Northern Exposure s04e03 Episode Script

Nothing's Perfect

You go, Red! Oh, man! I'm sorry, he just was beyond my help.
I just I thought, you know, maybe he had a chance.
Well, death was pretty much instantaneous, you know.
I mean, upon impact.
Which, if you think about it, it was really a blessing, you know? I mean, if he didn't have to unduly suffer.
You okay? Yeah, I've had some road kills before, you know.
Places I've lived, it's been unavoidable.
You know, a possum, a marmot but this is a dog.
It's the purest form of unconditional love that a man can know.
Well, it's not like you did it on purpose.
You know these things happen.
I mean, they're out of our control.
Water? Thanks, Marilyn.
Too bad.
Look, you're not to blame in any way.
Chris, come on, it was a freak accident.
Joel, the concept of random death in an indifferent world is one thing.
But to be the instrument of that death A dog killer? I don't suppose you'd tell the owners? All right.
Sorry, Chris.
Take it a little to the right.
No, no, no, no, no.
To the left.
That's it.
I like that.
Here you go, Ed, much obliged.
Sorry, Maurice, I don't have any change.
I don't expect any.
Don't spend it all in one place.
Come on, move that television over to that corner, would you? Yes, sir.
There we go.
You know what's going to go on here, Ed? Nope.
A clock.
But not just any clock.
No, no.
This is a certified Augsburg carillon from the workshop of Hans Schlotheim.
It has magnificent silver automata that show the day of the week four stages of man, Madonna and child.
And right at the very top a silver rooster that announces the chime of the hour.
That sounds like quite a show, Maurice.
Yeah, there hasn't been a clock of this magnitude on the market for eight years.
When I saw it in the Gebruder Hofmannsthal catalog I was thunderstruck.
It was a silent auction.
I bid high but I got it.
Congratulations, Maurice.
Thank you, Ed.
Have you ever considered what the world was like before we had clocks? Not really.
We were the ignorant victims of time.
We were buffeted by the seasons swept along by the amorphous sludge of day, night.
We had no hours, no minutes.
No definition.
No way to grab hold of our passing lives.
Until this tamed time.
Put us in the driver's seat.
Look, Ed, why don't you go in there and get yourself some milk and cookies, huh? Thank you, Maurice.
Oh, my God.
It's so picturesque so intense so fantastisch.
Hello, Red.
Hey, Maurice.
The feeling here is absolutely raw, naked.
Who's that? Rolf Hauser.
The Rolf Hauser from Gebruder Hofmannsthal? Ja.
They said they were sending an expert.
A highly trained specialist to install my clock.
I am he.
My preflight out of Anchorage, my altimeter's on the fritz.
He fixes it.
Takes it apart and fixes it, right there.
You know, it was really a simple problem.
It required a minor adjustment of the the aneroid How do you call in English? Wafers.
Ja, the aneroid wafers.
Well, what about my clock? She's right here.
Well, let's get her inside, huh? You heard him.
Nice dog.
Good boy.
Can I help you? Hi.
My name is Chris Stevens.
I'm afraid I have some bad news.
Yeah? I killed your dog.
I don't have a dog.
You don't? Rusty? 438 Alder? Who is it, Lenny? Hi.
You here to see me? Yeah, I think so.
Amy Lochner.
Well, come in, please.
Excuse the mess.
I'm rewiring.
I needed more juice for the computers.
Oh, no! Ted, come on.
Get off of there.
What do you do? Math.
Well, really more number theory.
I'm working on pi for my dissertation.
Pi? The circumference, diameter thing? Mmm-hmm.
And so on and so on and so on and Yeah, yeah, the numbers keep spooling on for forever and ever.
I study other transcendental numbers, but I don't know, there's just something about pi.
I think it's the circle.
The continuum, you know, the mystery of the infinite.
Non-Euclidean geometry? Not really.
I like to think about things now and then.
You can't avoid a little math here and there.
Yeah, well, pi fools you.
It seems to be just a random sequence of numbers- Right, but it can't be because the relationship of the circumference and diameter never changes.
Well, exactly.
The sequence is always the same.
You know, I just have this feeling that if I could take pi well, past all this static take pi to 10 million, then I'd find something really incredible.
