104 "The Paper"
(Original Air Date: October 19, 1996)

Written by Bob Brush and John Romano; Directed by Michael Nankin; (as "fanscribed" by Janet)

Pictures for "The Paper"

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Scene: Gary's hotel room at the Blackstone. Gary is still sleeping when the radio comes on.

MAN: IT'S WAKE-UP TIME IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO, AND HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING N YOUR TOWN TODAY.

(6:30am Gary rolls over and reaches for clock radio without opening his eyes. Slams his hand down on the button. Rolls over and puts pillow over his head. Scene switches briefly to his bathroom as he's shaving. Then it changes to his kitchenette where he's sitting at the counter reading his lost Chicago book while the teakettle steams.

CHUCK: LIFE DOESN'T ALWAYS COME WITH A SET OF INSTRUCTIONS. IN FACT, MOST OF THE TIME IT JUST COMES. EVERY MORNING, LIKE CLOCKWORK. IT'S THERE WHEN YOU OPEN YOUR EYES, AND IT'S STILL THERE EVEN WHEN YOU DON'T. TAKE MY FRIEND GARY. A REGULAR GUY. AT LEAST, HE WAS 'TIL THE DAY LIFE SHOWED UP AT HIS DOORSTEP... IN SPADES. NOW HE SPENDS HALF HIS TIME FIGURING OUT WHERE THE HECK IT ALL CAME FROM...[cat meows] AND THE OTHER HALF WONDERING WHERE IT ALL GOES.

(Gary looks up from the book) [CAT MEOWS] (Gary goes over to the door to retrieve the paper. Cat runs into the room. Gary sits in the window seat to read the paper.)

CHUCK: FACE IT, IT'S NOT NECESSARILY ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE, HAVING THE JUMP ON THE REST OF THE WORLD. STILL, YOU GO WITH WHAT YOU GOT, AND WHEN WHAT YOU GOT IS TOMORROW'S NEWS, WELL, IT'S GOT TO BE ONE OF TWO THINGS -- EITHER YOU'RE A DAY AHEAD, OR EVERYONE ELSE IS A DAY BEHIND.

Scene: Chinese Restaurant. Gary holds paper up in front of him. No one understands him or the paper.

GARY: IT'S GOING TO EXPLODE. (lots of gesturing) BOOM. GO BOOM. YOUR KITCHEN. THE RESTAURANT IS GOING TO GO BOOM. GO BOOM? BOOM GO BOOM, GO BOOM. BOOM. SPEAK ENGLISH? ENGLISH?

[SPEAKING CHINESE]

(Subtitles: HAS ANYONE SEEN A MR. GABOOM?)

(Man gets another man. Woman comes over. None speaks or understands English. Chinese man holds up paper.)

(Subtitles: IS THIS GUY NUTS?)

GARY: YOU SPEAK ENGLISH? KABOOM! DO YOU UNDERST-- I'M TRYING TO TELL YOU- FLAMES -- BOOM! NO. THIS ONE. BOOM THAT. OH, GO BOOM.

CHINESE MAN: OH! [SPEAKING CHINESE]

(Hissing noise and steam gets everyone's attention. All flee the kitchen. Explosion. Debris goes flying everywhere. Gary pushes one of them down and shields them. Food lands on his shirt and in his hair. He looks up at the damage.)

[CHICKENS CLUCKING]

Scene: McGinty's. Gary is sitting at the bar listening to the TV news and leafing through his copy of Lost Chicago.

NEWSCASTER: HAS INDICATED THAT THERE WILL BE NO BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN CONGRESS CONTINUES OPPOSITION WILL STONEWALL THE BILL. CLOSER TO HOME, STILL NO WORD ON THE DISAPPEARANCE OF LABOR LEADER RED COOPER, WHO'S HEADING HIS UNION'S REFORM MOVEMENT IN THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS.

GARY: LOOK IN THE TRUNK OF THE VOLVO ON GRANT STREET. THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL FIND HIM.

BARTENDER: YOU SAY SOMETHING?

GARY: NO. (Sitting with right elbow on bar and chin in right hand. Chuck walks in and sits next to Gary.)

