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Transcript: Episode 8
1x08 – "Bittersweets"
[ACADEMY SCIENCE LAB: a portrait of the stern founder with a snarling German Shepherd hangs over the blackboard where the students are lined up against; the subject of the day is "Flight"]
Narrator: The motto of the Longborough School for Boys was "Institutem Superior Omnibus" or "Tradition Over All". But on this morning, whether it was the topic of flight or the brandy in the teacher’s parlor, Mr. Galt threw tradition to the wind and let the students choose their own lab partners. [the science instructor nods and all the boys immediately run to their tables with their partners, leaving Ned and an Indian boy in orthodontic headgear standing alone] Young Ned, however, found his chosen for him. Eugene Mulchandani was an exchange student from Gorakhpur, India. Young Ned felt a gnawing pity growing in his stomach, as was tradition. But beneath Eugene’s headgear thrived an active imagination and a useful gift for aeronautical model building, as well as the hope that someone might not dislike him for the simple fact that he was different. [Eugene tears several pages from a composition notebook and folds it into an elaborate paper airplane, then inflates a balloon with gas and ties it to the airplane. Ned smiles admiringly as they watch it float in the air, then notices a classmate sitting in front of them getting ready to shoot down the balloon with a spitball] Young Ned found himself breaking with his own tradition and in a moment of passion … [Ned throws a book and nails the bully in the head] … he fought back. For the first time since his father dropped him off, Young Ned made a friend. [outside during recess, the boys run through the trees; Eugene jumps and lands on a pile of leaves, then lets Ned have a turn] In a surge of emotion, he forgot his mother had died, his father had left him, and that he missed a girl named Chuck. He also forgot he was jumping into a pile of dead leaves that were once alive. [Ned jumps on the pile and as he swims through the leaves, the brown ones turn green; he fearfully looks up at a shocked Eugene, who runs away] Eugene Mulchandani fled in a flurry of saliva and fear. Eugene would eventually forget Young Ned’s mistake and chalk it up to magic leaves. But Young Ned would never forget that happiness borne of passion is always short-lived. [the classmate that Ned nailed with a book approaches and warms up his fist]
[THE PIE HOLE KITCHEN: Ned is sitting at the table waiting for the toaster to pop up; Chuck enters happily and sits next to him]
Narrator: Yet, through no fault of his own, he had once again stumbled into happiness …
Chuck: Good morning!
Narrator: … which terrified him.
Ned: Morning. [muffins pop up and he places a plate in front of Chuck; she starts cutting strawberries for their breakfast]
Chuck: Guess what day it is today?
Ned: [smiling] World Hello Day.
Chuck: Oh, you finally put up my calendar of Obscure of Holidays!
Ned: Yes, and "hola"! That’s Español-a.
Chuck: "Merhaba", "selamat pagi", "o-si-yo"! That’s Turkish, Indonesian and Cherokee, although the Indonesians really says "Good Day" which I think is much better than "Hello", because what does that say? That says "I’m here, your turn to talk"! Kinda selfish. [Ned chuckles and smiles] What?
Ned: [fondly] Nothing.
Narrator: The Pie Maker wished to express to Chuck exactly how intense his feelings were for her.
Ned: [suddenly] Am I your boyfriend? [behind the counter, Olive’s head pops up in shock] I realize that boyfriend-girlfriend are familiar, trite labels – if convention were soaked in boyfriend would be dripping with it – but we’ve never actually said it. And not that we need to define the relationship, but it might be helpful in a familiar, trite way – the way on a holiday created to sell greeting cards – it’s still nice to get a card … and are you going to cut me off with a "Yes" anytime soon?
Chuck: [bemusedly] Yes. [behind the counter, Olive lets out a breath. So does a relieved Ned, who proceeds to put jam on Chuck’s muffin]
Ned: You never said what today is.
Chuck: Thank you. Today is my daddy’s birthday. You know he would’ve been sixty today if he were still alive?
Narrator: The mention of Chuck’s father sent The Pie Maker’s thoughts spinning. [Ned’s face falls and he drops the jam jar on the table]
Chuck: What’s wrong?
Narrator: The meaning of "Nothin’ " was "I never told you that I inadvertently killed your father". [THE PIE HOLE DINING ROOM: Ned approaches Olive as she sits at the counter, spinning on a stool] Olive Snook had told The Pie Maker that she was happy for his happiness with the girl named Chuck. But upon hearing the word "boyfriend", she unexpectedly found her sadness spinning into anger. It was a truth she could not yet stare in the face.
Olive: [stops spinning, then woozily] Huh?
Ned: Where are all the customers?
Olive: You got me.
Alfredo Aldarisio: I’m a customer. [they turn to see Alfredo sitting at a booth]
Narrator: Her dizzy heart missed another truth staring her in the face.
Olive: Alfredo. [Emerson enters and sits at another booth; Ned goes to sit with him] Alfredo, when did you come in?
Alfredo Aldarisio: Before. When you opened the door for me and I asked how you were and you said you were fine. Then I asked for a macchiato and you said coming right up.
Olive: So I guess you’ll still want that.
Alfredo Aldarisio: Yes, please. [Olive gets up, stumbling all the way; we hear crashing noises. Ned joins Emerson at a booth, who is reading a newspaper]
Emerson: This case is easy money.
Ned: You told me that already. [guiltily] It’s my fault Chuck’s father’s dead.
Emerson: You told me that already.
Ned: I should just tell her.
Emerson: Well, now that idea might make a stupid idea for you all by itself.
Ned: I can’t keep lying to her.
Emerson: You ain’t lying. The only way you lying is if she asks the question: [in falsetto] "Hey, did you kill my father when you brought your mother back which I didn’t know about because you never told me?" Don’t tell her. [a strange, chipper little man walks inside and announces to no one in particular]
Some Guy: Hey, have you guys heard? The most amazing new candy store is opening up across the street! It’s amazing!
