102 The Choice
(Original Air Date: October 5, 1996)
Written by Bob Brush and John Romano; Director: Michael Dinner
(As fanscribed by: Lynn from PAX-aired episode)

Pictures for "The Choice"

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[Back to accident scene – Gary is kneeling over child]

Gary: Amanda…. Amanda.

Amanda: What happened?

Gary: You were in an accident honey.

Amanda: Uh oh, anyone hurt?

Gary: Well…

Amanda: It was a new bike; my dad got it for me. Do I know you?

Gary: No, not exactly.

Amanda: But you know me?

Gary: Kinda

Amanda: I got it.

Gary: [to bystander], she needs help.

Bystander: Yea, I just called 911 they’ll be here right away.

Gary: No they won’t, they’re not going to make it here in time.

Bystander: What do you mean its 911?

Gary: Listen she needs to get to a hospital now.

Bystander: Me, I’m not moving her, she could be hurt.

Gary: Listen I don’t have time to explain, I gotta be somewhere, you gotta get her to the emergency room.

Bystander: Oh no, your supposed to leave the victim right there, don’t you ever watch Chicago Hope?

Crowd: Agrees with bystander

{Gary removes his coat and places Amanda on top, then picks her up and starts racing down the street}

Gary: [to crowd] Excuse me

Bystander: Hey!

Gary: How you feeling honey?

Amanda: My arm hurts.

Gary: U hu.

Amanda: Is that bad?

Gary: Nah

Amanda: Truth?

Gary: We’ll have to see OK.

[Scene to Marissa and Chuck on the train]

Marissa: What time is it now?

Chuck: You just asked me that.

Marissa: I know, you’re right, now I’m asking again.

Chuck: eleven after one

Marissa: Good, we can still make it to the airport.

Chuck: Yeah, and then what?

Marissa: And then we stop the plane.

Chuck: Uh hu, how we gonna do that?

Marissa: I don’t know but we’re gonna.

Chuck: That’s it, that’s you plan? I don’t know but we’re gonna, great.

[Scene to Gary walking into Emergency room carrying Amanda]

Gary: We need some help here…..we need some help

[ER very busy and crowded]

Nurse: Yeah, you’re telling me. You know where you are?
{checks Amanda’s pupils with penlight}

Amanda: In the hospital.

Nurse: You’re going to be just fine. Take her to registration. [walks away]…Need a med tech here… what is going on here today?

Gary: {trying to get her attention as she walks away} Listen…

{Gary takes Amanda to the registration desk.}

Gary: Excuse me; she’s been in an accident.

Clerk: Name?

Gary: Bailey, Amanda Bailey

Clerk: Address?

Gary: I don’t know the address

Clerk: Are you the father?

Gary: No, listen can we do this later? She needs to see someone right away.

Clerk: How you doing honey?

Amanda: My arm hurts

Clerk: Well, we’ll be sure to fix that.

Gary: It’s not just her arm; there’s something more serious than that

Clerk: You’re a doctor?

Gary: no I’m not

Clerk: Not the doctor, not the father.

Gary: Listen I know what’s going on if you could…

Clerk: have a seat over there

Gary: If you could just…

Clerk: Someone will be with your right away.

Amanda: Don’t worry, things will work out.

Gary: What?

Amanda: It’s a hospital, they’ll fix everything

[Scene to Chuck and Marissa on train]

Marissa: Just say there’s a bomb

Chuck: What?

Marissa: That way they’ll delay the flight in the time that it takes ….

Chuck: Let me just stop you there ok, you’re out of your mind.

Marissa: Why?

Chuck: Why? Newsflash, there is only one reason to give an airline a bomb threat, that is when there is an actual bomb on the plane, otherwise they tend to overreact, like put you in prison, like forever.

Marissa: I get it

Chuck: Good

Marissa: No guts

Chuck: excuse me?

