Season 4 – Episode 13 – “The Long Goodbye”

Episode Summary:

In a special episode guest written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz, C.J. (Allison Janney) reluctantly returns to Dayton, Ohio, to speak at her 20th high school class reunion but her return home includes an impromptu encounter with a rich and handsome classmate (Matthew Modine) — and a sobering understanding that her intellectual father is suddenly deteriorating from Alzheimer’s Disease. While C.J. is confronted with a kaleidoscope of emotions, she can’t help but check in on Toby (Richard Schiff) who struggles to fill in for her during news briefings.

Script:

THE WEST WING
"THE LONG GOODBYE"
WRITTEN BY: JON ROBIN BAITZ
DIRECTED BY: ALEX GRAVES

TEASER

FADE IN: INT. PRESS BRIEFING ROOM - NIGHT

C.J.
And after the meeting with the council on Foriegn Relations, the President and
the First Lady will be on their way to Camp David for the weekend, where the
Governor of Nebraska will join them.

REPORTER
Wasn't Josh Lyman scheduled to do the press briefings today and over the
weekend?

C.J.
You have me, just me.

REPORTER KATIE
Does this mean you're not going to your High School Reunion in Dayton?

C.J.
Yep. If that's all...

REPORTER KATIE
We understood you were to deliver a speech at this reunion entitled,
"The Promise
of a Generation."

C.J.
How did you know that?

REPORTER CHRIS
It's in the Dayton papers.

C.J.
Right.

REPORTER
Could you at least tell us what you think the promise of generation is,
since you're
chickening out?

C.J.
I'm not really sure, but like pornography, I know it when I see it. They
came up with
the title and because it's high school, I felt it was an assignment and I
couldn't say
no. Unfortunately, my job prevents me from certain pleasures and I'm not
chickening out.

REPORTER
We don't get Josh is what you're saying.

C.J.
No fresh meat for the lions.

Laughter.

C.J.
That's a full lid.

REPORTERS
Thank you, C.J.

C.J. leaves the podium and walks back to the PRESS AREA.

JOSH
Thank you. I couldn't go out there. Like they had this sadistic, anticipatory
glee.

C.J.
I agree. I have to stay.

TOBY
What are you still doing here?

They all go to the HALLWAY.

C.J.
Josh can't do the briefings. Anyway, I missed the last flight to Dayton,
so it's moot.

CAROL
No, there's one at 7:50. You're booked on it.

C.J. gives Carol a look of you're-suppose-to-be-on-my-side.

CAROL
Well, there is. I dont make the schedules.

TOBY
Go. I'll do the briefings.

JOSH
Good luck.

They reach C.J.'S OFFICE.

C.J.
You can't. It's not your schtick. You don't know who to call on, where to
look, when
to smile and interrupt...

TOBY
Are you scared of that promise thing?

C.J.
Yes.

TOBY
No, that can't be it. It's your dad. I, sorry. I... uh... How's he doing?

C.J.
You're not allowed to use the words "Alzheimer's" or "doctors".

TOBY
Nevertheless, those are the relevant words.

C.J.
His wife scares me. The woman who takes care of him scares me. Molly, she
was my
English teacher. Believe me, she was a very tough grader.

TOBY
You're scared of your high school English teacher.

C.J.
Well, she's also now my stepmother, so it's just a little bit fraught.

TOBY
Did you ever not get an "A" in her class? Nevertheless, Dayton awaits.

Toby begins to walk out, but turns around.

TOBY
Psst. Finish your speech.

SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES.
END TEASER
* * *

ACT ONE

FADE IN: INT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

	THE SAME NIGHT

C.J. is on her cellphone in line going through airport security. She takes
off her
heels and puts them in a box. She's about to walk through a metal dectector.

C.J.
Toby, a couple of things, very important. There's a draft of some notes for
a speech
on the National Endowment for the Arts and the President is going to ask
for something
maybe over the weekend, and also, Toby, the secion on embassy security...

She walks through the metal dectector and it goes off. She backs up.

C.J. [cont]
...is still being ironed out by Josh and I haven't...

She takes off her beepers and walks through, but the alarm sounds again.

C.J. [cont]
I haven't... had a-a chance to work on the ... Hold on.

She puts down the cellphone and walks through. The alarm doesn't go off.

C.J.
[to security guard] Thank you. [to Toby] No, not you.

CUT TO: INT. AIRPORT TERMINAL - CONTINUOUS
C.J. is still on the phone with Toby. She is getting on the escalator to go
to her
gate, but the escalator is shut off, so she has to walk up it with her bag.

