Episode 11 Virtual Season 8
We pan the set, a typical police station set. But not just any police station set. This is the set of the popular “Partners”, a show that started out as a mid-season replacement…a flavor of the month that shows promise of turning into everybody’s vanilla…or perhaps rocky road. It is in its second year of production, and it is definitely not quiet on the set.
A petite redhead bounces through. At first glance, she appears quite plain – horn-rimmed glasses and hair haphazardly gathered in a knot on top of her head. Upon scrutiny however, you realize that, like in the commercials, when this girl lets her hair down, she will expose a hidden beauty. The magic of Hollywood!
She exits the soundstage, heading for a large motor home parked directly outside. She raps once, opens the door, and enters. In a matter of moments, we hear the crash of breaking glass and a string of unprintable words coming from the interior of the trailer. Suddenly the door is flung open, and a man is framed in the doorway.
This is Shamus Campbell…Shay to his many adoring fans. Not surprisingly, most of them are women. Shay is the lead actor of “Partners” – a comeback kid given a second shot at stardom. He is thirty-five years old…old enough to have learned from the first time around, but still young enough to be a viable star.
It’s been a long way back up for this ex-underwear model and part time singer, who was formerly box office poison. He appears none the worse for wear -- classically handsome, with that indescribable quality that hits most women right in the pit of the stomach – or thereabouts.
He holds in his hand a tabloid newspaper. He stands there for a minute, his sapphire glare directed at the neighboring trailer. He drags his free hand through his shaggy blonde hair, then heads across the blacktop.
The other trailer is just a tad smaller, a tad less ornate, as befits its occupant’s status as a “newcomer”. Very loud rock music emanates from inside. Shay climbs the stairs and hammers on the door.
Shay: Willa, I need to talk to you.
The door is opened by a man in his mid-twenties, very Hollywood assistant looking, who removes his wire-rimmed glasses and blinks at Shay.
Shay: Where is she, Brad?
Brad: She’s sleeping.
Shay: Right. No human being could sleep through that racket…on the other hand…
He snaps impatiently.
Shay: Well, wake her up. She needs to see this.
He brandishes the tabloid, pushing it close to Brad’s face.
Brad: I’m not supposed to wake her. Something about a late night last night.
Shay: So what else is new?
Brad: Anyway, she’s already seen that thing.
Shay: Seen it? What was her reaction?
Brad (drolly): She was amused.
Shay swears under his breath.
Shay: I guarantee you, if I get my hands on –
A woman’s voice from off camera purrs pure velvet.
Voice: Would you like to finish that sentence? Or maybe we should let our friends at the National Globestar take a crack at it.
The woman moves into the doorway. She is not beautiful in the traditional sense, but exudes an appeal that is hard to define. She is a statuesque stunner, with deep black hair and piercing green eyes. She is almost wearing a shocking pink chemise. She yawns and stretches, leaving little to the imagination. She appears unconscious of the reaction that she elicits, but a look in her eye tells you that she calculates better than Texas Instruments.
This is Willa Brice, the female lead of “Partners”, who, in less than two years, has gone from barely competent barmaid to mega TV star. Her life has been a thirty-year trek to what has been her goal since infancy. She is in the catbird seat.
She lazily looks over at her assistant, running her hand down his arm.
Willa: Brad, be a sweetheart and go get me some fresh squeezed orange juice.
Brad: Just orange juice?
Willa winks at him.
Willa: Nobody said it has to stay JUST orange juice, did they?
As an afterthought, she turns to Shamus.
Willa: Shay, something for you?
Brad is already walking away. Shay’s eyes follow him.
Shay: He’s weird.
Willa: He only has the nicest things to say about you.
Shay: I bet.
Willa drips saccharine.
Willa: We can’t all be lucky enough to get an assistant like that little cupcake of yours. I’m sure she has a lot of hidden talents.
Shay: She’s good at her job. She’s the one who showed me this! Meanwhile, what are we going to do about it?
Willa grabs the tabloid and begins to read, in an exaggerated news reporter’s voice.
Willa: Headline: “Brice and Campbell – More than “Partners”?” Sources on the set of the season’s quirky mega hit, “Partners”, report that its stars, Willa Brice and Shamus Campbell are making sparks fly. Says a source, “They’re always together – in each other’s trailers, huddled together in corners, whispering…looks like something’s going on to me.”
Willa looks up from the paper, directly into Shay’s eyes.
Shay: Don’t be naïve, Willa. I’ve been here before. If they start printing this junk, our lives could turn into a living hell. They’ll be following us everywhere, rooting through our garbage, making up stories – it’s just miserable!
Willa: Publicity – comes with the territory.
Shay: Easy for you to say – you’re out there making your mark as the number one party girl. I’ve been through this before. Crap like this is part of the reason I’ve got an EX-wife. I’ve also got a child to protect! I don’t need this! I prefer my private life to remain private.
Willa: Should have picked a different profession, darlin’.
Shay: Are you speaking from your vast experience with press and publicity? Spare me.
Willa: Tell me then, lover, what would you do? What’s your suggestion?
Shay: We need to find the source of these stories – it has to be coming from somebody inside.
Willa: Considering this is a closed set, that’s a good assumption.
Shay: Shut up! Plenty of people hold grudges. It’s got to be somebody who hates me.
Willa: Guess you’re reconsidering not chipping in with me on the cast and crew Christmas presents, huh?
Shay: You’re not being cute, Willa. Knock it off.
Willa: Oh, I thought I was doing quite well.
She attempts to flirt her way through.
Shay: You’re not that good an actress…I’m telling you – I’m going to get to the bottom of this – with or without you.
Willa: So, what’s your plan?
Shay: Private detectives. I’ve heard of an agency that should be just right. The owner is an ex-model – she should be able to be sympathetic.
Willa: I really think you need to chill out. This is one major overreaction.
She stares at him for a moment, then speaks quietly.
Willa: OK, I’m in. I wouldn’t want to be the cause of any trouble for you.
Shay looks at her carefully, a little distrusting, then speaks quietly.
Shay: That’s really nice, Willa, and kind of unexpected. If you’re sure…I’m going to get Karen involved in this. Have her set up an appointment for us. Thanks for understanding.
He turns to go, and walks but a few feet when she softly calls his name.
He turns to face her.
Willa: How about buying a girl some dinner?
He pauses for a moment, considering the invitation.
Willa: How about Spago? Lots of excitement there. Maybe after we could drop in to Planet Hollywood, rock out, have a few drinks? I’m sure there won’t be any photographers around.
She flashes her trademark Mona Lisa smile. Shay stomps away, muttering to himself.
Shay: Idiot…won’t ever learn, will ya?
Willa laughs loudly, and reenters her trailer, slamming the door behind her, as the music is cranked up even louder, and we fade to…….
Maddie Hayes stands at her office window, staring out into the L.A. afternoon. She is deep in thought…in fact, so deep in thought that she doesn’t notice David Addison’s entrance into her office.
David, as usual, bursts in.
David: Hey Maddie –
He stops in mid sentence, realizing Maddie has not heard him. He sneaks up behind her, and blows on the back of her neck. She starts, and turns around to face him.
Maddie: David! Don’t do that!
David: What, don’t blow on your neck? Never been a complaint before.
Maddie almost automatically gives him “the glare”…then thinks better, smiles, and kisses him lightly.
