Jeremy Lerner is a smart, surly, bespectacled gamer geek who wears jeans and metal band shirts. Without many friends, he is generally quiet and unassuming. For him, science is answers, not questions. Light brown/dirty blonde hair falling in loose waves across his eyes and zit-marked cheeks.
Sally “Cummings” Clemens [aka Clementine] is a pert blonde college girl making money as a dancer at a topless bar in San Fernando Valley.
Rosie is the name Coyote Don gives to the Mustang he steals. The theft will be explained in a later episode.
Ariana Brescançon is a classmate of Jeremy’s, and the object of Jeremy’s secret desire. He’s never actually spoken to her.
Margaret Shofari is Jeremy’s mother. She works for an home insurance company and is remarried to Ari “Mel” Shofari, who is a mid-level manager for some industry. Jeremy’s real dad, Saul, never remarried and works happily in a chain bookstore after a lifetime as a civil engineer.
Coyote Don [aka Marion Slye] is released from prison after several decades. He is old, bearded, and unmedicated.
1-1 Full page overhead shot of Marion Slye curled up and shivering on his prison bed, his brow furrowed tightly in his half-sleep. The light through the barred window casts a fanning pattern of stripes across the room and his body.
1. TEXT: DRY MOUTH. SAME BAD DREAM AGAIN. MOONLIT PRAIRIE. HOWLING AT THE STARS. URGENCY—
2. TEXT: SOME NAMELESS EVIL RUSHING IN TO FILL UP THE SPACE. TRY TO SHRUG IT OFF, BUT IT’S HOPELESS. THERE’S NO ESCAPING IT—
3. TEXT: THEN IN THE DISTANCE, THE SILHOUETTE OF A LONE RIDER UP ON THE RIDGE—
4. VOICE: (off-panel) 1306708. TIME TO GO SLYE. YOU’RE A FREE MAN.
1-2 A digital alarm clock rings and bleeps: 6:45 a.m.
2-1 Close-up of Jeremy Lerner from the perspective of the alarm clock, his face half-covered by blanket, looking tired and puffy-eyed and emotionless. 6:00 am tones: blues, grays, barest slivers of light.
1. JEREMY: SIGH.
2-2 Jeremy, in gym shorts and a t-shirt, swings his legs over the edge of the bed and sits for a moment, trying to ready himself for push-off out of bed and into the land of the living. He is looking down and too the right, his brow furrowed, as if trying to remember something.
2. JEREMY: (as a text box) ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DOLLAR.
2-3 Half-standing, half-slouching in front of his dresser, Jeremy is pulling a fresh (sort of) t-shirt on over his head.
3. JEREMY: (text box) OH. WAIT.
4. JEREMY: (text box) THEY DON’T PAY ME TO GO TO SCHOOL.
2-4 Extreme close-up of Jeremy from about knee-level, walking offstage, toward the right of the panel. He’s wearing jeans [whatever’s in style but available at Target]. We see behind him a few details of his room: the rumpled sheet + blanket on his bed, the mounds of clothing on the floor.
5. MRS. SHOFARI: (off-panel) JEREMY! TIME TO GET UP! YOU’RE GOING TO BE LATE!
2-5 Same shot but much bigger, and Jeremy has left the panel. Now we see his room more clearly. Posters of Kraftwerk and Nine Inch Nails, My Chemical Romance, White Stripes, BauHaus, Led Zepplin, Nirvana and of course, Agent Orange [his online tag name is 4gntOr4ng3]. We see a cluttered desk spilling over with CDs. And a PC. Not a lot of books. A framed blueprint of a bridge.
6. JEREMY: (text box) I WANT MY MONEY BACK.
3-1 Wide shot of El Empresa High School. Jeremy in silhouette, back to us, shoulders slumped, blocking the scene. SoCal campus = outdoor campus. Planters and palm trees, broad paved walkways between the brown rough-hewn cinderblock classroom buildings. Sunglasses and shorts everywhere. Sunshiny.
1. TEXT BOX: EL EMPRESA. ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
3-2 Jeremy looking up with dread at the pit of his proud loins at the prospect of willingly walking into this place.
2. JEREMY: SIGH.
3-3 Small zoomed-in panel of a section of the scene before him: a girl, beautiful and cosmopolitan [her mom must be French], turning her head in our general direction, all pouty hotness. Ariana Brescançon, the crush.
3-4 Close-up from ground level on Jeremy’s sneaker-clad feet marching bravely forward.
3. JEREMY: (text box) LET’S DO THIS.
3-5 Pan out to mid-range as Jeremy’s back wades into the sea of students going to class.
3-6 Pan out further as Jeremy disappears into the crowd. El Empresa High School Palm trees and sunshine.
3-7 Fish-eyed panorama of El Empresa, with the high school near the center-foreground, and neighborhoods of cul-de-sacs and intersections dotted with strip malls. Saddleback Mountain—a double-peaked mountain that looks like a Camel back but is instead named for something less Eastern and more Western
4-1 Jeremy’s lanky body in side view fills the frame in an uncomfortable-looking desk. His eyes droop.
1. TEACHER: (off-panel) …ANYONE TELL ME WHAT THE HOLLOW CHANNELS ON THE UNDERSIDE OF A SEA STAR ARE CALLED?
4-2 Jeremy’s lanky body in side view, filling the desk and the frame, his head now sagging into his chest.
2. JOCK: (off-panel, behind Jeremy) OOH OOH! PICK ME! PICK ME!
3. TEACHER: (off-panel) YES, SCOTT?
4-3 Jeremy’s lanky body in side view, filling the frame but now starting to spill out of his desk, slightly: arms fallen to his side, knees splayed outward listlessly, head still bobbing.
