BOSTON LEGAL: STILL ON TOP

(PART TWO OF A PROPOSED 5-STORY ARC)

BY ARI SHORE

BOSTON LEGAL:

STILL ON TOP

CAST LIST:

REGULAR CAST:

ALAN SHORE...JAMES SPADER

DENNY CRANE...WILLIAM SHATNER

SHIRLEY SCHMIDT...CANDACE BERGEN

JERRY ESPENSON...CHRISTIAN CLEMENSON

GUEST CAST:

PAUL LEWISTON...RENE AUBERJONOIS

BRAD CHASE...MARK VALLEY

DENISE BAUER...JULIE BOWEN

GRACIE JANE...JILL BRENNAN

JUDGE HARVEY COOPER...ANTHONY HEALD

ARIANA SHORE...O.C..played by this writer, I WISH!

CAROLE...O.C..carryover from first story

ANNE JOHNSON

DOCTOR SCHWEIBER

YOUNG MAN

BAILIFF

JURY

NEWS REPORTERS

CAMERAMEN

PHOTOGRAPHERS

NOTE: This is a sequel to Dr. Doom & Gloom but

is also a complete story in and of itself. It takes

place directly after the first story, which places it

just at the beginning of Season 4.

BOSTON LEGAL:

STILL ON TOP

(PART TWO OF A PROPOSED 5-STORY ARC)

BY ARI SHORE

FADE IN:

EXTERIOR-DENNY'S BALCONY-EVENING

DENNY and ALAN are sitting on the balcony, smoking and sipping scotch.

DENNY

You know you scare me when you think too much, Alan. Bad habit, that's what it is.

ALAN

Sorry.

DENNY

So, where to tonight?

ALAN

Wherever the night takes us – later. I'll let you know when I've decided.

DENNY

Fair enough.

ALAN

Indeed...

They sit in silence, enjoying the moment.

CLOSE ON ALAN

The scene fades to black and white, with white fog around the edges as we -

FADE TO:

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-MORNING

SUPER-10 MONTHS AGO (superimposed at bottom of screen)

The scene begins in black and white, with white fog around the edges. As the scene progresses, it begins to colorize and the fog slowly clears. Denny is seated at his desk, Alan enters and does a double take when he sees ARI perched on the corner of Denny's desk. She is leaning in towards Denny, very close to him, and Denny is laughing. They don't immediately see Alan.

ALAN

What the hell is she doing here?

Denny and Ari turn and raise their eyebrows at Alan.

DENNY

Aw, don't be mad.

ARI

I was looking for you, actually.

ALAN

Well, you've found me. Why aren't you in Costa Rica?

ARI

When the hell did you start caring what I do?

ALAN

Save it, I'm not in the mood.

Denny is looking back and forth, from Alan to Ari, as they are speaking, looking rather like a spectator at a tennis match. He mouths, "it's that time" to Ari in an aside, after Alan says, "in the mood". Ari nods as Alan frowns at them both.

ARI

I told you, I'll do whatever it takes for Doctor Schweiber -

ALAN

(interrupting)

- to win. Yeah, I know. But do you really think it's wise to be back in Boston, what with...you know?

ARI

No, I don't know.

ALAN

Those banks...

ARI

What banks?

ALAN

Oh, come on. You know what I mean.

ARI

Actually, I don't.

Alan just stares at her like he thinks she is lying. She stares back, unflinchingly, then continues speaking.

ARI

(continuing)

Look, would you just spit it out already?

ALAN

(looking away from Ari)

There was a string of banks that were robbed, two months ago, and it started right when you got out of jail. So you

might want to...um...you know...

ARI

You've got to be kidding! You actually though I did that? Geez, Bro! Thanks a lot! God...gimme a little credit here!

Do you really think I have to walk into a bank to rob it now? I got some really tremendous computer skills while I was...

inside. Thank God for white collar crime! Need it hacked?

(holds up her hands, interlocked,

and audibly cracks her fingers)

I'm your gal...

CLOSE ON ALAN

FADE TO:

OPENING CREDITS

FADE TO:

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-MORNING

Alan, Denny, and Ari are continuing their conversation.

ARI

Don't worry about me, Alan. I got all my bases covered! I have offshore accounts

with so many shell corporations set up around them, it'd take you two lifetimes

to cut through all the red tape to find out who really owns what. Even then,

well over half the members of my boards of directors are long deceased. I'm very

well insulated, man...totally and completely untouchable...they'll never

catch me at anything ever again! No way are they ever gonna lock me up again,

pal. Once was too much, for me! As far as the authorities are concerned, I'm

just another semi - legitimate international businesswoman now...

ALAN

(dryly)

Do tell.

ARI

Just let me know if you'd like me to set up a few accounts for you. Save

you a bundle on taxes!

DENNY

He's a Democrat – they don't care about tax loopholes. Or the NRA. Or money.

But I, on the other hand, am always -

ALAN

(cutting Denny off)

Don't encourage her! Ari, if only you'd have applied half your energy and half of

your talents to something worthwhile, you could really have been something.

Alan leaves. Ari looks at Denny.

ARI

What kind of bug crawled up his butt?

Denny shrugs.

INTERIOR-PAUL'S OFFICE-MORNING

PAUL and CAROLE are sitting at Paul's coffee table, talking,

Paul in the stuffed chair and Carole on the sofa.

PAUL

So, are you busy tonight?

CAROLE

We did our catching up those last three times we went to dinner.

PAUL

I know. So, let's not catch up at dinner...tonight? I am asking you for a date.

CAROLE

Oh, Paul, I...

PAUL

I refuse to believe that what happened those 8 years ago was just a "moment".

What I feel for you is most assuredly and entirely real. I felt it then, and I

feel it just as strongly now. I know it seems a bit sudden, and unexpected, but

for the first time since Olivia died, I feel truly happy. With you, Carole.

CAROLE

I don't want to hurt you, Paul.

PAUL

Nor I, you. Can we just try? Please?

CAROLE

(searching Paul's face)

I...well, I guess we are both adults.

PAUL

This is true...

CAROLE

Maybe we can handle it.

PAUL

I believe so.

CAROLE

Well, then...

PAUL

Well, then...

Paul gets to his feet, draws Carole gently up off the sofa by her hand, pulls her to him, and they kiss. Paul pulls back and gazes into her eyes.

