Transcript for Episode 37: King Nero and the Great George Wombwell

COLD OPEN

INTERVIEW 1

We moved my parents out of my home, my childhood home, because it was so dilapidated that it just wasn’t safe for them to live there anymore. That was gone, and that home meant a lot to me, and created who I am today. And I just went back recently, and the house was torn down, which I knew, but it had turned into a lot filled with trees and bushes and hedges, and it became almost like a jungle or a park. And we just happened to go by when they were tearing down all the trees.

[Charlie on the MTA plays.]

CHUCK

Ohhh.

INTERVIEW 1

So now it’s just a big empty lot. A guy’s gonna build there. I think he’s probably a speculator. That he’s gonna build and sell. And I always thought maybe I could make it back, maybe I could make it into a park dedicated to my parents. But now its…it’s done.

PREVIOUSLY IN

MARIO DA ROSA JR

Previously, in Greater Boston:

PHIL

Can I just go to jail now?

GEMMA
Take him away, boys!

VINCENZO

Mr. Chelmsworth?

CHELMSWORTH
Professor. I’ll just leave the train.

VINCENZO

For me?

NICA

The city’s raising your rent. They’re trying to price you out so they can install some Legion subsidiary chains.

GEMMA
You and Isabelle and the others need to meet and talk and hammer out a good system that represents everyone.

EMILY
It’s finally date night my love. Your mayor awaits!

ETHAN

Shall we?

 

S3 TITLE SEQUENCE

Multiple Voices

Fields Corner
Hyde Park

Want it in character voice or real voice?
East Boston
Alright
Malden
Red Line
Dorchester
Salem
Somerville
West Roxbury
Hanson
Worcester
Malden
This..

Somerville

Revere
…is
Uhh…I’ve lived in Leominster my whole life
Brighton
Uhh…I live in Milton, Massachusetts
Roslindale
(That’s where I’m from)

East Boston
I’m from Dorchester
This is…

South Boston
This is…
In Brockton

Medford, Massachusetts

[Laughter]
Red Line

Dorchester

This is…

This is…

This is…

Greater Boston

 

THIS WEEK

JEFF VAN DREASON

This week: Episode 37: King Nero and the Great George Wombwell.

[Music fades out]

 

STOP-WATCH

[Train sounds. Rattling dishes. Breaking glass. Cutting of food.]

LEON STAMATIS — Braden Lamb

Emily was displeased. Her date with Ethan had been ruined by the constant starting and stopping of the train their restaurant was on, stalled endlessly by the exodus.

EMILY BESPIN — Sam Musher

Waiter, this is ridiculous. How do you expect us to eat when your restaurant insists on lurching about like some drunken Irish day laborer? I’ve attempted four bites of this Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chop and have accomplished nothing other than nearly shoving it up my nose!

WAITER – Ebi Poweigha

I — uhh I apologize, ma’am.

EMILY

Go see what the trouble is and if there’s anything in front of us, clear it out of the way.

WAITER

Uhh — you mean, like — on the tracks?

ETHAN

Fast as the rabbit on my plate, you are.

WAITER

I’m just a waiter.

EMILY

And I’m “just” your mayor. And this is just your job, which you’re just about to lose. And this is just your tip. Which is about to just go back into my pocket.

WAITER

I’ll…see what I can do. (Walks away mumbling).

LEON

The train ride didn’t get better. And neither did dinner. When Emily discovered that the cause of the delays were all the people she hoped to kick out of their rail homes leaving Red Line en masse, she was furious.

EMILY

Nica! What’s happening, why are they’re leaving!

NICA STAMATIS — Kelly McCabe

Umm. Because you kicked them out?

EMILY

But they’re not supposed to leave until I have the honor of dragging their soiled dungarees across the filthy station floors and ejecting them into the blisteringly cold night with my own two hands!

NICA

I guess they didn’t want to wait for that…

LEON

And when Ethan found out that the members of the exodus were finding refuge in Wonderland, he was furious too.

ETHAN

A colony of thieves will soon find themselves stolen from safety and comfort! I will rob them of the very security they feel stepping on the ground in front of them, I swear it!

LEON

Emily was concerned with Ethan’s preoccupation with Wonderland and his reluctance to let it go.

EMILY

We don’t even own that anymore, sugar pie honey bunch.

LEON

But Ethan was inconsolable. And when he found out Oliver had allowed Dipshit — ehh, excuse me, Freed Friend, to escape? Well. That was that. He locked himself in his lab and continued his experiments with the crystal ball, using one of his robotic creations as a substitute for the departed Freed Friend. He didn’t speak to anyone. Not even Emily.