4. JOCK: (off-panel) I THINK JEREMY KNOWS THE ANSWER!
5. SOUND TEXT: SNICKER SNICKER SNICKER
4-4 Jeremy’s lanky body teetering precariously—and improbably—out of the desk. A tiny formation of spittle in the corner of his mouth. The angles of his body cannot possibly sustain his weight like this…
6. JEREMY: Z…Z…Z…ZZZ…
7. TEACHER: (off-panel) JEREMY?
8. TEACHER: (off-panel) …JEREMY?
4-5 Over he goes (Timberrrrrr!): Jeremy falls out of his desk.
9. TEACHER: …JERE—
10. SOUND TEXT: CRASH!!!
4-6 Jeremy leaps to his feet as best he can: his leg is still caught in the metal-frame basket under the seat of his desk. His look is one of adrenaline, bewilderment and the first moment of the onset of pain.
11. JEREMY: AMBULACRAL GROOVES!
4-7 Cutaway of the top half of Jeremy, floating on a blank background (no panel), looking stunned.
4-8 Shot of the Teacher from the waist up, looking towards the camera and downward slightly, looking purse-lipped and stunned.
4-9 Shot of the class, stunned with jaws collectively agape, as though pulling in oxygen for whatever response they are about to collectively decide on…
4-10 Back to Jeremy, still bewildered, still floating on a blank background, panel-less, but his whole body is visible. Especially the lower half: his knee is bent at a very awkward angle, and his ankle is still caught in the basket frame of the sideways desk. Across the back of his calf is an ugly purplish-red laceration.
4-11 Cutaway of the top half of Jeremy, looking down in disbelief.
4-12 Same shot…disbelief turns to wide-eyed horror.
12. JEREMY: OH SHIT.
5-1 Jeremy is smoldering in an orange 70s-looking chair in the reception area outside the principal’s office. His leg is bandaged up.
5-2 Two girls walk by. One of them is Ariana Brescançon.
5-3 Ariana looks at Jeremy, and this makes her friend look too.
1. ARIANA’S FRIEND: WHAT HAPPENED?
5-4 Jeremy looks at his feet, unable to meet the gaze of his secret crush, or her friend.
2. JEREMY: I…
3. JEREMY: I SAID “SHIT” IN MRS. BLAROMICH’S CLASS.
5-5 Ariana’s friend looks at him pityingly. Ariana herself is looking at him somewhat vacantly.
4. ARIANA’S FRIEND: DUDE. THAT SUCKS.
5. ARIANA’S FRIEND: YOU GET DETENTION?
5-6 Jeremy doesn’t look up.
5. PRINCIPAL’S ASST: JEREMY LERNER? PRINCIPAL HARKIN WILL SEE YOU NOW.
6. ARIANA’S FRIEND: WELL, GOOD LUCK.
7. JEREMY: (mumbled) THANKS.
5-7 Jeremy looks up at them as the two walk away.
5-8 Zoom in on Ariana’s face in profile as she turns her head, talking to her friend. Very pretty. In a boring kind of way.
5-9 From inside Principal Harkin’s office, Jeremy walks/limps toward camera as Principal holds the door and ushers him in. The Principal’s neck is craned, watching something outside his office with practiced detachment. Something pretty.
8. TEXT BOX: (Helvetica/Arial, red) YOU WHAT!
6-1 A computer screen. Instant message box.
1. SEOULMAN277: (red type) YOU WHAT!
2. 4GNTOR4NG3: (blue type) YEAH, DETENTION. PROLLY HAVE TO BE IN THERE WITH SCOTT BOROS TOO.
6-2 From POV of computer, we see Jeremy seated at his desk at home and staring at us expressionless, his face lit by the white glow of the screen.
6-3 Instant message box.
3. SEOULMAN277: YOU GROUNDED? I’D BE SO GROUNDED.
4. 4GNTOR4NG3: IDK, PARENTS AREN’T HOME YET. SCHOOL NURSE GAVE ME THREE STITCHES TOO. SENT ME HOME AFTER VISIT W/ HARKIN.
5. SEOULMAN277: THEY GROUNDED ME LAST FALL FOR GETTING A B. TOOK AWAY MY CAR.
6-4 Instant message box.
6. 4GNTOR4NG3: YEAH WELL. AT LEAST YOU HAVE A CAR.
7. 4GNTOR4NG3: SO HOW’S MEMPHIS?
6-5 Jeremy seated at his computer looks over his shoulder.
8. SOUND TEXT: SLAM!
9. SEOULMAN277: IT SUCKS. THERE’S NO ASIANS HERE. DUDE, THE ONLY OTHER KOREAN IS THIS RETARDED GIRL NAMED KIM. I THINK MY PARENTS WANT ME TO MARRY HER. DO YOU REALIZE IF I DO THAT HER NAME WOULD BE KIM CHI?? I SWEAR, MY PARENTS ARE RETARDS.
10. 4GNTOR4NG3: I HAVE TO GO. MOM JUST GOT HOME.
11. SEOULMAN277: K. LATES.
6-6 From computer’s POV: Jeremy is gone, his chair recently abandoned and swiveled partly away from the desk. The door to his room is flung open wide. Gone downstairs to meet his mother.
12. JEREMY: (off-panel) I’M UP HERE!
7-1 Mrs. Shofari—Margaret—is in the kitchen, putting down her purse and work materials and talking on her cell phone with her Bluetooth piece. It almost looks as though she’s talking to herself. She doesn’t appear to have heard Jeremy’s call from upstairs.
