SCENE 1: EXT. SALEM PLACE-AFTERNOON
IN on JACK, who is stepping out of the SALEM MARKET. He squints as the daylight hits his face and takes a moment to rest on the sign reading "FOR ALL YOUR FRESH FOOD NEEDS". He sees the SPECTATOR for sale on the newspaper rack and is digging in his pocket for change.
GRETA: (WALKING UP BEHIND HIM AND LEANING IN TO SURPRISE HIM) Long time, no see. Can I buy you a paper, Jack?
OUT on JACK turning around to see her. He laughs nervously.
SCENE 2: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
IN on JENNIFER walking around nervously. She keeps moving things in the living room to ensure that they are perfect. She stops and stands in front of the dining nook mirror and fusses with her hair.
JENNIFER: (TO HERSELF) Aaaghh! Jennifer, what are you doing? It's just Colin. Everything doesn't have to be perfect. (PULLING A FACE) Why am I doing this?
JO enters from the kitchen carrying cookies and milk and hears her. She doesn't like the sound of things.
JO: That's what I'd like to know.
OUT on JENNIFER'S face, nervous that she was caught.
SCENE 3: EXT. SALEM PLACE
JACK: Hehehehe. (PUTTING HIS ARM AROUND HER) Princess, what ever are you doing here? When are you going to learn-you send the servants out for menial tasks like...like (SEEING THE SIGN) grocery shopping, for one.
GRETA: And when are you going to learn that I don't have servants, Jack?
JACK: Oooh, such a mouth for royalty.
GRETA: (SMILING) Jack-
JACK: (WALKING HER TOWARDS THE BENCHES) Now, now, please do not chastise a commoner like me. Tell me, what are you doing here-feeding the poor, signing a peace treaty over mochas?
GRETA: (PULLING A FACE) Neither. What are you doing here?
JACK: (SITTING HER DOWN AND TAKING THE SEAT BESIDE HER) I am...well, I am... (PICKING UP HIS GROCERY BAG AND SHOWING IT TO HER) I am here seeking sustenance for my family-Jennifer and Abigail. It's not slaying beasts and roasting them over a campfire like early man, but it is a task indeed.
GRETA: (LAUGHING) Seeking sustenance? Is that your way of saying you were food shopping?
JACK: In layman's-or laywoman's-terms, yes.
GRETA: Okay. (BEAT) So?
JACK: (LOST) So?
GRETA: So, Greta, how've you been? Jack, you really do have to work on your social skills.
JACK: (GETTING IT) Social--? Oh, I see. (IN HIS BEST JOHN WAYNE VOICE) So, tell me, Princess, how's life been treating ya?
GRETA: (LAUGHING) Now that's more like it. (SMILING) Actually-(SHE STOPS, WONDERING WHY JACK IS LOOKING AT HER FUNNY) What?
JACK: (IN A BROOKLYN ACCENT) Oh my Gawd. (SPEAKING REGULARLY, YET OVER-THE-TOP) You've found him, you've found the proverbial "one".
OUT on GRETA'S embarrassment.
SCENE 4: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
JENNIFER: (NERVOUSLY) Jo? I didn't-
JO: You didn't hear me come in. Nobody ever hears anybody come in around here. What was that you were saying about Colin?
JENNIFER: About Colin? Um, well...I was just saying that-
JO: (WAVING HER OFF) Nevermind. Let me tell you what I heard. I heard you getting yourself all worked up over him. And let me tell you what I think. Jennifer, I've always been honest with you-or at least whenever Jack would let me--and you know I love you more than anything in the world, but that's my son's heart you may be breaking.
JENNIFER: (HURT) Jo-
JO: No, let me finish. Billy...(SETTING HER PLATE AND GLASS DOWN ON THE TABLE)-Jack. (SIGHING) Now Jack has never been the most honest or open or, well, he's never been perfect, but Jennifer, he loves you. He really and truly does. He'd do anything in the world for you and little Abby, you know that, right?
JENNIFER: (TAKING IT IN) I know.
JO: And after all you've been through-after all you've been through-I hope that you realize all this and I hope you don't plan on breaking my baby's heart again.
JENNIFER: (QUIETLY) I don't. Jo, Jack and I have been through too much already. I guess...I guess I just want Colin to see that we are okay, that everything is perfect.
