02x12 - L'Chaim (To Life)


[The sound of slow breathing. The scene fades in with klezmer music. Jenny gets out of her car which is parked next to a warehouse by the freeway. Car traffic and police sirens are heard in the distance.]

[Title card: Los Angeles, California, present day]

[Jenny walks up to the warehouse. A sign on the building reads "Howling Coyote".]

[Jenny goes in. The breathing sound in the background begins to speed up. Jenny walks through a corridor to a main area with a small stage. A woman sits at a table. A big man looking at a clipboard walks past.]

Woman: Hey, Victor. She's here.

[Victor looks at Jenny.]

Victor: Yeah. So? (shrugs)

Woman: Trust me. She's a very sick girl.

[The breathing stops. Jenny smiles.]

[Opening credits]


[Jenny sings softly in Hebrew. She slowly flips through the pages of a sketchbook, wherein is drawn disturbing pictures of a naked young woman: urinating in a bowl, being shouted at by a young man wearing a clown t-shirt, and standing on a stage in front of a crowd of cheering, shouting men, lifting her skirt. The title of one of the drawings reads "Skokie, Illinois, 1989". The sound of men cheering and whistling loudly is heard in the background.]

[The men in the crowd look vicious, like animals, as they shout at the young girl on stage. Jenny has drawn many of the men in the crowd with warped, bizarre faces, as they jeer and show their teeth at the girl on the stage. Some of the men stare hard; others have their mouths open, shouting.]

[Cut to live-action footage of men crowded around a small stage, shouting and banging on the stage animalistically. The men are almost uncontrollable. The scene goes back and forth between live-action shots and the drawings.]

[We see a drawing of a young Jenny, stripped down to her underwear, standing alone as hands reach for her. The sounds of cheering and shouting finally drift away. Jenny still sings softly.]


[Deliverymen are bringing in a hospital bed for Melvin. Kit sits nearby. Bette moves furniture around.]

Bette: Just right in the middle of the living room.

Kit: Not a good decorating choice. You're going to be sorry.

Bette: I just had to get him out of the hospital. It was killing him.

Kit: Cancer's killing him.

Bette: (to deliverymen) That's great. Right there. Can you guys hook that up for me, please?

Deliveryman: Really not our job, ma'am. Here are the instructions.

[The deliveryman hands Bette a slip of paper before leaving. Bette reads it.]

Kit: Do you have any idea what you're taking on? Are you prepared to watch our father die right here in your living room?

Bette: He could go into remission, Kit. Don't put him in the ground quite yet.

Kit: He's refusing treatment.

Bette: His doctors give him four to six weeks. I give him as long as he wants to stay alive.

Kit: And what about work?

Bette: (sighs) Don't worry about work, Kit. I just... want to make sure that Daddy's set up. I'll figure something out.

Kit: I don't think you know what you're in for. This is going to eat you alive.

Bette: I didn't know that I would be taking it on all by myself.

Kit: Then you should have talked to me. You should have included me in this huge decision you made about how our father's going to leave this earth.


[Jenny still sits, looking at the sketchbook, still singing softly in Hebrew. Shane walks in with coffee and a muffin and sits down next to her.]

Jenny: Thank you. That's nice.

Shane: They're from Mark.

Jenny: No, thank you.

Shane: Look, he asked me to bring it.

Jenny: I'm not going to let the b*st*rd redeem himself.

Shane: Look, I doubt he thinks that coffee and a muffin's going to redeem him.

[Jenny says nothing, continues looking at the sketchbook. Shane gets up and walks to the door.]

Shane: Look, I hate to bring this up, but... we have rent -

Jenny: No, no, no. I know.

Shane: You know, Jen, I'd - I'd cover you if I could -

Jenny: No.

Shane: You know, Mark offered -

[Jenny turns around to Shane.]

Jenny: No.

[She turns back to her sketchbook.]

Jenny: I'll pay my own rent.

Shane: Okay.

[Shane leaves.]


[Shelly, the nurse, walks to the front door.]


[Mark is busy scraping old paint off the house with a paint scraper.]


[Bette is taking down some of the more suggestive art she has in her house. Shelly knocks at the door.]

Bette: Come in.

Shelly: (entering) Hi.

Bette: Oh, thank God you're here. Can you figure out how to hook that thing up?

Shelly: Oh, yeah, sure. (pointing to her bags) Is there anywhere that I can...

Bette: Oh, there's a spare bedroom around the corner, at the end of the hallway.

Shelly: Okay.


[Shelly walks into the spare bedroom and sees the glass mobile and a baby's crib. She sets down her bag and walks back out to the living room.]


[Bette is now putting up pictures that were in a box of her and Tina. She looks at a picture a moment, and then sets it on the nightstand. Shelly enters.]

Shelly: I see you have a baby.

Bette: No, not yet. Maybe. I mean, yes, in 10 days. My ex. My ex, she's due in 10 days.

