Hope For Everything...|
Time + Place: San Francisco, April
Time on world(s): 26 days, but we only see about 9
[ Pan a desolate landscape. The sky is a reddish violet and the ground is a barren wasteland. An occasional strong wind kicks up the dust and dirt. The vortex opens. Out comes Arturo. A cloud of dust swirls around him as he hits the ground. Close up on Arturo's face as he gasps for breath. He clutches at his throat. Wade comes out next and Arturo places his hand over her mouth. He mouths to her 'No Oxygen' and signals that she should hold her breath. Rembrandt and Quinn follow. Both cough before they realize their situation. The vortex closes. Quinn flips open the timer. It reads 45 seconds. He shows it to the group. A large gust of wind blows through them as they struggle not to breathe in. Pan each of their faces in turn: Quinn determined, Rembrandt shaking his head, Wade has a look of concern and Arturo is struggling badly. Flash back to the timer. 30 seconds. A large gust of wind knocks them down. They cover their faces as sand flies past them. They attempt to regain their footing. Arturo drops to his knees and covers his mouth with his coat sleeve. 18 seconds. The others go to him and shield him against the whipping wind. Arturo finally gasps and begins wheezing terribly. Camera moves rapidly between the timer and the action. Twelve seconds. Wade's cheeks are puffed out from trying to keep from inhaling. Nine seconds. Arturo has stopped wheezing. His eyes roll back. Four seconds. Rembrandt mouths to Arturo "Hold on." One second.
Quinn flips open the timer. It reads 45 seconds. He shows it to the group.
A large gust of wind blows through them as they struggle not to breathe in. Pan each of their faces in turn: Quinn determined, Rembrandt shaking his head, Wade has a look of concern and Arturo is struggling badly. Flash back to the timer. 30 seconds.
A large gust of wind knocks them down. They cover their faces as sand flies past them. They attempt to regain their footing. Arturo drops to his knees and covers his mouth with his coat sleeve. 18 seconds.
The others go to him and shield him against the whipping wind. Arturo finally gasps and begins wheezing terribly. Camera moves rapidly between the timer and the action. Twelve seconds.
Wade's cheeks are puffed out from trying to keep from inhaling. Nine seconds.
Arturo has stopped wheezing. His eyes roll back. Four seconds.
Rembrandt mouths to Arturo "Hold on." One second.
[ Commercial Break ]
[ Arturo is in a hospital bed and appears asleep. It's quiet save for the occasional sounds heard from the machinery hooked up to him. Cut to a waiting room where Quinn, Rembrandt and Wade are talking with Doctor Mattson. ]
Mattson: He's stable now but we've kept him on a respirator as a precaution. When he wakes again, we'll re-evaluate his condition.
Wade: But he's going to be all right?
Mattson: I don't believe he suffered any long-term damage from the oxygen deprivation. It's hard to say for certain without comparing his current brain activity to his baseline readings, but he appears to be responding normally.
Rembrandt: OK. So what are we looking at? Another day or two?
Mattson: [ pauses ] I'm afraid Mr. Arturo has a far more serious problem. The scan we took of his brain turned up an anomaly. There is a large mass the size of a ping pong ball nestled near the occipital bone.
Mattson: [ nods ] Its size is alarming. Either this is the fastest growing tumor I've ever seen or someone dropped the ball. Tell me, do you know what month he took his yearly physical in?
Rembrandt: Uh...yearly physical?
Mattson: You do realize it's now mandatory for all those over forty.
[ Quinn, who had been silent, finally jumps in. ]
Quinn: Yeah, it was sometime around mid-October.
Mattson: [ to Quinn ] And no one detected anything?
Quinn: They said there was nothing that could be done. He was told to enjoy the time he had left.
Mattson: The situation is very serious, but it's not inoperable. Had something been done five months ago, his outlook would have been far more positive. If it had been me...
Quinn: [ interrupts ] Forget about then. What can be done now?
Mattson: I still have to run additional tests to be sure his brain is the only area affected. Assuming the cancer hasn't spread -- and that's a big assumption -- we can make an attempt to remove the tumor by week's end. A lot depends on how fast your friend recovers. Right now he's in no shape for surgery.
Rembrandt: So what are his chances?
Mattson: [ hesitates ] Due to the location of the tumor, any operation will carry a high risk.
Rembrandt: Like what? Are we talking fifty-fifty?
Mattson: Maybe. Perhaps a little less. If the cancer has spread, his chances significantly decrease. The bottom line is something needs to be done and soon. If we do nothing, he has a month...maybe two at best.
[ Wade turns her back and walks toward the camera (far wall of the room.) ]
Mattson: We'll go over all of his options after I'm able to do a full work-up.
Rembrandt: Thanks Doc.
[ Mattson exits. ]
Quinn: This is it, Remmy. I've known this day was coming for awhile, but I still wasn't prepared for it.
Rembrandt: No one is.
