Rutherford Falls (2021) s01e05 Episode Script

History Fair

[light music]

Good morrow, my Minishonka counterpart.
Nathan, wow. Really leaning into it.
Yeah, well, I figure what better way
to judge a history fair
than to be living history?
Did you steal the cloak
from an exhibit?
It's a little bit cry-for-help-y.
Yeah. Well, hey.
With this lawsuit,
I want to remind the town
how important Big Larry is.
And besides that, these kids
spent months on their projects.
I just wanna show 'em
history can be cool.
- Right?
- Totally.
We are cool and so is history.
Just one concern.
We are going to P.F. Chang's
directly after,
so I'm slightly worried that
you're gonna get orange chicken
all over the antique clothing.
I'm not an idiot.
I packed Allister Rutherford's
eating gown to change into.
- All right.
- Yeah.
- Great.
- Almost forgot.
Ooh, doo, doo. Wait, what are we doing?
- Got this for you.
- Why?
This is my great-great-
grandmother's favorite gown.
She was actually strangled
to death in this thing.
- Mm, no.
- You know what?
- Let's forget it, yeah.
- Yeah.
- You look great.
- Thank you.
[upbeat music]

[funky hip-hop music]

[indistinct chatter]

It smells like hot glue,
paint, and unbridled ambition.
We got ourselves
a goddamn history fair.
- Mm-hmm.
- Did you guys see
that awesome Susan B. Anthony?
She had the sash and everything.
Well, takes a little more than a sash,
there, Frank. Good to see you.
Glad to have you on board this year.
I must say--I'm used to
arguing in front of a judge;
not having to be one.
I'm a little nervous.
- Well, the stakes are high.
- Yeah.
But don't stress yourself out.
Reagan and I are old hands at this.
Been doing this a long time,
so, uh, you can leave
the heavy lifting to us.
Yeah, we're always on the same page.
So just consider yourself
a fun little add-on,
like an extra toe.
Oh, my God. How did you know?
- Oh. Ew.
- I--

What is it exactly?
It's Pompei covered in ash
after the volcanic eruption.
The city's underneath the box.
I melted some Lego people and houses
in a pot on my stove.
They're all dead.
Good luck.
Get this kid on some kind
of watch list.
Good to see you, as always.
Mayor Chisenhall, hello.
Just doing my duty
as a History Night sponsor.