Shelly: You have a lot on your plate.

[Bette begins dialing a number on her phone.]

Bette: That's nothing new to me.

Shelly: Have you thought about what's going to happen if your father's still alive when the baby's born?

[Bette looks a little confused.]

Bette: He will be. (phone) Hi, James, it's me.

[Bette paces as she talks. Shelly prepares the IV by the bed.]

Bette: (phone) Can you call my father's housekeeper and have her send out my father's family photographs? Just have her overnight them to me. Okay. Okay, great. Thanks.

[Bette hangs up and sighs, and turns to Shelly.]

Bette: I was looking at my father's medication chart. Why is he taking Prednisone? Isn't that some kind of steroid?

Shelly: Yeah, it can help with mental clarity when there's inflammation or swelling around the brain.

[Bette stares at Shelly, seemingly struck by the gravity of the words.]

Shelly: Towards the end, it'll get very... confusing and frightening. And not just for the patient.

[Bette looks sad.]


[Tina, Dana, and Alice walk in. They pass Helena and Leigh who are at a table together, staring into each other's eyes and holding hands. Helena sees Tina.]

Helena: Tina!

[They unclasp hands.]

Helena: Dana, Alice. Do you know Leigh Ostin?

[Leigh waves at the gang.]

Dana: No, hi.

Leigh: (re: Tina's belly) Oh, my God. You're so close. How are you feeling?

Tina: Oh, hungry.

[Everyone chuckles. Helena grins.]

Leigh: Hey, is this Bette Porter's baby?

Tina: Well, our baby.

Leigh: Oh, I just met her recently. She is great.

Helena: Didn't she ask you out?

Leigh: (smiling uncomfortably) Yeah.

[Helena smiles a bit vindictively at Tina. Tina gives a little laugh.]

Tina: Uh, we're going to go sit down.

Alice: Yeah.

Helena: See you.

Dana: Bye.

Helena: Oh, but I'll see you here later tonight, yeah?

Tina: Oh, um, maybe. I just feel like a hot bath and my own bed tonight.

Helena: Well, we'll make it an early one.

Tina: We'll see. (to Leigh) It was nice seeing you again.

Leigh: You too.

Helena: Bye.

Leigh: Bye.

Dana: Bye.

[Helena watches after Tina as she goes to another part of the cafe and sits down; she looks somber, somewhat hurt.]


Dana: Okay...

[Everybody picks up a menu and starts looking at it.]

Dana: So... so you're okay with that, huh?

Tina: What?

Dana: (nodding head toward Helena) That.

[Tina looks over. She doesn't seem upset or anything.]

Tina: Oh. Yeah, I'm okay with it.

Dana: Oh.

[Alice looks distant.]

Alice: I wouldn't be okay with it.

[Lara suddenly appears out of nowhere.]

Lara: (to Dana) I was wondering when I would see you in here. You haven't come in for dinner.

Dana: (shocked) Oh, my God!

Lara: Can I have a hug?

Dana: Yeah!

[Dana gets up and they hug very happily.]

Dana: (hugging) Hi, wow, look at you!

[Alice stares at them, dumbstruck. She looks a tad put off.]

Tina: Hi, why don't you sit down?

[Dana and Lara sit down.]

Lara: Yeah, okay, just until Kit gets here. We're planning a new lunch menu.

Dana: (confused) You work here?

Alice: Lunch! Wow! You're going to be here so much! And Gabby will probably be here, and -

Lara: We're not together.

[Silence. Alice nods absently, and then stares at her menu. Tina watches Alice. Lara redirects her attention back to Dana.]

Lara: I am so proud of you. You came out, big time.

Dana: (grinning) Yeah. Well, sorry I didn't do it any sooner. (chuckles)

[The two of them grin and stare at each other like a couple of lovesick teenagers. Lara looks off into the distance. Alice looks completely crushed.]

Lara: Oh, you know what? Kit's here. I should probably go, but... can we have dinner?

[Alice cocks her head. Dana's seems a bit surprised. She carefully defers to Alice.]

Dana: Yeah - I'd love to. Would that be okay with you, babe?

[Alice's mouth is frozen open.]

Lara: Oh. Oh, you guys are dat...

Alice: Well... (smiles)

Lara: (laughs) Oh, my God. I'm sorry.

[Lara, smiling, now seems as surprised as everyone else. She looks at Dana.]

Alice: Um... (fidgeting) Dana, you don't have to get permission from me to go out to dinner with your ex. You guys should be friends. (nods) Best, best friends.

[Alice's smile is big and fake.]

Lara: Okay, well.

Alice: (smiling) Uh-huh!

Lara: (to Dana) I'll, um... I'll talk to you after.

Dana: Okay.

Lara: Okay. It was good to see you guys.

Alice: (super fake smile) Uh-huh, you too! Okay.

Lara: Bye.

[Lara gets up and walks off. Dana grins.]

Dana: Wow.

