From the Earth to the Moon (1998) s01e11 Episode Script

The Original Wives' Club

We choose to go to the moon.
We choose to go to the moon.
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard.
- Look at that.
- That's beautiful.
It's gotta be one of the most proud moments of my life, I guarantee you.
Of the two dozen men who flew to the moon, 12 were veterans who'd flown in space before.
19 would never do so again, and three made the trip twice.
The average starting pay for an astronaut was less than $20,000 a year.
And whereas they could purchase brand-new Corvettes at dealer cost, no one would sell them life insurance.
All but one of the astronauts was married.
The wives of Apollo enjoyed the perks and handled the attention with varying degrees of success.
The tough task they faced was to cope with an equal volume of stress as did their mates, making their time at NASA just as arduous, just as consuming, and just as adventurous, as if they themselves had made the voyage from the Earth to the moon.
Well, that took a while.
I thought you left and went home.
The only clean way to have a bowel movement is to strip down and give yourself an hour.
Want me to quote you on that? I had a little problem though.
I lost my wedding ring.
- You took off your wedding ring too? - Yeah.
- You see it, John? - No.
But I wasn't looking for it.
You check your glove? Yeah, it wasn't there.
I just got married.
I can't lose my wedding ring on the way to the moon.
That could be tough to explain to the wife.
Unless she's taken a bowel movement in zero-G.
Tell her it's not NASA-approved equipment for space travel.
Ladies and gentlemen of Greater Houston, welcome to the fourth annual Junior League Winter Cavalcade of Fashion.
Get ready for some of the latest in fashion fun and styles-a-plenty, modelled by the most elite women in the world, representing the very best that America has to offer.
And here they are now, hardworking pioneers in their own right the wives of America's astronauts! Mrs Elliott See is actually a Marilyn, a civilian homemaker who takes her housewife duties to heart.
Boy, is she gonna look sharp at the market in this smart paprika ensemble with saffron blouse and matching lining.
Not to mention the accessories.
Wow! And there she goes.
Goodbye, Marilyn.
And hello, Marilyn.
We've got two Marilyns in this crop of astro-wives.
And here is none other than Mrs James Lovell Junior or Marilyn.
She shows her navy spirit today by testing out a navy blue silk suit with kicky red leather shoes.
Not quite what they wear back in Wisconsin, eh? Mom, where are we? Are we still in Houston? I think so.
I hope so.
I don't know.
- When will we get there? - When we get there.
- But, Mom! - Please.
Sit back.
Everybody out.
- Hurry up.
- I'm coming.
Stop bickering.
Please stop.
- I didn't do it.
- It wasn't me.
Enough! Enough! - Mom.
- Mrs Lovell.
Enough, please.
We spoke on the phone.
I'm Charlie.
It's hard to imagine what it'll look like right now but in a couple of months there are going to be houses and a supermarket and churches, and you'll be in on the ground floor.
Is that right? So, are other NASA families buying homes here? Yeah.
The original seven have staked their claim here.
There's John Glenn, Deke Slayton, Scott Carpenter, Conrads, Armstrongs.
So which One minute! - Which is the one that Jim has picked? - This is it right here.
This was his favourite one.
It was? You saw the sidewalks out front.
They'll continue into here.
You'll have a paved driveway, shade trees, and your front door is right here.
OK, everybody in.
Nobody touch the panelling.
It's just been stained.
Jay, go out and bring in some of those boxes or else nobody else is going to.
Go right now and get those boxes and then I'll make you a sandwich.
- They're everywhere.
- I'm aware of that.
Suzie, I know I just told you not to touch that.
Why don't you put that over there.
Look out for the wallpaper.
Thank you.
Let's see.
What have I learned in the two years since we've been here? You can't underestimate the importance of a hot, nutritious breakfast.
This is what NASA said to us the first day we got here.
- Did anyone from NASA say that to us? - You were there.
They meant it.