Ned: Who are you?
Some Guy: I’m just some guy telling everybody about ‘cause it’s so amazing! Seriously, everybody, you’ve gotta check this out!
Olive: Do you work for the candy store?
Some Guy: No, I’m just some guy.
Olive: "Some guy"?
Some Guy: Yeah, some guy who sure loves candy! Be sure to tell everyone you know! See ya! [walks out the door]
Emerson: Now see, this how it all ends: some weird guy comes in saying stuff that don’t make no sense, and by the time your head realizes, "Hey, this weird guy don’t make no sense", your guts are all over the window! [Chuck places a plate with Ned’s muffin on the table]
Chuck: Here. [to Emerson] Did Ned tell you he’s my boyfriend?
Emerson: Heh-heh, yeah, you two are gonna love this case …
Narrator: The facts were these: one Tony DiNapoli, 26 years, 9 weeks, 2 hours and 10 minutes old, was found strangled to death in his friend’s apartment. His girlfriend, Tina Aringino, was arrested at the scene for the murder the police described as the typical crime of passion. [MONTAGE: on a refrigerator door is a snapshot photo print of a young Italian couple in various poses; the man is handsome in a Bensonhurst-kind-of-way, while the girl is outfitted in a leopard print skin-tight pantsuit; she comes to life in the photograph]
Tina Aringino: [Brooklyn accent] I freakin’ love Tony! You gotta help me, Emerson Cod: I didn’t do it!
Narrator: With the evidence stacked against her, Tina Aringino hired Emerson Cod. [MORGUE: Ned pulls back the sheets to reveal the Italian Stallion with red marks around his throat; he touches the corpse who springs back to life and upon seeing Chuck, proceeds to leer at her]
Tony DiNapoli: How you doin’?
Ned: Uh, do you know how you’re doin’?
Tony DiNapoli: I’m dead, right?
Emerson: Your girlfriend murder you?
Tony DiNapoli: Hell, no! Me and Tina were mad for each other! [to Chuck] She friggin’ loved me. [to Ned] It was Burly Bruce Carter who strangled me.
Emerson: This Burly Bruce, did he have congenitally dainty hands? ‘Cause those strangle marks were made by a petite female with rounded, crimson, French-tipped nails!
Tony DiNapoli: He used his girlfriend’s hands to kill me!
Ned: [turns to Emerson] I don’t know what to do with that …
Tony DiNapoli: His girlfriend’s a doll. [to Chuck] Not like you’re a doll … [Chuck giggles; Ned looks on angrily] She’s like a doll-doll, like life-size and plastic.
Chuck: You mean she’s not real?
Tony DiNapoli: Don’t tell Bruce that: that was my mistake. [FLASHBACK: Burly Bruce’s apartment. The large man invites Tony inside who immediately balks upon seeing a life-size female doll propped up at a table set for four] Bruce invited me and Tina over for a double-date. I got to Bruce’s place before Tina did. When he showed me the doll and said it was his girlfriend, I let him have it. Then he kinda flipped out. [Tony gestures angrily at the doll; Bruce reacts by launching the doll at Tony and proceeds to choke him using the doll’s hands]
Ned: So you’re saying the weapon was a life-size, human doll?
Tony DiNapoli: That’s what I’m saying. [to Chuck] You got a phone number, sweetie?
Ned: [steely-eyed] Do you mind? What about friggin’ Tina?
Tony DiNapoli: I’m dead, ain’t I?
Ned: No. [shoves his finger at Tony’s chest and he collapses back on the table; then flatly] Now you’re dead.
Chuck: Oh, my gosh!
Emerson: [admiringly] Now that was a crime of passion …
Ned: What? It was a minute! [defensively] I’m having a hard day ... [Emerson chuckles]
[THE PIE HOLE: Olive is at the espresso maker, lost in thought, while Alfredo prattles away at the counter]
Narrator: Olive found herself in a cloud of steamed milk and self-pity. Unaware of the warm breath blowing out of the mouth of Alfredo Aldarisio …
Alfredo Aldarisio: … my patriotism is compromised because the traveling salesman isn’t such a thing if he does not travel. As any non-traditional remedy salesman knows that resistance to the novel and unconventional is marvel through this country like gristle. [emphatically] If I’m not cutting through that gristle, I’m not doing my job!
Olive: [distractedly] Were you talking?
Alfredo Aldarisio: I have to go back on the road soon. It may be a long time before I return.
Olive: Can I ask you a question?
Alfredo Aldarisio: Of course. [she places the espresso in front on him]
Olive: If you loved me …
Alfredo Aldarisio: Yes …
Olive: And we could never, ever touch, wouldn’t you eventually get over it and move on, letting someone have the slightest hope that you might move on with them?
Alfredo Aldarisio: [hesitantly] If I loved you …
Alfredo Aldarisio: [surges forth] Then I would love you in any way I could. And if we could not touch, then I would draw strength from your beauty. And if I went blind, I would fill my soul with the sound of your voice and the contents of your thoughts until the last spark of my love for you lifts the shabby darkness of my dying mind.
Olive: [turns away] Eh, forget it. [BURLY BRUCE’S APARTMENT: The trio approach the door; Emerson knocks]
Emerson: Mr. Carter? Mr. Bruce Carter?
Chuck: What if he actually believes his doll is a real person? Maybe it’s his truth: it’s just different from our truth.