CHUCK: HEY BUDDY HOW ARE YOU -- YOU SMELL LIKE A CHINESE RESTAURANT. MOO GOO GAI PAN -- MY FAVORITE. (Indicates to bartender to get him a drink.) GET ME A CROWNIE.

GARY: THE PAPER SAID WU LING'S KITCHEN WAS GOING TO EXPLODE.

CHUCK: AND?

GARY: WU LING'S KITCHEN EXPLODED. I'M TELLING YOU, CHUCK, I'M GOING CRAZY. (Taps the paper. Chuck opens a box to his right and starts munching on the contents.) WHY IS THIS THING COMING TO ME?

CHUCK: OH, HERE WE GO AGAIN.

GARY: BEFORE THIS THING STARTED COMING,(looks over at Chuck) MY LIFE WAS FINE -- A COMMODITIES TRADER, WONDERFUL HOME, BEAUTIFUL WIFE. EVERYTHING WAS GOOD.

CHUCK: YOU GOT FIRED, AND YOUR WIFE LEFT YOU.

GARY: UH-HUH.

CHUCK: I DIDN'T MEAN TO INTERRUPT.

GARY: I GOT TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS. (Looks down at book again.) I CAN'T LIVE MY LIFE LIKE THIS.

CHUCK: IS THAT THE BOOK MARCIA GAVE YOU? (Gary looks over at Chuck who stops munching for a few seconds.) WHAT?

GARY: I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING. (Flips book open to page he was looking at earlier.)

CHUCK: NICE PICTURE. TYPESETTER, 1946, CHICAGO PHOENIX.

GARY: THE CAT.

CHUCK: WHAT ABOUT IT?

GARY: DOESN'T HAPPEN TO LOOK LIKE ANY CAT WE KNOW?

CHUCK: GAR, COME ON.

GARY: NO, NO, NO, NO, LISTEN. (Looks over at Chuck. Holds his right index finger up and shakes it briefly.) IF THAT'S THE SAME CAT, THEN I FIGURE ALL I GOT TO DO IS FIND OUT ABOUT THIS GUY. (Looking at book again. Finger on picture. Bartender walks over.)

CHUCK: GOOD IDEA, EXCEPT THE GUY'S PROBABLY BEEN DEAD FOR YEARS.

BARTENDER: THE CHICAGO PHOENIX HASN'T BEEN AROUND IN YEARS. MY OLD MAN USED TO READ IT EVERY MORNING TILL THE SUN ATE IT UP. (Picks up cash. Hesitates, then starts counting.)

GARY: ATE IT UP?

BARTENDER: THERE WAS THE OLD TRIB AND THE TIMES, AND THE TIMES TEAMED UP WITH THE SUN BACK IN '49.

CHUCK: [Sarcastically] REALLY, THAT'S FASCINATING. COULD YOU GET ME A CROWNIE PLEASE?

GARY: NO,NO,NO WAIT. YOU'RE SAYING THE PHOENIX AND THE SUN-TIMES --

BARTENDER: ARE THE SAME PAPER.

(Chuck turns back to his drink. Gary looks down at the paper.)

GARY: I GOT TO CHECK THIS OUT.

Scene: Sun Times Bullpen. Gary, wearing jacket and tie walks in. Phones are ringing. People are talking. Employee pushes mail cart comes through. Guy with mail cart: WATCH OUT. GARY: SORRY. Editor and woman reporter walk into room apparently discussing her story.

HARRY HAWKS: WELL, I'M OLD-FASHIONED. EVEN IF THE GUY DOES TALK TO YOU --

MEREDITH: HE WILL TALK TO ME.

HARRY HAWKS: I DON'T LIKE ANONYMOUS SOURCES. SOUNDS LIKE WE'RE MAKING IT UP.

MEREDITH: HE'S TAKING A BIG CHANCE TALKING TO ME. HE COULD END UP IN A TRUNK LIKE RED COOPER.

HARRY HAWKS: I DON'T BUY THAT, THE UNIONS AREN'T LIKE THAT ANYMORE.

MEREDITH: SOMEBODY FORGOT TO TELL THESE GUYS.

HARRY HAWKS: YOU BETTER BE CAREFUL SISTER.