Maddie: Not now either. You just surprised me.
David: And you don’t like surprises.
Maddie: I like surprises…not necessarily the ones that you sneak up behind me and scare me out of my –
David: Can I finish that sentence?
Maddie: Maybe later.
David: So what are you looking at out there?
Maddie: Nothing, just looking. I can’t seem to get motivated today.
David: So let’s play hooky. Wanna go to the beach?
Maddie: You’re kidding right? David, we have got to get back to normal around here. Do you know how many vacations we’ve taken this season?
David: Damn, knew I was having just too much fun.
Maddie: Seriously David, I just spent four days in New York.
David: Emphasis on the YOU – I was here solving a case.
Maddie continues on, ignoring him.
Maddie: Then YOU, and I and the entire office spent a week on a cruise. David, we’ve got to get back to a routine here. We need a case…a really good case.
David: You’re telling me we’re gonna have trouble making the rent this month? I don’t think so.
Maddie: That’s not what I’m saying. But the less we do, the easier it becomes to accept doing less. Does that make sense?
David: Not to me. Cheer up, maybe Ed McMahon will call.
Maddie: Not likely.
David: You really are in a funk. I think I’ve got something to make you happy. Wait here.
Maddie looks after him, shrugging her shoulders.
Maddie: Where else would I go?
David reenters the room, carrying a large gaily-wrapped package and singing.
David: Happy birthday to you…happy birthday to you…happy birthday dear Goldilocks…happy birthday to you.
Maddie stares at him, shaking her head.
Maddie: Have you lost it? My birthday was three weeks ago.
David: And I didn’t give you your present.
Maddie: You did. You sent me flowers, took me to dinner…you DIDN”T sing. It was a fairly perfect birthday.
David: What’s a birthday without a surprise? With all the hoopla over the wedding and all…anyway… here!
He hands her the package, and stands waiting expectantly.
Maddie smiles at him, and sits down at her desk to open the package. She rips off the paper and ribbon, and using scissors, slits open the top of the box. She looks in, and then looks at David with a strange expression on her face.
David: Maddie, please, it’s prime time.
Maddie: In the box…balls. Lots of balls.
She starts to pull them out and stack them on her desk – striped leatherette beanbags, multicolored hard plastic balls…they roll around as Maddie tries unsuccessfully to keep them on the desktop.
David: There’s more in there.
Maddie reaches back in and pulls out some brightly colored scarves, and a handful of plastic hoops. The last items out of the box are four plastic clubs.
David is grinning up a storm.
Maddie: Am I joining the circus?
David: Don’t you remember, when we were on the cruise, you said you had always wanted to learn to juggle?
Maddie: How many margaritas had I had?
David: Don’t play dumb with me, Blondie. You said it.
Maddie: Maybe I did. But David, I’m forty-
Maddie: Thank you. Forty-one years old. Don’t you think it’s a little silly?
David: Absolutely. Don’t you think it’s about time for a little silly? I’m not suggesting you prepare for a new career. But do something fun…
Maddie: It’s dumb.
David: Possibly…and very uncool. Does that scare you?
He reaches into his pocket, pulls out an envelope, and hands it to her.
David: This is a gift certificate – ten lessons with a juggling club in Van Nuys. Use it or don’t use it…I really don’t care.
Maddie: David, it’s really very sweet…
She is interrupted by a knock on the door. She glances at David before answering.
Maddie: Come in.
Agnes DiPesto Viola flutters through the door, all agog.
Agnes: Wait till you hear…just wait till you hear.
David: Bert finally stop peeling?
Agnes: Better. Guess who is on the phone?
David: The Society for Raining on My Parade?
Agnes: No…it’s Karen Glynn.
David: Who’s Karen Glynn?
Agnes: She’s the executive producer of that new cop show, “Partners”. You know, with that absolute hunk of a guy…mmmmmm.
David: Chill, Agnes, remember you’re a married woman.
Agnes: Yeah, I know. Anyway, she wants to talk to you, Miss Hayes. I think it’s about a case.
Maddie leans over the piles on her desk, and answers the phone
Maddie: This is Maddie Hayes…yes, Ms. Glynn, I know of your show…I see…I understand…we’d need a few more details…of course…tomorrow at 11 would be good…myself and my partner…David Addison…right, we’ll see you then.
Agnes can hardly wait.
Maddie: There are some things going on that she and her actors have concerns about. They’d like to talk to us about them.
Agnes: Ooooh…I bet it has to do with Shay Campbell…he has a scandalous past…the things they say he did back in the seventies…
David: Agnes, if you’re finished drooling –
Agnes: Sorry, Mr. Addison. I’ll block out the time in your appointment book.
Maddie: Thank you Agnes.
She leaves Maddie and David alone.
Maddie: David –
David: So another foray into the entertainment business. I guess we are turning into the detective agency to the stars. So what’s the scoop?
Maddie: Shay Campbell and Willa Brice –
David: Willa Brice? Isn’t she the chick from those Mexican beer commercials? The brunette…the one with the nice maracas?
Maddie: You would notice that. Yes, that’s her. Anyway, they are concerned with the amount of confidential information that is ending up in the newspapers – particularly the tabloids. They want us to find out where the leaks are coming from.
David: For real? For money?
Maddie: Probably for lots of money. Hollywood pockets are notoriously deep…particularly if it will make their stars happy.
David: Well, this ought to take care of your worries about getting back into the old routine, huh?
They stand staring at each other, the uncomfortable silence growing. Finally, Maddie speaks.
Maddie: David, about the present…
He answers her abruptly.
David: Forget it. It wasn’t a good idea. Just toss it.
He heads towards the door.
David: I think I’m gonna head home. I’ve got a headache.
She tries to tease him.
Maddie: That’s a line not heard often around our house. A Jacuzzi might help.
David: Yeah, I might try that. See you later.
He exits. Maddie stares after him for a moment, then at the equipment on her desk, and mutters to herself.
Maddie: You think you’d learn. Maddie Hayes, you are such an idiot.
She starts to gather the equipment, placing it carefully back in the box. She kneels on the ground, chasing several of the balls around the room.
There is a knock on the door.
Maddie sits on the floor, and turns around to face the door.
Maddie: Come in.
Agnes enters, looking at her notepad, and starts to speak while walking across the room.
Agnes: Miss Hayes, Karen Glynn –
She trips over Maddie’s extended leg and almost goes flying.
Agnes: Miss Hayes, what are you doing on the floor? Here let me help you up.
Agnes pulls Maddie to a standing position. She straightens her skirt, and moves to her desk.
Maddie: So what were you saying, Agnes?
Agnes: Karen Glynn called back to tell you that everything is set. She has left your passes at the Pico Boulevard entrance to the studio, and will send somebody to meet you there.
Maddie: Sounds like the security there is pretty tight.
Agnes: Miss Glynn said it is a completely closed set…and you and Mr. Addison are going to get to be there. What an exciting case!
Maddie: Actually we don’t know too much about the case yet.
Agnes: I guess I mean more about the circumstances. – Shay Campbell and Willa Brice – how dreamy! They’re supposed to be deeply in love…or deeply in hate – depending on what week it is.
Maddie answers distractedly.
Maddie: You don’t say?
Agnes prattles on.
