"The Wrong Man"
(Original Air Date: December 7, 1996)

Written by Alex Taub; Directed by David Jones
Fanscribed by earlydues

Gary seeks closure in his relationship with his ex-wife, Marcia, after he learns she is remarrying. But a problem involving a troubled former co-worker gives Gary the opportunity to put a permanent end to Marcia’s new romance.

{Opening scene... Chuck’s monologue while camera follows Harry, the CPR instructor, (carrying Resusci-Annie) through town....}

MONOLOGUE: Your scientists will tell you, that most human beings only use 10% of their brain.

{Cut to Phil Pritchard on car-phone.}

PRITCHARD: Wrong, and wrong! Don’t make me laugh, Freddy. I blow my nose with overseas bank certificates. Do you have to *learn* to be this stupid, or were you just born this way?

{Phil nearly runs over Harry and has to squeal to a stop.}

MONOLOGUE: What they don’t tell you, is that usually, this is a very good thing.

PRITCHARD: Hey moron! Open your eyes. Next time, I don’t brake!

MONOLOGUE: Truth is, you don’t *want* to think too much. Cause, if you did, you’d realize that we are all *this* close to catastrophe, disaster, or heartbreak every minute of every day.

{Harry walks past Gary, who is sitting on a bench reading the paper. Gary gets up, starts to follow Harry, and gets accosted by a man selling roses.}

FLOWER GUY: Buy a flower?

GARY: No thanks.

FLOWER GUY: For your wife?

GARY: No, I don’t *have* a wife.

FLOWER GUY: What’s that?

{Flower Guy points out Gary’s wedding band.}

FLOWER GUY: Looks like a wedding ring.

GARY: Souvenir.

{Scene change: CPR Class. Opens with Harry demonstrating CPR techniques.}

HARRY: Annie! Annie! Are you all right? Are you all right? Your first step, before the breathing, before the chest thrusts, is this: make sure that the victim is, in fact, unconscious. Annie! Are you all right? Are you... {Harry clutches at chest in pain}

{Meanwhile, Gary waits at a desk in the classroom. He double-checks the headline “CPR Instructor Dies In Class” and goes to help Harry. Gary pushes Resusci-Annie off the desk and helps Harry onto the desk instead....}

GARY: Harry? Harry? Har...?

{Gary then begins to perform CPR on Harry. Gary is about to begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but sees a plastic apparatus nearby which he quickly grabs and performs mouth-to-plastic thing-to-mouth resuscitation instead.}

GARY: One-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, Hello{to classroom}, four...

{Scene changes to outside of class with Harry being taken away on gurney. Harry gives the “thumbs up” sign to Gary.}

MONOLOGUE: The trick is to assume your life is going to work out. Of course, it never does. So you do the next best thing. You take it one disaster at a time.

{Opening theme music begins, then break for commercial...}

{Scene: Gary & Chuck walking along beach.}

CHUCK: Man, you tricked me. You promised me a pancake breakfast.

GARY: Look, just keep your pants on. I got one more errand to run.

CHUCK: Oh, you and your errands. All right, just so you know, I want an apple pancake and real pork sausage. And I don’t wanna hear any crap about that talking pig.

GARY: Fine. I just don’t see how you can eat sausage after seeing that movie, that’s all.

CHUCK: How? I *hate* that stupid pig. I sat in that movie, and for 93 minutes all I could think about were sausage links and pork rinds.

{Gary sees the people he’s looking for and stops Chuck.}

GARY: There they are.

CHUCK: Who *are* those clowns?

GARY: Guys who go swimming every morning.

{Gary checks paper “Polar Bear Member Drowns in Lake Michigan.”}

CHUCK: *Every* morning?

GARY: They say it keeps ‘em healthy.

CHUCK: 6:30 in the morning. November. Freaks!

GARY: Yeah.

CHUCK: I’m freezing with my jacket on.

GARY: I know.

CHUCK: Look at those bellies.

GARY: Hey, Frank? Frank Levinson?

FRANK: Yeah. No suits? Aren’t you guys goin’ in?

CHUCK: We just ate.

GARY: Look, I don’t think you wanna go in either.

FRANK: What? Why not?

GARY: Cause it’s too cold, and if you go in...it’s not your day.

FRANK: Too cold? I’ve been swimming every morning since the Nixon administration. This body can take it.

GARY: Look, Frank. Go see your doctor. Today. It’s not too late - he can help you. But I’m telling you. Don’t go swimming.

FRANK: You don’t understand. If I don’t go, there’s only 9.

CHUCK: So what?