PAUL

To tonight?

CAROLE

Tonight...

Paul smiles at her and she smiles back.

INTERIOR-SHIRLEY'S OFFICE-MORNING

SHIRLEY is on the phone, her back to the door, straightening up her desk.

SHIRLEY

(into phone)

He doesn't suspect a thing...

Alan, who is walking past, catches this and hovers just outside Shirley's door, listening. Shirley doesn't see him.

SHIRLEY

(into phone)

No, Carl, I'm telling you, Denny will not be a problem...No, he thinks he's

researching Schweiber. That'll keep him busy for awhile...You've already got the

opening and closing, and Carole is here. She's finished interviewing the rest of

the plaintiffs...Trust me - it'll work. Denny can just occupy a chair. Even he

can't mess that up. At least, I don't think he can...

Shirley straightens up and starts to turn towards the door, so Alan hurries away.

CLOSE ON ALAN

There is an unmistakable look of hurt on his face.

CUT TO:

ACT II

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-MORNING

Alan is walking down the hallway and runs into JERRY.

JERRY

What's the matter, Alan?

ALAN

I don't feel well...

JERRY

We can talk, if you'd like. You look like you could use a friend.

ALAN

You know, that might be a good thing, thank you.

Alan allows Jerry to lead him to his office, and we -

FOLLOW JERRY AND ALAN TO -

INTERIOR-JERRY'S OFFICE-MORNING

Alan takes a seat on Jerry's sofa, and Jerry perches on the edge of his desk.

ALAN

Jerry, I just found out that a friend of mine is being betrayed by the love of his life.

Or, by one of them, anyway...

JERRY

Wow. Makes me wish I had a balcony.

Alan nods and shrugs.

JERRY

I don't have much experience with women...at least, not real women.

ALAN

(sighing)

Maybe I shouldn't be bothering you with this, Jerry.

JERRY

Nonsense, Alan, we're friends. I just wish I knew what to say to you.

ALAN

I have to find a way to tell this friend what's really going on. And without hurting him.

JERRY

I don't envy you in that. Want to help me feed Linda?

ALAN

You brought her here?

JERRY

I was anticipating longer working hours. You know, being in court, with the jury

out...I was afraid I'd be late getting home. Fat chance of that, huh?

ALAN

You're a fine lawyer, Jerry. One of the best I know. The cases will come, I'm

certain of it.

JERRY

Here you are, trying to make me feel better, when I was supposed to be trying

to make you feel better. You're a great friend, Alan.

ALAN

You too, Jerry.

Ari pokes her head into the doorway.

ARI

There you are, I've been looking for you. We need to talk.

Alan gets up, starts out.

ALAN

(turning back to Jerry)

Sorry, Jerry. It looks like you'll have to feed Linda without me.

Alan walks out to -

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-MORNING

As Alan and Ari start down the hallway, we -

FOLLOW ALAN AND ARI

ARI

Who was that?

ALAN

Jerry Espinson.

ARI

Who's Linda?

ALAN

His pet gecko.

Ari stops short, nearly causing Alan to run into her.

ALAN

What's the matter with you?

Ari begins to rummage around in her pockets.

ARI

Oh, crap. I must've dropped it. Tell you what – I'll meet you back in your

office. I'm going to backtrack and see if I can find it...

Alan looks at her quizzically, shrugs, and moves on down the hallway as Ari turns back towards Jerry's office.

INTERIOR-JERRY'S OFFICE-MORNING

Jerry is standing up at his coffee table, and there is a small glass fishbowl on the table, with a gecko in it. Jerry is about to take the gecko out as Ari enters, and Jerry turns to look at her in surprise.

ARI

078 34-903.

Jerry's mouth falls open.

ARI

So you really are Lawgiver 360, aren't you? I was inmate number 078 34-903. Judgmentday, to you.

JERRY

(in shock)

You...got out...

ARI

Yeah, about two and a half months ago. I wanted to tell you, but I was afraid you'd stop emailing me if you knew.

Jerry begins a very quick pacing, hands firmly glued to his thighs. When he begins to speak, his speech is punctuated with many purrs and head jerkings.

JERRY

No – no – it can't be! You can't be here! No. No contact...

Ari attempts to break through Jerry's panicked ramblings.

ARI

(overlapping)

Jerry – Jerry – it's okay!

JERRY

(overlapping)

No face-to-face...not possible. Just socialization practice through emails. Can't be here...shouldn't be here...

ARI

(overlapping)

I'm just as surprised as you are! I didn't expect to meet you. JERRY!

Ari's shout has caused Jerry to pause his pacing. She grabs the moment.

ARI

Look, I had no idea you'd be here. I don't mean to make you uncomfortable,

it's just - well, the whole time I was in I only had one visitor, so I always truly

looked forward to your emails. They were all I had, Jerry. I swear it never even

occurred to me that you could be here in Boston. I mean, I could tell from your

knowledge of the law that you must be a lawyer, yeah, and a damned fine one, too.

Thinking about it, it doesn't surprise me you're in the best law firm in Boston.

Jerry smiles and lowers his head, calmed.

ARI

Don't tell me that the Al you emailed me about was my brother.

Jerry nods shyly, his head still lowered.

ARI

Wow. Are you sure? I mean, he never wrote or visited me the whole time I was

...away. In fact, up until about two months ago, I hadn't seen him for nearly 26 years.

JERRY

(shyly)

Well, he never mentioned having a sister to me, either.

ARI

That's Alan for ya. Well, after a year and a half of emails, it's great to finally meet you, Jerry. My name is Ari.

JERRY

Are you a lawyer, too? Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot. Of course, you can't pass the bar with a ...

Jerry stops and a look of embarrassed horror crosses his face.

ARI

A prison record? I know, Jerry. But, fortunately for me, there was a, uh, computer...glitch. It seems that I

don't actually have a record. Isn't that funny?

Jerry nods, smiles shyly, and bows his head.

ARI

So, don't count me out yet. Well, anyway, let me tell you – it's a

wonderful coincidence, us both being right here, right now.

Jerry smiles and nods. Ari begins walking around the office, speaking in her best courtroom manner.

