Northern Exposure s03e06 Episode Script

The Body in Question

Where did you find him, Chris? West fork of the No-name.
Must've broken off that glacier field up in Box Canyon.
Oh, I don't know.
You know, landing the big ones is really the hard part.
He has gentle eyes.
Does he look French to you? Well, maybe.
Ready in the freezer? Yeah, just one more box of mooseburgers to move around, boss.
Well, step on it there, Dave.
We're losin' him here.
Okay, okay.
Hi, Dr.
Fleischman.
Isn't it stimulating? All depends, Shelly.
This is our stiff, I take it.
He was a fine specimen in his time.
This ice must be, what- six or eight feet thick.
Our guess is he's been frozen a hundred years.
Maybe more.
- The leggings are a dead giveaway.
- You're joking, right? No way this body's more than a year old, if it is even a body- excuse me-which I doubt.
Looks more like a mannequin or a wax dummy maybe.
Well, whatever it is, it's Chris's find.
He's donated it to Cicely.
It's a historic landmark.
What we plan to do- Whoa, wait a minute.
You have to contact the authorities.
- I thought you said it was a dummy.
- If it's not a dummy, it's a body.
If it's a body, it's somebody's body, which means the authorities have to be notified.
As far as I'm concerned, after a hundred years, carrion becomes memorabilia.
Comin' through.
Watch your backs.
Comin' through.
Hey, be careful, Dave! Look, even if he is real, he can't be a hundred years old.
I thought cryogenics could preserve a body for centuries, Fleischman.
See, once again a little PBS proves a dangerous thing.
Cryogenics is a laboratory science- liquid helium, controlled conditions.
I mean, in the wild, autolysis and putrefaction must follow necrosis like, uh, night follows day.
Animals die here all the time.
Has anyone ever seen a frozen moose on a stick? No.
Nature reclaims its own.
How do you explain this? What is it? - It's his journal.
- What? Anyone can own a journal.
It's in French.
You're a Canuck, Holling.
Why don't you give it a try? My French is awful rusty.
Be careful, my friend.
You're opening a portal to the past.
Let's see.
It's the diary of Pierre Le, uh, Moulin.
- April the 2nd.
1814.
- 1814? Well, come on.
If that doesn't tell you something.
"All is lost.
Paris fallen.
- Emperor in foul mood.
" - Emperor? - What emperor? - Napoleon.
Oh, right.
And I'm Pepé Le Pew.
- Keep going, Holling.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I can't.
I'm- I have to get my reading glasses.
- Oh, here.
Here.
I'll try.
- Oh, this oughta be good.
Fleischman, I had a semester at the Sorbonne.
"Emperor still angry with Talleyrand.
Elba not bad.
" "Elba not bad"? What is that? The radical chic translation? "Elba pas mal.
" - How would you say it, Fleischman? - Who's Elba? She's an island, honey.
Oh.
Hey, whatever is in that freezer, I guarantee it is not a 200-year-old Frenchman who was buddies with Napoleon.
- Why should we take your word for it? - Fine.
Wheel him out here and turn up the heat, and I'll prove it.
Oh, no.
Nobody defrosts Pierre.
Hey, hey! Hold it there.
Go for the back of the knee.
Less chance of defacement.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Dave, we're in the middle of something here.
We're out of fries.
Got people to feed.
Drill.
- You're not gonna believe this.
- Understatement of the hour.
"June 21, 1815.
Terrible storm.
- Made landfall last night.
" - Landfall? - Shore.
- Shore where? Here.
Here where? Here, here.
Alaska? Listen to this.
"June 28.
Napoleon still depressed over missing Waterloo.
" Oh, wonderful.
I- I- love it.
I Now Napoleon wasn't at the Battle of Waterloo.
It gets better.
"July 11.
Fished all morning.
Met Matchka, enchanting native girl.
Emperor enthralled.
" Hot-blooded little Corsican, wasn't he? Here's the last entry.
"Two days to coast, then good-bye à l'Alaska.
Sad to leave emperor but miss Paris so.
" Come on, you guys.
Get serious.
If this dummy is Napoleon’s buddy, then I'm the queen of Spain.
We have skin.
Pierre's the first celebrity we've ever had in Cicely.
Well, the first dead celebrity anyway.