MEREDITH: I'M A REPORTER. YOU'RE THE BOSS.

HARRY HAWKS: YEAH WELL.

MEREDITH CARSON: DO YOU TELL THE BOYS TO BE CAREFUL?

HARRY HAWKS: WHEN THEY'RE ON A MURDER CASE I DO. (Takes pills out of bottle)

MEREDITH CARSON: YOU KEEP TAKING THAT STUFF WITHOUT WATER, YOU'RE GOING TO WIND UP WITH NO STOMACH.

HARRY HAWKS: STOP SAYING THAT. (Stop outside Harry's office.) WHO SAID I HAD ANY STOMACH LEFT? (Gets cup of water from cooler.)

GARY: MR. HAWKS? (Harry walks to his desk and looks over at Gary.) GARY HOBSON. WE HAD AN APPOINTMENT. (Gary & Meredith look at each other. Meredith starts to leave.) UH, I CAN COME BACK LATER IF...

MEREDITH CARSON: WE'RE DONE, ACTUALLY. (Holds hands out from sides briefly and let's them drop. As she starts to leave Gary tries to get out of her way but they keep going the opposite way that they should go and block each other's exit/entrance. Try several times before they succeed.)

HARRY HAWKS: MEET MEREDITH CARSON. (Indicates Meredith with his left hand and looks down at his desk.)

GARY: OH, HOW DO YOU DO? I'VE READ YOUR STUFF. (Reaches out to shake hands with Meredith. Then he takes his hands out of his pockets and points at her with a big smile.)

MEREDITH: SEE THAT, HARRY? WHO SAYS THE PUBLIC DOESN'T READ THE BYLINES? (Stands with arms folded in front of her smiling at Harry then looks back at Gary.)

GARY: I'VE SEEN YOU ON THOSE TALK SHOWS -- THE "CHICAGO WEEK IN REVIEW." (Looks at Meredith eager to tell her how much he likes what she writes.)

MEREDITH: ACTUALLY, NO, THAT WOULD BE REBECCA FROM THE TRIB. (Her smile starts to disappear. Gary's face falls. Harry grins at him.)

HARRY HAWKS: I GUESS YOU OVERPLAYED YOUR HAND, SPORT. (Reading piece of paper he's holding in his hand. Meredith leaves as Gary stands speechless at his mistake. Looks back at him as she leaves.)

GARY: HUH? HUH? (Looks back at Harry, hands in pants pockets.)

HARRY HAWKS: WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU? (Swings glasses in his right hand.)

GARY: OH, (Comes all the way into Harry's office) I'M A HISTORIAN WITH -- WE SPOKE ON THE PHONE, AND I WAS WONDERING IF I COULD GET A LOOK AT THE ARCHIVES. (Harry reaches for the phone.)

HARRY HAWKS: OH, THE ARCHIVES YEAH. MOLLY, WHAT'S THE NAME OF THAT GUY, SITS DOWN IN THE ARCHIVES ALL DAY? Gary looks back toward where he last saw Meredith.

Scene: Bullpen. Older black man walking with Gary.

MORRIS: IT'S ALL DOWN IN THE BASEMENT. YOU BETTER LET ME SHOW YOU. I'VE BEEN IN CHARGE OF THE ARCHIVES, 25 YEARS THIS DECEMBER.

GARY: I APPRECIATE YOUR SHOWING ME AROUND. (Meredith crosses in front of them.) MISS CARSON? UH, I'M SORRY IF I SAID ANYTHING THAT WAS OUT OF LINE.

MEREDITH: I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID. (Shakes her head and starts to walk away. Turns back as Gary continues to speak.)

GARY: I DO READ YOUR WORK, THOUGH. I SAW YOUR STORY THIS MORNING ABOUT FINDING COOPER. THAT'S GREAT STUFF -- IN THE GREEN VOLVO AND JERSEY PLATES. THAT'S REALLY GOOD. (Meredith stands with arms folded in front of her. Morris stands grinning at Gary as he turns back. THANKS. UH, THE ARCHIVES.

MORRIS: ALL RIGHT, SURE.

Scene: Dark Basement stairway. Morris leads the way and Gary follows him. Stop briefly as they arrive at a caged in area. Morris unlocks the door and leads Gary in.)