POLAR BEAR #1: We need a minion.

CHUCK: You gotta be kidding me. You guys are Orthodox Polar Bears?

FRANK: Yeah, you got a problem with that, smart mouth?

GARY: Look, Frank. I know. Trust me. Don’t go in. Please, Frank, you gotta believe me.

FRANK: Fine, fine. You win. I won’t go in...if *he* goes in my place{meaning Chuck}.

CHUCK: Me? Oh, no, you gotta be kidding me. No, no. It’s against *my* religion. Uh-uh, I’m not going in. Nope. No. No, no, no, wait a minute, now, stop, listen to me, no, no.....

{Other Polar Bears grab Chuck and start carrying him towards water under protest.}

{Scene change: Gary and a dripping-wet Chuck heading up steps in lobby of the Blackstone.}

CHUCK: My hair is frozen. It hurts. It’s a block.

GARY: It’ll thaw.

CHUCK: Just get me to that shower. And you better have a clean towel. Why is it that *you’re* the one who gets the paper, and *I’m* the one who gets punished every time? *Every* time?


GARY: Marcia? What are you doing here?

CHUCK: Oh....Gary? Keys? Shower? Freezing?

GARY: Oh. Oh.

{Gary fishes the keys out of his pocket and hands them to Chuck.}

CHUCK: Marcia, it was a pleasure, as always. And I gotta say that for the first time today, I understand *why* you divorced this guy.

GARY: So you wanna tell me what you’re doing here?

MARCIA: I...I just wanted to find out how you were doing. How things were.

GARY: Oh. Doin’ well. Doin’ good. Yeah, doin’...good. Uh, listen, Marcia, I’ve...

MARCIA: I’m getting married Gary. That’s why I came down here in person. To tell you first.

GARY: So, so, when did, when ah, so when did *this* all happen?

MARCIA: Just happened. It was quick.

GARY: Yeah....So who is he? No, no, no, no, you know, ah, that’s a dumb question. I shouldn’t have asked.

MARCIA: Gary--

GARY: Cause, I understand that we’re not married anymore, and you don’t have to clear it up through me, and that’s a dumb question, and it doesn’t matter, so...

MARCIA: Gary, you all right?

GARY: Oh, yeah.

MARCIA: So you’re happy for me?

GARY: Oh, yeah.

{Scene change: Gary, Chuck, & Marissa at booth in bar. Gary seems irritated and irate....}

GARY: So who the hell *is* he?

MARISSA: I thought it didn’t matter. I thought you were bigger than that.

CHUCK: Are you kidding? *No* man is that big.

MARISSA: Are you all right?

CHUCK: Yeah! He’s great. He’s never been better. Another man is marrying his wife.

GARY: I’m fine.

CHUCK: Probably wants to kill himself.

GARY: I just wanna know who *he* is.

MARISSA: You know, Marcia’s right. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that now he can move on.

CHUCK: Move on?


CHUCK: Gary does not know who this guy is. For all *he* knows, she could be marrying the *most* successful, *best* looking guy in the city, with the *biggest*...


CHUCK: Boat. The biggest boat. A yacht, on Lake Michigan.

MARISSA: It takes time, but he’ll get over it.

GARY: The truth is...

CHUCK: Not if it’s a Kennedy. He’d never get over it if it was a Kennedy. I know *I* wouldn’t.

MARISSA: This is *exactly* what he needs. Closure.

CHUCK: Wrong. What he needs is a martini and a date....with a supermodel.

MARISSA: Oh, great. That’s your answer to everything.

CHUCK: Ask him yourself. Gar - closure? or a supermodel? I’ll bet you two to one.

GARY: *Guys!* Thank you very much for all your input, but I’m fine. I’m over it. I’m good. And I don’t wanna talk about it anymore.

CHUCK: Touchy. He’s *very* touchy.

MARISSA: *Very* touchy.

GARY: All right, hypothetical question...

CHUCK: Ah. You see how he changed the subject? This is a man in pain.


GARY: Out of all the workers at your office, which one’s most likely to flip out and do something...rash?

{Chuck and Marissa “look” at each other, then respond in unison.}

CHUCK: Harrison

MARISSA: Harrison

{Gary shows headline to Chuck, “Stockbroker Leaps to his Death,” then proceeds to read them the story...}

GARY: An overworked stockbroker at the firm of Strauss & Associates, leapt to his death from a 26th floor window yesterday afternoon.

{While Gary is reading this, we see, in muted color, how the incident occurred.}

GARY: Co-workers say Roger Harrison had been under a great deal of stress at work.