Agnes: Yeah, in fact, it is pretty common knowledge. Shay Campbell is notorious for sleeping with his leading ladies. Let’s face it – what lady wouldn’t want to wake up with his face on the pillow next to hers -- he is one sexy hunk! They say Willa never had a chance…being so new to the business and all. He just ate her alive.
Maddie: She doesn’t look like an innocent to me. I think she can probably take care of herself.
Agnes: They say that’s what the problem is now. She’s gotten smarter – she’s using her star power and standing up for herself. They say that’s what’s causing big problems between the two of them.
Maddie: THEY say – who is they? Agnes, you’re not buying into this tabloid gossip and trash TV, are you?
Agnes looks a little embarrassed.
Maddie: THAT’S what this case is about. These two people can’t seem to take a breath without somebody reporting it to the press. It must be a terrible way to live.
Agnes: I guess.
Maddie: Don’t get me wrong, I know you sign on for a certain amount of that kind of thing when you decide to become a public figure. But it must be really horrible to know that these leaks are coming from people around them, people they trust. It must be hard to know that the people you work with are watching every move you make, trying to find out intimate details about you.
Agnes quickly decides to change the subject.
Agnes: Well, I’m sure you and Mr. Addison will do a great job. Miss Hayes, do you mind if I ask you a question?
Maddie: Sure, Agnes.
Agnes gestures to the box on the desk.
Agnes: What is all that stuff?
Maddie: Juggling supplies – my birthday present from Mr. Addison.
Agnes: Is he going to teach you to juggle?
Maddie: I’ll bet you Mr. Addison has juggled plenty in his day, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t juggle in the literal sense.
Agnes: Probably not, or I’m sure we would have seen it.
Maddie: There’s a safe bet. Well, he gave me a gift certificate for ten professional juggling lessons.
Agnes: That’s neat.
Maddie: Is it? Really?
Agnes: I think so. Don’t you? I mean…it is your idea right? Mr. Addison didn’t just pull this out of a hat, did he?
Maddie: That would be a magician, but no. Actually, I’ve always had a weird fascination with juggling. I’ve always thought I’d like to learn.
Agnes: So, it’s a perfect present.
Maddie: That’s what I’m afraid of.
Agnes: Sorry Miss Hayes, you lost me.
Maddie: It means that David took a lot of time and effort with this. It’s not like picking up a bouquet of flowers at the freeway off ramp.
Agnes: It’s what people who love each other do.
Maddie: Well, he definitely surprised me. I guess I still have a little trouble conceding that there’s somebody on earth who knows what I need – maybe even better than I do myself.
Agnes: So you’re going to take the lessons?
Maddie: I don’t know. Do you think I should? I really didn’t act very grateful.
Agnes: You should do it only if you want to.
Maddie ponders for a moment.
Maddie: You know what, Agnes? I think I will. And I’ll bet I’m gonna be the best darned juggler.
Agnes: I think it’s probably more important to have fun with it.
Maddie hardly hears her. She takes out the gift certificate, picks up the phone and dials.
Maddie: Hello, may I speak to Larry London, the Ace of Clubs? It is? Mr. Clubs…I mean Mr. London…OK, Larry. I received a gift certificate for juggling lessons…sorry, yes I am Maddie Hayes…oh, I see…yes, I would agree, juggling lessons are an unusual gift…I wanted to ask when I could start?…Tonight? Sure, I guess that would be fine…8:00 would be fine…I have the address…I’ll see you then.
She looks at Agnes with an apprehensive look on her face.
Maddie: Well, there’s no going back now. One thing, Agnes, not a word of this to Mr. Addison. He’s not the only one who can pull off a surprise.
Agnes: Sure thing, Miss Hayes.
Maddie: Sure hope I’ve got some casual clothes in the closet. Something tells me silk suits and juggling don’t mix.
Agnes: Sure they do. Don’t most of the clowns in the circus wear shiny silk outfits?
Maddie: Go home, Agnes. Maybe that hubby of yours will fix you a nice dinner.
Agnes: He better. Monday is his night to cook. Night, Miss Hayes.
Maddie: Have a good one, Agnes.
Agnes exits, and Maddie picks up the phone again. She dials, and waits for a long moment, obviously listening to an answering machine message. She starts to speak at the cue.
Maddie: Hello, Hayes/Addison residence, it’s me…David, pick up if you’re there.
A long silence.
Maddie: OK, I guess you’re not. Listen, something came up and I won’t be home till late – probably around 10. Hope your headache’s gone – see to that, will ya, fella? Bye.
She hangs up the phone and heads for the coat closet, as we fade to:
Maddie is in the driver’s seat, David in the passenger seat. Following the old tried and true “the driver picks the music” rule, Billie Holiday’s sultry tones echo through the sound system.
Maddie: Is your headache gone?
David knocks on his head.
David: Oops, there it goes again. Wonder why it keeps coming back?
Maddie: Don’t hurt yourself. Did you get a chance to watch “Partners” last night?
David: Yeah…the only other thing on was “China Beach” and outside of that one girl who plays the nurse, that show puts me to sleep.
Maddie: Never liked her. Anyway, I was hoping I’d be home in time to see “Partners”. What did you think?
David: Not a bad show. The plot was a little weak, but it’s pretty clever.
Maddie: Did you get any insight into Campbell and Brice?
David: While they were acting?
Maddie: Well, people keep talking about them and that whole “chemistry” thing.
Maddie: Well, Agnes said…
David: Have you girls been hanging out in the supermarket checkout lines again?
Maddie: Evidently, Agnes is the dean of tabloid gossip…with a PHD in Campbell and Brice. She says the two of them are an item.
David: Lucky, lucky him.
Maddie: Might be…seems that they’re an on again, off again item.
David: Did you see this morning’s Tribune?
Maddie: Not yet.
David: Check out the Lifestyles section.
David reaches into the backseat for the daily newspaper, and turns pages till he finds what he is looking for.
David: You’d better pull over before you look at this.
Maddie steers the car to a spot along the curb, and takes the paper from David.
It is a picture of Campbell and Brice, outside a trailer, obviously in a heated discussion.
Maddie: Holy –
David: Off again? They don’t look much like a happy couple there.
Maddie: Looks can be deceiving. I’m sure you or I could have been convicted of murder, had there been pictures of some of our - shall we say, more contentious moments.
David: Circumstantial evidence…never would have held up. Especially when I showed the pictures of the making up part.
Maddie: I guess we can identify with passionate people.
David: We’ll soon find out. I can see the studio from here. Lights, camera, action.
Maddie and David have been escorted through the lot to the “Partners” set. They approach a woman in a casual pantsuit waiting at the soundstage door.
Maddie: Ms. Glynn?
Karen: Maddie Hayes. Thanks for coming. And this must be Mr. Addison. Please call me Karen.
David: Nice to meet you…I’m David.
Karen: We’re supposed to meet them in Willa’s trailer. Right over here.
As they cross the blacktop, Karen continues to speak.
Karen: We’ll give you all the background in a moment. I just have to tell you that I have never seen anything like the interest the press has shown in this show.
Maddie: It must be very exciting.
Karen: Well, you probably know about the press, Maddie. It starts big and gets enormous.
David: Sounds just like –
Maddie: David! Please go on, Karen.
Karen: The press can be absolutely relentless. This show has become such a phenomenon – the tabloid reporters are offering huge sums of money to anyone who’ll give them inside information.