EMILY

That useless windbag Oliver. He is through!

LEON

Emily focused her anger on Oliver, talking to representatives of Legion directly, making sure to cut him out of the loop. And then, when the day her eviction proclamation came, she cheered herself up by taking a tour of the few homes still belonging to evictees who had not yet joined the exodus.

[Sound of furniture being dragged out, smashed, destroyed]

RESIDENT — Vilte Baliutaviciute

Please. We have nowhere to go.

EMILY

Oh, I’m so sorry about this. If only you weren’t a filthy little mutinous traitor, you’d still be lucky enough to have the honor of being our neighbor.

RESIDENT 2 — Ryan Estrada

Come on, honey. Time to do what we shoulda done three days ago and head to Wonderland.

EMILY

TELL THEM NOT TO GET TOO COMFORTABLE! THEY CAN’T RUN FROM ME! I’LL EVICT THEM FROM THERE TOO! I’LL BUY IT BACK AND BURN IT TO THE GROUND!

LEON

But buying it back would be…challenging.

EMILY

Of course. Of course he is.

[Robot theme.]

LEON

Emily went to go break the bad news to Ethan. But Ethan still did not answer her. He was close. Close to unlocking something that would make his robots a million times more efficient. He was close to something…ehh…something…revolutionary…ahh!

[Electrical noises, shocking sounds. Overlapping monologues from Leon, all focused on time and efficiency.]

ETHAN

The arithmetic repeats! They share the same code throughout the entire system, and if they’re programmed with the right mixture of memories from Stamatis…

That’s it. They’re so perfectly efficient! They’ll never be late, now! The trains will run like a stopwatch. My beautiful creations, so obsessed with punctuality. When those Legion robber barons get a load of this, they’ll hand me Wonderland back on a platter.

LEON

I — uhh — I can’t — I can’t think straight. It’s as if…I…I need to rest. I need to rest. I need…sleep.

[Static and robot sounds fade out.]

 

FREE, FALL, & FUN

[A buzzing noise. Footsteps on cement. Cell doors opening and closing. Clanking. Muffled train noise.]

PHIL

Hey, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

Phillip. How did we end up here?

PHIL

Well, to be honest, I was getting really bored of just sitting in the house and —

OLIVER (overlapping)

I didn’t mean —

PHIL (overlapping)

—I figured it was time for me to get outside. I mean, what was I going to be stuck forever?

OLIVER (overlapping)

— I wasn’t asking a literal question, only —

PHIL (overlapping)

And yeah, obviously it was a stupid idea, but I thought it would be fun to mess with —

OLIVER (overlapping)

— A hypothetical one, or a metaphorical one, or — oh, fun? Is that what you were after?

PHIL (overlapping)

— Louisa again, distract her with little clues, send her running in circles. Yeah, fun! What’s the point of doing all this if we don’t have any fun, right?

OLIVER

It was never about having fun. I can’t even fathom what would cause you to come to such a higgledy piggledy conclusion.

[Go Tell it on the Molehill plays]

PHIL

What’s the point of it all, then? What’s the point of it all if it isn’t fun?

OLIVER

I know this might be difficult for you to believe, but there are important things going on in the world that are completely divorced from the concept of “fun.”

PHIL

Is that what we were doing? Important things?

OLIVER

Yes! We were doing work. Very important work. And your preoccupation with amusement has put that work in quite a pickle.

PHIL

Didn’t you refer to what you were doing as something of a game? You said that to me like, twenty times, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

Does one play a game solely for fun?

PHIL

Uh, yes? At least I thought so…

OLIVER

No, there’s the nature of competition involved. The mental exercise of careful strategy. The thrill of impending victory. The status that victory enhances. The rush a player gets when a new move presents itself. Possibly a winning move. Which is where we find ourselves now.

PHIL

I’m excited to hear about it, but can you tell me when I’m going to be getting out of here first?

OLIVER

It’s funny you should mention that. This little move of mine is related to your imprisonment.

PHIL

Isn’t Emily mayor now? Can’t she like pardon me or some shit?

OLIVER

Well, a slight wrinkle there. I’m on the outs with Emily at the moment.

PHIL

The outs? You got her elected, pumped your own money into her crap speeches. How can you be on the outs?