C.J.
No, I didn't mean that you had no social skills Toby. I'm sorry if you think
I was
being insensitive to your... I-I think your very... you're a very pretty
girl, Toby.
Oh, um, by the way, I have... I have notes about the SEC appointment speech.

She's struggling to carry her bag up the steps.

C.J.
I can't do this. I'll call you later. I'm going to have a heart attack.

CUT TO: EXT. TERMINAL A - NIGHT

	DAYTON, OHIO

It's raining outside and C.J. is standing, waiting with her luggage. She's
talking
on her phone.

C.J.
Toby, if you get this, there's also a errant draft of a briefing paper on the
agricultural training exchange with the South African students and it has
to pass
through the... Um, I think I have been maybe cut off. I'll e-mail you.

She's put's away her phone and a guy approaches her carrying luggage.

MARCO ARLENS
Wow. Hmm. You look basically exactly the same.

C.J.
Pardon me?

MARCO
Yeah, you do. I didn't think you'd be coming. I feel slightly so much
better now.

C.J.
I'm hearing Violent Femmes and thinking Quaaludes and detentions and... tacos?

MARCO
Well, there was a little bit more to it than that.

C.J.
Marco. Marco Arlens.

They shake hands.

C.J.
Where's your band?

MARCO
Ah, alas. The Mollusk of Lust. I'm afraid we didn't make it.

C.J.
Nor did your purple-and-magenta mohawk.

MARCO
Yeah, but unlike the Mollusks mohawks are making a comeback, but as fauxhawks.

C.J.
Are you dreading this?

MARCO
Yeah, but I'm not the one who's making a speech about...

C.J.
"Promise of a Generation." So what are you up to now?

MARCO
Uh... sorta... living in Paris.

C.J.
Paris? You were a baseball-playing punk rocker.

MARCO
And you were the smartest, funniest, saddest girl in Dayton.

C.J.
Thank you. I think that might've been a compliment.

MARCO
How's your dad-- Mr. Cregg-- he's not still teaching math, is he?

C.J.
Oh, no. He has a new job now. He gets married. After my mom died-- twice,
now to a
lovely lady in the English Department. Her job is baking and hating me. Did
you ever
have Ms. Lapham?

MARCO
Yeah, she hated me, too. So, she's your stepmom. Wow. So, it's just all
fun, huh?

C.J.
Welcome home.

An airport shuttle pulls up.

MARCO
Oh, that's... that's my ride.

C.J. hails a cab, and Marco walks to the shuttle. He turns around...

MARCO
Hey... listen... at the risk of being... anything... you wouldn't want to
go to this
thing together, would you? I mean, we could get a vodka first, which helps
with the
fear, and a cracker, which helps with the bad food.

C.J.
Safety in numbers. That'd be great.

Marco opens the door for C.J. and she gets in.

MARCO
I'll see you.

CUT TO: EXT. C.J.'S DAD'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The cab pulls away and C.J. is standing at the curb looking at the house. She
begins to
walk up the steps, when her father comes outside and meets her at the
front steps.

TALMIDGE "TAL" CREGG
Claudia Jean. When you go out on a date you're supposed to call if you come
in after
midnight. Aren't you? Hmm?

C.J.
I'm sorry. I, uh...

Tal begins to laugh and grabs C.J. by the hand, pulling her up the step
and into
the house.

TAL
Come on in. Come on. Come and have a Manhattan. Molly made cupcakes for
us before
retiring.

C.J. enters the house where a jazz record is playing.

C.J.
Great.

TAL
Tell me everything. I want to know everything. Let's sit up all night and
catch up.
I don't seem to do much of that anymore. Ticking clocks, you know, and so
much to do.

C.J.
How are you, daddy?

TAL
Well, I've been a little blue lately because I haven't been able to go fishing.

C.J.
It's February.

TAL
Oh, I know that. I'm aware of that but I've got these new Italian flies I
want to
try out. They're really quite flirtatious. Would you go to the river with me in
the morning for an hour?

C.J.
You want to go fishing tomorrow?

TAL
I know. I know, it's going to be cold but I thought it might be bracing. I
don't want
to be at the mercy of the seasons, do I, at my age? Why let meteorology
dictate? We
used to go fishing, didn't we?

He pours himself and C.J. a drink.

C.J.
Yes.

TAL
There you go, then.

C.J.
Once or twice.

TAL
Just like the old days.

C.J.
I actually don't recall lovi...

He hands her the drink.

C.J.
Yes, just like.

