Sliders - 29.7
[ bottom ]
               OVER BLACK:
               The familiar sound of "Cry Like A Man" begins.

               FADE IN:



               EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

               Only glimpses of sunlight break through the trees surrounding
               the (possibly dirt) road. The traffic is practically
               nonexistent. There is but one MAN walking along the road. At
               the moment, we can only see his feet as he walks down the
               road.

               From this angle, we see a car approaching. As the car passes,
               they HONK THEIR HORN.

                                   FEMALE DRIVER (O.S.)
                             (as she passes)
                         Hey, Max!

                                   MAN (O.S.)
                         Where are my muffins?!

               There's ANOTHER HONK. This is the only response he gets, as
               the car is already too far away for any meaningful
               conversations.

               The man continues to walk again. A moment later, another car
               speeds past, travelling far too fast.

                                   MAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
                         Hey, slow down! 
                             (beat)
                         Kids.

               He keeps on walking. He's happy. It's a nice day.

               We SLOWLY PAN UP, seeing the man from behind. He carries a
               cloth shopping bag in one hand and a bottle of soda in the
               other.

               As we reach the man's head, he stops walking. He turns around
               to take in the feel of a gentle breeze, revealing to us that
               he is REMBRANDT BROWN. 

               He's a little bit older than the last time we saw him, with
               hints of gray in his hair.

               After a moment, Remmy turns and continues to walk down this
               road until the SONG ENDS.



               INT. REMBRANDT'S APARTMENT - DAY

               The apartment is small. It's an apartment located over
               someone's garage, so it's pretty much one room with a small
               kitchen, but Remmy has made it his own.

               The door opens and Remmy walks in.

                                   REMBRANDT
                             (singing to himself)
                         Wait a minute. I feel a tear
                         formin' in this eye...
                             (beat)
                         Boop-wap-wap.

               He continues to hum as he walks to his kitchen area, hitting
               the button on his answering machine as he begins to unpack
               his groceries.

               The answering machine BEEPS.

                                   MALE VOICE (V.O.)
                         Hey, Max. How ya been? Listen, I'm
                         trying to pull together a little
                         poker game while Rita's at her
                         mother's. Just some cards and some
                         beers. I'm thinking Friday night.
                         Let me know if you're in.

               The machine BEEPS AGAIN.

                                   FEMALE VOICE (V.O.)
                         Max, it's Lucy. It's 10:30. I guess
                         you're out. 
                             (beat)
                         I'll call back. Or you can call me
                         if you want.
                             (beat)
                         It's Lucy.

               Rembrandt smiles. The machine BEEPS TWICE. No more messages.

               Remmy finishes putting his groceries away and grabs the TV
               remote off of the counter. He turns on his TV. The channel
               that comes up is playing "Planet Of The Apes". Remmy shakes
               his head and flips the channel. The news comes on.

               Remmy puts the remote down and walks into the bathroom. From
               O.S., we can hear water turn on.

               From the TV, we HEAR AN INTERVIEW taking place.

                                   FEMALE INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
                         ...always wanted to be a singer?

                                   REMBRANDT (V.O.)
                         I don't know if I've always known,
                         but I think it's always been a part
                         of me. Even before I started
                         performing, I was singing around
                         the house and in school. That
                         didn't make the teachers too happy
                         during class.

               The female interviewer chuckles.

                                   FEMALE INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
                         And here you are today, one of the
                         legends of the business. How does
                         that make you feel?

                                   REMBRANDT (V.O.)
                         Old.

                                   FEMALE INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
                         Some say you've done some of your
                         best work in these later albums.
                         They're a far cry from your older
                         material.

                                   REMBRANDT (V.O.)
                         We change. We go through things in
                         life that alter our perspective a
                         little bit. It's flattering that
                         people still connect with my music
                         after all these years, but I try
                         not to think too much about what
                         people say. 

                                   FEMALE INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
                         Good or bad?

                                   REMBRANDT (V.O.)
                         It just gets into your head, you
                         know? I don't want to start second
                         guessing my work. I don't want to
                         make a soul album just because
                         people don't like my folk albums. I
                         just want to do what feels right.

                                   FEMALE INTERVIEWER (V.O.)
                         So, are you working on another
                         album yet?

                                   REMBRANDT (V.O.)
                         I'm always working on the next
                         album.
                             (chuckles)

                                   REMBRANDT (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                         I think I'll be working on the next
                         album until the day I die. You
                         know? There's always a next album.

               There's a long silence, before we hear another voice. This is
               the VOICE OF A REPORTER.