ARI

I feel privileged to be able to say I've actually met someone who shares my

reverence and awe of that soul-shakingly delicious mix of sheer beauty and

delicate intricacy, solidly back boned with strong yet simplistic logic,

succinctly and subtly laced with a tantalizing nuance of language and rich

detail, that truly is our American judicial system.

As Ari is speaking, Jerry has been punctuating her speech with erotically-charged "oh"s and "ah"s, as though they are having verbal sex with each other. By the time she finishes, Jerry has perched himself on the edge of his desk, reached into the pocket of his jacket, and pulled out a cigarette case. Jerry then takes a wooden cigarette out of the case, puts it in his mouth, leans back, and sighs very deeply, staring off into space, with a look of bliss on his face, as though he has just had great sex.

JERRY

Ahhh, yeah...

ARI

It's great to share that with someone who just happens to be quite a formidable and intelligent ally and friend...

Ari pointedly looks straight at Jerry.

ARI

(continuing)

...someone whose trust I would never...ever...betray...

Jerry lowers his head and smiles shyly.

JERRY

I understand.

ARI

You always did.

JERRY

You, too.

Jerry raises his head, and almost manages to look Ari in her eye before lowering his head again. Ari smiles at him.

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-MORNING

Denny is seated at his desk, Alan is standing in front of him.

ALAN

Steer clear of my sister, Denny. She's trouble.

DENNY

But she's your sister.

ALAN

Exactly my point. She's got to be messed up because, Lord knows, I am.

DENNY

Do you really believe that?

ALAN

Most certainly. And there's something about her you don't know.

DENNY

What's that?

ALAN

Never mind. She's just a mess.

DENNY

In what way?

ALAN

What are you suddenly, Doctor Phil? She's just...messed up. I don't want to

get into it, so drop it. Just don't get involved. Trust me on that.

DENNY

Actually, I think I look more like Oprah. Or Vanessa Williams...yeah...

ALAN

You always were the looker.

DENNY

Don't tell me she's scared of clowns, or has night terrors, or -

ALAN

(cutting him off)

Don't ask!

DENNY

Oh, are we doing the "don't ask, don't tell" thing now?

Denny gets up and leaves his office, offended. Alan goes after him, and we -

FOLLOW DENNY AND ALAN

as they go out into -

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-MORNING

ALAN

Denny? Denny? Just wait a minute!

Denny stops, with his back to Alan.

ALAN

I'm...back on the case. The Schweiber case. Let's do it, Denny.

Denny wheels around to face Alan.

DENNY

(snapping angrily)

You're just trying to humor me! You don't think I can handle it, do you?

ALAN

It's not that, Denny, believe me. I...

Alan leads Denny back to -

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-MORNING

Alan and Denny enter, and Alan closes Denny's door. Denny takes a seat behind the desk and Alan pulls up a chair.

DENNY

What is this, Alan?

ALAN

Please, don't ask me -

DENNY

(cutting him off)

Are we back to that again?

ALAN

(exasperated)

Look, Denny, you're my friend and I don't want to see you hurt.

DENNY

Then level with me.

Alan takes a deep breath, stands up, and begins to pace as he gathers his thoughts. He comes over to Denny's desk, stops deliberately in front of Denny, and looks him in the eye.

ALAN

Denny, it's not you, it's...them.

DENNY

That's what they all say! Which "them"?

ALAN

Who are the usual suspects?

DENNY

I'm the one with the mad cow – you tell me! And before I die of old age, please!

ALAN

Denny, I...overheard Shirley. She and Paul are feeding you a bunch of baloney.

They plan to hijack the Schweiber case, take it over, and -

DENNY

(interrupting)

- leave me sitting there, looking like a schmuck.

ALAN

(turning to face Denny)

I'm truly sorry, Denny. I didn't want to have to tell you that.

Alan sighs deeply and sits down on the sofa while Denny digests the news. As it sinks in, Denny's face becomes nearly a mask of rage.

DENNY

(furiously)

They think I'm a damned old fool! I can't believe Shirley would stab me in my back like that!

After all we were to each other! Now, Paul, I can -

ALAN

(interrupting)

Denny, I'm sure -

DENNY

(cutting him off)

Alan, shut up, I gotta think about this.

Denny, nearly unable to contain his rage, springs up and begins pacing. Alan watches him volley around.

DENNY

I can't fire Shirley. How about Paul? I'm sure I can find something to hang on

him, break up their alliance against me. Or – even better! I'm going to pull

myself off this damned case and let them flounder around without Denny Crane to

back them! They'll beg me to come back on board, salvage their damned precious reputations!

ALAN

Denny, you're being hasty.

DENNY

You're right...a sneak attack? Let's see...uh...Alan? Any ideas? Mad cow.

ALAN

Well, we could...uh...

DENNY

(wheeling around to Alan)

We could hijack the case away from those hijackers? Sabotage them!

ALAN

All for one?

DENNY

Two for one, my friend, two for one.

ALAN

You got it.

DENNY

Being a lawyer can be a hell of a dirty job.

ALAN

Indeed.

DENNY

This will take a little planning, my dear Alan.

ALAN

It will.

DENNY

Powwow time?

ALAN

Powwow time.

Denny pours a drink, hands it to Alan, and pours one for himself. Denny indicates his cigars.

DENNY

War pipe?

ALAN

Of course.

DENNY

It's moments like this that I wish I had a sauna here. Best place to think, besides on the can...

They exit to the balcony.

CUT TO:

ACT III

INTERIOR-PAUL'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Paul and Carole are sitting on Paul's sofa, talking.

PAUL

Have I mentioned how much these past two months have meant to me, seeing you once

again? I am really happy our paths have crossed.

CAROLE

It's meant a lot to me, too, more than I realized.

PAUL

I'm glad we're in agreement.

CAROLE

Paul, I'm not exactly agreeing with you. In fact, after thinking about it, I'm

starting to see that it might not be such a good idea for us to get any more...

involved than we already are. After all, it's going to end soon, perhaps in a

matter of a few short weeks, whenever the trial ends. Then I'll be going back to

New York. And you'll be here in Boston.

PAUL

Must you leave?

CAROLE

My life is there now.

PAUL

Can't you stay?

CAROLE

And do what? Give up my job? That's why Bob and I didn't work. Whatever I did,

he would subtly...sabotage it. He tried to sublimate me.