Marissa: You heard me. It’s ok to use the newspaper to cash in on the stock market but when it comes …

Chuck: Alright, you know what I resent that

Marissa: You do, do you?

Chuck: Yes I do, just because I have a halfway practical view of the universe.

Marissa: HMMFFH!

Chuck: and you….you still believe in the tooth fairy.

Marissa: Coward

Chuck: Why don’t you go polish some crystals?

Marissa: Capitalist Pig

Chuck: I just don’t understand why WE have to do it?

Marissa: Because Gary can’t be there and we can.

[train comes to a sudden halt]

Chuck: Oh no.

Voice on train speaker: Attention, we have been advised there has been an unexplained power failure in this area of the city.

Chuck: {looking out train door window} Oh, I wish I could see Wrigley Field from here.

Voice on train speaker: Attention, do not attempt to evacuate the train.

[scene to Gary sitting in ER waiting room with Amanda, checks watch 1:15]

Gary: Excuse me can we get a doctor here?

Voice off screen: I’m sorry we’re doing the best we can

Amanda: You have to be somewhere don’t you?

Gary: What?

Amanda: Someone else to save?

Gary: What makes you say that?

Nurse: Amanda Bailey

{Gary walking with nurse next to stretcher with Amanda on it}

Nurse: She was in an accident?

Gary: hit and run, she was on a bicycle

Nurse: [to another employee] you know…where am I going to put her?

ER Staffer: No 3.

Nurse: There’s somebody in No. 3

ER Staffer: Anywhere you can find then

Gary: Anyway, she was on her bicycle and

Nurse: Hurt your arm did ya?

Gary: No it’s not her arm, there’s something else. I explained all this at the front desk

Nurse: Well if there is something else there we will find it

Gary: Look maybe there’s a doctor, someone I can talk to, someone who knows what’s going on around here?

Nurse: Listen I’m sorry sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave now. [hands chart to someone else] Ira.

Gary: How’s that?

Nurse: It says there that you are not her father.

Gary: Oh no, I’m not leaving this room until….

ER staffer: (poking head in the room for nurse) Listen we really need you out here.

Nurse: Look, you have done everything you could, you got her here, there’s nothing more you can do, go on with you life. {Nurse leaving the room) and Gino let’s get started looking for this girls folks.

{Gary checks watch again, time: 1:20}

Gary: Listen kiddo, I gotta get going.

Amanda: Promise you’ll come back

Gary: Yeah, I promise

Amanda: I’ll be brave

Gary: (smiles) alright, you be brave.

[Gary walks away, hesitates for a moment, looks back as curtain is being pulled]

Gary: {checking his watch} I hope they made it.

[scene: people evacuating the L train]

Cop: Everybody off the train please, come on folks move it along.

Marissa: [to cop] Excuse me; we need to get to the airport.

Cop: Good luck lady, power’s out in this whole part of the city, nothing’s coming this stretch.

Marissa: Then how are we supposed to get there?

Cop: Take a cab. [to exiting train crowd] Move it along, move it along.
[Chuck and Marissa start walking along platform]

Chuck: Our tax dollars at work.

Marissa: Now what’ll we do?

Chuck: Guess we gotta find Gary.

[Gary leaving hospital gets into cab]

Cabbie: Where to?

Gary: Airport, I got 40 minutes.

Cabbie: 40 minutes? What dream you living in?

Gary: Just drive the cab

{Checks paper, sees headline: 6 YEAR-OLD VICTIM OF HOSPITAL NEGLECT: Epidural Hematoma goes undiagnosed}

Gary: hospital neglect?

[Gary walking into hospital, through the ER to bed where he left Amanda, pulls curtain back, another patient is there now]

Gary: Where is she?

Nurse: You again?

Gary: Where is she?

Nurse: [to another employee] Gino, the little girl that was in 7, what happened?

Gino: They moved her till they could find the parents.

Gary: Moved her where?

Gino: Beats me

Gary: Did they look at her head?

Nurse: She’s been examined.

