The Kids Are Alright (2018) s01e12 Episode Script

Vietnam

1 The show's on! ADULT TIMMY: In 1972, there were a lot of crazy game shows on TV.
"Hollywood Squares," "Let's Make a Deal," but the strangest one of all was The Vietnam Draft Lottery.
NEWSMAN: We come to you tonight from Selective Service Headquarters in Washington, D.
C.
, for the draft lottery ADULT TIMMY: It was like the show "Truth or Consequences," except the consequences were life and death, and my family struggled with telling the truth about it.
Whatever happens with this, your country's gonna take care of you.
Frank burned the popcorn.
It's ruined.
- You get all the kernels? - Every last one.
Then it's delicious.
- Eddie's war show on? - It just started.
- [Door closes.]
- Well, sorry we're late.
Wendi was trying to teach me how to change lanes and I just couldn't get over.
You know, if you keep driving, there's a place called Sylmar? - I'm so nervous for you, Eddie.
- Me? You're the one driving with my mom.
Even if they pick Eddie's birthday, he won't get called up until he graduates from high school.
Hear that, Pat? You'll probably go to Vietnam before he does.
I'll win the war with karate-chops! You can't use karate-chops.
That's their thing.
How are you doing? Whatever happens, my country's going to take care of me.
[Chuckles.]
Yeah, they'll take care of you.
They'll give you a gun, a pine box and Mom and Dad get a free flag.
Wow, Lawrence coming in hot.
Well, we could use a new flag thank you, Alaska and Hawaii.
Like I'm gonna spring for a new fifty-star flag with Puerto Rico knocking on the door.
To anyone sensible, this would look like a family "in no mood.
" But my young eyes saw nine people facing the same direction, AKA an audience.
Ladies and gentlemen! I have here two ordinary sterling silver rings! That's steel with chrome plating.
You paid for silver, the guy saw you coming.
Magic is scary.
The only thing scary about magic is the weird, lonely men who do it.
Timmy, scram.
They're calling the first birthday.
It was both ceremonial and darkly absurd.
A congressman pulled a random date.
And every draft-age boy with that birthday moved up in the line to be sent off to war.
I cannot wait to do my duty.
Go overseas and kill Nazis like Dad did.
There aren't any Nazis in this war.
'Cause Dad got 'em all! PEGGY: Honestly, the rigmarole.
I'll just say it I hope they give you a pass.
- Thank you, Mrs.
Cleary.
- Absolutely.
Eddie's too nice to kill anyone in a war at least on purpose.
Sweetie, no offense, nobody wants to see that frantic moon-pie face last thing before they die.
If he gets called, he'll do his duty.
Period.
But if you do get drafted, you have choices.
Sure.
What do you want the guys in your outfit to call you, Eddie or Ed? That's your choice.
I'm gonna go by Francis.
[Sarcastically.]
Ooh, that'll put fear in the heart of the enemy.
- I know.
- I was talking about deferments.
I know a guy who ate only celery for six weeks, and the night before his physical sat in a steam room until he was down to 115 pounds.
Oh, there's a profile in courage.
And then, of course, there's always Canada Oh, no.
No son of mine is going to Canada.
That place accepts every low-life and coward.
The whole country's un-American.
I have always wanted to see Banff.
The best plan is ending this craziness so that nobody else has to go.
There's a huge march against the war on Wednesday.
So I guess by Thursday, it'll all be over maybe Wednesday afternoon if you march real good.
MAN: October 28th I can't believe this.
This says that I've lost my deferment.
They're gonna put you in the lottery, too? No lottery for me.
I've been drafted.
Some really tense stuff in there.
Let me take your minds off your troubles, good sirs.
The next show is about to begin! The price is one dollar.
Absolutely free! No, you give me a dollar.
Which is reasonable considering what they pay test subjects for enduring painful medical experiments.
"Report for Army induction and training to Fort Irwin in Barstow, California" in eight days.
ADULT TIMMY: My mom was upset by what the U.
S.
Army wanted to do to her family.