MORRIS: EVERYTHING BEFORE 1955 WOULD BE ALONG THE WALL HERE.

GARY: WHAT ABOUT THE CHICAGO PHOENIX? WOULD THOSE RECORDS BE DOWN HERE TOO?

MORRIS: RIGHT THIS WAY. CHICAGO PHOENIX -- MY, MY. (Stops to unlock another locked gate.)

GARY: WERE -- WERE YOU HERE BACK THEN MR. MORRIS?

MORRIS: SURE WAS. GARY: DO YOU MIND IF I SHOW YOU SOMETHING? (Takes his picture from the Lost Chicago book out of his pocket and shows it to Morris.) DO YOU KNOW THAT MAN?

MORRIS: HMM. LET'S SEE HERE. (Puts his glasses on to take a closer look.) NOPE, DON'T BELIEVE SO. SORRY.

GARY: THAT'S ALL RIGHT.

MORRIS: BEEN SO LONG, YOU KNOW. YES, SIR.

GARY: (In a dejected/disappointed tone of voice.) THAT'S ALL RIGHT. I IMAGINE THERE WERE A LOT OF TYPESETTERS.

MORRIS: MORE THAN A FEW.

GARY: WHAT ABOUT THIS CAT? (Morris turns quickly and walks over to look at the picture again. Suddenly realizes that he knows the man in the picture. Taps the picture with one finger, then walks away again.)

MORRIS: CAT! SNOW. LUCIUS SNOW --THAT'S THE FELLOW'S NAME.

GARY: SNOW?

MORRIS: KEPT TO HIMSELF, BUT EVERYBODY KNEW THAT CAT. SNOW'S CAT, (Morris looks through assorted piles or paper as he talks.)WE CALLED HIM.

GARY: SO YOU KNEW HIM. Mr. Snow? (Gary looks up at Morris excited to have found someone to help identify Snow.)

MORRIS: SNOW? STRANGE THING ABOUT OLD SNOW, NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT (taps picture with his right index finger)-- BUT, NAH, PROBABLY JUST FOLKS TALKING. (Morris walks back and forth while talking. Approaches Gary.)

GARY: NO, NO, NO. PLEASE.

MORRIS: WELL, THEY SAY HE SET THE TRUMAN HEADLINE A WHOLE DAY BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE KNEW, (waves both arms as he approaches Gary. Footsteps are heard. Gary's looking down at his picture.) AND V-E DAY -- HE HAD ALL THE TYPE ALL SET IT BEFORE IT HAPPENED. KIND OF A LEGEND THAT WAY, YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

GARY: IMAGINE THAT.

MEREDITH: MR. HOBSON? WHO ARE YOU? (Gary turns to face Meredith as she stands in the doorway with her arms folded in front of her.)

GARY: EXCUSE ME?

MEREDITH: WHO ARE YOU, AND HOW DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THOSE JERSEY PLATES? (Meredith walks further into the archives. Stops facing Gary & Morris. Gary is speechless for the moment.)

GARY: W-Well I-I TOLD YOU I READ ABOUT THAT IN THE PAPER THIS MORNING.

MEREDITH: VOLVO, YES. JERSEY PLATES, NO. I'M WRITING ABOUT IT NOW. WON'T COME OUT 'TIL TOMORROW. THE POLICE AREN'T TALKING, SO THE ONLY WAY YOU COULD HAVE THAT INFORMATION IS IF YOU WERE INVOLVED IN THE KILLING OF RED COOPER.

GARY: INVOLVED? NOW WAIT A SECOND --

MORRIS: I SEE YOU KIDS HAVE A LOT TO TALK ABOUT. (Raises right hand and gestures with the index finger on that hand. Turns to leave Gary & Meredith alone.)

GARY: WAIT, MR. MORRIS.

MORRIS: GO AHEAD. (Turns back. Shakes hand at Gary. Pats him on the arm.) I'LL BE BACK IN A MINUTE, TELL YOU MORE ABOUT OLD SNOW, BUT IN THE MEANTIME, AND IN BETWEEN TIME, (walks up to Meredith) MAY I TROUBLE YOU FOR A CIGARETTE?