1. MARGARET: OH I KNOW, THEY’RE HORRIBLE! I WAS THINKING ABOUT FILING A COMPLAINT.
2. MARGARET: OH I KNOW! THEY SHOULD BE ELECTROCUTED. SCREW THE GAS CHAMBER. THEY’D PROBABLY ENJOY IT.
7-2 Margaret pulling out a bottle of wine and pouring a glass as she talks. Jeremy appears in the kitchen entry, but she doesn’t see him.
3. MARGARET: AT LEAST THEY COULD’VE THROWN IN A FREE WHITENING. DID THEY STILL CHARGE FOR THE BRACES?
4. MARGARET: OH THE POOR THING. DOES SHE HAVE A BOYFRIEND? NO, WELL, IT’S BETTER THAT WAY.
7-3 Looking down the hallway into the kitchen, we see Jeremy tiptoes back to his room, toward us. We see only an elbow or hand of Mrs. Shofari.
5. MARGARET: HOLD ON ONE SEC.
6. MARGARET: JEREMY? THAT YOU?
7. MARGARET: I SWEAR THAT BOY IS A GHOST…
7-4 Same shot, looking down hall at kitchen; Jeremy no longer in panel. Still don’t see Mrs. Zahari.
8. MARGARET: I KNOW, I KNOW. TEENAGERS. CAN’T LIVE WITH ‘EM, CAN’T SEND THEM TO THE SALT MINES.
9. MARGARET: OH, JUST KIDDING DEAR, I KNOW HE DOES.
7-5 Jeremy back in his room shuts his door quietly, turning the knob slowly so it doesn’t click too loudly, and locking it. The white glow of the computer screen still illuminates the room. He’s looking right at it.
7-6 Blank computer screen with blinking cursor, awaiting Jeremy’s command.
7-7 Extreme close-up of Jeremy’s eyes. Concentrating, yet inert. We see the reflection of the computer screen in his glasses.
7-8 Jeremy’s computer screen. A stylized rendering, in keyboard numerals/symbols, of a wall socket floating in space, with an X-wing-looking spaceship [miniscule in comparison] flying toward it. The screen reads:
OUTLET II: THE GAME
PLUG IN. SPACE OUT.
WELCOME BACK, JEREMY
CURRENT LEVEL: 34 EXP: 2173800 YUAN: 8.8 TRIL
DO YOU WISH TO CONTINUE? Y/N:
8-1 A mid-range shot of what looks from across the street like a suburban single-story office building: late 60s brown cinder block [not unlike El Empresa High School], with black tinted windows and no sign visible anywhere. We can perhaps make out a small parking lot wrapping around the left side of the building. A faded red Chrysler LeBaron from the mid-90s is parked on the street in front.
1. TEXT BOX: MEANWHILE, AT THE OTHER END OF THE GREAT LOS ANGELES BASIN…
8-2 Same shot: the LeBaron pulls away, revealing a tinted glass door, a street number (1873C) and a nondescript sign, provided by the building’s owners:
8-3 Same shot: a semi-trailer pulls in front of our view of the OK Corral, and we are momentarily peeved at the obstruction. Worse: we can see inside the cab that the driver of the semi is looking away from us, at the club, pondering whether to go in perhaps.
8-4 Floor-level close-up of long, sexy legs scissoring their way toward camera. Another woman with comically [heh] large breasts is behind them, also walking toward camera.
2. TEXT BOX: “LET’S HEAR IT FOR GALE STORM AND IRIS MEREDITH!”
8-5 Panning in to the large-breasted woman, Iris Meredith, who is wearing a red-plaid cut-off shirt tied improbably around her enormous rack, blonde curls bobbing at her shoulders. She looks over her shoulder across the room to the stage behind her.
3. TEXT BOX: “NEXT UP: THE HOTTEST LITTLE PISTOL IN THE WEST, SALLY CUMMINGS!”
4. IRIS MEREDITH: I’M GONNA WATCH SAL, GALE.
5. GALE STORM: (off-panel) SUIT YERSELF HON.
8-6 The stage of the OK Corral. Faded wood paneling made to look like the façade of an old Western saloon., with false windows and swinging green doors on either side, leading backstage. Center stage (and bisecting the panel) is a metal pole. Two banks of floor lights disguised as horse troughs on either side of the stage curtain. We see a the silhouetted backs of a few heads in the front row, but the place is not packed.
6. TEXT BOX: “TURN YOUR ATTENTION TO MISS SALLY CUMMINGS!”
8-7 The green saloon doors on stage-left.
7. SOUND TEXT: BLAM!BLAM!BLAM!BLAM!
8-8 The saloon doors burst open in a cloud of stage smoke.
8. TEXT BOX: (edgy music) WELL I’M GOIN’ OUT WEST WHERE THE WIND BLOWS TALL!
8-9 A shadow emerges in the smoke. Short. Athletic. Nice curves. Stetson.
9. TEXT BOX: (music) ‘CUZ TONY FRANCIOSA USED TO DATE MY MA!
9-1 The boots: pink and cowgirl.
1. TEXT BOX: (music) THEY GOT SOME MONEY OUT THERE, THEY’RE GIVIN IT AWAY!
9-2 The pistols: pink with white grip, spinning expertly around a cute finger with a French manicure.
2. TEXT BOX: (music) I’M GUNNA DO WHAT I WANT AND I’M GUNNA GET PAID!
9-3 The outfit: pink leather vest with tassles jumping to the rhythm, chest pushed out and straining against the single pink button.
3. TEXT BOX: (music) LITTLE BROWN SAUS’GES LYIN’ IN THE SAND
4. TEXT BOX: (music) I AIN’T NO EXTRA BABY, I’M THE LEADING MAN!
9-4 The lips: puckered with gloss and pursed in a dare.
