Franklin (2024) s01e06 Episode Script

Beauty and Folly

[FRANKLIN] Did he have any family?
He had his bottle
and, um, a little hut
beneath the Pont Notre-Dame.
I'll pay for the burial.
[BEAUMARCHAIS] And that's more
than he could expect otherwise.
Why did you send a double
in your place, Doctor?
I was warned I might be in danger.
[LENOIR] Hmm. By whom?
Someone in your organization.
You must tell me his
name so I may commend him.
I believe he wishes to remain anonymous.
[IN FRENCH] A man after my own heart.
[IN FRENCH] Pardon me?
Surely he saw something.
He stopped precisely once, or so
he claims, at la barrière de Passy.
And the customs officer?
You have a suspicion?
Well, I'm no policeman. I
[IN FRENCH] Nowhere to be found.
But we'll dig to the root
of this. You have my promise.
to examine their own corpse.
Even fewer want to.
An interesting type, no?
Maybe I'll put him in something.
Well, unless he puts
me in something first.
Monsieur, would you give me
a moment with my countryman?
I'll see who else I know has died.
This is my doing.
Did you murder this man?
I might as well have.
The deception was mine.
But at my urging.
For that, I can only
be grateful, as I am
for all the care
that you've shown me.
You know who I don't trust?
Well, he's the one who warned you.
What better way to mask
his true intentions?
You suspect someone at court?
Well, perhaps he's in
the employ of the British,
or perhaps it's someone close
to me. Determined to see me fail.
What do you think?
Well, I cannot conceive he would
stoop to something so barbarous.
Which would make his scheme
all the more ironclad.
Keep your ears open.
You are the only man that I can trust.
- Ya! Ya!
[SÉGUR] Temple!
[GUARD] Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-
Roch-Gilbert du Motier?
[IN FRENCH] You have found him.
Somebody wants to talk to you.
Exactly what type of morons are you?
- How many types are there?
- I am not talking to you, sir.
I do not even acknowledge
your existence.
And you.
I had the vague notion
you were a sensible sort.
What on earth convinced you to
join this imbecilic escapade?
- Well, I
- I don't care!
But you.
I had hoped that experience
on the battlefield
might curb your natural
inclination to idiocy.
Clearly I was mistaken.
Monsieur le Comte, I
advise you to remember
you address a general
in the Continental Army.
I address the irritation that
plagued my foyer for months on end.
And now has it in his
head to invade England with
whatever half-sober layabouts he could
find sprawled on the docks at Le Havre!
beat the Romans with less.
[IN FRENCH] What did you say?
I said that it could have
worked. If you hadn't stopped us.
coming to me not so long ago.
He was modest in his manner
and, I admit, endearing in his naïveté.
Do you know what I see now?
A man.
I see another vainglorious
fool parading in silks
and puffed up with his
own picture in the glass.
Félicitations, monsieur.
You may now call yourself French.
Vercingetorix. That was a hero.
strangled him, of course.
a game to you, isn't it?
[LAFAYETTE] My friends, we find
another way to continue the ba
[IN FRENCH] What got into him?
At least we didn't get arrested.
Assassins at the gates.
Bodies in the morgue.
One cannot leave one's
home without being attacked.
Of course, I think only of you.
I'm more concerned about
finding my grandson.
He's with Jacques. The
servants saw them on the road.
Why didn't you stop them?
Why don't I stop the birds from flying?
Well, where are they likely to go?
Wherever is most shameful
to his mother and father.
[IN FRENCH] I am losing hope, Doctor.
off, but I cannot correct him.
I fear I may say the same.
[CHAUMONT] Mm-hmm. Hmm.
[SIGHS] My friend
I hesitate to raise
this question now, but
Your payments.
One man always owes
another. That is the world.
And so, I must ask when I can expect
Congress has promised
to address it speedily.
Yes, but
have they, really?
- [JOHN] Dr. Franklin!
[CHAUMONT] I can't
keep telling my wife
- [JOHN] I know you're in there!
[CHAUMONT] She's always had
a nose for money. Well
Come in already!
Ah! You're alive.
