Early Edition (1996) Episode Scripts

N/A - The Medal

This is Alpha Zulu.
What is your position? Heavy casualties.
I repeat, heavy casualties.
We can never escape our past.
No matter how hard we run, what we've been is what we are.
Man down! B- line! Copter in! Copter in! Sometimes that past is a friend.
Sometimes, it's our greatest enemy.
It can make us heroes, or hunt us down.
I'm hit! No Leave me here.
No! * * Jim? It's 4:30.
Oh, I know.
I've, I've got to get to the site early.
We're demolishing a building.
Go back to bed.
You sure you're all right? Will you go back to bed? Okay.
What if you knew, beyond a doubt, what was going to happen tomorrow? What would you do? There's no easy answer for a guy who gets tomorrow's news today.
* * No-no-no-no.
You listen to me.
I know seafood.
Seafood is my life.
If I say the calamari's bad, then it's bad.
Got me? Hey! I used to be a spear fisherman.
What's that all about? Executive action.
Well, well, who do you think you're dealing with? Some sort of amateur here? Of course I know what calamari is.
It's squid, right? And yours stinks.
I wouldn't feed it to my cat.
Oh, yeah? Go ahead and laugh, mister.
'Cause as of today, your contract is officially canceled.
Your fish is no longer welcome here.
Chuck, that was the biggest seafood supplier in the entire city.
Oh, really? I don't care.
I don't like his attitude.
It's squid, right? Look, why don't you let me call him back? No, no, no, no, no.
At least let me find a new company.
No can do, lady.
Why not? Don't you have a busload of nuns to save or something? You handle the miracles, I'll do the fish.
Listen to this.
"The body of an unidentified man "was found in Lake Michigan today, the apparent victim of random violence.
" "Police can provide no motive for the slaying, but refuse to rule out the possibility of robbery.
" "A report that the victim's belongings "were found in a nearby trash can is not confirmed.
Fingerprints and dental records are now being examined.
" It's not much to go on.
Guns? No, it's too messy.
You'd better go to the cops.
"Go to the cops.
" I go to the cops one more time, they're going to lock me up, throw away the key.
Well, it does sound kind of risky, Gary.
Well, I'll just, uh just go take a look around.
All right.
Be careful.
Yeah, yeah.
Oh, boy Don't worry.
It's easy for you to say.
Where am I going to get more calamari? I knew it.
Huh? She's not coming, is she? She sent you instead.
Who? I didn't know she was married.
I swear.
It was happy hour in Chinatown.
We, we shared a pupu platter.
She ordered a mai tai.
I had a fog cutter.
But I swear to you, it will never happen again.
You've got to believe me.
Mister, I, I got no idea what you're even talking about.
You're not married to Mary Lou Witty? No, I'm not married to Mary Lou Witty.
I'm not married to anyone.
If I was married Mary Lou? Mary Lou! Just keep walking, I suppose.
That is what I call calamari.
That is calamari, isn't it? Hey, the best.
Is it fresh? "Fresh"? If it was any fresher, it'd bite you in the heinie.
Smells a bit fishy.
Well, so would you, if you'd been swimming around in the ocean all your life.
Hey, it's not a room deodorizer, pal.
It's a squid.
Yeah, well, look, I run a very high quality seafood restaurant, Mr.
Smith Look, I'm ready to talk a deal here.
You want to talk quality, talk to my daughter.
She was born on a fishing boat.
Besides, she has more patience with amateurs than I do.
Wait a minute.
You know what? Hey, May! I don't have to stand around here and take these kind of insults! There are a million other place Yes? Hello.
On the other hand, uh, name is Fishman.
Chuck Fishman.
McGinty's Restaurant, seafood server to the stars.
Oh, you don't want to shake my hand.
You don't know where they've been today, believe me.
I'm May Smith.
You're Smitty's daughter? The one from the fishing boat? Vietnamese fishing boat.
Smitty adopted me after the war.
Oh So, I hear you're looking for quality.
Yes, and obviously, I've come to the right place.
Excuse me.
Uh, I'm sorry.
I'm with the, uh, city's pier inspection unit, and, uh, well, I'm out inspecting the piers.
This pier, it, uh, appears unsafe, because the, uh, the pilings are unstable, and, uh What I'm gonna have to do is, if I can just ask you to step off.
Why don't you "step off"? Well, I'm the pier inspector and, uh Well, you see, if anything happens to you That's my business, isn't it? Isn't it? Mr.
Yeah, I guess it is.
Hey! Hey! Don't do it! Are you crazy? Get off me! You had no right.
You stay out of my life.