[ Quinn looks at Wade who is still across the room. ]
[ She turns. She looks ill herself. ]
Wade: [ to Quinn ] When you said he was sick, I didn't think you meant so soon.
[ Rembrandt looks at Quinn. ]
Rembrandt: She knows?
Quinn: I had to tell her after you found out. It was better to hear it from me then to find out now. I didn't tell you or the Professor because I knew you were pushing him to come clean on his own. I'm sorry, man.
Rembrandt: No, that's OK. I'm glad. [ to Wade ] You don't know much how it was eating me up inside.
[ Wade tries a smile. ]
Quinn: So...what now?
Rembrandt: How long are we here again?
Quinn: Just under a month.
Rembrandt: We're going to need jobs.
Quinn: We're going to need to win the lottery to pay this medical bill.
Wade: Well it's worth it!
[ Quinn is chagrined. ]
Quinn: I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to come out that way.
Wade: I know. [ pause ] This is just so hard to accept. It's like it's not really happening and any moment I'm going to wake up.
[ Focus on Quinn as Wade is speaking. He's turning pale. ]
Wade: [ continues ] I'm afraid things are never going to be like they were again.
Rembrandt: Who can say? We've been in tougher places before and we've always pulled through. The Professor is a strong man. We can't lose hope before the fight's even begun.
Quinn: Remmy's right. We have to hold together. OK?
[ Wade nods and takes one last sniffle. Group hug. ]
Rembrandt: Well, I guess we should get started.
Quinn: You guys go. I'm staying here.
Rembrandt: Quinn, there's nothing we can do for him right now. We're not even allowed in the room.
Quinn: I know, but I can't go. Not until he wakes up.
[ Rembrandt puts his hand on Quinn's shoulder. ]
Rembrandt: OK. We'll call once we find a place to stay.
Quinn: All right.
[ Rembrandt and Wade exit. Quinn exhales and walks to the window and gazes out. He's taking deep breaths as if trying to prevent himself from hyperventilating. He takes a seat and puts his head between his legs. We can hear him inhaling and exhaling. Close up of Quinn. As he raises his head, he wipes a tear from his cheek. Dissolve. ]
[ Night. Exterior of an old townhouse. Interior is dark. The door opens. Rembrandt leads the way. ]
Rembrandt: Home, sweet, home. For a little while anyway.
[ Rembrandt flicks a light switch to reveal a shoddily furnished apartment. There's a couch, a recliner, an old television set and a beat up coffee table. The kitchen is in the far end of the room and there's a table and a few chairs. ]
Rembrandt: Excuse the appearance but it was the only half-decent place we could afford.
Rembrandt: A guy was telling me there's a major housing shortage in this city thanks to the tech boom. The rents are sky high and the hotels here make the ones at Disney World look reasonable.
[ Rembrandt plops down in the recliner. Dust kicks up and the chair tips back a bit. Wade turns on the TV. All she's getting is static. ]
Rembrandt: There's no cable, but the landlord said we can usually get Fox.
Wade: [ sarcastic ] Great.
[ Wade shuts off the TV and sits on the couch. ]
Rembrandt: So what did you dig up about this world?
Wade: It's near enough to our world that we should be able to stay out of prison. The government here is definitely more socialist. We're still the world leader both economically and militarily, but there isn't such an income disparity as we're used to.
Rembrandt: Seems like a pretty good system to me.
Wade: It gets better. Here the United States never got involved in Vietnam. LBJ didn't consider it a threat after the thrashing they gave the communists in Korea. Without the war, the counter-culture movement never emerged from the fringe -- no hippies, no neo-conservative backlash. Johnson was re-elected in 1968 and continued to push through his great society -- including universal healthcare.
Rembrandt: You're saying healthcare is free?
Rembrandt: That's a relief. I'd have felt bad stiffing the hospital after all they're trying to do. But I wonder how they can afford it all?
Wade: They're very into preventative medicine-stop the problems before they get out of hand. But mostly its funded through tax dollars. The government spends more on the health industry than it does on defense. I'm not really in to medicine, but it looks like their hospitals are really advanced.
Rembrandt: So what would be considered terminal on most other worlds is doable here.
Wade: I hope so.
[ Cut to Arturo. He's still asleep. Pan the door. Quinn enters. He takes a last look of the hallway and quietly closes the door. Quinn turns and sees Arturo. He frowns. Focus on Arturo as Quinn goes to him and kneels beside him. ]
Quinn: [ softly to Arturo ] Hang in there, Professor. I'm not going to leave you behind. When it's time to slide, we all go...or none go.
[ Commercial break ]
[ Exterior of the townhouse. Interior- the basement. There's a workbench near some small windows that are allowing a good deal of light in. Quinn is at the bench fiddling with the timer. He has a few tools including a screwdriver. He slams the screwdriver down in frustration. He looks at the timer, then the screwdriver. He lifts the screwdriver by its head and raises the handle over the timer, as if it to strike it. ]
[ Quinn stops. Wade appears at the staircase. She sees him. ]
Wade: What are doing down here?
Quinn: Force of habit I guess.