[Alice flips her menu over and blows out a breath, avoiding eye contact with Dana.]

Alice: Whew, okay.


[Shelly walks from the kitchen into the living room, with a handful of pill bottles and a large days-of-the-week pill sorting box. Bette is in the living room, making her father's bed.]

Shelly: So, I've organized his meds into times and dosages so you can keep to the schedule when I'm not here, and I'll show you how to clean and insert the I.V. catheter.

[Shelly sets the pill bottles on the nightstand next to the bed. Also on the nightstand is a picture of Bette hugging Tina. Bette looks at the picture, and at the pill bottles. Footsteps are heard on the porch.]

Shelly: Speak of the devil. Here he is.

[Melvin is wheeled into the house on an ambulance gurney by two paramedics.]

Shelly: Welcome home, Mr. Porter.

[Bette is a little taken aback at the scene. She closes the door.]

Bette: How are you feeling, Daddy?

Melvin: Who is this woman?

Bette: Uh, that's... Shelly. She was in the hospital with you yesterday. You remember? She's your nurse?

[The paramedics move Melvin over to the hospice bed Bette's prepared. His IV and oxygen are in place. Melvin stares at the four people standing around his bed looking at him.]

Melvin: Am I on display?

[The paramedics leave with their gurney.]

Melvin: (shouting) Can't a man have a bit of privacy?

Shelly: (to Bette) I suggest hospital curtains. I can order them.

[Shelly hangs up Melvin's IV.]

Bette: Curtains are so ugly and depressing. Get some of those Japanese screens and make a room within a room. Hey, why don't you pick some of those up at Ikea?

Shelly: Um, maybe you can get your assistant to do that.

[Bette looks confused.]


[Mark is working on the sink. Jenny is putting things in her purse.]

Mark: Seriously, Jenny, if you're short on rent this month, it's not a problem.

Jenny: f*ck you.

Mark: I don't expect that it would fix everything.

Jenny: (calmly) Like you can buy me off with money and good deeds, like I'm some kind of a whore?

Mark: That's not what I meant.

[Jenny grabs her purse and leaves.]


[Franklin is sitting at the table, having a glass of tea. Bette is putting things away and organizing Melvin's pills on the countertop.]

Bette: I was planning on coming in this afternoon, but he just seemed a little disoriented, so I just didn't feel comfortable.

Franklin: You're doing the right thing, Bette.

Bette: After this week, I should be able to get back to some... semblance of a normal schedule.

Franklin: Listen, we - we don't want you to feel pressured, uh... You take however much time you need.

Bette: (smiles at him) Thank you. I appreciate that.

Franklin: We just, uh, need to put some... structure in place, uh... no, I - I'm sure the board would support a temporary leave of absence.

[Bette stops and turns to Franklin, confused.]

Bette: A leave of absence? What about the Allyn Barnes retrospective?

Franklin: (smiling) Well, we have Leo. Things won't totally fall apart while you're gone.

Bette: (agitated) I hired a nurse. I wasn't planning on taking a leave of absence. I'm sure that as soon as he trusts her -

[Shelly comes in.]

Shelly: I'm sorry to interrupt, but I need your help.

Bette: (to Franklin) I'm sorry. Excuse me, just...

[Bette follows Shelly into the living room.]

Franklin: Sure.


[Shelly and Bette stand on opposite sides of the bed. They are going to turn Melvin over.]

Shelly: So we have to do this every few hours. Just take his shoulder gently, under here, like that.

[They start to move him. Melvin grumbles.]

Bette: Is that okay?

[Melvin groans as Bette pulls him onto his side and holds him there. Shelly puts a pillow at his back.]

Shelly: Yeah. Use a pillow to prop him.

[Franklin enters.]

Franklin: Sorry, I - I have to go back to the office.

Bette: Just one second...

[They get Melvin situated and covered up. Bette walks over to talk to Franklin by the door.]

Franklin: Your father's lucky to have you, Bette.

Bette: Thanks.

Franklin: Uh, just - let me know what you want to do.

Bette: About what?

Franklin: Uh, about the leave of absence.

Bette: (sighs) Can I have until Monday to decide?

Franklin: Of course. Take the weekend.

[Franklin leaves. Bette closes the door and sighs.]


[Cars zoom past. A doorman stands in the doorway. People sit outside on the patio.]


[Helena and Tina, and Dana and Alice, are having dinner. A blonde woman sits on the other side of Helena. Helena hands a menu to the waitress.]

Helena: (to waitress) Ask Lara to - (to Dana) it is Lara, isn't it? Your chef?

Dana: Yeah.

Helena: (to waitress) Ask Lara to bring us a selection of small tastes, whatever she thinks is most delicious.

Alice: (to Dana) "Your chef"? That's nice.

Blonde woman: Wow. This is my favorite way to eat.

Helena: You should stick with me, then.

[Helena is being openly flirtatious right in front of Tina. Tina looks very uncomfortable.]