I don't know much about Napoleon.
I always thought it was funny, them naming a guy after a little flaky pastry.
I wonder why he left France.
I mean, he was emperor, right? Who quits the business when they're at the top of the charts? - Well, he had some troubles at home.
- Relationship problems? No, I was thinking along the lines of a popular revolt.
But now that you mention it, he could have been fleeing some bad vibes in the romance department.
What happened? Well, he had to ditch his beloved Josephine because she couldn't bear him children, and complications ensued.
He dumped her because of that? It's very important to some men, Shel.
Napoleon wanted a son, an heir to carry on the Bonaparte name.
How's the gooseberry pie today? - Shel? - Huh? - Gooseberry pie? - Oh, we-we ran out.
- Mornin', Ruth-Anne.
- Oh, hi, Ed.
I can put your name on a waiting list.
Oh.
Thanks, Ruth-Anne.
- Number 17.
- What's the list for? You didn't come in for books on Napoleon? No, but that's an excellent idea.
Well, what can I get you then? Oh, I came in because of the sign in the window.
- "Special on Huggies"? - No, the "Help Wanted" sign.
Oh.
Aren't you working for Maurice anymore? Oh, yeah.
Well, he's real busy mapping out the future, and I could use the extra money.
I just sent my latest script in to a real Hollywood producer.
Is this to a person you know, Ed? Oh, no.
He ran this ad in American Film.
"Write scripts that sell.
Critical analysis of your script, $200.
" Two hundred dollars? I assume whoever this is has sold a lot of scripts.
Oh, I hope so.
Were you looking for any kind of help in particular? I don't have much background in retail work.
Restocking, labeling- you know, general help.
I could do that.
Animal, vegetable or mineral, Fleischman? Animal.
Human animal.
Pierre is definitely human.
Or was.
All right! Good job, Fleischman.
Great work.
Now we can move to phase two.
Well, I don't want to rain on your cadaver, Maurice, but all we've confirmed is that Pierre was a living, breathing person.
Yeah.
What else could there be? Well, I can't put an estimate on his date of expiration.
- Why not? - I just - I don't have the equipment.
Fleischman! The must crucial piece of equipment in any mission is the man in charge.
Now, you're a scientist.
But more important, you're a New Yorker.
You were born with an innate skepticism, a natural sense of superiority in the way of the world.
You've got all the equipment right here.
All I'm asking is that you use it for me.
For Cicely.
Well, I suppose I could devise a few tests.
I could examine the fabric.
Good boy.
I knew I could count on you.
I'm gonna put all my plans on hold until you sign off on Frenchie here.
History is powerful stuff.
One day your world's fine; the next, it's knocked for a metaphysical loop.
Was Napoleon really at Waterloo? Would that change what I had for breakfast? Thoughts turn to our refrigerated friend, Pierre Le Moulin.
Pierre the Windmill.
Stepchild to history.
Man, if those chapped lips could speak, what would they say? Bonjour? Mes amis, j'ai faim? I saw your lips moving from across the room, O'Connell.
Gotten to the part yet where they meet up with Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill? - Oh, Fleischman, park it somewhere else.
- Any other bombshells to drop? - She's pregnant.
- Who? Matchka.
- The little guy finally got one in the oven.
- Yeah.
This is almost touching.
I mean, really, the naïveté.
Has anyone stopped to consider the sheer absurdity of what we're talking about? What? You mean Matchka gettin' preggers so quick? I mean Pierre and Napoleon.
How did they get here? Where did they sail from? Why? Didn't they read the brochures? Fleischman, for your information, there was a steady stream of Russians to Alaska by 1800.
Fur traders.
Yeah, Napoleon and Pierre could have pretended they were trappers.
That'd work.
- Thanks for sharing.
- What is your problem? Fleischman, why does this bug you so much? You know why this bugs me so much? Because there's the small matter of historic record to deal with.
It is a known fact Napoleon lost at Waterloo, abdicated the throne and spent the rest of his life in exile on St.
Helena it is a known fact, O'Connell.
Yes.
It is in every history book ever written, O'Connell.
Now, who is being naive now, Fleischman? I bet you think Oswald acted alone.
Here you go, Fleischman.
I snipped it off Pierre's sleeve myself.