PAUL

That must have been awful! You know I would never do that to you, don't you?

CAROLE

Intentionally, no...but we both know there would have to be compromises made.

And Paul, dear as you are to me, and believe me – you are quite dear – I

simply cannot make them. I'm sorry.

Carole rises and leaves. Paul watches, then bows his head.

He doesn't notice Shirley entering.

SHIRLEY

So, case going well?

PAUL

(starting slightly)

Oh...hello, Shirley. I believe so. Carole always was a competent and capable

attorney; I'm sure she has it all under control.

SHIRLEY

I'm sure your right about that part of it, I'm not worried about her end of

things - it's Denny. Suppose he gets wise or something?

PAUL

We are talking about Denny...

SHIRLEY

I guess you're right. He'll never know what hit him. Thanks, Paul.

PAUL

For what?

SHIRLEY

For being the voice of reason, as always. I count on you, Paul.

Shirley leaves Paul brooding in his thoughts.

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-AFTERNOON

Alan and Denny are discussing their plan.

ALAN

It's done.

DENNY

So, when is it?

ALAN

I got the trial pushed up, it's on for tomorrow morning. We'll just have to

take the jury blind, no eliminations.

DENNY

Great! Even flying by the seat of our pants, I'm sure Paul and Shirley will

never know what hit 'em! Good thing you're so...popular with the judges. You

must have pulled some favor.

ALAN

Let's just say something got pulled. Are you absolutely sure this is wise, Denny?

DENNY

Perfectly!

ALAN

I hope so.

DENNY

I know so! Denny Crane! Lock and load!

ALAN

So you're ready for trial, then?

DENNY

I will be.

ALAN

That's what I thought. Why don't I handle the opening?

DENNY

Great idea! We'll give Paul and Shirley a battle of wits that will show them just

how totally and completely unarmed they really are! We start small, building it

up, then when the jury is on the edge of their seats, in swoops Denny Crane to

grab them up in the palm of his hand, going in for the kill, completely blowing

them away! It's brilliant! Absolutely can't miss!

ALAN

Let's hope...

INTERIOR-DENISE'S OFFICE-LATE AFTERNOON

DENISE is standing beside her desk, sorting some papers, and

she is fairly heavily pregnant. There is a knock, and the door opens without a response from Denise. Brad enters.

Denise rolls her eyes at him.

BRAD

You really should give me half a chance, you know.

DENISE

Yeah, I did, and look what happened.

Denise indicates her abdomen.

BRAD

And you have never been lovelier.

Denise rolls her eyes again, plops herself down behind her desk, and pretends to be busy with a pen and a legal pad.

BRAD

I mean it. And I'm not going to stop until you're convinced.

DENISE

This kid will graduate college before that happens!

BRAD

Don't be so sure. And – in the spirit of being a responsible father, I have a bit of a surprise lined up.

Denise puts her pen down and regards him suspiciously.

DENISE

What kind of surprise?

BRAD

You'll know in November, with a bit of luck.

DENISE

November?

BRAD

Yeah. That's the only hint you'll get.

DENISE

That's a hint?

She picks her pen up again, and begins to write furiously.

DENISE

(snapping angrily)

It's not like I care anyway...

BRAD

You will.

DENISE

Don't hold your breath, Brad.

BRAD

I'm sure you'll come to my rescue with a bit of mouth-to-mouth if I do.

DENISE

Don't bet on it!

Brad chuckles and leaves. Denise chews on the end of her pen for a moment, then puts it down, leans way back in her

chair with her arms behind her head, and smiles to herself.

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-MORNING

Alan enters Denny's office to find Denny seated behind his desk, with about twenty handguns on his desk.

ALAN

Aren't you supposed to be getting ready to go to court?

DENNY

I am! Cleaning my weapons always relaxes me, gets me in the mood, you know? All...warm and powerful.

All...locked and loaded! That's something you Democrats will never understand.

ALAN

If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not try...

DENNY

That's what's wrong with you. Afraid of taking a stand for your rights, but yet you'll

stand up for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Or, Harriet. Why waste time? I say, when

in doubt, use your God-given right to bear arms, and just mow 'em all down!

Denny points the pistol he's cleaning at Alan, who pushes it away so that it's not pointing directly at him any more.

ALAN

Just so you don't mow me down in the process.

DENNY

I would never do that!

ALAN

On purpose, no...

DENNY

Alan...

ALAN

Plus, I doubt very much that God gave us the right to carry weapons just to blow

our neighbors away. Sounds more like a Republican, NRA-given right to me.

DENNY

Aw, there you go again!

ALAN

And you love me despite it. Let's get out of here...

DENNY

Let's blow the joint! Get ready, Gracie Jane, for -

ALAN

(interrupting)

- Denny Crane!

DENNY

And Alan Shore!

INTERIOR-COURTHOUSE HALLWAY-MORNING

The hallway is chock full of NEWS REPORTERS, CAMERAMEN, PHOTOGRAPHERS, literally a seething mass of media. Denny and Alan emerge from an elevator, and they are surrounded almost immediately.

ALAN

(muttering to Denny)

Let's hope Paul and Shirley don't decide to watch television.

DENNY

(muttering back)

You said it...

Reporters are all jumbled up, calling out questions, shoving microphones into Alan's and Denny's faces. Flash

bulbs are going off all over the place.

ALAN

No comment.

DENNY

(muttering)

Up yours, Gracie Jane.

ALAN

(poking Denny reproachfully)

Denny...

DENNY

(with false innocence)

What?

(muttering into microphones)

Denny Crane. Back in the saddle. Denny Crane. Locked, loaded, and stoked...

Alan leads Denny away, and we -

FOLLOW DENNY AND ALAN TO -

INTERIOR-COURTROOM-MORNING

After entering, Alan and Denny take up seats at the Plaintiff's table. The Defendant's table has only one man, and we later discover this is DOCTOR SCHWEIBER. Alan looks around, trying to find out who his attorney is.

ALAN

He's alone there. What's going on?

DENNY

Well, that's good, isn't it? This may be easier than we thought! Get a default judgment, unless he's his own attorney. Easy as...uh...

ALAN

Pie? Not necessarily.

DENNY

You could be right...You don't suppose he'll ask for an adjournment since his counsel isn't here, do you?

ALAN

I don't know.