[ Wade approaches him. ]
Wade: You know, you can't run for a basement every time you feel the world closing in.
[ Awkward pause. Quinn changes the subject. ]
Quinn: Where's Rembrandt?
Wade: First he's going to audition for a lounge singer position at this club for big shots. Afterwards he's going to swing by the hospital.
[ Quinn nods. Wade struggles for something else to say. ]
Wade: So are you going to come with me to find work? Or just hang out down here the rest of the day? [ Quinn glares at her and gets up. ]
Wade: Quinn... sit down. Talk to me Quinn. What's wrong?
Quinn: I'd think that's pretty obvious.
Wade: You were the one that said we had to stick together but all you're doing is withdrawing. You're not a little boy anymore.
[ Quinn starts pacing. ]
Quinn: Is that what you think this is about? I'm feeling sorry for myself? Maximillian Arturo is not my father.
Wade: But it hurts just as bad.
[ Quinn stares at her. He said too much. Dejected, he sits down. ]
Quinn: You know what this is, right? I'm hiding in my Fortress of Solitude, just as I've always done. Of course, if I hadn't spent so much time here in the first place, we wouldn't be in this mess. [ He holds out the timer. ] Sometimes I wish I had never invented this thing.
Wade: You don't mean that.
Quinn: Don't I? The price is too high, Wade.
Wade: Listen to me. Do you think the Professor's situation would be any better if we were back home? He has a very advanced disease, one that couldn't have been treated on our world. But here he has a chance. And you gave him that chance. Doesn't that mean something?
Quinn: It's not just the Professor. That run-in with our doubles was a real eye opener. [ stares at Wade ] What if we can't go back? What if we're doomed to living hand to mouth for the rest of our lives until we're slowly stripped away of each other? If that's the case, let's just stop now. This world may be as good as it gets.
Wade: I don't believe that. We're going to go home Quinn and you're going to be the one to get us there.
[ Quinn shakes his head. ]
Wade: What's the matter? Are you scared? Scared that we're no longer who we thought we were? Well, I'm scared too. But we can't just shut down or hide. [ pause ] You were saying before that all you needed was time and equipment. Well we've got the time. Now are you going to try or not? If not, you better start teaching me all you know about quantum physics because I'm not giving up.
[ Quinn offers no response. Wade looks at him pleadingly. ]
Wade: The Quinn I know is not a quitter. You have a promise to keep. To me. To Rembrandt. And to that man in the hospital who loves you like a son. You can't give up now.
[ long pause. Wade looks at him. Quinn sighs. ]
Quinn: Here's what we need to do.
[ Cut to Rembrandt at the hospital. He is sitting by Arturo. Arturo awakens. ]
Arturo: [ weakly ] Mr. Brown?
Rembrandt: I'm here Professor.
[ Arturo attempts to sit up. ]
Rembrandt: Whoa, just take it easy.
[ Arturo gets to a seated position. ]
Arturo: I can manage. See?
Rembrandt: You are a stubborn man.
Arturo: Eh, too stubborn perhaps. Where are the others?
Rembrandt: They're only letting us visit one at a time. Q-Ball had refused to leave but they finally threw him out.
Arturo: And Miss Welles?
Rembrandt: She and Quinn are supposed to go looking for jobs today.
Arturo: No, does she...?
Rembrandt: She knows Professor.
Arturo: I was afraid of that.
Rembrandt: We had to tell her. There was no getting around it.
Arturo: How did she take it?
Rembrandt: Actually, she's known right along. Quinn gave you up.
[ Arturo lowers his head. His speech isn't angry, more resigned. ]
Arturo: Damn that boy. She should have heard it first from me. I shouldn't have waited.
Rembrandt: There's no use beating yourself up over it now. Wade's doing all right. She's stronger than she looks. If anybody needs cheering up right now, it's Q-Ball.
Arturo: It has been hard on the boy. He's accomplished so much so soon that we sometimes forget he is still a young man with scars of his own. [ pause ] I promise to make it up to him; to all of you.
Rembrandt: There will be plenty of time after the operation.
Arturo: Save it Mr. Brown. I do not underestimate the seriousness of my situation and neither should you.
The doctors tell me they will attempt to remove the tumor this weekend, but there are no guarantees. [ He pauses and looks Rembrandt deep in the eyes. ] Before I blacked out, I had an epiphany of sorts. I could see the three of you right beside me, so close. But I was unable to speak a single word. Suddenly there was so much I wanted to say and no air to say it in. I knew then what a fool I'd been to never tell you all that I needed to when there was time. I'm not going to squander my remaining chances. If something should happen, I want you to know that I could not have known a finer man than you. You have no idea how much your friendship has meant to me.
Rembrandt: Oh I know.
[ Arturo's face softens. ]
Rembrandt: Because I feel the same way about you too.