                                   REPORTER (V.O.)
                         That interview took place just last
                         week as Rembrandt was preparing for
                         his latest show in Las Vegas.
                             (beat)
                         Again, if you're just joining us,
                         we're discussing the sad news which
                         has rocked the music industry
                         today. Rembrandt "The Cryin' Man"
                         Brown, former singer of "The
                         Spinning Tops" and more recently a
                         celebrated solo artist and judge on
                         the reality series "America's Next
                         Great Singer" is confirmed dead
                         after his private plane crashed in
                         the Nevada desert earlier this
                         morning. Brown had been returning
                         to Las Vegas after a trip to Los
                         Angeles where he attended a concert
                         by his long-time partner, Alesha
                         Avo.

               The WATER TURNS OFF.

                                   REPORTER (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                         A statement from Brown's former
                         band-mate, Maurice Fish reads: "I,
                         as well as all of the remaining
                         Spinning Tops both past and
                         present, are deeply saddened by the
                         this tragic news. Our brother,
                         Rembrandt, will always be in our
                         hearts and in the very soul of the
                         songs that he helped to create. As
                         we prepare for our tour through
                         America's great theme parks this
                         summer, we hope that fans of
                         Rembrandt will join us and remember
                         with us through the music that the
                         Cryin' Man loved so dearly."

               Rembrandt walks out of the bathroom and looks at the TV as he
               hears this statement. He's not quite sure how to react.

                                   REPORTER (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                         Again, Rembrandt "The Cryin' Man"
                         Brown, confirmed dead at the age of
                         53.

               Rembrandt sits down.



               INT. RATTY'S RESTAURANT - DAY

               Ratty's is a family restaurant, with a home-y feel to it.
               There's a bar to one side.

               Remmy walks through the door, wearing a white button-up shirt
               and suit pants. As he walks in, a woman walks up to him. She
               is LUCY. A woman in her 50's. A quiet, almost mouse-ish woman
               wearing black pants and a white shirt. The uniform of her job
               as a waitresses. She smiles at Remmy.

                                   LUCY
                         Did you see the news?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I saw it. Guess I won't have to
                         worry about mistaken identity
                         anymore.

                                   LUCY
                         So sad. I was a fan, you know? I
                         used to have all of those Spinning
                         Tops albums until the original
                         group broke up.

                                   REMBRANDT
                             (awkward smile)
                         I never knew.

                                   LUCY
                         I keep it on the "down low."

               Remmy chuckles.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         If there is one person in this
                         world who cannot pull off that
                         saying, girl, it's you.

               She smiles.

                                   REMBRANDT (CONT'D)
                         And if there's a second, it's me.

               They continue to laugh.

                                   REMBRANDT (CONT'D)
                         Hey, is Bryce in yet? I have a card
                         for her daughter.

                                   LUCY
                         No. She's staying home tonight.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Is it bad?

                                   LUCY
                         I'm not sure how bad it is, but
                         Katie's just not getting over this
                         flu.

               Remmy looks down.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I'll stop by on my break. Bring
                         them some dinner.

                                   LUCY
                         I think they'll like that. The
                         question is, how much of a break
                         can you get on a night like
                         tonight?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         What's tonight?

                                   LUCY
                         First day of summer vacation.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Oh... Maybe I should have called in
                         sick.



               INT. RATTY'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT

               The restaurant is full of CUSTOMERS now. Mostly younger
               people who are talking loudly and goofing around.

               Rembrandt is standing near a table that has an older couple
               sitting at it. They are JOE and MATTIE. 

                                   JOE
                         Two times, during the war. Once
                         after I got back.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         After you got back?

                                   JOE
                         Wife thought I was cheating. Took
                         my hunting rifle and charged at me
                         like a crazy person, screaming
                         about the institution of marriage.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         And she got you?

                                   JOE
                         Flesh wound, but shot is shot.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         No kidding. 

               Rembrandt looks to Mattie.

                                   REMBRANDT (CONT'D)
                         I'm guessing you two worked things
                         out?

                                   MATTIE
                         Ha!

                                   JOE
                         The only institution that woman's
                         in now has bars on the windows.
                         Mattie's the second wife.

               Rembrandt grins.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Good to hear. I was starting to
                         worry.

                                   JOE
                         How 'bout you, Max? Ever been shot
                         at?

                                   MATTIE
                         You never told us if you were in
                         the war.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I've seen my share of fighting.
                         Dodged a couple here and there.

                                   JOE
                         Ever get hit?

               Rembrandt pauses, trying to think of what he should and
               shouldn't say.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I was pretty banged up. Truth is, I
                         don't like to think about it too
                         much. That was a whole other life,
                         worlds away from who I am now.

               Joe nods, understanding.

                                   MATTIE
                         A lot of the guys I served with
                         were the same way when they got
                         home. Some things you just want to
                         forget.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         You can say that again.