OLIVER

It’s…complicated, but such is the nature of this little dance.  You ask to lead, and then some rude so-and-sos cut in. Coupled with that complication? Emily wants a fall guy for the Lottery. And since so much of the evidence points directly at you, she presently has one. A legitimate one. Not simply a fall guy, but a goddamned olympic level sky-diver. But.

PHIL

But.

OLIVER

We have something they need. Wonderland.

PHIL

Why do they need an old theme park?

OLIVER

Emily’s thesaurus-tongued husband is obsessed with it. And it’s currently being used to house all the unwanted refuse they have cast out of Red Line. The property once belonged to me. But now that I’m technically deceased…

PHIL

Did you leave it to Aunt Autumn? Or Ada? Man, I bet it was Ada. How cool would it be for a kid to find out he inherited a theme park? Lucky little shit.

OLIVER

I left it to you, Phillip.

PHIL

M…me? Why me?

OLIVER

I believe at the time I made the decision …it was due to your preoccupation with the concept of fun. That and …when you asked before. About the work we’re doing. And why we’re doing it. To me, so much of it is so that we don’t end up…on the bottom rung of a ladder. Digging into the dirt to keep the rungs above us steady. But I never wanted this life for you. I mean here you are, rotting in a cell.

PHIL

Eh, it’s not that bad, I’m hardly rotting.

OLIVER

Nevertheless, I didn’t want this for you. And neither did your father. You’d undoubtedly fail at running an amusement park. But you’d give it a good go. And it would be legitimate. But. I am going to contact Emily and promise her you’ll sell it to them, in exchange for a deal. A pardon. And being cut back into their plans.

PHIL

What about all that talk about becoming legitimate?

OLIVER

Yes, well, part of the deal will be securing you a job of some kind. A real one. In Red Line.

PHIL

Pffft. That sounds boring.

OLIVER

More boring than being in this cell?

PHIL

I don’t know. I kinda like the theme park idea. Besides, I was pretty much on house arrest after the Octabacle and that was pretty much just like prison only with an XBOX Live account.

OLIVER

Phillip. Think this through. You can’t run an amusement park from prison.

PHIL

Would be kinda fun to try though, right?

OLIVER

Please take this seriously for a moment.

PHIL

I am. I — I’m not sure I want to do this, Uncle Ollie.

OLIVER

You’re telling me you’d prefer prison over your freedom and a steady crime-free job.

PHIL

Well, no. But …didn’t you say there were a whole bunch of people at Wonderland now? Where would they go?

OLIVER

They would go to a wonderful little place called…WHO…CARES?

PHIL

I guess I do.

OLIVER

Listen to me. This is your only play in this game. This is all you’ve got left.

 

PHIL

It’s all you’ve got left.

OLIVER

I’m not the one in jail!

PHIL

And I’m not the one who feels the need to get back in the good graces of someone who cut you out! Why don’t you just threaten to expose Bespin? You backed her whole campaign after all. If word gets out, she’s sunk.

OLIVER

It’s…more complicated than that. She has the support of…another…entity.

PHIL

Like, a ghost?

OLIVER

Like a very powerful corporation.

PHIL

Which corporation?

OLIVER

It doesn’t matter.

PHIL

Is it Lego? Or Disney? OH, is it Marvel? Because that would be pretty cool…

OLIVER (sighing)

It’s Legion, Phillip.

PHIL (pause)

Uncle Ollie, you’re crazy.

OLIVER

Listen to me. This is how it’s going to go down. I am going to meet with them. I am going to promise them that you will sell Wonderland in exchange for a pleasant, legal, 9-5 job in Red Line, and the ability to have considerable influence over the city for me. And that is how it is going to go.

PHIL

You’re really looking out for me here, huh Uncle Oliver?

OLIVER

It is the only play.

PHIL

What are you going to do once you have influence over Red Line? Wasn’t your whole plan to bank off of controlling and calling events with your media empire? You don’t have that anymore, so what’s even the point of all this?

OLIVER

What’s the point of it all if don’t do this? Where does that leave me?

PHIL

A sense of sanity? Your life? Financial security? Your FAMILY? For Christ’s sake Uncle Ollie, you do this and you’re really, truly legal dead. What will that mean for Ada?

[Music fades out.]

OLIVER

Don’t you think I’ve considered that? Follow my orders and you’ll be done. With me, with all of it. I’ll free you from this. Leave me to my own ambitions.

PHIL

Uh-huh. And what about Emily’s fall guy? What are you going to do about that?

OLIVER

Don’t worry. I have the perfect person in mind.