Dana: Alice, if you don't want me to go out with her, just -

Alice: I said it was okay.

[Helena is turned completely to the other woman, fully engaged, her back completely to Tina. Helena and the woman are flirting big time.]

Blonde: I'm a surveillance photographer. I work for divorce lawyers, wives trying to find their husbands cheating on them, that kind of thing.

Helena: That's brilliant. I should bring you with me to New York. You can spy on my ex.

[Both laugh.]

Tina: I'm going to go.

Helena: (surprised) Why? We haven't even eaten.

Tina: (smiling) I can't keep my eyes open. But please stay. I'll take a cab.

Helena: You okay?

Tina: Besides having to pee like a horse?

Helena: You know what I mean.

Tina: Helena, I'm tired. I just want to go home and be alone.

Helena: Fine. Enjoy being alone.

Tina: I will. I want to enjoy it while I can.

[Tina stares daggers at Helena before getting up.]

Tina: Bye, guys.

Alice: Okay, I'll see you later.

Dana: Bye.

[Helena looks like she's having second thoughts. She stands.]

Helena: Tina...

[Helena embraces Tina, gives her a kiss on the cheek. In the hug, she gets close to her ear.]

Helena: (whispering) You won't be alone, but you'll still get lonely.

[The hug ends. Tina looks a little hurt and walks away. Helena smiles a bit smugly.]


[Bette and Kit sit next to their father's bed. Melvin sleeps quietly. His EKG machine beeps quietly in the background. Bette is reading a poem - "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" by Langston Hughes.]

Bette: (reading) "I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset." (Bette sighs) (reading) "I've known rivers, ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep, like the rivers."

[Bette puts the book down and gets up.]

Bette: Daddy, it's time to turn you over. I'm just going to try to do this by myself, okay?

Melvin: (weakly) Uh-huh...

[Bette doesn't see that Tina has walked into the room. Bette starts to lift up her father's shoulder.]

Bette: I'm just going to lift up...

Tina: Let me help you.

[Bette is surprised to see Tina. Tina goes to the other side of the bed and helps Bette roll her father over.]

Bette: If you could just... take the pillow...

Tina: Okay.

Bette: And I'll hold his shoulder here.

Tina: (putting pillow behind Melvin) Kit made you dinner. I promised her I'd make you sit down and eat it.

[Melvin is finally situated. Bette rolls him back onto the pillow. Melvin grunts.]

Bette: That's good.

[Tina looks down at her would-be father-in-law. He stares back up at her. Bette watches.]

Tina: Hello, Melvin. It's Tina. "Ms. Kennard."

Melvin: I know who you are.

Tina: Kit's at work. She'll be here as soon as she can.

Melvin: Who?

Bette: Katie, Daddy. She said she's going to be here soon.

Melvin: (to Bette) How does she know Katie?

[Tina isn't sure what to say.]

Bette: (to Melvin) I'm going to go get you a glass of water. Okay? I'll be right back.

Tina: (to Bette) I'll fix you dinner.


[Bette and Tina walk in. Bette gets a glass of water, and Tina prepares some of the food Kit made. Bette starts to walk back into the living room.]

Tina: I'm sorry... if I was selfish the other night.

Bette: It's okay.

[Bette returns to the living room.]


[Melvin is sleeping. Tina sits next to Bette as Bette stares at her father.]

Bette: I put him in the living room. I didn't want to put him in the baby's room, in case...

[Bette gets teary-eyed. She leans back in the chair, and lays against Tina's shoulder. Tina has her arm around her. They watch Melvin sleep. Bette relaxes into her embrace and Tina pets her hair.]

Bette: We've never done this before.

Tina: I've never held you?

Bette: In front of my father.

Tina: He's asleep.

[Melvin's eyes open. He looks at the two women.]

Melvin: (very pleased) Now, that's what I like to see. (to Tina) Now, promise... you'll take good care of my girl.

[Tina looks a little dazed, as Melvin has never addressed them openly about their relationship. Bette smiles up at Tina.]

Tina: I promise.

Melvin: (to Bette) And you... you take good care of your mother, too. You hear me? Maxine... don't run away again...

[Bette seems let down and heartbroken at the same time. She leans forward and puts her face in her hands, crying.]

Melvin: Stay... with our little girl. I know I let you down, Maxine. I was weak. (sobbing) I didn't mean to.

[Bette goes to sit on the edge of his bed and comfort him.]

Bette: Oh, Daddy.

Melvin: But I need you...

Bette: Daddy...

Melvin: ... to stay... and look after my girl...

Bette: Daddy...


[Kit is serving patrons in the bar. Dana and Alice are in the corner, talking. Shane walks up.]

Shane: Hey, Carmen called me. Is she really here?

Alice: Who?

[The lights go down and music starts. Cheering and applause ensues.]

Shane: It's Peaches. C'mon, let's go!