I trust that whatever
disagreements we have
because of your actions,
we can still deliver
a cordial evening for the kids.
- The kids come first today.
- Mm.
Any issues we have will
play themselves out through the courts.
Although, anyone can see
they're mostly your fault.
Well, I'm going to give a speech,
and after that, I'll thank the sponsors
and allow you to say a few words.
- You'll allow me?
- Well, I'm the mayor.
Well, my casino employs
many of your constituents.
So it's kind of like we're co-mayors.
It's not like that even a little bit.
If you'll excuse me.
Whoa. What is the deal with you two?
I don't wanna talk about it.
A swing and a miss
on Theodore Roosevelt.
Big time, man. Lazy.
Uh, I think the clear winner
of the freshman
and sophomore division is
Story of Benjamin Franklin
as told through the point
of view of electricity.
I mean, I was impressed.
They kinda went there.
- Kid's got charisma.
- Mm-hmm.
If it's not my three favorite judges.
Reagan, love the dress.
Frank, you been working out?
Bobbie, we can't be seen with you
before we judge all the entries.
- It's unethical.
- Totally get it.
In fact, ethics is a big part
of my short film.
It's called God #BlesstheUSA.
It's really a love letter to America.
As a child of immigrants--
- Bobbie.
- Get out.
All right.
So electricity kid's gonna
get that blue ribbon.
And let's go judge the upperclassmen.
Oh, my gosh.
We're gonna make it
to P.F. Chang's by 7:00!
Ooh, never been.
More of a PB&J guy.
Ethnic food makes me play
the old butt trumpet.
- Good to know.
- Gross.
- Hi.
- Ah, jeez!
You guys going to P.F. Chang's?
I took my dog there for his birthday.
They made him wait outside,
but I had the best time by myself.
- Nice.
- That's odd.
Should we make it a double date?
Nathan and I can get our own table
so that you two lovebirds
can have some privacy.
- Ew, no.
- Yeah.
- She never
- Really? I feel chemistry.
Here's the thing.
This is, like, kind of
a tradition that we have.
So you're sick of it, and you
wanna go with someone new?
Ha! Kidding.
Unless that's what you were gonna
No, no. I--no.
I know, right?
See you later.
[uncomfortable laughter]
Good afternoon, everybody.
Before I announce the winners
of the freshmen and sophomore division,
I wanna say a few words
about this town's history,
which I know a little bit about
as the first Black mayor
of Rutherford Falls.
Now I wanna thank
all the generous sponsors
who made this night possible
who we unfortunately
don't have time to hear from.
Now every day,
I strive to make sure
that everyone in this town--
uh, Terry Thomas, everyone.
The CEO of the Running Thunder Casino,
who has his own microphone?
Many apologies.
I was hoping to do a quick
Minishonka land acknowledgment.
I'd like to take a moment
to acknowledge
that we are currently standing
on Minishonka land.
Beautiful. Okay.
[speaking Mohawk]
Mayor Deirdre Chisenhall
[speaking Mohawk]
[speaking Mohawk]
[speaking Mohawk]
unfortunate genocide.
[speaking Mohawk]
Mayor Deirdre
[speaking Mohawk]
so frigid.
[speaking Mohawk]
Mayor Deirdre
[speaking Mohawk]
[speaking Mohawk]
- Thank you.
- [crowd] Io.
Okay, let's look at the upperclassmen.
The history of Rutherford Falls
is the history of America.
And the history of America
is the story of us.
Wait. That doesn't make any sense.
Those are just words.
We are one heart under God
beating red, white, and blue.
And let us never forget
that tragic day in 2001.
Wow--okay. That's a lot.
So God bless our active military,
defenders of truth and liberty.
Thank you, public school teachers
and single moms,
who are the real heroes.
I can barely move under
the weight of these platitudes.
These kids treat this
like an assignment,
but for us, it was a way
to express ourselves.
Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
[upbeat music]
What the hell, Terry?
You said my name five times.
And I distinctly heard
you say "genocide."
America has a troubled past.
I think it's important
to acknowledge that.
Hm. We agreed to be civil.
I'm not the one with the history
of breaking promises.
- Fine.
- Great.
So great.
Okay. What happened with these two?
I know you know.
I signed an NDA, and I can't tell you.
But I will say if
you're getting warm or cold.
Is it a savings and loan thing?
They had an affair?
They have a love child?
[patriotic music]
What is a nation
when you are the faceless and ignored?
What is sovereignty
when the president is treated
like a king?
How can you protect your image
when it's always under attack?
Identity repurposed
for entertainment.
This is good, right?
Like really good.
History is often written
by the winners.
But if you listen,
you can hear the heartbeat
of a still-great nation,
one that will rise again.
[eagle cries]
This is why we do this.
This is how you show people
that history affects our daily lives.
The Minishonka may be faceless,
but they are no longer voiceless.
Hi. I'm Spencer Vanderslice,
and I hope you've enjoyed my film.
One love.
Wait. That kid made this film?
And he did all the narration.
Okay, next entry is from Taylor Hawkins.
A wise woman once said,
"There is a special place in hell
"for women who don't support
other women."
And that woman
was Taylor Swift.
I present to you my project:
The Fierce and the Furious.
All the greatest feminist icons
showing off their strength and power.
And I dare you not to support me.
Uh--I do support you.
I love it.
I think this is also in the running.
It's--it's a strong contender.
But you liked the movie.
I saw it make you cry.
Yeah, but is Spencer the right face
to represent the faceless Minishonka?
I mean, seeing him, it just--
it makes me rethink what I watched.
She makes a good point.
You made a good point.
So good points.
Thanks, Frank.
Food for thought.
We can't just arbitrarily
disqualify a movie
just because you found out who made it.
But it colors my enjoyment.
Knowing that the film
was made by some white kid,
albeit a seemingly woke one,
I just gotta question his intent
in making art about my people.
That's all.
And if a Minishonka kid made it?
Standing ovation.
Give 'em all the Oscars.
But you love Dances with Wolves,
and that was directed
by the exceedingly white
Kevin Costner.
It's all we had at the time.
I wish that more Minishonka people
were positioned
to make movies about us, but--
just Spencer doing it--it feels
like a knife twist is all.
Okay. Yeah.
Well, I think we should
at least talk to him.
Find out why he made the movie.
That's fair.
Let's bring in Spencer.
As a white man, I feel conflicted
about how my ancestors
colonized this land
and made its
Indigenous people faceless.
It's, uh, super messed up.
No argument there.
I'm with you so far.
Can't we just wrap this up?
It's so obvious.
It's like with the Rutherfords.
We have this huge, dumb statue
honoring them.
I mean, are you kidding me?
No offense.
I'm sorry. Why would we be kidding you?
It's just that it makes no sense
to have a statue of some white guy,
instead of one honoring the Minishonka.
Why are they faceless?
I think you should stay on topic.
Uh, not a bad question, though.