TAL
You know, when you get to a certain age the little things you use to do
matter more
and more. Old Mr., um... Moyers, from two doors down, after his Beth died,
all he
wanted to do was to be taken to the Astro dinette for tuna melts, which is
what they'd
done together every Thursday. And now... [turns music up louder] it's me
taking him.

C.J.
Are we going to wake up Molly?

TAL
You could blast Elgar in here with 25 speakers. You wouldn't wake up Molly.

C.J.
How is Molly?

TAL
Marvelous. Funny. Fun. Lots of rules. Ex vice-principals can't give up
there principles,
can they? You hungry?

He walks off to kitchen.

C.J.
I'll be right there. I'm just going to put my bags down and wash my face.

C.J. enters the BATHROOM. She paces back and forth in front of the mirror. She
looks
in the mirror then runs her fingers through her hair, sighs then picks up
her drink
and walks back out.

C.J.
About Mr. Moyers. You think he... dad?

C.J. enters the KITCHEN.

C.J.
Mr. Moyers lived in Shaker Heights. The Astro's in Cleveland.

TAL
Well, I know that. I meant Marianthall, not Moyers. Did I say Moyers? Yeah,
I started
smoking again. I'm not supposed to, but there it is.

C.J.
Um, why is this kitchen such a mess?

TAL
Well, we have a nice lady that comes in, but... who knows when? [puts down
his cigarette]
In fact, I don't know where anything is in here.

C.J.
Daddy, um, what do you...?

He fills a pot with water and places it on the stove.

TAL
Lately, I've been perfecting a zabaglione. You know what that is?

C.J.
Um... an Italian... custard sauce.

TAL
Correct, Miss Cregg. A custard... [strikes a match] ...fabled for its
restorative
properties. Somewhere in this kitchen is a copper pot with a curvy ass. I
need it.

He lights the gas stove with the match, while C.J. finds the copper pot.

C.J.
Here?

TAL
Yeah. Good. Good. Can't do it without that. It facilitates the whipping at
a far
greater rate. How's your job?

C.J.
We're happy. This is the time we...

TAL
Somewhere in this hellhole of a kitchen is a really good bottle of Marsala
wine.

C.J.
We get to.... we have a-a window. We get to.. we get to do... actual work
for awhile.

Tal pulls out another cigarette and lights it, while C.J. puts out the first
one he
didn't finish.

C.J.
No more campaigning. Got it.

She finds the wine next to a picture of her and President Bartlet.

TAL
Oh, good. You know, I-I like your man. His economic theories-- so generous,
so good,
but he-he hides his light under a bushel. Why is that?

C.J. sees the new cigarette in his hands.

C.J.
You already... Dad... He wanted to, uh... win. He did so with honor. We
played clean.

TAL
Well, that he did, that you did. I'm proud of you.

C.J.
Thank you. You're writing?

TAL
Yeah. A handbook for the teaching of mathematics to a generation of
mathematically
illiterate teachers.

C.J.
That's wonderful, Daddy.

TAL
I was thinking of asking you to write a forward, but I suppose that's
unethical, no?

C.J.
Not at all. I'd be happy to.

TAL
Well, it seems to me that everything is intrinsically unethical these days.

C.J.
Numerical Idiocy. Cathy title.

He is now at the stove whipping the eggs over the fire.

TAL
Yeah, well, go to the supermarket. They can't make change. They can't tell
you that
if you drive at 40 miles an hour for three hours you've gone 260 miles.

C.J.
Daddy, 120.

TAL
I have found that this pot is the very most efficient way of making a
custard and
I can only surmise that it's because it doesn't allow the eggs to stay in
one place
long enough for them to get overcooked. [stops whipping the eggs]

C.J.
I think you have to keep whipping.

TAL
What? Hundred and twenty! Oh, God. Wow. Senior moment.

C.J.
Yeah, you have to...

Tal looks down at the eggs then throws the egg beater down.

C.J.
Dad... maybe you need more help.

TAL
Everybody needs more help.

C.J.
Yes, but I don't think you're doing as well as...

TAL
I have to finish my book. Kids aren't being taught any of the important things:
Inductive reasoning. Estimation. It's gone, it's all disappearing! Oh,
stop staring
at me, darling. You know you were brought up better than that.

Tal walks off. C.J. turns off the stove. She walks back into the LIVING
ROOM where
the jazz is still playing.

C.J.
Daddy?

She then walks up a flight of steps and knocks on his BEDROOM door. Inside,
Tal is
sitting on the bed holding a cat.

TAL
Archimedes is getting old.

C.J.
Where's Molly?

TAL
Well, I mean... of course... she left.

C.J.
She left? What does that mean?

TAL
This obviously isn't much fun. Not what she signed on for.