[Buzzing fades out]

 

LEGION: NOW IN RED LINE 1

[Inspiring piano music]

VOICE 1

We are…

VOICE 2

We are…

VOICE 3

We are…

VOICE 1

In Red Line now!

VOICE 2

With Matt Damon!

VOICE 3

And Ben Afleck!

VOICE 1

We are…

VOICE 2

Watching as Matt Damon takes in the grandeur of a newly renovated rail home, once a seedy carpartment, now fully revitalized as a luxurious and fashion-forward car-condo!

VOICE 3

We are…

VOICE 1

Watching as Matt Damon caresses the brilliant faux-platinum finish of the kitchen appliances.

VOICE 2

We are…

VOICE 3

Watching as Matt Damon drops trou to sample the soothing comforts of an elegant platinum infused memory foam toilet seat.

VOICE 1

What do you think, Matt Damon?

[Silence]

VOICE 1

Just listen to that satisfied smile!

[Music fades.]

 

GOOD THINKING

[Distant subway station noise.]

[Writing.]

PAUL MONTGOMERY CHELMSWORTH — James Capobianco

Dear Charlotte

I will keep this letter brief. I understand that you’ve little interest in hearing from me, and may well decide not to read this letter at all. I could hardly cast recriminations for such a justifiable decision. But I hope you do. I know you’re angry at me. I accept your anger. I know I have earned it. And I know what I have to say to you, without excuse or embellishment:

I am sorry.

There is little else I can say, and even that much is meager recompense for the hardship I have caused. But I will not seek redemption nor absolution. I have not and cannot earn them, and any further attempt I make to do so can only cause yet further injury to people I have no desire to see hurt at all.

But still. I am sorry.

[Pause.]

I have decided to leave. I know, that will hardly surprise you. Or anyone. But this time is different. I will not vanish without warning. This time, I leave word of my departure, and details of my destination. I am not running away from a responsibility, but rather toward one.

I am returning to Ohio.

There is yet someone searching for me, and I have a deep yearning to be found. But he has not found me here, and I have begun to fear that he never will. And so I will go to him. He is not in Ohio now, but he will be, and I will be waiting for him.

You may find me there as well. If you ever feel a need to do so.

Yours, admiringly,

Paul

[Approaching footsteps.]

There. That will do I think. I suppose I’ll need to buy a stamp.

[There’s a knock on the door.]

Yes, come in!

[Door opens.]

VINCENZO — Chad Ellis

Uh.. Hi. Mr Chelmsworth?

PAUL

Professor.

VINCENZO

Who, me? Nah.

PAUL

What?

VINCENZO

I’m just a guy.

PAUL

Okay.

PAUL

Let’s try this again. I’m Paul.

VINCENZO

Oh. Right. Paul. Cool. I’m…Vincenzo.

PAUL

Ah, Vincenzo. I think we’ve met, haven’t we? In the Mayor’s office. You’re Charlotte’s assistant. It’s rather serendipitous that you’re here, as I have a letter for her.

VINCENZO

Yeah. I mean…not anymore. That was just a short-term gig while I figured some things out. I mean, I could take her that letter if you want, but I don’t really know when I’ll see her again.

PAUL

So you’re not here on her behalf, then?

VINCENZO

Nah, I’m a free agent these days. Just waiting for the right opportunity. You know?

PAUL

I see.

VINCENZO

So this is your place, huh? It’s kinda grungy. What’s with all these clothes hangers?

PAUL

It used to be a department store. Filene’s Basement. Was there something you needed, Vincenzo?

VINCENZO

Ohhh.. Oh, yeah. So, like I said I’m kinda between gigs right now. And, like…funds aren’t flowing, you know?

PAUL

I’m confused. Are you trying to mug me?

VINCENZO

Ha, ha, naw, nothing like that. Sorry, I guess I’m not really getting this all out right. I’m just looking for a place to stay. And I just figured, if I gotta crash out somewhere, maybe I oughtta…you know. Crash with my dad.

PAUL

Your…

VINCENZO

That’s why I took that job. You were missing. Nobody knew where to find you. So I really thought about it—he’s gotta show up again somewhere, right? So like…the question is “where”? And I figured, like, that mayor lady’s really important to him. Like, she’s his bestie or something. And even if he doesn’t come back, she’s probably tryin’ ta figure out where the mayor went. So, if I got a job there in her office, eventually I’d find him. Or he’d find me. Or both. And that was some good thinking, cuz man, look—here we are!

PAUL

Wait…you’re saying you’re…

VINCENZO

Yeah.