Mister, I I don't know what's bothering you What do you care? It's my life.
Look, I, I, I just Look! Butt out! Period.
I just don't like to see a good life wasted, that's all.
That makes two of us.
Look, mister, I, I, I I'm just trying to help, okay? You think you did me a favor just now, huh? Well, you think again.
Mind your own business.
Medal of Honor.
They don't give many of these out.
No, they don't.
Highest military honor the country has to give.
"For conspicuous gallantry at the risk of one's own life.
" And he threw it away.
How do you go from being a Medal of Honor winner to an attempted suicide? That's a good question.
How do you even know it's his medal? Huh? Guess you could find out at the ceremony.
What ceremony? The ceremony.
They're dedicating some war memorial next week.
I read about it in the paper.
The real paper- today's paper.
Here, I'll show you.
It's right here.
"Medal of Honor winners to attend ceremony.
" That's Matthews.
That's the guy.
That's his picture.
I got an idea.
Give me the phone book.
Serviceman's Special.
Every Wednesday night.
You bring in a medal, you get a free shrimp cocktail.
Found him.
Watch your step, amigo.
Excuse me.
Uh, Mrs.
Matthews? Yes? Uh, is Jim around? Well, he's at work.
Why? You a friend of his? Uh, well, my name's Gary Hobson, and I met him this morning at the lake.
No, you must be mistaken.
My husband went to work early this morning.
Hey, I guess he took a side trip or something.
No, no, Jim wouldn't do that.
What do you want? I wanted to return this to him.
Well, what is this? That's his Medal of Honor.
I don't know what kind of game you're playing, mister, but you don't have no business here.
Matthews, I just need to talk to Jim.
Excuse me.
Matthews, I think your husband may be in some sort of trouble.
Look, I don't know who you think you are, but I do know you never spoke to my husband.
For your information, my husband doesn't have a Medal of Honor.
Well, yes, ma'am, he does.
I think I'd know, don't you? Well, if you look in the paper, it's in today's paper.
I have to go.
Matthews, please Mrs.
Matthews I see you around here again, I call the police.
Matthews, I need to talk to your husband.
This restaurant, it's only the beginning.
No, no.
I smell the future.
And you know what its name is? Asia.
Oh, okay.
Do you know there are over 1.
3 billion people in China alone? Now, that is an awful lot of seafood to sell.
And they love anything American.
Especially Irish-American.
This looks very fresh, by the way.
I've even made inquiries into opening up a McGinty's out in your neck of the woods- Saigon.
Oh, how very impressive.
Well, you know, I'm into the whole visionary kind of thing.
You know, long-range planning.
So when's this going to happen? Well, we're still working out a few of the details, but it should happen very soon.
This is the way it's got to be.
You can't do that.
You just raised the rate last quarter.
Cost of business, Smitty.
You know, inflation.
That's outrageous! What's, uh, what's happening? It's nothing.
It's nothing.
Yeah, this is a dangerous neighborhood, Smitty.
I'd hate to see anything bad Wait a minute.
Chuck, please don't get involved.
I'm already involved.
Chuck, please You know, uh, something smells a little fishy around here, fellas, and I don't think it's me.
Is that right? It's okay.
These fellas are my, uh Security service.
Yeah, right.
Is that a new name for a protection racket? Chuck Who is this? The name is Fishman.
Chuck Fishman.
And I'll have you know that my third cousin Elaine's husband happens to be very good friends with the nephew of Police Lieutenant Dennis Riley.
I don't think you understand.
Security's our business.
Here, there's my card.
Now I know where to find you.
Now, why don't you boys take my advice, and turn around and leave these very nice people alone, huh? Jeez, I didn't know we was bothering anybody.
Fellas No, no.
No, we can take a hint.
If our company's not wanted Fellas, please, wait a minute.
You have a nice day now.
Look, I'm sure we can work something out.
Not anymore.
Yeah, you see? You just have to know how to talk to people, huh? I hope you're right, mister.
Now, Smitty, how about showing me that tuna, huh? It's downloading now from the Medal of Honor Web site.
It's in Braille.
What'd you expect? Norwegian? Hand it over.
Well, this is just explaining that Matthews Wait a minute.
What? It says here that he was a combat engineer in Vietnam.
He rescued a soldier while trapped in a tunnel.
They were ambushed on the way to the helicopter.
While holding off the enemy, Matthews sustained a bullet wound to the chest.
He saved the entire rescue party.
Well, he's a survivor.
So why wouldn't he want this medal? Got me.
Could be for any one of a hundred reasons.
All right, his wife won't talk to me.
I don't know where he works.
I've got to find him before he tries something again.