[A performer named Peaches sings a song. Shane and Carmen are in the crowd a few feet from each other. Every few seconds they glance at each other then glance away.]


[Melvin is sleeping. Bette sits on the edge of his bed, worrying.]

Bette: I can't face it. I can't face it.

[Tina smoothes Bette's hair back from her face. Bette sobs softly. Bette stands up. Tina hugs her as she cries.]


[Tina leads a crying Bette back into the bedroom. Bette sits on the edge of the bed and starts to take her clothes off. Tina pets her hair and helps her get undressed. Bette looks up to her. Tina leans down and kisses her softly.]

Bette: (sobbing) Can we just sleep?

Tina: (smiling) Yes, please.

[Bette lays down on the bed. Tina lays down with her and they sleep.]


[Jenny walks in and gets a box of cereal from the top of the fridge and a bowl from the sink. She ignores Mark, who's making coffee. Jenny sits and eats.]

Mark: Want some coffee?

[No reply. Mark shakes his head.]


[We see Bette and Tina still sleeping, through the window. Bette stirs and sits up, still looking exhausted.]


[Bette tiptoes in. Melvin's EKG beeps. Kit is laying in the lounger next to her dad, asleep. She stirs awake when she hears Bette.]

Bette: Hey. What time did you get here?

Kit: A little after midnight. (stands) He had a rough night. He was awake, but he didn't talk. He was in so much pain.

Bette: I feel like he's giving up.

[Kit stands next to Bette. They look at their father.]

Bette: Uh, Shelly's going to be here in an hour. She said she wants to give him a sponge bath this morning.

Melvin: No, she will not. That's an indignity I am not prepared to endure.

[Bette pours a glass of water.]

Melvin: You can help me to the bathroom. I'm perfectly capable of bathing myself... which you don't seem to be able to do these days. I haven't seen you out of those clothes since I first arrived.

Bette: Because I've been taking care of you, Daddy.

Melvin: To the detriment of your work, and what's all this about taking a leave of absence?

Bette: I'm considering it.

Melvin: So you can mope around here and watch an old man die? I will not have it! Your work is too important for that.

Bette: It's not more important than you.

Melvin: I don't want either of you to compromise your careers on my behalf. Do you understand?

Kit: Yeah.

Melvin: (to Kit) And you. If you think Benjamin is going to leave his family for you -

Kit: I don't, Daddy.

Melvin: What do you mean, you don't?

Kit: I wouldn't do that to another man's wife.

Melvin: It's human nature to pursue one's happiness over someone else's misery.

Kit: Not always, Daddy. After her mother stole you from my mother, you fell in love with someone else, didn't you, Daddy?

Melvin: That doesn't matter.

[Tina walks in.]

Tina: Oh, um... I'm sorry.

Melvin: Hello, Tina.

[Everybody gawks at Melvin. This is the first time Melvin has ever addressed her directly as Tina.]

Tina: (smiles) Hello, Melvin.

[Bette casts a backwards glance at Tina.]

Melvin: Where's my nurse? I'm ready to get out of this damn bed.

Kit: Daddy...

Bette: No, Daddy, just relax.

Tina: It's good to see that you're feeling better. (to Bette) I have to go to work.

[Bette and Tina hold hands as Bette walks her to the door. Melvin watches them closely. Bette and Tina kiss then Tina leaves. Melvin doesn't turn away.]


[Kit and Bette are supporting Melvin between them as they help him to the bathroom.]

Kit: Just be careful.

Bette: Alright. Alright. Okay.

Kit: Not too fast.

Bette: Okay.

Kit: Alright, you're alright. Okay.

[They arrive at the open bathroom door.]

Melvin: Alright. Can a man have some privacy? Huh?

Kit: Yeah, Daddy.

[Melvin walks into the bathroom and slams the door in their faces.]

Bette: Just leave him alone, I think he'll be fine.

[They lean in to listen. The doorbell chimes. Bette goes to answer it.]


Shelly: Sorry I'm late. Traffic on the 405 - where's your father?

Bette: He's doing well. He's in the bathroom.

[There's a loud crash and thud down the hallway. Bette and Shelly race to the bathroom.]


[Kit opens the bathroom door.]

Kit: Oh, Daddy! Are you okay, Daddy?

[Melvin has fallen down in the bathroom. Kit kneels next to him.]

Melvin: I -

[Bette and Shelly race in. Shelly quickly kneels next to Melvin to keep him still. Melvin reaches up toward Bette.]

Shelly: Don't move. Mr. Porter, don't move.

Melvin: No, no. No hospitals.

Shelly: Just try and stay as still as possible.

Melvin: No, no hospital. No more hospitals. No. (to Bette) No more hospital! No!

[Bette leaves the bathroom.]

Shelly: (to Melvin) Okay, just try and relax.


[Jenny is sitting at the table eating. Mark is sitting on the countertop reading the paper. Shane drinks some coffee.]