[ Arturo smiles and Rembrandt flashes him one back. ]
[ Exterior of Doppler Computer Superstore. Inside, Michael Hurley, the manager of the store, is lecturing Quinn and Wade. ]
Hurley: I have no tolerance for late employees. You are expected here fifteen minutes before the start of your shift. Otherwise I may have no other recourse than to dismiss you. Is that clear? Good. If there are no other questions, I will see you both at 7:45 tomorrow morning.
[ Hurley exits. Wade sticks her tongue out at him. ]
Wade: I almost forgot how much I hate that man.
Quinn: Hey, if I'm going to modify the timer I'm going to need access to computers and a lot of equipment. Now I have it.
Wade: Yeah, but at what cost? If someone told me three years ago that I'd still be working here, I'd have shot myself.
Quinn: Fortunately you weren't working here three years ago. [ Wade gives him a nudge. ] You know you're free to join Rembrandt and get a job as a waitress at that club.
Wade: No thanks. I have bad memories of waitressing jobs. [ Reference to "Paradise Lost." ] Even worse than those here.
Quinn: Then stop complaining.
Wade: Don't count on it.
[ They walk around the store to reacquaint themselves. ]
Wade: You're not going to build that analyzer here are you?
Quinn: Build it? No. Test it? Yes.
Wade: Look at these prices!
[ Wade picks up a mousepad. ]
Wade: $14.95 for a mousepad? How are we going to afford all this stuff?
Quinn: Relax, we'll buy what we can...and 'borrow' the rest. It's a little trick I learned from Johnny Cash.
[ Wade rolls her eyes and exits. Quinn shrugs. ]
Quinn: [ sings softly ] I got it one piece at a time, and it didn't cost me a dime...
[ Quinn whistles the rest of the refrain and follows her out. Cutaway ]
[ A day later. Interior of the apartment. Lights are on suggesting it's night. Wade is on the couch pouring over manuals while Quinn is at the kitchen table tinkering with what will become the analyzer. ]
Wade: I'm not sure if it's the time we've been away or just this world, but I am hopelessly behind the technology. All we seem to be moving now are Windows based machines. What happened to Apple?
Quinn: [ doesn't look up ] Can't say. You'd have to ask Steve Jobs. Assuming he exists here.
Wade: And the internet is huge! I don't even recognize the browsers-Netscape? Explorer? What about Mosaic and Turbogopher?
[ Rembrandt enters. ]
Rembrandt: Hey guys.
Wade: Hey Remmy. How was the gig?
Rembrandt: Lousy. This world doesn't appreciate vintage hits when they hear them. I go into my usual set, starting with "Tears in my Fro," I get nothing. No response. These people are all just looking at me like I was Tony Orlando.
Quinn: Must have been a tough crowd.
Rembrandt: That's what I said. But the boss told me to show up tomorrow with a new set or don't show up at all. Now where am I going to find music fit for the Cryin' Man on such short notice?
[ Cut to the lounge of the Second Chance. The place is very upscale. Rembrandt is at the piano, playing and singing 'One Last Cry' (Brian McKnight) ]
Rembrandt: One last cry, one last cry
Before I leave it all behind
I've gotta put you out of my mind
For the last time
Stop living a lie.
I guess I'm down
I guess I'm down
I guess I'm down
To my last cry.
[ Rembrandt really embellishes the last lines and punctuates the performance by having a single tear roll out of his right eye. Patrons applaud his performance and Rembrandt goes on break. His boss, Elston Diggs, comes over to him. ]
Diggs: Now that's what my customers want to hear. Contemporary hits. Songs they can relate to. [ starts to walk away but turns ] Oh...and lose the tear next time. It's a little kitschy if you catch my drift.
[ Rembrandt stares daggers at Diggs' back as he walks away. ]
[ Cut to Doppler. Quinn is in the back room working on a computer. The timer is out and is linked to the hard drive. A program running on the screen is scrambling through numbers. Wade enters. ]
Wade: So here's where you've been hiding. Hurley's going to think you took off for a long lunch break.
Quinn: [ still looking at the screen ] It's all right. He thinks I'm reprogramming the demo mode on this machine. I told him it would take forty-five minutes.
Wade: For a three-minute job.
Quinn: [ shrugs ] What Hurley doesn't know...
Wade: [ looks over his shoulder ] So what'cha running?
Quinn: I'm trying to see if I can convert the stored co-ordinates in the timer into numerical values. After I get the quantum analyzer built, I'm going to need to match the results with the co-ordinates Logan used to track us. If I can find a match, it will at least mean we haven't been split since we last saw her...
Wade: Which in turn means we haven't split in the past eight months.
[ Quinn looks at her with surprise. ]
Wade: I'm catching on.
[ Quinn smiles and turns his attention back to the computer. ]
Quinn: I think we have something.
[ The program ends and a long string of twelve digit numbers appear on the screen. ]
Quinn: Take a good look Wade. One of those might be our ticket home.
