insist! I've been wanting to meet
Sofie's not here.
Mumford's surprised. Mr. Cook speaks with some pleasure.
Her friend from the city came and
took her out to dinner. First time
in a long time she's been willing.
We owe that to you. She's perked up
a lot since you started treating
Mrs. Cook gives Ben a condescending look and keeps knitting.
What'd you want?
There's something I think we need to
I think we have a right.
We certainly do not.
Keep it zipped, Ben.
Ben gives Mumford an exasperated look, but doesn't argue.
Is there something we need to know,
Mumford is conflicted, not sure what to share with them.
Well... yes, I guess I should tell
you. I don't think I'm going to be
able to treat Sofie anymore.
Mr. Cook and Ben exchange an alarmed glance. Mrs. Cook
actually cheers up.
Finally, some common sense...
What do you mean?
I think you know what I mean.
No, I really don't.
I think you do.
Why don't you tell me?
Why don't you go to hell? It's all a
bunch of nonsense and you know it.
Elizabeth, I'm tellin' you, stop
You're telling me? That's rich...
I'd better go.
Why can't you see Sofie? I know the
Mumford looks from Ben to Mr. Cook, who nods his agreement.
Well... you see, the problem is --
-- the problem is you're a big fake.
You haven't got a clue what's wrong
with that girl.
Mumford looks at Mrs. Cook and can't stifle a laugh.
Wow. You're something.
Take a hike, Dr. Quack!
(ignoring her now)
What is the problem, Doctor?
Mumford can't take his eyes off Mrs. Cook, even as he speaks
to Mr. Cook.
Problem? I guess there is no
problem... Uh, this friend of Sofie's,
where'd he take her?
It's she -- Roxy. Used to work with
her. I think they went over to The
Oh, Roxy! Excellent. Roxy.
Mrs. Cook looks at him sharply. She's heard what the other
two have not.
EXT. SIDE STREET/ALLEY - DAY
Mumford carries a large Fed-Ex box down a side street and
into an alley. As he passes a secluded space created by two
adjacent buildings, something catches his eye.
MUMFORD'S MOVING POV: A young couple is embracing and talking
intimately. As they separate, we can see that it is Nessa
and Martin Brockett. Martin sees Mumford, but makes no sign.
Nessa twists to see what Martin's looking at just as the
view is interrupted by a wall.
Mumford walks on, mulling what he's seen.
EXT. BACK DOOR, FOLLETT'S PHARMACY - DAY
There is a locked security screen at the alley entrance to
the back room of the pharmacy, but the door inside is open.
When a YOUNG PHARMACIST appears in there, Mumford raps on
the metal screen.
INT. HENRY FOLLETT'S OFFICE - DAY
Follett's private space is above and at the back of his
drugstore. When you sit at his desk and in front of it, as
Follett and Mumford are doing now, you can see down into the
store through a floor-to-ceiling, one-way mirror.
The Fed-Ex box sits on the desk between the two men, unopened.
What is it?
It's a thought I had.
Should I open it now?
Mumford seems hesitant, but nods. Follett takes out an Exacto
knife and makes the first incision, but as he's about to go
on, Mumford suddenly reaches out and stops him.
Let me just say something here... I
have no idea if this is going to
What exactly is it supposed to do?
You remember when I asked you about
-- I find it degrading. Maximum
gynecology and minimum turn-on --
-- and you told me that. Still,
there's some kind of imagery that's
haunting you and, I think, getting
in your way --
-- Which I don't necessarily agree.
But you did come to me.
Follett reacts. It's true, even if he keeps forgetting.
My guess is these images were burned
into your brain when you were young.
Maybe if we could nail down the exact
fantasies that are haunting you --
maybe you could get past them...
Anyway, I thought we could try an
(indicating the box)
And the experiment is in here?
Mumford nods, but suddenly looks depressed, distracted.
You know what? I think this was a
He starts to take hold of the box.
...I just heard myself talking and I
realize I'm completely unqualified
to be doing this. Let's forget the
Follett grabs the box back.