Not just a pattern, not just an order, but a What? What? Say it.
A sign.
A mathematical sign.
Like a message from God? Yes.
So? So? You came to tell me something? Yeah.
Yeah, I did.
He killed your dog.
Minnifield when she first came to us she had been totally abused.
She had been in a chimney for 50 years.
What? A chimney, in Leipzig.
She'd been hidden there during the war.
Oh! Look, can we turn that thing down? No problem.
See, there was extensive damage in here because of the water and the smoke from the chimney.
See this, right here? The entire verge escapement was fused.
And the count wheel of the hour striking train was completely useless.
So, what did I do? I duplicated one quart from one quarter inch brass sheeting.
Now, this here took me three months just to redo this whole panel.
It was It was extremely difficult to create a copper alloy that would match this perfectly but I think in the end I was quite successful.
You know you're not at all what I expected.
I pictured your typical technokraut.
You know, white coat, steel-rimmed glasses stick up the butt.
That sort of thing.
But you did My, you did an outstanding job.
This is beautiful.
Nein, nein, nein, nein, Mr.
Minnifield there are some things we should talk about first.
First of all, you must try and avoid wide fluctuations in temperature, okay? And try and keep the humidity as low as you can.
All right.
Okay, now, if you friends desire to take a photograph of the clock please ask them to do so without the flash attachments.
No flash attachments.
All right.
Now, here I have prepared a list of instructions for the proper maintenance and care of the clock.
I would like your assurance that you are going to abide by them.
Yeah, you have it.
Minnifield I would like to present you with this.
Thank you.
Hey, Chris.
Hey, Joel.
You talk to the owner? Yeah.
How'd it go? Great.
I can't speak for her, but for me this incredible mind in this incredible body.
I'm in love.
You fell in love with the woman whose pet you murdered? Joel, did you know that Dostoyevsky was an epileptic? Yeah, I think I read that somewhere.
Well, he once described the sensation he'd experience right before having a seizure.
It was a feeling of impending revelation, as if he were about to learn a great truth.
Like the universe was poised before him ready to reveal its secrets and then, bam, man! He'd hit the mat.
Yeah? Well, I realize now what Dostoyevsky meant.
You know, standing there in Amy's presence, I felt I felt the same elation, the same breathless anticipation you know what I mean? Chris, you killed her dog.
There's no rules for this.
There's no social precedents.
What am I supposed to do? Beats me.
What about the cosmic significance, hmm? Was Rusty just a sacrificial lamb I ask myself? A chess piece whose only purpose on earth was to bring us together? Or is there a darker and more ominous meaning? Was he the first shoe to drop? A domino in a chain of events that will lead to our mutual annihilation.
Hey, boys.
How you doing? Nice dogs.
How you doing, boy? Hi.
That's Rusty? Yeah.
He like this tree.
He used to come out here every morning and, you know use it.
I thought I'd plant some primroses.
Maybe some crocuses.
I got you some things, here.
Well, it's more for them, really.
Yeah! Go get 'em, boys.
Yeah! Yeah.
They like them.
Well You know, I got a buddy up in Aniak and his dog just had pups.
Cute, you know, a little furry.
They're good dogs.
They've been dewormed and they've had all their shots.
You know, I'd like to get you one.
If you don't You know, if it'll be okay? No.
Thank you.
Probably too soon.
Well, I guess I'd better get going then.
Oh, okay.
There's one more thing.
Okay? I'm incredibly attracted to you.
I know that we didn't get off on a good foot here with Rusty and everything but believe me, I'm I'm racked with guilt.
Is there Is there, like, any chance that you and I, we could get together? Oh, okay.
All right? All right.
All right.
Thank you.
Lock it down! You want to explain to me the appeal of that? What, the music? Music? Yeah, if you want to call it that, I'll be broad-minded.
Viscera? Ja.
From the guts, you know? Bratwurst special and boiled potatoes.
Thank you, thank you.
You're welcome.
Patty melt.
Well, I'll get you some ketchup.
You like the chow, huh? Mmm-hmm.
I admire the German people.
In spite of their jingoistic fascist tendencies or maybe because of them they're very exacting precise and extremely consistent.