Kind of makes me feel unclean.
I'll bet anything there's strands of nylon or rayon in here, some kind of synthetic.
Then we'll see whose version of history stands up.
Would you look at this, Ruth-Anne.
That's not a can of peas.
- That's a can of art.
- Do you want it? Could I? - It's yours.
- Right.
Thanks.
And this is for your good work today.
See you tomorrow, Ed.
Would you like to come to dinner tonight, Ruth-Anne? I'll cook.
- Don't you have plans? - No, not really.
Well, dinner would be nice, Ed.
- Vegetarian or con carne? - I'm easy.
I won't use the peas.
They're for appreciating.
I don't understand.
We sterilized the test tubes.
We verified the purity of the reagents.
We ran control groups.
- We did everything.
- I know.
- Maybe you'll think of something.
- What's to think? I- I've checked this eight times.
I've proven it.
Although pathology was never my strong suit, I'm pretty sure the body checks out too.
All right.
Here's the deal.
Pierre's real.
He lived over 176 years ago.
I mean, he may have even written a diary.
I can accept that.
H- He's real, but he's a nut.
Yeah, yeah, the diary is the manifestation of a highly disturbed personality.
Yes! Okay, um, uh, symptoms.
Other than the diary, what corroborating physical evidence could there be for mental impairment? A missing frontal lobe, perhaps.
My cousin ate bad berries once.
Thought he was a tree.
Diet.
Excellent, Marilyn! Excellent! We remove the stomach, examine its contents.
Wha-What kind of cup did Pierre drink from? Lead poisoning can produce hallucinations.
There'd be signs of cerebral edema.
The liver, the kidney would have internuclear inclusion bodies.
Maurice will never let you cut him up.
Take a nap.
How can I nap when the course of Western civilization as we know it rests on my shoulders? Do you realize the can of worms that this would open up? I mean, not to mention what it would do to the textbook industry.
It's like saying the moon is made of green cheese.
Where does that leave Mars? Gorgonzola? I mean, if Napoleon wasn't at Waterloo, m - maybe Washington never crossed the Delaware.
Maybe Joshua never fought the Battle of Jericho.
It is like opening up a trapdoor to oblivion.
If you can't count on history, what can you count on? I mean, where does it end? I sound like O'Connell.
I mean, she's got everyone convinced there's some lost tribe of Napoleons and Matchkas out there spouting Proust.
- Well? - Well what? There are the Tellakutans.
- Would you like more fruit cocktail? - Oh, no, thanks.
Everything was delicious.
I thought we'd take a little break before dessert.
- Okay.
Can I help with the dishes? - Oh, that's okay.
I have instant coffees of the world.
- Wonderful.
- What nationality? - Bavarian chocolate mint? - Good choice.
Just make yourself comfortable.
This is only gonna take a second.
Okay.
"To Ed.
Best, Woody Allen.
" - Isn't that nice.
- Yeah.
Woody's the greatest.
You know, he has Manhattan, Ingmar has Sweden, and I have Cicely.
Although I'm gonna have to move to Fairbanks before my dream is realized.
Well, I see you've given this a lot of thought.
Uh-huh.
Still, it's hard not to have doubts.
We all have doubts, Ed.
When I came north, I was full of' em.
Really? When was that? - Who's Bill? - My husband.
The kids were grown.
The country was in a mess.
So I put the house on the market, threw some things in the car and hit the road.
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.
One thing led to another, and I ended up in Cicely, Alaska, with a '61 DeSoto, a cat and $800 in my pocket.
Wow.
Where are your kids now? Rudy's in Portland.
He drives a truck, and he writes pastoral poetry in his spare time.
And Matthew- That boy had such promise.
What-What happened to him? He's in Chicago.
He's an investment banker.
I'm sorry.
Life's full of surprises, Ed- some happy and some not.
Yeah.
Good coffee.
Well, I sure am pooped.
Good night.
Don't you want to fool around, babe? It's been a long day, Shelly.
I've got a headache.
Holling? Huh? Is it Pierre? Having a dead guy in the freezer- that's a real turnoff for you, isn't it? We've had bodies in the freezer before, Shelly.
You hate my lip gloss.
I shouldn't have switched, but Ruth-Anne was out of- Your lips taste fine, Shelly.