Whoa, whoa, what are you doing? I
want to know what's in here.
(pulling on the box)
There's absolutely no reason to think
this is going to have any impact on
you. I'm embarrassed to have --
Follett stands up and grabs the box, taking sole possession.
Hey! I agree with you that you don't
know what you're talking about. That's
what I've been saying all along. And
I can guarantee you that looking at
the Lost Ark or whatever you got in
here is not going to mean diddly to
...but if you think I'm going to let
you walk out of here without seeing
what's in this box, you don't know
much about Henry A. Follett.
Mumford gives up. Follett gestures to ask whether it's safe
to put the box on the desk; Mumford reassures him. Now, with
much more anticipation and ceremony than before, Follett
carefully cuts open the package.
THE CONTENTS OF THE BOX is revealed as Follett opens the
flaps. There is an inner, brown paper wrapping upon which
has been set a low-rent catalogue: "METROPOLITAN COLLECTIBLES --
Periodicals, Erotica, Adult Nostalgia." Follett lifts away
the wrapping --
There are perhaps a dozen men's magazines of the late fifties
and early sixties: Nugget, Adam, The Adam Reader, Swank,
Dude. Plus several cartoon collections: Sex to Sexty, Stag
Humor. Plus trashy adult novels of the era, with provocative
illustrations on the covers: Night Call Nurse, The Neighbors
Have No Curtains, Secretarial Sluts, etc. Finally, two video
tapes, both of Russ Meyer films: MUDHONEY and COMMON-LAW
We stay CLOSE ON the contents of the box as Follett's hands
shuffle through it, rapidly flipping through the pages. Very
soft-core by today's standards, the common thread is clear:
voluptuous, heavy-breathing sirens in tight clothes (and out
of them) tempting muscular, he-man drifters or libidinous
businessmen. A world of lusty secretaries, siren babysitters,
and frustrated, neglected wives. In other words, exactly the
erotic ambience of Follett's fantasies.
SLOW TILT UP TO FOLLETT'S FACE. He is transported, mesmerized,
galvanized. In fact, at this moment, as the MUSIC SWELLS, a
tear is rolling down his cheek. He dare not take his eyes
from this Holy Grail to look up at Mumford. The only thing
that could wreck his mood now, is --
YOUNG PHARMACIST (O.S.)
Mr. Follett --
Follett jumps, startled from his revery. As the Young
Pharmacist steps tentatively into the office, Follett jams
everything back into the box as best he can and tries to
What?! What the hell is so important
I can't have five minutes --?
The Young Pharmacist is cowed and doesn't advance into the
It's her, sir. You told me to get
you when she came to pick up her
It takes Follett a moment to understand, but when he does,
his whole manner changes. He dismisses the Young Pharmacist
with a nod, then gives a quick, self-conscious glance to
Uh, sorry, I'm going to have to...
...I really appreciate what you're
trying to... uh, I can't thank you
Follett heads for the door, pausing briefly at a mirror to
check his appearance, pushing at his hair with his palm.
I'll see you on... whatever...
He hurries out. Mumford stands up to leave, but first looks
down through the one-way mirror.
WHAT HE SEES: Follett hurries up behind the prescription
counter, where Althea Brockett is waiting; once again she
looks quite sexy. Follett brings her prescription up and
begins playfully flirting. Althea is responsive. Follett
motions Althea down the aisle, where it's more private. He
comes out from behind the counter, ostensibly to show Althea
something on the prescription bottle. Althea leans back
against some shelves in the same posture as the Landlady in
Follett's first fantasy.
Mumford reacts, bemused.
EXT. HIKING TRAIL - DAY
Mumford and Sofie make their way slowly up the trail. Despite
her labored breathing, it's clear Sofie has made enormous
progress since we first saw her.
When I was in high school we used to
come up here and make out. I liked
to sit on the rock and watch the sun
That's what I like.
Why'd you come to the house the other
I thought I had something to tell
you. But it turned out I didn't.
My brother said you were about to
That's one way to put it.
I bet I know what changed your mind...