Gary: Did they look at her head?! {walks out of room and up the hall}

Nurse: Sir, I’m sorry you just can’t go wandering…Sir

Gary: [sees man in white coat with back turned] Doctor, Doctor.

[man turns around; it is the surgeon Chuck fought with about cab earlier in the day]

Surgeon: Well, well

Gary: Oh, boy.

Surgeon: Mr. Life and death, what brings you to our humble establishment?

Gary: Look, I’m sorry about the cab this morning, but I need your help. You got a little girl here who’s not getting the right treatment.

Nurse: She’s been examined.

Surgeon: Then everything’s been taken care of {turns and walks away}

Gary: {following him up the hall} No everything hasn’t been taken care of, they looked at her arm they missed what was wrong.

Surgeon: And your medical training would be?

Gary: None, and that’s why your going to find her.

Surgeon: Sorry, that’s not my job.

Gary: You’re a doctor.

Surgeon: Wrong, I’m a surgeon, not a detective, not a short-order cook. If you need an appointment, please call my office, otherwise, I’m due in surgery. {turns to walk away}

Gary: {grabs him by the arm} this is my appointment, something needs to be done and you’re gonna do it.

Surgeon: You’re right and I will.

[hospital security dragging Gary out of the hospital]

Gary: Come on guys this isn’t necessary. Don’t you have anything better to be doing?

{throw him down on the pavement outside}

Gary: Thanks!

[Marissa and Chuck walk up to hospital entrance as Gary is brushing himself off]

Chuck: Gar, what are you doing, taking a nap?

Gary: What are you doing here?

Chuck: It said in the paper she was at Columbia General Hospital.

Gary: No, did you get to the airport...Did you stop the plane?

Chuck: Not even close, we couldn’t get near the place.

Marissa: We tried everything…it’s like something didn’t want us to get there.

Gary: Then it’s still going down.

Marissa: We couldn’t get there...maybe we’re not supposed to, but you can.

Gary: No, I gotta get back in there.

Marissa: Look Gary there’s 190…

Gary: No I gotta get back in there, there’s a little girl in there that trusts me and I made her a promise

[Scene flashes at airport shows little boy being led onto plane by attendant, looking back and waving to dad then to Amanda laying on gurney in the hallway at the hospital]

[Chuck, laying on gurney, Marissa pushes him through ER entrance]

Marissa: How’m I doing?

Chuck: Doing great. [sees security guard] Uh oh, I think we have a problem, big guy – 12:00- go
{Marissa wheels Chuck through doors and toward security guard}

Chuck: [moaning] Ohhh noooo, I’m sick

Marissa: Help! Help!

Security Guard: What the hell is going on here?

Marissa: My husband, he’s sick

Chuck: Ohhhhhh I’m sick

Marissa: Very

Chuck: I’m dying, ohhhh

Marissa: Don’t push it.

Nurse: What’s going on here?

Marissa: It’s …his stomach

Chuck: my head

[Gary is sneaking in through the ER doors past the security guard who is distracted by Chuck and Marissa]

Marissa: ….his head

Chuck: …stomach. Hurts all over, [grunting and groaning – sees Gary and makes the groan louder to keep attention away from Gary]
{Security guard starts to turn towards entrance Gary is walking into – Chuck grabs his arm}

Chuck: It’s a virus; did you see the movie “Outbreak”? My face is going to turn into putty.

Nurse: Get him out of here before he starts a riot.

Chuck: Thank you
{security guard starts to push chuck down the hall}

Security Guard: Nurse, where do you want me to take him?

Nurse: Tell someone to order him an upper and lower GI and give him a rectal
{Chuck’s eyes bug out and he sits straight up on the gurney}

Chuck: What!

[Doctors locker room, a couple doctors walk in, pan to Gary standing in front of an open locker putting on scrubs]

Doctor #2: been on the links lately?