Shane: (to Jenny) Where were you last night? You missed Peaches.

[Jenny shrugs. Suddenly, the kitchen door opens and Bette races in.]

Bette: I need your help!

[Bette races back out. All three follow her.]


[Everyone is carrying Melvin back to his bed...]

Kit: Going around the corner, guys. Daddy, are you okay?

Bette: Just get his head. Do we have his head?

Shelly: Yeah, we've got his head, and watch the ivy there.

Kit: Okay. Alright. Alright.

[... except Jenny, who watches from the sidelines.]

Shelly: You're doing real good.


[Dana is in the bathroom wrapped in a towel, freshly showered. She sits on the edge of the tub, shaving her legs. Alice walks in.]

Alice: Why are you shaving your legs?

Dana: 'Cause there's hair on them?

Alice: So? Is Lara going to feel them or something?

[Dana narrows her eyes a little at Alice.]

Alice: What, it's a legitimate question.


[Shane and Mark are walking down the sidewalk. Shane is on her cell phone. Mark is reading the label on a can.]

Shane: (phone) Hey. Yeah, we're just picking a few things up for Melvin. Yeah, well, listen, why don't you and Dana grab a bottle of wine and some flowers when we hit Bette's? Alright. Yeah, sounds good. Alright, see you then. Bye. (to Mark) Oh, poor Bette.

Mark: "Poor Bette," man? Poor Melvin. (re: can) Look at this sh1t. It's liquid food.

Shane: Cycle of life. You wind up eating baby food, and you're back in diapers.

Mark: Mm.

[Mark's cellphone rings. He stops and looks at the readout.]

Shane: Who's that?

Mark: No one.

Shane: Who's that??

Mark: (smiling) No one.

[Shane gives him a playful kick in the butt.]

Mark: It's Lola.

Shane: Lola? Who's Lola?

Mark: Uh, she's that girl from last night.

Shane: Wait, the one who was up on stage with Peaches?

Mark: Yes.

Shane: (laughing) Stiffing her on stage?

Mark: (laughing) Shut up. She was drunk.

Shane: sh1t, if she's drunk, do you think she'd text message me?

Mark: Shut the f*ck up.

Shane: I'll text message her. (laughs)


[Bette is on the phone.]

Bette: (phone) I've already been transferred.

[Alice and Dana enter, carrying flowers and beer.]

Bette: (phone) One second. (to Alice/Dana) I'll be right there. (phone) Hello? (clears throat) Yeah, this is Bette Porter. I'm trying to hire an additional respite worker.

[Alice and Dana set the stuff in the kitchen.]


[Bette, Mark, Shane, Dana, and Alice are sitting around having beer.]

Shane: Uh, my dad? Invisible.

Mark: Bitter.

Dana: (clears throat) (nodding) Dependably supportive.

Mark: (holds up a finger, smiling) One word.

Dana: Dependable.

[Alice is quiet. She seems a little lost.]

Alice: Distant.

[She looks at Dana. Dana watches her. Alice looks away.]

Mark: Bette, what about you?

Bette: What about me, what?

Shane: Describe your dad. One word.

Bette: Dying.


[Blues plays in the background. Bette is giving Melvin water via an eye dropper.]

Bette: There you go. Swallow.

[Shane walks in, followed by the others.]

Shane: Hey.

Bette: I'm sorry, my father was thirsty.

Shane: Maybe we should let you be.

Bette: Yeah. Thanks, you guys.

Shane: Bye. Call if you need anything.

Bette: Okay.

[Bette puts a few more drops of water into Melvin's mouth.]

Bette: Open. There you go. Swallow.


[Alice drives up the street and stops at the curb to let Dana out.]

Alice: Alright. I'll see you at 10:00.

Dana: Yep. 10:00 o'clock. Now, what is it?

Alice: I don't know. A nightclub thing with Jenny. I don't know, but she said be there at 10:00, so don't be late.

Dana: Okay, I'll be there.

[Dana leans forward and gives Alice a kiss on the cheek. Alice looks nervous and worried.]

Dana: Are you okay?

Alice: Yes. Mm-hmm.

Dana: Okay. I'll see you later.

Alice: Alrighty.

Dana: Okay.

[Dana gets out. Alice watches her go, then looks down.]

Alice: (quietly) Goddammit.


[Bette has a box full of Melvin's old photos. She looks at some of the pictures. Melvin watches her, but seems far away, unable to react.]

Bette: Here are some of your things, Daddy. (looks at photo) There's me and mom.

[The picture is of a beautiful woman with long, blonde hair holding Bette, who's about 2 in the picture. Bette shows the picture to Melvin.]

Bette: I remember that little ball.

[Bette sets the framed picture on the shelf by the bed and gets another out of the box.]

Bette: I don't remember this one. Do you remember this? You and mom?

[Bette shows the framed photo to Melvin. He looks, but doesn't answer. The photo is black and white, of a young Melvin and Maxine. Bette pulls out another photo.]