DENNY

I hope not – I don't want to give Paul, Shirley, or Carole time to get wind of us pushing the case up.

ALAN

I'm with you on that. Wonder who his lawyer is, anyway?

DENNY

Who cares? We'll cream 'em! Never lost, never will, Denny Crane. Gee, look at all the cameras!

Gracie Jane, eat your heart out, you frigid bitch!

Alan pokes Denny.

DENNY

Ow! What the hell was that for?

Alan points up at the bench, where a BAILIFF is about to call the court to order.

BAILIFF

All rise for the Honorable Judge Cooper!

DENNY

Old Mad Cow? Geez!

Alan pokes Denny again, on his way up, as he stands. Denny, alone, remains seated. Everyone else in the courtroom is standing as JUDGE COOPER enters by the bench, takes his seat, then raps his gavel.

BAILIFF

All be seated!

Everyone then sits, including Alan.

COOPER

In the case of Johnson, Pierce, Crowley, et al versus Doctor Jonathan Schweiber, who do we have here?

Alan rises again. Denny does not.

ALAN

Alan Shore, from Crane, Poole, and Schmidt...

Alan pokes Denny, who shrugs from his seat.

ALAN

(continuing)

...attorney for Johnson, Pierce, Crowley, and so forth.

DENNY

(remaining seated)

And Denny Crane.

COOPER

You two again? This really isn't your day, is it?

Alan's and Denny's faces fall.

COOPER

(continuing)

And where is the attorney for the Defendant?

ARI

(O.S.)

Here, Your Honor!

Alan whirls around in horror as Ari makes her way towards the Defendant's table. She is dressed in a man's three piece dark suit, with leopard print material and a necktie with skulls on it when one looked closely.

ARI

Ariana Shore, attorney for the Defendant, reporting as requested, Your Honor.

Ari smiles sweetly at the judge.

CLOSE ON ALAN

CUT TO:

ACT IV

INTERIOR-COURTROOM-MORNING

Judge Cooper is looking at Ari and Alan, who are standing behind their respective tables, looking back.

COOPER

(bugging his eyes out)

Did you say Ariana Shore? Don't tell me there are two of you now!

ALAN

(hissing to Ari)

What the hell are you doing here?

ARI

(hissing to Alan)

What the hell did you do to him?

ALAN

(hissing back)

I have no idea.

DENNY

(hissing to Alan)

This was the best you could do for a judge in this thing?

Judge Cooper's eyes begin to bug out even more. Ari begins to quickly try to pacify him and score a few points while she is at it.

ARI

(to Cooper)

Sir, it is surely a most unfortunate coincidence that I happen to have the same last name as...this man...and it is

my most sincere wish that His Honor not add a penalty to me, in addition to the misery and misfortune already afforded me

due to this staggering albatross of an appellation which I am forced to carry, by discriminating against me for something which

I cannot, in fact, help.

DENNY

(poking Alan)

What the hell did she just say?

COOPER -

smiles nicely at -

ARI -

who smiles smugly at -

ALAN -

who grinds his teeth and sits down. Ari sits, as well.

ALAN

This is not going well.

DENNY

Do you think?

Alan looks at Ari, Ari looks at Alan. He raises his eyebrows at her and she raises hers back, then shrugs.

COOPER

Can we get on with this sometime today?

Ari gestures with her head towards the bench, so Alan gets up for first opening statement.

ALAN

Doctors take a certain oath before they begin to treat patients. This special, sacred oath is known as the Hippocratic

Oath. It says, in part, that the physician shall do no harm. We intend to show that this particular doctor -

(indicates Dr. Schweiber)

- did, in fact, do harm to his patients. He betrayed the sacred trust placed in him by convincing his patients to set

aside all accepted treatments of cancer and adhere solely to his treatment, which has not been proven to aid

consumers with any condition whatsoever, and it most certainly has not been proven to aid patients with such a

serious condition as cancer, in any way, shape, or form. It, in fact, has not been proven to do anything whatsoever.

It seems to be even less than a simple folk remedy, and, like some voo-doo spell hocus-pocus, seems to be more

similar to pure nonsense.

Ari starts to jump up but catches herself.

ALAN

As I said, totally non-proven in the treatment or cure of any illnesses or diseases, much less one as grave as

cancer. In betraying the trust of his patients, he has hastened the deaths of at least three patients whose cancers

were shrinking due to chemotherapy by convincing those patients to abandon the chemo that was clearly helping them

and, instead, undergo his witch-doctor-like treatments, which consist of little more than an herbal tea concoction.

Alan starts to sit down, and Denny pops up.

DENNY

We will show, quite simply, that this man is a hack.

Alan glares at Denny, who shrugs and sits down. Alan sits, and Ari rises.

ARI

I will admit, maybe Doctor Schweiber's techniques aren't quite what you'd call "conventional medicine" – yet.

But there was also a time when the American Indians were thought to be uncivilized and ignorant savages

whose worship of the spirit in all things, even the trees, was the cause of much persecution from the early

Christians. But when it was discovered that the tree bark god they were so respectful of actually prevented

many infections, we jumped right on the bandwagon and began using that same bark. We called it penicillin.

And that tree bark that we made penicillin out of became a major medical staple for many decades and, indeed,

is still sometimes used even today. And if all this is giving you a headache, take Hippocrates' willow bark - oh,

that's right. Many of you do take it in modern form. We call it aspirin.

Doctor Schweiber has merely proposed the next bold, new penicillin-like aspirin for cancer. Another step in modern

medical treatment. After all, tomorrow's standard treatments have their roots in today's miracles. No one knows this

better than I do. You see, I, myself, was treated by Doctor Schweiber – solely by Doctor Schweiber, may I add – and

my cancer was totally cured. Yes – I said cured, not merely shrunken, or "remissed". Cured, as in totally gone,

and practically overnight. Just like a bad dream that never even existed at all.

After a shocked silence, there are many, many loud gasps throughout the courtroom, from the jury to the spectators and media, and a rising volume of people commenting to each other on her bold statement as Ari reclaims her seat.

DENNY

(muttering to Alan)

She's killing you.

ALAN

Me?

DENNY

You went first, that makes you first chair. I never lost, never will. Denny Crane!

ALAN

(very bitingly)

Thanks a bunch.