But not having nuclear weapons, she went off against a less formidable foe.
Barstow? I mean, they probably send you to Barstow first so Vietnam doesn't seem so bad.
Barstow's not the problem, Mom.
It is for the people who live there.
Ugh, I lost my religious studies deferment.
'Cause you washed out at the seminary.
I didn't wash out.
I made a thoughtful, informed choice.
Yeah, now your only choice is, do you want to be called Lawrence or Buzzcut? 'Cause trust me, the Army they're not putting up with that salad.
Here I was, worried about getting called up in eight or nine months, and you - Eight days.
- I'm so sorry, Lawrence.
Okay, you just go back to the seminary until this whole war thing blows over.
Look, I know the priesthood's not your "calling" anymore, but I was never really "called" to be a mother.
You make the best of a bad situation.
- And we appreciate it, Mom.
- Yeah.
I'm not going to the seminary, and I'm not going to Fort Irwin.
I'm calling my friend in Canada.
Oh, here we go.
No, you are not using my phone for any draft-dodging calls.
Especially not long-distance! Fine.
I'll go use the pay phone over at the Kentucky Fried Chicken! Be sure to thank the Colonel for his service! [Door slams.]
I have a couple more thoughts about Barstow I have poured ordinary Rice Krispies into this ordinary bowl.
Everything around here is ordinary.
You don't have to keep rubbing it in.
He's still doing his dumb magic? There's a lot of windup on this one.
We all know that newspapers can hold valuable information.
But can they hold milk? [Milk pouring.]
Hey, stupid! Stop that! It's gonna make a mess on Mom's floor.
Or is it? W-Where Where'd it go? - Wait a minute.
- [Muffled crackling.]
What's that I hear? Snap, Crackle, Pop.
[Drumroll.]
I have no idea how you did that.
Or why.
[Stammers.]
You didn't make that milk disappear.
It's obviously a trick! Of course it's a trick, Frank.
You're kind of missing the point.
I'm not missing anything.
You're not magic! Like most so-called entertainment movies, love songs i-it's just lying.
I remember that speech from when you stood up in the theater and ruined "Herbie the Love Bug" for everyone.
This is why I don't do tricks for you.
- You can't handle it.
- What I can't handle is you acting like the laws of physics don't apply to you.
Do it again! And you're gonna keep doing it until I figure out how it works.
Are you sure you want to put yourself through this? It might make you more unhappy.
Not possible.
[Taps on table.]
MAN: August 10th.
August one-zero.
I couldn't get ahold of my friend.
Oh, do you think he might be "dodging" your phone call? The boys there are men of conscience who don't want to participate in an unjust war.
If they don't want to participate, they don't belong in this country.
That's why they went to Canada.
Hey, Eddie, that's your birthday! Oh, no.
February 22nd.
February two-two.
What did you win? Oh, he won that Eddie and other boys with the same birthday are going to the war.
You can all have cake together! This seems crazy.
It's a proud moment.
We need to celebrate.
Peg, we have any champagne? I have some distilled water I use for ironing.
What exactly are we celebrating? The day my two boys are called to serve even if one of them runs to Canada.
Peg, ironing water for everybody.
Yeah.
You don't really feel like celebrating, - do you, Mrs.
Cleary? - [Sighs.]
I don't know what I can do about it yet.
Anyway, the joke's on Mike.
I've been refilling this from the tap.
This is your generation's war, Eddie.
It's an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself.
Boys go over there and they come back men.
Unless they don't come back.
Don't listen to Negative Nelly.
I know you're gonna make me proud, son.
Aye aye, captain! [Breathing heavily.]
[Retches, spits.]
Lawrence [Chuckles.]
Kid's driving me up the wall with his thoughts and ideas.
Thank God we don't have that problem with Eddie.
Seems pretty greedy, the Army trying to take two of our boys.
And we get no say about it? At the very least, they should let me pick which two we send.
That would keep these kids in line.
- [Door opens.]
- Mommy, I had a bad dream.