If Gordo were ever home to eat breakfast, I would prepare him one.
Deke eats his breakfast walking out to his Corvette.
Rumaki? - Thanks.
- I love rumaki.
Please, go on.
What you're saying is very helpful.
Just that everything that was tough about being married to a test pilot, multiply by ten.
- You're right.
- What's tough? Just because he stares death in the face every day? I find that exhilarating.
Yeah, that and the low pay and long hours.
But it's worth it, don't you think? Oh, yeah.
It is.
- Who brought the devilled eggs? - I did.
Do you like them? - They're great.
- Yeah? - Barb? - I'm having one.
What's in these? - That must be the vinegar.
- It's great.
I put a little vinegar in with the mayonnaise.
- I've got to have one.
- I put vinegar in.
It just cuts the mayonnaise.
Then I add mustard.
Oh, come on, girls! - That is so good.
- Marge, go ahead.
OK, well, the long hours and the low pay don't change but now you're married to the Statue of Liberty.
So everything you say, everything you do, reflects not only on you but on your husband.
- The space programme.
- The United States of America.
The thing is, once your husbands have flown in space, you are going to go places you'd never have gone - and meet people you'd never have met.
- Like who? Debbie Reynolds.
- Yes.
The short guy The funny guy.
- Bill Dana.
And Senator Everett Dirksen.
Anybody else want anything while I'm up? I'll have a little of that stuffed celery.
I'm on a diet.
But at social functions, you're the perfect accessory.
NASA loves to trot you out for pictures and cocktail parties.
But other than that, they want you to stay out of the way.
Oh, shit! Faye, from now on it better be "poodle-doo".
Wait, I'll help you.
Poodle-doo, Marilyn.
I just slopped all over your new rug.
- Thanks.
- I'm sorry.
Marge, please go on.
The most important thing is to take care of the home front and that man of yours, and don't burden him with anything.
Any problem at home could jeopardize his place in the flight line.
Go back to sleep.
- You all right? - Yeah, I'm fine.
Go back to sleep.
That was your third time tonight.
I'm fine.
Good night.
Marylin What the hell's going on? Tell me this isn't what I'm thinking.
Holy God.
I don't believe it.
I can't believe this.
They're gonna pull you from the flight rotation, aren't they? Aren't they? God, I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
I love you.
I'm gonna love this baby.
- This is great news.
- They're gonna pull you.
I know they are.
They're gonna pull you.
We won't give 'em a chance.
We're not gonna tell 'em.
But they're gonna know.
I'm gonna start showing soon.
I'm almost four months along, Jim.
Four months? How could you How could you keep this from me for four months? You were never home.
I must've been here at least once about four months ago.
- Yeah.
- Wasn't I? I was.
- Hello? - Hi, Marilyn? - This is John Young.
- Oh, God.
Where's Jim? Jim's fine.
We have a little situation here I need your help on.
There's been an accident.
I need you to get to Marilyn's before the press gets there.
Thanks for coming.
He's asleep right now, but if he wakes up, do what you can do.
I put two bottles in the refrigerator.
What's going on? Elliott See's T-38 just crashed in St Louis.
He and Charlie Bassett are both dead.
And I'm supposed to go over to Marilyn See's and visit like us gals do, until John Young can get there.
- Keep her from answering the phone.
- Right, keep her from the phone.
- And keep the press away from her.
- How can I do that? Just don't answer the door for anybody until John Young gets there.
There has got to be one cigarette in here somewhere.
I got one right here.
- Thank you.
- You can do it, Marilyn.
It's decided.
I've already made the doctor's appointments.
- I thought you quit.
- I did.
- It's just so hard sometimes, isn't it? - I know.
- Let's go in here.
- All right.
That's a mess.
Anyway, I made the doctor's appointments.
Those kids are getting their tetanus shots.
I should do that too, shouldn't I? They get out of that water and every scratch looks infected.
I don't know why they call it "Clear Lake".
