413 "Gifted"
(Original Air Date: March 4, 2000)

Written by Dianne Messina Stanely & James Stanley; Directed by Kevin Dowling; (as "fanscribed" by Janet)

Pictures for "Gifted"

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Cast: Gary Hobson - - Kyle Chandler
Marissa Clark - - Shanesia Williams
Nikki Kurasek - - Lynsey Bartilson
Michael Fielding (Foster Father) - - Daniel Roebuck
Robin Fielding (Foster Mother) - - Brooks Almy
Teacher - - Kate Goehring
Mrs. Keller (Social Worker) - - Geryll Robinson
Sal Kurasek - - John Dalesandro
Mrs. Kurasek
Bus Driver
Boy in Park

Scene: Brief skyline of the city followed by Cat strolling along the sidewalk, climbing over a trashcan to the park.

(Cat Meows. A dog barks. A cat yowls and Cat meows.)

A young girl is sitting there.

Boy: Hey, what’s in your pack? (Boy takes her backpack and opens it.)

Girl: Hey!

Boy: I just want to look.

Girl: I swear I’ll pound you.

Boy: You got some good stuff. (Girl reaches out and takes his hat) Hey!

Girl: Nice hat.

Boy: Give it back.

Girl: You first.

(Boy drops backpack on ground. Contents spill out.)

Boy: Sorry. It was an accident.

(Girl throws boy’s hat in a tree.)

Boy: Hey!

Girl: Sorry. It was an accident.

Boy: Freak.

Girl: Where are you going?

Boy: Where do you think? (Walks toward tree his hat is stuck in.)

Girl: Don’t. I’ll get somebody to get it.

Boy: You can’t climb a tree?

Girl: It’s not safe.

Boy: What a wuss. (Climbs tree to retrieve hat.)

(A little ways off Gary has stopped to read the article in his paper. Headline reads :Boy Breaks Back at Park – City liable.)

Gary: "A 13-year-old boy broke his back when he fell from a tree in Lincoln Park yesterday. The tree had been scheduled for trimming by the city but was apparently bypassed by crews who were behind schedule. Great. That’s great.

Girl: A branch could break. You could get hurt.

Boy: Hey, you’re the one who threw it up here.

Girl: Just be careful coming down, okay?

(Branch cracks. Gary gets to the tree just in time to catch the boy as he falls.)

Gary: Uhh! Here. (Puts boy down.) Look, you all right? Well, be careful next time.

Boy: I will, mister.

(Girl stares at Gary.)

Opening Credits and Commercials

Scene: Skyline at night. Changes to a middle aged couple sitting in their living room. The young girl from the park walks in and heads for the stairs.

Michael Fielding: She’s here.

Robin Fielding: Nikki, Where - -

Nikki: Out.

Michael: Please don’t interrupt your mother.

Nikki: She’s not my mother.

Michael: Out where?

Nikki: Out.

Robin: You were supposed to come home right after school. That was our agreement.

Nikki: I forgot.

Robin: Forgot?

Michael: Hold it, sweetheart. We have been over this so many times.

Nikki: What’s the big deal? It’s not like I was robbing a bank or something.

Robin: All right, what were you doing?

Nikki: Working on a book report for extra credit. I went to the library. You tell me I should read more.

Michael: You weren’t at the library.

Nikki: How do you know?

Michael: Because I checked.

Nikki: Are you calling me a liar?

Robin: We’re saying you need to come home after school.

Nikki: You’re not my parents! You can’t tell me what to do!

Robin: We’ve been through this before, Nikki. We need to know where you are.

Nikki: What are you, the police?

Robin: No. We were worried.

Nikki: Don’t bother. I can take care of myself.

Robin: Dinner’s ready.

Nikki: I’m not hungry.

(Nikki goes upstairs. Foster parents look frustrated with this latest problem.)

Scene: Exterior of McGinty’s changing to interior in Gary’s loft. Gary is sitting at his table looking over at Marissa. Marissa is watering the plants and checks Cat’s water dish while she’s at it.

Gary: Why is out produce bill going through the roof?

Marissa: Well, it’s usually higher this time of year. (Notices that Cat’s water dish is full.) Huh. That’s odd. The cat’s water dish is till full. Have you seen him around.

(Marissa looks concerned. Gary is too busy looking over the paperwork to pay much attention to Cat’s water dish situation.)

Marissa: I don’t think he’s been here all day.

Gary: I’m sure he’ll show up.

Marissa: I wonder where he goes.

Scene changes to Nikki’s foster home. Cat is sitting in the window. Foster parents are sitting on the couch while he massages her shoulders.


Robin: Well, we get nothing from that child but contempt.

Michael: Nobody ever said it was going to be easy.

Robin: Mm. Certain rewards were implied.