Now, how am I going to do that? Maybe his son can help.
His son? Says here he's a sophomore at Northwestern.
Frank Matthews? Yeah.
Hi, Gary Hobson.
I'm with the Sun Times.
One of your dorm mates pointed you out to me.
Uh, I'm doing a story on Medal of Honor winners, and I'm wondering if I can have a minute and talk to you about your dad? Yeah.
My dad? He won the medal in '69.
What are you talking about? Well, it's, uh, it's in today's paper.
I don't believe this.
You really didn't know? Perfect.
He's a war hero and he doesn't tell me.
I mean, I knew he was in Vietnam.
I used to ask him about it when I was a kid.
You know, back when I had this crazy idea that fathers talked to their sons.
What'd he do? Well, he pulled several men out from under a heavy fire.
He was shot in the chest.
He almost died.
You had no idea at all? Well, he was always tough, I'll give him that.
Did, did he ever say anything about this at all? I have no idea who my father is, mister.
I mean, this is a perfect example.
How you going to grow up with somebody and not tell them about something like this? I don't know.
No biggie.
I'm out of that now, anyway.
How's that? I'm on full scholarship here, football.
I don't need his money.
I don't need a thing from him.
Well I've got to be somewhere.
Uh, Frank, is there anywhere you know we can get in touch with your dad? Our records are kind of out of date.
I don't know, man.
Talk to the union.
Hey, Frank? I hope everything works out between the two of you.
Hey, don't bother.
There's nothing to work out.
Tango, Bravo.
Tango Bravo.
Do you read me? Tango leader, what is your position? Tango, Bravo.
Tango, Bravo.
Do you read me? Tango leader, what is your position? Roger.
We're at the mouth of the tunnel.
I'm about to go in.
MAN Roger that.
You be ready when we need you.
Stop it! Stop it! Hey.
Oh Surprised to see me? Had some down time.
Thought I'd come by and say hi.
I called over.
They said you never came in to work this morning.
What's going on? Just wasn't feeling all that good, you know? Something to do with this? A young man came by today.
Brought your Medal of Honor.
I thought he was crazy.
Looks like I'm the crazy one.
I knew they'd run something.
Why didn't you tell me? You know, you told me that you were never in combat.
You said that scar came from a construction accident.
I didn't think it concerned you.
Didn't concern me? I'm your wife.
Well, we met after the war ended.
So? You think that makes a difference? You think it gives you the right to lie to me about your past? Well, I didn't lie to you, exactly.
I Jim You going to answer that? Wait.
Go ahead, baby.
Answer that.
Lake Shore Shipping.
Uh, 5:00 weekdays.
I'll check your order.
You're welcome.
Jim?! Jim? Hey, where's your brain bucket? What? One of these.
Oh, no, I'm looking for someone- Jim Matthews.
The union said he'd be working here.
I'm looking for him, too.
He didn't show up for work this morning.
Matthews is one of my best guys.
It's not like him to miss work, especially without calling.
Get that high lift back here! Get it over here.
Him again.
I'll check the schedule again.
I could be wrong, but I don't think so.
Matthews! Hey, Matthews! Hey, come here.
I found this taped to his locker.
Loves his family? Doesn't deserve his wonderful life? "I can no longer live with what I've done.
" This sounds like a suicide note.
It sure does.
And once I left the brokerage firm, there was no turning back.
I knew "restauranting" was my life.
I'm my own boss.
I make the decisions.
If I mess up, I face the consequences.
It's all on me.
Wait a minute.
I thought you had a partner.
Isn't he involved? Gary? Mm-hmm.
I love Gary.
My best friend.
But he's not exactly the hands-on management type guy.
You know what I mean? Mm-hmm.
If we were a basketball team, I would be the point guard.
I'd be calling all the plays, leading the team, And Gary And I mean this in the nicest way, Gary would be over on the bench, folding the towels.
Now, he'd do it very well, but that's where he'd be.
A team does need towels.
Oh, yeah, yeah.
So, how'd you get started in the restaurant business in the first place? Well, Gary actually took the place over from its former owner.
Really? Mm-hmm.
Well, that's pretty good for folding towels.
Of course, then he called me up to manage the place.
What choice did he have? So if it weren't for Gary, you'd still be at the brokerage firm? I don't know about that.
I come from a long line of restauranteurs.
Oh, no.
Another hundred pounds of ice! Uh-oh.
They slashed our tires! The security service at work.
I knew something like this would happen! Those punks.
I'll take care of this.
Chuck! No, no.
You've got to know how to deal with these people.
That's what you said last time.
Obviously, I was too subtle.
Now, they're going to get Fishman unchained.
