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The David McNorris Show
Page 2

A baseball game between the police department and the paramedics. Fearless is pitching and Joel is the first baseman as Teresa Ortiz comes up to bat.
Joel: All right, Teresa! Strike her out, Fearless!
Teresa hits the ball and runs to first base.
Come on, come on! (He grabs Teresa and won't allow her to touch the base until someone throws him the ball.)

Willie is the first base umpire: She's out of there!
Teresa: No, I'm not. He cheated!
Joel: No, she's safe. She's safe.
But, you tagged her.
Joel: I know. I was just making sure she didn't try to steal. Good call!

The game is over.
You know, if you want to talk about this, we're trained to help people cope with loss.
Joel: Is that right?
Joel: Um-huh. We only lost because you guys are better rested seeing as you only work three days a week.
Yeah, well, every shift is 24 hours.
Joel: Ahhh - what do you sleep, about 20 of those? I know what those gurneys are for.
So, any news on that Berman kid, yet?
Joel: Well, his father's plane touched down in South America but nobody's seen him.
Uh - I guess, if the kid's a murderer, it makes sense that his dad would do something like this.
Joel: If?
Considering kids do learn it at home.
Joel: Yeah, they do. It's funny you should say that.
Joel: Well, because my boy, Willie, just got in trouble at school for cursing.
Joel: Yeah. It seems he picked it up from his dad in the car.
Joel: Don't laugh. It's not funny. You're going to have kids of your own one day. You'll find out how hard it is. They pick up everything. They don't learn from what you teach them. They learn from what you do.
Well, I'm sure Willie's going to grow up to be a fine man.
Joel: You think so?
Joel: What do you think he's learning right now? Watching his Dad hang out with a beautiful woman...who's not his Mom. What does he learn from that?
We're just friends, Joel.
Joel: I know that. You know that. He just sees what he sees.
Well, hey, there's one good thing he's inherited from you.
Joel: What's that?
He's shaping up to be a good first baseman.
Joel: You think so?
Uh-huh. Cause he's a southpaw, like his old man.
Teresa walks away. Joel smiles and then frowns as he remembers something. He says: Southpaw......

Ron Berman is waiting for his son, Zach, outside his school.
What's going on?
Ron: I got to get you out of school.
to chauffer: Let's go, Joe.
Zach: Why?
Because the police want to talk to you. It's better if they don't.
Zach: Are you going to tell me what's going on?
cell phone rings: For crying out loud! Just a second.
Ron to person on phone: What?! Well, now is not the best time. What is it?...Well, he can't back out...Because I'll nail his head to the wall - that's why. What else?...About an hour. (He hangs up the phone.)
Sorry about that.
Zach: This isn't the way home.
We're not going home.
Zach: Well, where are we going?
To the airport.

At the airport, Berman's jet takes off and David McNorris accosts the limo before it drives off.

At Berman's mansion, the doorbell rings. Berman opens the door for David.
Ron: Come on in. Over here. Like a drink?
No, thanks. I don't drink.
Ron: Oh, right. I hope you don't mind if I have one.
This is America.
Ron: Speaking of which - how goes the international search for my son?
It goes.
Zach walks into the room: Oh, hi.
How are you doing?
Ron: You should stay in your room, Zach. What if it had been someone else?
I saw who it was from my window.
Ron: Well, you should keep your blinds closed.
Ron to
David: He should keep the blinds closed, right?
David: Look, I just came from the police department. They got the results back from the DNA test from the skin under Joy's fingernails. I think you know what that reports going to say, though...don't you, Zach?

The telephone rings at 4:30 a.m. Marian, David's wife, answers it.
Hello. Oh, hi, Ben.
David: What time is it?
No, it's okay. He's right here. Just hold on for a second.
David: Who is it?
It's Fisher.