Maddie: Sure, I understand.
Karen climbs the stairs to Willa’s trailer and knocks on the door. Her assistant, Brad, answers.
Karen: Hi Brad, I’m here with the detectives to meet with Willa and Shay.
Brad is clearly disgruntled. He grunts and responds in a surly tone.
Brad: She’s over THERE…
He jerks his head in the direction of Shay’s trailer.
Karen: Sorry, maybe I got the details wrong. We’ll head over there. Thanks.
Brad: I’d make sure to knock if I were you.
He slams the door behind him. Karen exchanges a glance with Maddie and David.
Karen: Sorry, he’s not usually that antisocial. A strange guy though. Oh well…as I was saying. I’m not sure you’ll ever pinpoint one person who is leaking all this information. But I want you to try. It’s very important to me that I keep my actors happy.
She climbs the stairs, and knocks on the door of the larger trailer. We hear some movement within and a muffled response – “Hold on a minute, will you?”
Karen exchanges an embarrassed glance with Maddie and David as the minutes tick away.
A few moments later, the door is answered by Shay Campbell. He is wearing an unbuttoned shirt and jeans, which appear to have been pulled on in haste. Willa’s voice comes from the background.
Willa: Is that Karen? Come on in.
David, taking in the scene, leans over to Maddie and whispers.
David: They look pretty happy to me.
Maddie gives him a warning glance, and follows Karen past Shay into the trailer. David stands next to Shay and remarks quietly.
David: Hey pal, the hanger’s open and the plane’s about to leave.
Shay looks down, and surreptitiously pulls up his zipper. They proceed inside.
Willa, wearing a silk robe and smoking a cigarette, is stretched out on a black leather recliner. She looks very comfortable -- will require major hair and makeup repair to be ready for the cameras. She smiles apologetically at Karen.
Willa: Sorry Karen, we’re waiting for pages to come down. We got bored.
Karen rolls her eyes and ignores the remark.
Karen: Shay, Willa, these are Maddie Hayes and David Addison.
Willa: Hi …guess I’d better skip all that “I loved you when I was a kid” junk, huh Maddie?”
Maddie: Please do.
Willa turns on the charm.
Willa: And I’m very pleased to meet you, Mr. Addison. Can we get you a beer?
She brandishes a bottle sitting on an end table.
Willa: The company still sends me cases of this stuff.
David: A little early for me, but thanks.
Willa: Funny, I would have killed for free cases of beer a couple of years ago. Now that I can afford all I want ...
David: Maybe I know of a charity that accepts alcoholic beverages. Let me give you my number...
Shay: Everybody have a seat, please. We need to discuss how to solve our problem.
Willa takes a pull from her beer bottle, looks at it distastefully and whines a bit.
Willa: There’s no lime. Where’s Suzanne?
Shay turns and speaks to her, a little sharply.
Shay: For God’s sake, Willa, Suzanne is not here. Can we concentrate on the issue at hand?
Willa’s face falls, but her eyes remain steady with Shay’s.
Willa: She knows I like lime. Is it too much to ask for a lime?
Shay looks at her and grins.
Shay: You are a piece of work, lady. Excuse me folks, while I get the princess a lime.
He walks to the refrigerator, grabs a slice of lime, and hands it to Willa. She turns on the two hundred watt smile.
Willa: Thank you, darlin’.
Shay: Can we get on with this now?
He sits on the arm of the recliner, Willa leaning against him.
Maddie and David are watching this with curious eyes. Shay realizes the appearance and turns to them with an apologetic smile.
Shay: Sorry, we’ve been working long hours. I guess we can get a little short with each other sometimes. Being a couple on a successful TV show is a bit like a marriage, I guess, but a marriage you never chose to enter. I guess it wears on us sometimes.
David: Guess that’s where pictures like the one in the Trib come from, huh?
Shay: The Tribune? Today’s Tribune? Have you got a copy?
David hands the paper to Shay. He takes a glance and wordlessly hands it to Willa.
Willa: That must have been taken yesterday, right outside my trailer.
Shay: And this isn’t one of the rags…this is the Los Angeles Tribune. This is trouble.
Karen: Maddie, David, do you have some suggestions as to how to find out where these leaks are coming from?
Maddie: A few questions? First of all, do either of you know of anybody who might be holding a grudge?
David: An ex-wife, husband, lover?
Shay: I’ve got a few of those, but nobody who I think would do something like this. I am on pretty good terms with all my exes.
Willa: Can’t think of a one.
Maddie: I think maybe some background checks are in order. Karen, can you provide us with information on the cast and crew?
Karen pulls a sheet of paper from the portfolio she carries.
Karen: I anticipated that. This is a list of all the employees of “Partners”, both cast and crew.
David: What other people might have access to the set?
Karen: This is a tightly closed set. While we are in production, the only people here are those involved with the show. The only others would be people with Willa and Shay.
Shay: My seven-year-old daughter, her nanny, my agent and publicist.
Willa: Don’t forget the lady doctor…and the writer…and…
Shay: Pretty snappy response. You can also add her publicist and agent…and of course, the boyfriend of the hour…
Willa: Don’t be a jerk, Shay.
Maddie: And you each have personal assistants?
Karen: They are actually employed by the production company. Their names are on the list.
Maddie: Well, that seems like the best place to start.
Shay: And meanwhile, what do we do?
Maddie: I might suggest avoiding any kind of scene in a public place. In fact, if you really want to squelch this, you might avoid each other, except while you’re working, until we find something.
Willa: I’m not changing my life one iota. Whoever this creep is, they are invading MY privacy. It’s not fair. They have targeted me, because I told them I didn’t think what I had to say was important, and I really didn’t want to talk to the press.
Shay looks at Maddie and David.
Shay: Willa hasn’t had much experience with this kind of terrorism, and how damaging it can be to a career. We’ll do what we can to keep a low profile.
David: I’d also like to put someone from our staff on the set to observe and listen. Think you could find a spot for a four-foot extra?
Maddie: Mr. Addison is exaggerating a bit. Our Mr. Viola will blend in quite well. He IS of shorter stature…maybe you could sit him at a desk?
Karen: We’ll find someplace for him. I’ll feel comfortable having someone here at all times.
Willa: Couldn’t you be the undercover person, David? I know I’d be more comfortable with you here.
David: Mr. Viola’s your man. MY partner and I can do you the most good working the background checks. We’ll have Mr. Viola over here within the hour.
Karen: And when can we expect to know whether anything comes up?
Maddie: You’ll know when we know. It shouldn’t take more than a day or two at the most.
Shay: And Karen can keep you updated if we think of anything else…or spot anything unusual.
David: Sure thing. If there’s nothing further…
Maddie: We’ll be in touch.
There are handshakes all around. Willa flashes her charming smile at David, and her hand lingers a little too long on his arm.
Willa: Thank you, David. I hope I’ll be seeing you soon.
David nimbly extracts his arm, and places it on the small of Maddie’s back, propelling her out of the trailer.
David: Nice to meet you, folks.
The door closes behind them. They stop for a moment and exchange a look.
Maddie: Wow…what was that?
David: Have you got the number to the National Globestar? I’m gonna make me some money. Willa and Shay swap hickeys – the inside story!
Maddie: David, don’t even kid about that.