Can I sleep in your bed? - Pat.
- It's okay, Mike.
What was your dream about? - War.
- Hmm Will I have to go to Vietnam someday? - Oh, honey.
- [Sighs.]
That's not gonna happen.
There will be a whole different war by then.
I only hope you and I are on the same side.
ADULT TIMMY: The events of the day also weighed heavily on other members of the family.
Timmy, I need to know where the milk went! To know what? Why Why are your hands so sweaty? Endocrine problems.
Don't try to cleverly change the subject.
Frank, we are trying to sleep.
Nobody sleeps until Timmy explains his trick.
JOEY: [Exhales sharply.]
Just tell him how you do it.
But I swore an oath to the Ancient Brotherhood of Magicians, Jugglers and Fire-eaters.
Even if the enemy takes me captive, I can't tell.
- What enemy? - The Fraternal Order of Mimes, Unicyclists and Sword-swallowers.
Frank, why not try to enjoy Timmy's trick for what it is? Life becomes so much less wondrous when you strip away all of its mysteries.
Okay! If it shuts you up, I'll give you the secret of Timmy's dumb trick.
"Dumb trick," but we're all talking about it.
I've sworn no oaths and I'm not frightened of sword-swallowers.
It's the mimes you have to watch out for.
But you'll have to wait 'til tomorrow, after a good night's sleep.
For the friends-and-family price of ten dollars.
Shake on it.
Oh, you weren't kidding.
That hand is like an armpit.
- Then you should feel my ankles.
- Frank, turn out the light.
- Turn - [Door slams.]
You being drafted just makes me feel so powerless.
I'm sorry.
If I could, you know I'd trade places with you.
But you heard Lawrence.
There are options we could try.
Uh, you could get a college deferment.
You said you wouldn't push this college stuff on me.
I'm reconsidering now that the other option is death.
I think it's just better if I see this draft thing through.
I've got an opportunity to distinguish myself here.
That's exactly what your dad said.
You're doing this just to impress him.
No.
But he was impressed, right? I'm not just imagining that.
Will you talk some sense to your brother? Don't let Dad bully you.
You gotta think for yourself.
Do what Lawrence tells you think for yourself.
I'll be back later for your mom's driving lesson.
Please, talk to him.
Wendi said I should talk to you, so here goes.
I enjoy playing basketball.
I do as well.
Shall we? What a lovely talk.
Horse! What's the secret of Timmy's trick? Who are you calling? [Rotary phone dialing.]
"Abraca-Dave's Magic Shop"? I could have called a magic shop.
But could you get the top guy on the phone? - [Ringing.]
- MAN: Hello? Hi.
Abraca-Dave, please.
- [Cash register rings.]
- There is no Dave.
That was just brilliant marketing.
You're talking to The Great Pepe.
Hi, Pepe.
I'm wondering if you're familiar with the trick where milk is poured into the newspaper - and then - Ah, The Reappearing Cow.
That's part of our breakfast line.
I usually pair it with The Pancakes of Doom.
I need to know how the milk thing works.
Son, I can't just go around divulging Wait a minute.
Are you by any chance a mime? If I was a mime, would I be talking to you? [Sympathetically.]
I'm asking for my dying grandfather.
[Whispering.]
Make a noise like you're dying.
[Stammers.]
Oh! Ah!! I've been shot! He's got dementia, but it's his dying wish to understand that trick.
Nice try, kid.
When your grandpa passes, I'll call him up on the Ouija board and give him the whole shpiel.
Have a magical day.
- [Dial tone.]
- Tell Pepe I say hello.
- I want my money back.
- No refunds.
But my business is built on customer satisfaction, so I'm going to help you re-create the trick.
Anything to wipe that smug smile off Timmy's face.
- The kid has really got my goat.
- I can help with that, too.
Goat recovery is, like, 80% of what I do.
["I-Feel-Like- I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" plays.]