Emerson: The truth ain’t like puppies: a bunch of them running around, you pick your favorite. One truth. And it has come a’knockin’. [knocks again]
Ned: But let’s just say he’s got his own truth and he’s grown attached to it. Marry that with a short fuse and a violent temper and what you get is – [door opens to reveal the large and angry doll-lover]
Burly Bruce Carter: What do you want? [inside, all are sitting in the living room; Burly Bruce has an equally thick Brooklyn brogue] That crazy broad, Tina, trying to pin this on me? ‘Cause she came in screaming! Said Tony been fooling around on her, then leapt on him like a cat! It was over before it started and the evidence backs me up!
Emerson: Yeah, on that subject – [Chuck cuts him off]
Chuck: Mr. Carter, you are a big tough guy and I have no doubt you could make mincemeat out of all of us – if all you needed was more mincemeat – but the shoes by the door and the daffodils on the table and the smell of garlic pasta coming from the kitchen … [smiles knowingly]
Burly Bruce Carter: Maybe I got a girlfriend … that so hard to believe? [defensively] And Sheila’s got nothin’ to do with this!
Emerson: Yeah, when you say "Sheila" … [Ned holds up his hand]
Ned: Did Sheila witness the murder of Tony DiNapoli?
Burly Bruce Carter: I’m’s done tawkin’. You’s need to leave now.
Chuck: But if she saw something or did something, we’d understand. You’re just trying to protect her ‘cause you love her.
Burly Bruce Carter: [breaks down] It wasn’t Sheila’s fault, okay? [sobbing] It was mine: take me! [Chuck goes to Bruce and embraces him] I never shoulda put her in that situation!
Chuck: It’s okay, just let it out …
Burly Bruce Carter: [calls out] Sheila! Sheila! Sheila, baby, you can come out! [Ned turns to the closed door that Bruce is looking at] The jig’s up! [to Chuck] She’s probably too scared …
Chuck: It’s okay, shh …
Narrator: The information Emerson Cod gave the police led to further investigation of Tony DiNapoli’s real murder due to unreal circumstances … [MONTAGE: the police take a mug shot of Burly Bruce Carter; the police free Tina and put Burly Bruce behind bars] Tina Aringino was released. Burly Bruce Carter was detained by local authorities awaiting his trial.
Burly Bruce Carter: [calling out] Sheila! I love you!
Narrator: Sheila, the doll, was also detained. [she is zipped up in evidence bag by the police] Olive, having been detained by her own angry thoughts for long enough, had escaped to sample something sweeter … [OUTSIDE BALSAM’S STORE: a colorful sign reads "Balsam’s Bittersweets: Taffy & Sweet Emporium" with an animated taffy puller; Olive enters and is greeted by an employee touting a tray of samples. As she peruses the candy-filled store, the mysterious "Some Guy" approaches her]
Billy Balsam: Welcome! Bitter much?
Olive: I’m sorry?
Billy Balsam: Sweets taste sweeter with a bite of the bitter! Welcome to Balsam’s Bittersweets Taffy and Sweets Emporium: bitter much?
Olive: Yes! Actually, bitter very much … [recognizing him] Aren’t you "Some Guy"?
Billy Balsam: [ignores the question and holds out a hand] You’re a Pie Holer! Billy Balsam, co-owner! [Chuck enters carrying a pie box and offers it to Billy; Ned trails behind]
Chuck: [friendly] Hi! I thought I should bring pie: that’s what new neighbors do!
Olive: So sweet! You are so sweet! A girl could get a cavity standing next to you!
Billy Balsam: [smile falls; then calls out] Dilly! There’s some other small business owners from across the street!
Olive: Who’s Dilly? [the other co-owner, Dilly Balsom, strides in from the back door with a flourish; upon first sight, the blonde woman appears to be candy-coated with falsity]
Dilly Balsam: Bitter much?
Billy Balsam: Pie Holers: I’d like you to meet my sister and the queen of candy, Dilly Balsam!
Dilly Balsam: [shakes hands] It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dilly Balsam!
Ned: Hi, I’m Ned.
Chuck: He’s the Lord of the Pies.
Dilly Balsam: [condescendingly] Oh, of course, the little pie place with the quaint crust roof. [Ned’s face falls] I do hope Billy apologized for all this commotion today …
Olive: [mouthful of candy] If by apologize, you mean pretending to be somebody he’s not so he could lure us into this sugar shack …
Chuck: Oh, actually, I think it’s really nice to have a bit of excitement in the neighborhood!
Dilly Balsam: I’m so glad you see it that way … [to Ned] Do you like excitement, Pie Man?
Narrator: The Pie Maker did not like excitement. But he knew to be polite to a new neighbor.
Ned: [swallowing a piece of candy] I feel that excitement is a lot better than so many things.
Dilly Balsam: Do you know what I find exciting? [moves forward, causing Ned to back up; taps glass jars in unison] Com-pe-ti-tion. I hope you’re not afraid of a little competition! [shoves an over-sized lollipop at his face]
Ned: I don’t really see us as competitors. [several customers approach Chuck wide-eyed]
Female Customer: Is what’s in that box the amazing smell I’m smelling?
Chuck: Oh, is what you’re smelling Georgia Peach Cobbler?
Female Customer: That’s exactly it!
Chuck: Then I’m the guilty Georgia Peach.
Olive: From The Pie Hole across the street, as in "Shut Your", but one sweet whiff and people usually wanna "Open Their".
Female Customer: [to her friend] That sounds delicious, let’s go!
Chuck: Oh, um …
Olive: Bye! [customers pile out, leaving the store empty; Dilly glares angrily]
Chuck: I’m sorry. [hands Dilly the box] This is for you: Happy Grand Opening!
Dilly Balsam: Hmm … that was interesting. I admire your s-s-s-strategy!
Billy Balsam: Sorry, my sister stutters when she’s upset!
Ned: Why is she upset? [to Dilly] Why are you upset?