(Mumford looks at her)
...My mother. She was so horrible,
you decided you couldn't desert me.
I thought only action movies had
villains like that.
Sofie gestures ahead.
That's the cut-off, isn't it?
I know why you were going to quit
Mumford slows at this. Sofie heads off the trail into the
EXT. BIG ROCK LOOKOUT POINT - DAY
Sofie appears first, but she waits for Mumford before she
steps tentatively onto the rock. Mumford takes firm hold of
her and leads her to a spot where she can securely settle
You feel like a fake, an imposter...
Mumford looks up, sharply.
...as if maybe you don't know what
She puts a hand on his arm.
Everybody feels that way sometimes...
like we're not who we're supposed to
be. But I have to tell you, Dr.
He winces at her formality.
-- you've been a tremendous help to
I can't tell you how much I admire
you. You have a wonderful way with
people. And you're very insightful.
I feel like you've seen me clearly...
I never used to admit what a horrible
person my mother was. You've made
that possible for me.
Yes! And my ex-husband -- he never
accepted me for who I was, just like
Mother. The things you've said have
helped me understand what a dick he
I don't know if --
You're shockingly honest, that's
what makes you great. I've never had
a man treat me this way. With you, I
feel really... listened to.
(gives him a look)
Can I tell you something? It's a
little embarrassing, but I feel very
unguarded with you.
Thanks to this therapy, I now know
what I'm looking for. I need to find
a man like you.
Not one who's treating me, of course.
(full of resolve)
And I'm going to do it, dammit! You've
given me the confidence.
Mumford is in agony.
Sofie... that makes me very happy.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
Nessa's on the couch, playing with her usual unlit cigarette.
There's an uncharacteristic lightness to her.
...I mean, Doc, the dude is seriously
deluded. I said that to him, I said,
"If you think I'm gonna do all that
shit for you, man, you are seriously
What'd he say?
(can't hide her
He said -- "Which we already knew!"
Mumford laughs, delighted.
What did he want you to do?
First off, he tells me to stop smoking
cigarettes. I told him abso-fuckin'-
lutely no. As you can see --
She holds up the cigarette as though it were her middle
finger, flipping the bird.
Then he says stop smoking dope. No
again. So then he says he doesn't
want me getting together with any
Mumford doesn't have to see her face to know how much pleasure
this gives her, despite her hard-ass cover.
...What balls on this guy? What're
(too geeky for her)
...going steady? Jesus.
I said I'd consider it. Nobody owns
me. And the last thing was insane. I
don't know what's wrong with him...
I don't know if I can quit. We're
gonna try it together, like, you
know, AA or something. And I made
him give up his .22. No more sneaking
around the hills with his fucking
nut gun like some loony tune.
He's pitiful, Doc, a goddam puppy. I
don't know how much longer I can put
up with it. I already got two arms
and legs, I don't need another
She takes a look at her watch and immediately lights her
cigarette as she stands up --
Oops... gotta go!
She heads toward the waiting room. Mumford gestures to
indicate the back door. She waves him off. He shakes his
head -- no one wants to use the back anymore.
Nessa opens the door to the waiting room. Martin Brockett is
sitting there. He makes a gesture to Nessa to underline the
fact that he is not reading any of the many magazines lying
around, then stands up. She goes into his arms like maybe
she's the puppy. He beams and looks at Mumford.
(pulling Nessa tighter)
Did you straighten her out?
Nessa give him an affectionate punch in the side, then blows
smoke in his face.
How are you?
Insane! Didn't ja hear? My family
got five hundred times better.
Let's go, Vanessa.
Nessa gives Mumford an embarrassed, "ain't he corny?" look,
but as they go out the door, she's never looked happier.
Mumford is startled to find a man in a suit, GILROY, rising
from the chair behind the door. He's got a briefcase and a
document in his hand.
I didn't see you there. Can I help
My name's Gilroy. I'm from the State
He proffers the document in his hand, but Mumford doesn't
It's all right, it won't bite you.
Under civil code 1294.67b you are
entitled to be notified that your
status and certification are being
reviewed. This is the notice.