Now, when you buy German Daimler Benz or Braun Henckels, anything you get quality merchandise.
Hear that lead? Anyway, what I was saying was that life is so unpredictable, you know cancer, earthquakes.
What? This is unspeakable.
What, the beer? Ja.
Tastes like wasser.
Excuse me.
Are you an Indian? Uh-huh.
Oh, that's fabulous.
"I am Wind In His Hair.
Do you see that I am your friend? "Do you see that I will always be your friend?" Dances with Wolves.
Ja, ja, that's my favorite movie.
You Indians are so visceral.
You wanna play? Ja! Okay.
This is cool.
Joker! Joker! Joker! Joker! Just a sec.
Come on in.
Watch your head, there.
You look great.
This is for you.
Cat? The wine.
Oh, right.
Oh, red.
I love red.
I hope it's okay, I had to bring Mandy because she's got a little conjunctivitis and I've got to give her some drops.
And I had to bring Ted 'cause if I take Mandy someplace and I don't take Ted, he sprays the house.
I'll just leave him in his box.
And I'll open this wine, and Oh, please, sit down.
I really shouldn't have so many animals.
It's hard on the computers.
Oh, yeah? The way they shed.
No matter what I do, the hair gets in the disk drives.
Last week my whole system crashed.
I just have this thing about animals.
I look into those trusting, sentient eyes Oh, no, no, I I wasn't implying Believe me, that wasn't pointed at you.
What you did was an accident.
It could've happened to anybody.
I know that.
And I'm doing my best to put it behind me.
To transcendental numbers? Mmm.
You know, Chris, all that stuff I said about pi? Yeah? I meant every word.
When I was in graduate school there were just so many choices.
There was fractal geometry, imaginary numbers nonlinear differential equations.
Nothing felt right.
And then one day I walked into the computer lab and someone was running pi, and I stared at that monitor and all those numbers dancing across the screen.
At that moment, I knew.
I just knew.
Are you okay? I'm just a little allergic.
To cats? Yeah, it's no problem, though.
Just a little.
Are you sure? Yes.
I don't know what this is or why this is, Amy, but I'm I'm tumbling for you in a big way.
You know what I mean? I'm plummeting off the edge of the earth.
And that there cat's not gonna break my fall.
Oh, God you never heard of Einsturzende Neubauten? Nope.
Partynummer? Armenia II? Uh-uh.
Blixa Bargeld, he's like lead guitar.
Most charismatic, very incredible like Pete Townsend.
I'll get you a tape.
Oh, thanks.
Do you have any artifacts? Any masks, furs? Harpoons? You know, I did have a walrus tusk.
Ja? I'm not sure where it is right now.
You know, in the auction house where I work we do quite a lively trade in Indian artifacts.
Particularly Navajo pots.
Huh? Ja.
These are good, by the way.
Would you like to watch a tape? Ja! You know, I've got some really good films about Germans here.
Marathon Man.
Laurence Olivier plays Dr.
I saw that one, ja.
Boys of Brazil.
Gregory Peck, this time, playing Dr.
Playing for Time.
This is really good.
Course, I can't remember who plays Dr.
Mengele in this one.
Vanessa Redgrave, ja.
I like her.
She's very mannish.
Tell me, Rolf? Ja? How does it feel to always be the bad guy? I mean, in the movies.
Who cares? Do you have Cape Fear? Yep.
And I have the original by J.
Lee Thompson.
Wow, you have quite an extensive library here.
I'm a filmmaker.
Really? Well, sort of.
Well, actually, things have been kind of on hold for a while on account of I left my camera on the windowsill last March when we had that little cold snap.
And it's just not really worked since.
May I see it? Yeah.
Oh, it's a Bolex.
It's a remarkable camera.
Hi, Chris.
I brought breakfast.
Cocoa Puffs and sugar Frosted Flakes.
Oh, I'm sorry, I can't.
I gotta go.
I'm late.
I booked time in Anchorage on a YMP8.
It's a supercomputer.
A gigaflop.
It can perform more than 2 billion floating point operations per second.
Could you grab those for me, please? Yeah.
That sounds great.
I missed you last night.
I couldn't sleep.
Me, too.
I laid awake all night and stared at the ceiling.