- So how's the baby? - He's a good boy.
Who could that be? And here's Jane Conrad with some good news.
This winter, the fabric is a new wool blend that fits and forms wow fantastically.
Mrs Pete Conrad steps smart and sure in this warm ensemble that's perfect for those trips that take you out of doors.
And thank you, Jane.
And who are these two Gemini twins? None other than NASA's twin Pats - Mrs James McDivitt and Mrs Ed White, dressed here in matching silk Alaskatine double-breasted coats.
Their matching dresses with Egyptian beaded collars of silver and gold prove that these two women have casual elegance "down Pat".
- You can go first.
- I couldn't.
You should.
Ed made the spacewalk.
Jim just flew the capsule.
- You go first, Patty-cake.
- I wouldn't know how to talk.
- You go first.
- OK, I'll go first.
But when your turn comes, just move your lips, say nice things.
Welcome, ladies.
Right this way.
Down here.
- Hey, Pat.
- Gordo.
How are you doing? Just come on in here.
Let me Sorry.
There you go.
Come this way.
How about that? There you go.
Steve, could you get Pat, why don't we get you over here.
- Wanna sit here? - Sounds good.
And another one.
There you go.
Why don't you come on in like this.
All right? OK, let me Gemini 4, Houston CAPCOM.
- Do you read me now? - Roger.
Loud and clear.
Well we've got your wives here, so I think that we're gonna have Mrs Mrs McDivitt first.
- Hold that.
- OK.
- Here's your button.
- All right.
- Just push.
- Jim? - Jimmy? - What? - Can you hear me? - Roger.
I can hear you loud and clear.
You're doing great, Jim.
We seem to be covering a lot of territory up here.
Over California right now.
Get yourself over Texas.
- I'll be over Texas in three minutes.
- Hurry up.
How are the kids making out? They're fine.
They think you're at the Cape.
Are you being good? Well, I don't have much choice.
All I do is eat, sleep and look out the window.
Is Ed awake? Yes, he's right here.
You be good, kid.
We're switching headsets now.
- Here you go.
- Hold this.
Good morning.
You need to push that.
You gotta push the button, honey.
- Good morning.
- How you doing? I'm fine.
You gotta push the button when you talk, then release so I can talk.
- You're looking good.
- I try to.
It's looking pretty good from up here.
We're coming up on west Texas area.
Be over Houston in about a minute or so.
- That's good.
- Patty, repeat it.
That's good.
You sure looked like you were having a good time yesterday.
Yeah, quite a time we had.
How are Eddie and Bonnie, hon? They're fine.
I'll see you later.
OK, well, you have a real good flight.
Thank you, honey.
Bye, honey.
Oh, sweetie.
- Careful, careful.
- I got it.
You did so good.
Oh, my goodness! Look at them! Patty.
- Do I have to speak to them? - Barbara Young said it wasn't so bad.
They're just hoping for a few words.
You two are front-page news.
- Come on, it'll be fine.
- I just And Jim sounded great, like he was really enjoying himself.
That, of course, makes me very happy.
How do your kids feel about their dad not getting to walk in space? Well, there they are, clearly broken-hearted.
Mrs White, you were the first wife to speak to your husband in space.
- That give you a special thrill? - I was thrilled.
Yes, I had a special thrill.
- Will you be relieved when Ed gets home? - God, yes.
Oh, gosh, yes.
Is it true that LBJ has invited you to the White House? I beg your pardon? We hear the President has invited you to visit him at the White House.
Are you gonna go? We'd be delighted.
And everywhere you went it was, "Lincoln slept here and Roosevelt slept here "and John-John played on this carpet.
" Jackie Kennedy did such a beautiful job on everything.
She did.
She really did.
Did you steal any silverware or stationery? - What is LBJ like? - Was Lady Bird there? - Is he tall? - Does she really go by "Lady Bird"? Listen to this.