MEREDITH: I QUIT. THERE'S A WHOLE CARTON IN MY DESK, THOUGH. YOU CAN HAVE THOSE. (smiles at Morris)

MORRIS: THANK YOU. EXCUSE ME. (Leaves the room.)

MEREDITH: SO, WHO ARE YOU AND HOW DID YOU KNOW?

GARY: UM, WHAT WAS THE QUESTION AGAIN? (Puts his right hand to his head and scratches as if confused.)

Scene: Busy newsroom. Morris walks through the room toward Meredith's desk.

MORRIS: HEY, BEVERLY. (Walks with his hands out in front of him. Apparently having problems seeing in the light as compared to the dim archives area.)

BEVERLY: MR. MORRIS.

MORRIS: LOOK AT THAT. CAN'T EVEN SEE IN THE LIGHT. TOO MANY YEARS WORKING DOWNSTAIRS INN THE COAL MINE. WHERE'D SHE SAY SHE PUT THEM? AH, HERE WE GO. (Opens three drawers in her desk. As he opens the fourth drawer a bomb goes off. People scream, there are flames and paper flies everywhere.)

Scene: Hospital waiting room. Meredith sits in a chair fingers drumming nervously and staring into space. A woman rises from a chair near her and leaves. Gary enters. Still wearing the suit and tie he wore to the Sun-Times offices but the tie has been loosened and his collar is open. A woman in surgical scrubs walks by. Gary stops her.

GARY: I'M LOOKING FOR 623.

WOMAN: RIGHT OVER THERE. GARY: THANK YOU. HELLO. (Continues on toward Morris's room. Sees Meredith.)

MEREDITH: HI. WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

GARY: I THOUGHT I'D COME BY AND SEE MR. MORRIS. (Camera switches back and forth between them.)

MEREDITH: GOING TO ASK HIM MORE QUESTIONS?

GARY: He' S A NICE GUY. I THOUGHT I'D COME SAY HELLO. IS THIS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR REPORTERS, YOU START THINKING THE WORST OF EVERYONE?

(A doctor exits Morris's room.)

DOCTOR: ARE YOU FRIENDS OF MR. MORRIS?

MEREDITH: I AM ANYWAY.

GARY: I WAS WITH HIM JUST BEFORE HE WAS HURT. HOW IS HE?

DOCTOR: THE BURNS ARE ONLY ON HIS HANDS. IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. Gestures with one hand. Holds folders in other arm.

MEREDITH: CAN WE SEE HIM?

DOCTOR: I'M AFRAID NOT. HE'S HAVING SOME HEART PROBLEMS. CAN'T LET YOU SEE HIM.

GARY: ALL RIGHT, THANK YOU. HAVE A NICE DAY. Gary & Meredith walk down the hallway.

MEREDITH: WAIT UP. IT WAS MY OFFICE. IT WAS MEANT FOR ME.

GARY: TALK TO THE POLICE.

MEREDITH: I'M TOO CLOSE TO FINDING SOMETHING OUT.

GARY: THEN YOU BETTER LOOK OUT FOR YOURSELF. SEE YOU.

MEREDITH: IS WHAT A WARNING? DID YOU JUST THREATEN ME? (Grabs Gary by the lapel of his jacket.)

GARY: WHAT?

MEREDITH: YOU KNOW THINGS THAT AREN'T EVEN IN THE PAPER YET, AND NOW THIS HAPPENS.

GARY: (Turns back toward Meredith)Oh, YEAH, YEAH, YEAH. I'M A HIT MAN FOR THE MOB. (Holds first two fingers up to "shush" then sort of waves good bye. Starts to leave.)

MEREDITH: YOU THINK THAT'S FUNNY? RED COOPER IS DEAD. MORRIS IS IN THE HOSPITAL. (Gary turns back toward Meredith.)

GARY: THEY'LL SEND ME TO SICILY FOR A YEAR UNTIL THINGS COOL OFF. GOODBYE.

MEREDITH: I'M GOING WITH YOU.

GARY: I DON'T THINK THE DON WOULD ALLOW THAT. GOODBYE. (Leaves Meredith standing there.)