[ Fade out. ]
[ Commercial Break ]
[ Open in Arturo's hospital room. Arturo is awake and speaking with Wade. ]
Wade: Quinn's making progress. He's been able to download all the info out of the timer into a computer at work, but he's still having trouble building the analyzer. Something about filtering out our sliding signatures and getting down to the quantum level. I understood the computer stuff, but when he starts using the word 'quantum', I lose him.
Arturo: I think you understand more than you let on.
Wade: [ smiles ] Still I think it's best to let Quinn explain it. I just wish they weren't so strict about the visitors' policy.
Arturo: Yes, they claim it's for my own good; that I need to conserve my strength for the operation and that visitors will only slow my recovery. [ He leans over as if he's about to say something confidential ] Frankly I'm bored to tears.
[ Arturo smiles and Wade laughs. ]
Wade: So what do you do all day?
Arturo: The daytime television here is just as insipid as on our Earth. And while Mr. Brown meant well, I just can't get into this. [ Holds up a book. 'All Shook Up: The Reinvention of American Democracy' by Senator Elvis Presley. Arturo sighs. ] Fortunately, the good doctor never runs out of things in which to inject and probe me. When all of that excitement gets to be too much, I listen to opera.
Arturo: [ points to his head ] In here. I've already played three concertos. [ pause ] I also have a lot of time to think. Mostly I replay our adventures and try to truly fathom all that I have seen. And even though I sit here at the brink of the end, I find myself with just a few regrets. I regret the premature death of my wife, although it was beyond my power. I regret that I never knew my son, something that certainly was in my power to remedy. And I regret how I have behaved towards you, my dear. I have acted terribly in hiding my illness from you. I'm afraid it goes beyond forgivable.
Wade: Professor...it's all right.
Arturo: No. No, it's not. [ pause ] There were times when I fully intended to tell you, only to stop at the last moment. I told myself that it was for your good. I said 'Here is a person who has been forced to bear a lifetime's worth of troubles in a mere handful of years. I should not add to them.' But I was rationalizing. It was not for your sake that I did not tell you; [ pause ] it was for mine. I could not bear to have you look at me... the way you're looking at me now.
[ Wade has tears in her eyes. ]
Arturo: Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?
Wade: Just be there for the next slide.
[ Wade embraces Arturo. ]
Arturo: If it is in my power, it will be done.
[ Interior of the Second Chance. Rembrandt is playing some bars on the piano. Diggs comes over. ]
Diggs: I don't like the sound of this. I don't recognize this tune.
Rembrandt: It's a Rembrandt Brown original.
Diggs: This isn't another "Purple Hawaii" is it? I thought I told you...
Rembrandt: Nah, nah. This is brand new. Music for the nineties.
Diggs: It better be man.
[ Rembrandt continues playing. He's working on the outline of the piece so the song is not fully textured. As Rembrandt plays, cut through a montage of scenes to show that time is passing. Wade is shown helping a customer at Doppler. Arturo winces as blood is drawn from his arm. Hurley is waving his hands at Quinn while Quinn is trying to explain that the power bar to the display is turned off. Rembrandt is at the apartment watching Fox. Arturo reads "All Shook Up." Wade and Quinn punch out their time cards. By now the piece has a full rich sound. Rembrandt stops playing. End sequence. ]
[ Cut to the interior of the apartment. Wade and Quinn are lying around. Rembrandt is getting ready to go to work. ]
Wade: Where did the week go?
Quinn: Time flies when you're spending nine hours of your day at work.
Wade: Today was the worst day yet. The customers here are just as stupid as back home. I had one guy make me go through demonstrations of six different models before he told me all he needed was a mouse.
Quinn: At least Hurley didn't have you take apart a motherboard because he was using the CD-ROM drive to hold his coffee.
Wade: He's such an idiot.
Rembrandt: Guys, you need to take your minds off work. Have some fun. Why don't the two of you come down to the club tonight? I'm unveiling some brand new material.
Quinn: I don't get paid until next Thursday.
Rembrandt: Relax, I'm got connections to get you inside!
Wade: [ to Quinn ] You wanna?
Quinn: Won't we be underdressed?
[ Rembrandt hands them each a couple hundred dollars. ]
Quinn: Where did you get all this money?
Rembrandt: What can I say? People love the Cryin' Man.
[ Fade. ]
[ Exterior of the Second Chance. Inside Quinn and Wade are greeted by Diggs. Wade is in an evening dress; Quinn a blazer and tie. Next to some of the club's clientele, Quinn still looks underdressed. ]
Diggs: Welcome to the Second Chance. I hear you two are the special guests of Mr. Brown. The man is a music machine. Unfortunately that machine is an 8-track player.
Wade: He had some hits in the 70s.
Diggs: Where? Canada? But the man does have a smooth voice. Come on, let me show you to your table.
[ Diggs leads them in. ]
Quinn: Didn't you used to run a place in LA?
Diggs: [ lights up ] Yeah! That one was called the Last Chance. Kind of a misnomer, huh? Yeah, I sold it and moved up here a few years ago. You gotta go where the money's at, and there ain't no place with more money than San Fran. I love these nouveau riche.
