Carol & The End of the World (2023) s01e09 Episode Script

Saltwater Lullaby: A Surf Odyssey

["Lacrimosa" by Zbigniew Preisner playing]
[Carol] Endless rays.
Endless waves.
I forget who I was
before I first got up on my board.
That person washed away in the tide.
When you're out on the surf,
you're a blank slate,
free to let the waves carry you
into what's next.
Free to be your perfect self.
To find that perfect wave.
Enveloped by the waters, held by them.
That's home to me.
When you come out
the other side of a break,
you're a whole new person.
You're a whole new you.
[wave whooshing]
[music fades]
[Carol] Coconuts seem sweeter in the sun.
["Don't Leave Me on the Earth"
by La Luz playing]
[gulls squawking]
[waves crashing]
[Carol] Humans have been surfing Kapali
since the Middle Ages.
Baba Lou Anne, Dottie, CP and I
rode in last week.
In Kapali, the waves
are as big as our personalities.
The exposed reef gives it
that consistent, clean point break.
Real nice.
Some consider surfing a sport,
but the way Baba Lou Anne moves out there,
it's closer to art.
She's really a fantastic surfer.
She can ride with either foot forward.
Goofy and regular.
Few surfers can do that.
Fewer still can do it right in the middle
of a pull-out in midair.
Ladies and gentlemen, Baba Lou Anne.
Dottie hasn't been surfing long,
but she really has a ball.
She's also recently divorced.
After coming home from work
and finding her husband
in bed with a dental hygienist,
she now makes the sea her lover.
Riding waves with reckless abandon
on a board nicknamed "Suzie."
Say hello to the cameras, Dottie.
CP, short for Corinthia Panatopoulos,
is an excellent surfer.
She's blind in one eye,
no depth perception,
but that doesn't seem to slow her down.
You don't need two eyes
to see how good she is.
Look at her go.
When she's not on her board
taming wicked waves,
CP is writing a book,
an adventure novel about four lady surfers
who solve mysteries in their spare time.
Not sure when she'll finish it,
but I like how one starts.
Opera singer found in the shallows
with a throwing star in her back.
Good beach read, that's for sure.
We gather here at the shores of Kapali,
20 kilometers from
the strawberry-shaped islands of Kono
for a week of sun and fun.
Afterward, we plan to break off
and head our own separate ways.
Baba Lou Anne is heading out to Seattle.
Not to surf the choppy waves
of Alki Point,
but to base jump off the Space Needle.
Dottie and her board, Suzie,
are headed to Japan.
CP is leaving to dedicate more time
to cooking up clever twists
for her murder mysteries.
As for me, I'm gonna chase
that sun around the world,
in search of the biggest waves,
the friendliest people,
all the while discovering myself
along the way,
as I jump into the waters surfboard-first.
All heart and soul,
just my board and a heavy coat of wax.
- [song fades]
- [lively reggae music playing]
[Carol] Packing for this kind of journey
is extremely important.
You need to stay smart
and pack with a purpose.
And for me, that means surfboard wax,
bathing suit, one chrysanthemum,
three towels,
my lucky puka shell necklace,
sunscreen, SPF 150,
two disposable cameras,
an English-to-Maori phrasebook,
trashy beach read,
The Swells of Love by Alice T. Townsend,
photograph of surf legend
Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman,
incense sticks, seven,
flare gun, sunglasses,
mysterious totem, machete.
And the willingness to chuck it all away
and accept where life takes you.
[woman] I'm sorry, ma'am.
Your suitcase appears to be in London.
[music fades]
[up-tempo jazz playing]
[plane engine roaring]
[Carol] There's nothing like a cool breeze
after a three-hour flight.
None cooler than from
the pristine waters of the Sea of Cortez.
I start my search for the perfect wave
here at Cabo San Lucas.
Once a sleepy town
visited only by nomad surfers,
Cabo San Lucas has become
a must-see tourist destination.
[Carol] Known for its wild nightlife,
tourists now come to party
at Señor Chi-Chi's
or The Drunken Mermaid,
just to name a few.
But I'm not here
for the giant fishbowl margaritas
or the wet T-shirt contests.
- I came here for the surf.
- [surfers cheering]
[Carol] Groovy.
- So many lost spring-breakers
- ["Lacrimosa" playing]
A whole generation of teens
who never found their way back home.
Intoxicated revelers
refusing to ever grow up.
All dancing along the sandy shores,
drinking up the waters
from this mythical fountain.
Water with the power to rejuvenate
and keep them young forever.
When you're out here in the ocean,
you're always
in the shallows of your youth.
Endless rays.
Endless waves.
- Endless adolescence.
- Chug! Chug! Chug!
[Carol] Overall, Cabo San Lucas
had some great surf.
But if I was going to find
the perfect wave,
I needed to look harder and travel
to spots untouched by tourists.
Hey cutie. Once you're done here,
how about joining us for a drink?
Maybe next time.
Real smooth.
Shut up. I didn't hear you say anything.