MEREDITH: MAYBE I DON'T BELIEVE YOU'D HURT ANYBODY, BUT YOU DID KNOW ABOUT THE PLATES. (Points with right index finger. Starts to follow Gary as he tries to leave.)

GARY: A GUESS. (Starts to leave again. Meredith follows.)

MEREDITH: THERE ARE 50 STATES.

GARY: WHEN IN DOUBT, YOU GUESS NEW JERSEY.

MEREDITH: YOU'D BE A FUNNY GUY IF YOU WEREN'T A PROBLEM. THERE'S A GRAVEYARD FOR PERSONNEL FILES. (Gary stops, turns around and starts back toward Meredith. Meredith looks smug.) YOU WERE ASKING ABOUT A FORMER EMPLOYEE. I HEARD YOU SAY THAT TO MORRIS. I COULD SHOW YOU WHERE IT IS.

Scene changes to dark, dim archives. Gary is digging through a file cabinet for information on Lucius Snow. Meredith walks over closer.

MEREDITH: SO, HAWKS SAYS YOU'RE A HISTORIAN. U OF C?

GARY: YOU'D SORT OF CALL IT FREELANCE, I GUESS.

MEREDITH: FREELANCE HISTORIAN. HM. WELL, YOU MUST KNOW PROFESSOR LANGENHAHN AT BLOOMINGTON. I DID A PIECE ON HIM LAST YEAR.

GARY: HUH? YEAH, LANGENHAHN, HE'S A GOOD GUY.

MEREDITH: OH, YOU KNOW WHAT? HE'S NOT AT BLOOMINGTON. HE'S AT WISCONSIN.

GARY: OH, LANGENHAHN, THE ONE AT WISCONSIN. WELL, SURE, I WAS THINKING OF THE OTHER ONE. (Looks up and waves his right hand around then goes back to digging through the files. Pulls an accordion folder out of the drawer.

GARY: SNOW.

MEREDITH: ARE YOU GOING TO OPEN THAT? 'CAUSE I GOT TO ADMIT, I'M CURIOUS.

GARY: OH, YEAH. CHECK THESE OUT. (Drops folder on the floor. Meredith stoops to pick it up. Gary exits the cage quickly and locks Meredith in as she runs toward him.)

MEREDITH: GARY? GARY? HEY, WAIT. GARY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? GARY! HEY! GARY, OPEN THIS UP! (Shakes the door which won't open.)

Scene: Lobby or corridor of Sun-Times Building. Gary stops at Security Desk.

GARY: EXCUSE ME. THERE'S A VERY STRANGE WOMAN DOWNSTAIRS IN THE ARCHIVES YELLING. YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK THAT OUT.

Scene: Street. Gary steps on a wall and jumps down. Sits and starts reading the papers in the folder.

GARY: THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT. (Is wandering through a vacant lot.) THERE'S NOTHING HERE. THERE'S NOTHING HERE.

Scene: Restaurant. Gary & Marissa sitting at a table. Marissa wants to talk about what Gary has found but Gary is reading the menu trying to avoid the subject.

GARY: OUR FAMOUS CAESAR--

MARISSA: SKEEZER SALAD'S MORE LIKE IT.

GARY: SANTA FE CHICKEN SALAD. MYSTERY MEAT. FISH OF THE DAY--THEY'VE GOT FRESH PAN FRIED TROUT.

MARISSA: THE PAPER COMES TO YOU. THAT'S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW. YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW HOW OR WHY.

GARY: YOU KNOW WHAT THAT PAPER MAKES ME? THAT PAPER MAKES ME NUTS. I DON'T HAVE A LIFE. I CAN'T GET A JOB. I DON'T EVEN HAVE A GIRLFRIEND. EVERY TIME I GET CLOSE TO HAVING ANYTHING NORMAL, THAT PAPER TAKES IT AWAY.

MARISSA: THAT PAPER COMES TO YOU SO YOU CAN TRY AND DO SOMETHING. IT'S A GIFT. DON'T LOOK AT IT IN THE MOUTH.

[Gary gives her a "look"]

MARISSA: WHAT ELSE YOU GOT?

GARY: HOW ABOUT HEARTS OF PALM --

MARISSA: IN THE FOLDER.