[ Diggs seats them. ]
Wade: Thank you.
Diggs: Now you enjoy your evening. And keep your friend at the piano in line. This ain't no disco.
[ Diggs smiles and exits. Rembrandt is playing an instrumental of "As Time Goes By." He smiles at them. Wade returns the smile and gives him a small wave. Rembrandt continues playing. Focus on the keys and fade forward. The song has changed. Cut back to Quinn and Wade. They have a wine bottle between them and they're laughing. ]
Quinn: And then he yells out, 'You blistering idiot! I asked for a bottle of Merlot, not Mountain Dew!'
[ They both laugh. Quinn refills their glasses. ]
Wade: I was just thinking...
Wade: This is the first time you and me have gone out together like this in years.
Quinn: I'm not really a shirt and tie kind of guy.
Wade: That's not what I mean. Even though we're always together, we don't get to spend much quality time anymore.
Quinn: Quality time? You make it sound like we're married.
Wade: Dream on. [ smiles ]
[ Rembrandt finishes a song and speaks into the microphone. ]
Rembrandt: Thank you. Thank you all for coming out this evening. Right now I'd like to debut a new song of my own. This is dedicated to my good friends, particularly one that can't be with us here tonight. [ Rembrandt raises his drink. ] This one is for you Professor.
[ Wade and Quinn clink their glasses. Rembrandt begins playing. The song is a slow ballad and some couples move to the dance floor. Wade stands. ]
Wade: Come on...
Quinn: I don't know...
Wade: Quality time.
[ Quinn joins her. Cut back to Rembrandt. ]
Rembrandt: [ sings ]
I know I never said goodbye
Just up and vanished like I fell through
Some hole in the sky.
Oh no...I didn't plan to go.
You can't know how much I miss
[ Rembrandt plays an instrumental verse. Switch angle to view Quinn and Wade dancing from Rembrandt's perspective. The two look as happy as they've been in a long time. Let the shot linger. Reverse angle back to Rembrandt, who smiles and resumes. ]
(tempo slows, less piano work)
[ At 'spiderwasps', quick cut to Quinn and Wade who share a smile. Rembrandt takes a dramatic pause before ending with a flourish. ]
So you'll know
[ Quinn, Rembrandt, and Wade are in a waiting room. Clock shows 3:15. The three have long since stopped feigning interest in their magazines. Quinn is pacing. ]
Quinn: They should have been done an hour ago.
Rembrandt: I'm sure everything is fine.
[ Cut to the operating room where everything is not fine. Arturo is lying face down on the operating table. Two Surgeons, Mattson, and two Nurses are in the room. The Surgeons are working over him. Mattson is nearby. One Nurse is assisting and the other is monitoring. Monitors are beeping. ]
Monitoring Nurse: Vital signs are dropping.
Surgeon: I'm almost done.
Mattson: We went in too quickly. We should have given him more time.
Surgeon: Believe me. It's best we get this out of him now than try again later. It's a wonder he's come this far.
[ Shot of the monitor. It's becoming more erratic. ]
Monitoring Nurse: We're losing him.
Surgeon: Just a few more seconds Mr. Arturo...
[ Beep.Beep.Beep. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. ]
[ Fade out ]
[ Commercial Break ]
[ Beeeeeeeeeeeep. Pick up a few seconds from where we left off. Keep the camera focused on Arturo as we hear the doctors trying to revive him. ]
Monitoring Nurse: He's still not responding.
Second Surgeon: Again...
Mattson: Come on Mr. Arturo...
[ Fade to white. The voices and sounds of the room trail off. Arturo finds himself in Quinn's basement. He's dressed as he was the fateful night he first stepped into the vortex. He turns and sees the familiar blackboard, but an unfamiliar equation. He examines it. ]
Arturo: My good lord.
Quinn: Oh that. Yeah I can explain. One sec.
[ Arturo notices Quinn for the first time. He's tinkering with the timer. ]
Arturo: Do you realize what you have here? The ultimate quest of man! The Creator's original blueprint! Good heavens, this is the meaning of life itself! [ Arturo is awestruck. ]
Arturo: [ slowly ] The secret to all existence is sitting here in the basement of this unkempt, unassuming, unpublished, unfortunately brilliant boy's house! How the hell did you solve this?
Quinn: Wait. It gets better. A lot better.
[ Quinn opens the vortex. It is shimmering white. Arturo circles it before stopping in front of it. ]
Arturo: It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Quinn: Pretty neat, huh?
Arturo: Where does it lead?
Quinn: To another existence. All you have to do is step through it. Go on.
Arturo: [ suddenly fearful ] I...I don't know. Something like this should be studied. Meticulously mapped for every contingency...
Quinn: The ultimate adventure awaits you! You'd throw that away?
[ Arturo gazes longingly at the vortex. ]
Arturo: But what if I can't come back?
Quinn: There's only one way to find out.
[ The vortex suddenly bursts forth, enveloping Arturo in white. He cries out. As the white dissolves, return to Arturo lying on the operating table. Beep. Beep. Beep. ]
Monitoring Nurse: He's coming back!