Sorry to disappoint you.
Don't be ridiculous.
The last thing I need is
you ascending to sainthood,
as unlikely as that sounds.
[FRANKLIN] What do you want, sir?
[IN FRENCH] They're throwing
me out of my own house. [SCOFFS]
- Uh
It was something about
the flower beds. Uh
- Hath he nothing better to do than garden?
- Your business, Mr. Adams?
- No.
- I beg your pardon?
No, I will not negotiate
a treaty with London.
No, you are not being asked to.
Those are direct instructions
from Congress to me.
Stating that you will take
"no steps of consequence
without consulting
King Louis's ministers."
I will inform Count Vergennes
immediately and be done with it.
- I strongly advise you not to.
- Ah! There's a surprise.
Meaning what?
Do you find it so incredible
that I might reach favorable terms
without you waving
your magic lightning rod?
On the contrary,
I have every faith you'll succeed in
playing right into our enemy's hands.
That is low, even for you.
I will not forswear the trust and amity
- shown to me by the French
- This nonsense again.
- for some expedient backstabbing!
- Your sentimental delusion
[FRANKLIN] They've
honored every promise!
They open every door!
That and an ass will
fetch you to Boston Common!
Your children.
What of them?
You worry about their fates?
I doubt the strength of their character.
I pray they do not lapse in
their devotion to a merciful God.
They fiercely live in my heart.
I'd burn that if I were you.
No good can come of it.
[IN FRENCH] Take my purse.
I don't want trouble. Please.
How dare you?
I thought it was him in the
carriage. He tricked us both.
Yeah. Well, only one
of us held the blade.
I did my part. Don't
blame me for a botched job.
What have you heard?
- They're looking for the customs officer.
- Yes, but they won't find him.
Look, there's a better way to do this.
So you keep saying,
yet he's still around.
- Look, it just needs a little more time.
- Well, I don't have it. Neither do you.
Adams wants Franklin gone.
He's got Congress behind him.
The old man won't be able to stop it.
Let them tear each other apart,
and England will reap the benefit
with no more mishaps along the road.
Look [PANTS] it's better
than getting caught, isn't it?
I may get fucked here.
Maybe you too.
If I do, I'm taking you with me.
[IN FRENCH] Come on, again.
Three cups and one chestnut.
Find the chestnut and double your money.
- Non!
- Lost.
Give me some money.
I haven't got a sou.
England with nothing in your pocket.
I'm not the one whose father
threw him out on his cul.
No, you're the one who fucked
himself and is too scared to go home.
[IN FRENCH] Not my home. It's
just where my grandfather
Sponges off my parents.
Damn, I accidentally said the truth.
- Why would I give a shit?
- [JACQUES] Mmm.
Oh, big boy words.
Holding out on me? Some friend.
Well. Now we're both kings.
See you around.
I'll tell you a secret.
She said you were cute.
- Who?
- You know who.
[IN FRENCH] But she's not the kind of
girl whose door you just go knock on.
You never know who's on the other side.
[IN FRENCH] Listen. You really screwed
up, and there's no one else to blame.
I know what that's like.
So, we can walk over to St.
Roch and find you a priest
or you could do what any gentleman
in your situation would do.
- What's that?
Come on, little tadpole.
We're going to the country.
" to officially,
and formally, announce
the intention of the
United States to
to officially, and
formally, announce "
Monsieur Adams.
to officially, and formally
Excuse me.
announce the intention of the
the United the United States
ask you to speak English?
I cannot understand a word
of what you are saying.
In accordance with my instructions,
I am advising you, Foreign Minister
Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes
That is my name.
that the United States of America
has authorized John Adams of Braintree,
viz myself, to seek a negotiated
peace with Great Britain.
[JOHN] The United
States has authorized
I heard all that.
You wish to announce to your enemy
that you're agreeable to surrender?
To entertain proposals of
peace without precondition.
And you would like me to approve
of this remarkable stratagem.
I am required by Cong
This office spent a year
hearing Dr. Franklin insist
that it could be no treaty of any kind
without a guarantee
of your independence.