Michael: Give her a little time, you know? Eventually she’ll learn to, um…

Robin: To what?

Michael: To not loathe us.

Robin: (laugh) You know the Agency’s going to want an answer on adoption soon.

Michael: I know, I know.

Robin: At some point, we’re going to have to be realistic about wh - -

Michael: Let’s just hold on, okay? Let’s see what happens okay? Hmm? What do you say?

Robin: Okay. Okay

Scene change to Nikki’s bedroom. She’s sitting on her bed and shooting an elastic.



Nikki crosses to window and brings Cat inside.

Nikki: Hey, kitty. Hey. Come here. Yeah. Are you a stray, too? Come on. You can sleep here tonight.

Scene: Exterior shot in Nikki’s neighborhood time lapse night to day. Nikki’s asleep in her room. Wakes up and looks for Cat.

Nikki: Kitty? Kitty? Kitty. Hmm.

Scene: Gary’s loft. Clock radio comes on.

Male DJ: Today will be mostly sunny and warmer, with a high in the upper 50s to lower 60s…

(Cat meows)

(Newspaper thumps)

Male DJ: Winds will be out of the west to southwest at 10 to 20 miles per hour. Increasing cloudiness tomorrow, with a chance for a show - -

Gary: (Groans)

(Gets out of bed in shorts and sweatshirt and goes to door to get paper. Opens door to get paper and let Cat in.)

Gary: Where have you been, fleabag?


Gary (reading from paper): A school bus en route to the Art Institute was broadsided yesterday by a tanker truck which failed to stop at he intersection. Washington & Main.

(Horn Blows)

Scene: Busy school corridor. Nikki and other students milling around before boarding bus. Teacher passing out papers.

Teacher: Okay, people, listen up. I’m passing out work sheets for the museum.

Boy: Work sheets? For pictures?

Teacher: It’s art, and, yes I expect you to make observations. Work in pairs. Get a partner. Thank you. (Approaches Nikki who is standing alone.) Nikki, pick a partner.

Nikki: Gee, it’s so hard to choose.

Teacher: People, who needs a partner?

Boy (to another boy in the class): Quick, so we don’t get stuck with that lame-o.

Teacher: Hey. You can work with Heather and Kate, Okay?

Scene: Bus driving down the street. Gary is running down the sidewalk across the street. A thermos bottle rolls out of place and down to the driver’s seat.

Bus Driver: Here we go.

Nikki: Thanks. (Suddenly stares straight ahead.)

Bus Driver: Got it? Hey, Kid.

Teacher: I’ll take it.

Nikki: Stop the bus?

Bus Driver: Excuse me?

Nikki: Stop the bus. Something’s wrong.

Bus Driver: Tell her to sit down.

Teacher: Nikki.

Nikki: The bus. Stop the bus, stop the bus!

Teacher: Nikki, Nikki, sit down. Do you want to cause an accident? Come on.

Nikki: Somebody help. Somebody help.

(Tanker truck is coming down the street. The bus driver has a cup of coffee in his hand and takes his eyes off the road to take a sip out of it.)

Gary (to driver of tanker truck): Hey! Hey! (Stops and takes a yellow tennis ball out of his pocket. Throws it at the tanker truck. Hey!

Driver: Hey!

Gary: You look at the sign huh? (Points out Stop Sign. Driver of tanker truck slams on the brakes. Tires squeal as Gary stop running, breathing heavily from the exertion. Nikki stares out the window of the bus at Gary.)

Scene: exterior of Nikki’s foster home. Then changes to interior. Nikki, foster parents and Social Worker are seated in the living room. Nikki and the Social Worker are in chairs, Foster parents on the couch.

Social Worker (Mrs. Keller): How’s everything at school? You like your teachers?

Michael: Sweetheart, Mrs. Keller’s just trying to find out how you’re doing.

Nikki: You don’t have to call me sweetheart just ‘cause the Social Worker’s here.

Mrs. Keller: Have you made many new friends, Nikki?

Nikki: Tons.

Mrs. Keller: oh, who?

Nikki: Britney Spears

Robin: Nikki. (Sighs)

Mrs. Keller: I hear there was a problem on the bus today. You want to talk to me about it?

Nikki: Not really.

Mrs. Keller: Okay. Nikki, why don’t you let us finish up here?

Nikki: Whatever. (Runs up the stairs and slams the door to her room)

Robin: I wish I could tell you that was out of the ordinary.

Mrs. Keller: She’s adjusting. She needs understanding.

Robin: We’ve tried understanding. We’ve tried firmness. We’ve tried everything short of bribery.

Michael: No, actually, we have tried bribery.

Mrs. Keller: This is a new environment for her. She needs time.

Michael: Well, unfortunately that’s something that we can’t offer.

Mrs. Keller: Why not?

Robin: Michael’s been promoted.

