Carol & The End of the World (2023) s01e10 Episode Script

The Investigation

[woman sobbing softly]
[woman sobbing]
[woman continues sobbing]
[multiple coworkers sobbing]
[all sobbing]
[somber music playing]
[sobbing continues]
[Donna] Oh.
What the hell?
[sobbing continues]
Somebody's getting fired over this shit.
[music and sobbing fade]
[tense piano music playing]
HR case number 7-dash-3.
Or maybe it's 4. [sharp inhale]
In the interest of providing
my summary of today's event
as swiftly and as detailed as possible,
I have not, as of yet, double-checked
with my previous case file numbers.
At approximately 1100 hours today,
an incident occurred
that can only be described
as a spontaneous fit of hysteria.
This convulsive wave of emotions
seized the office for exactly
three and a half minutes
before finally subsiding.
[all sobbing softly]
I'm sorry, guys. I'm done.
It's hard to pinpoint
what spurred today's events.
Suffice it to say it is
but one of many erratic behaviors
that have arisen here in the office
over the past few months.
These include, but are not limited to,
chatter around the water cooler,
spells of boisterous laughter,
high-fives, low-fives,
and, in one instance, a shoulder pat.
Three weeks ago,
I was witness to a non-platonic hug.
Dear listener, I believe these events
are all somehow related to the emotional
display that occurred here today.
Not only that, but their timeline
seems inextricably linked
to the hiring of one employee.
A Carol Daphne Kohl.
Single. Childless.
Emergency contact,
Bernard and Pauline Kohl.
I believe lurking behind Carol
[recorder clicks]
Hi, I'm Carol.
Spiffy tie you got there, Bill.
Oh, no! Shit. Shit. Shoot.
[ticking continues]
She could destroy us.
- [recorder clicks]
- [ticking continues]
[ticking fades]
[faint birdsong]
[gentle piano music playing]
On the surface, Ms. Kohl
seems to be the perfect employee.
Her docile demeanor emanates a certain
je ne sais quoi of dependability,
and one would think her shyness
would keep her in line with the others.
But beneath her benign presentation
lies a dangerous rebellious streak,
one I fear has already begun
to infect the office.
I first noticed Miss Kohl's behavior
on the Tuesday of April 7th.
- [toilet flushes]
- [Carol] Sarah.
- [toilet flushes]
- [Carol] Vanessa.
- [toilet flushes]
- [Carol] Francine.
Names are designations of who we are.
When recalled,
they create a measure of familiarity.
When your name is spoken,
a type of intimacy is created.
You are no longer
just a stranger or coworker,
you are now an acquaintance
with the possibility of more.
- Tim.
- [coughing]
Alyssa. James. Cathy.
This was ultimately followed
by an incident
where Miss Kohl led eight other members
of the office onto the roof
for an unsolicited wake
for a one David Douglas Seaver.
The incident resulted in the time theft of
eight minutes and 43 seconds.
[recorder clicks]
[HR woman] Since then, the antics
of Miss Kohl have only become more brazen.
On April 15th, Miss Kohl set about
decorating her workspace,
using treasured possessions
to inject personality
in and around her desk.
Personally, I do not believe
the office is an appropriate place
to display your financial dependents,
but I understand the general sentiment.
I, on the other hand,
have no tolerance for such kitsch,
particularly Miss Kohl's collection
of ceramic mice.
Slowly but surely, the contagion
spread among the rank and file.
A rash of tchotchkes, photographs,
constellations of personal artifacts
all on display.
The faint flickering of private lives
here in our office.
Just like that,
the professionalism this office
had come to so embody was gone.
Miss Kohl had altered it,
perhaps irrevocably.
Brief aside, Miss Kohl requisitioned
a tier-one company vehicle
in the commission of a work-related matter
several weeks ago.
Since then, she has used said vehicle
almost daily for personal matters.
Fortunately for the office, I managed
to get the drop on her next move.
[melancholy orchestral music playing]
[HR woman] An unauthorized lunch swap.
Social lunches,
particularly those involving swapping,
trading, or pot-lucking
are a gateway to camaraderie.
When one finds out another also
likes tomatoes in their pesto pasta,
it forges an understanding,
an understanding that forms a bridge
that invariably leads to friendship.
Now, because of tomatoes,
you have someone
to spend coffee breaks with
and tell your secrets to.
Even a simple potato frittata
could make someone feel more loyal
to their new coworker
than to their duties.
But, gentle listener,
this is only the beginning.
Miss Kohl's friendship offensive
found its first victims
in two previously-reliable employees,
beginning with one Donna Shaw.
African-American, divorced, five children,
astigmatism in both eyes,
Miss Shaw is what we call
in Human Resources "an ideal employee."
Dependable, task-oriented,
thrives on the sense of purpose
work provides,
or at least she did.
Precisely what led
this paragon of diligence
- to ally with Miss Kohl cannot be known.
