Sweetbitter (2018) s01e01 Episode Script

Pilot

1 [BIRDS CHIRPING] TESS: I knew if I stayed one more minute, I would blink, and ten years would go by.
[SOFT MUSIC] Next thing I knew, I was driving.
There wasn't any exhilaration, just momentum.
All I had was a vision.
A city, lit up, loud, full of people.
But when you come from a place without it, you can't know what it really is until you get there.
$7.
Seriously? [HORNS HONKING] [SIGHS] That seems like a lot to get in.
$7.
[ROCK MUSIC PLAYING] Uh Uh, Jesse left keys for me? There goes the fucking neighborhood.
[SIREN WAILING DISTANTLY] [TRAIN CLANKING] [EXHALES] MAN: I'll give you $800 for it.
No, uh, sorry, I-I was asking I don't care what you were asking for.
It's it's worth twice that.
Nah.
It's only good for parts.
Parts? No, I [SCOFFS] This is my car.
You you This thing's been going forever.
It's the best car.
Come on, please? I I-I just moved into a place, and the rent and the deposit $800's not gonna cover it.
Okay, fuck this.
I'm hungry.
Cool.
[SIGHS] Wait! Wait.
I took a little of the middle of a magazine Wrote it out on a blank sheet Signed my name and made the crease It may be my greatest piece I think, I think it's gonna sell Promise me you'll never tell Trust me, it will be a breeze Uh, could I hand in my résumé? - Sure.
- Thanks.
Okay, stop, okay, stop, okay Okay, stop, okay, stop, okay, stop [BELL JINGLES] Now everything's going really good Since I left the neighborhood Broken window, no big deal Most people think that I'm for real I'm cooler now I've got the look I think it's time to do a book I read one that I really like But it'll take some time to retype Okay, stop, okay, stop, okay Okay, stop, okay, stop, okay, stop Okay, stop, okay, stop, okay Okay, stop, okay, stop, okay, stop [CALM MUSIC] [INDISTINCT CONVERSATION] Hi.
Are you here to see Howard? Uh, yeah, I guess so.
HOWARD: What brings you here? This place seems really No, not what brings you to the restaurant.
TESS: Oh.
- New York.
- Right.
Right, um I mean, it it's kind of a calling, right? New York.
You've got really nice nails.
That's Helen.
She works on 2nd Avenue at Nice Nails.
She's a nice lady.
So tell me what you know about wine.
Uh, the basics.
Competent in the basics.
For instance, you could tell me the five noble grapes of Bordeaux? Mm-hmm.
No experience.
I have some.
It it was a coffee shop.
What about in a restaurant? As a server? Oh, when the food was ready, I would serve it to the customers.
You mean guests.
Guests.
So what are you reading? Is that a normal interview question? This is not a normal restaurant.
You know nothing about wine.
You know nothing about service.
It says here you were an English major.
So I was just wondering what you're reading so we have something to talk about.
I'm not reading anything.
At the moment.
WOMAN: Hi, are you here to see Howard? Okay.
WOMAN: Great.
Thanks.
I have books.
Mm, had.
I had hundreds of books, but when you move someplace new, I guess you sort of get to take inventory of your life, and I wanted to be careful about what I brought here, so Careful? Yeah.
I see.
You want to be a writer? No.
- An actress? - [SCOFFS] No.
Well, what do you want to be? I don't know.
Did you come here with someone? - Someone? - To the city.
Did you come here with friends? Boyfriend? [CHUCKLES] No, I didn't.
That's very brave.
- Is it? - Mm-hmm.
'Cause it's been two days, and it feels idiotic.
HOWARD: [CHUCKLES] Yeah, well It's brave if you make it.
Good luck.
Hey, Howard? I-If, uh sorry, if I if I can call you that.
Maybe it's the flowers.
[LAUGHS] Or maybe it's the pink chairs, or your nails.
I don't know, I just I-I've been to a bunch of places today, and this one is different.
So thank you.
HOWARD: [EXHALES] [DOOR OPENS, CLOSES] [PUMP SQUEAKING] [COMPUTER BEEPS] Dad? It's me.
Yep.
[LAUGHS] Made it.
Yeah no, I know.
I'm sorry.
[LOUD VOICE THROUGH PHONE] I know that, um I said I'm sorry.
Hey, I got a job.
[LAUGHS] At a restaurant.
Yeah, they just sent me an email like a, uh, invitation to work there.
[SCOFFS] I don't know.
It's kind of pretentious.
It's temporary.
Yeah, we'll see.
I know.
I know I know that.
I just I didn't belong there.
Yeah, okay, I won't.
[LINE CLICKS] [EXHALES] [ROCK MUSIC] Well, I put on a record And out came a sound It shook me all over And I just couldn't sit down Oh, it shook me all over Oh, we was shakin' around Oh, uh, excuse me.
I'm new.
[MEN SPEAKING SPANISH] You done primping? Uh, primped.
[CHUCKLES] Follow me.
And don't touch anything.