David: Oh..uh...Hello. No, you didn't wake us up. We had to get up to get the phone, all right...What?!...Yeah, I'll be there in 15 minutes. Bye.
What is it?
David: Some girl got murdered at Ron Berman's house.
Ron Berman, the movie producer?
David: Judging by his address, it's not Ron Berman, the monkey-trainer.

At the Berman mansion, by the indoor pool.
Ben Fisher: Guys, this is Deputy DA David McNorris. David, this Ron Berman and his attorney, Carl Weller.
Gentlemen. (He shakes their hands.)
Berman: Hi. How are you?
How are you doing?
Fisher: I told them you were my "go-to-man". If anyone can help out in this situation, it's you.
Well, considering we're already down here, anybody care for a glass of wine?
Fisher: It's a little early.
David: No, thank you. I don't drink.
Well, I'm going to have one. (He proceeds to pour himself a glass of wine from a very well-stocked supply.)
Weller: Mr. Berman told the uniforms he was taking a leak so we've got about five minutes before they start wondering where he is.
All right, what's the story?
Fisher: Joy Lam was found naked and dead in the guest house about 40 minutes ago.
Any suspects?
Weller: No one, every one.
Great, it's corked! $1500 for the bottle and it tastes like fermented bat piss.
David: Was your son involved?
Excuse me?
David: Was your son involved in any way?
No, he says he never even knew her.
David: And you believe him?
I didn't teach my son to lie, Mr. McNorris.
David: Well, of course not, Mr. Berman. You're in the motion picture business. There's no lying there.
to Fisher: Wow, your pit bull's got a mouth.
Fisher: You don't want a sycophant, Ron. You want to hear it straight.
to Fisher: Look, what do you want me to do here?
Fisher: Your job. Ron wants to do whatever it takes to insure the killer is caught and convicted.
Ah, how incredibly civil-minded.
Fisher: And in order to do that, Ron needs to know what's going on at all times.
No, no, if you want me to handle this, I handle it my way. No questions.
David to Berman: And you'll follow my lead no matter how screwed-up it may seem. Do you accept these terms?
What is this? Some sort of contract?
David: Yeah, it is.
to Fisher: Humph - is he for real?
Berman to David: I accept.
Okay, I'll take care of getting it assigned to the best detectives.
Weller: The best? Are you kidding?
Hunh...Gentlemen. (He turns and begins walking out of the room.)
Berman: What? Is he walking out now?
David...David...David, come on back.
David: Look, I said no questions. Not from him. (pointing at Berman) Sure as hell not from him! (pointing at Weller) Not even from you.
No more questions.
David to Weller: This is the only time I'm ever going to explain something to you, so listen up. You get the best detectives because you know what to expect and you're prepared for it. You get a few low achievers and you're not sure what surprises may come. Of course, there aren't going to be any surprises, right, Mr. Berman?
(David looks at his watch) Whew...Your five minutes is just about up, so before you go back upstairs, I want you to tell me the worst rumor people tell about you. I don't care if it's true or false. I just want to know why the people who hate you, hate you.
No one hates me.
David: Really?
Yeah, really...not here, anyway. I might not have many friends up in Alaska.
(Berman and Fisher laugh.)

Flashback to David at the police station telling Joel and Fearless:
David: 30 years ago, he worked on a salmon boat in Alaska on the slime line. He was one of those guys who was down in the hold all day gutting fish. Now, you might think it's a long way from the slime line to Hollywood. Turns out it's not - when you're a shark.

Flashback to David's office when he tells Andrea: Look, I don't answer to Fisher. I sure as hell don't answer to Berman. I answer to the people of Los Angeles.

is driving his car while talking on the cell phone: Hey, it's your pit bull. We need to talk...No, all of us...The same place is fine...a half an hour? No, I'm thinking like within the next five minutes. Because in half an hour, life as your friend knows it will have ceased to exist.

