Love Life (2020) s02e04 Episode Script

Ola Adebayo

Excuse me.
Hi, yeah.
Uh, do you have any copies
of a book called Exit West?
I'm sorry. Uh,
I don't work here, actually.
Oh, wow. Um
I'm sorry. [chuckles]
It's just, I saw you
putting books on the table,
so I assumed
Yeah No, that's a fair assumption.
Um, actually, I have a special
investment in this book
because I edited it.
It got an unfair review
from The New York Times.
I'm trying to make sure it gets some love.
- But It's a great book. Guarantee it.
- Okay.
You'll like it, or your money back,
no questions asked.
As a writer myself,
I'm sure they appreciate your advocacy.
Oh, really? Um,
anything I might have read?
Oh. I'm a playwright.
Okay. Anything I might have seen?
[inhales sharply] I don't know.
Are you into the Houston
independent theater scene?
- [chuckles] Uh
- Yeah. [laughs]
Well, I'm sure it's only a matter of time.
It's Ola, by the way.
Marcus. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
So, um, I should probably get
out of here before they see me
moving their books around, but, um
I don't know.
Maybe we could grab a drink sometime?
You know, to be honest,
you're catching me at a bad time.
I leave town on Sunday
to go to an artist residency in Vermont.
- Aha.
- Yeah.
Got six weeks to workshop a play
I'm writing for three years.
- Oh.
- Yeah.
I should really focus on that.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
But are you sure you can't
focus and have a drink?
Oh, hey, man.
What's going on?
Well, you clearly see what is going on.
What are you doing?
Picking up chicks in a bookstore
like an off-brand Hugh Grant?
You know, actually,
it was it was Hugh Grant
that got picked up by Julia Roberts
in Notting Hill, so joke's on you.
No, I think the joke's on you
for remembering the plot to Notting Hill.
I saw that Claudette Jeffries
got published.
She was in your MFA program, right?
Yeah, she wrote about
a rich lady in domestic peril.
You write about a rich woman,
the book's gonna sell.
It's still 150K advance,
that must be nice.
Maybe you like working here.
Dude, relax, Marcus Watkins.
Don't come here and gloat
like I would've been the next
Octavia Butler if I fucked with you.
I saw you moving the books around
like that was gonna help
Well, at least it's published.
- A lot of things in here published.
- Listen.
In spite of all this attitude
you're giving me right now,
I actually like your writing.
Like, I really like it,
and the offer still stands.
You take care of yourself.
You have my number
when you're ready to act right.
[indistinct chatter]
- Hi.
- Oh, well, hello.
You look beautiful.
- Thank you.
- Yeah.
So first date. Let's get into it.
That's what this is?
I thought this was drinks.
Oh. Drinking is a very important part
of first dates.
Oh! Okay. You know, your enthusiasm
means you either date
constantly or hardly ever.
Oh! Man. You are definitely a playwright.
You're trying to figure me out.
- So which one is it?
- Damn. Um
You know, actually, it's kind of both.
Okay. All right. Let's get into it.
[Ola] My story. Okay, let's see.
I was born in Lagos.
Moved to Houston when I was six.
Dad was a civil engineer.
Mom is a superintendent.
Classic high-achieving Nigerians.
- So you know?
- Yeah.
- Okay. A lot of people don't know.
- [both laughing]
So how do your parents feel
about you being a playwright?
They don't love it, no.
But I didn't love biotech,
so now we can all be unhappy.
- Wait, hang on. Wait, I'm sorry, biotech?
- Mm-hmm.
Oh, man. So you're, like, a genius.
I had the idea for Theranos
before she ran off with everybody's money,
except mine would've worked out.
- All right.
- I would've followed through.
It sounds like a whole scam to me, so
Wow, you're gonna do
the Nigerian scam thing.
[laughs] Okay, you're right.
You're right. I'm sorry.
So what, 'cause I'm an immigrant,
my work has to grapple
- with being caught between two worlds?
- [both laugh]
Or, like, function
as some postcolonial critique
of the diaspora?
No, real progress is getting
to tell a story about my alcoholic aunt
and her daughter who live on Long Island
like white writers.
Yes, I want you to tell that story.
I'm really That's why my play
is about a girl and her dad, you know,
and I felt that was
the most radical thing I could write.
That sounds amazing.