Dilly Balsam: [distressed] Pretty nervy bring your p-p-p-pie up all in my business, stealing all my c-c-c-customers!
Ned: Oh, I think this is a misunderstanding –
Dilly Balsam: If you want a w-w-w-war, then that’s what you’ll get!
Ned: [nervously] A war? No, a war is what we don’t want, we just came by to say h-h-hello!
Dilly Balsam: Are you making f-f-f-fun of me?!
Olive: [to Ned] She’s eaking out fray!
Olive: Freaking out!
Dilly Balsam: You haven’t seen anything! Ame on g-g-gay!
Billy Balsam: Game on.
Olive: Game on!
Chuck: Game on?!
Dilly Balsam: Game on! Now get out! [herds the trio out the store]
Ned, Chuck & Olive: Oh! [alone, Dilly drops her façade]
Billy Balsam: That should shake ‘em up. I liked the stuttering: it was off-putting and odd.
Dilly Balsam: Amateurs! We’ll have out of business in a week. [OUTSIDE THE PIE HOLE: Ned is looking up at his sign; the last two letters are mysteriously burned out; he enters his empty dining room, except for one male customer at the counter]
Chuck: You still think it’s a coincidence?
Ned: I don’t think someone purposely damaged our sign to read "Pie Ho". [Digby whines in sympathy]
Olive: Hello! That crazy candy lady threatened us: they’re trying to steal all of our business. [gestures behind her; whispering] We’ve only had one customer today, we can’t just sit here and do nothing!
Ned: Yes, we can: candy might be sweet, but it’s a traveling carnival blowing through town. But pie is home: people always come home. [to Digby] Come on, Digby, let’s bake some pies! [they go into the kitchen]
Olive: Why won’t he do anything about this?
Chuck: I don’t know: he’s been acting strange since yesterday. Does he seem distant to you?
Olive: Would you like to discuss his fear of intimacy, his dark moods, that thing he does when he’s lying? I can be a very good resource for you on Ned … if you don’t mind me clawing out your eyeballs while talk.
Olive: Why do you want me to care?
Chuck: Because you really like him!
Olive: Wouldn’t it just rock ‘n roll with liking someone that they had to like you back? Course that’d be a different universe … and something else would probably suck … [they both smile; Olive goes up to the customer] Refill?
Andrew Brown: [holds up a lipstick-stained coffee cup] This really isn’t my shade of lipstick. I am going to have to cite you for it. Olive: [innocently] Sight all you want, sweetie: standing right here in front of you.
Andrew Brown: I don’t think you understand: Andrew Brown, health inspector. [holds up his ID card]
Chuck: Excuse me, but don’t you think you need to notify us first?
Andrew Brown: Not if it’s a surprise inspection. [turns to Olive] Surprise! [inside the kitchen, Ned paces nervously as the inspector inspects] Effective hair restraint … [Ned puffs a breath at the hair on his forehead] … not worn. [eyes Digby chomping on a bone] Live animal found in the facility’s food area? Ehrrr … [Digby growls back; Ned is leaning against the back door; the inspector gestures at him] You need to open this.
Ned: Wait, I can explain what’s in there – no, I can’t, but you should definitely wait anyway …
Olive: [innocently] It’s okay: we never use this room.
Ned: [through his teeth] Yes, we do. I do, sometimes …
Andrew Brown: Open the door. Please. [Ned sighs and unlocks it to reveal rows and rows of rotten, moldy fruit; Olive gasps]
Narrator: Olive was unaware that The Pie Maker could bring dead fruit back to life for his pies.
Olive: Why is this room filled with rotten fruit? [OUTSIDE THE PIE HOLE: Andrew Brown tapes a notice on the door,"CLOSED by the order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene"; Ned, Chuck and Olive are sitting in a booth and watch him walk away]
Olive: That inspection was no accident! We are being attacked by a vicious nutbag and we need to retaliate with a swift and overwhelming show of force.
Ned: I don’t retaliate: I’m not a retaliator. You let your emotions get away from you and everything falls apart.
Chuck: You really believe that, don’t you?
Ned: Yes: I’ve seen it happen.
Olive: [looking out the window] She’s coming to get us.
Ned: That’s exactly what I’m talking about! Nobody’s coming to get anybody!
Olive: But she is! [Ned follows her line of sight; Dilly knocks at the door and Ned opens it, while Olive arms herself with a rolling pin]
Dilly Balsam: [seemingly apologetic] We need to talk.
Olive: You’re not welcome here.
Ned: Of course she is! Would you like a slice of triple-berry?
Dilly Balsam: Oh, thank you. You teach me something, Pie Baker.
Ned: Olive … [Olive unceremoniously drops a slice of pie in front of Dilly]
Dilly Balsam: I wanted to apologize for my outburst yesterday: it was inappropriate.
Ned: Thank you!
Dilly Balsam: And I’m sorry for pretending to be a stutter.
Chuck: You were pretending? That’s mean and it’s disrespectful!
Dilly Balsam: [abandons all pretense] I like to mislead my competition: encourage underestimation with the idea that I have an impediment, but I know that stuttering can be a very serious disorder and I only chose to mimic it because I’m legally blind! [Olive and Chuck come out around the counter and stand on either side of Dilly]
Olive: [pointing] She’s doing it again.
Chuck: You need to leave.
Dilly Balsam: [rolling her eyes] Oh, come on: we all know the world is small business nothing but a big, sexy game. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to win! [Olive snatches away the pie while Chuck rips the fork out of Dilly’s hand]
Ned: There are plenty of customers for both of us, Dilly. Why can’t we both win?