C.J.
But this is what's happening. You don't just walk away. This is what's
happening to you.

TAL
40 miles an hour for 3 hours has always been... 120. I don't know what I
was thinking.

C.J. goes and sits beside him on the bed.

FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE
* * *

ACT TWO

FADE IN: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - DAY

	SATURDAY MORNING

Toby, while walking the HALLWAY, is on the cellphone with C.J.

TOBY
Yeah, so everything's going well here.

C.J.
Is it? Good.

TOBY
I, uh, where's the, uh...? I lost the, uh, uh, that NEA thing you wanted.

C.J.
Lost it? It's notes. There's a file?

TOBY
Yeah, you needed me to polish a draft?

C.J.
Well, there's no draft to polish. That's what I'm saying. There's notes. I
don't
have them here.

TOBY
I'm sure I can find it.

C.J.
I want to be clear about the briefing, Toby. What I meant when I said that
you need
to know who to look at and when to ask certain questions is avoid the calm
ones. Get
the anxious ones out of the way first, sweetie, to give the pros room to
figure out
what it is they really want. And avoid the ones who don't blink. They're
power devils.

Josh and Leo are waiting in the OUTER OVAL OFFICE when Toby enters.

TOBY
I don't know what that is.

C.J.
Yes you do. Is anything happening?

TOBY
The usual chaos, but minus ten percent. How are things?

C.J.
Usual. Uneventful. Daytonesque.

TOBY
How's you father?

C.J.
Fine.

TOBY
And the wicked stepmother?

C.J.
Even finer.

TOBY
The weather?

C.J.
Perfection.

TOBY
I'll call you later.

A group of people begin to exit the Oval Office. Toby, Leo and Josh enter.

CUT TO: EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD, DAYTON, OHIO - DAY
C.J. pulls up in front of house and gets out. A woman walks out of the house to
meet her.

C.J.
Hi, Lib.

LIBBY
You come for the reunion but are staying for the comfort and ease of home?

C.J.
Yep, 'fraid so.

They kiss each other on the cheek.

LIBBY
You have to stop being beautiful sometime, sweetheart.

C.J.
That would be today.

LIBBY
The speech.

C.J.
"The Promise of a Generation"? Really?

C.J.
You going?

LIBBY
No. I think I know exactly why you're here at 7:05 AM. Your stepmom. She's
moved
right back in.

C.J.
I prefer to think of your mother as my dad's third wife, Libby.

LIBBY
Yeah, well, let me tell you, it's been fun. Come on in, see if you can broker
a deal. God knows I've tried.

They enter the HOUSE where MOLLY is taking off a little boys coat.

HARRY
I want "lemolaide"!

LIBBY
You'll get "lemolaide" after you wash your hands which have snail on them,
Harry.

Molly walks to the KITCHEN where C.J. follows her.

C.J.
Molly...

MOLLY LAPHAM CREGG
I failed. I know. Please, no lectures.

C.J.
What happened?

MOLLY
Have you been there? Have you seen...?

LIBBY
Mom, nobody is...

MOLLY
I made a mistake. It was years of him being charming. You both know how... how
charming the man can be.

C.J.
Yes, but...

MOLLY
I'm in the English department, he's in the math. There were lunches. There
were quiet
lunches for years. And we wait, both of us, waiting for years. After your
mom dies
and I had married what's-his name, we were still two missed connections. Two
withered,
married, ancient people waiting...

C.J.
Why didn't you call me, Molly?

MOLLY
I didn't get to spend time with your father. We never had an affair. I'm
sorry, but I
don't want to diaper...

C.J.
Shut up! Shut up. You were a wonderful teacher, Molly. You should be ashamed
of yourself.

MOLLY
Well, I am. And did you know what the nickname for the disease is? "The
long goodbye."

C.J.
Well, not in your case, though, is it? In your case, more accurately it's
the short
"see you later goodbye" isn't it?

LIBBY
C.J....

C.J.
What happened to reciprocity? Do you ever imagine in a million years if
the roles
were reversed he would ever do this to you? This is-- what you're doing
right now--
invalidates everything that came before all the good, the years of
teaching. This
cancels a good and valuable life. He needs you.

MOLLY
I need him! [turns and faces the sink] You came for the reunion? You're
giving a speech
aren't you? It was in the paper.

C.J. walks away.

MOLLY
"The Promise of a Generation". We were going to go and stand in the back.

CUT TO: EXT. STREAM - DAY
Tal is standing in the middle of the stream, and C.J. approaches with her
fishing pole.