Dr. Franklin is not the
bearer of these instructions.
Your authority supersedes his?
The instructions come from Cong
You expect us to [CHUCKLES]
wish you well and walk away
with nothing to show
for our efforts? [SCOFFS]
[CHUCKLES] Your efforts, sir?
[CHUCKLES] A child
could parse your aims.
Harass Britain to exhaustion,
keep American power in check,
and leave France the victor
in your little game of nations.
"American power."
"American power!" What is that?
The power to drain our coffers?
And somehow still go on losing?
Complaining every step of the way?
Your bountiful gift of a
few ill-commanded ships,
that sad apology of an army
What an extraordinary talent you
have for finding fault in others
and none in yourselves.
Deploy your warships along the coast.
- Bottle up the enemy.
- And now, master tactician.
Until you break his command of
the seas, nothing will alter.
[IN FRENCH] To sit here and be lectured
by some witless backwoods harlequin
You mark me, sir.
I am no honeyed flatterer, eager to
be seduced by your airs and graces
like some I could name.
I am here to do
business, hard business
- and I mean to hold you to your terms.
And if you will not honor them,
seek whatever is most
advantageous to us with any part
Are you listening?
Monsieur Adams.
Uh, may I make a request?
Would you be so good as to
leave this office immediately
and under no circumstance come back?
I would prefer never
to speak with you again.
Merci infiniment.
I suppose you are mightily
pleased with yourself.
I warned you.
You think me blind to
your snares and wiles?
Advising me against the very thing
Good day, madam.
The very thing you
most wish for me to do.
If you find me so transparent,
why did you go ahead and do it?
- To prove you wrong!
- You proved me right.
Well, at least I spoke my mind.
A habit guaranteed to
make yourself disagreeable.
Of course. Your great aim in life.
To be pleasing to all
and useless for anything
outside the satisfaction
of your own appetites.
I happen to consider that preferable
to spreading disaster everywhere I go.
Well, you needn't concern
yourself with me any longer.
I will pay my own way
in my own lodgings.
I will leave you to your paramours
and your reprobate grandson,
wherever he may be.
I witnessed your holiday
theatrical, ma'am.
It was engaging to the eye,
but but unedifying for the soul.
What a strange little man.
Maybe he's right,
that I've stayed on too long
for all the good that it's done.
That's what Congress seems to think.
I'll tell you what I think.
You haven't stayed long enough.
would believe me, Sweetheart,
while your young age is in flower.
-In its greenest freshness,
- gather, gather your youth.
Since age will tarnish your beauty.
As it has faded this flower."
[PUFFS] That was remarkably dispiriting.
He's trying to convince
some girl to roll
in the hay with him
before she turns ugly.
Ronsard addresses the
fleeting nature of life.
- The rose that blossoms in the morning
- Don't fool yourself, Cabanis.
It's all about spreading legs.
[CHUCKLING] Madame, you
delight in the unexpected.
- Clouds, cherubs, wounded unicorns,
little sparrows cupped in the hand.
A man will say anything to get a
woman on her back. Wouldn't you agree?
I think that
When all he really needs
to do is be straightforward.
It's not as if the thought
never crossed her mind.
Madame, are you against poetry?
I never heard a cat recite a rhyme.
And they have no trouble propagating.
Isn't that so, Aza?
Perhaps it's time I
retired for the evening.
Yes, don't stand on ceremony.
Should I wake the abbé?
Leave him be. You never know
when you might need a priest.
You do let him live here.
He might amount to something
one day, but probably not.
In the meantime, it's
amusing to torment him.
And me as well?
What have I done to you
except feed and flatter you?
Hmm. You have stroked
my cheek on occasion.
And where has that led us?
To this table, with Monsieur
l'Abbé dozing beside us
and the hour approaching midnight.
Rather late for an old man.
Perhaps I should snuggle
up with the Abbé.
That would be the most
commonplace of scandals.
[IN FRENCH] Do you have
something else in mind?
Your French is highly
irregular after all.
Well, um
[IN FRENCH] I'm retiring to my rooms.
I can't imagine what you're going to do.
- Good night.