Chuck, please Consider it done.
I don't get it.
I think it has something to do with this.
Medal of Honor? Most guys wouldn't keep that secret.
What do you think happened? I don't know, but whatever it is, it's catching up to him.
I got to find him before it does.
How? Should we tell his wife? You know where she works? I think so.
Some shipping outfit on Touhy.
Lake Shore Shipping, that's it.
Lake Shore Shipping.
Hey, you don't have any idea where he might have gone? Places he hangs out or? Not really.
The guy really kept to himself.
All right.
Hang on a second.
You know, a couple of years ago, we're working an office tower job.
He's welding some beams The wind kicks up, this guy next to him starts to slip, Matthews reaches down, grabs him by the belt and pulls the guy back.
I mean, the guy would've been a grease spot on the sidewalk if it hadn't been for Matthews.
We tried to thank him.
Tried to make a fuss.
He wouldn't let us.
He turns around, he goes back to work.
He never mentions it again.
I don't get it.
I don't know.
Listen, thanks anyway.
I don't understand.
What's wrong with him? Ms.
Matthews, they want to honor him at a memorial service next weekend, and I think that might have something to do with it.
Might have set this all off.
He was the sweetest man when we first met.
But kind of sad, too, you know.
It was after the war.
He just moved here from St.
Said he wanted to make a fresh start.
Why didn't he tell me? Why didn't he trust me? Mrs.
Matthews, do you have any idea where your husband might be? No.
Wait a minute.
There was a message on the machine at home this morning.
Here it is.
Uh someplace called Childwatch.
They said he missed his appointment, whatever that means.
I was going to go there after work.
Childwatch I never heard of it before.
Here you go, Mrs.
Hobson, will he We'll find him.
God, I hope so.
So, for whatever reason, when something goes wrong concerning an international adoption- death, legal troubles, you name it- we step in to help care for the child.
If we can't place them with another family, then they stay here with us.
That's why student teachers and volunteers like Jim are so important to us.
Jim's been doing this for years.
You're a friend of Jim's? Uh, yeah, I guess so.
Me, too.
My name is Madeleine.
It's very nice to meet you, Madeleine.
How do you do? Madeleine and Jim are special friends.
He reads to her every Tuesday.
Where is he? Well, I, I don't know.
Is he okay? Oh, he's fine.
He's just- well, he can't uh, he just couldn't be here today.
Finish your homework, Madeleine.
He's not okay, is he? No.
He, uh well, he's disappeared.
I was afraid this might happen.
What's that? People volunteer here for all sorts of reasons, Mr.
After a while, you get to recognize the patterns.
With Jim, it was guilt.
He's a lovely man.
He's great with the kids.
But I don't think that he believed that.
I got the sense he was always trying to make up for something.
I tried to talk to him about it once, but he just froze me out.
MAN Blue line now arriving.
Next stop All right, what's an eight-letter word for expired? Starts with a "D"? Try deceased.
Which is what you clowns are going to be if you keep bothering my friends.
Oh-ho-ho, it's the tough guy.
Hey, it works.
Obviously, I didn't make myself clear to you mamalukes the last time.
People need security, tough guy.
I'm warning you.
One more thing happens down there, I'll have the cops on you so fast, your heads'll be spinning.
Oh, right.
What was the name of that cop you know? Dennis Riley.
Lieutenant Dennis Riley.
Hey, boss, you got a visitor.
Dennis? Long time, Fishman.
Well, what I say still goes.
I mean it.
Stay away from them.
Period! Over and out! Ten four! And, Dennis, my family is going to be very disappointed.
I'm losing time.
He's out there somewhere.
I've got to find him.
How am I going to do that? Check the paper.
I already checked the paper.
Well, check it again.
I already checked it.
Oh, no.
I messed up.
I messed up bad.
What'd you do? Gare, I need your help.
Not now, Chuck.
Look, my friends are in a lot of trouble.
What friends? May and Smitty.
It's all my fault.
He's going to do it again.
* * You sure he's here? I'm sure.
Matthews! You get back! You don't want to do this.
You don't want to throw your life away.
What do you know about it? I know what matters.
Your wife.
Your son, Madeleine You stay out of my life.
I can't do that.
I'm part of your life now.
I don't even know you.
How the hell did you find me? Who the hell are you? Look, I can't explain that.
But for whatever reason, I did.
You get back! MAN Blue line now arriving.
Next stop Listen, what happened? Please talk to me.
Why should I tell you? Because it's your last chance.
You don't talk to me now, no one's ever going to know.
And that would be a shame.
Because you should talk to someone.
Uh It was a it was a rescue operation.