5. TEXT BOX: (music) WELL MY PAROLE OFFICER’D BE PROUD OF ME
6. TEXT BOX: (music) WITH MY OLDS 88 AND THE DEVIL ON A LEASH
9-5 The leg: kicks high and to the left, toe pointed, thigh toned, forming a deadly line.
7. TEXT BOX: (music) WELL I KNOW KARATE, VOODOO TOO
8. TEXT BOX: (music) I’M GONNA MAKE MYSELF AVAILABLE TO YOU!
9-6 The eyes: overly shadowed and mascaraed, but fierce…simply fierce.
9. TEXT BOX: (music) I DON’T NEED NO MAKE UP
9-7 From the back, we see her well-toned shoulder blades nearly touching, and her round little ass tucked into a little crevice… and the tassled vest has dropped now to her ankles.
10. TEXT BOX: (music) I GOT REAL SCARS
9-8 The sheriff’s stars: shiny pink. One for each nipple.
11. TEXT BOX: (music) I GOT HAIR ON MY CHEST
9-9 Finally: we see Sally Cummings’s entire body in profile, pressed against the pole with one leg in a split reaching high against it, the rest of her body conforming seemingly naturally to the straight line of the pole, except for her head, which is tossed back, chin pointing straight up. Her right hand holds the pole and steadies herself, the left arm is raised, her pink cowgirl hat in hand, as though riding a bucking bronco.
12. TEXT BOX: (music) I LOOK GOOD WITHOUT A SHIRT…
10-1 Pan out: still watching Sally perform, from the vantage point of a stool by the bar. Sally is almost a blur.
1. IRIS MEREDITH: (off-panel) YOU GO GIRL!
10-2 Now we see Iris leaning with her back to the bar, watching Sally. Behind her, a tall, tattooed bartender in a muscle shirt with dark hair and bangs carefully plastered on his face [the male employees obviously aren’t required to adhere to the same dress code] leans over to Iris. We can a few seated gents at the tables in front of them. A trucker. A couple frat boys. A cowboy…
2. BARTENDER: NEW GIRL’S PRETTY FUCKIN SMOKIN’.
3. IRIS MEREDITH: YOU’RE TELLIN’ ME, DOLLFACE.
10-3 Focus shifts to a man sitting at one of the tables closest to Iris. He looks like he’s in his late 60s, with a droopy, soft white moustache and a youthful, wide-eyed expression. He’s bathed in the red darkroom lights of the bar area. Dressed in some old cowboy getup, he’s leaning forward, paying rapt attention to the show. Coyote Don.
4. SOUND TEXT: WHIEEET-WHEEEWWW! HOOO-HOOOT!
10-4 Close-up on Coyote Don’s animated face. His wrinkles tell his age, but his eyes are so young, almost baby-like…
5. BARTENDER: (off-panel) CATCH YOU LATER THEN?
6. IRIS MEREDITH: (off-panel) YOU GOT IT, DOLLFACE.
10-4 Coyote Don’s eyes widen (if that were possible) in surprise, his jaw dropping a little bit…
7. TEXT BOX: (music) …GUNNA DRIVE ALL NIGHT, GET SOME SPEED
10-5 We see Sally Cummings from the rear, viola-shaped in pink boots, walking towards an enraptured Coyote Don.
8. TEXT BOX: (music) I’M GUNNA WAIT FOR THE SUN TO SHINE DOWN ON ME
10-6 Profile view: Coyote Don, shoulders back, seated low in his chair on the left of the panel; Sally on the right, bending at the hip over him. Her right (farther) knee is up on his lap: she has forward momentum. Her left arm is planted on Coyote Don’s lower thigh to steady herself, and her right (farther) hand is grabbing the red bandana knotted around his neck.
9. TEXT BOX: (music) I CUTE A HOLE IN MY ROOF, SHAPE OF A HEART
10-7 Close-up profile: Sally’s face pressing down close to Coyote Don’s, mischievous, teasing. He is simply in awe.
10. TEXT BOX: (music) AND I’M GOIN’ OUT WEST WHERE THEY APPRECIATE ME
11. TEXT BOX: (music) GOIN’ OUT WEST WHERE THEY APPRECIATE ME
10-7 Back of Coyote Don’s head, left. Sally Cummings facing us, extreme close-up, brushing her cheek against Coyote Don’s, her mouth slightly open in a moan, almost as if she’s whispering in his ear.
12. TEXT BOX: (music) GOIN’ OUT WEST WHERE THEY APPRECIATE ME
10-8 Extreme close-up of Coyote Don’s eyes. Complete reverie.
13. TEXT BOX: (music) GOIN’ OUT WEST WHERE THEY APPRECIATE ME
11-1 Outside the rear door of the OK Corral, Sally “Cummings” Clemens steps out, headed to her car. She’s wearing sweat pants and a light jersey hoodie over a cami. She seems to be lost in thought.
11-2 Blocked by her car [an old black Saab hatchback], Sally fishes in her purse for her keys.
1. COYOTE DON: (off-panel) MIGHTY NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN, CLEMENTINE.
11-3 Snapped out of her thoughts, Sally looks up, instantly defensive.
2. SALLY: CAN I HELP YOU?
3. SALLY: OH. IT’S YOU.
11-4 Coyote Don has approached the other side of the car, tipping the rim of his Stetson to her in a deferential gesture.
11-5 Sally looks over her shoulder, gauging the distance back to the club. It’s less than a hundred feet, but seems like miles.
4. SALLY: I’M SORRY, I NEED TO BE GOING.
11-6 Through the passenger side window we see Sally getting into the car and turning the ignition.
5. COYOTE DON: (off-panel) I GOT THESE FOR YOU.
11-7 From Sally’s POV we see out through the passenger side window now: a handful of flowers is pressed up against the window. The flowers are daisies and other flowers and filler grass taken from the median planter at the edge of the parking lot.