(takes the paper)
Do you want to come in?
No thanks. Plenty of time for that
when we're a little further along.
Mr. Gilroy --
Gilroy stops, outside door already open.
What brought this on?
I'm not at liberty to say. Sometimes
it's just routine, sometimes there's
been a complaint. We'll be in touch.
He goes out. Mumford considers the paper in his hands,
INT. MUMFORD'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
CLOSE ON A PACKING CARTON half full of books. PULLING BACK
and FLOATING OVER other boxes, half-packed with Mumford's
personal belongings -- he doesn't have a lot. On the bed, an
open suitcase with a few clothes thrown in. We're STILL MOVING
across the room and out onto the porch, to REVEAL Mumford in
his chair, nursing a beer, looking up at the starry sky.
Mumford HEARS THE SHOWER GO ON downstairs at Lily's. Then
the MURMUR AND GIGGLE of a wet couple.
Mumford smiles. He gets up and goes inside, closing the door
behind him so as not to violate their privacy. He goes to
the suitcase, takes out some clothes and begins putting them
back in the dresser. Right now, he's not going anywhere.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - DAY
EXTREME CLOSE-UP of Ernest Delbanco. We can't tell where he
is at first. As he speaks, we PULL BACK to REVEAL him lying
on Mumford's couch -- a patient.
...and when you said at lunch about
everybody having "a secret life",
something just snapped inside me. I
knew I could no longer continue my
relationship with Dr. Sheeler. It
was tearing me up inside. And I know
Phyllis wasn't getting what she needed
from it. What had started as a genuine
respect, I think, for each other's
professional abilities, and became,
over time, a personal attraction had
somehow... migrated into a rather
torrid sexual relationship...
Across the room, Mumford sits, chin in hand, displaying no
...I won't go into that today. Though,
if we should continue these sessions,
as I certainly hope we will, there
are some aspects of that I would
like to look at. God knows, I've
listened to enough people giving me
the juicy --
...At any rate, I just wanted to
acknowledge the catalyzing effect
your comment had on me. I just hope
that it doesn't come roiling back
upon you like some dreadful undertow.
How do you mean?
This next is painful for Delbanco.
Well... you see, when I broke it off
with Phyllis, she was naturally upset
and she became more determined than
ever to pursue certain -- how to put
it -- doubts she's been harboring...
What kind of doubts?
About you... your background and
your qualifications. I'm afraid
Phyllis somehow got you mixed up in
her fury with me, and actually took
the whole issue to the state board.
Mumford digests this.
And please, for whatever small way I
may have encouraged this, accept my
There is good news, though.
Phyllis has decided to leave town
and pursue her practice in the city.
Which leaves you the only psychologist
Dr. Sheeler is leaving Mumford? I'm
sorry to hear that.
As you can imagine, my own feelings
about this are mixed... Unlike, I
must say, those of my wife.
Mumford's head snaps up. He had no idea Delbanco was married.
EXT. GAS STATION, SMALL TOWN (IN HENRY FOLLETT'S FANTASY) -
We (CAMERA) are being pummelled by three SMALL TOWN TOUGHS
behind Old Man Sutter's gas station/diner in the Follett's
fantasy town. [In BLACK & WHITE.] Beyond them, Old Man
Sutter's stacked YOUNG WIFE watches in horror from the
backdoor of the building. We DO NOT SEE The Newcomer yet.
Old Man Sutter's young bride had got
me in hot water all right, and now I
was bein' dealt the beating of my
life. If there'd just been two of
those bastards it would have been a
One of the Toughs winds up and delivers the coup de grace.
CUT TO BLACK, then FADE UP ON:
INT. ATTIC ROOM, BOARDING HOUSE - DAY
STILL IN SUBJECTIVE CAMERA as the concerned Landlady, cleavage
foremost, stands away from us, having patted the unseen
Newcomer's face with a washcloth. Beyond her, near the half-
open door, stands her Cheerleader Daughter, worriedly chewing
on her thumb.