Infernal creatures.
come in or shut the door.
And stop tormenting the cats.
Are you just going to stand there?
always undress so slowly?
Is there someplace you need to be?
I've only got that much patience.
I must tell you.
I am plagued by a scaly sort of rash,
my legs are gouty
and I have the very
devil of a bladder stone.
You do know how to charm a lady.
Come here, you unplucked rose.
Madame? Madame Brillon?
[IN FRENCH] I'm sorry?
I simply said, madame,
that I am certain your
daughter cannot help but reflect
the refined nature of
her esteemed mother.
Perhaps you and I, sir, could privately
discuss what particular arrangements
You may tell us both
your terms, Colonel.
We are a banking people.
We have no small
business with the court.
We hold title to land
inside and outside the city
that we intend to improve at profit.
Your family is not illustrious.
[SCOFFS] I wager we have
made up for it. With gold.
Three hundred arpents in
Burgundy. She'll come with that.
A mill in Orléans. The rents
on six farms in La Manche.
And my position at the Treasury.
A proper accounting would be best.
You are here to buy a name, sir.
I'd say the scales are balanced.
Fetch her now.
Mama. Papa.
This is Colonel Paris d'Illins.
He is eager to hear you play.
Most likely, he sailed from
Southampton and landed at Le Havre.
A stevedore was killed on the
docks there around that time.
Why didn't you catch him then?
No evidence. No witnesses.
I don't recall that stopping you before.
Does the brush get
to choose the painter?
Did this fellow try to
kill Franklin or not?
I also note visits to Dr. Franklin
by a certain Mr. Williams
claiming to represent the
British prime minister.
Although none of our spies in Lord
North's office have heard of him.
Where is he now?
In Paris, no doubt. He moves frequently.
But he wouldn't be so hard to find.
Then why don't you do it?
Would you like us to?
He's going around stabbing people.
- No one who matters.
- Yet.
Not every fish has to be caught.
You want to
Let him go about his business.
While we keep an eye on him.
You might find it useful at some point.
I can't have Dr.
Franklin being murdered.
We would definitely
draw the line at that.
This conversation never happened.
I was out riding all morning myself.
Coffee, Monsieur Lenoir?
No, thank you, Madame.
It makes me excitable.
Why does he always come
when I'm eating breakfast?
Because you let him.
What do you think?
Be careful you don't wind up
needing him more than he needs you.
The question, Your Majesty, is
what France may yield in honor
without too much loss of dignity.
London proposes each side
retain the territory they occupy
at the end of hostilities.
Has Dr. Franklin been informed
of this proposed truce?
- In this matter, I am dealing directly
with [LOUDER] Lord North.
I remind Count Maurepas that our treaty
with America guarantees
its independence.
And independent it will be.
The bits they haven't lost, at least.
When did the first
minister intend to inform me
of his discussions with London?
I am under no obligations
to the foreign minister.
My responsibility is to
His Majesty and to France.
We can't keep floating loans
for a war we aren't winning.
France has made its point, sire.
We must come to terms with the enemy.
I am willing to abide by
whatever Your Majesty decides.
I will need the order in writing.
Did you say "in writing"?
If France is to quit the war, it
must be under your signature, sire.
I owe it to you.
For what?
Going against your wishes.
I had no objections to the scheme.
Only the rashness of the execution
and the recruitment of my grandson.
- I have no excuse.
- Where is he?
He left us at Versailles.
I have not seen him since.
I have plans for that boy,
marquis. Do you understand this?
With respect, doctor, I
do not think him a boy,
and I am not the one
who must understand.
Would you say that the king likes you?
He did not have me strangled.
I need you to speak with him.
There must be ships to
block the English at sea,
men to fight them on land,
before it's too late.
Why not ask this of
le comte de Vergennes?
My good friend Mr. Adams has
made that quite difficult.
We open a new front?
Yes? We fight a different way?
You have a keen grasp of the field, sir.
I go to him
I convince him
He gives me the command.
Bien sûr. Temple will
return. You will see.
I fled my brother and never came back.
I was 17.
Was that not for the best?