It's just that I'm tired.
Let's try to get some sleep.
All right? All right.
See you in the morning, Shelly.
So the boy's bona fide, huh? Well, as far as a medical degree from one of the nation's outstanding institutions of higher learning can determine, yes.
But I still think we should turn Pierre over to experts for confirmation.
Let 'em fight for the privilege.
You've done an outstanding job for Cicely, Joel.
I won't forget it.
- Bye, Marilyn.
- Bye, Maurice.
- She's here.
- Who's here? There's something wrong with me, Dr.
Fleischman.
Something basic.
- Okay.
Can you give me a bit of a hint? - Yeah.
- Well, like, I'm barren.
- Barren? Yeah, like the Sahara or Death Valley or- You know, barren - nothing grows, no water, can't get knocked up.
My womb's a sandbox, Dr.
Fleischman.
Shelly, one hysterical pregnancy does not imply infertility.
You know how some people walk through poison ivy, and everybody else gets these big, ugly blotches, but they don't? - Natural immunity.
- Yeah.
Well, that must be what I have with sperm.
I mean, I've been around it a lot, Dr.
Fleischman, but the little buggers never take root.
Well, Shelly, you practice some kind of birth control, don't you? Something.
I mean, you use something.
Obviously I don't have to.
Is there some way to see if maybe just a little, tiny flower could bloom someday? Well, sure.
There's all kinds of tests we can, uh, run.
- It's just, they take time.
- I don't care.
Okay, fine.
Make an appointment for you and Holling, and we'll- Holling? He has to be here? Yes, I definitely need Holling for this, Shelly.
I-You need Holling for this.
But I just want the test on me! Well, they involve a small contribution from the male.
Oh, God! Shelly, what is the problem in telling Holling? Because if it turns out to be true, he's gonna dump me like Napoleon dumped Josephine.
- Holling said that? - Well, not in those words.
Well, what words did he use? None.
But ever since that dumb Pierre showed up, he flips out every time somebody mentions Napoleon.
And then Chris told me what happened to Josephine.
And you put two and two together and came up with 22? Yeah.
You folks just go on home now.
I have had it.
I've been here for two days.
I'm worn out.
You can come back and see Pierre some other time.
He ain't gonna melt or anything.
I've been showing that piece of frozen French ice since day before yesterday.
- I am worn out.
- The price of fame, I take it.
I guess so.
Well, what can I get you, Joel? Actually I'd like to talk to you, Holling, if you have a minute.
- Sure.
- Um, it's about Shelly.
Damn.
She suspects, doesn't she? - It's true? - She can read me like an open book.
It's totally absurd, Holling.
Shelly's not infertile.
Even if she were, you could always adopt.
- Adopt what? - Children.
I don't want any children.
- What's all this about a barren womb? - Womb? Yeah, womb.
Shelly's womb.
Death Valley.
Maybe you oughta tell me what's on your mind, Holling.
Joel, this is something I have never told anyone.
I planned to take it to the grave with me.
But since Pierre showed up, it's like a sign.
You cannot outrun your past, Joel.
I come from royalty.
French royalty.
A direct line from Louis XIV, on my father's side.
Shelly, order up! You don't believe me, do you? Well, in a normal week, maybe not.
But compared to Pierre, this one's relatively easy to swallow.
Our original name was De Vincoeur.
We're bluebloods, Joel.
Aristocrats of the worst kind.
We abused the peasants, raped the countryside.
By the time we got to my Great-great-grandfather Claude, the family estates had been run to the ground.
The peasants had all fled.
There was no one left to abuse, so Claude came to Canada where he blew the rest of our family money gambling, drinking, exploiting the local Indian population.
His son and grandson and, yes, even my own father, they were all the same.
Joel, they were awful people.
Hardhearted, despicable creatures, one and all.
Not one ounce of the milk of human kindness in the lot of them.
Which is why, when I came to Alaska, out of shame and remorse over what my kin had done, I dropped the "De" from the family name.
- Fantastic.
- So you can see my problem then? No, you're still one step ahead of me there.
Shelly thinks I'm a plain man from a plain stock.
When she finds out that I am aristocratic scum, it will break her heart and, hence, mine.
Holling, what your family did, your ancestors, has got nothing to do with you.