Know what?
I say let's take down
that bullshit statue
and change this town's name
to Minishonka Falls,
or, you know, like,
whatever it was called before.
Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
It's called Rutherford Falls. Okay?
That's the name of the town
that we're in.
And Big Larry represents our history
and our heritage, and he means
a lot to a lot of people.
To which people, though? Hmm?
To whichpeople?
That's a great question.
- No, it isn't, Frank.
- You know what?
You're not a Spencer.
You're an adorable, white ally.
You're a Mark Ruffalo.
No, you're not.
That's a pretty big honor
- Yeah.
- To be Ruffalo-ed.
And I think maybe we hold back
on just bestowing that willy-nilly
on any little asshole.
I just--no offense, Spooner--
You aren'twell-educated,
and that is all of our faults.
Uh, thank you, Spencer.
I think we've heard enough.
You can go.
- Mm-hmm.
- Yeah.
Thank you, Spencer.
Okay, Nathan. Hey.
I think it was such a good
idea to bring him in here.
I definitely feel good
about giving him my vote now.
Well, I'm voting for Taylor's
cool "Fast and Furious" thing.
[upbeat music]
[clears throat]
We've reviewed your calendars,
and there's 45 events this year
that you've both RSVP'd for.
So we think it's best
you make peace tonight.
Now I don't know the details,
but clearly, there was
some kind of betrayal--
There were two betrayals:
one in the kitchen
and one in the jacuzzi.
I offered to pay to fix it.
Plumber said that
what your brother did
in my jacuzzi was
the most horrific thing
He'd ever seen,
and he served in Afghanistan.
Oh. This is a housing issue.
[both] Airbnb.
rented a casita from Terry
for my brother's visit,
and there was some damage
to the property.
He threw up in the skimmer,
then used every kitchen
tea towel to "clean" it.
And when I tried to address
the problem directly,
this teacher's pet insisted
we go through the website.
Do you have any idea what it feels like
to lose Superhost status?
It's humiliating.
I have no idea what it feels like
to own an investment property.
I'm just a small-town mayor.
- And as--
- And as the first Black mayor
in Rutherford falls--is that
what you were gonna say?
You just can't see a world
in which you could've overreacted.
You're stubborn.
You're completely unable
to listen to reason.
So I'm being a Black woman now.
That's not what I said.
Even if you're still mad at me,
it's no reason to undermine me
at every turn.
Besides slanderous Minishonka
land acknowledgements,
what other tricks do you plan to pull?
Whoa, so now I'm
the "tricky, shifty Indian"?
I didn't even know that was a thing.
Oh. It's a thing.
What is taking them so long?
[pencil tapping]
Spencer disrespected my ancestors.
Yeah, but for once,
a movie didn't disrespect mine.
And I'm willing to overlook
the cultural appropriation.
Well, I'm not willing to overlook
his obvious allegiance to Hitler.
There was no allegiance to Hitler.
And speaking of Hitler,
you seem to be fine overlooking
Mel Gibson's allegiance
every year when you watch
Braveheart on your birthday.
That movie is a celebration
of freedom.
It's bigger than any one man.
Besides, you watch Annie Hall,
like, all the time.
[clears throat]
I get one problematic movie, okay?
And I only rent it from the library,
so no money exchanges hands.
It's the perfect crime.
I'm clean, baby.
Whatever you have to tell yourself.
- Oh.
- You know what the problem is?
We're just so hungry,
we can't even think straight.
Yes! Ugh.
We've been at this for an hour.
I think we both know
what we have to do.
Three pork dumplings,
two chicken dumplings,
crab wontons, a Mongolian beef,
two salt and pepper prawns,
two orange chickens,
a house fried rice,
and six honey walnut shrimp.
And before you ask,
we do want that much
honey walnut shrimp.
- Uh, yeah.
- Ah, nothing to worry about.
This is a judgment-free zone here.
Thank you.
I have nut and shellfish allergies.
Are either of those
in the honey walnut shrimp?
I just heard from Reagan.
She and Nathan couldn't decide
on a winner.
They're asking for an additional hour
of deliberation.
It's a high school
history competition.
Nathan left?
I mean, they all left?
I need to get out of here.
Text those ding-dongs.
Tell them we'll announce
the winner tomorrow.
There's no point in trying
to salvage this night.
I feel you, Deirdre.
Men, the worst, right?
Can't live with 'em
'cause none of 'em
will move in with you.
Please do not see me as a confidant.
With Spencer-- think of it this way--
what if the director of Home Alone
also had a private island
where he hunted and murdered
kittens for sport?
Makes sense.
Home Alone is a very violent movie.
It's rated R, I think.
But did Spencer murder kittens?
I feel like he just said
something that you didn't like.
And if that's the case,
then goodbye every episode
of Seinfeld
with Kramer in it.
- Bobbie?
- Yes.
I'm here to defend my work
like Spencer.
Ugh. Fine.
Whatever. Go ahead.
First point of defense of my film:
Taylor's painting is trash.
How did you get that?
I stole it. Let it go.
We have bigger problems. Look closely.
Three of these feminist icons
are slight different versions
of Ariana Grande.
Whoa. How did I miss the ponytails?
Why are there three more
Grandes than Sotomayors?
Yeah. That's not a good ratio.
Although, while Ariana Grande
may not have been a suffragette,
she definitely suffered at
the hands of TMZ.
- No.
- Yeah, no.
That didn't sound good coming out.
Damn it, Taylor.
Who okayed that P.F. Chang's
dinner break anyway?
Okay. I'm sorry.
It's all on you, Deirdre.
Once again.
Hey, Terry.
I just wanna say
my brother's a hurricane of
bad choices and unemployment.
I haven't spoken to Brian
since he sold my dog
to buy a mini-fridge.
Every family has a Brian.
Mine's named Charlotte.
Well, good night.
Oh--would you also like
to let your guard down
and express some vulnerability?
Not really.
I don't do the backing down thing.
If I back down,
there's a whole community
leaning on me that falls to the ground.
I understand.
As the town's first Black mayor--
You gotta stop saying that.
I mean, I'm the first
Native American to win
the squash tournament
at the Adirondack Country Club,
but you don't hear me
bragging about it.
Uh, yes, you do. All the time.
You had a custom trophy case installed
at the casino entrance.
Well, it was a historic victory.
And I suppose if I were
the first Native mayor--
You'd be insufferable.
I know I say it a lot.
But it's because I'm the first
dang Black woman mayor
in the history of this town.
Do you know how hard I work,
how perfect I have to be?
I don't have the luxury of mediocrity.
I think I have an idea
of what that's like.
I have aspirations beyond this town.
State rep, governor maybe?
Call me crazy,
but I sense a kindred spirit in you.
And I don't mean spirit
in, like, a native way.
Point is, we shouldn't be
working against each other.
People like us
should stick together.
- Good night.
- Good night.
I'm glad that worked out.
I still don't trust him.
Call Adirondack Country Club
and set up a squash game
for me and Terry, please.