Dilly Balsam: Because I like your crust roof, your square footage and your corner location. Even if your sign does go on the fritz now and then … [dripping with insincerity] Oh, and I was so, so sorry to hear about your inspection …
Olive: You didn’t come here to apologize at all, did you?
Dilly Balsam: [to Olive] No. I came by to tell you that it’s only going to get worse: you’ve shown yourself to be vulnerable and careless competitors, you can count on more surprise inspections and disruptions to your business!
Chuck: Why are you doing this to us?
Dilly Balsam: What I see I want; what I want, I take. [to Ned] Nothing scares me. I’ve looked death in the eye and survived to open a successful candy franchise. [to Chuck] Can you say that?
Chuck: Actually, yes. Not the candy franchise part, but …
Ned: I won’t let you bully me into a fight, Dilly: that’s not how I settle things.
Dilly Balsam: Then you’ll lose! Thanks for the pie. [prances out the door]
Chuck: What is up with that … witch?
Narrator: What was up with that witch was this: Delania "Dilly" Balsam and brother Billy’s lives were turned upside down when their parents died of bird flu. [FLASHBACK: Dilly is steering a speedboat across a large lake] Dilly felt adrift, until she resolved to confront her greatest fear. She set out across Bodega Bay determined to look the killers of her parents in their beady-eyed feathered faces. [birds begin squawking overhead when suddenly, a bird nails her in the face] Then, just as she was about to reach the other side, her worst nightmare … [birds begin attacking her in scores; she screams and tries to protect herself] Dilly Balsam survived the attack to be rescued by a local merchant who offered her a very sweet treat. [MONTAGE: a Bodega Bay Saltwater Taffy is being unwrapped and eaten by Dilly] She realized that her love of taffy and fear of nothing would serve her well in business. And Balsam’s Bittersweets Taffy and Sweets Emporium was born. [Dilly and Billy walk triumphantly through their store. Ned looks out the shutters, then turns back to see Chuck, Olive and Emerson staring at him]
Ned: What? You think I should do something.
Chuck & Olive: We’re just saying.
Ned: No! You let your anger win and you engage the crazy person and you’re no different than they are! People say, "Hey, look at those two crazy people fighting!" I will not engage.
Emerson: Yeah, but if you don’t engage, pretty soon people will start saying, "Hey, look at that crazy person just sitting there doing nothing!"
Chuck: Gotta give her a dose of her own medicine.
Ned: Chuck, don’t go over to the Dark Side: revenge never works.
Chuck: [decisively] I gotta go. [heads off toward the kitchen; Olive looks after her in confusion]
Olive: [indecisively] Me too.
Emerson: [watches them go with raised eyebrow] Well, this can’t end well … [NIGHT: street between The Pie Hole and Bittersweet’s; Olive and Chuck are dressed and outfitted for black ops]
Olive: Didn’t think you’d do this: thought you were all goody-good, apple pie and baseball.
Chuck: Well, only as far as I know how to use a baseball bat to make someone’s face look like an apple pie … [they duck behind a car] I’m sorry, not about Ned, but about upsetting you: I thought you were okay about it.
Olive: So did I! [dashes toward the store and presses her back against the wall; waves over at Chuck] Go, go, go! [Chuck joins her; Olive continues in an angry whisper] Here’s what we’re not gonna do: we’re not gonna start with this puppy-dog face and get-back-on-your-horse and find-a-man crapola! Maybe you forgot, but Ned was the horse and you pushed me off, so maybe, just maybe I need to get a little angry before I can be all happy about it!
Chuck: Okay, I get it!
Olive: Thank you! [takes off her black ski cap and puts on a helmet with goggles] There’s no alarm system: got a credit card?
Chuck: Why? You know how to pick a lock?
Olive: No, you’re gonna need it to pay for the damages!
Chuck: Huh? [Olive charges headfirst into the glass door] Cool! [pulls the mask over her face]
Olive: Come on! [inside, they stop and kneel by a vat of taffy] Here!
Olive: For Ned.
Chuck: For Ned. [they remove their backpacks and unload a crate; they open it and release a horde of squeaking rats]
Olive: Ohhh! I hate rats!
Chuck: So do health inspectors. [they shake hands] We’re done here. [a rat circles the rim of a vat filled with soft taffy: it falls and drowns amid a flurry of air bubbles before a taffy-covered human head floats to the surface. OUTSIDE: Chuck and Olive emerge victorious, chanting in unison:]
Chuck & Olive: Don’t mess with The Pie Ho’s!
Narrator: He cleaned for hours, yet he could not wipe away the fear the battle with Balsam’s Bittersweets would only turn more bitter … [NED’S BEDROOM: lying in bed, he hears the front door open; alarmed, he grabs with a candelabra and turns on the light; he is wearing an apron and rubber gloves]
Ned: Chuck?! I thought you were Dilly Balsam! Why are you dressed like a cat burglar?
Chuck: Why are you dressed like a fishmonger?
Ned: I was scrubbing the kitchen.
Chuck: I was out with Olive. You know what? She is really great! [lies on her bed, exhilarated]
Ned: [questioningly] Chuck?
Chuck: Sorry, my whole body’s pumping with adrenaline! [sees his face] Are you upset with me?
Narrator: The truth he was hiding from Chuck was one spot he could not scrub out.
Ned: What’s freaking me out is the ruthless woman trying to shut down The Pie Hole.
Narrator: This was true.
Ned: This has nothing to do with us!
Narrator: This was not.
Chuck: Are you sure you wouldn’t feel better if you just fought back a little?
Ned: Why is it so hard for you to see that the brave thing here is not to fight back?
Chuck: Well, in that case, Olive and I were cowards tonight: we may have set have set loose some inappropriate vermin. [Ned sighs resignedly and turns to leave] Where ya goin’?
Ned: To clean up another mess.