Doctor #2: shot a 71 on the links at Bilmar yesterday. {turns and notices Gary}

Gary: Hi

Doctor #2: Excuse me, that’s Doctor Connelly’s locker.

Gary: Oh yeah, I know, he asked me to find something for him.

Doctor #2: And what would that be?

Gary: His glass eye {shuts locker and walks away}

[Gary walks up to Amanda, still in hallway, she’s sleeping]

Gary: Amanda. Amanda

Amanda: {opening eyes} you came back.

Gary: Yeah

Amanda: Did you save the world?

Gary: (smiles at her) How ya feeling?

Amanda: Cold

Gary: Come on Honey, we’re gonna go for a little ride

[Gary pushing Amanda down the hall passes 2 orderlies]

Orderly #1: Doctor, you need some help with that?

Gary: No thanks

Orderly #1: Why don’t you let us do that for you?

Gary: Can’t, incarcerated petunia

Orderly #2: What did he say?

[Scene: Operating room, surgeon from earlier is finishing up a case]

Surgeon: Ok, another day, another dollar. Turn the music off will you; let’s get Mr. what’s his name up to post op.

[Gary pushes Amanda through door to the OR}

Gary: Okay, let’s talk

OR staff #1: Listen Mister, you gotta get out of her right now!

Gary: No I said we’re gonna talk. This little girl’s name is Amanda Bailey, she is 6 year old. She doesn’t like orange juice but she’ll drink it. She can curl her tongue up and spit between her two front teeth. Her favorite teacher is Miss Pideli who teaches pottery at school, she likes to get the clay on her fingertips. You’ve got two options, you can pretend this girl is just another name or you can save her life. What’s your choice?

Surgeon: You’re a very persistent man Mr. Life and Death!

Gary: Yes I am

Surgeon: You could go to jail for this.

Gary: Just look at the girl

{surgeon picks up chart – Gary grabs it away}

Gary: not the chart....look at the girl!

Surgeon: And what would I be looking for?

Gary: It’s called…I don’t know what it’s called. Your unconscious and then your Okay, it’s a doma, doma..uh

Surgeon: Epidural hematoma

Gary: That’s it

{Surgeon check child’s pupils, then looks up at Gary with surprise}

Surgeon: Let’s get a head CT stat, then prep her just in case. Skip the paperwork; we need to move on this now. And don’t let me hear she got left in some hallway!
{OR staff scrambles and whisks Amanda away}

Surgeon: [to Gary] anything else?

{Gary watches Amanda as she’s being taken down hall; she reaches her hand towards Gary as she’s being wheeled away}

Gary: Yeah, can you get me to the airport in half-an-hour?

Surgeon: I’m a surgeon, not a taxi service! It’s important huh?

Gary: Oh yeah

Voice from down the hall: Doctor

Surgeon: So is this.

[Scene: OR, Amanda moved to operating table, Gary is there with her, holding her hand, checks clock]
[Switches back and forth between plane taxiing down the runway and the OR – clock shown at 1:50, more scenes switching back and forth, child on plane, Amanda… clock shows 2:00, Gary seeing time, squeezes eyes shut in despair]

[Gary sitting in waiting area with head down, holding forehead in his hands- custodian walks by picking up trash – sees paper on seat near Gary]

Custodian: This yours?

Gary: What’s the date?

Custodian: Today

Gary: No

Surgeon: [walking up the hall speaking to another employee in the hall] Take her down to the second floor.

Off camera voice: yes Sir

{Surgeon sees Gary, walks over to him}

Surgeon: Piece of cake. …..pretty close thing though, few more minutes and we’d of had some explaining to do. I sound like a bureaucrat don’t I. Look, um…I won’t pretend that I understand what is going on with you. Something tells me I don’t even want to know. But I get the feeling we’re both in the same kind of business….saving lives. Thing is one of us hasn’t been doing his job. Not that I’m very good at saying thanks….but, there it is. You saved more than one life today.