David: You talk about a love/hate relationship.
Maddie: Looks more like a lust/hate relationship to me.
David: All I can say is, it looked pretty hot.
Maddie: SHE looked pretty hot?
David: Not bad, not bad at all.
Maddie: Looked like if you played your cards right, you could be the stud of the week.
David: No thanks. I’ll keep what’s behind door number one.
Maddie: (teasing) You mean you’re picking me over the hot Hollywood actress with an unlimited supply of Mexican beer?
David: Oh, I forgot about the beer.
Maddie jabs him with her elbow, and he grabs her around the waist and pulls her tight.
David: Tell you what…I’ll give you a fighting chance. Let’s say you audition tonight…meet me at the casting couch at nine.
Maddie: Oh David, I have an appointment tonight.
David: Another one?
Maddie: Another one. And you can put in some extra time on the background checks. Maybe after.
David: Sure. But don’t blame me if I have to fill the role. Time is fleeting…I may not be able to hold your fifteen minutes.
Maddie: If it’s only gonna take fifteen minutes, don’t bother.
David: Your fifteen minutes of FAME, my dear.
Maddie: I’ve had my fifteen minutes. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
David: Well, not according to those two.
Maddie: I wouldn’t trade my life with theirs for a million bucks.
David: Heard she got 5 million for that movie she did last summer. Her first big picture. Set some kind of a new record…had the entire film community in an uproar.
Maddie: Now 5 million…that might be a different story.
She looks at him and laughs.
Maddie: C’mon, let’s get back to the exciting world of background checks.
Arm and arm, they head towards the parking lot.
Wednesday morning 10:00 AM
David and Maddie enter the office to find Agnes and Bert there. Agnes is behind her desk, Bert standing in front. Bert wears a policeman’s uniform. Maddie and David are just in time to hear a sharp retort from Agnes.
Agnes: Stop acting so “A Star is Born”, Bert. This is a plain old case, and you ain’t Judy Garland. I’m tired of listening to you go on and on.
Bert: Hey, stranger things have happened. Take Willa Brice – less than two years ago, she was a barmaid. She wiggles her…
Bert: …unmentionables for the camera, and voila, instant stardom.
Agnes: Yeah, voila – not Viola! Besides, you’re not wiggling any unmentionables, you’re an extra…a non-speaking extra…sitting at a desk on the set. And why? Because you are working on a case!
David butts in.
David: You’re not taking me alive, copper! I can’t make it in the slammer…I need my Corvette and my Jacuzzi! Save me, Maddie!
He ducks behind her.
Agnes looks at him, unamused.
Agnes: Remember, he only plays a cop on TV. A sitting cop with no lines.
Bert: Not true, I pretend to talk into the phone.
Agnes: Excuse me, pretend lines.
David: What’s this kids, trouble in paradise? Is the honeymoon over?
Agnes looks at him quizzically.
Agnes: You were on the honeymoon, Mr. Addison. Of course it’s over.
David makes a face at Maddie, who valiantly takes over.
Maddie: Mr. Addison was speaking figuratively, Agnes. So what are we talking about?
Bert: I was explaining to Agnes all about the excitement of being on a Hollywood set.
Agnes looks at her watch.
Agnes: And he’s been explaining it now for almost four hours straight. Enough already.
Bert: Sweetie, I’m just enjoying my job. And I think I’m really good at it. I’ve been getting some tips from Jergenson and O’Neill.
Maddie: Well, they should know.
David: Bert, what job are you enjoying? You haven’t forgotten you’re just a lower case detective, who’s undercover on a case, right?
Bert: Of course not, Mr. Addison. In fact, I have quite a bit of information to go over with you.
David: And don’t you have to be on the set today?
Bert: Late call. There’s got to be a twelve-hour turnaround, you know. Yesterday, we worked eleven to one, today we work one to three.
David: You’ve really got the lingo down pat, Bert. Before you start charging for your autograph, let’s step into my office. Maddie?
Maddie: Give me just a second. I need to show Agnes something. I’ll be right there.
Bert and David exit into David’s office. Maddie and Agnes share a commiserating look.
Maddie: That’s a shallow and sometimes exasperating subject! Cheer up, this case shouldn’t last too much longer.
Agnes: Hope not. He can just about fit his swollen head through our front door as it is.
Maddie: If he makes it big, you can buy a brand new house with a great big door.
Agnes does not see the humor.
Maddie: OK, sorry, I was only teasing. Meanwhile, I wanted to check with you. How are we doing with the RSVPs on Mr. Addison’s birthday party?
Agnes: They’re rolling right in. Haven’t had a single regret.
Maddie: Good. I completed all the arrangements last night. Met with the DJ, the caterer, the manager of the bowling alley.
Agnes: This will be fun…yes?
Maddie: I think this will be lots of fun for David. I don’t think he’s had a birthday party since he was a kid. Remember, this is a total surprise.
Agnes: Not a peep from me. And I have threatened Bert with something so hideous, he will never flap open that trap of his.
Maddie: I shudder to think…OK, thanks. I’d better get in there, and see what the Hardy Boys are doing.
Maddie walks into David’s office. Bert’s back is to the door, and he does not hear her enter.
Bert: This extra that sits at the desk right next to me…she’s got the most beautiful set of –
Maddie: Set of what, Mr. Viola?
Bert stammers a bit.
Bert: Set of guns, Miss Hayes. Just beautiful…look like real police issue. The props on this show are so realistic.
Maddie: For shame, Mr. Viola. Your bride of less than a month is sitting outside, and you’re in here, salivating over another woman’s…equipment.
David: Married ain’t dead, Maddie.
Maddie: Herbert is going to be dead if Agnes hears about any of this. Meanwhile, can we get down to real business? Anything unusual on the set yesterday?
Bert: I don’t know if it’s unusual, but it certainly was exciting. There was a huge blow-up at about 11 last night.
Maddie: What happened?
Bert: There was a difference of opinion between Willa and Shay as to how a scene was to be played. It happened right next to my desk. I was right there.
David: Bert, put it in your memoirs. Get to it.
Bert: New pages came down, and they started to walk through them. Shay went ballistic…said the writing was crap, and that his character would never act that way. He and Willa started screaming at each other and he stomped off. There’s a punching bag right off that set – he was waling on it so hard, I thought it was gonna sail clear across the room.
Maddie: And Willa?
Bert: As soon as he walked off, she acted like it had never happened – joking and playing around with the crew. I guess somebody had called for Karen Glynn. It took her about an hour to get there. Meanwhile, we were just all sitting around. When she finally arrived, both Shay and Willa started in on her right away. It turned into a huge argument, all three of them screaming…and all this right in front of the whole cast and crew.
David: This oughta make it MUCH easier to find out who the big leak is. Only about a hundred witnesses.
Bert: There’s more. Karen finally told Shay that she didn’t care what he thought, it was her show and he would act it the way it was written. He looked murderous, and just stalked away silently. Then all at once, he picked up a chair, and threw it against the wall. Now, I can’t say he threw it at Karen, but it was definitely in her vicinity. Then he went into his trailer, and slammed the door.
Maddie: And what happened then?
Bert: Not much else. It was almost quitting time anyway, so they decided to send everybody home. Willa went off with some guy in a Jag. I hung around for a while, but Shay never came out of his trailer. The only other people who were there when I left were Shay, his assistant, and that Brad guy, Willa’s assistant.