["You Let Me Rust"
by Shannon & The Clams playing]
[shutter clicks]
[music fades]
[Carol] My search
for the perfect wave continues here.
- The mecca of the surf world, Mavericks.
- [soft string music playing]
With waves topping out at over 60 feet,
it's become a proving ground
for every big-wave surfer.
So before I even paddled out,
I knew I had to prepare.
I meditated four times a day,
two more than my usual.
[Carol] I imagine myself a wolf,
the waves a baby deer.
I imagine myself a bear,
the waves passing salmon.
And I was watching it.
From the shore,
the cliffs, in the middle of the night.
Always watching it,
devouring it, learning from it.
[Carol] Before I knew it, I was ready.
[string music intensifies]
[Carol] I chose to surf the monster
with my old friend Nadia.
She used to be a nurse in Sarajevo,
then a nun in Cappadocia.
Now she rode giants.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous.
Waves like these remind you
of how small you really are.
Just a speck of sand in the ocean.
A grain of rice in God's loving palm.
I finally wrangle a 50-footer and prepare
to ascend to whatever plane Nadia's on.
It's an amazing feeling, riding that wave.
It's pure power.
Pure strength.
For a moment, I think I've found it,
the wave I've been looking for.
[music swells]
But when it's over,
I know I haven't.
This is Nadia's perfect wave, not mine.
[music fades]
The search continues.
[romantic piano music playing]
[plane engine roaring]
[Carol] In Tuscany,
I decide to skip the waves altogether.
No, I was here for a different reason.
To visit an old flame.
Angelo Alfolini.
It was immediately clear that time apart
had not lessened our bond.
We roamed the countryside
discussing politics, talking philosophy,
and debating various topics
ranging from love, life,
and our observations on Italian cinema.
We spoke concerning wine
and the merits of grapes
squeezed in old wooden barrels.
Made rigatoni and fresh mozzarella,
and dined on the finest risotto
I've ever tasted.
But as quickly as my visit had begun,
it was over.
The sun had risen, and I was off,
setting out back on my journey
in search of the perfect wave.
Arrivederci, my love.
[wind howling]
[melancholy orchestral music playing]
[Carol] In Lake Michigan, we urinated
in our wetsuits to keep warm.
Meanwhile, in Thailand,
the waves were short-lived.
But I did find a souvenir
that would last a lifetime.
[Carol] All in all, a good week.
[waves lapping]
[Carol] Still, something was off.
I had become lost.
The more I traveled,
the more I could feel it slipping away.
Did the perfect wave even exist?
On the shores of Kilokilo,
I explained my troubles to Auli'i,
a local surfer who believed
the true key to finding the perfect wave
lied in psychotropic substances.
They called it "Gesthaini."
It starts as a flower grown
on the bark of mangroves
that's later ingested by bats,
then excreted and scraped off
the walls of caves
before finally being served in a tea.
Was this the answer I was looking for?
That night, Auli'i led me
down the banks of the Saanapu River
to see an elder known only as "Wailele."
Wailele was believed to be
over 100 years old
and had guided many a wayward traveler.
I was scared, but if this was the way
to find the perfect wave,
so be it.
[dramatic string music playing]
[low rumbling]
[bell ringing]
[sound of whooshing water]
[gulls squawking]
[sound of waves lapping]
[gull squawking]
[water whooshing]
[loud booming]
[light claps loudly]
[music intensifies]
[music becomes dissonant]
[music fades]
[Carol] I'd seen them.
The perfect waves.
[somber music plays]
And for the first time,
they felt closer than ever before.
[wind whistling gently]
[plane engine roaring]
[Carol] There are easier ways to get to
the Omani coast on the Arabian Sea.
A number of airports spare travelers
the brutal trek across the Sharqiya Sands.
But it also deprives them
of its desert swells.
A sea of dunes frozen in time.
I couldn't come to Oman
without dropping in.
[wind whistling]
Gnarly set.
[surfboard lands]
[Carol] The tea is good.
Jackson tells me it's Karak Chai,
a local favorite.
I met Jackson in the lineup
at Manhattan Beach.
Back then he was
an even bigger surf bum than me.
Dawn patrol seven days a week,
rain or shine.
Then he gave it all up.
When I ask him why, it's clear
he doesn't want to talk about it.
Fair enough.
For some, the obsession becomes too much.
You can lose yourself in it
until it's all you have left.
Whatever happened to Jackson,
I think he needed to put an entire desert
between himself and the surf.
I guess he's all about weaving now.
When he asks how I'm doing,
I tell him about my vision.
The monster, the fog, the perfect wave.
He just laughs.
I should have known better
than to bring up gospel to an atheist.
After that,
Jackson just sort of slipped away,
lost, sifting through the ashes
of something in his mind.
Bye, Jackson.
Thanks for the rug.
[wind whistling]
[Carol] The next few days were difficult.
I couldn't get the vision
of those perfect waves out of my head.
It crawled inside my being
and it began to affect my sleep.
So I set off for the one place
where I knew I could make
what I had seen a reality.