David, Fisher, Berman and Weller are back at Berman's indoor pool.
That video doesn't mean a damn thing!
David: I think you're wrong there, Ron. I think it means your son is lying.
Well, somebody could have been messing with the images...
David: You've been making movies way too long. You see, in the real world, there are no special effects. Like this bottle (he picks up a bottle of wine). You see this (he smashes the bottle on the floor). That bottle actually broke. There was no CGI there. Just as your son actually filmed himself screwing that girl he said he didn't know, that wound up dead in your guest house.
What do you want to do, David?
David: It's what I'm going to do. I'm going to the police and in half an hour, his son's going to brought in for questioning. And tomorrow, when they get the DNA back, they're going to keep him there for a while. Probably for the rest of his life. Excuse me.
(David walks toward the door.)
What would it take to get you to stay?
David: Hunh, you can't count that high.
I can.
Fisher: What if - when I become mayor, you become DA?
Who says you're going to become mayor?
Berman: I do.
You do this, Ron will stock your war chest.
David: How much are your prepared to spend?
How much do you need?
David: There are countries, such as the nation of British West Indies, that will sell citizenships and have no extradition to the United States. Life there wouldn't be bad. It's still a prison of sorts but I guarantee you, it'll be a whole lot better than the real prison that Zach would be going to where he would become a bitch to some Aryan skinhead named CueBall.
How much?
David: A half million dollars for the citizenship; that again, to grease the remaining wheels.
David: Wow...nice to be rich.
How do you know the British West Indies sells citizenships?
David: You're still here. You don't say much. I like that. My father, on occasion, helped people find new lives. Tomorrow, you're going to take your son out of school. You're going to bring him to the airport. Your plane is going to Mexico and then on from there.
That's obstruction, David.
David: Awwww, Mr. Picky...and besides, it's not. Cause 's Zach not going to be on the plane. He's going to be in the trunk of the car. You are going to tell the police that you sent your plane to pick up art that you purchased; which, in fact, is what it's going to do. Naturally, the police aren't going to believe that. So, while they're scouring half of Latin America for your son, he'll still be here while you make arrangements to send him off to his new life in the Caribbean. That's obstruction.

Flashback to scene at the airport as David yells: Hey, Berman! Whoever gave you the heads up did a great job! I hope you give him a big tip! (This time we see a little more, as David spits on the ground angrily.)

David and Fearless at the police station.
Fearless is talking on the phone: Merci, beaucoup, Captain. (He hangs up.)
David: Yeah?
That was the Chief of Police in Cayenne. The guy we thought was Zach Berman turns out to be an English botanist down
there checking out some butterfly.
David: Damn it!

Joel walks up: I'm glad you're here. The DNA results from the skin under Joy's fingernails. (He hands David a piece of paper.)
Fearless stands up and all three of them look at the paper and then at each other, obviously surprised at the results.

Back to David at the Berman mansion.
David: I think you know what that report's going to say, don't you, ?
Berman: David, you have to understand. With all the pressure that Zach's been under...I mean, to get good grades for college, to study...I mean...

Zach: For God's sake, Dad! I didn't do it!
Berman: What?!
He didn't do it.
Berman: I don't understand.
It was someone else's skin.
Berman: Who?
I don't know. We haven't found it yet.
Berman to Zach: But, you knew the girl?
She was tutoring me. She's the reason my SAT scores went up.
Berman: But you had sex with her!
Berman: And what about the video?
We were just fooling around. It was supposed to be just for us. Then, Rob Maxwell hacked into my computer and posted it.
David: Look, the police are going to want to hear all this, Zach... All right? And anything else you can tell them. So, listen to me. The moment that I leave here, I want you to call them, tell them that you were
lying low at your friend's house. You just found out that they were looking for you and you're going down to the station right now. Okay?
Berman: No, no, no. Wait, wait, wait. Why didn't you.....why didn't you tell me you were innocent?
I shouldn't have to. I'm your son. Besides, you never even asked, did you? You just assumed!