[IN FRENCH] Just look what
it's cost so far, Maurepas.
And no end in sight.
How would you arrange it?
Pin it all on Vergennes.
It's his mess after all.
And we come out smelling clean.
We'll discuss it later, hmm?
[SERVANT] Quickly!
It's Monsieur Maurepas.
- [GÉRARD] Is he breathing?
- I'm not sure.
[VERGENNES] His heart gave out?
You're sure? Absolutely sure?
Barring resurrection, yes.
He's quite dead.
Well, then.
We mustn't pass up this opportunity.
that you'll now be first
minister to the court?
[VERGENNES] If His Majesty sees fit.
May I be the first to
offer my congratulations.
We have both been freed from the
interference of troublesome colleagues.
Well, I fear that Mr. Adams's
absence may not be as, uh,
permanent as that of Count Maurepas.
Then we must act with dispatch.
If you've invited me here to
seek my acceptance of a truce,
Monsieur First Minister, I'm afraid
I'm gonna have to disappoint you.
You are remarkably well-informed.
I'm just guessing. But now you told me.
[SIGHS] A truce would end
the war and the expense.
But it would not secure our independence,
and that's all that matters.
To you.
The next campaign must be the
last. After that, I cannot help you.
And this this helping
might amount to
Another six million livres, possibly.
A gift.
A loan. A final loan.
Money by itself will
not achieve the purpose.
I must ask you for, uh
Ships of the line, frigates
and, let us say, 5,000 infantry?
You are well-informed yourself.
[CHUCKLES] I'm just guessing too.
We cannot win without them. [SIGHS]
That would be up to the king.
Might I hope that you make the case?
I have ever relied on your favor.
Mr. Adams is the fist,
yes? And you are the glove.
Jean! Jean-Jean!
Monsieur Jacques.
I was just emptying the pots.
Of course you were, you dear old ox.
No one told me you were
coming. The house isn't ready.
Don't worry about that, Jean-Jean.
We're here for the simple
joys of the countryside.
To breathe fresh air. To look
honest Christians in the eye
To What are we here for?
To fuck and kill!
[ALL SHOUT] To fuck and kill!
Don't listen to him.
He's got no manners.
All of you shut up!
May I introduce Mademoiselle Odette
Caillot of the Comédie-Italienne.
- Sir.
- Sir! Sir! He's not sir, he's Jean-Jean.
I want you to meet
someone. Where's Temple?
[ALL SHOUT] Temple!
- Hey!
- [ALL] Hey!
Ah! Temple!
Come on! Come on, Temple!
Jean-Jean, you know what
you're looking at here?
A young gentleman?
An American. Do you know what that is?
A sort of Turk?
A free man. No one is his master!
His life, his fate, are his own!
something American. Go on.
Give me liberty or give me death.
[IN FRENCH] What do you think of that?
- Very nice, I'm sure.
Give me liberty! Or give me death!
[ALL SHOUTING] Liberty or death!
Should I go find him?
Why? Are you his servant too?
Jacques. Jacques!
What do you want?
The hunt's about to start.
I already caught something.
I thought it was a stag,
but it turned out to be a cat.
Meow. [LAUGHS]
Ah! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!
[IN FRENCH] My dagger!
Here, sir.
You do the honors.
Through the heart!
You don't understand. The
stag wants you to kill it.
It didn't look that way.
It's no different from a woman.
You have to chase her down.
Or it's not worth anything.
[GUEST] And then the lance!
- Isn't that so, darling?
- Hmm.
- With you, it's more like a pinky.
Ladies and gentlemen,
you are the sorriest lot
of blackguards and doxies
it's ever been my
misfortune to encounter.
I loathe you all and wish you nothing
but a healthy dose of the clap.
- We hate you too!
Because I can't stand the
sight of any one of you,
someone needs to do something
to amuse me, right now!
A song!
- A song!
- The African princess!
Make the African sing!
She's not an African, you
miserable cock-gobblers!
She's the jewel of
the Comédie-Italienne.
And if you want to hear her,
you'll have to beg for it.
- Won't they?
- Stop it.