Well, come on, all of you big, strong men Uncle Sam needs your help again Yeah, he's got himself in a terrible jam Way down yonder in Vietnam So put down your books and pick up a gun We're gonna have a whole lotta fun And it's one, two, three What are we fighting for? Don't ask me, I don't give a damn Next stop is Vietnam And it's five, six, seven Open up the pearly gates Well, there ain't no time to wonder why Whoopee! We're all gonna die All right, I got one, I got one.
Whoo! [Laughter, basketball dribbling in distance.]
Oh! Good.
Lawrence, that doesn't count.
You get one more turn.
Nice shot! Come here, you! Rrgh! Let's go! He's coming up, he's coming up! Yes! [Sighs.]
- [Laughs.]
- You can't do that! MIKE: House is gonna feel pretty empty without these two morons.
I'd feel a lot better about this if I understood why the heck we were sending our boys over there.
Well, the price we pay for freedom is our young men defending it.
No, when I said "our boys," I meant our boys.
I'm all for the Flanigans exporting every one of their drooling chimps.
We put a lot of work into these two.
Honey, Communism is on the march.
We give them Vietnam, they'll take Thailand, Laos, and Burma.
None of those are places I care about.
If we don't fight them over there, we'll end up fighting them over here.
Wouldn't that be more convenient? Mike, I understood World War II, with Hitler and all those wiseacres, but this war doesn't even have any decent villains.
Who am I supposed to hate this time? Jane Fonda? That's a good place to start.
I don't want to see Lawrence go to Canada, but if he chooses to, we need to support that decision.
[Scoffs.]
Oh, so now we're trusting our idiot kids with important life decisions? Why not let Pat choose if he wants to see the dentist? Pat has never been to a dentist.
Because we made that decision for him.
Lawrence is educated.
He's been out in the world.
He stood on that spot where you're in four states at once.
I think he's smart enough to make his own decisions.
Mom, Dad, I've decided I'm going to Vietnam.
Oh, shut up.
What do you know? So now you want to go to Vietnam? Peg, Peg, he stood on four states.
If this is his decision, we should stand by it.
Look, I've been thinking about this mess, and if I don't go, the Army's not gonna say, "Well, we're short one man, I guess we have to forfeit.
" They're just gonna draft the next guy.
As long as the next guy's not my son! Maybe he's someone terrible that we're better off without.
They could take an axe murderer or Jerry Lewis we're all a little tired of his antics.
Or they could take Eddie you think of that? Or some other guy like Eddie.
And I couldn't live with myself if something like that were to happen.
We're proud of you, son.
I'm not doing it to make you proud.
[Door closes.]
All right, here we go.
Prepare to be amazed and humiliated.
You might want to work on your patter, Frank.
Ignore the hecklers.
You're doing great.
Ordinary newspaper Ordinary milk, blah-blah-blah.
And now the milk starts magically disappearing disappearing like right now.
[Electrical whirring.]
No milk whatsoever.
Feel pretty stupid yet? I'm okay.
And now for the big, dumb finish where the milk reappears in the cereal.
Wh What's that I hear? Snap, crackle, and eat it, Timmy! There! I did it! I made a bowl of magic cereal exactly as good as yours.
Ta-da! [Timmy laughs.]
I feel like we were one rehearsal short.
[Sarcastically.]
Yeah, you got me, Frank.
That is exactly how it's done.
[Whirring continues.]
[Laughter.]
Frank, stop! - So, did you guys talk? - Sure we talked.
I told Lawrence that he shot like our grandma.
Yeah, but then I reminded him that Grammy Agnes was the star guard on a ground-breaking CYO women's team.
Led the league in scoring back in 1927.
And then I clarified that I knew all that.
My comment about Grandma was a compliment.
- Nah.
- I was expecting you to convince him to stand up to your father about Vietnam.
That didn't come up.
And, actually, I decided I'm going to Vietnam now.
What? I was only gone for like an hour! - You're going? - Yeah.
Aw, man.
I hope we end up in the same platoon.
You guys are insane.
If you won't talk to your father, I will.
- Mr.
Cleary.
- Don't, Wendi.
I'll do it.