PAUL

But…but Claudia told me she named him “Jack.”

VINCENZO

Well, sure. That’s me. Jack Vincenzo Wellington. But only Mom calls me “Jack.”

PAUL

Jack Vincenzo… You’re my…Jack Vincenzo!

VINCENZO

Yeah! Yeah. So…what do you think?

PAUL

I think I won’t be sending this letter after all. It seems I’ll be staying in town a while longer.

VINCENZO

Oh…okay. But, like…about me staying here…

PAUL

Oh, positively, yes! Please, make yourself at home! There isn’t much furniture. But it may be time I thought about buying some.

VINCENZO

Awesome, thanks man. Paul. I guess. BRB. Gonna go get my bags outta my car.

[Vincenzo exits.]

PAUL

Oh my! This is it. This…is my chance to get something right.

[Subway fades out.]

 

THE COUNCIL OF WONDER

[Distant carnival music.]

CLARK SMITH — Jesse Hall

Family Spirit Council representative?

PARTICLE PHYSICS VAN DER MOLEN — Mischa Stanton

Present.

CLARK

Particle Physics Van der Molen, present.

FOX FOSSIL JENKINS — Jake del Rio

We’re doing last names now?

CLARK

For the purpose of initial record-keeping in service to the burgeoning community formed by the integration of The Family with the displaced peoples of Red Line, as represented in committee by selected members of the Family’s Spirit Council in cooperation with selected representatives of the aforementioned Red Line community, said amalgamated governance board unofficially denoted as “The Council of Wonder,” I have decided to use full nomenclature for all members until such time as said members have achieved greater interpersonal familiarity and comfort.

PARTICLE PHYSICS

I think that’s a very sensible decision, Clark. Thank you.

CLARK

Resuming roll call. Red Line community representative?

ISABELLE POWELL — Jessica Washington

Present.

CLARK

Isabel Powell present.  Grounds and maintenance committee representative?

OMI OGAWA — Julia Morizawa

Oh, that’s me. Right.

[Long pause.]

PARTICLE PHYSICS

He, uh…he needs you to say “present.”

OMI

Uh…Present?

CLARK

Omi Ogawa, present. Communications committee representative?

MELISSA WEATHERBY — Tanja Milojevich

Present.

CLARK

Melissa Weatherby, present. Finance committee representative?

FOX FOSSIL

Present.

CLARK

Fox Fossil Jenkins present. Arts and entertainment committee representative?

23 SKIDOO — Julia Schifini

Present

CLARK

23 Skidoo present.

OMI

No last name?

23 SKIDOO

Uh…Skidoo.

OMI

Oh.

CLARK

And recording secretary Clark Smith, present. The second meeting of the Wonderland Community Council of Wonder may proceed.

23 SKIDOO

I’d like to come up with something more evocative than “committee representative” for our titles. Something that expresses the nature of our community. Something properly out of Wonderland. Like…”rabbits?”

OMI

Yeah, I don’t think I want to be the Grounds and Maintenance Rabbit.

MELISSA

That comes a little too close to “bunny,” don’t you think?

23 SKIDOO

Okay, okay, I hear you. But what about Jabberwocks?

ISABELLE

I think I’m good with “committee representative” if it’s all the same.

PARTICLE PHYSICS

23 Skidoo, I recognize and acknowledge your point that a community-specific name can impart a sense of unity and pride, but I think we can all agree that that’s not our highest priority action item just now. With your consent, I propose that we table that discussion until our next meeting, but that we all take time independently to brainstorm proposals to be submitted for consideration prior to the next council meeting.

23 SKIDOO

I concede your argument, and consent to the tabling of my proposed discussion until the next meeting.

CLARK

Discussion tabled. Action item noted: Council members to conceive and propose alternate nomenclature for committee representatives prior to next council meeting.

ISABELLE

No luck convincing Charlotte to to join the council?

MELISSA

I tried. Believe me. She says she’s happy to serve on projects and action committees, but her days in government are over.

ISABELLE

It’s not because of me, is it? I hope she doesn’t think I’d oppose her being here. On the contrary, I think it’d shore up faith in council leadership of folks saw the both of us working together. I could talk to her, if it’ll help.

MELISSA

I hope you do talk to her, only because I think she’d like that. But I don’t think there’s much point in trying to drag her onto the council. Her mind is set.