Yeah? Yeah.
No, really, I can't.
I'm very late.
Oh, I still have to feed the dogs the cat, the fish, the birds.
That's okay.
I'll do it.
Go ahead.
Oh, no.
That's okay.
No, no, no, I don't mind.
You mean it? It would be my pleasure.
All right.
You are truly great.
No more.
Drive safe, now.
Come on, boys! Hi, there.
Here's your food.
Chow down.
You want some food, too, little bird? Here you go.
Huh? What do you want? You want some food? I know you do.
How you doing, little bird? Little bird? Ruth-Anne! I'm back here.
Hand me that lure, dear.
Thank you.
I don't know what's going on here.
I don't know what's happening.
Look at this.
That's a dead bird.
All I did was feed it.
I gave it some seed.
You know, maybe this is a coincidence.
Maybe this doesn't have anything to do with me at all.
Maybe this bird died of natural causes.
You know, an illness, a heart attack? I just happened to be there, right? You killed her bird, too? No, no, no, darling, I didn't kill her bird.
But what's Amy gonna think? Hmm? First the dog, now the bird.
She's gonna think I did it on purpose.
And, you know, maybe she's right.
I mean, who knows what kind of evil forces are driving me to kill.
Some deep-seated hatred towards women? A death wish of my own, maybe? I'm afraid I wouldn't know.
Well, I don't have time to stand here with you and analyze it.
I need a replacement, okay? What? You're going to try to pull a switch? Yes.
What? Disregarding any possible moral issues, Chris it won't work.
Why not, Ruth-Anne? Because people know their pets.
Of course they do when they're a couple of rungs up on the evolutionary ladder.
This isn't an Irish setter who brings your slippers.
This is a parakeet.
They're practically non-interactive.
I just need a good match.
Don't look at me like that, Ruth-Anne.
You don't know what's at stake here.
I'm in love.
Well, Maurice, it certainly is a magnificent thing.
Really bitching.
Wait till it chimes the hour.
When this baby goes into action it'll take your breath away.
I guarantee it.
Now, an occasion like this seemed to call for a bottle of port.
I've decanted a bottle of Quinta Do Noval, '63.
It's one of the best vintages in the past 50 years.
Taste it.
See what you think.
Tastes like Robitussin.
Well, it's a bit on the sweet side.
Well, have some walnuts and Stilton.
It'll compliment the taste.
You know, the real beauty of the mechanical clock the revolutionary impact was its exactitude.
The clock's ability to divide the day exactly into hours.
Oh, yeah.
The hours into minutes.
The minutes into seconds.
The clock provides a chart a map.
Think about it.
You can look at a clock at any hour of the day or night and know exactly where you are.
That's weird.
What? I got 10 after.
Well, your watch is fast.
I got 10 after, too.
Well, you're both wrong.
This is a Swatch.
It's never wrong.
I'm sure that German fellow can fix it up for you.
Walnut, babe? Yeah, thank you.
This cheese is delicious.
Got a lot of birds here, Lucky.
They sneak up on you.
Buy a pair and nurse one with a broken wing take another in as a favor to a friend.
Before you know it, your home's an aviary.
Can't turn them out, you see.
If the owls didn't get them, the cold would.
You sure you only want one? Oh, yeah.
Now, before you say that, you ought to take a look at this macaw.
They talk, you know.
Make for good company.
No, thanks.
You know, the thing is, I feel I've lost control of the situation.
They're running my life.
My time is not my own.
I spend all of it feeding them, cleaning up after them.
I have no friends any more.
No one will come to call.
Well, look it, Lucky, I don't want to sound unsympathetic, you know, but- I don't see a way out.
I don't know where to turn.
I'm under the gun here, buddy.
I need a good match, okay? Oh, sure.
I'm sorry.
Let me see it again.
Hmm? Kind of gray? Gray? No, no, don't tell me.
Beige? I'd say that's a chartreuse.
Chartreuse? I'm a little color deficient in the blue, green range.
I'll just look around, okay? Sure.
Hi! Welcome home.
Give me this.
Oh, thanks.
Oh, don't take that off.
Let's go out.
Let's go to The Brick and eat.
Oh, no.
I just want to take my shoes off and relax.