{Harrison types a letter that reads, “To anyone concerned, It’s over, all my hopes, dreams, aspirations. Everything I have ever hoped to become is out of reach. I have had to endure the indignities of .... this company long enough. To my family, I say I love you...}

GARY: Yesterday afternoon, he typed a suicide note which read, “I leave this life. It was all too much. Tell my family,” and distributed it to everyone on the staff.

{Harrison makes copies, hands them to everyone he sees and throws the rest on the floor.}

GARY: Without a word to anyone, he shattered a window on the 26th floor of the high-rise, and moments later hurled himself to the street below.

{Then, as shocked employees look on, he grabs a chair and smashes the window. As Gary stops reading, we see Pritchard in a meeting cussing out his staff.}

PRITCHARD: There’s fat in every company. Your *job* is to find it. Employee moral is not a factor.

{As soon as Pritchard says this, Harrison falls past the meeting-room window and yells,}

ROGER: Pritchard, you suck!

{Pritchard momentarily glances back, then continues with the meeting.}

PRITCHARD: It’s dollars and cents, people. Now is there any *new* business?

{Scene changes: Gary, Chuck and Marissa heading into Strauss & Associates.}

GARY: He leaves a wife and two children.

CHUCK: I don’t get it. The market’s doing so *well*. No one jumps during a bull market.

{Scene changes - inside Strauss & Associates w/stockbrokers...}

PRITCHARD: What is this, Harrison? Yesterday’s Internet providers...Bolivian telephones...this is garbage.

ROGER: Mr Pritchard, you said you wanted [this, both of] these. I *still* have the memo.

PRITCHARD: I don’t care about *memos* - my *mother* can read memos. What I care about is the small fortune you’re costing me. Quit slacking off.

{Pritchard notices another stockbroker staring at him and Harrison.}

PRITCHARD: I’m not here to entertain you Bannerman. Quit gawking and get back to work.

{Pritchard starts to walk away and sees another stockbroker with a multi-colored tie on.}

PRITCHARD: And Pinkus, what did I tell you about these ties, huh? What did I tell you? Blues and browns only. This isn’t Miami.

{Pritchard makes Pinkus cut off the offending tie.}

GARY: I didn’t think it was possible. He’s gotten worse.

SAM: Mr Hobson. I haven’t seen you around in a while.

GARY: Well, I know. I haven’t been here. How are you Sam?

SAM: Great. Did you hear about Teledyne? Up 6 today. I called it. Of course, no one asks me. I don’t think I have any mail for you today. It’s strange. You haven’t been gettin’ anything for a while.

GARY: Well, I know, Sam, I haven’t been working here.

SAM: Right. I’ll tell you what. I’ll check downstairs. Don’t tell anybody but... sometimes mail gets misfiled.

CHUCK: You have anything for me, Sam?

SAM: It’s on your desk, Mr. Fishman.

CHUCK: Thank you. Let’s go. Hey, Rog! Look.

ROGER: Gary.

GARY: How are you, Roger?

ROGER: What are you doing here? Back on the job?

GARY: No, no, no. Just visiting, just visiting. How is everything?

ROGER: Well, trying to keep my head above water. I’ve been better.

GARY: Under a lot of stress, huh?

ROGER: Who isn’t? But, that’s why I get paid the big bucks, right?

GARY: You can’t let the job ruin your life, Roger. The job’s not worth it. No job is.

ROGER: Thanks, Gary, but, I don’t remember asking you for advice.

CHUCK: Gar, let me handle this. Rog, you know what my good friend the Dalai Lama says about stress?

ROGER: You know the Dalai Lama?

CHUCK: Well, I don’t *know* know the Dalai Lama, but I read his books. All right, I read an article in People Magazine.

ROGER: Listen, guys. I got work to do.

CHUCK: The Dalai Lama says that a stressful life is like a river that’s been poisoned, and you gotta go upstream and find the source of that stress in your life, and then shut it off.

GARY: What Chuck’s trying to say, I think, is that, you don’t want to make any radical changes, or...rash decisions.

CHUCK: Like hurling yourself out a window.

ROGER: Go upstream.

CHUCK: Upstream.

ROGER: Thanks, guys. I mean, that really helps, what you said. You have no idea.

CHUCK: No problem, Rog.

PRITCHARD: Hobson? What are you doin’ here?

GARY: Oh, and how are you Pritchard?

PRITCHARD: Yeah, what the hell are you up to?

GARY: I just came to visit Roger, here.

PRITCHARD: Is that true?

ROGER: He was just visiting, Mr. Pritchard, that’s all.