- The President - What's her real name? The President gets this idea out of the blue that Ed and Jim have to go to the Paris Air Show and represent the USA.
And we get to go with them.
Wait a minute now.
Is this Paris, France, or Paris, Illinois? John didn't get to go to Paris after his Gemini trip.
Well, hell, I'd be happy with a trip to the White House.
- He'll never get to go to the White House.
- Of course he will.
Don't you just wish you knew that flight plan sometimes? Marge said that there isn't a flight list.
There has to be, and I think that we should know, so we have time to find something to wear.
Will you hand me the pincushion? So, Ed must be thrilled.
He's happy to be flying with Gus but he was hoping to be in command.
The Chaffees are really nice, and this is a feather in Roger's cap.
Are you sitting on my pinking shears? I am so sorry.
When do they announce it? Patty? - When do they announce it? - Monday, I think, or tomorrow.
I just wanted Ed and Jim to fly together.
Jim loved flying with Ed.
I know.
They just always wanted Ed to do things first - first spacewalk, now Apollo 1.
I'm so worried.
Sometimes I just get so worried.
I know.
Me too, kid.
I just have to have the same faith that Jim does.
There's so much redundancy in the spacecraft.
There's backups for backups.
But it's brand-new, untested.
More history to be made then.
I'm sure Jim wishes it was him going.
Maybe I do too.
- Jan.
- Hi.
And here comes one of our favourite astro-wives.
And with a quick snap of the jacket, this smart suit becomes suitable for a night on the town of dinner, dancing, and maybe just a lovely stroll, for Jan Armstrong and her husband Neil beneath the soft glow of the moon.
Thank you, Jan.
Next up, Susan Borman, perfect and pretty in this French rose pink swing coat and matching front-pleated skirt with an empire waistline.
The wife of Frank Borman has many demands placed on her and looking good is just one of 'em.
Susan handles her duties with style and grace, as you can tell by this ideal blend of practicality and design.
How could there be a fire? This was just a test.
Locked down on the pad for the plugs out.
They should've been able to get them out.
They should've been able to open the hatch.
I'll call you sometime tonight and fill you in.
They don't waste any time getting you to the Cape.
They can't remove the bodies until I get there.
- I won't see you until we're all there.
- I guess not.
- Are you sure you want to go? - It's not a question of what I want.
I'm needed.
To the moon.
What? Are you sure you want to go to the moon? Is it worth any of this? Susan, Gus and Ed knew the risks.
We all do.
This could've been you in that fire.
It wasn't.
There's more to this life than just living.
I gotta go.
OK, Fred.
You and your brother behave yourselves and try to get some sleep.
And tell Eric's mom that next week you guys spend the night over here, OK? All right, honey.
Master Master, someone is at the front door.
I don't know what I did to deserve this attention, other than marry a pilot.
But a pilot's wife is what I am and I'm glad I can support him in doing what he loves.
I do agree that the exploration of space that he and others are working towards is a great thing for this country and the world.
It's an endeavor that is worth all the risks that they have to face every day, as great as those risks have proven to be.
Even if my husband had not flown the first mission to the moon and back, I would be proud to say that I did my part to support the programme.
So, thank you for this award, and thank you for the lovely afternoon.
The one thing I do not miss is Junior League.
I don't know how you do it.
All those speeches, you are so good at it.
Am I? - Didn't you get nervous? - Yeah.
I just try and speak slowly.
So are these all the houses that you've seen? - Yeah, I'm considering them.
- They're all so far away.
From what? Well, here's a nice one.
This has a nice yard and it's two bedrooms.
- Is two enough for you? - I don't know.
Pat, why don't you just stay in the house you're in? Because I can't stay in this town any more and I can't stay in that house.
But you're gonna be far away from everyone you know.
Nobody cares about me.
They cared about Ed.
Ed's gone, I'm not.
You know, sometimes I just I forget how to breathe.
It's the craziest thing.
I can't get any air.