We are all just genes, Joel.
And this mortal coil, nothing more than a vessel by which the gene pool is transported from one flower to the next.
And the Vincoeur pool is poisoned.
So what you're saying is your family is like this genetic Chernobyl? Which is why I desire no heirs.
The De Vincoeur line dies with me.
- Ed? Anyone home? - It's open.
- You all right, Ed? - Yeah, I guess.
I got my script back.
And what did this big shot producer fella have to say? - He hated it.
- Your movie script? - Yep.
Said it sounded familiar.
- What's it about? Nothing much.
Just my life.
He said your life sounded familiar? Yep.
He said I had no midpoint, whatever that is.
Well, did he make any helpful suggestions? Oh, yeah.
To consider a vocation more suitable to my natural abilities.
What are you going to do? I think this is what they call a critical juncture in a young man's career.
- Ed? - Yeah.
Remember my son I told you about, the investment banker? - Rudy.
- Matthew.
That boy could've been a musician.
You should have heard him play the trumpet.
Just like Bix Beiderbecke.
Warm, round tone.
I ruined it for him.
To this day, I feel guilty.
Y- You told him to quit? No.
I told him to play all the time.
I- I told him how good he was.
You see, Ed, I didn't put anything in his way.
An artist needs obstacles.
He needs to contend to find out what he's made of.
Matthew didn't have to fight for his art.
Eventually he forgot the horn, went to business school, and you know the rest.
Was he really good? Well, I don't know whether he could have earned a living.
But I do know that when he left his music behind, he left part of his soul.
Comin' to work tomorrow? Good.
Hey, Fleischman, aren't you going to the meeting? Are you okay? Fleischman, you look like your dog just died.
If you had a dog, which is doubtful, considering your lack of empathy for the animal kingdom.
That's terrific bedside manner, O'Connell.
I feel better already.
Thanks.
Fleischman, you're just depressed because you think we're all morons for believing in Pierre.
- No.
- No? No.
I'm depressed because I believe in Pierre.
All those years of rigorously honed academic skills out the window.
I mean, the painstaking- not to mention the expensive- development of a state-of-the-art, late-20th-century mind.
In one fell swoop, my whole gestalt is in the toilet.
Kaplooey.
Well, Fleischman, I gotta say I'm, uh- Well, I don't know what the right word is.
- What? - Amazed.
What is it around here? The water? The air? I feel like I'm changing.
I'm mutating in some horribly grotesque way.
I actually- I believe that Napoleon was here instead of at Waterloo.
What happened to me? My-My faculties, my- my sense of self.
I'm losing it.
I'm glad to see the total meltdown of my psyche is so amusing to you, O'Connell.
Oh, Fleischman, come on.
It's life growth.
Look, you came here with a limited grasp of the world.
What's so wrong with-with losing that? Huh? Come on.
That's great.
Thanks again.
We don't have the artist's rendering yet, but it'll be a tasteful little museum, featuring Pierre's refrigerated casket, right in the center of Napoleon Square.
Maurice, I applaud the amount of imagination you've put into this thing- build a Hyatt, they will come- I think we all agree on that, right? But, Maurice, tonight I'm troubled.
Chris, we're not gonna do anything to destroy the beauty of Cicely.
That's why we're putting all the parking underground.
I- I understand that, Maurice.
It's not the leveling of a sleepy, little town into a commercial eyesore that bothers me.
- Then what is it? - The metaphysical implications.
Unleashing Pierre changes history, and that's heavy-duty trampling on the karma of the collective unconscious.
Are we ready to accept responsibility for that? You wanna find your coordinates, son? You're losing me here.
Maurice, thousands of the old French Guard died at Waterloo.
Thousands of British and Prussians died stopping them.
You take Napoleon out of that loop, and what's left? Haven't we stripped the meaning of those deaths? Made a mockery of the bloodshed? Our lives are fragile things, built on creaky foundations.
You chip away at the edifice of history, and, well, you weaken one of the few spiritual timbers we have left.
Did George Washington really chop down that cherry tree? Did Davy Crockett kill a bear when he was only three? It's pretty unlikely.
It makes our lives a little easier, though, doesn't it? I mean, it's nice to think that.
