Transcript – Live Show: The Council of Evil

RECORDED ANNOUNCEMENT

[“Train Jam” is played]

JEFF VAN DREASON
Uh, hey everyone! I just wanted to give you a warning that this mini-episode is going to sound very different from most of the other mini-sodes we’ve released, if not all content we’ve ever released. And that’s because it’s a recording of a live show we did via Zoom without any microphones. We’re just putting up the Zoom recording, which, no offense Zoom, but, it doesn’t sound, you know, the best, and we – we didn’t want to add the additional stress of having to record all the actors and the musicians um with microphones while we were kinda setting up this episode. So we just kinda left it in Zoom’s hands, knowing we would release it in the feed with this announcement so that people wouldn’t be like, “Hey, why did Greater Boston’s sound quality go down so much?”

Thank you to everyone who could attend that live event, it was a lot of fun. Um, and if you’re interested in seeing it, or uhh, listening to some of the QandA that took place after this mini-episode, think about joining our Patreon. In the meantime, enjoy ‘Council of Evil,” and we hope we’ll be back with more content for you soon. Thanks. Take care.

[“Train Jam” fades out].

[“Live pre-show music” plays].

CHUCK OCTAGON – Jeff Van Dreason
Good evening. This is Chuck Octagon. And welcome to the Good evening, and welcome to the Greater Boston virtual live show for the Council of Evil. Just a few notes about how you can best enjoy this live show:

Uh, shout-out to Kat for pointing this out. If you hover over yourself while on grid-view, you will see three dots in the upper right hand corner. If you click them, you can hide all non-video participants, and just feature those who have their video turned on. Make sure you have joined with computer audio. If you did not, then there’s no way you’re hearing me saying this right now. Which is too bad. Because I am giving you helpful information.

There will be a brief Q and A after the show, at which point you’ll be welcome to raise your hand in zoom, and if called on, unmute your microphone and / or turn on your camera. You can also type questions in the Zoom chat upon the completion of the performance.

Please be advised that this performance features a major spoiler from the end of Greater Boston, Season 3. Unauthorized guests who did not purchase tickets will not be allowed entry. Violation of the rules laid out, including interrupting the performance in any way, or potentially making the performers or guests feel unsafe, will be met with immediate dismissal from the Zoom account.

And with that, sit back and enjoy, “The Council of Evil!”

[“Live version of Charlie on the MTA” is played.]

TITLE SEQUENCE (live show)

SAM MUSHER
This is…

MIKE LINDEN
This is…

MICHAEL MELIA
This is…

JORDAN HIGGS
Greater Boston.

[Live version of “Charlie on the MTA” ends]

NARRATOR – Alexander Danner
Come in, Misters West!

[The door opens and Oliver enters, followed by Phil.]

OLIVER WEST – Mike Linden
What the blazes?

NARRATOR
Your punctuality really is one of your finer virtues. A good quality for a subordinate to possess.

PHILIP WEST – Michael Melia
Wow, nice digs.

OLIVER
Is this…the same office where I met you last time? It looks quite…completely changed.

NARRATOR
It is, yes.

OLIVER
Um. I’m sorry…”Yes”…it’s the same, or “yes,” it’s completely changed?

NARRATOR
A distinction without a difference, Mr. West! That’s a saying I’ve always been fond of. Applicable to so many situations. Tell me–how are you enjoying your new responsibilities as Red Line’s Secretary of Propaganda?

OLIVER
I assume you’re referring to my role as Editor in Chief of the Herald United of Red Line?

NARRATOR
That’s the aforementioned situation. But do go on.

OLIVER
It’s going…well. Readership is growing, particularly among commuters. We’re “debunking” reports by The Underground article for article. And I hope you were pleased with the nauseously fawning editorial about Emily’s “Passes for the Classes” system of tiered station access.

PHIL
Are those dolphins? How did you get them up here?

NARRATOR
Porpoises, actually. An easy mistake. But they’re not really here, Mr. West.

OLIVER
Your office is full of imaginary porpoises?

NARRATOR
Not imaginary at all, Mr. West! These porpoises are in fact quite industriously going about the business of existing in reality. Just not *here*.

OLIVER
Hm. I see.

NARRATOR
I very much doubt that, Mr. West.

OLIVER
And what about the Bespins? Where exactly are they indulging in the business of existing in reality? I understood they were expected at this meeting as well.

[Some kind of quiet, brooding music for this speech? Musicians?]

NARRATOR
The Bespins, I find, are much more the sort to take other people’s time as their own. Emily in particular expects punctuality of others, but feels no obligation to reciprocate the courtesy. But no matter. They’ll be along shortly. They’re just about to board the elevator, in fact.