The hubbub of murmurs in the courtroom has become very loud. Cooper begins beating his gavel, repeatedly.

COOPER

All quiet! Or those cameras are going out of here! In fact, everyone not directly involved in this case will be ejected!

DENNY

Look at his eyes!

INTERIOR-SHIRLEY'S OFFICE-MORNING

Shirley is at her desk when Paul comes rushing madly in.

PAUL

Quickly, turn on the television!

SHIRLEY

What the -

Paul grabs her remote control off the desk and turns it on himself. We see -

ONSCREEN -

a news feed, with a blond woman speaking. Under her is the caption GRACIE JANE.

GRACIE

It was like a circus down here, as you can see. What initially looked to me a lot like an old-fashioned lynching

of an innovative medical professional has taken a decided turn of events.

A snippet of Ari is shown, close up.

ARI

Tomorrow's standard treatments have their roots in today's miracles.

The camera pulls back to show Denny and Alan sitting at the Plaintiff's table. Denny looks as if he's sleeping.

SHIRLEY

(O.S.)

Oh, good Lord!

RESUME SCENE

PAUL

(snapping tv off)

Precisely.

SHIRLEY

Someone had better get down there and back Alan, since Denny can't. God, what were they thinking?

PAUL

I'm on it. I'll try to round up Carole.

Paul dashes out, leaving Shirley shaking her head in horror over Denny's and Alan's antics.

INTERIOR-CP&S LAW LIBRARY-MORNING

Brad has cornered Denise, who is carrying a few books around and hunting for more. Brad tries to take the books away from her, to carry them for her, and Denise gives him a look that could peel paint off a wall.

BRAD

I'm not going to give up on us, you know.

DENISE

There is no "us", Brad, there never was.

BRAD

I am not giving up, I'm going to grow on you and that's a promise.

DENISE

(rolling her eyes)

Yeah, like a fungus...

BRAD

Don't worry – no matter what you say, you can't make me mad. I know it's just the hormones talking.

Denise throws down the books she was holding and stomps away, leaving Brad staring after her, open-mouthed. Paul comes tearing in.

PAUL

Have you seen Carole?

BRAD

No. Where's the fire, Paul?

PAUL

No time - Denny's done it again.

BRAD

(casting his eyes skywards)

Oh, spiffy!

Brad sprints after Paul.

INTERIOR-COURTROOM-MORNING

Alan is standing up behind the Defendant's table, and Denny is seated behind it, looking like he's sleeping.

ALAN

Your Honor, for the Plaintiffs, I call our first witness, Mrs. Anne Johnson, to the stand. She is the widow of Carl

Johnson, who was a patient of Doctor Schweiber's.

Alan indicates the spectator area, where ANNE JOHNSON, a woman in her early fifties, gets up and enters the trial area, continuing to the bench. Alan follows her up to the judge. After Anne gets up on the stand, Judge Cooper raises his right hand and Anne does the same.

COOPER

Do you swear to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

ANNE

I do.

COOPER

Be seated.

Anne sits down and Alan looks at her for a moment.

ALAN

Mrs. Johnson, did your late husband begin seeing Dr. Schweiber for treatment for his cancer?

ANNE

He did.

ALAN

Was this the only treatment he sought?

ANNE

No, it wasn't.

ALAN

Who else did your husband turn to for his cancer treatment?

ANNE

Well, he began with our family doctor. You see, Carl's lung cancer was found

during his yearly physical, in a chest X-ray, so our doctor referred Carl to a

cancer specialist.

ALAN

And did your husband go to this cancer specialist?

ANNE

He did. And after a battery of tests and biopsies, the specialist recommended

chemotherapy, which my husband began immediately.

ALAN

What was the result?

ANNE

The cancer very quickly began shrinking. Then, Carl heard about Dr. Schweiber. He

stopped taking the chemo, saying that he didn't like the side effects, and started

with Dr. Schweiber's treatments, with very disastrous results.

ARI

(jumping up)

Objection!

COOPER
I'll allow it. Go on, Mrs. Johnson.

ALAN

(nodding thanks to Cooper)

Disastrous in what way?

ANNE

A week later, the cancer had doubled in size and was growing even faster. Carl died two months later.

ALAN

Mrs. Johnson -

Alan is cut off by a very loud THUMP, coming from behind him. He immediately whirls around.

ALAN'S P.O.V. -

Dr. Schweiber is on the floor, and Ari is staring at the doctor in shock.

RESUME SHOT -

Alan rushes to him, as Denny hasn't moved to help, bends down and feels Dr. Schweiber's neck.

ALAN

(quietly)

He's dead.

Amidst many loud exclamations, Denny perks up.

DENNY

Hey – do you realize what this means, Alan? My record is intact! Never lost, never will! Denny Crane – still on top!

Cooper is at the bench, banging away with the gavel like a man possessed, and Alan just stares at Denny as Denny smiles.

CUT TO:

ACT V

INTERIOR-PAUL'S OFFICE-LATE AFTERNOON

Paul is seated behind his desk, staring at his telephone, in deep thought. He sighs deeply, picks it up, dials.

PAUL

(into phone)

Hello, Carl? Paul Lewiston. I was doing a bit of thinking, and I got to wondering if maybe you had room for

another partner...Well, I suppose he is a competent lawyer. At least he was the last time he was in a courtroom.

He really doesn't actually practice law much anymore. That's part of the problem...Okay, take a little time, think

about it...I understand. May I tell him there may be a place for him in our New York office, then?...All right. I really

appreciate it, Carl...

INTERIOR-ALAN'S OFFICE-LATE AFTERNOON

Alan, Ari, and Denny are gathered.

ARI

A heart attack! I can't believe it.

ALAN

The coroner's report isn't in yet, but you're probably right.

ARI

And just when I was winning! My first case, and you go and kill my client!

DENNY

(butting in)

Winning? Oh, dream on! I've never lost a case, never will! Denny Crane!

Denny leaves Alan and Ari standing, facing each other.

ALAN

You can hardly say you were winning. The case hadn't even really begun.

ARI

Oh, admit it – I had a much stronger opening than you did! I know I would

have won. The jury, the press...they were all with me. You know I had it!

ALAN

That's debatable, and I most certainly do not intend to stand here and debate it

with you, that's for sure.