- [CHUCKLING] It's all good fun, angel.
Let's hear you beg.
[GUEST 2] You ebony goddess
[GUEST 3] O, dark Venus
[GUEST 4] Great sable Amazonian
- Conquer us!
- Conquer us!
You see? They worship you.
Just like I do.
When my lover's courting me ♪
He aches, he sighs, he weeps ♪
And spends the days just telling me ♪
Of all his troubles deep ♪
Oh, were he to spend
time diff'rently ♪
A merrier girl I'd be ♪
I have to be paid back somehow ♪
- But we're in the country.
[ALL] Oh!
- The thing you need to learn about women
"It's the mirror perilous"
[TEMPLE] You can't go riding back
to Paris in the middle of the night.
It's better than staying here.
You'll get yourself killed.
Another gentleman who wants to help me.
I'm not a gentleman.
Then what are you?
What are you even doing here?
I don't know. I
away from home, I guess.
[IN FRENCH] What is "home"?
Where you belong.
Nowhere, really.
[IN FRENCH] You think he's your friend?
He doesn't have friends.
He has people he charms,
or borrows money from,
or takes pleasure in humiliating.
And when he can't squeeze any more
out of you, or just gets bored
He won't even remember who you are.
Then why are you with him?
Why do you think?
He gives you jewels? Bought
with his father's money?
And what can you offer? Hmm?
A title? An estate? A diamond bracelet?
What will you dazzle me with?
Nothing. I have nothing.
I punched Jacques in the face.
What for?
Because no one should be
allowed to treat you that way.
- [JACQUES] Odette, my jewel
[JACQUES] come back to the party!
All right.
What? What?
I said, "All right."
Odette. Odette!
- Mademoiselle Odette. I pledge myself
- Stop talking.
Excuse me.
- Where is everybody?
- They're all gone.
- What?
- They left. Hours ago.
Lord Little Shit and his friends.
[STAMMERS] How do I get back?
[COACH DRIVER] Whoa. Whoa!
[PANTING] Paris?
- [NOAILLES] Well. Well. Well.
- [SÉGUR] Look who showed up.
We thought you didn't love us anymore.
That's all done with.
[SNIFFS] Why do you
smell like old potatoes?
Where's Gilbert? What's going on?
Don't you know?
[LAFAYETTE] Long live America!
[PEOPLE CHEERING] Vive l'Amérique!
[ALL CHANTING] Lafayette!
Lafayette! Lafayette! Lafayette!
We sail for Virginia in a fortnight.
For real this time. With 7,000
men and the king's consent.
[SÉGUR] Even if he gave
the command to Rochambeau.
- He's the more seasoned fighter.
- Aren't we noble. [CHUCKLES]
[LAFAYETTE] There'll be
enough to keep us busy.
[GROANS] Remember
when he used to be fun?
What about me?
Will you make it up with your
grandfather and come join us?
All the four. Together.
[IN FRENCH] We'll have
one hell of a time.
- I'll get you a commission.
Make it up with my grandfather?
[IN FRENCH] What should
we do? For old times' sake?
what my grandfather thinks of me?
- I I spoke with him.
- And you And you talked about me?
[SCOFFS] You think you
know what I should do?
- My friend, I only wished to
- [IN FRENCH] What gives you the right?
Because Washington made you his pet?
But they won't give
you an army, will they?
Why do you think that is?
- [SÉGUR] Watch yourself
- Or what?
You talk a lot, but
you never do anything.
- I'll do something now.
- Hey! Hey! Hey!
- What is happening with you?
I'm not the one running off to
some war I've got nothing to do with!
I'm staying here. I found someone here!
[IN FRENCH] And you're
all a bunch of fools.
Straightening your papers.
There's no need.
I've already started.
[SIGHS] I had rather a lot of port.
It's not good for you.
It tempers the gout.
Makes it worse.
Something will do me in. Why not that?
You intend to rest here tonight?
Those could use fair drafts.
Actually, wait till tomorrow morning.
I'll do it now.
- Two Two copies?
Just so. [SIGHS]
One in English.
And one in French.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode