KEEPING UP WITH THE DEVERAUXES
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
IN on JACK, who has just dropped his small bag of groceries upon meeting ELIZABETH.
GRETA: (CATCHING THE GROCERIES) Whoa, Jack. Slippery fingers today, huh?
JENNIFER: (STARING AT JACK) Jack, are you okay?
JACK: (SHAKING IT OFF) No, I'm...I'm fine. Elizabeth, you say? (HE WALKS OVER AND EXTENDS HIS HAND.
ELIZABETH: (GIVING JACK HER HAND) Elizabeth Marsh. And you are the Jack everyone keeps talking about.
JACK: (STILL TRYING TO PLACE HER) The one and only.
JENNIFER and the others are intrigued by JACK and ELIZABETH'S exchange. It seems as though they met before.
JACK cannot quit staring at ELIZABETH and vice-versa.
JENNIFER: (GROWING UNCOMFORTABLE) Okay. I think we should get started on the salads. Jack, can you help me in the kitchen?
JACK does not respond.
JACK: (FINALLY HEARING HER) Wh-what?
JENNIFER: (ANNOYED) The kitchen. Help.
JENNIFER grabs his hand and drags him into the kitchen, much to his and the others' surprise. JACK still can't stop looking at ELIZABETH.
INT. JACK & JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JACK: (BREAKING FREE OF JENNIFER'S GRIP AND RUBBING HIS WRISTS) Ow! Have you been working out?
JENNIFER: No time for jokes, Jack. 'Fess up.
JACK: (CONFUSED) 'Fess up? What are you talking about?
JENNIFER: (ANGRY) Okay, I'll tell you. What the heck was that out there (SHE POINTS TOWARDS THE LIVING ROOM)?
SCENE 2: INT. JACK & JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
A few seconds of uncomfortable silence ensues.
GRETA: So, uh, Elizabeth, what do you do for a living?
ELIZABETH: A living?
GRETA: (SMILING NERVOUSLY) Yes. Work? Vocation?
ELIZABETH: (SNOOTILY) Don't be silly. I don't work.
GRETA: (TAKEN BACK) Oh. That, well, that must be very rewarding.
COLIN looks on embarrassingly. JO and ABBY look embarrassed for him.
ELIZABETH: What do you do for a living?
GRETA: Well...I'm a Princess. I-
ELIZABETH: In many ways, so am I. (TO JO) And you, Mrs. Deveraux-
JO: (NERVOUS) Johnson.
ELIZABETH: Whatever. What do you, Mrs. Johnson, do as a vocation?
JO: (EMBARASSED) I'm a...I was a...(TO ABBY) You know what, Abby? I bet Uncle Vern would like it if we waited outside for him. What do you say? (SHE GRABS ABBY'S HAND. TO GRETA) Will you tell Jack and Jennifer where we are?
GRETA: (SMILING REASSURINGLY) I will.
JO: Thank you. (TO COLIN AND ELIZABETH) We'll see you at dinner. (SHE AND ABBY EXIT)
COLIN: (FRUSTRATED) Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH: (ACTING SURPRISED) What?
OUT on GRETA'S amusement.
SCENE 3: INT. JACK & JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JACK: (STILL RUBBING HIS HAND) What was what out there? That was Colin's fiancée, Elizabeth. I know you're bad with names, but Jennifer, this is ridiculous.
JENNIFER: (IGNORING HIM AND STARTING TO TAKE DISHES FROM THE PANTRY AND HAND THEM TO HIM) I am not bad with names. You couldn't keep your eyes off her.
JACK: (GETTING THE DISHES FROM HER) Well, at least you're not throwing them at me. (BEAT) She is fetching but that's not the reason I was staring at her, Jennifer.
JENNIFER: (ANGRY) And what, pray tell, was the reason?
JACK: I... I know her.
JENNIFER: ( SHOCKED) DROPPING A DISH AND BREAKING IT) You know her?
SCENE 4: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
IN on ELIZABETH, who does not like being chastised by COLIN.
ELIZABETH: What? You cannot be mad at me for asking the poor woman did for a living. Seriously.
COLIN: It's not the question you asked, it's the way you asked it.
ELIZABETH: So what if the old nag is not as thick-skinned as I am. I didn't mean anything by it.
GRETA: The old nag happens to be one of my best friends' mothers and you owe her an apology.
ELIZABETH: The last time, I checked, Princess, this was America. (WAVING A PRETEND FLAG) Land of the free and all that Yankee jazz.
GRETA: It is never right to hurt somebody's feelings. You do have those, don't you?
ELIZABETH: (TO COLIN) Royalty or not, you're not going to let her stand there and talk to me that way, are you?