Joel and Fearless are questioning Zach at the police station, while David observes from an adjoining room.
Why was Joy at your party, Zach?
Zach: She wanted to talk. She was upset.
About the video?
Zach: No. Well, yeah, she was furious about that for a while. But,
that's not what she was upset about that night. She and her father had a fight.
About what?
Zach: I guess her father saw the video on her computer and...he found a check that I had given her...and he got this crazy idea that I was paying her for sex.
to himself: Ahhh, you gotta be kidding me!

So, can you tell us about the night that Joy that died? About your last conversation with her.
Mr. Lam: There isn't much to tell. She said she was going to UCLA, to the library to study. That was it.
You didn't get into an argument with her about ZachBerman? About her relationship with him?
Mr. Lam: No.
You didn't go into her computer and see the video of her and ?
Mr. Lam: I don't know how to work a computer.
I think you do, Mr. Lam. You see, you're right-handed.
Mr. Lam: So?
So, I'm left-handed. So was your daughter, Joy. I remember the picture from her bedroom. She's a southpaw, just like me. Which means she would have kept the mouse to her computer on the left-hand side of the keyboard. Just like me. But, when I went into her bedroom to check her computer, the mouse was on the right-hand side. Which means the last person to use her computer was right-handed, just like you.
Mr. Lam: That means nothing.
But, your DNA will mean something, Mr. Lam. Won't it? Because it's going to match the skin we found under your daughter's fingernails.
Joel: That's right. And when we get to roll up your shirt sleeves and we see the scratches that you've got, that's going to mean something, too. Isn't it, Mr. Lam?
Because you found the video. You found the video, you found the check and you assumed that your daughter was being paid for sex.
Joel: Your daughter was being paid for tutoring, Mr. Lam.
Mr. Lam:
That's what she told me.
Fearless: Yeah, but, you didn't believe her. You didn't believe her, though. Did you, Mr. Lam? Why not? Is there something about your life in Viet Nam that you didn't want your daughter to know? Because, you know, when I look around your home, I see somebody that doesn't want to remember where they came from.
Mr. Lam:
Many people came to America to start over.
Fearless: My brother, when he came home from the war, he told me all these stories about life in Saigon. Tudor(?) Street, all the bars, all the bar girls.

Flashback to Saigon's night life.
An American soldier follows someone through a door.

Mr. Lam:
I was afraid it was somehow in her genes...that she couldn't help herself...that it was destiny.
My beautiful Joy...Joy.

Flashback from the video of Joy getting into bed with Zach.

Mr. Lam: So, I followed her and when I found her naked, I lost my mind and did what I did.

Flashback of poker striking down again and again.

Fearless: Someone in your past was a prostitute back in Saigon, Mr. Lam? Your mother? Your sister?

Flashback of American soldier walking down alley with his arm around the shoulders of a boy. They enter the door and it closes.
Mr. Lam: Me.


The sound of thunder as David enters Berman's pool room where he, Fisher and Weller are laughing, celebrating.
Berman: Hey!
embraces David: There he is - the man of the hour! Did it stop raining?
David: It just started.
I thought we should have a little celebration.
Berman: Sure I can't get you a drink?
Berman: Bubbles or flat? (Lots of laughter) You know, David, I think you should think twice about being DA. Not that I'm going to go back on my promise, but I think you'd do a hell of a lot more behind the scenes, getting things done.
You know, he's got something there, David. Every town
needs someone who can get things done. You are the Man! You want something fixed - you call "The Fixer"!
Berman raises his glass: To David McNorris!
Fisher and Weller:
To David McNorris!
David clinks his bottled water against their glasses, but he looks troubled.

David is sitting on a park bench in the pouring rain drinking from a bottle of Scotch.

A window pane breaks, a hand reaches in to turn the latch on the door and David enters Andrea's home. He also cuts his hand on the broken glass.