Maddie: This is rather disappointing. Now there are too many possibilities. How are we ever going to find out who is leaking this information?
There is a knock on the door. Agnes sticks her head in.
Agnes: I was down in the lobby getting some gum. I think I have something you guys might want to see.
She holds out the latest edition of the National Globestar.
David: Ah…my favorite reading material. I can’t wait to see what two-headed baby signed a picture deal this week.
Maddie: I’ll take that, Agnes.
Maddie starts to peruse the front page.
Maddie: Wow…oh my…
She rustles through the pages, trying to find the one she wants.
Maddie: Listen to this –“Life was not always caviar and Mexican beer for Willa Brice, the star of this season’s top ten TV show, “Partners”. An unidentified source has given us some insight into the scandalous life of this sexy beauty.”
David: An unidentified source…amazing how that guy gets around.
Maddie: Listen! I’m quoting here, “Willa was always a popular girl…mainly because she was pretty wild…she hung out with the risk takers and the drama queens. And she was into drugs…you know she was arrested for possession when she was nineteen. Check the records in her hometown…it’s right there in black and white. Little Miss Movie Star is certainly not as innocent as she would lead you to believe.”
Agnes: Poor Willa.
Maddie: There’s more. “When contacted, the police department verified that Willa Brice had a drug arrest on the books in her hometown, as well as one for indecent exposure. They would not provide any further information. Calls to her high school went unanswered. Miss Brice’s agent had no comment.”
David: How ridiculous…she was a kid of the seventies. Tell me who didn’t smoke a little wacky weed, party a little too much. So she got caught…big deal.
Maddie: It becomes a big deal when these sleazy rags make it a big deal.
Bert: Wow…I bet our set will be in an uproar.
Maddie and David both look at Bert with amazement.
Maddie: Bert…are you SURE you are not getting too carried away? Remember, you’ve got a job to do here.
Bert: I’ve got it, Miss Hayes. Any special instructions?
David: Yeah…make sure you are investigating, Investigator Viola. And call us if anything seems like it is about to explode.
Maddie: The set will be a very tense place today. Pay attention to anyone who is looking unusually calm…or unusually agitated.
Bert: Got it. I need to get going. Just enough time to make my call. I’ll stay in touch.
David: See ya, Edward G.
David looks at Maddie and laughs.
David: Something tells me we’re gonna have to drag him kicking and screaming back to the
reality of TV detecting.
Maddie: Who’s keeping this story line straight? A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Maddie: Forget it. Meanwhile, I bet Bert’s applying for his Actor’s Equity card. Don’t worry, Agnes will drag him back – behind a truck if necessary.
David: No doubt about it. Meanwhile, PARTNER, what’s our next move here?
The intercom interrupts.
David: Saved by the buzz!
Maddie hits the speakerphone.
Maddie: Yes, Miss DiPesto?
Agnes: It’s Karen Glynn on the phone.
Maddie: I’ll get it. Thanks.
She pushes a different button.
Maddie: Miss Glynn? Karen?
Karen: Hello, Maddie.
Maddie: David and I are both here.
Karen: Have you seen The National Globestar’s latest offering?
Maddie: I’ve got it right in my hand.
Karen: Willa is a basket case.
Maddie: Understandably so.
Karen: I’ve convinced her to stay home for the afternoon, but I have to have her later for some critical scenes. I wish it wasn’t necessary, but we’re running way behind on this one.
David: Well, you can keep her away for a little while, at least. Make the others less crazy.
Karen: Have you got a plan? Are you coming over here?
David and Maddie share a glance.
Maddie: We’ve just spent some time working with our Mr. Viola. He knows what to do and what to look for. I think the way to approach today is to keep the set as normal as possible – completely closed, with no unusual visitors. People may be more at ease…that’s what Mr. Viola will be looking for – just a word here…an expression there. Hopefully, he can pick up some clues as to where this is all coming from.
David: Meanwhile, we’ll keep going with the background checks…give you a ring if we come up with any bad guys.
Karen: I guess that sounds like a good plan. God, this set is as tense as it’s gonna get on a normal basis without this. I guess your Mr. Viola told you about last night’s shout fest?
Maddie: He reviewed it with us. We’ll keep it in mind while we’re doing our investigation.
Karen: All right. Listen, I’ve got to go. I want to be on the set all day today.
Maddie: Good idea. And please call us if you have any concerns. We will be in touch with Mr. Viola periodically as well.
Karen: Thanks. Talk to you later.
David addresses Maddie.
David: Boy, you think you used to have employee problems.
Maddie: Outside of the tabloids, we’ve probably shared all the major themes here.
David walks behind her desk and starts to massage her shoulders.
David: Let’s talk about the one where being of sound mind and body, free and over 21, employees who desperately want to sleep together.
He starts kissing her neck. Maddie is still lost in thought.
Maddie: That’s really all it is between them, isn’t it?
David’s voice is muffled.
David: What do you mean?
Maddie: Willa and Shay. They’re not in love.
David stops and looks at her.
David: I don’t think so. But they’re having a great time. Enjoying each other’s company, so to speak.
Maddie: No commitments, no long term plans…living for the moment. Giving in to their passion without reservations.
David: They don’t need reservations – they’ve got those trailers.
He stops kidding.
David: Works for some people. Hell, works for most people sometime in their lives.
Maddie: Do you think either of them have anything to do with the tabloid stories?
David: No. Do I think they’re above it to further their own careers…again no. But it doesn’t make sense. They’re both at the top of their game. Why drag each other down?
Maddie: It would be self-destructive, wouldn’t it?
David: Never try to dissect the egos of two Hollywood superstars. But in this case, I think we’re gonna find out the butler did it.
Maddie: The butler?
David: Meaning an obvious choice.
Maddie: So, the background checks become even more important.
David: We hope. Speaking of hope, what do you think the chances are of us sneaking out of here a little early tonight? A nice dinner, an evening of “enjoying each other’s company”?
Maddie: Sorry, I’ve got an appointment tonight.
David: Three nights in a row? You’re not having an affair on me, are you, Miss Hayes?
Maddie: Yeah, right. I’m one of those real spontaneous, have an affair kind of women.
David: Point taken. Well, it’s getting to be a habit not having you at dinner. They’re going to give me a frequent buyer’s card at Pink’s.
Maddie: You’re suggesting I am home at dinnertime to make you dinner?
David: Hell no, I’m suggesting YOU pick up the hot dogs.
He gives her his killer grin.
David: It’s not the same when you’re not there…picking the tomatoes off, haranguing my choice of the Guadalajara dog.
Maddie: Well, as long as the romance isn’t dead…buck up, soldier, I’m sure you can make it on your own. I’ll be home around 10.
David: I’ll be there. You remember where the bedroom is, right?
Maddie: I can find it with my eyes closed. Now, let’s get back to these background checks.
About 10 P.M.
Maddie creeps through the darkened bedroom, towards the bathroom. She passes by a lump of David, sprawled across the bed. She almost makes it to the door when she hears his sleepy voice.
David: Maddie? That you?
Maddie: No, it’s a very friendly burglar. Don’t get up…I’ll be there in a second.
David yawns loudly.