PRITCHARD: You weren’t looking for me?


PRITCHARD: Well, this isn’t a hospital, Harrison, we don’t have visiting hours. And as for you, as I recall, I fired you, Hobson.

GARY: No, actually, I quit.

PRITCHARD: Yeah, well, comes down to the same thing. You’re here now, and I could have you arrested for trespassing. Fishman, do you still work here, or have I fired you yet for perpetual tardiness?

CHUCK: As far as I know, I am still under your employ, sir.

PRITCHARD: Good. Walk him out. Make sure he doesn’t stop until he hits the sidewalk.

CHUCK: I was just telling him to leave, sir. Hobson!

PRITCHARD: And don’t make an afternoon of it.

{Scene change -- Gary & Chuck walking down street....}

GARY: I can’t believe I used to work for that jerk. You know, I’m surprised more people haven’t jumped out of that place.

CHUCK: Hey, well, some of us still have to work there, remember.

GARY: Thanks for helping with Harrison.

CHUCK: You, me, and the Dalai Lama. What a team. So what’s next?

{Gary sees Marcia walking into a restaurant...}

GARY: Marcia. You know Marissa was right.

CHUCK: Well, that’d be a first. About what?

GARY: Closure. I’m gonna go talk to Marcia. Give her my blessing.

CHUCK: That’s right. Be a bigger man.

{Gary drops part of the paper, and Chuck picks it up.}

CHUCK: Oh, that’s ok. I got it. I got it.

GARY: I don’t believe it.

CHUCK: I don’t believe it.

{Gary sees Marcia and Pritchard together, Chuck is reading paper...}

GARY: It *can’t* be.

CHUCK: It is.

GARY: It’s Pritch.... Marcia’s marrying Pritchard?

{Gary gets a glimpse of the wedding announcement in the paper. “Prominent lawyer to marry investment broker,” then break for commercial...}

{Scene: Gary goes to Marcia’s house. Marcia is in the process of packing/moving...}

GARY: What are you doing?

MARCIA: I am packing.

GARY: No, you know what I mean. Pritchard. Pritchard’s the guy?

MARCIA: He told you.

GARY: Well, I saw you...your wedding announcement.

MARCIA: It wasn’t supposed to come out until tomorrow. Gary, I was gonna tell you. I meant to, you didn’t give me a chance.

GARY: And what’s going on here? You just moved *in*.

MARCIA: And now I’m moving out. Phil’s got a bigger place. A condo on the lake. Three bedrooms.

GARY: Pritchard? After everything... Do you even know him?

MARCIA: No, Gary. No, I just opened up the yellow pages, closed my eyes and picked a name.

GARY: Oh, well, that would make a *lot* more sense.

MARCIA: Look, Gary, I know that you and Phil had problems working together. But he’s a good man.

GARY: Oh, yeah. He’s a real prince.

{Gary sits down on couch next to Marcia.}

MOVER #1: Excuse us. We just have to get the couch.

{Gary and Marcia jump back off of couch.}

GARY: What is it that you could *possibly* see in him?

MARCIA: We’re good together. Phil and me. We fit. Our lives, our careers. We could really make a powerhouse. My father thinks that he is one of the best...

GARY: Oh, your father. Of course, of course. You buy stocks from Phil. You invest in Phil’s company. You’re gonna live with Phil for the rest of your life?

MARCIA: And I love him. Gary, what’s really bothering you here? The man I’m gonna marry, or the fact that I’m getting married at all.

GARY: Oh, no. Don’t turn this on me.

MOVER #1: Excuse me. Hate to interrupt, but your couch is too big.

{Gary and Marcia respond in unison}

MARCIA: You gotta take the door off.

GARY: Take the door off.

MOVER #1: Let’s go find a screwdriver, Matty.

GARY: You’re right. It’s none of my business.

{Gary starts to leave, but spies the model boat on a shelf...}

GARY: Be careful of the Meridian when you pack it. The mast is loose.

{Gary straightens out the boat, and the mast falls down.}

MARCIA: Actually, I’m not taking this with me.

GARY: Oh, what, Phil doesn’t like boats?

MARCIA: There are some people who hate the water.

GARY: He doesn’t...

{Gary starts to leave.}

MARCIA: Gary. Here. You should take this. You loved that trip.

{Marcia offers Gary the Meridian, which he accepts.}

GARY: I wish you the best of luck.

{Gary leaves with the Meridian, and scene changes to squash court.}

SQUASH GUY: Mr Hobson? Chuck Fishman just called to tell you he won’t be able to make it.