Emily is rather looking forward to this ride. Inside this little three-foot by three-foot box, Ethan will have no choice but to stand right by her side. Close enough that he could easily slip his arm around her. Nothing would give her greater satisfaction than to feel his fingers brush across her back to rest on her hip. He won’t do that though. No matter how hard she tries to will him into that very specific gesture, using mental powers that she does not possess and never will.

Quite the contrary, Ethan has tried to give her as wide a berth as possible, to the extent that he has inadvertently leaned against the control panel, lighting up an entire column of buttons. The ride will take considerably longer as a result, as they must stop at every odd-numbered floor and wait for the doors to open and close again before continuing their ride. Emily doesn’t mind. But nevertheless, the ride comes to an end in short order, and she finds herself trailing behind Ethan as he propels himself impatiently toward the large wooden door prominently adorned with the letter “N.”

EMILY BESPIN – Sam Musher
There’s no need to run, my sweet potato dumpling. We won’t miss anything important, because they can’t do anything important without us.

ETHAN BESPIN – Jordan Higgs
I’ve time enough to waste at leisure’s call, but bottled tropes are corked by sentiment. I’d rather just go where I’m going. An elevator is for altitude, and here we are before the man on high. Who are you to disrupt my work? Identify yourself, and I’ll disgorge your name like bile each time I give it spit.

NARRATOR
Hello, Mr. Bespin. The name you’re looking to sully would be mine, but names are purely a social construct, and not one I put much stock in. You saw my letter on my door. For the purpose of this conversation all you really need to know is that I am Legion, insofar as I possess Legion’s authority of signature and sanction

ETHAN
You control my funding.

NARRATOR
Yes.

ETHAN
Relate your piece; you’ll have my ear, but tics run short like mice before the owl.

EMILY
Are those dolphins?

NARRATOR
I’ve had this conversation already. Let’s not repeat it.

ETHAN
Ignore them. They’re just tricks of the light. I see how it’s done.

PHIL
I guess this is all of us, huh? The whole Council of Evil together in one place.

EMILY
Please, let’s not be so pedestrian. We’re The Council of Success, more like. I know it’s the fashion these days to equate success with “evil” at every opportunity, but we know better, don’t we? We’re the people who work. It’s only natural that we win out over the people who don’t.

ETHAN
Some of us have work we’d rather be doing right now.

OLIVER
I don’t see why we should protest the description. We did induce a rather abrupt case of homelessness for several thousand people. If that’s the price of achieving our goals, so be it, but there’s hardly any sense in denying that we’re “the bad guys.” I do think we’re rather obvious about it. And my nephew’s instincts on these ethical vagaries tend to have a certain clarity that I’ve only recently begun to appreciate.

EMILY
Whatever. That editorial you wrote about Passes for the Classes wasn’t fawning enough. Next time, I expect some real down-on-all-fours chewing-on-a-saltlick *fawning.* You know, like a deer. One that doesn’t want to be venison.

OLIVER
Yes, I understood the metaphor. No need for supplemental clarification.

PHIL (Bad English Accent)
Are we the baddies?

OLIVER
What?

PHIL
Huh? Oh. Nothing. Just a reference. “Are we the baddies?” It’s this sketch bit where two Nazis notice the skulls on their hats, so they start to wonder if that makes them…

OLIVER
Philip? Perhaps the long version of this story can wait?

PHIL
Oh. Yeah. I’ll show you later. It’ll be funnier if you see it yourself anyway.

NARRATOR
And what of you, Mr. Bespin? Care to weigh in on the state of our souls?

ETHAN
Philosophy beguiles the idlest minds with shadow puppets’ dance and problematic trolly crash, but ethics carry water like a hat can wield a head. I wear whatever hat I like. In white or black, the millner works the same. My job is to keep the trains running, and I do. Utility begets more goods than “good,” and pound for pound our “bad” begets no less. A box of either is just a box. Distinction without difference belies a mind too little fired by will or self. I know who I am. When I come eye to eye with the abyss, I eat my lunch; the void prepares the fries. Let’s finish this so I can get some fondue.

NARRATOR
Mm. I knew there was a reason I liked you.

OLIVER
I’m going to posit that once you or your associates have ventured into threatening to subjugate the literal abyss to make it your fry cook, any objections to your vilain status really should fall by the wayside.

PHIL
Not to rush things, but I’m supposed to be on my beat in a half hour, and Emily docks my pay if I’m late. Even when she’s the one who made me late.

EMILY
That’s “Mayor Bespin” to you. And Ethan, my dulce de leche tres leches with extra leche, this meeting is a surprise all for you.