OMI

Nomenclature aside, I’d like to have some further discussion of council makeup. I was looking through the minutes of some Council of Spirits meetings, to try to get a sense of some of what we aren’t yet doing for Wonderland that we should be. In particular, Particle Physics, I was hoping you could explain the role of “Family Dynamic Spirit.”

CLARK

Query opened regarding Council structure and organizational nomenclature.

PARTICLE PHYSICS

Oh, I’m happy to answer that question. As Family Dynamic Spirit, my primary responsibility is to ensure interpersonal harmony amongst the family.

ISABELLE

That certainly sounds like an undertaking. For any family.

PARTICLE PHYSICS

Ha! Yeah, it’s definitely work. In practical terms, it means mediating conflicts, talking through problems, and making sure that everyone feels certain that they’re being heard when they have something to say.

OMI

Okay. So that’s basically what you and Isabelle are doing, as advocates of your segments of the community.

PARTICLE PHYSICS

I think so, yeah, but we’re not fully doing that yet. Right now, as you say, we’re advocating for our own segments of the community. To really be working toward a harmonious family dynamic, we need to be going the other direction with it. I need to make sure my people are fully grasping the concerns of Red Lineans, while Isabelle ensures that Red Lineans are really taking in the needs and concerns of The Family.

ISABELLE

Like how it’s been our job to explain to Red Lineans about non-binary pronouns and poly family structures, while Particle Physics talks to their people about some of the cultural appropriation issues that have come up.

OMI

Ohhh, I see. Like a reciprocal advocacy.

PARTICLE PHYSICS

Ehh…that makes it sound a little…transactiony? For my comfort. But I think it expresses the core idea, so I’m willing to leave it there for the time being.

CLARK

Resolution noted: Clarification of terminology and role responsibilities of Community Representatives, vis a vis Family Dynamics.

ISABELLE

What we don’t have yet is someone equivalent to your Political Outreach Spirit. That’s what we’re hurting for.

CLARK

Action item proposed: Selection of Political Outreach representative.

PARTICLE PHYSICS

Our Anaximander is great at that, but I’m not sure he’d be as well suited to the council of wonder. His focus is very much on advocating legal and social acceptance for non-traditional family structures, sexualities, and gender identities. With a secondary focus on animal welfare. He’s still doing that within the Wonderland community, which has been important for smoothing the integration. But he’d be an odd fit for the kind of work we’ll be doing through the Council of Wonder.

OMI

You’re the obvious choice for that, Isabelle. It’s what you’ve been doing for months.

CLARK

Isabelle Powell nominated.

ISABELLE

Exactly why I’d like to spend some time not doing it. For now, I want to focus on something I know I’m good at—putting people into good homes. There’s nothing more important, until that gets done.

CLARK

Isabelle Powell declines.

MELISSA

Didn’t Isaiah have someone in mind?

ISABELLE

He did suggest someone, though. Someone he trusts. One of The Family, actually.

FOX FOSSIL

Uh oh. I know who he’s been hanging out with.

ISABELLE

Freed Friend Poletti.

CLARK

Freed Friend Poletti nominated. Oh. You’ll probably want to reconsider that.

23 SKIDOO

Freed Friend is a teddy bear, but he’s not really the right person…

PARTICLE PHYSICS

I have to be honest, for as much passion as Freed Friend brings to his missions, there’s certain reasons we haven’t elected him to public-facing positions…

FOX FOSSIL

Okay, look. We all love Freed. But when Freed sets his mind to a cause, he doesn’t always have a sense of…scale. Or self-regulation. Or audience. His commitment and perseverance are extraordinary. Don’t get me wrong—it’s one of the reasons I love him. You set him on a task, and he is *on* it. He’ll work that mission like nobody else. But…well, let me put it this way—I know of at least half a dozen committed vegetarians who threw a haggis party as a direct result of Freed’s efforts to sell them on full veganism. He’s just like that.

ISABELLE

I realize you folks had some serious concerns of your own while all the business was going down in Red Line, but perhaps you’ve noticed that I don’t worry much about people finding my methods “abrasive.” Sometimes that’s exactly what you need to make people realize you’re even talking.

OMI

This is the same guy we did that whole complicated rescue mission for, right?

FOX FOSSILE

And you have my eternal gratitude for that, seriously.

OMI

And who was in jail because he confessed to the lottery attacks?

MELISSA

Yes. Though, apparently he confessed to far more than he was actually involved with, because he wanted to trade himself for for Isaiah. Gemma always had a lot to say about…Freed? About Freed. Though I can say, her tenor when discussing him softened dramatically over the course of Freed’s imprisonment. I can only imagine imprisonment had some impact on his own attitudes as well.