6. SALLY: (under her breath) CRAZY CREEP.
11-8 The doors auto-lock with an emphatic THUK! Coyote Don’s droopy face begins to recede as the car pulls out.
11-9 Watching Sally from the passenger’s side as she drives and tries to ignore the crazy old dude with flowers.
7. SALLY: (text box) ONE MORE YEAR AND YOU CAN TRANSFER TO UCLA.
11-10 Coyote Don stands there in the lot, back to us, flowers sagging in one hand as he watches Sally start to drive away.
8. COYOTE DON: ?
9. SALLY: (as text box) OR BERKELEY.
10. SALLY: (as text box) FAR AWAY FROM THE CRAZIES AS POSSIBLE.
11-11 Coyote Don’s face, ignorant of disappointment or rebuff, swells with longing.
11. SALLY: (as text box) … THE FUCK IS CLEMENTINE?
12-1 A darkened panel, vertical and small, with a hazy light at the center as though someone were just coming conscious.
1. TEXT BOX: CLEMENTINE?
12-2 The panel, still small and vertical, lightens a bit: Coyote Don’s POV, seated at what looks like the hazy form of a desk, opposite a lean, broad-shouldered figure.
2. TEXT BOX: YOU MEAN MISS MEREDITH? YOUR CO-STAR?
12-3 The room comes into focus a little bit more. Still blurry, we can make out the confines of an interrogation room: cinder block walls painted baby blue. Light from a small barred window high on the right wall. The figure seated opposite looks familiar: Officer Callahan [Episode 1]. We are back in the early seventies now, and Marion Slye [Coyote Don] is being questioned in the death of his ex-girlfriend.
3. TEXT BOX: WHERE AM I?
12-4 Looking down at the table, Marion Slye sees his wrists bound in handcuffs.
4. TEXT BOX: IS THIS A DREAM?
5. CALLAHAN: (off-panel) HELLOO, EARTH TO MARION!
6. CALLAHAN: IT’S LIKE HE’S ON ANOTHER FUCKIN PLANET.
7. CALLAHAN: GET WITH IT, YOU CRAZY FUCK.
12-5 Marion B. Slye—aka Coyote Don—is young again, but he looks old: a night in jail has aged him. That, and the voices in his head that have gotten louder lately… He is looking down at his own chest, bags under his eyes, his long nose puffy red. In the room also are Officer Barnaby and a prison guard standing near the door.
8. MARION SLYE: WHERE—WHERE’S MABEL?
9. CALLAHAN: OH THAT’S RIGHTEOUS. YOU SICK FUCK.
12-6 Officer Barnaby steps forward and leans in.
10. BARNABY: WHY DON’T YOU TELL US WHERE SHE IS, LADDY?
11. CALLAHAN: (off-panel) SHE WAS A DEFENSELESS GIRL, YOU BASTARD.
12. BARNABY: WHERE DID YOU TAKE HER?
12-7 A groggy Marion Slye looks up, a faint glimmer of realization—and panic—spreading across his face.
13. MARION SLYE: MABEL? WHAT HAPPENED TO HER?
12-8 Marion instinctively tries to leap out of his seat, but trips at the tug of the restraints chaining his ankles to his chair.
14. BARNABY: YOU TELL US, LADDY.
15. CALLAHAN: (off-panel) YOU KILLED HER, YOU FREAK.
16. MARION SLYE: UNGGGHH!
12-9 Cut to a basement somewhere: a girl tied to a chair, her mouth gagged, afraid for her life. In the foreground, the shadow of a hand brandishing a sharp knife.
16. CALLAHAN: (text box) WE FOUND YOUR SHIRT WITH HER BLOOD ALL OVER IT.
17. BARNABY: (text box) — BEEN MISSING FOR SIX DAYS —
12-10 Marion Slye, fallen, with his arms propping himself up on the table as his legs remain tethered to the chair. He strains against his restraints and cries out with all his might. At the edges of the panel we see the officers nimbly leap forward.
18. MARION SLYE: NOOOOOOOOOO!
12-11 Officer Callahan steps behind Marion Slye and pulls him upright in a chokehold with his baton. Marion Slye, hands still cuffed, instinctively tries to pull the baton away from his throat. Barnaby folds his arms across his chest.
19. CALLAHAN: YOU’RE GONNA GET THE CHAIR, YOU SUNUVABITCH.
20. CALLAHAN: YOU’RE GONNA FRY FOR THIS.
21. BARNABY: IF YE HELP US, YE MIGHT ONLY GET FORTY YEARS.
13-1 Jeremy Lerner awakes with a snort. He is sitting in front of his computer, his head was flopped back, a thin line of drool dangling from the corner of his mouth. It’s dark in his room: the glow of the screen is the only light.
1. JEREMY: * SNURK *
13-2 Jeremy wipes the drool from his mouth, scowling.
2. JEREMY: (text box) SHIT, IT’S LATE.
3. JEREMY: (text box) I SUPPOSE ARI’S HOME. FACE THE MUSIC.
13-3 Out in the kitchen, Mel (“Ari”) and Margaret Shofari are standing around the center island. Margaret is chopping peppers and Mel is loosening his tie. Both look up at Jeremy as he saunters into the kitchen looking groggy.
4. MEL: JEREMY. HOW’S IT GOING THERE, KIDDO. YOU LOOK ROUGH.
5. MARGARET: ARE YOU LIMPING?
13-4 Jeremy walks past them, not making eye contact.
6. JEREMY: HELLO, ARI SHOFARI. MARGARET.
13-5 Margaret is offended and exasperated as Jeremy rummages through the fridge, his back to them. Mel looks sleepy.