- [sniffing]
But it is a great loss to our cause.
C'est la vie.
The third member of this insurrectionary
triumvirate is something of an enigma.
On the surface, Luis Felipe Jacinto
seemed like any adequate employee.
[shutter clicks]
Habitually on-time, hard-working,
by all accounts entirely unremarkable.
But as I looked closer,
I began to observe in him an inexplicable
and frankly unsettling joie de vivre,
an effervescent lust for life
that the routine and rigor of the office
had perhaps suppressed,
only for Miss Kohl to draw it out.
I can't really sing along, so sometimes
I just accompany her with my recorder.
You can play Whitney Houston
on a recorder? [laughs]
I brought it to a concert once
but was too afraid to play it.
[HR woman] Over time,
these three have managed to foment
a sense of unity among the workforce
through a variety
of disruptive activities.
The creation of a lunchtime Spanish club.
Buenos días. Me llamo Donna.
[Luis speaking Spanish]
[all] Hola, Donna.
[HR woman] Weekly tanning sessions.
Multiple instances
in which Miss Kohl played matchmaker,
resulting in several couplings
and at least one polyamorous quad.
- The arrival of a stray dog.
- [dog yipping]
Check it out!
This little guy followed us in!
Anybody want to name him?
Leonard? Suzanne?
And the gradual individualization
of the Terrys.
- Terry B.
- Thank you, Carol.
- Terry L.
- I appreciate it, Carol.
- Terry P.
- Thanks, Carol.
- Terry F.
- Danke schoen, Carol.
- Terry C.
- Much obliged, Carol.
All of which leads me to Miss Kohl's
latest and most consequential disruption,
which I believe accounts for
the other day's upsetting disturbance.
I am of course speaking of
[knocking on door]
- Sorry to bother.
- What's going on?
- We were wondering about your report.
- Why isn't it ready?
It should be done. You've had two days.
These investigations take time.
- I'm going as fast as I can.
- [both] Very well.
Don't forget to keep us in the loop, okay?
I want an email summarizing everything.
This is really a shame.
Rather disappointing.
- [vacuum cleaner whirring]
- [somber string music playing]
I'm thinking about
finally getting some new insoles.
Something with arch support.
Probably with some heel protection
for walking on concrete.
Something in the gel family,
but not too soft.
- Something on the firmer
- Bernard.
- [Michael] Pauline.
- Okay.
You've both been
by my side over the years and
[gasps] Oh my God! How wonderful!
Of course, Michael! Of course!
[woman on radio]
And with Keppler's gravitational pull
slowing Earth's rotation,
get ready for 19-hour days
and 19-hour nights.
I'm gonna eat you up!
Yes, I am. Eat you right up. Ay!
No scratchies, Pablo.
No scratchies.
As I was saying,
the previously-outlined events
have led me to Miss Kohl's
latest and most volatile disruption,
which I believe accounts
for this week's upsetting disturbance
I am of course referring to Applebee's.
[ticking fades]
[ominous music swells]
Come on, Luis. It's time to go.
Wait, just one more number.
Seven. Nine.
That's two numbers.
It's a big number, Donna.
- Four. Eight.
- [keyboard clacking]
- Heading home?
- [Donna] Trying to. Luis is stalling.
Yeah. I hate leaving too.
[Luis] Shh.
You're making me lose my place.
Four and zero.
[Luis sighs]
Why is this part always so hard?
It's just how it is.
Your work will be here tomorrow.
You know, we don't have to.
- What?
- I mean, we can, like, hang out.
Remember that night with David?
Oh, that was so much fun.
We were dragging around a dead body
and you had a nervous breakdown.
And not to mention,
my trunk is still fucked.
But, like, without all that.
No dead body?
No dead body.
At a bar? Lord, no.
I'd rather be in bed.
Huh. Too many crazies
letting it all hang every which way.
- Makes it impossible to do anything.
- Yeah.
If only there was a place
that was like the office.
Quiet, free of all that stuff out there.
Guys, guys, I know a place.
- [upbeat electronic music playing]
- A home away from home.
A casual spot,
decorated with unique flair,
filled with comfortable seats
and bottomless drinks.
And best of all
Is it close? I'm only going if it's close.
Oh, it's in the neighborhood.
Well, then, lead the way.
How fun!
Hey! Can I come too?
That kind of sounds like fun.
Um Sure.
Great. I'll pack my stuff.
I swear to God,
he better not end up in my trunk.
[slurping loudly]
Damn, Carol.
If I knew you
could make an Appletini like this,
we would have been
doing this from the start.
What can I say?
I don't know.
Girl's got a gift.
[snickers] Carol's blasted.
[both laughing]
We should do this more often.
Yeah! Like, every week.
I'm down.
I love you guys.
Sounds like a plan.
[upbeat music continues]
[whispers] It's called "Applebee's."
Applebee's? Wait, but aren't they?
[Carol, Donna, and Luis] Terrys!