Surgeon: It looks like Mr. Arturo wasn't quite ready to move on to the great unknown.
Second Surgeon: Excellent work everyone. Let's close up.
[ Exterior shot of the hospital. It's dark. Inside a clock reads 2:27. Arturo is sleeping. Quinn is nodding off beside him. Arturo makes a noise and Quinn perks up. ]
Quinn: [ quietly ] Professor?
[ Arturo opens his eyes. He looks around a bit before recognizing Quinn. ]
Arturo: Mr. Mallory? [ pause as he gets his bearing ] Is that you?
Quinn: I'm here, Professor.
[ Arturo attempts to move but stops. Arturo is still groggy. His speech throughout this act will be slow with occasional pauses. ]
Quinn: How do you feel?
Arturo: Hung over doesn't begin to describe it.
Quinn: It will be better in the morning.
Arturo: I suppose it will. I take it the operation was successful?
Quinn: You're here, aren't you?
Arturo: [ smiles and pats Quinn's hand. ] So I am.
[ The two struggle for something to say. ]
Quinn: I've got more good news. I think the quantum analyzer is ready. Monday's the big test day. I've rigged up one of the demo computers at work to interpret the data. I don't need to tell you what this could mean.
Arturo: Remarkable. Mr. Mallory, you never cease to amaze. [ pause ] Speaking of amazement, I had the strangest dream today. I was back in your basement again. And there on the blackboard was the ultimate unifying equation. After studying it briefly, it seemed to reveal everything- who we are, why we are here, our very purpose for being. It all made such perfect sense.
Quinn: What did it say?
Arturo: I... I can no longer remember... but it was the most glorious equation I'd ever laid eyes on.
Quinn: It was probably a double of mine. They're everywhere else. It was only a matter of time before they started showing up in dreams.
Arturo: Don't slight your own abilities my boy, and don't regret your accomplishments. It may appear from time to time, particularly in our darker hours, that we'd all have been better off if we had never left home. Then let me be a monument proving otherwise. Quinn, I owe you my life.
Quinn: You don't owe me anything. [ choked up ] That you're here is enough for me.
Arturo: Me too. I wouldn't have it any other way.
[ Quinn puts his head on Arturo's chest and Arturo tussles his hair, as a father would his son. ]
[ Cutaway ]
[ Exterior of Doppler. It's daytime. Interior shot of the back room. Quinn and Wade are looking at a computer screen. The timer is visible on the table. ]
Quinn: [ points to the left side of the screen ] You see this set of numbers right here? It's my guess that these are the co-ordinates of the worlds the timer has visited. There are about one hundred and forty of them. But over here in the right column, there's one lone number. Same algorithm, but set apart.
Wade: What's so special about it?
Quinn: I don't think the timer has been to that dimension. The number was stored in a completely different area of the microchip. It has to be the tracking number that Logan used to find us.
[ Quinn picks up the quantum analyzer that he had been toying with all week. Prop will probably end up looking like a souped up bar code scanner. The analyzer is tied in to the hard drive. ]
Quinn: It doesn't look like much, but it should do the job.
Wade: You're just going to run it over yourself?
Quinn: Like a bag of potato chips.
[ Quinn rolls up his sleeve. ]
Quinn: Cross your fingers.
[ Wade crosses her fingers on both hands. Quinn scans his arm. Cut back to the computer screen. A new set of numbers pops up. They blink with the numbers in the right column, signifying a match. Quinn and Wade look at each other. ]
Quinn: This is good. This is very, very good.
Wade: How do we test to see if the co-ordinates match our home?
Quinn: Personally. In say, eighteen days.
[ Shot of the timer on the table counting down.. ]
[ Dissolve to Arturo's room. Arturo is sitting up and the others are seated by him. ]
Arturo: This is as good as I've felt in months and I'm pretty sure it's not the medication talking. It is as though I have a new lease on life.
Rembrandt: You're not going to take us bungee jumping again?
Arturo: Don't be ridiculous, Mr. Brown. I'm looking for new experiences. I hear rock climbing is rather in vogue at the moment.
[ Mattson enters. ]
Mattson: And how is the patient?
Rembrandt: I think he's gone mad, Doc.
Arturo: Pay no attention to my less adventurous friend.
Mattson: Well, your charts are excellent. We've detected no new problems or pockets of cancerous cells. All the same, we're going to keep you here for another seven to ten days as a precautionary measure. We wouldn't want any infections to creep in.
Arturo: [ sighs ] I suppose Joshua Tree will have to wait.
Mattson: Joshua Tree?
Quinn: Don't ask.
Mattson: One other thing. I have got a souvenir of your operation for you.
Wade: You didn't...I don't wanna be sick or anything...
Mattson: [ laughs ] No, no, but it is a rather peculiar thing.
[ He hands out a small piece of luminescent metal, about the size of a microchip. ]
Mattson: This was lodged right beneath the tumor. I don't think there's anything causal about it, but I'll be damned if I know how it got there. [ to Arturo ] Have you ever spent time in combat?