JO: Can't you see Jennifer? Nothing is ever perfect. That's what makes it special.
JENNIFER: (SITTING DOWN ON THE SOFA AND PULLING A PILLOW TO HER CHEST) I know. It's just that Colin really did help me in Africa and despite...despite what may have almost gone on between us-he really is a good friend.
JO: (SENSING JENNIFER'S HURT) I'm not making any judgements. If I learned one thing, I learned to not judge. (SITTING DOWN ON THE SOFA AND PUTTING HER ARM AROUND JENNIFER) Oh, honey, what happened in Africa?
OUT on JENNIFER'S face. She wants to tell her, but is scared.
SCENE 5: EXT. SALEM PLACE
GRETA: What makes you think that?
JACK: Why, it's written all over your face. (POINTING TO HER FACE) Right next to "I am a Princess, worship me." It says, "I, Greta Von Amburg, have just met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with."
GRETA: (LAUGHING) Are you ever serious about anything?
JACK: I try not to be. Takes the fun out of life.
GRETA: Not that it's any of your information, but yes, I did meet someone.
JACK: (LEANING BACK) Do tell.
GRETA: (GIDDILY) He's handsome and charming and kind and successful.
JACK is checking these stats off as she goes.
JACK: Ah, successful! That leaves me out, at least it does in my unemployed state. So, tell me, what nom does this fine man go by? Is he a Lord or a Baron?
GRETA: He's a doctor.
JACK: (MULLING IT OVER) Practically royalty in America. Them and lawyers, of course. So, what did you say his name was? Or shall we just call him Doctor X?
GRETA: (BITING HER LIP) Um...
JACK: (LEANING IN) Oh, come on now, you did get his name, Princess?
OUT on GRETA'S look. She is slightly embarrassed.
SCENE 6: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
JO: (STROKING JENNIFER'S HAIR) Jennifer, what happened to get you this upset? If it wasn't Colin, what was it?
JENNIFER: (NEAR TEARS) I was alone.
JO: I know, I know. Jack was gone.
JENNIFER: No, I was alone. I needed him and he wasn't there.
JO: He wasn't, but he's here now, Jennifer. He's here and he wants to help, Abby wants to help, Vern wants to help, I want to help. Let us help you, honey.
JENNIFER: (CRYING) I couldn't find him. When I did...I didn't want it to happen...(BREAKING DOWN AND BURYING HER HEAD INTO THE PILLOW) I didn't want it to happen, but I said I did and now I'm being punished.
JO: (LOST. RUBBING JENNIFER'S HAIR) Punished for what?
JENNIFER: (INTO THE PILLOW AND SOBBING) For...everything. I didn't want to lose...I didn't want to lose...It's all my fault...Why couldn't I listen? Why?
JO: (CONCERNED) What-what did you lose? Oh, Jennifer.
JENNIFER is about to speak when the doorbell rings.
OUT on JO'S concerned look to the door.
SCENE 7: EXT. SALEM PLACE
JACK: You didn't get a name, did you? Not even a calling card?
GRETA: (EMBARRASSED) No. Buy, hey, I'm bound to run into him again, right? Salem's not that big of a place.
JACK: Well it's not Grover's Corner, either. Tell me...what does this so-called mystery man look like?
GRETA: (WISTFULLY) He's a little over 6' tall and he has the most amazing dark hair and eyes and he has a sexy British accent that just me-
JACK: (CUTTING HER OFF) Whoa, whoa, save that stuff for the girls. (BEAT) He sounds relatively attractive. I mean, he's no-he's no me, of course-but he does sound somewhat aesthetically pleasing.
GRETA: That he is. So, what about you? You seem relatively happy today.
JACK: Of course I am. Interest rates are down, the Senate is ruled by Democrats, and I have a happy and healthy daughter (CHECKING HIS WATCH) who is probably wondering where her Daddy is right now.
GRETA: How do you do that?
JACK: Do what?
GRETA: Seemingly avoid the subject at hand while simultaneously working politics into any conversation.
JACK: My father was a Senator, you know. Albeit, he was also a criminal, but I tend to avoid that little tidbit of history.
GRETA: Seriously, Jack, how are things going between you and Jennifer?
JACK: Seriously? There's that word again. Seriously, they are going splendidly. Whilst over in the land o' Erin, we decided to try and work things out, as trite as that sounds.