Bette: Here's me and mom.

[Maxine watches a 2-year old Bette playing with toys. Bette looks affectionately at the picture, and shows it to Melvin. Melvin smiles warmly.]

Bette: I had a lot of hair as a kid. (chuckles) There's some of her watercolors in here. Oh, look.

[Bette pulls out a seashell from the box and smiles.]

Bette: Where's that from?

Melvin: I...

Bette: (smiling) Acapulco, right? (puts shell down) Let's see what else we have in here.

[Bette carefully pulls out a beautiful watercolor in a matte frame. She looks at it. The scene is of window shutters surrounded by flowers in a sunny room. She holds it up for Melvin to see.]

Bette: I think this one was your favorite, wasn't it? She knew her stuff, mom, didn't she?

[Melvin looks warmly at the painting.]

Melvin: (mumbling) Yeah... yeah...

Bette: I'm going to put this right over here.

[Bette sets the painting on the shelf by the bed. Melvin's eyes never leave it.]


[A shot of a palm tree swaying in the breeze, with a mountain in the background. Traffic and police sirens are heard in the distance.]


[Dana and Lara are sitting at a small table eating African/Middle Eastern food with their fingers.]

Lara: I should've worn my latex jumpsuit.

Dana: (laughs) I really miss our food adventures.

Lara: You know, there's this Peruvian restaurant in Van Nuys I've been wanting to go to.

Dana: Mm-hmm?

[Lara looks at her expectantly.]

Dana: I shouldn't.

Lara: Training.

Dana: No. Well, yeah, sort of.

Lara: Alice.

Dana: Lara...

Lara: Dana... I'm just talking about a dinner.

Dana: No, this is a dinner. What you're talking about... is a second dinner.

[The camera slowly closes in on Dana's purse, sitting on the chair next to Dana. It buzzes with an incoming call, but Dana doesn't notice.]


[Alice is on her phone, pacing. Bikers and cars go by. Rock music is heard from the bar.]

Alice: (phone) Hey, uh, hey, it's me, um... I just wanted to call and tell you to, uh, maybe get here at, like, a quarter to 10:00. Um...

[Carmen passes by and waves.]

Carmen: Al, hey!

[Alice waves back. Carmen goes in to the bar.]

Alice: (phone) um, 'cause it looks like it might be a little busy... crowded. Um, so, okay, yeah, call me when you get this. Okay? Bye. (hangs up) Goddammit.


[The bar is packed, and it appears 99% of the patrons are burly biker-type men. The centerpiece of the bar is a stage where currently, a woman is stripping as heavy metal pounds out over the speakers. Men crowd around the stage and howl and cheer over the music as the woman reveals her breasts. Carmen tries to make her way in, toward the table where Shane is standing.]

Carmen: Jesus Christ.

Shane: Hey!

Carmen: Hey! Nice place!

Shane: Oh, yeah. Did Jenny invite you?

Yeah, she did. Have you seen her?

Shane: No.

Carmen: This just doesn't feel right. I'm going to go look for her. God, why would she want to come to this place?

[The woman strips and writhes as she dances. Some of the men pound the stage, grunting and shouting at her. Shane looks over and sees Carmen, not very far into the crowd. We can hear Carmen shouting angrily at someone. Shane leaves her table and walks over.]

Carmen: (to some guy, angrily) What do you mean, "Cool your jets, honey"? Don't f*cking touch me! Get your f*cking hands off of me!

Guy: Whoa, honey, honey, cool your jets.

Carmen: What the f*ck is your problem, man? Why do you have to f*cking touch me, huh?

Guy: Hey, hey, whoa, baby, whoa.

Carmen: What?! Why do you have to f*cking put your hands on me?

[Shane gets to Carmen just as a bouncer comes and separates the guy from Carmen. Shane walks Carmen away from the scene.]

Carmen: Asshole!

Shane: Are you all right?

Carmen: Yes.

[Another guy bumps into Carmen. She shoves at him a little.]

Carmen: Goddammit!

[Shane is grinning profusely. She leans close to Carmen's ear, shouting over the music.]

Shane: Do you want to go out sometime?

Carmen: What?

Shane: (leans in again) Do you want to go out with me sometime?

[Carmen stares at Shane, a little dumbstruck.]


[Melvin is sleeping. Bette and Kit sit close to his bedside. Bette is reading "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" to him again.]

Bette: (reading) "And I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset. I have known rivers... ancient, dusky rivers" -

Kit: What is that?

Bette: It's Daddy's favorite poem.

Kit: Oh.

Bette: Didn't he ever read it to you?

Kit: No... and thank God, because that's one dull-ass poem.

Melvin: (groaning) Mama... ma...

Bette: Oh, Daddy, shhhh.

Melvin: Mama... mama...

Bette: Shh, Daddy. Shh.

Melvin: Ma... m...