GARY: Oh, that’s great. Thanks. That’s just my luck.

SQUASH GUY: Hey, if you’re interested, we do have a single here.

GARY: All right, yeah.

SQUASH GUY: You bet.

{Squash guy goes to call in the single, who happens to be Pritchard.....}

GARY: I didn’t know you played squash.

PRITCHARD: Yeah, just picked it up again. Trying to keep in shape. You know, with the wedding coming up?

GARY: Uh-huh. Would you like to just hit, or do you want to keep score?

PRITCHARD: I think we should keep score.

{Gary and Pritchard start to play squash...}

PRITCHARD: You know, if you ever wanted to come back, we could always find a place for you.

{Gary wins the serve...}

GARY: Thanks, I’ll think about that.

PRITCHARD: Must be strange. You know, your boss...your ex...

{Gary wins the point....}

GARY: One, Nil.

{Gary wins another point.}

GARY: Two, Nil.

PRITCHARD: You know, after we’re married, me and Marcia, we should all get together.

{Pritchard wins the serve....}

PRITCHARD: We’ll have you over for dinner, me and Marcia. Oh, you gotta see the condo. Marcia loves the place. Townhouse right on the lake. Oh, and the view.

{Pritchard wins the point....}

PRITCHARD: You can see the whole city. Yeah, what is that? One, Two? And three bedrooms. Plenty of room for kids....

{Gary and Pritchard playing squash the whole time, with Gary getting more and more irritated. After the “room for kids” comment, the game gets very aggressive and Gary inadvertently whacks Pritchard in the face with his racket, sending Pritchard sprawling to the floor with a broken nose.}

GARY: Wow, Pritchard, you ok?

PRITCHARD: Son of a... My nose...

{Scene change: Gary, Chuck, Marissa in bar. Chuck and Marissa are each sitting at a separate table with Gary between the two tables.}

CHUCK: You gotta learn how to control your impulses.

GARY: It was an accident.

MARISSA: You really broke his nose?

CHUCK: And a concussion. Tell her about the concussion.

GARY: It was an *accident.*

CHUCK: Are you sure?

GARY: What do you mean, am I sure? What, do you think I aimed at him? I didn’t even *see* his fat face. Weasley whiny voice, yapping behind me - “Yeah, Marcia this, Marcia that, Condo on the lake.” What, you don’t believe me?

CHUCK: Come on, Gary, haven’t you ever read Freud? There *are* no accidents. This was no game of squash. This was a textbook Reverse Oedipal Triangle.

MARISSA: Here we go.

CHUCK: Two father figures, in an enclosed space, fighting for the favors of the same woman, using *rackets.* Come on, people. The symbolism is all here.

GARY: Oh yeah? Well, Chuck, sometimes a racket’s just a racket.

CHUCK: Sometimes, yes. This time? No. I don’t think so.

GARY: Marcia’s gonna kill me.

CHUCK: Tell her it was an accident.

GARY: It *was* an accident!

CHUCK: Yes. Now, if you tell her like *that,* with that kind of conviction, *then,* then she might believe you.

GARY: I’m gonna get another...

{Gary leaves to "get another" - presumably another beer}

{Scene change: Strauss & Associates, after hours.}

PRITCHARD: Harrison, aren’t you finished yet?

ROGER: Almost, Mr Pritchard.

PRITCHARD: Just gimme what you got. What is this? 94 and 95? I don’t want this. I need 90 through 93.

ROGER: But Mr. Pritchard, that’s what you asked for.

PRITCHARD: Don’t give me what I ask for, give me what I *need.* You’re not gonna leave ‘till you’re done. 90 through 93.

{Pritchard starts to walk away. He encounters Sam who has come to give Pritchard the keys to his freshly washed car.}

SAM: I washed it, Mr P, just like you asked.

{Pritchard takes the keys without a word and continues on his way.}

{Scene change: Gary’s apartment. Next morning. Gary is drinking coffee.}

CAT: Meoooww. <thump> Mrowwrr. Meow.

GARY: I don’t get it. I feed you. I put a roof over your head. And you’re still messin’ up my life.

CAT: Meow.

{Gary grabs paper from under cat.}

GARY: Well take your best shot. Cause as far as I’m concerned, the game’s over. You win. There’s nothing else you can do to me, and...

CAT: Mrowwrrrr.

{Cat runs into Gary’s apartment}

{Gary reads headline: “Brokerage firm partner murdered. Unidentified disgruntled employee kills broker” with a picture of Pritchard. Cut to commercial....including the “Early Edition will continue” teaser.}


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