TAL
You remember how to do this. It's not the wrist. It's the fulcrum and
lever effect,
sort of, and then let it drift, and then let it sink and, of course,
then nothing
happens, which is the fun part. How is she? You went to see her.

C.J.
No, no.

TAL
Oh, sweetie, I know when young people lie. Did she say how long she's been
gone? It
seems like weeks. Has it been weeks or just a few days?

C.J.
Dad, you know we need to get some help if Molly won't come back. We do.

TAL
Oh, someone to come in and referee me.

C.J.
We would figure something out.

TAL
You mean, more than a nice lady from Catholic family Services?

C.J.
Well, we have to find some way because you being alone won't work out now.

TAL
Why not? I can work around the clock, there's so much to do. There's a
whole chapter
on "Women and Math Anxiety" because for years-- now, why is that women
underperformed
in math?

C.J.
The teachers were sexiest men?

TAL
Exactly. So there's blocked women to be helped.

C.J.'s having trouble casting her line.

TAL
Here. Let me help you. That's good. Now just... nice and easy. Nice and easy
just like
that. And...

He casts the line, then gives her back her pole.

C.J.
Thank you. You could hurt yourself.

TAL
You could hurt yourself. Look at that hook. Practically a nipple piercing.

C.J.
You will hurt yourself. We can afford it. I can afford it.

TAL
Molly never liked to go fishing. She considered it devilish. I explained
to her,
"Well, we throw them back usually." Mostly I just like to stand and work
the odds.

C.J.
Have you... done... have you done anything, seen doctors?

TAL
Doctors? Ach. My age smells of liniment and waiting rooms. No, I've researched.
There's a new drug, Reminyl. Buys you a few months, they say.

C.J.
We could arrange to see someone. Lee Voight, he's your friend. He's a terrific
neurologist.

TAL
It's such a beautiful day, Molly. I'd prefer not to screw it up with all that.

C.J.
Dad, I'm not...

TAL
Molly, please, please! This nagging-- can't we just enjoy it here?

C.J.
Dad, I'm not Molly.

TAL
You're not Molly. You're not Molly.

He turns to look at C.J.

TAL
[screaming] Who... Who the hell are you? Who the hell are you? Who the hell
are you?
Who are you? All these damn women hounding me! My mother, my mother calls
this morning
to remind me to fold the socks when I get back in. And my daughter just
abandoned me!
Mothers, wives, daughters, and none of them stay! All these damn women!

He looks at C.J. again and finally recognizes her. C.J. begins to walk
towards him.
Bracing herself against the current, she grabs his arm.

C.J.
Dad... you... cannot expect me to silently do nothing. You're going to
require care.

TAL
I wasn't built for it. You came for the prom, not for this.

C.J.
Reunion. I'm not going.

TAL
Coward. That world, the expertise, the solicitude, no. No, thanks. I want
to go down
with some silence, with my music, with some grace.

C.J.
I'll quit and take care of you.

TAL
"We sail," said Pascal, "in a vast sphere," Claudia Jean, "ever drifting
in uncertainty,
driven from end to end." [caresses her cheek] I'd much rather see you on
TV, darling,
than sitting opposite me, watching a demolition derby going on in my brain.

She lets him go, and they go back to fishing.

FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO
* * *

ACT THREE

FADE IN: INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE  - DAY

	SATURDAY LATE AFTERNOON

C.J. and her father are sitting on a couch talking to DR. LEE VOIGHT.

TAL
I'm here under duress, Lee.

DR. LEE VOIGHT
Yeah, Tal? Big deal, so am I.

C.J.
Stop it, both of you. I'm very upset and I don't want to laugh.

DR. VOIGHT
Look, it's subtle disease and it creeps up on you, Tal. 175,000 people will be
diagnosed this year.

TAL
Why on earth would a statistic like that comfort me?

DR. VOIGHT
I thought you liked numbers. I'm not trying to comfort you. I'm talking to
you like an
old pal. You used to play golf with me, and you just stopped.

TAL
I what? I used to play golf... and I stopped?

DR. VOIGHT
I wondered why; now I know. We like to say it's not a disease where you
forget where
you put the key, it's where you forget what the key is for.

TAL
I know what the key is for and I know what the door is for and I think I'll
use it.

He gets up but C.J. grabs him by his hand and pulls him back down.

DR. VOIGHT
You're not alone. You're not the first or the last, pal. Ten percent of
the people
over 65 have it.

TAL
That lumps me in with several million other poor souls. Yay!

C.J.
There are new drugs.

DR. VOIGHT
Yeah, they're not bad. They're not knock-them-out-of-the-ballpark either. We
can
slow it down.

TAL
Oh... good. He can slow it down. What a concept.