7. MARGARET: JEREMY!
8. JEREMY: WHAT. THAT’S HIS NAME. ARI SHOFARI.
9. MEL: IT’S ALL RIGHT MARGARET.
13-6 From inside the fridge, looking out at Jeremy purposefully ignoring his exasperated mother and mild-mannered stepdad.
10. MARGARET: DON’T TREAT YOUR STEPFATHER LIKE THAT—
11. JEREMY: THAT’S HIS GIVEN NAME.
12. MEL: I PREFER MEL…
13. MARGARET: APOLOGIZE TO MEL RIGHT NOW.
13-7 Jeremy turns and looks at Mel with a carton of orange juice in his hand.
14. JEREMY: ARI SHOFARI, I’M SORRY .
15. MEL: NO WORRIES.
16. MARGARET: JEREMY!
17. JEREMY: WE GOOD?
18. MARGARET: LIGHTNING IS GOING TO STRIKE YOU DEAD!
19. MEL: SURE THING, JEREMY.
13-8 Jeremy leaves the OJ on the island and walks away.
20. MARGARET: (off-panel) GOD DOESN’T LIKE SMART ASSES. HE’S GOING TO TURN YOU INTO A PILLAR OF SALT.
13-9 Jeremy plops himself down on the sofa in the living room, TV remote already in hand. He rolls his eyes.
21. MEL: (off-panel) I DON’T THINK HE’D DO THAT.
14-1 The TV screen. A re-run of an old TV western, in muted 70s color. A lone cowboy on horseback appears over a red-tinged hill, looking stoic and determined in close-up.
1. MARGARET: (off-panel) OH PLEASE, MEL.
2. MEL: (off-panel) SORRY, DEAR.
14-2 On TV, the hero looks down his left shoulder at a new character ambling up on a donkey beside him. The sidekick is a ruddy-faced Mexican with stereotypical poncho and straw sombrero.
3. MARGARET: (off-panel) JUST STAY OUT OF IT. I’M TELLING YOU, HE’S GOT TO LISTEN.
4. MEL: (off-panel) CAN I CHANGE THE SUBJECT?
5. MARGARET: (off-panel) IF YOU STAY OUT OF IT.
14-3 From POV of the TV, Jeremy is both staring and mindless. He is watching the screen and taking in the dialogue and shapes, but not making any further connections in the deeper registers of his brain. He has tuned out his parents, and isn’t paying attention to the program, either. Too bad: if he were, he’d notice that he was watching an old rerun of The Adventures of Coyote Don.
6. MEL: (off-panel) DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE GIRL WHO GOT MAULED BY A MOUNTAIN LION YESTERDAY?
7. MEL: (off-panel) I THINK IT WAS YESTERDAY. IT WAS ON THE NEWS. OVER AT PIERSON PARK?
8. MARGARET: (off-panel) OH I KNOW! HOW HORRIBLE IS THAT!
9. MARGARET: (off-panel) I HOPE SHE’S OK.
14-4 TV. Long shot of Coyote Don leading Sanchez down the hill into the red valley and the village below.
10. MEL: (off-panel) TOOK HALF HER SKULL OFF.
11. MARGARET: (off-panel) THAT POOR GIRL.
12. MEL: (off-panel) DOCTORS WERE ABLE TO REAFFIX IT. SHE’S EXPECTED TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL NEXT WEEK. THEY SHOWED HER WITH THIS ENORMOUS TEDDY BEAR THEY GAVE HER. IT WAS CUTE.
13. MARGARET: (off-panel) OH MY GOD, THEY DID? SUCH AN INAPPROPRIATE GIFT!
14-5 TV. A young, squared-jawed Coyote Don and Sanchez amble into town, but no one is there to greet them. Shuttered windows, etc.
14. MEL: (off-panel) WAS IT?
15. MARGARET: (off-panel) THAT GIRL IS GOING TO BE MARRED FOR LIFE. WOULD YOU WANT TO COMMEMORATE THE EVENT WITH A BEAR?
16. MEL: (off-panel) IT’S NOT REAL.
17. MARGARET: (off-panel) IT’S JUST NOT APPROPRIATE.
18. MEL: (off-panel) IT WAS A MOUNTAIN LION THAT MAULED HER.
14-6 TV. Close-up of Coyote Don’s face in profile, riding through the thoroughfare with trepidation. His jaw is clenched.
19. MARGARET: (off-panel) WELL I HOPE THEY KILL THE ONE THAT DID IT.
14-7 Jeremy again, slouching in the couch, thumbing the remote.
20. MARGARET: (off-panel) JEREMY, WILL YOU TAKE OUT THE TRASH AND RECYCLING?
15-1 Wide crane shot of the cul-de-sac of the Zaharis’ condo development. Eucalyptus trees. Lots of conjoined condos with beige stucco and Spanish tile roofs. The middle is a parking area around a small raised grassy island. We can make out the driveway that feeds to the main road, and on the other side is another similar cul-de-sac.
15-2 Sally Clemens is in her car, turning into a residential development.
1. SALLY: (text box) PLEASE DON’T LET DAD BE IN HIS BATHROBE. PLEASE DON’T LET DAD BE IN HIS BATHROBE.
15-3 The street sign at the corner where she just turned reads DULCINEA. The main road she just turned from is LA MANCHA.
15-4 As Sally pulls into the cul-de-sac where she lives with her dad, we see through her windshield an open garage and a boy wheeling a garbage bin outside.
15-5 Pulling into her parking spot in the island, Sally leans her head out the window and calls out at the boy.
2. SALLY: HEY, JEREMY! WHAT’S THE WORD?
15-6 Jeremy, standing beside the garbage bin, is trying to hide his scowl. He just doesn’t know how to talk to girls.