The Landlady was good at quite a few
things, but doctoring wasn't one of
CUT TO REVERSE and see the hero, who this time is actually
played by Henry Follett, appearing in his own fantasy for
the first time. He's lying in bed, his face bruised in the
manner of a fifties movie.
...Lucky for me, one of the other
boarders, the broad who lived
downstairs in the front room...
BACK AT THE DOOR, the Cheerleader hears someone coming and
steps aside to make way for -- Althea Brockett, dressed now
in a nurse's uniform so tight the buttons are straining.
...was a nurse...
As the Landlady and the Cheerleader retreat out the door,
Althea the Nurse sways forward toward the bed bearing bandages
and a bowl of steaming water, a lascivious look of concern
on her face.
...and she had ways to make you feel
better they didn't teach in nursing
Althea the Nurse places a bandage over Follett's eyes,
BLACKING OUT THE SCENE.
INT. MUMFORD'S OFFICE - (PRESENT) DAY
Mumford sits beaming at Henry Follett on the couch. Mumford's
glance takes in the clock and he stands up, signalling the
end of the session. Follett snaps out of his revery and gets
I'm very happy for you, Henry.
Mumford, surprisingly, takes Follett's hand and shakes it
I feel like we're making real progress
Me too, Doc. And I can't tell you
what that package meant to me --
Mumford stops him with a "don't mention it" gesture. Follett
accepts and goes out the back door. Mumford is pleased someone
still wants to use that door.
Mumford returns to his desk and begins reading some papers
when he HEARS the entry door to the waiting room. Not
expecting anyone, he checks the clock, then goes to his office
door and opens it.
Sofie is standing there, very agitated, just about to knock.
She peers past him to see if he's alone.
I need to talk to you... Doctor. Can
I come in?
Sofie sits on the couch. Mumford sits in his chair, facing
her. Her voice is as strained as her manner.
We haven't met in this office since
that first time. This is how a real
professional and his client are
supposed to see each other.
It might've been more appropriate if
we had followed a traditional approach
to the doctor-patient relationship.
Is something wrong, Sofie?
Yes, something's very wrong, Dr.
How intuitive! That must take years
of training right there. Maybe you
can guess what has upset me.
Mumford considers a long moment, several scenarios racing
through his mind. Finally, carefully --
Is it something you've heard about
No, it is not something I've heard
about you! It is someth--
Why? Is there something I should
have heard about you?
Why don't you tell me what's on your
Sofie suddenly finds it difficult to look into his eyes, she
looks around frenetically for a moment. Then, indicating the
Mumford gestures "of course." Sofie swings her legs up and
lies on the couch so they can no longer see each other's
face. (It's the most vigorous movement she's yet shown us.)
This seems to help Sofie a bit.
All right... I'm going to come right
out and say this, because that's
what your shrink is for, right, so
you can tell him what's bothering
(tone still rough)
First of all, I have been feeling
much better lately. I don't know if
the syndrome is over -- if it's just
run its course or something -- but I
feel a hundred per cent better than
when I first came to you.
Given that, I'm obviously not going
to be judging things in the most
I don't follow you.
I'm saying that since I'm doing so
much better -- which I attribute to
you -- I'm liable to misinterpret
some of my feelings.
The point is this -- I am not a blank
page. I did not just fall off the
turnip truck. Do you know what I
I think so.
I know a little about psychology. I
took three different courses in
college. It's true, none of them
were above the two hundred level,
but I took them... And there was one
concept I remember very well.
What was that?
Yes, and that is what I have got
right now. I have taken my feelings
of gratitude... and relief... and
transferred them onto... you. I have
taken all those warm, grateful
emotions and confused them with
feelings for you... So that now I am
under the delusion...
(a deep breath)
...that I am in love with you.
Mumford appears frozen in his chair. There is a heavy silence
in the room. Sofie does not look back there.
I think you can understand why I
have some serious questions about
your methods. I mean, obviously it
becomes much more likely that I'm
going to have confusion about this
when your idea of treatment is to go
walking in the woods and up to make-
outs-ville and do all these highly
romantic activities --
Suddenly, Sofie's voice cracks. She is starting to cry, but
refuses to acknowledge it.