Maddie turns on the light in the bathroom, and gasps as she sees her reflection. She definitely has the beginnings of a black eye. She touches the purplish coloration, and winces.
David: Did you say something?
Maddie: No. How come you’re in bed already, anyway?
David: Told you this was where I’d meet you.
Maddie: That you did.
She opens the medicine cabinet, and rustles through. She takes out a jar of concealer, opens and looks, and quickly dismisses it. She addresses her reflection.
Maddie: The best juggler, ha! Should have learned to duck.
Laughing, she turns off the bathroom light, and walks through the moonlight to the bed. She gets in, pulling herself against David’s back. They stay that way for a moment, then David turns and pulls her into his arms.
David: Something funny?
Maddie: More than you know.
David: Wanna share the joke?
Maddie: It’ll keep. Hear anything from Bert?
David: Not since around seven. The mini-cop has been blessedly silent.
Maddie: This meeting was your idea. Got an agenda?
David: Sorta. You taking the minutes?
Maddie: I was kind of hoping for hours.
David: My kind of meeting.
The camera pulls away and conversation gives way to the rustling of the sheets.
Act IV: The Hayes/Addison Bedroom
About 3 AM
The jarring ring of the phone cuts through the night. David starts to mutter.
David: No school today, Mom. It’s Saturday.
Maddie pushes him.
Maddie: David, the phone.
He hauls himself up in the bed, testing the staying power of the sheet. He reaches for the phone.
David: This better be good.
David: Yeah, Bert. Important? Sure…I know, you’re nominated for an Emmy.
David listens carefully, then answers sleepily.
David: Yeah…ok, I got it. We’ll be there as soon as we can. Right…see ya.
He turns towards Maddie, whose face is buried in her pillow.
David: Up and at ‘em, Hayes. This case just moved into the big leagues.
Maddie: Didn’t we just get to sleep? What can’t wait till the morning?
David walks into the bathroom.
David: Well, maybe it can. The stiff will just get stiffer.
Maddie sits up in bed.
Maddie: The stiff? A body?
David: Murder on the set. They found Shay’s personal assistant strangled and shoved in a broom closet.
Maddie: Oh my God.
She rises from the bed and starts to gather her clothes. She and David pass, not really looking at each other. She enters the bathroom and looks in the mirror. Her eye has blossomed in all its green and purple glory. She weighs her options, and probably for the first time in her life, decides to forgo the makeup.
David calls in from the bedroom.
David: I’m heading down. You almost ready?
Maddie: In a minute.
She takes one more look, shakes her head, and splashes some water on her face. She then moves to the bedroom to dress.
Five minutes later.
Maddie starts down the stairs. David hears her and asks.
David: Wanna take my car?
He looks up, and gets an eyeful of Maddie’s eye.
David: What the hell happened to you?
Maddie answers his original question.
Maddie: We are not taking your car anywhere in the middle of the night. I don’t relish breaking down in Hollywood in the dark.
David: Maddie, what happened? Were you mugged? Did somebody hit you? Why didn’t you tell me this last night?
Maddie: I was busy with other things last night.
She smiles at him.
Maddie: It’s fine. Don’t get all crazy about it. C’mon, I’ll tell you in the car.
They walk out the door and towards the Lexus. David is still concerned.
Maddie: I’ll drive.
David: Drive? Can you see?
Maddie: Maybe you’d better drive.
David: I think. Boy Maddie, that is really one ugly…
She hands him the keys.
Maddie: Get in and drive.
They pull away.
David: So what’s with the eye?
Maddie: It’s really your fault.
David: My fault?
Maddie: Your fault. All part of the fabulous David Addison philosophy of fun.
David: Juggling? Thought you decided con on that.
Maddie: Decided pro. Not too sure about the wisdom of the decision.
David: What happened?
Maddie: I’ve been taking these juggling lessons every night this week.
Maddie: I wanted it to be a surprise. Thought I would dazzle you with my skill.
Maddie: I am one miserable juggler. I tossed the ball up into the air. It came down and caught me in the eye.
David: Shoulda ducked.
Maddie: Mediocre minds…that’s what I said.
David: So do you like juggling?
Maddie: I laugh all the time. Mostly at myself.
David: Money well spent, I would say.
Maddie: Don’t be so cocky. Don’t think you know me so well.
David: OK…I don’t know you at all.
They ride in silence for a moment.
She leans over and kisses him on the cheek.
Maddie: Thank you.
David: You’re welcome.
They continue on to the studio.
At the Studio
Ten minutes later
The car pulls up at a guard shack. There appears to be a lot of activity on the lot for four AM. A guard approaches the car.
Guard: Sorry, folks. No admittance. We’ve got a situation here.
Maddie: We know. We’re private detectives working for Karen Glynn. You’ll find our names on the list – Hayes and Addison.
The guard studies the list.
Guard: Well, you’re on here, but I don’t know if I can let you on. The situation is pretty serious.
David does his Dragnet imitation.
David: Murder is serious business, but we have lots of experience.
Guard: Murder is one thing, but now we have a hostage situation.
Maddie: A hostage situation?
David: That’s my specialty.
The guard hesitates for a moment.
Guard: OK…but don’t make me regret this. Stay out of the way, especially of the police.
David: You’ve got my word.
Guard: Park over there. You’ll have to walk on.
David and Maddie leave the car and walk quickly towards the “Partners” set.
David: Remind me to have a conversation with Karen Glynn. That guy never should have let us on this lot.
Maddie: I wonder why he did.
David: It’s in the script. Wouldn’t have much of a fourth act without us. C’mon.
Maddie starts off, as David lags a bit behind.
David: Miss Hayes, think you might wanna put on some dark glasses?
Maddie: It’s 4 AM.
David: And you look like you just went ten rounds with Joe Lewis.
Maddie whips out her sunglasses, and puts them on.
Maddie: Now I look like I need a seeing-eye dog.
He grabs her arm and pulls her along, starting to sing
David: “The sun’ll come up, tomorrow…bet your bottom dollar –
Maddie: Put a lid on it, Annie.
They both start a bit at the familiar name, then Maddie smiles.
Maddie: Knew I hated that little brat!
David smiles back.
David: C’mon, we’re missing the main event.
They see police barricades around Willa Brice’s trailer. Cast and crew members are clustered at the outer edge. Bert Viola spots David and Maddie and rushes over to them.
Bert: Can you believe this? It’s like a movie.
David: Bert, aren’t you supposed to be undercover?
Bert: No need, the case is solved.
David: Good job, Bert. OK, Maddie, pack it up. Let’s go home.
Maddie ignores him.
Maddie: Solved? What did you do, Mr. Viola?
Bert: I didn’t do anything. The guy confessed.
David: Don’t tell her that…she won’t want to take the money!
Maddie: Quiet, David. Bert, what is going on here?
Bert: That guy, Brad. He killed Suzanne and has taken Willa hostage.
Maddie: And he confessed?
Bert: Yeah…I think he’s flipped his lid. He keeps yelling things out the window…telling everybody to go away and let he and Willa leave peacefully.
Karen Glynn and Shay Campbell approach them.
Karen: This is terrible. He’s crazy. We always knew he was a little combustible, but Willa had such loyalty to him. They’ve known each other since high school.
David: Viola here says he confessed to the murder?
Shay: He says he killed Suzanne because she was the one selling the info to the tabloids. She did it for the money…and because she was a little unhappy about the…um…relationship between Willa and I.