[slurping loudly]
Have I met them?
[all] Chloe!
[Carol] Oh, sorry. I was already here.
I just stepped out to
[all] Patrick!
[indistinct chatter]
[all] Andrew!
[ice rattling]
Heather! Take over.
My arms are getting tired.
Next question.
"What is a group of turkeys called?"
[coworkers murmuring]
Ah, Nine-to-fivers.
I see you trying to cheat.
Sit your ass back down.
Who likes tacos?
["Love is a Battlefield" playing]
Searching our hearts for so long ♪
Both of us knowing ♪
[coworkers chattering]
To happy hour.
To happy hour.
- [music fades]
- [crickets chirping]
[somber piano music playing]
[HR woman] Dear listener, I must apologize
for what you are about to hear.
You must believe me when I say
I entered into this investigation
with the purest of intentions,
to identify an existential threat
to our office and root it out.
In this, I have failed.
When I first learned
of the quote-unquote "happy hour,"
I could scarcely believe it.
- [woman 1] What time are you going?
- [woman 2] Right after work.
I can't wait.
[HR woman] So I was determined
to see it with my own eyes.
Dear listener, it's difficult
to describe what I found there.
On the surface,
just a group of coworkers enjoying
themselves at a casual bar and grill,
but it was more than that.
That place had a feeling.
A strength.
If the office was to be saved,
it had to be stopped.
[all] HR!
['80s pop guitar riff plays]
But that's not what happened.
[HR woman]
My initial plan was to blend in.
I quickly found that to be impossible.
In the office, I found it easy
to remain anonymous,
another cog
in the machine of The Distraction.
But here in this strange Elysium
of Miss Kohl's creation,
everyone had a name.
Everyone was known.
Everyone was family.
In time,
despite all my grand designs of sabotage,
I was too.
I told myself I was getting to know
these people for the investigation.
Playing bingo for the investigation.
Bingo! Hot damn! I got bingo!
[HR woman]
Singing karaoke for the investigation.
- Don't you ♪
- [coworkers cheering]
Forget about me ♪
Oh, don't, don't, don't, don't ♪
Don't you ♪
Forget about me ♪
As you walk on by ♪
Will you call my name? ♪
[pop music fades]
[somber piano music playing]
[HR woman] In truth, I'd succumbed
to the very virus I'd set out to destroy,
the virus that now threatens
to destroy our precious Distraction
[knocking on door]
- I think we have a problem here.
- Where is that goddamn report?
- We really need that report.
- I'm almost done.
[manager 1] Do you even understand
what's at stake here?
- [manager 2] I want it on my desk now!
- Of course.
This reflects poorly on everyone.
You are fucking up big-time.
Fuckin' up.
[somber ambient music playing]
It had been two weeks since the last
happy hour when the disturbance occurred.
[HR woman] Following my investigation,
I have determined
that the spontaneous fit of hysteria
that gripped our office several days ago
was in fact not spontaneous but triggered.
Triggered by emotional attachments
formed among the people of this office.
What began with Miss Kohl learning
the names of her coworkers
has since evolved
into a kind of community.
A community of people
who care for each other,
who have chosen to care for each other,
in spite of the pain that might entail,
given the current circumstances.
Now, in the middle of the day,
when an employee looks at her coworker,
she doesn't see
an Accounts Receivable clerk.
She sees Bruce.
Or Casey.
Or Amanda.
Not just coworkers, but friends.
Friends she knows she will
one day very soon lose forever.
[HR woman] These fits of emotion
will only get worse
as the months and weeks count down,
setting the stage for the complete
implosion of The Distraction.
Our seal against the sentimental chaos
of the outside world has shattered,
our vital routine arrested.
Keppler's song has breached
these precious walls,
and now not even
the wail of the copier can drown it out.
What follows is grief and madness,
and it is without question
that the blame for this
lies at the very feet of one
- Hi.
- Hi.
I was just wondering
if you're coming to happy hour tonight.
No. Not tonight.
Oh, okay. Well, we missed you
the last couple weeks.
Okay. Good night, Kathleen.
What did you call me?
That's your name, right?
Oh, no! Did I get it wrong?
No, you didn't.
Oh, okay.
Well, see you tomorrow.
[dramatic orchestral music playing]
[crying silently]
This concludes HR case number 7-dash
This concludes the investigation.
Note to listener,
my determination
regarding employee Carol Daphne Kohl
is supplemented here in a written report.
[orchestral music intensifies]
So, what do you say, Carol?
[Donna and Luis imitate Carol]
This is nice.
[Luis chuckles]
But it is.
[orchestral music continues]
Is anyone missing keys for a Honda?
Thank you.
I feel like most people
don't even notice I'm wearing earrings.
Good night, Kathleen.
[orchestral music becomes dissonant]
[low rumbling]
- [wistful pop music playing]
- Beyond the break ♪
You'll find another name ♪
A deeper guy ♪
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