DR. VOIGHT
You shouldn't be alone, Tal. Having someone there helps keep it at
bay. Alone is
not good.

TAL
I'm not alone. I have my book and a cat, right? So, we have a little while,
unfortunately, before I begin not to recognize you, Lee.

DR. VOIGHT
But you didn't recognize me. You covered and I saw it and that's going to last
longer and happen more and more and, by the way, what the hell happened
to Molly?

TAL
It's, "quote" hard on the spouse, isn't it? I read that.

C.J.
We need to make plans, Lee.

DR. VOIGHT
Let's not sugarcoat this. Known you for a long time and I just want to say this
because I've known you've always been a straight shooter. Because you
hate being
a burden, you're probably aware that it's harder on the people around you
than it
will be on you. For you, it will be... not unpleasant particularly if we
put you
on the right drugs-- including antidepressants-- it won't hurt.

TAL
[chuckling] If only that were true, kids. [gets up and leaves]

C.J.
He's too smart, it's no good. He won't be handled.

DR. VOIGHT
Yes, he's getting paranoid, mad, and trying to fight.

C.J.
Yes.

DR. VOIGHT
Well, that's good. Mad is good. He should be mad, it sucks. Look, C.J.,
there is a
good home. It's actually not depressing in any way. We can get him in if we
make a
call now. He has a while, I think but you're going to have to start making
plans
right now, today.

CUT TO: EXT. ROAD - DAY
CUT TO: INT. INSIDE A CAR - CONTINUOUS
Tal and C.J. are in the car driving down the street. Tal is driving and C.J. is
in the passenger seat. Opera music is playing.

TAL
Should we buy you a corsage for the prom?

C.J.
Reunion. I'm not going.

TAL
You damn well are. Your speech: "The Promise of a Generation". Awfully grand
title, no?

C.J.
They came up with it. I agreed because I wanted to be here to see you.

TAL
No, you didn't.

C.J.
You could come and live in Washington with me. I have room.

TAL
Do you? Can you imagine? Talk about ruining a good thing.

The light turns red and Tal stops.

TAL
Okay, let's see. Is this uh... Lakeside or Grandview? [lights a cigarette]

C.J.
I know why you started smoking again. It's because you use the time it gives
you to
work stuff out. You use the cigarettes to stall for time.

TAL
No, sweetie, I started smoking again because I forgot that 20 years ago I quit.

C.J.
Great, that's great.

TAL
See, I know exactly what I'm doing.

The light turns green. C.J.'s cellphone rings. Tal has the right blinker on,
but he
turns left into oncoming traffic. He stops in the middle of the road. The
opera music
is blaring.

C.J.
Dad! Dad! [into cellphone] Hello?

TOBY
So how's it going?

C.J.
Please tell me everything's okay.

TOBY
All quiet in the West Wing.

The cars are honking at C.J. and her father, who are still stopped in the road.

TOBY
What's all that honking? You in a parade? They having a parade for you?

C.J.
Let's talk later.

She hangs up.

C.J.
[to Tal] Pull over, I'm driving. Pull over.

They pull over to a curb. C.J. gets out and gets in the driver seat and
Tal moves
to the passenger seat.

TAL
Well, let's go, if we're going.

C.J.
I mean... tell me... things like your checkbook, your money, things like
that-- what
do you propose to do? Tell me. You're smart, tell me.

TAL
You know I'm pretty good with numbers.

C.J.
Oh? If we drove for 3 hours at 40 miles an hour? I mean, tell me! You are
holding on
to something that...

TAL
What am I holding on to? My consciousness? My identity?

C.J.
...can't be willed away by sheer force of personality, dad.

TAL
Tell me, brilliant woman that you are, would you hand over those things
without a
fight? I need a little more time, C.J. If I let it in at it's own pace,
it'll just
get dark faster.

They sit there in silence, then C.J. starts the car and pulls off.

FADE OUT.
END ACT THREE
* * *

ACT FOUR

FADE IN: INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

	SATURDAY NIGHT

Tal is playing a Gershwin prelude on the piano while listening to Toby do
a press
conference on the TV.

TOBY
[on TV] The same is the same, and the same is true for the bailout of the
iron industry.
Nothing was said that has not been... that has consistently not been said
and is still
being not said. And what's, what's, what's not being said is often uh,
more important
than-than, uh, what's stated particularly by Congress.

TAL
[to C.J.] That man lacks grace and charm.

C.J. is in her ROOM getting dressed.

C.J.
Do you think?

TAL
They really need you.

C.J.
Yeah, they kind of do.

The doorbell rings.