I go running around the house opening up windows and trying to get air.
I keep telling myself, "Patty, calm down.
"Just inhale and exhale.
" It's an easy thing to do.
Breathing's easy, but I just I just can't seem to get any air.
It's 3:30.
- That's not too early to have a drink, is it? - A drink? No.
I'd love a drink.
All righty.
Be right back.
- Something wrong, Mrs Borman? - I'm sorry.
I forgot something at home.
No changing the answers this time.
The truth.
"Do you make efforts to hide your drinking?" Yes.
"Do you often drink alone?" Yes.
"How long have you been drinking?" Before we go on another second, special attention needs to be paid You know, their husbands have the courage to go to the moon but I think the wife of Thomas Stafford may need a boost from the audience to get her from backstage.
So why don't we all have it up for Faye Stafford? And here she comes, ladies and gentlemen, Faye Stafford, wearing this nutmeg silk three-piece with a restrained touch of rhinestones at the jacket's belting adding just the right touch of brilliance.
Complemented by the fawn coq-feathered cloche, this outfit makes her unstoppable.
Out with it, kid.
How is Oklahoma? Well, you do know, of course, that Weatherford, Oklahoma, is the home of Thomas P Stafford, the astronaut who flew around the moon in Apollo 10, paving the way for Neil Armstrong's one giant leap.
Please don't tell me it says all that on one sign.
Just one of many.
One welcomes you to the Thomas P Stafford Airport.
They named the airport after him.
Who'd have thought, huh? Or may I suggest a stroll down Stafford Street to the Thomas P Stafford Park, where you can admire a life-size bronze statue of the man himself.
Everywhere I go! - Faye, I miss you.
- I'm so glad I could come.
- I really am.
I can't believe you're leaving.
- I can't either.
I feel like a deserter.
You are smart, cos you are getting out of here with your marriage intact.
And, boy, I wish I could say the same for the rest of us, but you know.
- Thank Donn Eisele, huh? - Really.
Didn't the whole damn thing just go to hell when he and Harriet split? When he left Harriet.
When he left Harriet.
And they didn't kick his ass out of the astronaut corps.
It just opened up the floodgates.
There must've been a zillion marriages just hanging by a thread just waiting for one to go bust, test the waters.
- Al and Pamela.
- John and Barbara.
Who knows how many more to come as the years go by? Why should NASA be any different than the rest of the country, really? I didn't tell you.
I was flying home from one of Pete's launches, and this stewardess This stewardess sits down beside me and she says, "Can I ask you a question? "I'm in love with one of your astronauts, and he loves me.
"Am I just being naive, or will he ever leave his wife?" Didn't you wanna just throw her off the plane? I wanted to, but I said to her as forcefully as I could, "Not ever.
" Now I just hate that that little peanut-pusher knows that I was wrong.
You know what I think? I mean, honestly.
I would rather be widowed.
- So would I.
- You don't mean that.
I do.
I do, because at least you get outta here with a little dignity.
If you're widowed, there's a code of behaviour that's understood by everybody.
When you're divorced - Did anyone call Marilyn See? - I did.
I haven't thought about her in so long.
I wish she could come, but she said she just wasn't comfortable.
Poor Marilyn.
Sometimes I miss Pat White so much.
She should be here.
We fell out of touch.
She remarried and - Where are you moving again? - Michigan.
Jim's gonna be vice president of consumer affairs for - Did you forget what he's gonna be? - Yeah.
I can't Jim's gonna be vice president of corporate affairs for Consumers Power Company.
Just a little less exciting than being an astronaut.
That's a good thing.
- Is Barbara coming, does anybody know? - She might.
I don't know though.
I don't know.
What is she gonna do for the launch? - Is she gonna go? - I wouldn't.
- I would.
- I would too.
I definitely would.
She was just as much a part of the Apollo programme as anyone.
I think it's her mission too.