3. JEREMY: HEY.
4. JEREMY: UH, NOTHING. GOT SENT HOME FOR MOUTHING OFF IN CLASS.
15-7 Sally slamming the door of her car shut tilts her head and wrinkles her nose.
5. SALLY: I’M SORRY. THAT SUCKS A FAT LOAD.
6. SALLY: FUNNY HOW THEY LET YOU OUT EARLY FOR BAD BEHAVIOR.
15-8 Sally passes by Jeremy on the other side of the hedge that separates their two units. Jeremy is still kind of dumbstruck.
7. SALLY: WELL, CATCH YOU LATER. DON’T LET THE MAN KEEP YA DOWN.
8. JEREMY: LATER…
15-9 Sally enters her dad’s condo. The place is neat, but not anxious. More sad: not a lot of décor. A few potted small trees, a computer work desk in the living room. A coffee table with framed family photos. Essentially the pad of a sixty-year old divorced man.
9. SALLY: DAD? YOU HOME?
16-1 Coyote Don, behind the wheel of a stolen white ’68 Mustang, from across the parking island, watching Sally disappear into her dad’s condo. Coyote Don looks longing, sad, determined and a little bit creepy.
16-2 Coyote Don’s attention turns to the house next door, where a teenage boy is holding the handle of a tall rolling recycling bin, staring after Sally. The boy is oblivious to the man in the white Mustang.
16-3 Coyote Don’s eyes in the rearview mirror, “fierce and determined” replacing “sad and longing.”
1. COYOTE DON: (text box) GOTTA MAKE THINGS RIGHT.
16-4 The white mustang drives away… for now.
16-5 Panning back to Jeremy’s house, with the blue recycling bin filling up the foreground on the right side of the panel, Jeremy’s hand pulling the door closed behind him as he disappears inside his own house. The bin reads “CANS PLASTIC NEWSPAPER NO GLASS”.
2. JEREMY: (from inside house) ALL FINISHED!
16-6 The recycling bin now fills up one of two side-by-side vertical panels. The recycling bin is lit by the late afternoon daylight.
16-7 The second of the two panels filled by the stoic presence of the recycling bin, now lit by a streetlamp. It’s evening.
3. COYOTE DON: (text box) YOU KNOW WHAT YOU GOTTA DO.
17-1 A rough hand lifts the lid of the recycling bin, and we’re now peering into it. Cans half-crushed, unread newspapers, milk cartons, and lots of plastic food containers.
17-2 Coyote Don standing in the lamp light at the open recycling bin, holding a discarded plastic container of BABY SPINACH with one hand, and feeding himself with two fingers of his other hand.
1. COYOTE DON: (text box) I FIGHT TO THE FINISH…
17-3 Coyote Don turns his head and hacks, spitting out the rancid bit of wilted spinach, one hand clutching his throat.
17-4 The whole upper half of Coyote Don’s body leaning inside the bin, rummaging.
2. COYOTE DON: (text box) WASTEFUL. WASTEFUL.
17-5 Both his legs are now in the air as he fishes deeper into the bin. And the bin is beginning to tip over…
3. COYOTE DON: AH—
17-6 Inside the Shofari living room, Margaret, Mel, and Jeremy look up in alarm toward the door from their respective perches around the TV.
4. SOUND TEXT: THWUMP! CLATTER CLATTER CLATTER CLATTER
5. MARGARET: WHAT WAS THAT?
6. MEL: I DON’T KNOW…
7. JEREMY: LET’S SEE: CAT. RACCOON. DOG. MOUNTAIN LION.
17-7 Outside, sitting next to the fallen bin amid a mess of strewn cans and paper and containers, Coyote Don sits, placing or holding his hat on his head with one hand while triumphantly glugging down the remainder of beer in a crumpled aluminum can.
8. JEREMY: (from inside the house) …PROWLER?
18-1 Margaret looks expectantly at Mel, who shrugs meekly.
18-2 Margaret turns to look at Jeremy, who is already getting out of his armchair.
1. MARGARET: JEREMY—
2. JEREMY: I’M ALREADY GOING.
3. MARGARET: TAKE THE BAT.
4. JEREMY: (rolling his eyes) SIGH. WEAKLINGS.
18-3 The porch light on, Jeremy steps outside the house, trying to peer around the corner of the garage where the recycling bin lies with its contents spilling out. Coyote Don is nowhere to be seen.
18-4 Stepping around the corner, baseball bat in hand, Jeremy’s shoulder slumps at the mess he’s going to have to clean up. A well-groomed orange cat saunters into the light.
5. JEREMY: YOU. YOU CAUSED THIS MESS.
18-5 Jeremy drops the bat and scoops up the cat, who begins to lick his face.
6. JEREMY: I SUPPOSE I CAN’T BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU,
7. JEREMY: AND I CAN’T MAKE YOU CLEAN THIS SHIT UP.
18-6 A rustling in the hedge at the opposite side of the garage (separating the driveways of the Shofari household and their neighbors on the other side) sends the cat rocketing out of Jeremy’s arms, its rear paws scratching his face violently.
8. SOUND TEXT: SHRRCHCHTCH
9. SOUND TEXT: REOWWWR!!!
10 . JEREMY: AAAH!
19-1 Jeremy is bent over, one hand on a knee, the other pressed to his bleeding cheek, on his face a look of utter disgust.
1. JEREMY: FUCK! FUCK! FUCKING CAT! SHIT! WHERE THE HELL’S MY BAT?
19-2 Close-up of Jeremy snarling as he leans down to grab his bat. A shadow emerges behind him.
2. JEREMY: HERE KITTY KITTY KITTY. SONOFABITCH FUCKING CAT.
19-3 A hand clasps tightly over Jeremy’s mouth, another arm grips Jeremy around his chest.