Andrea is sitting on the couch in a robe. David has a towel around his shoulders.
You shouldn't be telling me this.
David: Why not? Write a story. Deputy DA helps murder suspect avoid capture.
You're really drunk.
David: No. In some ways, I'm more clear-headed than I've been in my whole life. Listen...I love it...the rain...
I have become everthing that I abhor. Everything that my father once was and I swore I wouldn't be...I've become. An adulterer, a liar, a drunk, a fixer. A fixer...
Why are you here, David?
David: I'm sorry, Andrea. I'm sorry I conned you into having an affair with a married man. You are a woman of great beauty and grace. You deserve a whole lot better than me.
Andrea slaps him!
You didn't con me.
David: Yeah, I did. Yeah, I did...
Where are you going?
David: Many miles to go before I sleep.
I can't let you drive drunk.
David: What are you going to do? Shoot me?

At the Berman mansion, the doorbell rings.
Ron Berman
comes downstairs in his bathrobe: Who is it?
David: It's your "fixer".
opens the door: It's very late.
David: I thought I'd take you up on that cocktail.
Somehow, I thing you've already had enough.
David: Oh, on the contrary, pal. I think I've just begun.
Berman:'re bleeding.
David: Yeah, I know.
Let me get you a towel.
David: No, a minute. I kind of like it.
So what can I do for you, David?
David: You know what the most amazing part of this whole mind-blowing day was? Seeing the look on your face when you found out your kid wasn't a murderer. Cause it wasn't relief - it was surprise.
I think you'd better leave.
David: You just couldn't imagine that your son could be different from you. Cause you know that you probably would have done it. So, you just assume your son would do it, too.
Get out of here!
David: Not all boys turn out like their old men. It's not inevitable.
I said, Get out!
David punches him and he falls to the floor. David grabs him and punches him again: Not all kids turn out to be their fathers.
He punches Berman again: Not all kids...
runs down the stairs: Stop it! (He pulls David off of his father and pushes him away.)
David: It's not inevitable!
Oh, God. Oh, God.
Zach: Dad...Dad, are you okay?
He broke my nose. The son of a bitch broke my nose.
Zach: I'll get some ice.
No, no, no...just stay here. Just stay here with me.
As Zach kneels down to comfort his father, David leaves the house.

wakes up: David?
Ssshhh...listen...Los Angeles...dry for nine months and then it pours.
Marian turns on the light: Oh, my God, you're bleeding!
No, no, no, don't...don't...don't worry about it.
Marian: What happened?
Your husband, the fixer, helped Berman's kid avoid prosecution. By happy chance, he was innocent but that doesn't
matter... because I did it. I did it to further my career. Not that I have one, any more, after I beat the crap out of Berman in his entry hall.
Marian: I'll get you a bandage.
Come here...come here....... I slept with that reporter, Andrea Little, for about six months.
Marian: I asked you...
You asked me if we were - present tense. And we weren't - any more. I'm a lawyer, remember?

Marian is packing her suitcases.
David: You knew?

Marian: Deep down, I always knew. But you always made me second-guess myself. You told me that I was insecure which, of course, I am. Because who wouldn't be - married to you? And all those nights at the gym, another late meeting and another working lunch...
David: It turns out deceit came second-nature to me.
Marian: I
knew what I was getting into the moment I laid eyes on you at Lynn Parson's wedding.
David: You asked me to dance.
I wanted to bask in that radiant light. So, when you asked me to marry you six weeks later, I jumped at the chance. Because being a part of the David McNorris show was the most exhilarating adventure that I could imagine. But, somewhere along the way, things changed and the script got darker and my role became insignificant.
David: Hey...hey...hey...hey....listen
David: Marian...
David: Marian.. You can never be insignificant.
But, you see, David, there's no room for supporting roles in a one-man show.
Marian finishes packing and leaves. David stands at the window and watches her drive away. Then, he polishes off his drink.