ARI

You always were a sore loser, Al.

ALAN

Yeah, we may just see about that. My clients can still sue Schweiber's estate, you know.

ARI

Fat chance of them getting their money's worth out of a dead man.

ALAN

(sighing)

You're probably right, but don't quote me on it. I still have to see what they want to do next.

ARI

Naturally...

ALAN

I do resent you trying to get next to Denny just to win this case.

ARI

What the hell else could I do? I mean, it wasn't like I could sleep with you to win...

Alan and Ari stare at each other for a few moments, then Alan turns and looks out the window for a moment as Ari stares on. He turns back to her.

ALAN

Still, I have to admit, you were pretty good up there.

ARI

So were you. And who knows? Next time you might actually beat me.

ALAN

I just might, at that. In case I don't see you again...

Alan hesitantly reaches out to Ari and draws her in, giving her an awkward hug. Ari hugs back just as awkwardly, briefly, then pulls back slightly from him.

ARI

Of course you'll see me! Don't worry.

(backs away from him)

I doubt we'll do lunch, though. Too many things I want to talk about that you don't – or won't.

ALAN

Sleeping dogs lie?

ARI

Something like that. I won't hide from the past...

ALAN

And I won't wallow in it...

ARI

So we'll agree to disagree, Bro?

ALAN

Appears so.

Paul and Shirley enter.

ARI

Why do I get the feeling some sort of boom is about to be lowered? Why don't I

go...lose myself? Keep me posted on the coroner's report, will ya, Al?

ALAN

Sure thing.

Ari leaves as Shirley and Paul install themselves on Alan's sofa and motion for him to take the stuffed chair.

PAUL

What the hell were you and Denny thinking?

ALAN

I was handling it, Paul! The absolutely sterling and most holy reputation of your

precious firm remain solidly intact and totally unsullied.

SHIRLEY

Yeah – this time! Why can't you see the enormous liability Denny's...mad cow...poses to this firm?

ALAN

And why can't you see that Denny still has something to contribute to this firm?

PAUL

(dryly)

Besides his name being "first on the door", you mean?

SHIRLEY

Look, Alan, I know you're Denny's friend– his best friend – and this must be exceptionally hard for you -

ALAN

(cutting her off)

And it is entirely too easy for you two, it appears. I would have thought better of at least you, Shirley!

Alan stalks out of his office, leaving Paul and Shirley open-mouthed.

SHIRLEY

We have to fix this.

PAUL

No – you have to fix this.

Shirley stares at Paul in complete shock.

SHIRLEY

Paul?

PAUL

No, I mean it, Shirley, I'm out. I have decided to transfer to the New York

office. In fact, I have just telephoned Carl to make the necessary arrangements.

Paul gets up and leaves Shirley sitting by herself, floored.

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-LATE AFTERNOON

Ari is in the hallway, and observes a YOUNG MAN walking towards Brad's office. She looks him up and down, watches him go in, then takes up a post where she can observe Brad's office, waiting for him to come out again.

INTERIOR-DENNY'S OFFICE-LATE AFTERNOON

Alan is sitting on Denny's sofa, and Denny is pouring him a drink.

DENNY

Congratulations are in order, my friend! We did it!

ALAN

We didn't exactly win, Denny.

DENNY

But we didn't lose! That's still a win in my book.

ALAN

Would we have truly won?

DENNY

Aw, there you go again, with that old party-pooping Democrat thing you do!

(brings Alan his drink)

Why can't you just be happy, and not always ruin it by thinking? Besides, do

you really need to ask? We make a great team!

Denny raises a toast, and Alan clinks glasses with him before taking a sip. Denny sits down in the stuffed chair.

ALAN

My sister was pretty good up there.

DENNY

Yes, she was. I can see now why you became a lawyer. It must be in your

blood, just like it's in mine.

ALAN

Yeah -

Alan is cut off by his cell phone ringing. He takes it out and answers it.

ALAN

(into phone)

Hello? Alan Shore...Are you sure?...And there's no mistake?...Okay, thanks for calling me.

Alan closes the phone, puts it back in his pocket.

ALAN

Denny, you won't believe this. According to the coroner, Dr. Schweiber died of...cancer.

DENNY

Still think we lost?

Alan gets up, starts towards the door.

DENNY

Hey! Where you going?

ALAN

(turning to Denny)

To find Ari.

Alan leaves.

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-LATE AFTERNOON

Ari sees the young man come out of Brad's office. She goes over to him.

ARI

Are you a client?

YOUNG MAN

No, they really can't help me.

ARI

Maybe I could give you a hand?

Ari gestures, and the young man follows her. We -

FOLLOW ARI AND THE YOUNG MAN -

as Ari leads him down the hallway to the men's room.

ARI

I'll give you a hand...like this!

Ari drags him into the men's room by his hand.

CUT TO:

ACT VI

INTERIOR-PAUL'S OFFICE-EARLY EVENING

Paul is on the telephone.

PAUL

I was very serious, Carole. I can't just stand by and let you go out of my life

again...Yes, I know your life is in New York. And with any luck, mine will be

soon, too...Of course I'll say it again. I will say it as many times as you need

me to. I plan on transferring to New York, if you'll have me...Then we can try

to make a life together?...Of course I'm sure. All I want is you, whatever the

cost...I love you, Carole. Of this, I am certain...It's still not too late to make

that dinner date you accepted yesterday, you know...

INTERIOR-CP&S HALLWAY-EARLY EVENING

Alan is walking around, looking for Ari. He sees the young man come out of the men's room, but thinks nothing of it, until he sees Ari emerge a few seconds later. He approaches her, coming up behind her so she doesn't immediately see him.

ALAN

Not again!

Ari turns and sees Alan looking at her.

ARI

Oh, Alan...uh, I thought that was the women's room. I must be more tired than I thought.

ALAN

(grabbing her arm)

Hold it! That's twice I've seen you doing...this. What the hell is your problem?

ARI

(struggling in his grasp)

What's yours?

ALAN

You, it seems. What the hell are you trying to pull?

ARI

Don't tell me you wouldn't like to get laid by some young hottie.

ALAN

My preferences aren't at play here.

ARI

Yeah, hey, Al – while we're at this little song and dance, how's about another chorus of "Send In The Clowns"?