OMI

He certainly wouldn’t be the first good man to find himself while in prison.

ISABELLE

There weren’t many people who had faith in Isaiah’s innocence like Freed did. For that alone, I had to raise the possibility. But you all know him better than I do, and if you say it’s a mistake to nominate him for leadership, I have to trust you. I think he should still be considered for the committee, though.

CLARK

Freed Friend nomination withdrawn.

ISABELLE

That done, I do have someone of my own I’m inclined to nominate. Someone of strong moral convictions balanced by a thoughtful and open mind. Melissa Weatherby.

CLARK

Melissa Weatherby nominated.

MELISSA

Oh! But I’m already representing communications. This would be much more…public. This sounds like a far grander role than I’m qualified for.

ISABELLE

You’re only fooling yourself if you really believe that. You’ve served on two different political campaigns, and you’re the only person here with experience inside an actual functioning government. Political Outreach is already an extension of communications—just taking that job in a more pointed direction.

Not that long ago, you walked into my office demanding to be my campaign manager. You knew what you were capable of then.

MELISSA

I worked on two out of the three mayoral campaigns in the election. It was the only campaign I didn’t touch that won.

ISABELLE

You try to make that out to be your fault, and we’re going to have to have words, girl. Take the nomination.

MELISSA

Okay. Yes. I…I accept the nomination for the role of Political Outreach Representative.

CLARK

Action Item: Melissa Weatherby stands for election to the role of Political Outreach Representative. All in favor say “Aye.”

ALL

Aye.

CLARK

All opposed?

[Silence.]

Action Item resolved by unanimous vote. Melissa Weatherby now stands as Political Outreach Representative.

MELISSA

Oh boy. I’ll do my best.

[Carnival music fades out.]

 

THE LION TAMER

[Other carnival music plays. Rain storm. Thunder.]

LEON (sounding worn out)

Isabelle knew what Isaiah was going to say before he opened his mouth. It was a feeling she fought ever since they settled in Wonderland, but she could read it on his face and posture. She didn’t want to argue with him, but she would let him list his reasons for leaving. Insisting he jump to his own conclusion might make him feel like she wasn’t interested in what he had to say. And she was.

ISAIAH

I need to talk to you, Aunt Izzy.

ISABELLE

I figured, the way you’re carrying your face like that.

ISAIAH

Like what?

ISABELLE

Like you’re gearing up for something. A fight, maybe.

ISAIAH

I’m gearing up to go back.

ISABELLE

To your apartment?

ISAIAH

To Red Line.

ISABELLE (sigh)

Yeah, I figured that too. Only thing I can’t figure is why. You never lived in Red Line. All that city ever did was hold you up. Why do you want to fight for something which never did you a lick of good?

ISAIAH (laughing)

You know what’s funny? I don’t know. I mean, you’re right. The logical thing to do, the reasonable thing, would be going back to my apartment, hitting the books, catching up on my classes, be a normal college student again. There’s a small voice inside my head telling me — ordering me — to do that. But there’s a louder voice telling me I can’t. Because that’s not what I really want.

ISABELLE

And what do you want?

ISAIAH

I want to find out what happens when I listen to the louder voice.

ISABELLE

Just because a voice is louder doesn’t make it right. And doing something dangerous without knowing where you’re going, why you’re doing it? That only leads to trouble.

ISAIAH

You mean like running for mayor in a train city and ending up leading a bunch of weirdo refugees in a theme park?

ISABELLE

[Laughing] Yes. Like that. And like running back into the lion’s den after the lioness nearly had you for lunch.

ISAIAH

We’re always in the lion’s den. Here, there. Everywhere. But there’s a chance. A small one maybe. But a chance. If we fight for it. To be the lion tamer.

(Pause)

(They both laugh)

ISAIAH

Okay, yeah, that one got away from me.

ISABELLE

You were doing so good, too. Come here.

[They hug]

ISABELLE

You know I wasn’t trying to talk you out of nothing. I just…I want you to be careful. As careful as you can. Be careful but at the same time…don’t be afraid to flash those damn lions your whip.

ISAIAH

I won’t. Thank you.

ISABELLE

For what?

ISAIAH

Always giving me something worth hearing.

ISABELLE

I don’t know about any of that. What’s your plan here, exactly?

ISAIAH

Gonna team up with Gemma. Couple others. We’ll operate out of their rail home.

ISABELLE

You and the lady who locked you up.