GARY: WE GOT A CLAIM TICKET (holds the ticket up even though he knows Marissa can't see it.)THAT BELONGS PROBABLY TO A HOTEL THAT DOESN'T EXIST ANY MORE. EMPLOYEE STUFF. MR. LUCIUS SNOW -- HEIGHT 5' ", WEIGHT 155 POUNDS, BLUE EYES, DATE OF BIRTH, 19-- THERE'S A BLANK SPOT. DIED 1996, SEPTEMBER 28th, AND THAT'S ABOUT IT.

MARISSA: THE DAY HE DIED -- YOU REMEMBER, DON'T YOU?

GARY: REMEMBER WHAT?

MARISSA: THAT'S THE DAY, BEFORE THE PAPER STARTED COMING TO YOU.

(Gary sits back stunned and lets the menu drop to the table.)

Scene: Elevator in the lobby of the Blackstone. Gary exits and walks to his room. Unlocks and opens the door. Scene changes to the interior of Gary's room. A startled Meredith starts to knock over Gary's lamp but catches it before it falls and breaks. Gary enters his room.

GARY: OH, YOU'RE GOOD. WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?

(Gary and Meredith circle the room as she tries to avoid him. Each watches the other carefully Gary stops and points at Meredith with his right eyebrow raised)

MEREDITH: THE DOORMAN LET ME IN. (Looks away to her right then back at Gary.)

GARY: OH, THE DOORMAN LET YOU IN. WHY DON'T YOU-- (starts walking toward Meredith)

MEREDITH: DON'T TOUCH ME. (Jumps and points at Gary with her left hand.)

GARY: GET OUT OF HERE. (Points toward the door.)

MEREDITH: SO WHAT'S YOUR BIG SECRET, HUH? (Meredith moves further away to her right and the door.)

GARY: WHAT SECRET?

MEREDITH: I DO THIS FOR A LIVING. I KNOW WHEN SOMEBODY'S HIDING SOMETHING. (Comes face to face with Gary from a few inches away.)

GARY: I DON'T LIKE YOU.

MEREDITH: I DON'T LIKE YOU.

GARY: GOOD.

MEREDITH: GOOD. YOU CAN TELL YOUR UNION BOSSES SOMETHING. THEY DON'T SCARE ME -! NOT BY BLOWING UP MY DESK AND NOT BY SENDING SOME GOOD-LOOKING MUSCLE TO SHUT ME UP. (Meredith leave and goes to her car.)

Scene: Street or Parking Lot. Meredith sits in her car. Puts head down on steering wheel and shakes it. Pedestrians pass by in the background.

MEREDITH: "GOOD-LOOKING." I MUST BE LOSING MY TOUCH. (Man pops up the back seat of her car.)

RICHIE: I'M BEHIND YOU. I'M THE GUY YOU'RE LOOKING FOR.

MEREDITH: YOU'RE RICHIE O'BRIEN? YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT RED COOPER?

RICHIE: I WAS THERE.

MEREDITH: IF YOU TALK TO ME, I'LL KEEP YOU ANONYMOUS.

RICHIE: NOT NOW. THERE IS A MOTEL 9 NEAR THE FAIRGROUNDS IN OAK PARK. TOMORROW MORNING AT 8:00 TAKE ROOM. I'LL SEE YOU THEN. (Meredith nods as he speaks.)

MEREDITH: WAIT, RICHIE -- (Richie gets out of the car. Meredith tries to detain him but he leaves.)

Time lapse Night to Day. Scene: Gary's hotel room.

DJ: GOOD MORNING. ANOTHER DAY IN CHICAGO, AND HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD. THE CITY COUNCIL (Gary's still asleep on his back with a pillow above his head.) MOVED INTO THE FINAL STAGES... (Gary pulls his pillow over his face to block out the sound of the radio.

[CAT MEOWS] (Gary reluctantly gets up and goes for the paper. Cat runs into the room as soon as the door is open.)

Headline on paper: Investigative Reporter Disappears. Foul Play suspected. Also has picture of Meredith on front page. Gary has strong reaction.

GARY: OH, GOD.

CONTINUE TO PART 2


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


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