Michael: I’ve got to report to the Denver office by the end of the month.

Robin: We just found out this morning.

Mrs. Keller: But you can’t take Nikki out of the state as foster parents. Of course, if you decide to adopt, that’s another matter. (Smiles) You’ll want to talk it over, I understand, but to get the paperwork done in time you’ll need to decide soon.

Scene: Brief exterior shot of McGinty’s. Switches to inside as Gary wanders into the busy dining room looking for something. The paper is in his hand folded in half.

Gary: I can’t find my jacket.

Marissa: Oh?

Gary: I, uh, I left it--(Marissa hands him his jacket)

Marissa: Going somewhere?

Gary: Yeah. 1895 Sycamore. There’s a faulty heater.

Marissa: Is the cat upstairs? I have some treats for him.

Gary: I don’t know. I haven’t seen him.

Marissa: That’s strange. Because he hasn’t been around much.

Gary: Yeah, well, maybe he’s got a girlfriend.

Marissa: Gary.

Gary: I got to go. (leaves)

Marissa: Okay. See ya. Hmmm...

Scene: Nikki’s bedroom. She’s sitting on the bed petting & feeding Cat.

Nikki: Hmm. Yeah? You like that?

(Knock on the door)

Nikki: Just a minute! (Puts Cat on the floor on the opposite side of the bed from the door) Be very quiet. Don’t move. Come in.

Robin: I brought you something. (Notices open window) Hey, aren’t you cold?

Nikki: No.

Robin: This is "Anne of Green Gables".

Nikki: What’s this for?

Robin: It was my favorite book when I was your age, and I thought you might like it, too.

Nikki: ‘Cause I’m an orphan?

Robin: No…Because it’s a great book.

Nikki: Right.

Robin: Nikki, (crosses over to sit next to Nikki) if there’s ever anything bothering you, anything at all…

Nikki: I’m cool.

Robin: Okay, then. Good Night.(Leaves room)

Nikki gets off the bed and picks up Cat. Gets under the covers and pets Cat.

Nikki: Come on.


Nikki: Shh.

Scene Nikki’s room 6:05AM. Nikki wakes up and finds that Cat is in the window ready to leave.

Nikki: Kitty? Kitty, Kitty.


Nikki: Hey, what are you doing out there?


(Cat leaves the window. Nikki dresses and follows.)

Nikki: Cat, come back! Wait up!

Scene: Gary’s loft. 6:30AM. He’s asleep. Clock radio comes on. A woman’s voice is heard.

Woman: And that will build across most of the plains as hight level winds from the west push arctic air…

(Cat meows)

(Newspaper thumps)

Woman: ...from reaching across the border from Canada. Warmer air will speed through the North - -

(Gary reaches over and turns radio off.)


Gary pulls his robe on as he opens the door. Nikki is sitting in the hall with the cat in her lap.

Gar: Who are you?

Nikki: Who are you?

Gary: How’d you get in here?

Nikki: I followed him.

Gary: You weren’t here when the paper came, were you?

Nikki: Yeah.

Gary: You didn’t by chance see who brought it, did you?

Nikki: The paper guy.

Gary: The - - Yeah? And - - What did he look like?

Nikki: I don’t know.

Gary: You just said you saw him.

Nikki: I was here when the paper came. I didn’t actually see who brought it. I was petting the cat. (Looks up at Gary) Does he live here?

Gary: Who?

Nikki: The cat.

Gary: Well, yeah, sort of.

Nikki: Are you, like, his owner?

Gary: No, it’s more like he owns me. Listen - -

Nikki: Hey.

Gary: What?

Nikki: I know you. In the park. You caught that creep James when the tree broke.

Gary: Oh, I was, uh…Yeah I guess I was walking by.

Nikki: Were you just walking by my bus too?

Gary: Your bus?

Nikki: My school bus. Did you stop that truck?

Gary: I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

Nikki: The big tanker truck. The one that almost hit our bus.

Gary: Listen, isn’t it a little bit early for you to be breaking and entering? Do your parents know where you are?

Nikki: They know where I am. It’s no big deal.

Gary: Good, why don’t you give me your parents number?

Nikki: See ya, kitty. Too bad you live with a jerk. (Grabs her backpack and leaves. Gary follows as far as the top of the stairs.)

Gary: Hey, wait a minute!


Gary: Well, just because she followed you home doesn’t mean you can keep her.


(Cat looks up at Gary from the paper.)

Scene crowded school corridor. Bell rings. Nikki’s foster mother is waiting for her.

Robin: Nikki. Thank God. Where have you been?

Nikki: Didn’t you see my note?

Robin: What note?

Nikki: In the kitchen.

Robin: There wasn’t any note.

Nikki: I’m sure I left one.

Robin: No, you didn’t. And you can’t just waltz off any time you please.