I'm just saying that revealing Pierre's secret might trigger a maelstrom of self-doubt, releasing untold psychic devastation- a metaphysical tsunami, if you will.
Thank you, Chris.
Now let's get back to the business at hand, shall we? No, wait a minute.
You know, Chris has a point.
We're only thinking of ourselves.
Yeah.
What about Pierre? How would he feel? He's dead, Shelly.
He doesn't feel anything.
Now hold on.
I Hold on here! Sentiment's one thing, but economic development- controlled economic development- is quite another.
I move we put Pierre back.
Sit down, lady! There's a motion on the floor.
Fleischman.
Yeah, I hate to say this, but I think Maurice may be right.
Now, Pierre has yielded a new truth to the world, and however ludicrous and personally unsettling and regardless of its impact, I think we have an obligation to tell that truth.
- Why? - Yeah, why? Because the truth belongs to everyone.
What would've happened if Newton had decided to keep the law of gravity to himself? The truth initiates events whose impact we can't foresee.
It's our responsibility to just tell it and get out of the way.
There you go, ladies and gentlemen.
That's the opinion of a New York doctor.
A Jewish New York doctor.
Joel, I think that you're confusing the truth with facts.
No, the facts change, Chris.
The truth is constant.
Oh, on the contrary, my friend, the truth changes.
Oh, yeah? Give me an example.
The truth about Custer.
Hero or villain? Civilizer or agent of genocide? The truth slips and turns.
The facts remain the same.
Yeah? What about light? Particle or wave? I mean, it exhibits qualities of both.
When the truth is finally known, the facts will be made to accommodate the truth.
Now they're getting into paradox.
Dicey stuff.
Well, Joel, let's distinguish paradox from contradiction.
Can something be more than one thing at the same time? Father, Son and Holy Ghost? We digress.
I offer the poet's vision of the ancient urn.
Truth is beauty, beauty truth.
We can serve and volley semantics all night, Chris.
- The point is, if- - Gentlemen.
Gentlemen, that's quite enough.
Let's, uh, get on with the business at hand, shall we? - So, what do you think? - About what? About the Seder.
It's Passover.
Yeah, I get that part.
Where are we? - Radomysl, Poland.
- We're in Poland? - And who are they? - Your family.
And that's your Grandfather Jack, the one that came to New York and started the Fleischman's in Flushing.
You're kidding.
I That's your great-grandfather- Ya'akov ben Y'hoshua.
Wow.
I That must be my Great-uncle Joel.
They named me after him.
Wait, wait! Don't drink that.
That's for Elijah.
Where's your cup? - This is my cup.
- Oh, wait a minute.
They can't see me, Joel.
Only you.
You are Elijah? If you're Elijah, where's the little robes and the long beard? You don't like my suit? No, I-I-The suit's fine.
I just- I didn't expect- Come on, Joel.
You didn't expect anything.
You fill this cup every year.
You open the door.
But you certainly don't expect Elijah to come waltzing in.
It flies in the face of reason.
What are you doing here? I came to see you.
Me? Why? Why not you? The question is, what are you going to do about it? You want to help prepare the way for the Messiah? Maybe you'd rather turn me into an amusement park, Joel.
Sell autographed cups.
"Elijah's back.
Fleischman's got him.
" It's your call, Yo'el.
Make your decision.
The clock is ticking.
Yeah.
Fleischman.
Can I come in? - Sure.
Come in.
You got thin blood, son? - I fell asleep in Holling's freezer.
Oh, well, come on.
Let me pour you a drink.
There's nothing like brandy to revive your spirits.
Couple of stiff belts, and you'll be good as new.
Thanks.
You look like you've seen a ghost.
- Yeah, I have.
- Oh, yeah? Who? Wellington? - Elijah.
- Who? He's an Old Testament prophet.
He left Earth in a chariot of fire.
He's supposed to come back as an advance man for the Messiah.
- He came to see me in a dream.
- Yeah? What'd he want? I think he was trying to tell me something about Pierre.
Joel, that's a little far-fetched.
I mean, the time period's all wrong, for one thing.
The Jews believe Elijah's going to come back one day.
The Tellakutans have been waiting for Pierre.
I think we oughta turn him over, Maurice.
I fear retribution in a biblical proportion.
I mean, like Old Testament wrath.