SCENE 5: INT. JACK & JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JACK: (BENDING DOWN TO PICK UP THE PIECES OF THE PLATE) People are going to start hanging around with us, you know? Fear of anvils falling from the sky and the like.
JENNIFER: (CALMING DOWN) I'll bite-how do you (FINGERS LIKE QUOTE MARKS) "know" her?
JACK: (STANDING UP) I really...I wish I could answer that.
JENNIFER: (THINKING THE WORST) Oh.
JACK: (REALIZING WHAT SHE THINKS) Oh? Oh no "oh". No "oh".
JENNIFER: (RELIEVED) Good.
JACK: (TRYING TO EXPLAIN) Jennifer, I could never. Not with that.
JENNIFER: I get the picture. (BEAT) Now why can't you answer my question?
JACK: (FRUSTRATED) Because...because...I can't remember where I know her from. From Africa, I'm sure.
JENNIFER: (CONTINUING TO HAND HIM DISHES) Well that makes sense, she has known Colin for eight years. Maybe she lived in Africa for some time.
JACK: (CONFUSED) She's known Colic, uh, Colin for eight years? (JENNIFER THROWS HIM A LOOK) And he never said anything to you about this?
JENNIFER: You know, I thought that too. It doesn't make sense. (BEAT) Do you remember where in Africa?
JACK: No. I mean we-you and me-we weren't together at the time. I mean, we were together, but you were home-
JENNIFER: (CUTTING HIM OFF) I got it. Pretoria? Niger? Anything, Jack?
JACK: (THINKING) No. (TURNING AROUND AND RUBBING HIS CHIN) Dammit, why do I know her?
JENNIFER: (CONCERNED) Whatever it is, Jack, it's not good, is it?
JACK: (TURNING TOWARDS HER) No, Jennifer, it isn't. It isn't at all.
SCENE 6: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
COLIN: (NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO) Greta-
GRETA: (WAVING HIM OFF) It's alright. (BEAT) Listen, Elizabeth, I'm sorry if we got off to the wrong foot. I'm sure...I'm sure you're a delightful person.
ELIZABETH: Delightful? That's a new one. (THROWING COLIN A LOOK)
A few more seconds of uncomfortable silence ensues.
ELIZABETH: (TO COLIN) So this Jack, he and Jennifer are married?
COLIN: They once were.
ELIZABETH: (GETTING JEALOUS OF JENNIFER) Once? You mean they're not now?
GRETA: (ENJOYING ELIZABETH'S FEAR) No, they're not...but they are trying.
ELIZABETH: I see. Good luck to them.
COLIN: (SADLY) Yes, good luck to them.
OUT on COLIN'S sadness.
SCENE 7: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
JENNIFER: (CONCERNED) Do you think she's bad news, Jack?
JACK: No news is good news, Jennifer. This is going to drive me crazy. (HE PACES BY HER)
JENNIFER: Maybe we could find out.
JACK: (TURNING TOWARDS HER, EYEBROW COCKED) Are you suggesting--?
JENNIFER: Well, they are staying for dinner.
JACK: (SHRUGGING) It's probably nothing.
JENNIFER: (LURING HIM) Yeah, but the nothing may be something.
JACK: Why do all of our conversations end up like this something/nothing, this/that/what? (JENNIFER GOES TO SPEAK) Don't answer that-it's rhetorical.
JENNIFER: So, what do you think, Jack? We make a-
JACK: A pretty good team, I know. (PICKING UP THE DISHES) All right Miss H., let's go and try to weasel some info out of the dynamic duo.
JENNIFER: (PICKING UP DISHES AND GOING TO FOLLOW HIM) Make them sing like canaries.
JACK: (SMILING) Oooh, I love it when you speak 40's crime movies to me.
SCENE 8: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
JACK and JENNIFER enter, carrying plates. GRETA is staring at COLIN, who is in deep thought and ELIZABETH is admiring her reflection in the hall mirror.
JENNIFER: We're back. (ASSESSING THE SITUATION) Where's Jo?
GRETA: (BREAKING HER STARE) She and Abby are outside, waiting for Vern.
JENNIFER: (SHOOTING A LOOK OVER TO ELIZABETH, WHO IS PAYING THEM NO ATTENTION AND THEN SMILING TO GRETA) Oh, okay.
JACK: (SETTING THE TABLE) Dinner is almost served. Elizabeth, is it, would you care for some wine?
ELIZABETH: (FINALLY PAYING ATTENTION) That would be wonderful. What year is it?
JACK: (SHOOTING JENNIFER A LOOK) I think it's-it's 1998.
ELIZABETH: (SARCASTICALLY) How rare.
JACK: (BACKING INTO THE KITCHEN) I'll be right back with your rare wine. (TO COLIN) Colic, uh, Colin?
COLIN: (COMING TO) That would be grand.