C.J.
Dad! Dad, can you get the door?

TAL
Oh, yeah.

Tal goes to the door. It's Marco.

TAL
Mr. Arlen. I heard you were back in town.

MARCO
Mr. Cregg, how's the algebra business?

TAL
Abysmal mess, I hear. But, fortunately, as the waitresses like to say,
"Not my table."
Come on in.

MARCO
Thank you.

TAL
You're no longer a rabid punk rocker, I see.

MARCO
How could you possibly remember that? I was your student for one semester.

TAL
Oh, I remember the detentions and the ditching and the low test scores and your
imperviousness to algorithms. Let's get you a drink.

MARCO
Scotch.

TAL
You were better-looking with the mohawk, son.

MARCO
Yeah, my mom thinks so, too.

TAL
So, what're you up to now?

MARCO
I'm a horologist.

TAL
You fix watches. You were in trouble.

MARCO
Yeah, Yeah, I, uh, I spent a lot of time in detention.

TAL
No, no, After. You were in prison.

C.J.
No, Dad, no. [to Marco] He gets confused. Dad, no, wasn't... Marco... wasn't
in prison.

MARCO
Yes, I was. I did a year. It wasn't hard; I was younger. Stock
tips. Anyway... I-I lost
most of what I had and moved on.

TAL
C'est la guerre, eh, son?

MARCO
C'est la guerre.

TAL
So, what's the skinny? You good with the watches?

MARCO
Uh... yes, sir.

Tal pulls out a gold pocket watch and shows it to Marco.

MARCO
Wow! 1931 Hamilton. One of the few thoroughly American watches. Each piece,
each part,
handmade in the U.S. of A. Not many American watch-makers.

TAL
My dad's.

MARCO
Huh. You're losing time, Mr. Cregg.

TAL
That, son, I am.

MARCO
Let's have a look inside.

TAL
Really?

MARCO
Uh, yeah.

Tal begins to walk to the table. Marco looks at C.J. who agrees.

CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN TABLE - CONTINUOUS
Marco is sitting at the table with the clock open looking at the watch
pieces through
a magnifying glass.

MARCO
Yeah, isochronism is out of beat.

C.J.
Is it?

MARCO
Yeah. This is your balance cock and your hairspring. The fourth wheel and
the third
wheel here.

C.J.
That's me.

TAL
Hmm. Oh, what am I thinking? You kids should get going.

C.J.
Maybe we should.

TAL
I've always cherished this thing. My father kept perfect time-- marked it,
measured it
with this-- the hellos and good-byes. It keeps faltering; nobody can do
anything.

MARCO
Well, I could retool it. It wants a timing machine. Send it to you in a
few weeks
from Paris.

TAL
France? You're a convicted felon. How do I know you won't steal it?

MARCO
I'm not a recidivist. It would be a pleasure, Mr. Cregg. After all, you
taught me how
to calculate the number of stones in the Great Pyramid.

TAL
I did?

MARCO
Mm-hmm.

TAL
How do you do that? I can't remember anything. For days sometimes.

He gets up to light a cigarette, but notices a picture and picks it up.

TAL
I... I can't remember who this is.

He shows them the picture of a little girl in a white dress smiling at
the camera.
We assume this is C.J. around the age of four. C.J. walks out of the room.

MARCO
We should be going, Mr. Cregg.

TAL
Forgive me.

C.J. is in the FOYER putting on her coat with a tear rolling down her face.

CUT TO: EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT
C.J. and Marco are in the parking lot sitting in a car looking at their fellow
students walk into the building.

C.J.
Are we that old?

MARCO
Do you recognize anyone?

C.J.
Oh... Bill Morton form debate. Julia Keller from Cheerleading. Liz Varney
from tennis.

MARCO
Ben Ehrenreich... he was sweet.

C.J.'s cellphone rings.

MARCO
Tried to kiss me once.

She looks at the screen it it says, "Toby WWing," but she doesn't answer.

C.J.
I don't think I can... face it right now.

MARCO
When do you give your speech?

C.J.
After dinner, before the scary dancing.

MARCO
After dinner?

They both exchange flirtacious glances back and forth then Marco starts the
car and
pulls out of the parking lot.

CUT TO: INT. TAL'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Tal is on the piano playing the Aria from Bach's Goldberg Variations.

CUT TO: INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Molly is standing in the mirror looking at herself.

CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
We are focused on a cellphone sitting on a table, and in the background we
can see two
people "playing" in the bed. C.J. is kissing Marco when she glances over at
the clock
and jumps up.

C.J.
Mmm! I'm like, I'm like on in a few minutes.