Well, Taylor was a bust.
I guess that means Spencer wins.
Oh, I'm glad you brought up Spencer
because I did a deep dive
on his Twitter.
And here he is in dreads
speaking in full Patois.
Ya, man.
Wit' your boy band displays
on the ice skot--
- Whoa.
- Oh, no.
And you judged my family.
Glass houses, little Spence.
- Oh, my.
- Awful.
Ugh, gosh, no. Turn it off.
Turn it off, turn it off. I can't.
You guys must vote for my film
because unlike the other two,
it says nothing
and offends literally no one.
Oh, please. What are we gonna do?
We never had a voting issue
like this before.
- I don't know.
- Okay.
I'm about to close out.
Is there anything else
you need tonight?
[curious music]
Yeah, you've gotta go
with the Fast and Furious painting.
- Oh!
- Well
So then what's the line?
That guy is canceled,
and the other guy is, like,
okay to play?
Hey, I get it.
My sister still listens
to "Ignition: Remix."
- Ew.
- R. Kelly?
Mm-hmm. Hey, I tried to tell her.
But then she said, "They're all bad."
Google John Lennon.
- Oh, hold up.
- Google. Go ahead.
- Ah!
- Yeah.
I gotta admit something to you guys.
I still love Thriller.
- I can't help it.
- What?
- It's a good record.
- Aw, no.
What did Michael Jackson do?
Frank, go home.
Okay, but then how far do you go?
Like, Bill Cosby--bad.
But is A Different World
off the table,
or Fat Albert? I mean
I hear you.
If rappers can say the N word,
why can't I?
- [all] What?
- No.
- Seriously?
- What? No.
- Why would you want to?
- Dude, no.
- You cannot.
- Absolutely not.
I thought this was a safe space.
Not that safe, Bob.
Okay, I get what everyone's
saying, and I agree,
but, like--
What does all this say about us?
That if someone's talented enough,
we give them free reign to be monsters?
I mean
It's just too thorny.
- Mm-hmm.
- You know?
I think we know what we have to do.
And the winner of this year's
Rutherford Falls
History Fair grand prize
is Bobbie Yang.
Bobbie, your film was pandering,
subpar, and utterly bland.
- Congratulations.
- Thank you.
That is exactly what I was going for.
This is like when Green Book
won at the Oscars.
Wouldn't a Green Book comparison
be better placed on Spencer
since Green Book
was a problematic movie
about racism made by white people?
- Mm.
- Yeah.
You're totally right. Jesus.
We can't even agree
on what Green Book meant?
This country's a mess.
You wanna go kill the leftover
Chang's at my place?
- Yes.
- Thank you.
[light music]

[upbeat music]
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