I'll talk to him.
Nope.
Mr.
Cleary, you have two boys about to go off to a war which even the people running the thing don't believe in anymore.
This is between me and my two sons.
Not when I really care about one of them.
It's me, right? Eddie? I hate the thought of either of them going over there just so President Nixon doesn't look weak before an election.
The president is negotiating an honorable peace to this war, which he'll only get by waging it aggressively.
More war leading to peace.
A lot of people think that's crazy.
A lot of people who don't really love this country.
Or they love it enough to criticize it so it can be better, the way you do with someone you really care about.
Is that why you and Mom always criticize me? No, it's because you do dumb stuff.
- Good call.
- Do you see what you do to him? Eddie is starved for your approval.
- [Groans.]
- You've a weird power over these boys.
All right! That's enough, Wendi.
No, it really isn't.
I'm sorry, Mr.
Cleary, but I'm worried that Eddie is going to get himself killed just hoping you'll say you're proud of him.
We should get started on that driving lesson.
Right now.
I know you agree with me about Eddie and Lawrence.
[Sighs.]
With Mike, you have to handle things with a light touch.
[Keys jingle.]
[Engine starts.]
[Revving.]
[Tires squeal, loud thud.]
Mom ran over Lawrence! DOCTOR: We'll know more in a day or two, but we're looking at about three months in that cast.
Now, I know he's supposed to report to basic training, but that's off the table for now.
You did this on purpose.
I'll forgive you for saying that because you're in shock from your broken foot.
Yeah, which you gave me.
On purpose.
The "D" and the "R" on the steering column are very confusing.
Okay, enough of the silly speculation.
- This was definitely an accident.
- [Scoffs.]
'Cause our insurance doesn't cover vehicular assault.
I had a plan, Dad.
I really wanted to do this right.
Sometimes these choices get made for us by a higher power.
- Where's Eddie? - You steer clear of Eddie.
I'll deal with him.
[Scoffs.]
MIKE: Take a walk with me.
Just him.
You and I have talked enough today.
- Oh, looky here.
- [Baby coos.]
Nothing warms the heart more than the sight of a baby that I don't have to feed and clothe for two decades.
[Baby talk.]
Hello.
You are not my problem.
[Chuckles.]
You know why hospitals have these big windows - in the baby room? - [Normal voice.]
Hang on, doesn't it go, "Why do Polish hospitals have these big windows?" - 'Cause I think I know this one.
- No.
The school nurse told me they have these windows mostly for other people people who are sick, people visiting loved ones who aren't doing so well.
They can walk down the corridor, look in, and see life.
- See hope.
- I get it.
Didn't you used to talk about being a doctor - when you were little? - A nurse, actually.
A nurse, doctor.
Neither's better than the other except doctor's better.
I used to pretend to be sick and get out of class to hang out with Nurse Gail at school.
She had lollipops.
That story tells me you might have the stuff to be a doctor.
- Or a nurse.
- Or a doctor.
Bottom line, you like people.
I like lollipops.
But you're a caring person.
It's a special talent, like playing the fiddle, or Evel Knievel.
If you get your grades up, you can get yourself into a decent medical program.
Wendi really wants me to go to college, too.
That one has a lot of opinions.
[Chuckles.]
It's still a good idea.
It sounds really hard, Dad.
I'd like to see you give it a shot.
You should know there's more than one way to make me proud of you.
A couple months later, President Nixon ended the draft, sparing my brothers any further physical peril from either the North Vietnamese or my mom.
[Baby cooing.]
The Reappearing Cow.
Page 152.
What are you trying to pull? That's a trick book, right? I-I open it and a knife pops out and slices my throat.
What would be the point of that? Making me look dumb.
[Stammers.]
Like everybody who gets a chance to peek behind the curtain, Frank discovered that the knowing is often not as much as fun as the not-knowing.
Hmm.
That's it? Yeah.
I almost wish a knife had popped out.
I don't have a knife, but how about this?! - How did you do that? - Sorry, man.
The answer was in the book.