Chuck: Ned? Ned?
Narrator: The expression "Like a rat in a candy store", though slightly less popular, is equally true. [BITTERSWEET KITCHEN: Ned tries to catch a rat using Digby’s scratching stick but he misses; he looks into a canvas sack filled with a dozen rats and sighs] As Ned came to try to undo what Chuck and Olive had done, he found not fighting the fight was becoming more work than fighting it. [Ned sees a stiff, taffy-covered rat floating on top of the taffy vat]
Ned: Gross. [deploying the stick unsuccessfully, he dips in his arm and fishes around; he touches something and it comes back to life] Not good … [a large air bubble floats to the surface, then a human body] Billy?! Billy, were you dead? [the taffy-encased body can only burble; the door opens and Ned turns around in alarm, then quickly touches the body again to kill it. The police enter, guns drawn, while Dilly Balsam looks on in horror]
Dilly Balsam: You killed my brother! [PAPEN COUNTY JAIL VISITING ROOM: Ned is in an orange jumpsuit, talking to Chuck and Emerson through a phone]
Ned: Chuck, this place is crawling with police: you could be recognized. [to Emerson] She shouldn't be here!
Emerson: I been saying that for weeks!
Chuck: I had to come: this is all my fault!
Ned: It’s not your fault.
Chuck: Yes, it is! If I’d just listened to you when you told me not to retaliate, you wouldn’t have to clean up all my mess, I did a terrible thing.
Ned: Okay, so it’s a little your fault.
Emerson: Well, now you’d be about even!
Chuck: What do you mean even?
Emerson: Nothing. [to Ned] What happened at the candy shop?
Ned: I was collecting the rats and I was about to leave when I saw Billy dead in the taffy vat.
Emerson: Did you – ? [gestures with a finger]
Ned: Yeah. But he couldn’t talk on account of his mouth being full of taffy. I heard the police and I – [gestures with his finger] – him again. They caught me red-handed.
Emerson: Well, me and Nancy Shrew will get you out. [Emerson hangs up the phone; Chuck puts her hand on the glass; Ned does the same]
Emerson: This may be a broad generalization, but my guess is an attractive man who makes pies for a living shouldn’t even spend a short amount of time in prison.
Chuck: Huh? [Emerson shakes his head, realizing his comment was a tad inappropriate]
Narrator: Without The Pie Maker and little to go on, Emerson Cod and Chuck set out to seek the truth. [MORGUE: Emerson and Chuck stare at Billy Balsam’s dead body]
Chuck: You gonna do something?
Emerson: I am doing something.
Chuck: But we can’t wake him up.
Emerson: I know that! Don’t you think I don’t know that?
Chuck: I’m just saying … it’s been a while since you’ve solved a crime for real. Y’know, the old-fashioned way.
Emerson: I did fine the old-fashioned way and I’d do fine now if I could just think without you blabber-jabbering. [the Coroner enters from his office]
Coroner: Mmm-hmm. Is this what you do when you’re in here? Muttering with the body? Bicker and moan?
Emerson: We were just observing the body for any, uh, visible signs.
Coroner: I like my way better.
Emerson: What’s that?
Coroner: Cut the sucker open. I got to do an autopsy.
Chuck: [excitedly] Ooohh!
Emerson: Good, you two check under the hood. I’m gonna do a full background check on Billy Balsam: see if anybody else wanted to put him in a permanent candy coma! [the Coroner fires up a skull saw and Emerson leaves; Chuck looks on excitedly]
[PAPEN COUNTY JAIL: Ned is patiently waiting for an inconsolable Olive to recover; she has a pie box on the table while Digby looks on]
Ned: Olive? [rolls his eyes] Olive? [taps the phone on the glass partition] Olive, it’s okay!
Olive: I brought you a pie!
Ned: Thank you.
Olive: It has a special filling … [puts down the phone; Digby whines and licks the receiver. She opens the lid for Ned: the pie crust reveals the shape of a pistol]
Ned: Please take that away!
Narrator: As Olive considered how the inch-thick glass prevented her from holding the man she still loved, she realized that for The Pie Maker, there might always be an invisible barrier between them. [Olive places her head back on the table; Digby mimics her in sympathy]
[THE PIE HOLE: Emerson is on the phone; Chuck enters]
Emerson: No known enemies? That’s not good.
Chuck: You’re never gonna believe what we saw at the autopsy – [Emerson holds up a finger] How did you know?
Emerson: Got it. [hangs up the phone] How’d I know what?
Chuck: About the finger?
Emerson: Oh, I learned it early on: y’see, it’s sort of the universal "Hush Up, I’m on the Damn Phone" symbol.
Chuck: Oh, well, it must also be the "Billy Balsam Bit Off the Killer’s Finger Because We Found It in His Stomach at the Autopsy" symbol.
Emerson: A real finger?
Emerson: Well, good, all we got to do is lift a print off that finger and match it to who done it and get our boy out the slammer.
Chuck: There’s no fingerprint: the gastric acid in his stomach ate away at the skin and erased any trace of a print. Please say the trail’s gone cold.
Emerson: So whoever killed Billy has nine fingers and is thinking they got away with murder.
Chuck: Footloose and finger-free.
Narrator: The Pie Maker considered how not telling Chuck the truth about her father was a lot like being locked in a prison. [scratches "Day 1" with a piece of chalk on the wall] Then he considered how being locked in a prison was actually much worse than some silly metaphor about truth. [cell door opens]
Policeman: Hey, Baker-Boy: you got a new roommate. [the cop leads in Burly Bruce Carter]
Ned: Burly Bruce?!
Burly Bruce Carter: [realizing] Aren’t you the guy who got me locked up?