We can whip up something here.
Well, you know, Dave makes this really great chicken fried steak.
You'd love it.
Hi, Mandy girl, you miss me? And rhubarb pie.
You like rhubarb pie? How's your allergy? Oh, good.
I took a pill.
You know, I had a great day.
I got to the eights.
The eights? Around the 300 millionth decimal place.
You get this string of eight eights, right out of the blue.
Eight eights, right in a row.
Eight eights? Yeah.
That must mean something.
Chudnovsky says no.
But he's only computed pi to a little over a billion digits.
That's a drop in the bucket.
Oh, no.
No, no, no.
You did it, didn't you? You cleaned Pete's cage.
What? You cleaned Pete's cage.
Well, you didn't have to do that.
Oh, yes, I did.
Come on, Petey, my little boy.
Come on, my little thing.
Come on.
Now, you thank Uncle Chris for making your little home all spick-and-span.
What about pasta? I think I've got a couple of cans of sliced clams.
We can make linguine.
And I think I've got a bottle of Chianti.
Yes! Ah, it works.
Try the telephoto.
See, the contraction from the drop in temperature had damaged the steel shutter.
So it wasn't rotating properly.
Hey, this is great.
Hey, Rolf, run over there on the snowmobile and then I'm gonna take some shots of you.
Oh, great! Watch! Watch this! That's good.
Hey you! We got a problem.
Get in.
See you later, Rolf.
Ice? In the freezer.
You got any aspirin? Yeah.
Are you all right? Amy didn't notice the new bird.
Good for you.
No, that's bad for me.
Very bad for me.
I thought that's what you wanted.
Me, too.
I blew it, Ruth-Anne.
I really blew it.
Because you fooled her.
It's a no-win situation when you try to fool somebody you love.
You end up hating yourself, and having no respect for her because she was taken in.
I don't know if she would've loved me more or less for killing that bird.
I beg your pardon? You see, we say to people all the time, Ruth-Anne, "I'd love you no matter what.
"If you were rich, poor, black, white, thin or fat.
" That's not how it works, is it Ruth-Anne? No, 'cause love doesn't exist in a vacuum, it exists in a context.
Okay? You see, I fell in love with a woman whose dog I ran over.
And she fell in love with me.
The guy who ran over the dog.
Don't you realize what I did when I lied to her about that parakeet? No.
I took our love out of context.
Well, I have recalibrated the drive wheel pinion and I have made a very slight adjustment to the top pallet.
I assume, then, it'll work properly? Ja.
And accurately? Well, more or less, ja.
What the hell does that mean, "more or less"? Well, a weight-driven clock of this age can be expected to gain or lose approximately six to eight minutes a day.
Six to eight minutes a day? Do you have any idea how much I paid for that? Ja.
130,000 deutsche marks.
That's $80,000 American.
Are you telling me that for $80,000 I can't get a clock that keeps proper time? Well, Mr.
Minnifield, you do not buy a clock like that for its accuracy.
Don't give me that! I appreciate art as much as the next guy.
But when I pay top dollar, I expect both form and function! That is totally absurd.
What? And vulgar.
Hey! No, Mr.
I bring you this magnificent clock here and you want to quibble.
Quibble over a few minutes.
Now, you look here! I will not be hoodwinked by some pipsqueak, Aryan, cabbage head! You fix that clock! There is nothing to fix.
There is nothing wrong with it, sir.
You are the one that's screwed up in the head.
Now, you watch your mouth there, Fritz or you'll be missing a few teeth.
Okay, Mr.
Big Shot guy.
Okay, I'm taking her back.
Back? Ja, you do not deserve a clock like this.
You're damn right.
I deserve one that works.
Oh, my- You're so incredibly bourgeois.
You are a self-satisfied b├╝rgermeister.
I don't care what you do with the clock, as long as I get my money back.
Don't fret, Herr Minnifield.
You'll get every pfennig.
You bet your Nordic hiney, I will.
Hi, it's me.
Hey, come on in.
I didn't expect you back.
There's still some pasta left.
No, I'm not hungry.
How about some salad, or bread, or No.
No, Amy.
I got to tell you something.
Yeah? That's not Pete.
What? It's not? No.