Yahweh, you know? Son, you're suffering from hypothermia.
Just take your drink, sip it down and clam up.
Now, the way I see it, the soul is the sacred payload of us all.
The body is simply a delivery vehicle.
Once we've completed our mission, we have absolutely no use for the body at all.
I mean, hell, all those boosters I rode into space are now nothing more than pieces of a billion-dollar junk heap on the Atlantic Shelf.
Now, if those little Indians want a memento of their sacred legend, let 'em take a life cast.
But I am not going to allow some half-pint half-breeds to talk me into giving up Pierre.
That's more than just a body in that freezer, son.
That is the future.
Holling, if you are gonna dump me for some bimbo with copper plumbing, then get it over with.
Shelly- Otherwise, quit moping around like some sad-eyed little bug who'd rather sigh and moan than fool around.
There's something I have to show you.
"De Vincoeur Est Mort.
" That was my great-great-uncle, Gustaf.
His death is still celebrated in some parts of France.
- You mean like Lincoln's birthday? - I mean like the death of Satan.
- Wow.
- He had people killed.
He stole other men's wives.
He was an awful, evil, terrible man.
Wow! Wow! Creepy.
And all this time, I thought it was me.
But it was you! - You put me through a lot, Holling.
- I know.
Well, I'm really bummed out you didn't tell me about this before.
I'm your squeeze! If you don't tell me all the terrible things about you, how am I supposed to find out? Come here.
I guess your telling me now is something.
But it doesn't make up for 200 years of your family being total jerks.
But it's a start.
Give it here.
- Wow! - Feel that.
- Bands of steel.
- Years of labeling.
You think I could ever learn to do that, Ruth-Anne? Ed, I think you can do anything that you put your mind to.
- Why? - Why not? No one ever said that to me before, Ruth-Anne.
Well, what have other folks got that you haven't got? Parents.
They can be as much a hindrance as a help, Ed.
Believe me.
Remember what I was telling you yesterday? There's this screenwriter, William Goldman.
He wrote Butch Cassidy, um, All the President's Men, Misery.
- Sounds top-notch.
- Oh, he is.
You know, he said nobody in Hollywood knows anything.
- But I know something.
- What's that? I'm never paying anyone $200 to read my scripts again.
They can stand in line and see the movie, just like everyone else.
- That's the spirit.
- Pass the labeler, please.
Shel? - Yeah, babe? - More bacon, hon.
Okay.
Yuck.
Holling! - What happened to him? - He melted.
It was those little Frog Indians.
They defrosted my stiff and hauled him out of here like a side of beef.
Do you know anything about this? Oh, maybe it's for the best, Maurice.
For the best? Chris, we were this close.
This close.
I'm gonna cover the muskeg from here to Prudhoe.
I'll find those pygmies.
When I do, I'll bring that stiff back here.
Okay, Fleischman, if you need anything else, speak now.
Because I'm not making a habit of this.
- How old am I, O'Connell? - Twenty-nine.
Wrong.
I'm four million years old.
Holling was right.
We're all our genes.
Are you cracking up? Fleischman, you're boiling! Have you taken any aspirin for that? No.
I've slept in trees.
I have crossed the Negev.
I have run from Cossacks.
It is all me.
The Lord is God.
The Lord is one.
Here.
Sit up.
Here you go.
Take these.
What's my name? Joel Fleischman.
No, it's Yo'el.
- Who? - Yo'el ben Ya'akov.
Fleischman, you're scaring me.
It's okay, O'Connell.
It's me.
I'm just free-associating here.
So you're okay? Everything's fine? - You were raving.
- Sorry.
Okay.
Look, I'll come back and check on you in an hour.
You'd better be asleep.
You hear me? Okay? Okay.
It's time for us to say au revoir to Pierre.
Where'd he come from? Where is he going? I guess we could all ask the same questions of ourselves.
I'm gonna let a fellow Frenchman here have the last words.
"When from a long distant past nothing persists" "after the people are dead," "after things are broken and scattered," "still alone," "more persistent, more faithful," "the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time" "like souls, ready to remind us," "waiting, hoping for their moment" "amid the ruins of all the rest" "and bear unfaltering in the tiny" "and almost impalpable drop of their essence," the vast structure of recollection.
"