Narrator: The Pie Maker was surprised that here, perhaps 30 seconds from his own violent death, there were no grand revelations, but rather only one simple thought:
Burly Bruce Carter: [angrily] It is you!
Narrator: But there was the thought that saved his life:
Ned: [stalling] You know, you never told me how you met your girlfriend. Sheila, right?
Burly Bruce Carter: [suddenly smiles] It’s a funny story. We met carpoolin’! [FLASHBACK: Burly Bruce is reading "Carpools Commuting Magazine" and sees an ad that reads "The Carpool Doll: My Doll is my copilot. The cops won’t know the difference"] Y’know, I was tired of being stuck in traffic alla time: rule is, you need two or more for the diamond lane, so I answered a personal ad in a magazine. [knock at the door] Next thing I know, she’s at my door. [a deliverywoman shows up with a large box] The first few weeks, we commuted together every day. She never said much. [Burly Bruce sets down a TV dinner] Then one day, I’m fixin’ dinner at my place and I think, I wonder what she’s doing? So I invite her over, what the hell, I did it as a friend. You know how it is!
Ned: Uh, yeah.
Burly Bruce Carter: Something happened at that dinner, I don’t know what it was. The magic of romance, right? [sitting at the dinner table, the doll comes to life: she smiles at him] There was definitely a spark! We had so much in common, we talked for hours. One thing led to another … [later, on the couch watching TV, the doll sits open-mouthed, then breaks into laughter] She was basically living with me! I love her so much! That’s why I took the fall for her.
Ned: I know you love Sheila, Bruce, but maybe this is a chance to move on. Find someone … full of life.
Burly Bruce Carter: No, Sheila’s my girlfriend: I don’t care if they don’t parole me for eighty years, I’ll find her again.
Narrator: The truth could knock all it wanted, but Burly Bruce would never open the door. And maybe that was for the best.
Ned: [finally gets it; nodding] I’m sure Sheila will still be there, Bruce, waiting for you.
Narrator: Seventeen miles away, the search to finger the fingerless killer of Billy Balsam continued. [THE PIE HOLE: Emerson is at a booth with Chuck]
Emerson: No one with missing digit emergencies reported at any of the local hospitals last night.
Chuck: Maybe the killer didn’t realize he lost a finger so he never reported it to the hospital.
Emerson: Yeah, that would only narrow our list of suspects to insanely stupid people …
Chuck: Some amputees have phantom limbs: they think the severed body part is still there even when it’s not. It’s like a psychological protection mechanism to save them from the trauma. [Emerson starts snoring loudly, eyes closed and head slumped to one side; Chuck gets the point]
Emerson: We need to go back to Bittersweet’s: we need to get into the scene of the crime!
Chuck: How we gonna get past Dilly? [OUTSIDE BITTERSWEETS: Dilly is wearing mittens and a coat in the cold air, sweeping up the broken glass; Olive approaches timidly]
Dilly Balsam: You got a lot of spunk coming back here.
Olive: I’m surprised you’re here.
Dilly Balsam: It’s what Billy would want.
Olive: Can I talk to you a second in private? [Dilly props the broom against the wall and turns toward the store, Chuck emerges from behind but Emerson grabs her back]
Emerson: [whispering] What are you doing?
Olive: I mean, outside-private? I know this has been so hard for you and I feel your pain, death is the worst – [pulls Dilly in the opposite direction and waves at Emerson and Chuck; they duck under the police tape and enter the store and examine the area around the taffy vat]
Emerson: This dude bit off somebody’s finger and was found face up in this taffy, which means …
Chuck: He probably wasn’t attacked from behind.
Chuck: So there must’ve been a struggle. [Emerson bends down and studies the floor by a marble prep table in front of the vat]
Emerson: I’d say more like a full-on brawl …
Emerson: This table’s been moved.
Chuck: Oh … [gets an idea; takes a sifter and pours a scoop of flour into it]
Emerson: [confused] Wrong kitchen.
Chuck: Y’know, marble’s an interesting stone: it’s resistant to grease and oils which leaves stains. So if it’s not cleaned properly right away and if someone were to put their hand on it … say, um …
Emerson: In the heat of a scuffle …
Chuck: Then the oils on their hands should … [blows off the flour she just dusted] … leave imprints on the surface! [Emerson throws a sheet of gelatin on the palm prints and lifts the sheet up; two palm prints and nine fingers adhere to the sheet]
Emerson: Two hands.
Chuck: Nine fingerprints!
Emerson: One taffy-drowning murderer. [OUTSIDE: Olive and Dilly are walking along the sidewalk]
Olive: I just want you to know that even if we got off on the wrong foot, we are still your neighbors and we are here for you! And I realize that we may not be able to smile and wave at each other for a while because of events that have occurred …
Dilly Balsam: Yeah, I broke your sign and called the city health inspector hotline, and you all killed my brother!
Olive: So we agree to disagree on that! [Dilly sighs and looks down at the shiny hubcap of a car and sees the reflection of Emerson and Chuck emerging from her store. Angrily gets out her car keys]
Dilly Balsam: Do you want proof? Do you want to see proof that shows exactly what happened to Billy? Lemme just show you. [points her key fob and opens the trunk of her car in front of the store]
Olive: What? It’s an empty car trunk.
Dilly Balsam: No, it’s not! [she stuffs Olive in the trunk and shuts it]
Olive: Aaahhh! [muffled] Oh, crap. [Dilly takes out a gun from her coat pocket as Olive thumps against trunk] Help, help! [inside the store, Dilly is pointing her gun at Emerson and Chuck while they hold up their hands]
Chuck: [whispering to Emerson] Her hands! She’s wearing mittens!
Emerson: Put the gun down, lady.
Dilly Balsam: The Pie Making Murderer couldn’t finish the job, so he sent his girlfriend and his muscle to finish me off?