               Lucy passes behind Rembrandt, carrying a tray of food for
               another table.

                                   LUCY
                         Max, could you get those kids on
                         table three for me?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Yeah.
                             (then, to Joe and Mattie)
                         Sorry, folks. Duty calls.

               He smiles to them and walks off, toward table three. When he
               gets there, he finds a group of high school-aged kids. Two
               boys, ROD and DANNY, and two girls, CHANCE and MANDY. They're
               laughing and having a good old time.

               Remmy pulls out an order pad and a pen as he nears their
               table.

                                   REMBRANDT (CONT'D)
                         How's it going, kids? What can I
                         get you?

                                   ROD
                         I could go for about a hundred
                         burgers right about now, man. And,
                         like, forty sodas.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         That might take a while.

                                   CHANCE
                         Just ignore him. He gets hungry
                         after... a long day of fishing.
                         We'll just have four cokes and
                         burgers all around.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         How do you want them?

                                   ROD
                         Dude... on buns.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         How well done?

                                   CHANCE
                         Medium.

                                   DANNY
                         I want mine rare. Dripping with
                         blood.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         We're fresh out of blood. How about
                         some ketchup?

                                   DANNY
                         That works too.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Okay. I'll be right back with your
                         drinks.

               Remmy walks away from the table, exchanging a look with Joe
               as he makes his way to the bar for the drinks.

               Behind the bar is SAM, a 20-something bar tender who looks
               like he probably rides a Harley. When Remmy reaches the bar,
               he grabs Sam's attention.

                                   REMBRANDT (CONT'D)
                         Four cokes.

                                   SAM
                         Sure thing.

               Remmy walks to a computer at the end of the bar and starts to
               input the rest of the order, for the kitchen.

               Sitting at one of the stools at the bar is an OLDER WOMAN who
               is looking at Rembrandt. She says nothing.

               After typing in the order, Remmy notices the woman watching
               him and smiles.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I'm not him, I swear.

               The woman smiles.

               Remmy walks to where Sam has set up a tray with four sodas on
               it. He takes the tray and walks back to the table with the
               teenagers.

               Remmy approaches the table from behind Rod, just as Mandy is
               taking his picture with her cell phone.

                                   MANDY
                         That one's going on my MyBook page.

                                   ROD
                         Only if you can stand some
                         competition. I am an internet god.

                                   CHANCE
                         You're a moron.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Here are your drinks. Burgers will
                         be out in a few minutes.

                                   ROD
                         Like, a hundred of them?

                                   CHANCE
                         Exactly like a hundred of them.

               Chance looks up at Remmy and shakes her head, telling him to
               ignore the moron that is Rod.

               Remmy smiles and walks away from the table, toward Joe and
               Mattie. As he gets closer to their table, Joe and Mattie
               smile at him.

                                   JOE
                         I try to tell myself I never acted
                         like that when I was a kid.

                                   MATTIE
                         Just keep telling yourself that.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Sad to say, I might have been
                         worse. Only, I didn't have MyBook
                         around to make it as public.

                                   JOE
                         World was a lot bigger before the
                         internet.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Amen to that.

               Remmy continues to smile as he walks off, toward another
               table.

                                                           DISSOLVE TO:



               RATTY'S RESTAURANT - TWO MONTHS LATER - DAY

               It's the middle of the day now, and there are only a few
               customers in the restaurant.

               Rembrandt is sitting at the bar, drinking a soda and talking
               with Sam.

                                   SAM
                         We were supposed to play at
                         Iggie's, in New York last summer,
                         but the show got canceled last
                         minute.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Tough break.

                                   SAM
                         You're telling me? That was our
                         last shot. Two of the guys ended up
                         going to school after that, and I
                         ended up back here.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         It's not too late, you know?

                                   SAM
                         Feels it.

               A middle-aged woman, MARCY WEBB, walks to the bar and sits a
               couple of stools away from Rembrandt. Sam goes to her.

                                   SAM (CONT'D)
                         What can I get for you, ma'am?

                                   MARCY
                         I'll just have a coffee, thank you.

               Sam nods and heads off to get the coffee. Rembrandt exchanges
               smiles with Marcy, just being polite. Long after he's ready
               to go back to his own business, Marcy continues to stare.

               Rembrandt grows increasingly uncomfortable with the woman who
               is staring at him, but tries to ignore her as he drinks his
               soda.

               Sam returns with the woman's coffee. As he puts it in front
               of her, he notices that she's staring at Rembrandt.
               He thinks this odd, but doesn't say anything to her. Instead,
               he walks back to Remmy and the two exchange a look.

                                   SAM
                         Need a refill?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         No thanks. My shift starts soon.