[plane engine roaring]
[Carol] Located in East Sussex,
this sleepy seaside town isn't exactly
known for being a renowned surf hub.
But when the winds start gusting
and the fog rolls in, that all changes,
transforming this quaint little hamlet
into one of the gnarliest places
to snack on waves.
Far out.
[whistle blowing]
[Carol] When I got here,
there was a fog advisory.
More mist and haze
than they usually allow.
And the lifeguard had begun
to wave everyone in.
Perfect. More waves for me.
It was just like my vision.
No sky, no ocean.
Just me and the fog.
I knew I was close.
Then I heard it.
The rumblings of a building wave.
Was this it?
Was this
[wave crashing]
[melancholy string music playing]
[string music building]
[jellyfish zapping]
[thunder rumbling]
[heartbeat pounding]
[Carol] It was all a blur.
One moment I was living out my vision,
and the next
[rain pattering]
[soft choral music playing]
[Carol] Days later, I struggled
to come to terms with my failings.
In London, I was reunited
with my misplaced suitcase.
But the items inside now seemed foreign.
The personal effects of a stranger.
Whose chrysanthemum is this?
A stranger who believed
in the perfect wave.
It was on the shores of Peru that
I realized surfing wasn't for me anymore.
Maybe I could learn a trade like Jackson.
Maybe I could make ceramic mugs.
Everyone likes mugs.
The perfect gift for any occasion.
I just knew it was time to move on.
I was just about to head inside
and call it quits when, like a mirage,
a figure appeared.
I knew him from somewhere.
But where? Where did I know him?
Then it hit me.
My lighthouse keeper.
In some sort of gown?
Is that a psychiatric bracelet?
He immediately recognized the desperation
in my eyes and asked what was wrong.
As he lapsed in and out of consciousness,
I told him about my search,
and how I had failed miserably.
He said he knew the way.
Or at least that's what it sounded like.
"I'll show you your perfect waves."
"Thanks," I said.
"But I don't believe in that anymore."
"Single day's journey by lamp oil."
At first I was wary.
He was drunk and the hospital robe
was even less reassuring.
And yet there was something in his eyes
that made me want to trust him.
So I followed him into the heart
of the Peruvian jungle.
There was no trail, no markers, no order.
He was only following
the compass within his mind.
- The jungle was relentlessly fertile.
- [flies buzzing]
It was hot, humid, and full of mosquitoes
and poisonous plants.
The jungle didn't want us there,
and it was fighting us to get out.
[jungle birds singing]
[Carol] What had I done?
Did I really follow a stranger
into this violent obscenity?
Was that a neck tattoo?
Had that always been there?
At one point he turned and said,
"The spirit of the forest is with us now."
I hoped to God he was right.
At night, we took turns
looking out for pumas.
- [animal growls]
- He slept first
and didn't wake up until the next morning.
It wasn't until sometime
in the afternoon when we saw it.
In the ocean of green
was a glimmer of blue.
And like a beacon, we followed it out.
And there they were,
just like he had promised.
The perfect waves.
They were truly beautiful.
A wonder to behold.
I needed to get in,
to experience them as fast as I could.
But, as I drew closer,
I noticed something in the sands.
Was that my surfboard?
But how?
I realized I was standing
exactly where I started,
and yet here it was, perfection.
How can this be? What had changed?
After all, the only thing
that was different was me.
My search had blinded me.
This whole time I was looking
for waves that didn't need to be found.
Was that this man's intention all along?
To drag me through the jungles as a way to
break through and change my perspective?
Suddenly, my whole journey
came flooding back.
- ["Sealed With a Kiss" playing]
- And with it, all the waves I had surfed.
In Kapali, Cabo, Mavericks,
Michigan, Kilokilo,
and here at Valparaiso.
They had all been perfect.
They would always be perfect.
[Carol] Te pai kē.
I returned home to the shores of Kapali,
energized with a new outlook on life.
But I wasn't alone.
After wrestling alligators
in Western Australia
and free-soloing up El Capitan,
Baba Lou Anne was more than happy to
kick back and relax on some chill waves.
Dottie was back too,
and with a new friend,
Toshio Matsuda and his board "Joaquin."
And look who stopped by to say hi.
After her first novel
was optioned into a movie,
CP started on her next one.
This time, our four lady surfers
are infiltrating a dangerous biker gang
to clear their names and possibly win
the Redondo Beach surf competition.
Sounds gripping.
As for me, my journey ends here.
Endless rays.
Endless waves.
When you're up on your board,
you're alive,
safe in the stillness of summer,
speeding towards the infinite.
There is no reward or prize.
Nothing to chase or find.
You're already there.
Gliding across the sea.
That's when perfection happens.
That's when time stops
and your heart opens.
And it may only be for a second,
but once it collapses,
all you need to do is paddle out
and capture it all over again.
And again.
And again.
And again.
Yes, it's gonna be
A cold, lonely summer ♪
But I'll fill the emptiness ♪
I'll send you all my love ♪
Every day in a letter ♪
Sealed with a kiss ♪
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