-- We had a paper route together,
for godssake! Do you understand how
I might be a little resentful? Knowing
that this so-called "love" I'm feeling
is totally bogus, and just a pathetic
case of... transference?
Mumford doesn't know what to say. He's on the rack. Finally --
Silence. Then Sofie gets up, wiping at tears with the back
of her bare hand. Mumford jumps up to offer her a tissue,
but she ignores it. She will not meet his gaze.
Maybe you ought to think about how
you're going to fix this. And when
(suddenly losing her
...please get back to me.
Sofie turns to go out through the waiting room, but after a
step, she stops, pirouettes and goes out the back.
EXT. THE DUPLEX HOUSE - MAGIC
Mumford comes up the street, lost in thought, and turns into
the driveway toward his stairs. Ainge leaps over the front
yard fence. Mumford pets the dog distractedly, still moving.
Lily rises up suddenly from where she's been working in the
Mumford reluctantly stops. Lily comes up to the fence.
I don't want you to be mad at Skip...
He told you.
Skip and I wouldn't have got together
if it weren't for you. That's a big
You would have met in some shower
I want to give you something. Will
you let me?
Thanks, Lily, I don't need anything.
Yes, you do, you damn well do.
Here it is, some advice -- do the
That's it? That's what you're giving
Clean up the mess. No matter what it
Mumford leans down to pet Ainge.
What it might take is... doing time.
Too bad. That's tough, I mean it.
I'm not unsympathetic. But Skip says
you're in love.
Mumford straightens, looks at Lily and acknowledges it.
Then it's worth it.
Mumford looks at Lily a long moment, then leans over the
fence and kisses her on the forehead. Ainge jumps back over
to her side.
I'll tell her tonight.
Mumford turns and continues toward his stairs.
INT. MUMFORD'S APARTMENT - MAGIC
Mumford comes in, drops his coat, gets a carton of orange
juice out of the fridge and drinks directly from it.
Distracted, he picks up the remote from the kitchen counter
and switches on the TV, then opens his freezer and stares
UNSOLVED MYSTERIES comes on. The opening segment previews a
story about a couple who claim to have had a visitation from
Gianni Versace, then one about a yacht that went down near
Venezuela. ROBERT STACK, in his characteristic fragmented
delivery, intones the preview for the last story, accompanied
by appropriate footage:
...A drug rehabilitation center in
the lonely southwestern desert...
run by reclusive monks... becomes
the point of departure in a mysterious
A CLOSE-UP of an IRS identification card featuring a picture
of a younger Mumford, badly photographed in suit and tie.
His name is not visible.
...as an intrepid government
investigator disappears -- without a
In the kitchen, Mumford spins to look. DISSOLVE TO:
LATER IN THE PROGRAM. Documentary shots of IRS Headquarters,
etc., are INTERCUT with hokey-looking re-enactments from
Mumford's life -- with a YOUNG ACTOR who looks vaguely like
Mumford playing him.
IN MUMFORD'S APARTMENT the telephone is RINGING. Clearly,
it's not the first time. Mumford, watching the show intently,
lifts the headset an inch from the cradle and then hangs up.
When it immediately RINGS AGAIN, Mumford takes it off the
hook, cuts off the call, and buries the headset under a sofa
ON THE SHOW: scenes of tax investigation -- in the show's
version the IRS guys have drawn guns and are storming houses --
are interspersed with scenes of sordid drug-taking.
...despite brilliant promise as a
fearless investigator... found himself
on a downward spiral of drug abuse
MUMFORD'S SISTER, the real thing, a plain, middle-aged West
Virginia woman, appears in a "dramatic", badly-lit interview.
(As with all the interviewees, she is identified by a supered
...we didn't talk much after our
folks died, but I know he felt his
life had taken a wrong turn...
A snapshot of some IRS-era party, happy revelers posing for
a flash. Camera PUSHES IN on Mumford, smiling and high, his
neck encircled by Gregory's arm. Candy is on the other side
A shot of the Pennsylvania Turnpike as a State Police Cruiser
His former undercover partner at the
IRS... is now a trooper with the
Pennsylvania State Police...