Don't talk to anyone.
Don't do anything unless I tell you to, okay? First thing is, you're gonna be fucked on bar mops.
There aren't enough.
I'm not gonna tell you where I hide mine.
So if you see one, you grab it.
- You got it? - Got it, bar mops.
- Oh, my name is - I know who you are.
Don't forget to clock in.
[PERCUSSIVE MUSIC] MAN: I haven't had a trail in over a year.
But here goes, okay? 49% of this job is shit anyone can do.
You study the menu, the ingredients, their sources.
Table numbers and positions, they're in the manual.
You learn it.
You love it.
This is the pickup station, bread drawer, hot line, cold line, pastry.
That's the meat locker.
There's a dead pig in there, just FYI.
This is butcher.
Uh, that's dry storage back there, This is hot.
Just don't touch it.
This is Raven.
- He's a nasty freak.
- RAVEN: Mm.
Uh, we have our own specific mise.
It's not full-on French, but you don't let the water levels drop, but you don't spill.
Howard will let you taste a seared foie gras, but he goes crazy over the fucking linen bills, okay? This is dirty linens and this is where you came in.
[CRYING] Hey! Hands out of your mouth.
MAN: Let's go.
Uh, what uh, what's the rest of it? - The rest of what? - The job.
Y-you said all this is 49%.
Oh, 51% taking care of people.
That's the hard part.
Let's go.
You miss family meal, you don't eat.
[INDISTINCT CHATTER] MAN: Uh, I don't know what to tell you guys.
- MAN: Make it short today.
- WOMAN: It's fine.
MAN: Good luck with that.
It's true.
Chef called her a faggot.
And I was like, I don't want to be a lawyer WOMAN: So what, now it's, like, Ethio-jazz for the masses? - MAN: Yeah, that's true.
- I feel great all the time.
I swear to God, if one more person asks for fucking steak sauce MAN: But I never sleep anymore.
WOMAN: He texted "Bellevue" when he meant "Brooklyn.
" [INDISTINCT CHATTER] [LAUGHTER] She's, like, 17.
I'd fuck the mom.
[CHATTER CONTINUES] - Hey, where are the treats? - WOMAN: None for you.
No, no, no, no, no.
You you're on salt shakers.
Here.
You just you fill up.
You, uh you wipe down, you dry off.
Easy enough? - All right.
- Great.
WOMAN: Are you serious? [KNOCKS] Howard! [SCATTERED APPLAUSE] - HOWARD: Thank you, Will.
- WOMAN: Hey, Howard.
- HOWARD: Mm-hmm.
- MAN: Ooh.
MAN: What is that? MAN: Is that a Merlot? WOMAN: Pass them around, pass them around.
Who's brave enough to begin? Is it off? No, it's just old.
WILL: It's old-world, for sure.
It's Pinot, obviously.
It still smells like wet socks.
Those are actually your socks.
WOMAN: No, I think it's corked.
No, it's perfect.
What a treat, Howard.
The Gevrey-Chambertin.
The Harmand-Geoffroy.
The, uh 2000 vintage.
Is tricky.
The rains in September interrupted the harvest all over Burgundy.
It was a disaster for some, but Côte de Nuits fared well.
[SOFT MUSIC] Olives.
The rain gives you black olives on the nose.
Thank you, Simone.
Friends, I did not open a $200 bottle of wine purely for Simone's pleasure.
[LAUGHTER] This wine is a steal.
But it is also a gift.
Share it with your guests tonight.
Have a good service.
Hey, Howard.
MAN: Here you go, kid.
This is a bus tub.
Bus it.
[PERCUSSIVE MUSIC] Uh - I got it, muneca.
- Thank you.
Uh, sorry, I-I really need that bar mop.
MAN: No [STAMMERS] SIMONE: What you need is to look around you.
Howard made an interesting choice.
Everyone was new once.
Don't get overwhelmed.
Just need to pay attention.
MAN: Heads up.
SIMONE: What time does your shift start, my love? It's a suggested start time.
You still have sleep marks on your face.
Fuck off, Simone.
SIMONE: Saved you a plate.
[BANGING] [BOTH SPEAKING SPANISH] MAN: I fix it.
I fix it for you.
What? Are you okay? What the fuck you mean, "Am I okay?" I'm not looking okay? No.
I'm thinking looking better than your little cunt face.
Sasha, my prince, you look better than everyone.
That is your curse.
She's with me.
I got this.
Come on.
Oh, I got to get back to the salt shakers.
I have a bar mop.
Good.
No, we got a small emergency.
The bar needs sherry.
Mrs.
Neely's in.
WILL: Sherry, sherry, sherry.
There was this woman, uh, in the kitchen and in family meal.
Did she talk like she was in a Chekhov play? Yeah.
She treated you like a retarded five-year-old? - Yeah.
- That's Simone.
Simone's a lot of things.
She's not your friend.
So take this to the bar, hand it to Nicky, tell him it's for Mrs.
Neely, and then come right back here.