MARCO
No, that, no, that... that clock's 20 minutes fast.

C.J.
Oh.

She falls back on to him.

MARCO
Anyway, you're about to find out.

C.J.
What am I about to find out?

MARCO
The bittersweet thrill of high school popularity. There were days, some
days, when...
we'd played at a party. The Mollusks or we'd won a baseball game and... there
was just
that... thing, that...

C.J.
Hmm.

MARCO
...everybody loving you in that moment.

C.J.
Are you saying you're one of those people who think like, in F. Scott
Fitzgerald, their
best years were 20 years prior?

MARCO
Oh, God no. No, I think the best day's gotta be the next day. Life is
all... "what's
next?" It's like those billboards where, before the actual ad goes up,
they put in,
in big block letters... "Watch this space."

CUT TO: INT. TAL'S KITCHEN - NIGHT
Tal is at the table typing what we presume to be his math book, when he
looks up and
sees Molly standing in the doorway.

CUT TO: INT. BANQUET HALL - NIGHT
C.J. is standing at podium in front of a banner that says "West Dayton High".

C.J.
My name is C.J. Cregg. As you know, I work for the President of the United
States.
This is why I was asked to make a short speech for our reunion. It's a terrible
subject, a terrible idea, "The Promise of a Generation." So bad, I was going to
start out with a joke and fill the whole thing in with more jokes. But I
find the
topic has gotten under my skin while I wasn't paying attention, because every
generation has promise, and every generation fails that promise in some
respects.
How can we not? What is promise if not something that's impossible to live
up to?
My boss had to recently make his case to the American people that he was worth
re-electing, and it was... not an easy process, nor should it be. And in
its wake,
I've been thinking a lot about civility, civic duty, and kindness, and
how pervasive
and powerful they are, how enduringly persuasive those qualities are in
American life,
and how I see them all around me, day after day. America is a terribly
difficult idea
filled with promise and impossible to live up to. Promise is inchoate and
promise is
what binds us.

Molly, Tal and Liz enter the hall and stand in the back where Marco is.

C.J. [cont]
Some of us died, some got sick, some got rich, some... had bad luck, some
of us were
fortunate... more than others.

C.J sees Molly and her father standing in the back listening.

C.J. [cont]
But failed promise only truly fails when it leads to lowered expectations.

Her cellphone rings.

C.J. [cont]
Um... Sorry. Excuse me one sec. [into phone] Toby, not now, not now, not
in the--

CUT TO: INT. COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE - NIGHT

TOBY
Something happened. Turn on CNN.

C.J.
[on phone] I hope it's monumental and not some joke timed for the exact
moment I'm
giving my speech, Toby.

Toby walks to the HALLWAY.

TOBY
It is. Two car bombs outside our embassies in Asia. One went off, one didn't.
A message to expect more of the same within the next 24 hours: Four.

C.J.
Oh, jeez. How many...?

TOBY
No casualties, thank God. If you can try and-and get back, uh... There are
no direct
flights, but if you connect out of Chicago, you can be in, we think, at 6:30
in the
morning.

C.J.
Um... let me get moving. I'll call you in a few minutes on my way to the
airport.

TOBY
Okay.

They hang up. Toby enters the Press Room.

CUT TO: INT. BANQUET HALL - NIGHT

C.J.
I'm sorry, I have to go. There's been... We have... I'm sorry. I...

MARCO
What happened?

C.J.
Some bombing threats to embassies. I'm sorry, I have to go. I have to ge to the
airport and get back to D.C.

They walk out to the FOYER.

MARCO
I'll get the car.

TAL
Are you all right?

C.J.
I have to go. Tal, I-I don't know what to do about this situation.

TAL
Well, nobody does; we'll just try and figure it out. I mean, between the
lot of us,
there's surely one superior mind still working; I don't know whose.

C.J.
Right.

MOLLY
We'll drive with you to the airport if you like.

TAL
C.J. Before I forget. Tell Marco, send it back to me soon. Please.

He places the watch in her hands.

TAL
And working. Time matters.

Tal turns around to walk off, but C.J. grabs his hand.

C.J.
I'll see you next week.

TAL
You can't keep flying back and forth.

She leans in and kisses him on the cheek. The car pulls up, and C.J. and
her father
get in. They pull off with Marco following them.

DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES.
FADE TO BLACK.
THE END
* * *

The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells
Production, Warner Brothers Television and NBC. No copyright infringement
is intended.

Episode 4.13 -- "The Long Goodbye"
Original Air Date: January 15, 2003, 9:00 PM EST

Transcibed by: ck1czar
February 6, 2003
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