Alan, offended, lets go of her. She straightens her shirt out sarcastically.

ALAN

(extremely irked)

Ari – you could get yourself into a lot of trouble like this, not to mention the huge amount of liability and grief you

could cause this firm, poaching while on their property!

ARI

Geez, get a grip! You sound like Mom or something! You know as well as I do she

was such a cold-ass prude that Dad had to practically rape her to get any! No wonder he -

Alan cuts her off by slapping her, and instantly regrets it.

ALAN

(shamefully)

Ari – I'm sorry.

ARI

Yeah, I'll bet.

ALAN

I really don't know what made me do that.

ARI

Your innate fear of facing the truth, no doubt.

ALAN

We aren't talking about me here!

ARI

Why not? Am I striking a nerve? And Denny tells me you live in a hotel room?

Why? All the more easily to duck out whenever something happens that you don't

like, huh? Something you can't control? No wonder you never married.

ALAN

I...actually did. She died.

ARI

I didn't know. There's so much I don't know. So much you don't know.

I really didn't want to leave it like we left it.

ALAN

Nor did I. But I can't seem to be able to find a way to go forwards, and we sure as hell can't go back...

ARI

I suppose not. So, why didn't you ever come visit me while I was in jail?

ALAN

I don't know. I received a report that you were okay, though. I...guess it

brought up things I really didn't know how to deal with at the time.

ARI

And it looks like you still can't deal with it, even now.

ALAN

Perhaps not. Was our childhood that bad? Mightn't we be exaggerating it a little?

ARI

(sarcastically)

Yeah, don't you see the tons of Christmas cards we all exchanged through the years?

What a pretty, picture-perfect family we were! NOT!

(scoffs)

You know it was hell on earth! You're just so used to hiding it and pushing it

way down deep inside that you've managed to block most of it out, hiding it even

from yourself. You always were like that, you know. Hide it or run from it.

ALAN

Yeah, I guess I am sort of like that. It's one of the worst traits I inherited

from...him, I think...I hope...

Ari nods in agreement, remembering their upbringing.

ARI

Since we're confessing here, so to speak,I guess I've just seen the worst things

in men, living the way I have, and I am not the least bit gay, so what choice is

left for me? The...young ones aren't contaminated yet, they're still fresh,

still full of hopes, dreams, energy...They haven't been...damaged by...stuff.

I just...gravitate towards that, I don't know why. We're both a mess, huh?

ALAN

I...guess we are, at that.

ARI

My...stuff with my little friends really bugs you, doesn't it?

ALAN

(sighing deeply)

To tell the truth, it's not just...that. I've been sort of...on edge, in general,

since you first showed up here. I'm not really myself.

ARI

I rattle you?

ALAN

You do.

ARI

Glad to hear it! I think it might just be good for you to get rattled every

once-in-a-while. Bring you down off your high horse.

ALAN

I'm on a high horse?

ARI

Aren't you? Sometimes?

Alan mulls this over for a moment.

ALAN

(quietly)

The report on Schweiber's in. He died of cancer...

CLOSE ON ARI'S FACE -

as she registers complete shock.

ARI

(softly)

Well, I guess that's it, then...

INTERIOR-JERRY'S OFFICE-EVENING

Jerry is gathering his things together, preparing to leave.

Ari enters, and when Jerry notices her, his hands become firmly glued to his thighs, his posture very rigid. He is standing by the coffee table, where he had been about to pick up Linda's goldfish bowl.

JERRY

Oh, hi.

ARI

Hello. That Linda?

JERRY

Yes.

ARI

She's pretty.

Ari has a paper bag, and a huge thermos with her. She comes a bit further into the room, sets the thermos down on Jerry's desk and takes two cups out of the paper bag.

JERRY

What's all that?

ARI

One part cherry limeade, one part pineapple-orange juice, a touch of lime

juice, with maraschino cherries and mandarin orange slices floating in it.

JERRY

(smiling shyly)

My favorite! You remembered!

ARI

(pouring a drink)

Why shouldn't I? Since I only had one visitor while I was in jail, I really

could only count you as my friend – my sole friend. I say, to hell with the

fact that you don't have a balcony, and to hell with private clubs being exempt

from Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and U.S. Code 42,

Subsection 2000d, et seq!

Ari holds the drink she's poured out to Jerry.

ARI

I think we deserve some of that balcony time you've told me about, don't you?

Jerry hesitantly removes his right hand from his thigh, puts it back, and takes it off again. Ari waits patiently with the proffered drink until Jerry slowly manages to accept it. She then pours herself a drink and perches herself up on Jerry's desk. He follows suit, rather stiffly.

ARI

To friends!

She clanks cups with Jerry, who jumps ever so slightly, barely managing not to spill his drink, and they both take a drink. Jerry's left hand, which has been firmly glued to his left thigh, loosens up a bit. Taking another sip, Jerry smiles and settles back a little, slightly relaxing. Ari takes another sip, too, and this time, when Ari looks him in the eye, he is able to meet her eyes and look straight back at her. She smiles at him, and he smiles back, managing not to lower his gaze.

JERRY

(softly)

Friends...

INTERIOR-PAUL'S OFFICE-EVENING

Paul is pacing nervously around his office. There is a KNOCK on his door. Paul opens it, and Carole enters. Paul takes her in his arms, kisses her.

CAROLE

Tell me this isn't a dream.

PAUL

It isn't. I can scarcely believe it

myself.

CAROLE

(searching his face)

You would really leave everything you know, just for me?

PAUL

And more...

Carole kisses Paul, and they exit, still in each other's arms.

EXTERIOR-DENNY'S BALCONY-EVENING

Denny and Alan are smoking cigars and drinking scotch.

ALAN

I feel like Paul.

DENNY

Lewiston? You really are in a bad place, my friend.

ALAN

Indeed.

DENNY

So, what are you going to do about it?

ALAN

I don't know...

CLOSE ON ALAN

The scene fades to black and white, with white fog around the edges, as we -

FADE TO:

EXTERIOR-DENNY'S BALCONY-LATE EVENING

SUPER-PRESENT DAY

The scene begins in black and white, with white fog around the edges, and begins to colorize as the scene progresses, and the fog slowly clears. Alan is smoking a cigar with Denny and enjoying a drink. They don't speak, just share a few quiet moments.

FADE OUT