Arturo: More times than I would have ever imagined.
[ Quinn takes the object from Mattson. ]
Mattson: My best guess is it's a small piece of shrapnel. You're a very lucky man. A centimeter to the right and you wouldn't be here today.
Arturo: I suppose fortune smiles on me.
Mattson: [ nods ] Well, I'll leave you alone for awhile longer. But I'll be back to prod you some more.
Arturo: Thank you, doctor.
[ Mattson exits. ]
Wade: [ to Quinn ] What is it?
Quinn: I'm not sure, but I don't think it's shrapnel.
Arturo: Let me have a look at it.
[ Quinn hands him the object. (Ominous music starts to build) ]
Arturo: I recognize this material. It's very much like the heart of the bracelet I took off of that Kromagg soldier. [ He looks at the others. ] The homing device.
Rembrandt: [ alarmed ] Homing device?
Arturo: I don't need to tell you what this may mean..
Wade: Now I know I'm going to be sick.
Quinn: That doesn't make sense. If they planted a homing device on us, why would they have tried to prevent us from escaping. I saw Mary die.
Arturo: Or perhaps you saw what they wanted you to see.
[ Close on Quinn as the realization hits him. ]
Rembrandt: But why follow us? They can slide wherever they want. Who needs us?
Quinn: The Kromaggs consider humans with sliding technology to be a threat to them. That's why they wanted the co-ordinates to our home world so badly. Since we didn't give it to them, they tracked us assuming we'd lead them there.
Wade: We almost just did.
[ Wade's voice is hollow. Rembrandt is losing it. ]
Rembrandt: Can't we destroy that thing?
Rembrandt: Break it in half...melt it down...I don't know, you're the geniuses!
Arturo: If we destroy it, it will stop transmitting. The Kromaggs will know about it and they'll probably want to find out what happened to it, leading them straight to us. I will not do that to this world -- or any other world for that matter.
Rembrandt: So what are we going to do?
Arturo: We do what we can do. We continue on.
[ Focus on Kromagg homing device and fade out. ]
It's been a long time in building to Arturo's illness. Introduced in SL-305 "The Guardian", the illness created an easy way for Arturo's character to exit in case John himself left the show. The story thread continued in SL-307 "Desert Storm", but it took a bizarre direction. The problem went from his brain (clearly indicated in "Guardian") to his heart. Ultimately, "Desert Storm" accomplishes nothing as the shaman tells him to heal himself. Hey doc, thanks for the advice, but I'm going to chalk up Arturo's heart problem to being an overweight man trudging through the desert without any water in days. Now how about treating the tumor in his head?
Things get more confusing in SL-313 "Murder Most Foul." You'd think something would be detected by the medical establishment after Arturo 'fractures', but no mention is made until SL-316 "Last of Eden." Suddenly it's back with a vengeance. That's where I have to pick up the storyline. The Kromagg tracking device, long since forgotten, re-enters the picture as the source of Arturo's problems. Mattson doesn't believe it's causal because he really doesn't know what it is: an organic metal. On a side note, there seems to be lingering confusion from SL-314 "Slide Like an Egyptian" over the nature of Quinn's tumor. To reiterate, he never had one. It was a lie used to convince Dr. Mubaric to operate on him. While it makes sense to have the implant on Quinn, consider things from the Kromagg perspective. If you saw this group, which one do you think would be most likely to have built a transdimensional portal? Arturo. Hands down.
As to the Kromaggs, why would these masters of sliding use a homing device to find Earth Prime? Wouldn't they know about sliding and quantum signatures? Unfortunately, these are season three concepts. So for continuity's sake, the Kromaggs do NOT know about signatures.
Recognize Act 4A? Yep, stolen from SL-101 "The Pilot", word for word in some instances. It just seemed appropriate. We also stole the exterior shot of Doppler... again.
On the lighter side, the title, "Hope for Everything...", comes from a line spoken by Arturo in SL-210 "Post Traumatic Slide Syndrome." 'Hope for everything...expect nothing.' Incidentally, SL-211's title, "In Dino Veritas," is also derived from an Arturoism. What can I say? Arturo has great writers.
I screwed up with Elston Diggs. Diggs is an LA character, not a San Francisco character. But by the time I realized the mistake we'd already shot some scenes, so I had to write in a few lines to explain why he's here as well as rename the bar. One of my goals is to try and bring back as many recurring characters as possible as we wind down. Plus, Diggs is fun to write.
Lastly, I'm glad we gave Rembrandt some singing time. Cleavant truly has a great voice and singing is so vital to Rembrandt's character. It's who he is and we can't forget that. Quinn's singing was gratuitous and I have vowed to avoid it in the future.
The plan is to go to re-runs and time the Series Finale with sweeps week. Before we get there, we have a few very ambitious episodes remaining, one of which will bring closure to one of the most talked-about unresolved issues in the show's history.