                                   SAM
                         Since when do you work days?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Since Bryce had to spend the day at
                         the hospital with Katie.

               Sam is obviously upset to hear that.

                                   SAM
                         Damn.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I'm not sure this things gonna get
                         any better.

                                   SAM
                         What about chemo?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         They're on the waiting list, but it
                         could be months.

                                   SAM
                         Yeah.

               Silence falls between the two men. Neither of them knows
               quite what to say next.

               Sam is eventually the one to break the silence.

                                   SAM (CONT'D)
                         I should check on...
                             (beat)
                         I'll be in the kitchen if you need
                         me.

               Remmy nods, and Sam walks off, into the kitchen.

               Remmy takes one last sip of his drink, and then walks around
               the bar to get ready for work.

               After a few seconds, he looks up and notices that Marcy is
               still looking at him. She smiles once again.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Can I help you with something?

                                   MARCY
                         I'll just have a coffee.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Right.

               Remmy looks down and sees her coffee, still untouched.

                                   REMBRANDT (CONT'D)
                         Something wrong with the one you
                         have?

                                   MARCY
                         Hmm?

               Marcy looks down and sees the cup of coffee. She chuckles and
               looks back to Rembrandt.

                                   MARCY (CONT'D)
                         Oh. 
                             (beat)
                         I'm sorry. I wasn't paying
                         attention.

               Rembrandt isn't sure what to say next. He just looks at the
               woman as though she should be wearing pajamas and attending
               group therapy twice a day.

                                   MARCY (CONT'D)
                         You probably think I'm crazy.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I didn't say that.

                                   MARCY
                         It's just... I was such a big fan
                         of his, you know?

               Rembrandt finally gets what she's talking about. He smiles.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I understand.

                                   MARCY
                         I used to put my children to sleep
                         to the sound of his "Open Window"
                         album.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I always liked the early stuff
                         myself. "Cry Like A Man", and stuff
                         like that.

                                   MARCY
                         It was okay, I guess. Just a little
                         fluffy for my taste.

               Rembrandt's smile grows more strained.

                                   MARCY (CONT'D)
                         His later stuff was just so much
                         more... pure, you know?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I guess so.

               Marcy hesitates for a few seconds before forcing herself to
               continue.

                                   MARCY
                         Geez, you just look so much like
                         him.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I get that a lot.

                                   MARCY
                         I bet you do.
                             (beat)
                         So... I mean, you could tell me.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I'm sorry?

                                   MARCY
                         If you were him, you could tell me.
                         I wouldn't tell anyone.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Rembrandt Brown is dead, ma'am.

                                   MARCY
                         No, I know. It's just... if you
                         were him, you could tell me.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         I promise you, I'm not him. 

                                   MARCY
                         Okay.

               Marcy looks to her coffee cup for a few seconds and then
               looks back to Rembrandt.

                                   MARCY (CONT'D)
                         It's just that, when I saw the
                         story on Celebrity Buzzwire, I had
                         to check it out. I had to see.

               Rembrandt is thrown by that comment.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         What story? Where?

                                   MARCY
                         There was a story online. Some
                         celebrity gossip blog. They had a
                         picture that some kid posted on his
                         MyBook page and you were in the
                         background. Everyone's talking
                         about it. Rembrandt Brown, still
                         alive and serving drinks at
                         Ratty's.

               Rembrandt takes a step back, looking as though he might have
               a panic attack.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         When did this story go online?

                                   MARCY
                         This morning. I always have the
                         Rembrandt stories sent to me
                         automatically.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         How convenient.

                                   MARCY
                         I know. Especially with the new
                         album coming out next week.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Uh-huh.

               Rembrandt falls silent as he tries to figure out what to do
               next. 

                                   MARCY
                         You really could tell me. I'm your
                         number one fan.

               Rembrandt's eyes slowly make their way back to Marcy. She
               smiles once again. He's not amused.



               INT. RATTY'S RESTAURANT - KITCHEN - DAY

               Rembrandt walks through the kitchen, passing Sam (who is on
               his cell phone) along the way.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         We have a problem.

                                   SAM
                         What?
                             (then, into cell phone)
                         Hold on a sec.

               Remmy stops and turns to Sam.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         That woman out there is convinced
                         that I'm Rembrandt Brown.

               Sam smirks.

                                   SAM
                         She's not the first one.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Yeah, well, this is the first time
                         anyone's been led here by an
                         internet gossip site.

                                   SAM
                         What?

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Chris' computer is hooked up to the
                         internet, right?

                                   SAM
                         Yeah.

                                   REMBRANDT
                         Let's go.

               Rembrandt walks toward an office in the back. Sam follows.

                                   SAM
                             (into phone)
                         I'll call you back.
top | next|