You know, if
If you want another set of eyes on it
I don't know. I don't know.
Well, I don't usually let
the men I get involved with read my work.
- Oh.
- Mm-hmm.
Oh. So you think we're gonna get involved?
- Maybe.
- Maybe?
Okay, fine, you can read it.
Oh, snap.
- Savage.
- [chuckles]
You hurt my heart.
[Ola laughs]
[narrator] Although Marcus
didn't exactly feel fireworks,
he told himself that a spark was enough,
for a spark might eventually
lead to a fire,
whereas in his experience,
fireworks had only ever led
to an explosion.
What's up with the empty fridge?
Oh, yeah, I'm sorry.
It's slim pickings, I know.
It's okay. I'll just have some water.
Okay, that I can do.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
Wow. Busting out
the fine china for me, huh?
- Yeah.
- [both laugh]
I should probably get going.
I have errands to run before I leave town.
Oh. Right, right. Well, damn.
- Bummer, you're leaving town tomorrow.
- Yeah.
You know, if you gotta run errands,
I mean, would you
Would you want some company?
- I'd love company.
- Yeah?
While we're out there,
let's get you some new cups.
- Okay, dope.
- Yeah.
They got an IKEA in Red Hook.
Mm-mm. Be better than IKEA.
- I needed that little jolt.
- Yeah.
I was fading there for a second.
- Right, I felt it.
- Yeah?
Yeah, I was like,
"He's not doing too well."
Can I Can I ask you something?
Yeah, sure.
What are you looking for?
Wait a minute. I thought
you were focused on your work.
[chuckling] Okay.
Yeah, I mean, I was,
but that was before I kind of liked you.
Look, I've had my fill of fuck boys,
and I just really wanna make
sure we're on the same page.
After my divorce, I dated a lot,
and I gotta be honest.
I'm tired.
- Oh, you're so tired?
- Yeah.
You're so tired of being
a single, employed,
attractive man in New York City.
- Oh!
- It's exhausting.
- Hush. I need [growls playfully]
- Stop, stop, stop, stop!
[both laughing]
No, but for real, like,
the small talk, the banter,
the pretending to be someone
that you're not is just
I don't know, I
I'm just looking for something real.
- [Marcus] All right.
- All right.
- Have fun, I guess.
- Thank you. [chuckles]
- All right?
- Yeah.
- All right.
- Okay.
And we're hoping
to squeeze in a 20-city tour.
- [cell phone vibrating]
- Oh, uh That is marketing right now.
Let me call you back.
Hi. How are you?
Hi. I'm good. I'm so good.
It's really fun, but New England is
fucking freezing.
Where'd you think you were, Miami Beach?
Okay, smart ass.
- [chuckles]
- All right, I'm sending you a sweater.
The name's Ola Adebayo.
I just texted you the address.
- Oh. Someone's sprung.
- Yeah.
I know what you're going for,
but this is too wordy,
so I say we cut it.
- The whole thing?
- Yeah, the whole [chuckles]thing.
Yo, what's good?
So, we cutting this 'graph, or what?
I think the last sentence
Look, I know it's uncomfortable,
but you have to be willing
to kill your darlings.
Fuck it, bro, I'll cut it as long as
you don't say
another phrase like that ever
She's so stupid.
I loved it.
You don't have to say that just because
Ola, I never lie to writers.
Okay. [laughs]
Okay. All right.
I rarely lie to writers,
but no, seriously,
this, it's really, really good.
And the world just felt so lived in.
I have a few small thoughts
I could send you if helpful?
A few small thoughts?
I thought it was perfect.
- Oh, Jesus Christ, I hate writers.
- [chuckling]
[phone buzzing]
Hey, babe.
[Ola] Oh, my God, Marcus.
Something happened to my apartment.
What are you talking about?
I got this text from my super that a pipe
burst and a bunch of apartments flooded.
I'm just still five hours away,
and I'm so worried about my cat,
and my cat sitter's MIA.
It's gonna be all right.
I'm gonna get him now.
- Okay?
- Okay.
All right.
Oh, wow.
Oh, sweet Hansberry. Oh, sweetie.
- I have something for you.
- What?
Courtesy of Brattleboro's
finest local craftsmen.
- Yo, thank you!
- Of course. You like it?
Yeah, I love it.
I have a confession.
[cat meows]
- Hansberry ain't your cat.