Are you sure? Yeah.
Where is Pete? Pete's dead.
Pete's dead? I fed him, and he died.
You killed Pete? Well, I wouldn't put it like that.
But he was fine until you fed him.
Do you hate me? No.
Why are you killing my pets? That's a very good question.
I don't have an easy answer.
Is it going to continue? I don't know, Amy.
I mean, I don't know if it's a pattern or if it's random.
I mean, is the future carved in stone or do we create our own destiny? I don't know, I just I know I don't want to lose you.
I don't want to lose you either.
But this is a problem.
Now, these are my pets, not yours.
I'm the one that's experiencing the loss.
Right, right.
I don't want to feel like a victim here.
Of course not.
Because if I continue to feel victimized then You end up hating me.
Now, a healthy relationship is like an equation.
It has to be equal on both sides.
One plus one is two.
And if we want this relationship to work We'll have to balance the equation.
I don't have any pets.
Last call, Maurice.
Can I get you something? Yeah, I'll have another double.
Coming up.
Rolf get that clock of yours fixed? No.
It can't be done.
Well, it's no mind.
It's a pretty thing to look at.
You know that clock was originally made for a Bavarian prince.
Is that right? Name was Offenbacher.
He's been dead 400 years.
Four hundred years yet, in the vast stretch of time Offenbacher has barely begun to be dead.
Interesting way of looking at things.
I blink my eye and a second's gone.
I turn my head and a moment's passed.
It's almost like in the quiet I can hear my life whistling past my ears.
It's like I'm riding a rocket to oblivion.
You know, Maurice, when I was a boy I used to sit in my Mama's washtub cup my hands and try to hold water.
No matter how tightly I squeezed my fingers, I couldn't do it.
The water always dribbled away.
Time is like that.
No matter how hard you try it always leaks through our fingers.
And, I'll tell you something you think about time too much you'll go crazy.
How long have you had this? Five years.
It must have cost a fortune.
Got it from a guy who lost his appeal on a B and E.
Made it a full dresser myself.
Amy, look I'm all for this, all right? Believe me.
But, does the loss of this motorcycle equal the loss of a parakeet or dog? Of course not.
Anything would be an abstraction.
Even another dog.
It's not the thing itself, it's how you feel about it.
You love this, right? Yeah.
That's what counts.
Lock the throttle.
Let's go! How do you feel? I don't know.
You? Better.
Packing up everything to go, huh? Been thinking.
Changed my mind.
I'm keeping the clock.
Did you hear what I said? I don't care.
I'm taking her back.
Look, Rolf you know and I know that if I wanted to I could snap you like a twig.
That's not the point.
I could prevent you from taking my clock.
But I'm hoping that you'll voluntarily choose to leave it here.
How old are you? I'm 26.
You're immortal.
I was immortal at that age.
I was so profoundly immortal that I gladly volunteered to be stuffed into a mercury capsule and hurled into space.
You know why? Because the thought of my death was inconceivable.
So, whether this clock gains or loses six to eight minutes a day doesn't make a damn bit of difference.
Time has it's own agenda, Rolf.
There's no stopping it.
This magnificent clock will be keeping bad time long after I'm just a footnote in the Smithsonian catalog.
But while I'm here I can take some comfort in its beauty.
Recent events have set me to ponder in that ontological riddle.
Life, is it random or is it systematic? Today, I opted for the systematic approach.
Algebraic, if you will.
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
" Like most human beings, I'm just trying to make sense of things.
I don't know if I accomplished that.
I don't know if anybody can.
You know, Isaac Newton he thought that the universe functioned like clockwork.
Like a well-oiled machine.
That's a comforting vision.
It's neat, orderly, predictable.
But it's a vision that's pretty much been shot to pieces by relativity and quantum mechanics and all the other bugaboos of 20th century physics.
The universe is a weird place.
We break our teeth developing theories and equations, and systems.
And where does it all leave us? "A system is like the tail of truth.
"The truth is like a lizard.
It leaves it's tail in your fingers "and runs away knowing full well "it will grow a new one in a twinkling.
" I don't know, what're you gonna do? Maybe next time I'll get a Blockhead Harley Anybody out there looking to unload one, give me a call, huh?