3. JEREMY: I’M GONNA BEAT THE CUTE RIGHT OUTTA—
4. JEREMY: —FFF!
19-4 A mouth whispers into Jeremy’s ear as Jeremy looks wide-eyed in terror…
5. COYOTE DON: SHH!
6. COYOTE DON: NOT ANOTHER SOUND.
20-1 Close-up: Jeremy bites down hard on Coyote Don’s finger.
1. SOUND: CRUNNKCHH
20-2 Jeremy jams the heel of his tennis shoe into the toe of Coyote Don’s right boot.
2. COYOTE DON: YOOWWW—OWOW-OWWW!
20-3 Coyote Don is dancing in pain. He looks pretty funny shaking his bit hand and leaping on one foot. (The panel should diffuse much of the tension built up in the previous page, so that in the next panel when Jeremy confronts his aggressor, it’s not life-or-death, but more of a détente.)
3. COYOTE DON: RR-R- ROUWW-OWWR
20-4 Jeremy now stands in defensive stance, legs apart, wielding the baseball bat and biting his lower lip. Margaret has heard the continued commotion and calls out, her voice barely audible through the closed door.
4. MARGARET: JEREMY?
20-5 The two face each other about five feet apart. Coyote Don has his hands up in appeasement, and Jeremy has his bat raised high in batter’s stance. He is looking in the general area of Coyote Don’s knees, taking him in for the first time. His brow is ever so slightly furrowed in incomprehension, but he maintains his cobra-ready-to-strike posture.
5. JEREMY: G-GET OUT OF HERE
6. JEREMY: OR I CALL THE COPS.
7. JEREMY: N-NOW.
20-6 Coyote Don, accepting defeat, drops his guard, looks straight up at the moon and howls. Like a coyote. Jeremy is still in batter’s stance, but his forward elbow has raised a bit in reflexive protection of his face.
8. COYOTE DON: ROUW-OUW-ROOOUUUWWW!!
20-7 Mel appears in the doorway, timid. Jeremy is looking up toward the driveway to their complex. He’s lowered his arms, and is now just standing there, one hand leaning on the bat like a cane.
9. MEL: UM. EVERYTHING OK?
20-8 The silhouette of Coyote Don scampering away into the moonlit night.
20-9 Jeremy looks down at the mess around him.
10. JEREMY: YEAH, MEL. IT’S COOL. JUST A COYOTE.
11. JEREMY: I’LL BE RIGHT IN.
The page tracks Coyote Don’s movements after their encounter and, concurrently, Jeremy’s conversation with his parents.
21-1 Panoramic panel of the moonlit suburban neighborhood. A street sign under the glare of a yellow street lamp. The street sign reads LA MANCHA RD. A brown cinderblock wall protects the condos from the street noise. The street is lined with eucalyptus trees, a few palms, and dusty hedges. The neighborhood is hilly. In the background we see more meandering residential roads and more houses and more developments. In the distance we might just make out a few unpopulated foothills.
1. MARGARET: (text box) A COYOTE? ARE YOU OK? DID IT TRY TO MAUL YOU?
2. MEL: (text box) YOU’RE THINKING OF MOUNTAIN LIONS.
3. MARGARET: (text box) A COYOTE CAN BE JUST AS AGGRESSIVE WHEN BACKED INTO A CORNER. THIS WOMAN IN MY YOGA CLASS, HER DAUGHTER—
21-2 Coyote Don walks along a residential street, his head tucked low, trying to remain out of the streetlight and unnoticed. He instinctively knows not to draw attention to himself (even though he helplessly always ends up doing exactly that).
4. JEREMY: (text box) I’M FINE. NOTHING HAPPENED. I SCARED IT AWAY.
5. MEL: (text box) IT’S MORE AFRAID OF YOU THAN YOU ARE OF IT.
21-3 In complete shadow, we see Coyote Don’s doleful and longing eyes looking askance over his shoulder. We can’t tell if he’s thinking of the police, or of his encounter with Jeremy, or of his “Clementine.”
6. JEREMY: (text box) I’M NOT AFRAID OF IT.
21-4 Silhouettes in moonlight: long shot of a lone figure scampering up a treeless slope, away from the lights of the town below, into the undeveloped hills east of El Empresa.
7. MARGARET: (text box) IT’S SCARY JUST TO THINK HOW CLOSE WE ARE TO WILDERNESS. I MEAN, THE MOUNTAINS ARE PRACTICALLY IN OUR BACKYARD—
8. JEREMY: (text box) MOM, PLEASE. I’M GOING TO BED.
9. MEL: (text box) SILVERADO CANYON IS EVEN CLOSER.
21-5 Behind a dumpster in back of a roadside biker restaurant, we see Coyote Don, huddled with his arms around his knees and looking bleakly at the ground in front of him.
10. MARGARET: (text box) OH, THAT’S RIGHT. COOK’S CORNER—THAT FUN BIKER RESTAURANT IS OUT THERE. I ALWAYS LOVED THAT PLACE. IT’S SO CLOSE, WE SHOULD GO THERE MORE OFTEN.
11. MEL: (text box) WHAT IF THE COYOTE COMES BACK?
21-6 Close-up of Coyote Don’s eyes in the dark. They are drooping, sad and nearly asleep.
12. MARGARET: (text box) BETTER HOPE IT DOESN’T OME BACK ON TRASH NIGHT. JEREMY SCARED IT OFF GOOD. ANYWAY…
13. MARGARET: (text box) WHY WOULD IT COME BACK?
21-7 Coyote Don falls completely asleep. His face is a contortion of lines and expressions: consternation, sorrow, longing, and the release of sleep.
END OF EPISODE TWO.