- [chuckles] No, no, gosh.
Um, the day before I met you,
my psychic told me
I would be swept off my feet
by a handsome Libra.
- You have a psychic?
- Okay, do not do that.
That's why I waited.
I didn't wanna tell you.
Not you saw a psychic, you have a psychic.
- When is your birthday?
- October 13th.
So you're a fucking Libra,
and a little handsome.
- Decent.
- [phone vibrating]
- All right.
- Hold on.
I gotta take this. It's my super.
Hey, Victor.
[Victor speaking indistinctly]
For real?
Okay, yeah. Um, could you
just keep me posted, please?
Yeah, thank you.
What's up?
They found mold in the walls. Mm-hmm.
No. Shit.
Yeah, shit is right.
[sighs] It's such bad timing.
Why don't you just stay here
until it all gets sorted out?
- Really?
- Yeah.
I wouldn't offer if I didn't mean it.
- Okay.
- Okay.
Okay. Um
I need to grab a few things from my place
- if that's cool.
- Sure.
Brother ♪
Every time I call you home ♪
You are dancing ♪
Sister ♪
Please don't put your children ♪
On initiation ♪
'Cause there's no heaven ♪
You got crystals?
Yeah, manifest your dreams.
All right.
'Cause there's no devil ♪
[both moaning]
There's no hell ♪
Mother, every time I call you home ♪
[narrator] Those couple weeks
became six, and then eight,
and before long, Marcus and Ola
stopped pretending
they didn't live together,
and Ola gave up her lease.
True devotion ♪
It's the way ♪
[narrator] Marcus even took on
the cumbersome task
of having to regularly move Ola's car
in accordance with local
street parking ordinances.
You can't park here.
Oh, I am sorry, ma'am, I was just leaving.
[engine starts]
- [woman] Who?
- I saw him on Broadway. I don't know.
Yes. Holy shit. Marcus?
- Mia. Oh. Whoa. Hey. Long time no see.
- [Mia] Whoa.
Hi. Seriously? You live around here now?
Yeah, yeah, I do.
Sorry, Jazz, this is Marcus.
Marcus, this is Jazz.
Oh. Hi, Jazz. Nice to meet you.
Marcus. I've heard a lot about you.
[Mia] You know what?
Why don't you go,
I'll meet you at the bar?
Just get me, like, a vodka soda.
Please. Don't look back.
[both laugh]
Managed to make my name
sound like an insult.
You know what? That's just Jazz.
Always with the drama.
It is so funny running into you here.
Yeah, I know, yeah.
Look, I'm, um I'm sorry
about the last time that we hung out.
Oh, yeah, don't even
Don't worry about it.
All right.
I see you upgraded your busted-ass bike.
- [laughs] Oh, yeah, yeah.
- [laughs]
Uh, this is This is my
girlfriend's car, actually.
- Oh!
- Yeah, she just moved in.
- Wow, congrats.
- Oh, thanks, thanks.
She's a super talented playwright,
Ola Adebayo.
That's cool. She sounds Black.
- Yeah, she is.
- [both chuckle]
It's still It's super new, but yeah.
You guys are living together?
- Yeah, that's a whole story.
- I bet.
With you it always is.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Um
Oh, wait.
How is How's your dude?
Oh. We broke up a while ago. Just
Anyway, I should go catch up
with her, but
- All right.
- Good luck with Ola.
- Thanks.
- Playwright, congrats.
And it was nice seeing you.
Yeah, it was good to see you, too.
- Bye.
- Bye.
Okay, listen,
I know it seems silly to some,
but I believe in the power of crystals.
Yeah, she's talking about me. I'm "some."
- Mm-hmm.
- [all laugh]
But listen. Rose quartz manifests
love and relationships, and boom.
See, that's that next-level sorcery.
I don't know.
That might be how Tina trapped me.
Um, which crystals get rid of a man?
- 'Cause
- [Ida laughs]
Well, anyway,
I'm glad I get to meet you, Ola.
- Nice to meet you.
- [Yogi] Exactly.
You been MIA on us, bro, full Enrique.
Oh. Enrique?
You know when Enrique Iglesias
was dating Anna Kournikova?
He disappeared for 14 years,
when he came back, no mole.
You lose your mole, you lose your soul.
- What?
- She stole his mole.
You know what?
That's what happens when you're in it.