Maddie: And how did Suzanne get the information she sold to the tabloids?
Shay: Most of it was stuff that anybody on the set with a keen eye and a small vendetta could have picked up. But the stuff about Willa and high school…that proved to Brad that it was Suzanne.
David: How so?
Shay: Evidently, the three of them got involved in a boozy late night poker game a few weeks ago. Willa started trading confidences…told some stories about her youth. That was the information that was in yesterday’s National Globestar.
Maddie: And Suzanne is the logical choice for the leak.
Karen: That’s what Brad deduced, at any rate.
David: What have the police got planned? And who are the police?
Karen: It is a little confusing…between the real police and all these costumed extras. Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be a clear plan except to wait him out.
Maddie: Is that smart?
Karen: Oh, I don’t think he’d hurt Willa. He loves her.
Maddie: David, something’s happening!
The trailer door swings open, and Brad comes onto the top step, holding Willa in front of him as a shield. He dangles a gun in his right hand, down by his side. Willa appears terrified.
Brad: Go away. Just go away and leave us alone.
A muffled voice comes over a megaphone.
Voice: This is the police. Just let her go. Let her walk away and we’ll talk.
Brad: NO…she needs me. This town – it’s ripping her apart. We need to get out of here. She’s going with me…one way or another.
David: That’s it. Somebody needs to do something.
Maddie: Something stupid? David, you stay right here and let the police do their job.
David: Can’t do that, Maddie.
Karen: The police won’t let you through.
David: Oh won’t they? C’mon Sergeant Viola, you’re coming with me.
David and Bert walk away….Maddie in close pursuit.
David: Maddie, go back.
Maddie: Not a chance, partner.
David: No time to argue…just stay down.
Bert leads them through the police barricades and around to the back of the trailer.
They crouch down as David looks around.
Maddie: What are you doing?
David: Looking for a little inspiration.
They creep on hands and knees, around to the side of the trailer, and hide behind a rather large trash barrel.
David looks inside the barrel.
David: Blessed are those who don’t recycle. And God bless Mexican beer.
He takes several empty beer bottles out of the barrel.
Maddie: And what are you going to do with those?
David: See if I can pick this guy off.
Maddie: And what if you miss?
David: I won’t miss. Given your expertise, would you like to cast the first bottle?
Maddie: No…are you sure you can do this?
David: Hidden talents…now, sssh.
He creeps to the corner of the trailer and peeks. He is about eight feet away from Brad.
David watches carefully. A movement on the left causes Brad to turn his head in that direction. David hurls the beer bottle, which makes contact with the back of Brad’s head with a loud thump.
Brad crumples to the ground, dropping the gun, as Willa screams loudly. Police rush the trailer, grabbing Brad, and pulling Willa to safety.
David looks at Maddie and Bert, brushing his hands against each other.
David: And that is that.
Bert: Wow, Mr. Addison.
Maddie: Yeah, wow. Here comes L.A.’s finest. Hope you’ve got a good explanation for them.
David: Hey, I did their job. Maybe they’ll give me a medal.
Maddie: More likely a citation for interfering with police business.
David is accosted by an angry policeman.
Policemen: Hey buddy, we need to talk to you.
Maddie watches as David and Bert are hauled away.
David: Maddie, help!
Maddie shrugs her shoulders and grins.
Maddie: Catch you later.
Shay Campbell’s Trailer
Two Hours later
Willa sits in the black recliner, a drink in her still shaking hand. Shay stands close, massaging her shoulders and occasionally whispering words of encouragement.
Karen, Maddie and David are clustered on the other side of the room. Willa looks over, and speaks in a shaky voice.
Willa: What will happen to him?
Maddie: I’m sure they will get him the help he needs.
Willa: I feel so responsible. I brought him here. I never realized he had become so obsessed with me.
Shay: Don’t worry about that…we need to worry about you now.
Willa: David, thank you. I don’t think I said that.
Maddie: Don’t worry, Willa, the police thanked Mr. Addison enough.
David: Thank the beer company…no, really, we tossed beer bottles at targets all the time when we were kids. Whoever knew that skill would come in handy?
Karen: I need to say thank you too.
Maddie: But we didn’t solve your case.
Karen: Maybe not. But if you hadn’t been here, who knows what might have happened. That’s good enough for me.
David: See, Maddie? So we should send the bill?
Karen: Send the bill. And who knows, maybe this will teach people a lesson. Maybe the tabloids will back off a little, knowing how people can be hurt.
David: I doubt that. In fact, they will probably live off of this for weeks.
Willa jerks out of the chair, spilling her drink.
Willa: I will tell you one thing. I will never speak to another reporter again – as long as I live. No interviews, no pictures, no nothing! No matter what happens, in my career, in my life, I will never need them. Never.
David and Maddie exchange a knowing glance, as Karen and Shay move to comfort Willa.
The Hayes/Addison Bedroom
A week later
David and Maddie enter through the door. They appear to be quite happy.
David: Madolyn Hayes, you are one amazing woman.
Maddie: Thank you sir. I am astounded that I actually managed to surprise you.
David: Tons of surprises.
Maddie: Well, I’m glad you liked it. Happy birthday.
She walks over and kisses him lightly before walking into the bathroom.
David: First surprise. My birthday isn’t for three weeks.
Maddie: An unbirthday. It’s better.
David: Everything was great – the bowling alley, the DJ, the hot dog cart. My kind of party. Who’d a thunk it?
Maddie sticks her head out of the bathroom door.
Maddie: Are you saying that I know you well? That I know what you want?
David: Touché. Are you almost ready?
Maddie exits the bathroom, wearing a beautiful blue silk nightgown.
Maddie: Ready for what?
David: To give me my present.
Maddie: Know what you want?
David: Sure do.
He walks over to her, hands behind his back. He pulls them forward to reveal three juggling balls.
David: I want to see you juggle.
Maddie: You’re kidding?
David: Never more serious in my life.
Maddie hesitates for a moment, then smiles.
Maddie: You asked for it.
The camera pulls away….focusing only on the shadows on the wall.
Maddie: Just let me get started. Ok, watch this.
David: Hey…good job…my little circus clown.
Maddie: David…don’t come over here. Watch out, I told you I’m not too good at this. David – don’t –
We hear a loud thump.
A few moments silence, then……..
Maddie: Boy, that’s really going to be black and blue.
Disclaimer: The story you have read is basically untrue. The names have not been changed to protect the innocent…but mostly to protect the author. Any resemblance to persons living or dead, or events that have actually taken place is mostly intentional. Parody may not function properly when used in conjunction with incompatible sense of humor. Take this in the spirit in which it is intended – all for fun!
My thanks go to my regular cast of supporting characters:
Lizzie, who is there on a second’s notice to help and to guide…and is a much better collaborator and friend than she thinks she is… (see, three dots!)
Sue, Hazel, Cindy…who helped with some of the research, and reminded me that life is to be viewed with a big ol’ sense of humor.
The readers…if you’ve been so kind to drop a line or make a comment, know that it makes my day…and gives me the motivation to keep on doing what I do. It’s a wonderful job!
And to the creator and cast of Moonlighting…I spoof most gently, but appreciate wholeheartedly.
You continue to inspire…fourteen years later. You have my most sincere appreciation.