An astronaut's wife like Barbara Young needs an out-of-this-world style, and she sure looks way out in this tulip skirt with matching crimson swing coat and stand-up collar, making her a standout fashion statement.
And T-minus ten nine, eight seven, six, five four, three two, one ignition.
We have ignition of the mighty rocket, and liftoff! Liftoff of Apollo 1 6I And off go astronauts Young, Mattingly and Duke, on what will be the fifth mission to put man on the moon at the Descartes Plain.
Apollo 1 6 is go as it climbs higher into the sky over the Atlantic on April 1 6, 1 972.
Spectacular! Just spectacular! - Do you copy that? - Got it! A little bit to the left.
A little bit right.
Not there.
- Coming to you.
- I copy that.
I think I got it.
No, I don't.
Just like in the training building.
Charlie, I'm right behind you.
OK, comin' to you.
I will say, I am proud to be an American.
What a programme! What a place! What an experience! You need to go up about three degrees then.
- That the right way now? - Yeah.
It's moving in the right direction.
- Hey, Ken, guess what I just found.
- What's that? A ring.
- Is that right? - Yeah.
I think it's yours.
Boy, how's that for luck? That's luck, boy.
That is good luck.
OK, that's done.
What else can I do for you, lady? Oh, God, I don't know.
- I think we're finished in the kitchen.
- I thought you finished packing up weeks ago.
I did, but there's always some place that I've missed things, isn't there? Why don't you go over to the new house and I'll check around here? I'm just gonna finish marking these boxes.
- Mar? - Yeah? There's a whole drawer full of stuff here.
What do you want me to do with this? - Pack it, maybe.
- Where? In a box.
What is all this stuff anyway? It's just a lot of junk.
- You really want to keep all this? - I can't bear to throw anything out.
What is that? A receipt for Jeff's bike.
That's two years old.
Some of Barbara's artwork.
A bunch of manuals for a lot of stuff we don't own any more.
What's that? Is that a skate key? What is this? "Barbara Lovell.
" "Susan Lovell.
" What are these? Oh, gosh.
Those are their old hospital ID bracelets.
There's another one in there somewhere.
This is when the kids had their tonsils out.
When did our kids have their tonsils out? 1964? No, '65.
- All three kids had their tonsils out? - Yeah.
I was pregnant with Jeffrey and they were having all their problems with tonsillitis and Dr Gordon and I just decided to yank them out.
Just yank 'em out.
Why didn't you tell me? Well, you weren't here.
You were working.
Just yank 'em out? You put three kids in the hospital.
I should've been informed.
They're my kids too, Marilyn.
Well, you were getting ready for Gemini 7.
You were about to go into space for the very first time.
I was trying to protect you from anything that might be the reason that you that you just didn't come back.
And every day I had to decide what part of your life I was going to tell you about and what part of your life I was gonna keep from you.
So there were a lot of things that I didn't tell you, a lot of Many things.
That was my job.
Thank you.
For what? Everything.
Honey, come on.
Do you really wanna keep all this crud? - It's just junk.
- Blue Chips.
I could use these.
I understand how they have to, you know, restrict your contact with people who might be upsetting to you.
I didn't get to talk to you.
Well, they have a lot of rules.
Worse than the military.
Anyway, I thought I'd bring you some things.
- I didn't know what you might need.
- OK.
Your slippers.
Some notes from the boys.
Let's see.
Your pillow.
I don't know.
Maybe Maybe you don't need any of this.
Frank I'm so sorry.
I didn't want to embarrass you.
I wanted to be perfect.
You're You are.
Don't you have 30 seconds of guilt about this.
- But I let you down.
- No, Sue.
I let you down.
I didn't know.
I never knew.
I've missed you.
I've missed you too.
But I'm used to missing you.
You're not used to missing me.
I don't wanna get used to it.
I'm gonna be fine.
We're gonna be all right.
We're gonna be fine.
Ladies and gentlemen, one last time, the wives of the new nine astronauts!
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