Exactly, and we got a good thing going.
So do Enrique and Anna.
I just heard they had twins.
[chuckling] Whoa, hang on Kids?
Wait, who's talking about kids?
Yeah, maybe somewhere way down the line.
I'm really focused on my career.
But [clicks tongue]
the clock is ticking now.
- Uh-oh.
- You heard that?
- Keep your mole, brother!
- [phone vibrating]
Oh, I gotta take this.
- Ooh. Oh.
- Excuse me.
[phone buzzing]
- [Marcus] Get 'em, baby.
- [Ola] Thank you.
What the fuck do you have on?
What? What are you talking about?
What do you mean, "What?" That belt.
What? Ola got me this belt in Vermont.
Yeah, no shit,
ol' Ben-and-Jerry's-ass belt.
What, you making ice cream now? [laughs]
That's not your swag, G.
Wait Oh, man, y'all don't like her?
- I mean, yeah, she cool.
- Yeah, it's just fast.
- We don't really know her.
- Neither does Marcus.
Well, I'm getting to know her,
and I really like her.
Well, I hope so.
Y'all fucking live together.
- [Ola sniffles]
- [Marcus] Hey, baby.
What's wrong?
Uh, it's official.
The producer just passed.
Oh, shit, I'm so sorry.
Yeah, they said it feels too small.
Apparently, Lin-Manuel Miranda
really changed the game
for what audiences want
from diverse playwrights.
- Fucking Hamilton.
- Oh, baby, I am so sorry.
If it makes you feel any better,
I thought Hamilton was overrated.
It's not. It's really good.
Yeah, I mean, you're right.
- It is really good.
- It's real good.
It's so good.
I had a good hot dog outside.
Soon as we left there,
my man had the bacon
- That was a good day.
- Man, what?
It was nice to meet you guys,
and if it's okay, babe,
I just wanna go home.
Yeah, we'll wait for the food,
and then we'll take it to go.
Hey, y'all, I think we're gonna head out.
- Okay.
- Okay, cool.
Hey, it was great meeting you.
- Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, too.
I'm sorry about your play.
- All right, brother.
- [Yogi] All right.
What the hell am I doing?
I'm an over-the-hill aspiring playwright.
Actually, not even aspiring, just failed.
I failed.
Probably can't even get a job
as a goddamn waitress.
Hey, look at me.
Those producers don't know shit,
and they can't stop you
from doing what you love.
Now, listen, I work
with writers for a living,
and you are smarter, more talented,
and have more to say than 99% of them.
So, here's what you're gonna do.
You're gonna take the L for now,
but tomorrow,
you are not dropping off
your résumé to no diner.
You are going to get on your laptop
and write your goddamn masterpiece,
something so undeniable,
they will be begging you to produce it.
And in the meantime, I got you.
[chuckles softly] Oh.
Babe, can I ask you a question?
How'd I get so lucky?
- Oh, I don't know.
- [chuckles]
It's rhetorical.
What I'm looking at right now,
Black love,
supportive, strong, beautiful Black love.
- Your mom's calling.
- [phone vibrating]
Should should I answer?
I mean, uh, sure.
Hi, Mom, Dad.
Ah! What a nice surprise.
Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Watkins.
It's a pleasure to meet you.
Donna and Kirby.
So, Ola, Marcus tells us
you're from Nigeria.
Mm-hmm. I was born there, yes,
but moved here when I was six.
Did Marcus tell you I was
teaching at UNILAG?
Um, no, he didn't.
Donna and I practically lived
off of suya kebabs.
Oh, my goodness, that red pepper smell,
that's what I miss most.
Um, when we moved here,
I used to always ask my mom,
"Why does America smell like nothing?"
- [both chuckle]
- She's funny.
You know, when Kirby got back,
we found a traditional Yoruba chair
at a flea market in Detroit.
We have to send it to you.
That's very kind, but totally unnecessary.
Thank you, though.
[Donna] Okay. It's yours when you want it.
After all, it was made
for the tribal king and queen.
Oh! Marcus, my king.
[chuckles] Thank you.
Oh, my goodness, I know we have got
[narrator] At the time,
Marcus' choice to lean in
had been a refreshing change of pace.
Yet when the weight of his decision
finally hit him, he felt like a werewolf
waking up in a field
surrounded by dead farmers.
[Ola] Mm.