Nikki: I didn’t know it was a crime to take a walk.

Robin: Michael didn’t go to work. He’s driving around looking for you.

Nikki: Jeez, don’t have a cow.

Robin: Nikki, you, you just can’t act this way.

Nikki: Or what, you’ll send me back to the home for social rejects?

Robin: Nikki.

Nikki: Go ahead, ‘cause I don’t care. Your place isn’t that great. (Nikki starts to pass her Foster mother. The foster mother turns around and Nikki turns back to face her.) My parents apartment was way better and they let me take walks.

Robin: We need to know where you are. It’s for you own safety. Can’t you understand that?

Nikki: Don’t worry. If I croak, you can always find a replacement.

(Nikki runs off to her locker. Two girls approach and taunt her.)

Heather: Stop the bus!

Kate: Stop the bus!

Heather and Kate together: Ha ha ha ha.

Scene: street corner. Gary standing reading paper. NORTHSIDE MAN HOSPITALIZED IN PLATE GLASS WINDOW ACCIDENT. Two men pick up large sheet of plate glass.

Man 1: Watch your step.

Man 2: I got it. I got it.

(Man starts to exit store behind Gary. He turns to him.)

Gary: Uh, excuse me.

Customer: Uh, what?

Gary: Could you tell me what time it is, please?

(Men with glass pass by.)

Customer: Yeah, sure. It’s 11:30.

Gary: Oh, are you sure? I’ve got 11:32.

Customer: Well, what are you asking me for, then?

Gary: Oh, well, I’m - -

Customer: Oh, jeez.

Gary: Hey, every minute counts pal!

Customer: Yeah, yeah!


Gary looks over and sees Cat on the sidewalk nearby.

Gary: Hey. What are you doing here? (Approaches Cat)


Gary: Hey! (Cat leaves. Gary follows.)

Scene: Nikki’s house. Nikki sitting on the steps. Sees Cat and calls him over.)

Nikki: Hey, you.


Nikki: Come here. (makes kissing noise)

(Gary approaches)

Gary: Shouldn’t you be in school?

Nikki (to Cat): Did you have to drag him along?

Gary: Well?

Nikki: I don’t go to school.

Gary: Oh. And why would that be?

Nikki: It so happens I’m leaving next week for a private school in Switzerland.

Gary: In Switzerland?

Nikki: Yeah. It’s what my parents wanted.

Gary: What they wanted?

Nikki: They’re dead.

Gary: Oh. Well I’m sorry.

Nikki: Yachting accident in the Caribbean. I was supposed to go along, but at the last minute they left me with the nanny.

Gary: I’ve never been to Switzerland, but I hear it’s very beautiful.

Nikki: Any place is better than this dump.

Gary: Dump? What’s wrong with this? It looks very nice.

Nikki: Except the people here hate me.

Gary: They do, huh?

Nikki: Everybody does.

Gary: It appears he likes you (indicates a contented Cat in her lap). He happens to be a pretty good judge of character, too.

Nikki: Yeah, I like him, too. (Smiles as she cuddles and pets Cat.)

(Gary looks at paper. Must leave to handle a crisis.)

Gary: Uh…Look, I’ll tell you what. I’ve got to go, but he can stay here as long as he wants to.

Nikki: Thanks. You want to peg him before you go?

(Gary hesitates.)

Gary: No, that’s okay. We’ve got kind of a love/hate relationship going on.

Nikki: Come on, look how cute he is.

Gary: No, that’s all right.

Nikki: Come on.

(Gary approaches and tentatively pets Cat.)

Gary: Kitty. Nice Kitty.

Nikki: Watch out for the airplane.

Gary: What?

Nikki: It’s going to crash.

Gary: I’m not taking an airplane.

Nikki: Whatever.

Scene: Road Construction site. Loader driving around the site. A worker stands on a pile of pipes. Across the street a man is pushing a stroller. He’s wearing earmuffs or Walkman and can’t hear what’s happening. Gary is running to catch up with him.

Worker: Bring it in. Bring it in. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Look out!

(Loader bangs into pile of pipes knocking them loose. One heads toward the man with the stroller. Gary manages to catch the guy and pushes him out of harm’s way. Falls hard with hands out and lands on his left wrist. Lays on the ground, unmoving but cringing visibly as the pipe heads toward him but hits truck.)

(horn blows & tires squeal)

Gary groans as he rises and winces at the pain in his wrist. Stares at the truck that has crashed into the sidewalk inches away from him. It has a picture of a plane on the side. Holds his wrist in his hand.

Truck Driver: I couldn’t stop.

Man with stroller: If he hadn’t pushed me out of the street…

Truck Driver: Are you all right?

Gary: (staring at picture on side of truck) Airplane.


Many thanks to Janet for sharing her fanscription of "Gifted" – Thank you!

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