One of our guys was stuck in this tunnel complex.
He was hurt bad and we, we We had to go in and get him.
I found him okay.
Patched him up, started bringing him out.
It was all pretty routine.
We were almost at the top when I heard something.
Hold it.
We had reports of enemy troops all around us.
When I saw that light, I expected the worst.
My only hope was to hold them back long enough for my platoon to get out of there.
I took the only shot I could.
And that's when I realized there was only one of them.
It was a little girl, maybe 12 years old.
Her only weapon was a flashlight.
She wasn't a soldier.
She was just a kid.
And I had taken her life.
We headed back to the landing zone.
Half hour later, we got hit.
at Alpha Comm, this is Tango leader.
I need medevac support! It was bad.
Medevac support! We were sitting ducks.
They were moving in.
Suddenly, I didn't care- about living or dying.
All I wanted was to get out, one way or another.
I thought to myself, "I deserve to die.
I'm ready to die.
" I killed an innocent kid.
No! I wanted them to leave me there.
That would have been the best thing.
There's not one day that goes by that I don't think about that little girl.
Then they, uh gave me th-that medal.
I don't feel like I ever came home.
You couldn't have known.
You were defending yourself.
I killed her.
Because you wanted to live- that's not a crime.
Tell her that, huh? Jim, it was a war.
You know better than I do what happens, but it was a horrible accident.
Killing yourself, what good are you going to I can't live with it anymore! Can't you understand that?! Listen, it may take more courage than it did to save those men, but you can.
No, I can't.
I- I can't.
Look, what you're doing, you're only punishing the people that love you, the people that you care about.
Ah Look, your son needs you.
Your wife needs you.
If you're gonna honor the memory of this little girl, you you got to do it by living.
You can't do it by dying.
Gare! Gare! What? You left the paper in the car.
Look at this.
What's happening? Do you have a car? Yeah, I've got a truck down there, but This is life and death.
Will you help us? Please.
All right.
What's wrong with my car? Just don't worry about it.
I'll tell you later.
My car works fine.
Yeah, that's great.
Don't worry about it.
Come on.
It's locked.
Get out of the way! Careful.
Matth- Hey, easy, hey! Gare! That's them.
Right there.
Those are the guys.
You go take care of that.
Matthews! Take care of it.
What's with that idiot?! Left! Go left! Hey! Over here! Right here, sir.
These are arsonists.
These are arsonists.
Get them! Freeze, right there! Hold it right there! Hold it right there! Don't move! Easy.
Easy, now.
Where's May?! I'll find her.
Matthews, wait a second.
Hey, wait a minute, Matthews! Get him out of here.
Matthews Go! * * Oh, thank God.
You need help? It's all right.
I got her.
Let's get out of here! May.
Is she gonna be okay? Take it easy with her.
It's gonna be all right.
I- I'm gonna go with her.
All right.
I know it wasn't easy, but you did it.
Welcome home.
A little bubbly, my dear? Veuve Clicquot, the choice of kings and Chuck Fishman.
And I think you'll be pleased to know that in your honor, tonight we are having calamari salad and trout almondine.
I know I-I've only known you a little over a week, but, um I can't take it anymore.
I know, I know.
You can, you can spare the speech.
I've heard it all before.
I know, I'm self-absorbed, conceited, neurotic, a bit pushy, and some might think irritating No, that's not it.
What? There's more? I just don't know what women want.
What? Prime rib, meatloaf, hamburger.
I mean, I'm up to my elbows in seafood every day, Chuck, and then you're stuffing it into me every night.
I want steak.
I'm sick of calamari.
You know, I would like to say something, uh, if it's all right.
First of all thanks.
You know, I feel like I've just come home, but there's been somebody here all along, and I know it hasn't been easy.
That's my wife.
I'll never let another chance go by without saying "I love you.
" I love you.
And to my son, I don't blame him for not being here.
But I'm proud of the, uh, fine young man he's, uh, grown up to be.
I was never there the way a father should be, but, uh, that's just because I didn't think I deserved a young man as, uh, fine as he is.
You know, I had a nice family and a nice life, and I didn't, uh just didn't know why.
But I do now.
Present arms! There's all kinds of courage in this crazy life.
Not just the John Wayne save-the-world kind.
Sometimes you need a ton of courage just to speak your mind, follow your heart.
Opening up, telling someone how you really feel, there ought to be a purple heart for that.
And then there's the courage it takes to live with a mistake, go through the worst and start over.
There is all kinds of courage out there.
Hey, that person standing next to you on the subway car or in the supermarket, take a closer look next time.
Who knows? Might be, you're standing next to a hero.