JACK: Grand. Right. Be right back.
JENNIFER: (PLACING THE SILVERWARE ON THE TABLE) Speaking of 1998, what were you doing then? (LAUGHING) I think Jack and I were just getting over sending Abby to kindergarten.
GRETA: Well, I-
JENNIFER: (CUTTING GRETA OFF) Elizabeth?
ELIZABETH: Pish-posh. I can't even remember what I was doing yesterday, much less three years ago. (SAUNTERING UP TO COLIN) Unless, of course, I was with my darling. Isn't that right, love? (NUZZLING COLIN)
GRETA and JENNIFER are disgusted by ELIZABETH'S display and they want to laugh.
SCENE 9: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
IN on JACK, who is getting the wine out of the fridge. He then begins to search for the champagne bucket.
JACK: (TO HIMSELF) Where do we keep that darn buck-
ABBY, JO, and VERN enter from the backdoor.
JACK: (NOTICING THEM) What, the front door is not good enough for you?
JO: We decided to use the servants' entrance.
JACK: (LOST) What?
VERN: (WAVING HIM OFF) Nevermind. Jo was just telling me about our other guests. (WITH DISTASTE) Colin and his fiancée Elizabeth.
JO: (SHUDDERING) An awfully wretched woman.
JACK: (NOTICING ABBY) Hey, Miss-I-Will-Love-Eggplant-Parmesan, why don't you run upstairs and wash up?
ABBY: Okay. (SHE GOES TO THE STAIRS) Daddy, can I bring Theodore for dinner?
JACK: We'd love to have him.
ABBY: Good. (SHE EXITS, RUNNING UP THE STAIRS)
JACK: (CALLING AFTER HER) Don't run (TRAILING OFF). (TO JO) I take it you don't like our guest.
JO: (FINDING THE CHAMPAGNE BUCKET AND HANDING IT TO HIM) You can say that.
JACK: Well, she isn't the most likable character so far. (TO VERN) Do you think we can hop over to the Spectator offices and do a check on her soon?
JO: (CONCERNED) Why, do you think you know her? (GRABBING HER CHEST) Oh my, she's dangerous, isn't she?
VERN: (PUTTING HIS ARM AROUND JO AND GOES TO LEAD HER TO THE DINING ROOM) Now, now, Jo, let's not get worried, I'm sure Jack is just kidding. Right, Jack? (HE THROWS JACK A LOOK)
JACK: (COVERING) As dangerous as...as...water (THROWS HIS HANDS UP). We won't be needing a check, just kidding. (HE NODS ANIMATEDLY TO VERN TO INDICATE HE IS LYING).
VERN rolls his eyes and sighs as he leads JO to the living room.
SCENE 10: JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
ELIZABETH continues to kiss COLIN as JENNIFER and GRETA look on uncomfortably. BOTH are relieved when VERN and JO enter.
JENNIFER: (SMILING) Vern! (SHE GRABS HIS HAND) Um, Greta, (THROWING COLIN AND ELIZABETH A LOOK) I'd like you to meet a former co-worker of mine and Jack's and Jo's friend...
JO giggles as VERN smiles at her.
JENNIFER: (LAUGHING) Boyfriend, Vern. Vern, this is Greta Von Amburg.
VERN: (SHAKING GRETA'S HAND) The Princess? Fancy that, you are friends with royalty. Pleased to meet you Miss Von-
GRETA: (SMILING) You can call me Greta. How very nice to meet you, Vern. Everybody speaks very highly of you.
JENNIFER: (NODDING TO COLIN AND ELIZABETH, STILL GOING AT IT) And this, Vern, this is (WANTING TO LAUGH, CLEARING HER THROAT) Uh-uh..
COLIN and ELIZABETH break up and look a little embarrassed.
ELIZABETH: (SNOTTILY) I'm sorry. It's just that he's so, so delectable. (SQUEEZING COLIN'S BEHIND AS HE BLUSHES) You were saying?
JENNIFER: Right. I was saying that this is Vern, a friend of the family's. Vern, Dr. Colin Murphy and his fiancée, um, Elizabeth.
VERN shakes both their hands.
VERN: Pleased to meet you. (EYEING COLIN SUSPICIOUSLY) New to Salem, I hear?
COLIN: Yes, yes that's so.
JACK enters, wearing an apron and carrying several dishes.
JACK: Dinner is---(BALANCING HIS WAY TO THE TABLE) served.
OUT on everyone watching JACK and smiling.
SCENE 11: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S LIVING ROOM
IT IS AWHILE LATER, THEY ARE ALL SITTING AT THE TABLE AND DINNER IS NEARLY FINISHED. BOTH JACK AND JENNIFER HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET INFORMATION OUT OF ELIZABETH TO NO AVAIL. JO, GRETA, AND VERN ARE LOST AT JENNIFER AND JACK'S "CONCERN" FOR ELIZABETH AND ABBY IS JUST ENJOYING HER DINNER.