GRETA: So you decided to drop this whole research for custody thing?
JACK: In short, yes. I could've never done that, anyway. I just wanted something-someone-to blame this mess on.
GRETA: So, what do you blame it on now? Or rather who?
JACK: The who is not important. The what is what is. Did I ever tell you what the basis of Jennifer and my relationship is?
GRETA: I think so. Equality?
JACK: (SMILING A LITTLE) No.
GRETA: (GROWING ANNOYED) Jack, will you just tell me? My head is hurting, as usual, from carrying on these never-ending conversations with you.
JACK: (MAKING A FACE) Ooh, a dig. Are you saying I'm boring? Princess, would you rather be spending your time with a handsome and caring Doctor of no certain name? The points you made were good ones, but not the true element of Jennifer's and my relationship.
GRETA: And that would be--?
JACK: (SMILING FROM EAR TO EAR) Miscommunication.
GRETA: Why am I not surprised?
JACK: Now, for chance that you may aggravate your headache even further, I must be off to pick up my very own Princess.
GRETA: (FACE FALLING A LITTLE. SHE IS LONELY.) Oh, okay.
JACK: (NOTICING HER SADNESS) Of course, you are more than welcome to come for the ride and to (BEAT) stay for dinner, if you'd like. Although I will warn you, Jennifer is venturing into the world of (PULLING AN EGGPLANT OUT OF THE BAG) eggplant Parmesan tonight. No worry, though. Hopefully, we'll find your doctor friend and have him on standby. That would be nice, wouldn't it? (SEARCHING HER FACE TO CHEER HER UP A LITTLE)
GRETA: (NODDING AND SMILING) I'd like that.
JACK: (PUTTING HIS ARM OUT TO HER) Alright, then. Your chariot, or some reasonable facsimile of one, awaits your highness.
GRETA laughs and takes his arm. OUT on the two of them exiting and laughing.
SCENE 8: INT JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
JENNIFER: (HEARING THE BELL, SHE SHOOTS UP FROM THE PILLOW) Oh, great, here I am, acting all silly, causing you to miss your soap opera. (WEAKLY SMILING AND WIPING HER EYES)
JO: (CONCERNED FOR HER) That's okay, it's not that important. (GETTING A TISSUE FROM THE DESK AND HANDING IT TO HER) Jennifer, you were saying that you-
JENNIFER: (TAKING THE TISSUE AND STANDING UP. THE DOORBELL IS STILL RINGING) I better get the door, shouldn't I?
JO: (GRABBING HER HAND) I want you to know that...that I've always thought of you like a daughter, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: (QUIETLY) I know.
JO: And I know I can't be your mother, but I also know that she wasn't there for you a lot as a child. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you need a mom to talk to, I'm here..not just for Bil-(LAUGHING. CORRECTING HERSELF), but for you too.
JENNIFER: (WEAKLY SMILING) I know. (BEAT) I better get that.
JENNIFER runs to the door as JO looks on, concerned.
JENNIFER: (OPENING THE DOOR) Colin, I'm so glad you could come. (SMILING) Come in.
COLIN: I must say, I was rather surprised given your and Jack's somewhat frosty reaction to me the other day.
JENNIFER: Yeah, well, Jack and I are just dealing with a lot of stuff lately. (WALKING INTO THE LIVING ROOM)
COLIN: (FOLLOWING HER) Namely me.
JENNIFER: Namely...well, I guess so. (SEEING JO. NERVOUS) Colin, I'd like you to meet Jo Johnson, Jack's mother. Jo, Colin.
COLIN: Good afternoon, Mrs. Johnson. You've got quite the son.
JO: (MATTER OF FACTLY) I know. (LOOKING HIM UP AND DOWN AND GRABBING HER COOKIES AND MILK) Jennifer, I'm going to try and catch the last half of my soap. I'll be in the kitchen if you need me. (EYEING COLIN BEFORE GOING TO LEAVE)
JENNIFER: (NERVOUS) Alright.
JO exits. JENNIFER turns to COLIN.
JENNIFER: So, can I get you a drink or something?
COLIN: No, I'm fine. Is the wee one home?
JENNIFER: (SMILING) No, Abby's at day camp. Jack should be picking her up soon. She'll be delighted to see you.
COLIN: And I her. (BEAT) So, Jack's not home?