Gary: No, no I didn’t

Marissa: [walking up hall towards Gary] But you tried

{Surgeon taps Gary on the shoulder and leaves}

Gary: And I failed

Marissa: Maybe, Maybe not. It’s what you said; this is what you had to do.

Gary: And that makes it alright?

Marissa: You’re only one guy Gary.

Gary: Marissa, that plane went down today and I should have been there, me not anyone else, but me!

Marissa: no you shouldn’t

Gary: Why!!?

Marissa: Cause you couldn’t. You can’t do it all Gary; the world doesn’t turn that way. Sometimes you need…

Woman running up the hall: Excuse me; I’m looking for the recovery room!

Gary: It’s down there

Man: {runs up behind woman} Honey, I got here as fast as I could.

[Gary notices uniform man is wearing, carrying a airline pilot’s cap]

Marissa: Gary

Gary: Wait

{follows couple down the hall to the recovery room}

Nurse: [at Amanda’s bedside] She should be waking up soon, Doctor says she’s going to be fine.

[Gary sees couple at Amanda’s bedside]

Nurse: I heard they had trouble finding you.

Dad/pilot: I was almost in Miami. I was on the runway when they radioed, halfway through my take off roll, ten second later and I would have been in the air. I guess I was lucky; I’d of never forgiven myself for not being here.

Amanda: {waking up} Mom, Dad.

Dad: Hey Amanda

Amanda: I broke my bike

Mom: it’s okay, it’s okay. I’ll get you a new bike

{Amanda sees Gary standing in doorway and smiles at him, he smiles back

Dad: You’re going to be fine
{Amanda looks back and Gary is gone}

[scene: TV room on maternity ward, several very pregnant woman and Chuck are watching soap opera on TV]

Chuck: {checking the paper} you know what, I think in the next scene; Sami is going to find Carrie in bed with Austin and leave him flat. Anybody want to make a little wager, a little bet.

Woman sitting next to Chuck: Oh I’m in it for ten

Chuck: ten bucks, why don’t you make it twenty?

Woman: okey dokey

Chuck: alright twenty bucks. Anybody else, you young lady down at the end, you look like a gambling woman.

{Gary is walking briskly down hall, passes window to the TV room where Chuck is, see’s him and charges into room}

Gary: where is it!

Chuck: What?

Gary: The paper

Chuck: Shhh, can’t you see these ladies are dilating, this man has zero sensitivity
{Gary grabs paper from Chuck and turns around to read the headline}

Chuck: Gar, come on now, you owe me. I bent over backwards for you.

Gary: Look

[Gary walking down front steps of hospital] Chuck VO: Like the man said- I think it was me. Everybody makes choices.

Cabbie # 1: Cab mister?

Cabbie #2: Hey, cab, cabbie?

Gary: No, I think I’ll walk thanks. {Gary walks down street}

[Gary buying lottery ticket at the store] Chuck VO: Some you make because you want to. Say Abe Lincoln for President, no brainer.

Store clerk: {handing Gary lottery ticket}’Sorry, you lost again.

Gary: yep {leaves store, tears up ticket as he walks down street}

Chuck VO: Mostly though, it’s a matter of guess work, going with your gut.

[Gary walking down the hall to his apartment, opens door, lays down on sofa, then notices book “Lost Chicago” laying on coffee table][ knock on door] {Gary gets up and opens door}

Boswell: I’m sorry to bother you Mr. Hobson, but I wanted to tell you I left that book on your table. I found it in the trash downstairs.

[Gary out on patio with book, staring out into the city at night]

Chuck VO: It’s hard on the nerves. Really all you can do is give it a shot, and hope to God it turns out alright.

[Gary sits down and starts to flip through book, name written in front…notices picture of man at type setting machine, The CAT is sitting next to the man.} {Cat then jumps up onto Gary’s lap and onto book}
[Scene fades with Gary sitting on patio, cat and book on his lap]


Many thanks to Lynn for sharing her fanscription of "The Choice" – Thank you!

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