Chuck: Ned didn’t kill anyone and you know it!
Emerson: We’re just trying to find out the truth …
Dilly Balsam: The only truth you need to know is I miss my brother … [tries to pull the trigger but can’t; she removes her mittens]
Emerson: Hey, you got ten fingers!
Chuck: You’re not the killer!
Emerson: And I don’t think you wanna be one, either. Let us take the evidence to the authorities: we’ll find out who really killed your brother!
Dilly Balsam: [calms down; lowers her gun] All right, you can go. If you can put whoever killed my brother behind bars, I will be happy. I thought I wanted revenge but all I really need is j-j-j-justice! [Emerson and Chuck move to leave]
Chuck: Did she just stutter?
Dilly Balsam: [points her key fob and shouts after them] And take your trunk monkey with you!
Narrator: The facts were these: after Olive was freed from Dilly Balsam’s trunk … [the trunk opens and Olive gets out, blinking from the sunlight]
Olive: Stinks in there. [MORGUE: the coroner is showing Emerson an X-ray of Billy’s upper torso]
Narrator: The authorities explained that the time it would take the dismembered digit to pass through the digestive system of Billy Balsam and have its fingerprints erased by the acids contained in the stomach, put the time of death of one Billy Balsam hours earlier than the time that The Pie Maker was found hovering over the body. [the Coroner is studying the gelatin sheet through a microscope] Fingerprint analysis of the sheet of candied-fruit exposed the nine-fingered culprit to be none other than Andrew Brown, health inspector, whom it was revealed upon further investigation, had been blackmailing Dilly and Billy Balsam, having paid off the inspector to conduct a surprise inspection, that led to The Pie Hole’s temporary shut down. Brown had demanded a bribe, lest he reveal Billy and Dilly’s dastardly deed and shut them down too. Unwilling to be bullied, Billy Balsam balked. [FLASHBACK: in Bittersweet’s kitchen, Andrew Brown and Billy Balsam are in shouting match, then shoving match, then outright fight. As Brown grabs Billy around the neck, Billy chomps off his finger, causing Brown to throw him into the vat of taffy]
[THE PIE HOLE KITCHEN: Chuck and Olive are watching TV]
Anchorwoman: Health inspector, Andrew Brown, is now believed to be the number-one suspect of Balsam’s Bittersweet Taffy and Sweets Emporium co-owner, Billy Balsam. Thanks to the work of private investigator, Emerson Cod, the owner of the local Pie Hole has been cleared of all charges and released from jail. Authorities are conducting an extensive search for Andrew Brown, who remains at large. Up next, can apes thrive? We’ll find out – [the front door opens: Emerson brings in Ned. The girls scream like groupies simultaneously]
Chuck & Olive: Haaaaah!
Emerson: Dead Girl walking.
Ned: Walking right toward me.
Chuck: Are you okay? [stops short, remembering they can’t touch] Oh …
Ned: Sure, I mean I am now …
Olive: Ned! [climbs on a chair and embraces him, her cheek to his]
Chuck: That hug goes double for me.
Olive: Oh, double, double …
Ned: [smiles at Chuck, then:] Olive.
Olive: What? Ohh … [she released him and Emerson signals to Ned; the girls go back into the kitchen]
Emerson: [haltingly] Doin’ this work without you … well, it actually ends up with me doing a whole lot of work … not that I can’t do it, ‘cause I can … I just don’t like it.
Ned: Glad to be back. It’s not all that bad in jail: had a lot of time to think and I came to a decision. Everyone talks about how the truth will set you free but Burly Bruce was free to love someone ‘cause he was so good at lying to himself about that doll being real, which is to say, "Go lying!" Or at least, "Yay to not telling the truth!" I’m not going to tell Chuck about her dad.
Emerson: I just heard that as if it came out of my own mouth … oh, wait … it did.
Ned: Well, you were right. Good night.
Emerson: Good night.
Chuck: Welcome home. [Chuck and Ned place a heaping cherry pie with a candle in front of Ned]
Narrator: Safely home and cleared of having committed any crime, The Pie Maker enjoyed a celebratory piece of pie and went up to bed. [alone in The Pie Hole, Olive cleans up the counter and picks up Alfredo’s empty espresso cup; the bell rings and she turns to see Alfredo]
Alfredo Aldarisio: Olive!
Olive: Alfredo! I knew it was you! [they come together for a long kiss; he sweeps her up in his arms and spins her around … then we realize it was just her imagination. Olive stares at empty dining room]
Narrator: Sometimes a crime of passion is not realizing a crime of passion in time. [PAPEN COUNTY JAIL: Burly Bruce looks sadly out the barred window] While other times, the crime is not seeing the world as it is. But most crimes of passion are actually a crime. [SWAMP: Dilly is staring determinedly as a man’s four-fingered hand sinks deep into the water; she looks around, then moves a wheelbarrow into the woods. NED’S BEDROOM: Ned is sitting on his bed while Chuck regales him with what happened while he was gone]
Ned: … so people can actually feel their limbs after they’re gone. It’s weird, but I like it.
Chuck: I know, me too.
Ned: [gets under the covers] When I was in jail, I think you were my phantom limb.
Chuck: Aww … I was?
Ned: You were: I felt like you were with me the whole time.
Chuck: I’m so glad you’re back. [she lays back smiling, staring at the ceiling, while Ned lays on his side, dreamily gazing at her]
Narrator: The Pie Maker had never felt closer to another person as he did at that moment. He felt a rush of emotion overcome him ...
Narrator: … causing one crime of passion that came in the form of a confession …
Ned: I killed your dad.
Latest page update: made by IronChefCrazy
, Dec 14 2007, 4:34 AM EST
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