JENNIFER: No. (NERVOUS) I didn't know how he'd react if-
COLIN: So, you're keeping secrets from him again?
OUT on JENNIFER'S annoyed face.
SCENE 9: INT. JACK'S CAR
JACK, ABBY, and GRETA have just stopped at BUDDY'S drive-thru window.
JACK: (THANKING THE CASHIER AND PUTTING THE FOOD IN THE MIDDLE) For you, my love. (HANDING ABBY, WHO IS IN THE BACKSEAT, A VANILLA ICE CREAM CONE) Remember, don't get any-
ABBY: On the seat. I'll remember. (SHE TAKES THE CONE AND STARTS EATING IT)
JACK: About as well as you remembered when you dropped that shake in Mommy's car?
ABBY: (LAUGHING) Daddy, you're so silly.
JACK: Speaking of shakes, for you, Miss Von Amburg (HANDING GRETA A SHAKE AND A STRAW)
JACK: And for me, a root-beer float. (PUTTING THE STRAW IN THE FLOAT AND DRIVING OFF)
GRETA: (WATCHING ABBY EAT IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR) So, Abby, how's day camp?
ABBY: Great. I learned how to make a kite today.
GRETA: That sounds like fun. You'll have to talk your Daddy into flying one with you someday.
ABBY: Daddy, can we fly a kite tonight?
JACK: Soon, Abigail, soon. Tonight we're having dinner at home. Mommy's making eggplant.
ABBY: What's that?
JACK: Oh, it's-trust me, it's good.
ABBY: Is Uncle Vern coming tonight too?
JACK: I believe so. (TO GRETA) Used to work with me at the paper. Somewhat of a paramour of my mother's. You've never met Jo, have you?
GRETA: No. Although I am curious to see what kind of creature spawned the likes of you. I take it this Vern-you don't like him?
JACK: (SMILING A LITTLE) Quite the opposite. Vern actually was a cohort with me back when Jennifer and I were working at the Spectator.
GRETA: Ah, so, he's schooled in the Jack and Jennifer dynamic. One based on miscommunication?
JACK: The stories he could tell you.
GRETA: (LAUGHING) I can imagine.
OUT on JACK'S smiling back at Greta.
SCENE 10: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
JENNIFER: Lying? I am not lying. I intend to tell Jack all about this. You just met his mother, for heaven's sake.
COLIN: (FACE FALLEN) I'm sorry. Perhaps I jumped to conclusions.
JENNIFER: Perhaps you did. Listen, I didn't call you over here to talk about my relationship with Jack. I wanted to...I wanted to (PULLING A LONG BOX FROM THE DESK DRAWER) give you this.
COLIN: (TAKING THE BOX) A gift? Jennifer, I-
JENNIFER: (WAVING HIM OFF) It's nothing. Open it.
COLIN: (OPENING UP THE BOX AND SEEING WHAT IT IS) It's a stethoscope.
JENNIFER: Not just any stethoscope, though. It was one of my grandfathers. My father has one, my brother has one, now you, my friend, have one. I figured...well, Hope told me you got the job at the hospital.
COLIN: (MOVED) Thank you. I don't know what to say.
JENNIFER: Don't say anything. It's the least I can do, after everything you did for me, for us, in Africa (INSTINCTIVELY SHE TOUCHES HER STOMACH)
COLIN: Have you told Jack about that yet?
JENNIFER: (TURNING AWAY) No. (TURNING TOWARDS HIM) But I will. I just have to wait until he's-until we are stronger.
COLIN: (STEPPING TOWARDS HER) Jennifer-
JENNIFER: Colin, don't. I wanted you to have this gift because you were a good doctor and a good friend to me when I needed you. Don't mess this up.
COLIN: But you've-you've been crying (HE TOUCHES HER FACE LIGHTLY)
JACK, ABBY, and GRETA have just entered, unbeknownst to JENNIFER. JACK is the last to see this exchange.
ABBY: (HAPPY TO SEE COLIN) Colin! (SHE RUNS OVER TO HIM)
GRETA: (SHOCKED TO SEE HER MYSTERY MAN THERE. TO HERSELF) Colin.
JACK just stands there, hurt and not liking the situation at all. He drops the bag of groceries and the olive oil breaks. He doesn't go to clean it up.
OUT on JACK and JENNIFER staring intensely at each other.
END OF EPISODE 39
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