GREGORY, in State Police uniform, with a sadistic glint in
his eye, is interviewed by the roadside, cars whipping by.
The guy was obsessed... didn't always
know where to draw the line... but I
would have trusted him with my wife --
er, my life --
(looks off camera,
-- What'd I say? Both, actually...
(gets serious again)
...I can't say I was surprised,
though, when he disappeared.
Ragged telephoto shots of the Drug Rehab Center in the desert,
low, innocuous adobe buildings.
Who was this enigma... a courageous
public servant or a debauched
addict?... Either way, his last known
stop was here... isolated in the
Arizona desert... taken in by an
order of devoted monks...
IN AN ARIZONA TOWN, a monk with a clerical collar, BROTHER
TIMOTHY, is loading groceries into the back of a pick-up.
He's being ambush interviewed. He's polite, but not
We don't talk about the people who've
been our guests... but I can tell
you this about our order -- we believe
everybody has the right to start
over... everybody deserves a second
Shots of wind-swept desert, cactus, and dust-blown highway.
And perhaps... that is exactly the
chance the now-sober pilgrim took...
on a blustery November day... walking
away from the rehab center... never
to be heard from again...
MUMFORD'S SISTER AGAIN:
I'd like to know if he's alive. If
he is, I just hope he's happy and
his new life is...
(not sure how to put
...well, I hope he's found what he
was looking for...
Mumford, in his apartment, watches with real emotion.
His sister's face DISSOLVES into a new snapshot of Mumford,
dressed in an Orkin Exterminator uniform, as the MUSIC on
the show comes up. A 1-800 telephone number appears across
the bottom of the frame.
If you have any information about
this man or know anything about his
whereabouts, contact the Sheriff's
Department in Cochise County, Arizona,
or call this number...
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH, THE DUPLEX HOUSE - NIGHT
Mumford comes out to the rail and looks off over the town of
WHAT HE SEES (or imagines he sees): all across the nightscape,
one window in every house is glowing blue with flickering TV
EXT. COOK HOUSE - NIGHT
MOVING IN on the porch steps. Mumford runs into the shot. In
fact, he's run the whole way from his place and he's out of
breath. He takes the porch steps three at a time, rings the
doorbell, and waits.
Mrs. Cook peeks out, then opens the front door, an especially
sour look on her face. She speaks through the screen door.
Well, look who's here...
Good evening, Mrs. Cook.
Just who is here, can you tell me?
Could I see Sofie, please?
No, you can not. I wouldn't know who
to say is calling.
Mrs. Cook glances inside at the as-yet-unseen Sofie, then
hisses at Mumford --
I could see right through you from
the start, you imposter. I know what
you're after. I knew it then and I
know it now!
Sofie appears behind her mother.
What do you think I'm after, Mrs.
Sofie. It's so obvious... you're
after my daughter.
Well, I gotta say, Mrs. Cook, you're
right about that.
Both Sofie and Mrs. Cook are set back for a moment. Mrs.
Cook recovers fastest --
It'll never happen! You're in big
Mother... go away!
Mr. Cook suddenly appears, takes Mrs. Cook by the arm and
makes her vanish. Sofie and Mumford are left alone. She looks
at him through the screen.
I guess you saw the show...?
Which show was that?
Part of it. We were watching "ER"
until someone called.
You probably got the idea.
Sofie comes outside. She doesn't get too close or look at
him as she walks to the other end of the porch.
Do you know what a betrayal this
...How violated I feel?
You're not the only one...
Sofie turns sharply to look at him, ready to blow up.
You feel violated?
Not me... all my other my patients.
I smelled tar and feathers on the
way over here.
You deserve it.
Mumford agrees. He watches her closely.
I should be irate.
Mumford immediately perks up. Sofie tries to correct --
I am irate!
(grabbing at the thread)
But nothing... I'm mad as hell. This
is a terrible thing you've done.