ISAIAH

She’s — she’s different now. I can’t explain it, but she’s changed a lot since then. She’s got this look in her eye.

ISABELLE

If they were here, your parents would be so proud of you. But not half as proud as I am.

ISAIAH

Let’s hope I manage to do some good.

ISABELLE

Look around you, Isaiah. You already have.

LEON

Isabelle watched him leave. And she —

[Rolling thunder]

ISABELLE

— I feel something. Something new. Unique. Like planting a seed, deep in rich, dark soil, damp and smooth but also coarse from minerals and the awesome possibilities of life. Like…knowing with certainty that a seed I plant will grow into something…new and majestic. All on its own.

I’ll have sleepless nights about that boy, no doubt. But I also know I”ll see him again. And when I do, we’ll both be better off for him leaving. Even if in this moment, it hurts. Lord. Why does pride in someone hurt so much sometimes?

[Music fades out.]

 

CREDITS

[Go Tell it on the Molehill Plays]

JEFF VAN DREASON

Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason, with recording and technical assistance from Marck Harmon.

Did you know you can join a Greater Boston Discord server? It’s true! Come meet and chat with Greater Boston creators, cast, and fans like you! Our big season finale episode is coming up in just two weeks and, uh…honestly, you might want someone to talk it over with. Link in the show notes, or at GreaterBostonShow.com

Thank you to extra special brand new Patreon supporter Derek J May, who joins the esteemed level of shout-out level patron accompanied by Rasmus! You’ve both been given the key to Red Line! Please don’t lose it–it’s the only one we have. A huge thank you to all our Patreon supporters, and you too can support us on Patreon at Patreon.com/GreaterBoston!

This episode featured:

  • Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis (he/him)
  • Sam Musher as Emily Bespin (she/her)
  • Jordan Higgs as Ethan Bespin (he/him)
  • Kelly McCabe as Nica Stamatis (she/her)
  • Mike Linden as Oliver West (he/him)
  • Michael Melia as Philip West (he/him)
  • James Capobianco as Professor Paul Montgomery Chelmsworth (he/him)
  • Chad Ellis as Jack Vincenzo Wellington (he/him)
  • Jesse Hall as Clark Smith  (he/him)
  • Mischa Stanton as Particle Physics van der Molen (they/them)
  • Jake Del Rio as Fox Fossil Jenkins (he/him)
  • Jessica Washington as Isabelle Powell (she/her)
  • Julia Morizawa as Omi Ogawa (she/her)
  • Tanja Milojevich as Melissa Weatherby (she/her)
  • Julia Schifini as 23 Skidoo (she/her)
  • Mario da Rosa Jr. as Isaiah Powell (he/him)

With Ebi Poweigha as the waiter and Vilte Baliutaviciute and Ryan Estrada as Red Line evictees.

Also featuring:

  • David Rheinstrom
  • Phoebe Joy
  • Jordan Cobb
  • Cole Burkhardt
  • Fox Cooper
  • Tina Daniels
  • Christopher Dole
  • Todd Faulkner
  • Jack Pevyhouse
  • Alma Roda-Gil
  • Zane Sexton
  • and Alex Welch

as Legion.

Interviews with real Greater Boston residents.

Charlie on the MTA by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede

Go Tell it on the Molehill by Doctor Turtle

Broke Yet and “I Wish Boston was Greater” by Ryan Estrada

Episode transcripts are available online at GreaterBostonShow.com.

 

COOKIE

JESSE HALL

I just had about seven pancakes and about just as many slices of bacon. That’s apropo of nothing and that information’s for no one, but do with that what you will. It is 9:23 AM in the beautiful state of Alabama. I’m honestly just reading stuff off my computer to get my vocal cords warmed up and ready to go to enunciate and perform the role of Clark as best I can. Since my mother doesn’t enjoy me doing the part, I figure I should do it right. And uh…you know. Succeed out of spite. Which I think honestly, that’s the mood for 2018. Yeah? Okay? Alright, her we go.

RYAN ESTRADA (singing)

Come on honey!

This really isn’t funny!

Let’s do what we should have done

And go to Wonderland!

 

No need to debate her!

‘Cuz she’s the filthy traitor!

She’d be lucky to be your neighbor

But to bad we effing hate her!

 

Let’s find an elevator!

Let’s leave sooner than later!

 

I wish Boston was Greater!

 

CONTENT NOTES

  • Strong language
  • Abusive classism
  • Imprisonment
  • Strained circus metaphors

 

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