Bette: Daddy, it's okay.

[Kit begins to sing softly - "Rusty Old Halo".]

Kit: (singing) "Rusty old halo, skinny white clouds..."

[Bette joins in.]

Kit/Bette: (singing) "... second-hand wings full of patches. Rusty old halo, skinny white cloud, a robe so woolly it scratches. I know a man rich as a king, still he just won't give his neighbor a thing. His day will come, I'll make a bet, he'll get to heaven and here's what he'll get."

[Kit begins to cry as she sings. Bette looks at her.]

Kit/Bette: (singing) "Rusty old halo, skinny white cloud, a robe so woolly it scratches."

Kit: (singing) (weakly) "A robe so woolly, it scratches..."

[Bette puts her head on Kit's shoulder.]


[The music and loud cheering continues. The stripper finishes her dance and leaves the stage. The male MC comes out.]

MC: (mic) Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome a special new dancer. Give it up for Miss Yeshiva Girl!

[The crowds cheer harder, beating on the stage and howling. More blaring heavy metal starts playing. We see Jenny sitting off stage, just behind the curtain, biding her time before going out there. She throws a high-heeled shoe out on the stage and the men go even wilder.]


[Shane leans up against the table, watching the stage. Dana is making her way towards her, jumping out of the way to avoid contact with anyone or anything.]

Dana: Hey!

Shane: Hey!

Dana: I feel like I'm in hell. What is this place?

Shane: It's Jenny.

[The man that works the spotlight for the stage shines the spotlight on the curtain, waiting for Jenny. The men are starting to shout and boo, because so far Jenny hasn't materialized. Dana looks around the club.]

Dana: Where's Alice?

Shane: She went to look for you.


[Alice opens the door. The bed is empty; Dana is nowhere to be found. She throws her purse down and flops on the bed and buries her face in the covers. She rolls onto her back and sighs.]

Alice: Dana?


[Klezmer music is playing. The crowd is starting to jeer. Jenny, still behind the curtain on the side, throws out a piece of clothing. The men shout and cheer wildly. Jenny finally steps out onto the stage nonchalantly. She's dressed in a black t-shirt and blue jeans. We start to see scenes of this audience that look exactly like the scenes from the beginning of the episode. The men howl and bang on the stage, cheering and whistling wildly. Some of the men are shouting various things at her to hurry up.]

Men: (shouting) C'mon! Hurry it up! Take it off!

[At first, Jenny looks a little uneasy, but then she slowly walks out to the middle of the stage, middle of the crowd of shouting men. Shane and Carmen watch from the back of the club.]

Shane: What the f*ck is she doing?

[The men are getting anxious. The cheering has turned into jeering. All the men are shouting at her to take her clothes off already. Jenny stares at the crowd, looking a little uneasy again. The sounds of the crowd slowly fade out, replaced by the sounds of Jenny softly singing in Hebrew. Jenny pulls her shirt off. The men start to cheer harder, but all we can hear is the klezmer and Jenny's singing. Jenny takes off her bra and throws it at the audience. The men cheer harder. After a couple of seconds, Jenny pushes her pants down to her ankles, now completely nude on the stage. She puts her arms in the air. The men go crazy, crazier than ever, screaming and cheering. Their sounds fade back in.]


[Dana walks in and finds Alice laying on the bed, crying.]

Dana: Al? (worried) Alice, what happened?

Alice: I was calling your phone, you weren't answering. Where were you?

Dana: I was there, where were you?

Alice: I... I... I thought I lost you.

Dana: I'm right here. (quietly) I'm right here.


[Another beautiful morning in L.A. The skyline is framed by the mountains in the distance. Smog hangs low over the city.]


[Mark is making pancakes. Jenny comes in and sits at the table.]

Jenny: That smells good.

Mark: Thanks.

Jenny: May I have one?

Mark: Of course.

Jenny: Thank you.


[Tina is still sleeping.]


[Palm trees sway in the breeze.]


[Bette is at the stove, pouring herself some hot water from a kettle. She's softly humming "Rusty Old Halo".]


[Melvin groans. He slowly turns his head to look at the photos of his family by the bed, then he is still.]


[Bette stops and looks up.]

Bette: Daddy?

[Bette walks slowly to the living room, fearful.]

Bette: Daddy?

[Bette jogs over to her father's bedside, calling out to her sister down the hall.]

Bette: Kit!

[Bette kneels by the bed and looks at her father.]

Bette: Daddy?

[Kit runs into the room.]

Bette: Daddy? Daddy! Daddy?!

[Kit kneels by the bed. Melvin doesn't respond to Bette's pleas. She puts her head on Melvin's chest and sobs. Bette rests her head on Melvin's chest, holding his hand, crying. We see a closeup of her face; her eyes are open and she looks shocked.]

[Kit sobs.]

[Fade to black]

[Titlecard: Dedicated to the memory of Ossie Davis]

- END -