- What are you doing?
- Just chilling.
Just, uh, checking out my girlfriend
in this small piece of lingerie here.
This is, uh This is all right.
- Work for you?
- Yeah.
[Ola] Mm-hmm.
[breathing heavily]
Everything okay?
- Yeah.
- Mm-hmm?
Yeah, just gimme a second.
- Just a second?
- Mm-hmm.
Okay, well
Hey, you know what?
Actually, don't worry about it.
- Oh. Why's that?
- I'm gonna do you.
- Gonna do me, huh?
- I'm gonna do you.
- That's how we do things in this house.
- [laughs]
- [chuckles] Marcus?
- Oh, sorry.
Sorry, I'll go slower.
No, no, no, um, it's not that.
You're sure everything's okay?
Yeah, yeah, I'm sorry.
That's It's never happened to me before.
[both laugh]
it's nothing I'm doing, right? It's
Oh, no, oh, no, no, not at all.
It's just nothing.
It might be work stuff, you know, like,
it's been stressful, and I think
I just can't clear my head, you know?
- Okay. Yeah, yeah.
- [both chuckle]
But it's not you. I I swear.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
- All right, well, cool.
- All right.
We can just try again tomorrow.
- Okay.
- All right?
[Marcus] Mm.
- Tomorrow night.
- Mm-hmm.
Tomorrow night it's on.
- Tomorrow night.
- Yeah.
- Put it in the calendar.
- All right.
[narrator] After the same thing
happened the next day,
Marcus tried to troubleshoot the problem.
Nothing but a heartache every day ♪
[narrator] Oysters didn't help.
In fact, nothing seemed to work.
How's my king doing?
He's got me all won ♪
[Ola sighs]
Nurse needs to switch hands.
I just don't know what's wrong.
I'm just so in my head,
and the more I stress out
about it, the more in my head I get,
and it's sort of
this whole self-fulfilling
[breathes deeply, sighs]
It's okay.
[narrator] What was wrong with him?
How could he be doing this
to another woman?
There was no way out.
He had to push in even further.
In order to more generally
test his ability
to rise to the occasion,
Marcus tried flipping
through the Rolodex
of his sexual fantasies.
He imagined the waitress
from the restaurant down the block.
He imagined the problematic influencer
whose book he'd worked on.
He even imagined
his 12th grade AP English teacher.
All to no avail.
But just when he started to worry
that there was, in fact,
something wrong with him
Live on your life ♪
- It's your right to ♪
- Enjoy your life ♪
- So it's gonna stay that way ♪
- 'Cause it's your life ♪
- We all try to ♪
- Enjoy our lives ♪
- And you ain't different, baby ♪
- Live on your life ♪
Sorry, I left my phone!
- You can change it ♪
- So enjoy your life ♪
As long as ♪
Oh, Jesus! Fuck!
- What are you thinking about? Mm.
- Oh, uh Uh
- Hey, hey, look, hey.
- Mm-hmm.
Ola, wait, hang on. Ola Shit!
Ola, hold on, wait.
- Ola, hey.
- [sighs]
Listen, I just
I think I rushed into things,
and maybe we should just
We should slow down.
Slow down?
You wanna slow down?
You were the one pushing this.
You remember that?
you asked me to move in.
I know. I know.
I knew you had your issues.
You barely had furniture in here.
But I thought to myself, I thought,
"No relationship is perfect, right?"
So what?
We'll have mediocre sex.
I can deal with it.
No, it wasn't always bad!
Don't play yourself. It was never good.
But what I won't deal with,
I'm not gonna deal with,
a man who can't even be honest
or direct about what he wants.
Can't even say how he feels.
Ola, where are you going?
Don't worry about me. I'm fine.
I'll send someone to get my shit.
You're not a king.
You're a little-ass boy.
[Nolan Porter's
"If I Could Only Be Sure" playing]
[cat meows]
If I could only be sure ♪
That you love me, baby ♪
If I could only be sure ♪
That you love me, baby ♪
I'd climb the highest mountain ♪
I'd swim the deepest sea ♪
I'd take on all your misery
Just to make you happy ♪
Yeah, yeah ♪
I'd turn my world upside down ♪
I'd turn my smiles all into frowns ♪
I'd do anything at all, yeah ♪
If you'd just let me love you, baby ♪
If you'd just let me love you, baby ♪
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