JENNIFER: (TO ELIZABETH) So, did you enjoy your eggplant, Elizabeth?
ELIZABETH: When I can eat it. Really, you've been bombarding me with questions since I sat down.
JENNIFER is taken back. JACK jumps in.
JACK: (THROWING JENNIFER A LOOK) Well, we're sorry...we just...we just want to make our company feel at home. (BEAT) So, do you eat a lot of eggplant where you're from?
COLIN: Really, Jack, are you all right? You look a tad bit nervous.
JACK: Who me? I'm fine.
A few seconds of silence pass.
JENNIFER: So, do you eat a lot of eggplant where you're from?
ELIZABETH: (PLACING HER GLASS DOWN HARD) Whenever the cook makes it.
JACK: The cook? (THROWING JENNIFER A LOOK) So that means you were wealthy.
ELIZABETH: Yes. And?
COLIN: (TRYING TO SMOOTH OVER THE SITUATION) Elizabeth comes from old money. I like to refer to her as my little African princess. (HE KISSES HER CHEEK)
JACK: (NEARLY SPITTING OUT HIS WINE IN SHOCK) Your African princess? Well, whaddya know?
Under the table, ELIZABETH places her foot in JACK'S lap. Above the table, JACK'S eyes widen in shock and fear.
ELIZABETH: (SMILING KNOWINGLY AT JACK) Yes. African Princess. Isn't that endearing?
JACK: Quite. (GETTING UP. NERVOUS.) Care for dessert? Anyone?
GRETA: Jack, you're not through yet.
JACK: (LOOKING AT ELIZABETH) Yes I am. (RUNNING INTO THE KITCHEN)
GRETA: (LOST) Okay. You know, I don't think I can do dessert. Jennifer, I really appreciate you having me to dinner. It was wonderful. (GETTING UP)
COLIN and ELIZABETH go to get up as well as VERN and JO look on with curiosity.
COLIN: We should be off as well.
JENNIFER: (WONDERING WHAT'S GOING ON WITH JACK) But dessert-
ELIZABETH: That's quite all right. I've had my fill of food and conversation for one night.
OUT on JENNIFER'S shock.
SCENE 11: INT. JACK AND JENNIFER'S KITCHEN
IN on JACK, who is standing in front of the sink, looking out the window, and gulping down a glass of wine.
JENNIFER: Jack, are you okay?
JACK: (TURNING AROUND SURPRISED) I'm fine.
JENNIFER: Everyone, well, everyone but Jo and Vern left. They're in the living room watching "Cinderella" with Abby.
JACK: (SHORT) That's nice.
JENNIFER: (TRYING TO READ HIS FACE) Jack, Elizabeth, is she-
JACK: (LYING) Forget what I said. She's not anyone I know.
JENNIFER: But you said-
JACK: (TURNING AWAY) I know what I said and I was...I was wrong.
JENNIFER: And that African Princess comment?
JACK: Just a coincidence. Hey, I mean, I'm sure there are all kinds of (TURNING TOWARDS HER) people out there who use the same nicknames. Fancy faces, Sweetnesses, Miss Hortons, there's probably tons of people out there using them.
JENNIFER: (CONCERNED) Jack, why won't you just tell me?
JACK: (WANTING TO KEEP HER OUT OF TROUBLE) Because, because..there's nothing to tell...really there isn't. Trust me.
JACK: Look, if it was anything important, I'd tell you. We have enough on our plates as it is. I'm kind of relieved it was nothing.
JACK: Jennifer. (PUTTING HIS HAND ON HER SHOULDER. LYING IS KILLING HIM) It was nothing.
JENNIFER: (NODDING) Okay, if you say so. (SHE READS HIS FACE FOR A MOMENT) You'd-
JACK: I'd tell you. Now why don't you go upstairs and draw yourself a nice bath, chock full of-
JENNIFER: Of bubbles. (TEARING UP. SHE KNOWS HE IS COVERING) Okay. (STARTING UP THE STAIRS AND THEN TURNING AROUND) Jack, I love you.
JACK: I know. And I, you know.
THEY lock eyes for a moment. JENNIFER nods and moves up the stairs. When JACK is sure she is gone, he opens a drawer and looks furiously through an address book and then dials a number.
JACK: (INTO THE PHONE) Don't...don't you hang up on me. (BEAT) Yes, yes it is. (BEAT) Yes, I know what time it is there. (BEAT) We have to talk. Somebody showed up where they weren't supposed to.
OUT on JENNIFER, at the top of the staircase hearing the whole thing. SHE is concerned beyond belief.
END OF EPISODE 42
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