OLIVER
If this meeting is for Ethan, then why am I here?

NARRATOR
Why to finalize our arrangement, of course!

EMILY
You owe my sweet penuche an amusement park. That was the deal. Your numbskull nephew gets work release, and my Ethan gets his mechanical cheese boondoggle, now that we can afford to keep it, thanks to me paying myself the extra good mayor bucks.

PHIL
Do mayors make that much? I didn’t think that was a “do it for the money” kind of job.

EMILY
The best mayors get the best pay. It’s only fair. And obviously, I’m the best mayor.

ETHAN
Oh Wonderland, my font of joy–it’s mine?

EMILY
Yes, my sweet. Just as soon as Phil signs the damned thing over.

ETHAN
Finally!

PHIL
I can’t. I mean, not yet.

ETHAN
So cruelly dreams are snatched by toadish men.

OLIVER
The inheritance process has hit a snag or two.

EMILY
I don’t care.

PHIL
Declaring Uncle Ollie formally dead without Aunt Autumn signing off on it is this whole complicated thing. Plus there are the tax issues.

EMILY
Not my problem. Your problem.

OLIVER
Once Philip accepts ownership of Wonderland, he will be responsible for taxes on the property’s full value. And an amusement park is worth quite a lot. Even a failed and ridiculous one that is presently covered in cheese.

EMILY
I don’t need to know any of this. Just sign over the park.

PHIL
I’ve literally got $17. Like, total. And okay, I’ve got a job now, but most of my pay goes to my student loans.

EMILY
I still…wait, you went to college? That’s…very surprising. Let me guess–liberal arts major.

PHIL
Agricultural engineering.

EMILY
Really?

PHIL
Harvest Moon was really popular when I started, so I figured there’d be good work in game design for people who knew farm stuff. It’s a real tough industry to crack, though.

OLIVER
Anyway, the point is, Phil can’t pay the taxes. I am deceased and have no access to my own finances. Ordinarily, someone in Phil’s position would simply pay the taxes out of the income from selling the property itself. But as you’re acquiring the property from us via extortion rather than purchase, that puts rather a crimp in the funding supply.

NARRATOR
I suppose Legion might be able to advance you a loan to cover the taxes, if that would help move the process along. At an interest rate of our choosing, of course.

EMILY
There you go. Done.

OLIVER
Yes, of course, I would expect nothing less than for you to make this process as onerous and financially debilitating as possible.

EMILY
Yes, perfect

PHIL
Um. If I get a vote in this…

EMILY
You don’t.

PHIL
…I might rather hold out for a better option. That loan sounds pretty shitty.

NARRATOR
I’m not sure you fully grasp the situation here, young Mr. West. You’re the pawn in this scenario. You’re not one of the players.

EMILY
You realize I can have you thrown right back in jail, right?

PHIL
Trust me, I totally get that. But I’m still the guy who has to sign the paper. I’d like to have some chance at a future for myself too, if that’s at all possible. Just…give me a little more time, okay? To figure this out.

NARRATOR
Very well. A bit more time for the pawn.

EMILY
Excuse me? No. No more time. Just crush him already. That’s what he’s for.

ETHAN
Yes, do that!

EMILY
Crush him like the heart of a child learning the truth about Santa!

NARRATOR
A-HEM.

I do apologize for interrupting your hubris, Mr. and Mayor Bespin, but it seems that you’ve forgotten who makes the decisions and who merely receives them. There is no further need for discussion. The pawn amuses me. I’d like to see how he scampers. I do enjoy watching the show. So we’ll wait. Just a little while longer.

In any case, there’s no sense rushing to a solution on the funds before Oliver is properly dead. Spin your wheels while you can, Philip. But when the time comes, you’ll sign what needs to be signed. There won’t really be any other choice. Will there?

PHIL
No, I guess there won’t. No choices at all.

[Musicians – play Charlie on MTA – or another song?]
NARRATOR

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

This live show featured:

Mike Linden as Oliver West
Michael Melia as Philip West
Sam Musher as Emily Bespin
Jordan Higgs as Ethan Bespin
And Me, Alexander Danner as The Narrator.

All music was performed by Emily Peterson, Dirk Tiede, and Adrienne Howard.

Thank you.

JEFF VAN DREASON
Yay! It’s over! But it went great, you guys did a great job!

MIKE LINDEN
I never realized how hard it is to do Oliver’s voice in a tie.

JEFF VAN DREASON (laughter)
We’re just going to have to train you and record you like that more often.

MIKE LINDEN
Oh is that, okay. I mean, no, ehh, all right.