Can you do that? Uh, this is for Mrs.
Neely.
She's on two.
Her soup is getting cold.
Uh, I don't understand.
Her black bean soup.
With a side of sherry.
You pour the sherry in the soup.
I-I don't think I'm allowed to do that.
My three-year-old could do that.
[CLEARS THROAT] [INHALES] Okay.
Mrs.
Neely.
I have the sherry.
Perfect.
One for the soup, and one for me.
Okay.
TESS: Here.
Sit down.
Come on.
It's not fun eating alone.
[SOFT MUSIC] I like your outfit.
I used to wear this to Le Pavillon.
Henri Soulé the bastard he ran the door like a dictator.
But I went every night after the show.
Everyone did.
What show is this? I was a chorus girl.
A real dancer.
And that's why I still got these legs.
[BOTH LAUGHING] Did my soup come? Uh uh, yeah.
I think that's your soup.
Not that soup.
That's not my soup.
Where is my soup? I-I think this is your soup.
No! - Mrs.
Neely - Don't touch me, Simone! - I'm not - HOWARD: Mrs.
Neely.
Your soup is on its way.
Chef made it especially for you.
Take this back to the kitchen.
Tell Chef to refire.
Tell him I know it is between service, but it's Neely.
And do not sit in my restaurant again.
Go, go.
WOMAN: Becky is shrinking again.
WOMAN: Oh, she says she's vegan.
WOMAN: [LAUGHS] White girls are always vegan.
WOMAN: Oh, does that make you half vegan? - I will smack you.
- Excuse me, I'm sorry, I I have a refire.
I-I don't I don't know Refire, black bean, table two.
CHEF: Fucking Neely.
Did I tell you that Becky tried to do Reiki on me? - What? - She thinks my aura needs blue.
I'm sorry, that woman Mrs.
Neely, she uh, she's not okay.
- I mean, she's - What, our guest? A beloved fucking guest that takes the bus here from Harlem once a week so that she can feel like she's part of the world again? WOMAN: She sat down with Neely.
Oh, you sat.
At her table.
Are you dating? [LAUGHS] Trail failed.
WOMAN: She's trying to get fired.
She's not even hired.
Pick up! I'll run it.
You're bleeding.
WOMAN: Ugh, she bites her nails.
Fuck.
I will save you.
Gimme.
[VOCAL MUSIC PLAYING] My father died.
Why are you at work? Because he's in the shithole Russia.
And not all-star American daddy like Baby Monster's.
Who's Baby Monster? You obviously Baby Monster.
What you think? You fucking thinking I'm blind, huh? [EXHALES] Russian secret, forget the blood of the shirt.
Steal new one.
Try last locker on the left.
It's never locked.
- Thank you.
- Mm.
You know, sometimes it's a relief, right? At least when they're gone, you've got somewhere to put the hurt.
[SPEAKING RUSSIAN] SIMONE: [LAUGHING] Oh, don't let me know What you said [INDISTINCT CONVERSATION] [WHISPERING] Did you? What'd you do? [SOFT LAUGHTER] [UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING] [FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING] Seriously? You're primping again? - Oh, no, I - Service starts in 15 minutes.
Please, please, come on.
You got to keep up.
Oh, wait, Will? - Uh, can I ask you something? - Yeah.
Um, can I actually fail my trails? Of course.
Most people do fail the trails.
This is one of the best restaurants in New York City, eight years running.
Howard didn't just give you a job.
He invited you to train.
Right.
And I am supposed to grade you at the end of every night.
Right.
So like B-plus, A-minus? Please, go put out the salt shakers.
You finished them, right? Yeah.
TESS: I was looking for - Me? - No.
I mean, not not you.
Just I was gonna do those.
What did you and Mrs.
Neely talk about? How does everybody Look, maybe it was wrong, and I'm sorry, but Stop apologizing.
"I'm sorry, but," is a meaningless sentence.
Okay, I'm not sorry.
That woman is lonely.
Do you know something about being lonely? You don't know me.
I know a little.
You took this job because you thought it would be easy.
Fast money.
Safe place to wait.
You have gotten by on your charm for so long that you haven't developed a character.
But that won't work here.
You'll be back to whatever sad story you came from in a week.
And you will have missed the opportunity to become a person.
I meant what I said.
Pay attention.
It's not just salt.
[PERCUSSIVE MUSIC] HOWARD: Curtain up, friends.
Five minutes.
MAN: All right, show time! Let's go! Fuckin' move it! [EXHALES] [BREATHING SHAKILY] Hey, new girl.
You having fun yet? [SIGHS] I just need a second.
Okay.
Take a second.
Then, uh, follow me.
TESS: Are we allowed to be in here? MAN: You like oysters? I don't know.
TESS: How did you even learn how to do that? - Those look filthy.
- They're a secret.
A leap of faith.
[SOFT MUSIC] Take it quickly.
[WATER RUSHING] [GASPS] What do you taste? Salt.
I taste salt.
Can I have another?