I know it! Please believe me, I know
Mumford steps closer to her.
But, there is one... mitigating factor
I want you to consider before you
write me off.
Will you think about it?
I don't know. Depends. I'm in a bad
I love you. More than I've ever loved
anyone or anything in my life.
She looks into his eyes.
I want to spend the rest of my life
with you... but I'm not sure you
feel the same way.
She regards him for several moments, her mind racing.
I sort of do...
Mumford feels joy. Now, finally, he takes her in his arms.
...but first, you have to tell me
Anything... just ask.
What is your name?
As Mumford breaks into a huge grin, CUT TO:
INT. COURTROOM, MUMFORD COUNTY COURTHOUSE - DAY
Mumford is at the defense table. Lionel is his lawyer. Sofie,
Mr. Cook and Ben sit right behind the rail.
JUDGE OTTO (O.S.)
The defendant will rise.
Mumford and Lionel stand up.
JUDGE OTTO (O.S.)
Sit down, Lionel.
Lionel sits down, squelched again. We see JUDGE OTTO for the
first time, a tough guy in his sixties.
Clarence Norman White, do you
understand how serious are the crimes
with which you have been charged?
Do you realize how insidious it is
to invade the most private thoughts
and secret lives of unsuspecting
WE SEE there's a pretty big turnout for this hearing.
Prominent among the onlookers: Lily and Skip, sitting
together; Nessa and Martin, holding hands; Dr. Delbanco and
MRS. DELBANCO. Gilroy, from the State Certification Board,
sits with the PROSECUTOR.
...People who have come to you with
the faith that you know what you're
doing... and that you are who you
say you are?
Yes, your honor.
It means absolutely nothing to me
that so many of your patients have
come forward with praise for you and
your therapeutic skills. You
Follett is sitting in one of the back rows, apparently alone.
But now he looks down the row. Althea is sitting down at the
end in a stylish suit, completely appropriate, but a size
She gives Follett a sidelong glance, then crosses her legs
provocatively. Whatever fantasy they're currently enacting
is working really well for both of them.
Mr. White, I am frustrated that the
criminal code in this state allows a
maximum sentence of only six months
and a maximum fine of only $2000.
I'm sorry, your honor.
I'm sorry you're frustrated.
Are you disrespecting this court,
No, sir. I was empathizing. Sorry.
Maybe you can empathize with this --
Maximum fine. Three months in jail,
three months house arrest. Sentence
to begin immediately at the Orchard
Valley Correctional Facility. Case
closed. This court is adjourned.
The judge slams down his gavel, stands up and stalks out. A
DEPUTY moves in to take custody of Mumford. Lionel stands up
and leans in --
It's a country club. Don't worry
Thanks for your help, Lionel.
Mumford turns to face the Cooks. Mr. Cook and Ben shake his
hand like he's just won something. Lionel addresses them all
with his usual self-satisfaction --
I'll have him out in half the time.
WE PUSH IN on Mumford and Sofie, who embrace.
You got off easy.
Will you wait for me?
We're only talking about six weeks.
Will you be here?
Of course... I haven't got the energy
to get out of town that fast.
They kiss. The Deputy takes Mumford's arm, and we --
INT. STATE CORRECTIONAL SEDAN - DAY
Mumford is alone in the backseat, handcuffed to a metal
restraint. A lone COUNTY CORRECTIONAL OFFICER is up front,
driving. There's a heavy security screen divider between
front and back.
Better make yourself comfortable. We
got a three hour drive here.
You're the shrink, aren't you?
No, not really.
But you do therapy?
Not any more.
They ride along in silence. At peace, Mumford watches the
town go by. Finally --
I'll tell you, Doc, the wife and I,
we got a little bit of a problem.
Would you mind if I just ran it by
The Correctional Officer watches Mumford in the rear view
mirror, waiting hopefully. Mumford ponders the question a
long time, then gives a "what the hell" shrug.
EXT. MAIN STREET, EDGE OF TOWN - DAY
The State Correctional Sedan heads out of the business
district toward the highway, leaving the town of Mumford