Out, Out, Brief Birthday Candle...
Written by Valeria
(AUGUSTUS HILL faces the camera with his usual intense stare. A
candle-covered birthday cake balances perilously on his lap.)
HILL: BIRTHDAYS. The celebration of our *arrival* upon these earthly
shores--or, as the ancient Chinese used to put it, the anniversary of
our mother's *agonies* of *labor.* Talk about a lifelong guilt-trip,
huh? BIRTHDAYS. (Horns toot, confetti falls from nowhere.) Plenty
of ways to CELEBRATE birthdays in this big old motherfuckin'
world--you got your *presents,* you got your *cake*-- (Right on cue,
one of his fingerless gloves catches fire; without missing a beat, he
stomps the flames out on the arm of his wheelchair.) But if you're a
*cheap* sonuvabitch, you *skip* all that happy shit and just knock off
a goddamn *story.* Yeah, that's right--*one* goddamned fucking FEVER
DREAM that don't even make any sense. But it's what you're getting.
Because in OZ, *all* the best intentions are PAVING STONES on the road
to HELL. Or, uh, something. (Pauses, looking confused.) Look, you
don't like it, write your OWN monologue, okay?! Shit. Happy
(Tosses the cake right at the screen--it lands with a squelch and
"melts" into titles:)
JACKIE'S EM CITY ACID TRIP
(From behind the titles we can hear the "Oz" main theme, complete
with the ritual masculine hollers every few seconds--and now and
again, a distinctly feminine "Whoo!" confusing the proceedings. Cut
(A line of NEW PRISONERS filing in, in their orange jumpsuits, mostly
female. Close-up on the first in line, a fresh-faced lass who
obviously has no clue what she's in for:)
(Sudden flashback. We see the fresh-faced lass standing over the
bodies of TOM FONTANA, WARREN LITTLEFIELD, SCOTT SASSA and Fox Network
president DOUG HERZOG, holding a smoking pistol and smiling with grim
HILL (v/o): Prisoner number HR9570: Valeria. Four counts of murder
in the first degree. Motive unknown. Sentence: Twenty-five years to
life. Possibility of parole: Six years. Movie rights to story: Five
million plus points.
(Cut back to Oz, and VALERIA accepting a bundle of towels from the
quartermaster or whatever the hell you call him. MCMANUS addresses
the new inductees:)
MCMANUS (interrupted near-constantly by whistles, catcalls, and
shouts of "You suck!"): First rule--DO NOT talk about Fight Club!
Second rule--DO NOT talk about Fight Club! Third...uh... (Stares at
the hostile newbie crowd, bursts into tears and runs away to the jeers
of the prisoners. More seasoned inmates begin sniffing around the new
VALERIA (inordinately cheerful): Hi, everybody! I'm Valeria. (A
few people approach.) I'm a lawyer! (The entire crowd moves back in
disgust.) What? What'd I say? (Suddenly, a small red-haired woman
pushes her way forward, everyone else giving her a wide berth...)
KAY HOWARD: Hey, lawyer. What're you in for?
VALERIA (offhand): Shot up some TV suits. (A few people give her
glances of newfound respect.) How about you?
KAY (smirking a little): Sliced open two lady cops with an oyster
knife, huh? Intestines everywhere. Then I force-fed 'em to my fat
bloated alcoholic asswipe of a captain, shoved a Sig Sauer up his ass
and *pulled the fuckin' trigger.*
VALERIA (very impressed): Golly! Hey, I like your hair.
KAY (studies her): Know something? I like *you.* Think I'll make
you my new bitch.
VALERIA (brightly): Pardon?
KAY: You heard me, huh? You're *my* property now. (Jerks her head
in the direction of the cells.) Get a move-on.
VALERIA (trying very hard to look dismayed, and failing miserably):
Awww, *dammit!* (They leave arm in arm.)
GUARD (to TOBIAS BEECHER, one of the newbies): You'll be rooming
BEECHER (*unbelievably* whiny): But I don't *wanna!* (Another inmate
MAGGIE: *I'll* room with him. (There is a strange, near-psychotic
glint in her eye, but BEECHER doesn't notice. They leave for a cell
(Sudden flashback: MAGGIE, standing over the bloody bodies of two
fat, bloated, blotchy men in RCMP uniforms, laughing her ass off.)
HILL (v/o): Prisoner number HS6789: Maggie the Cat. Two counts of
murder in the first degree. Motive: Border crossing dispute.
Sentence: Life without parole. TV-movie rights: Four hundred
thousand, in loonies.
(Back to Oz. KAREN, a hardened hard-drinking tattoo-covered veteran
of a thousand knife fights, has picked out her new bitch...)
HAYLEY: I feel like we've known each other forever! (Beams
KAREN (giving HAYLEY a walking tour, arm around her): Just a few
rules you gotta remember around here, Birdie, and you'll get along
fine. First off--McManus is a sorry sack-of-shit puss. Second--be
careful of that nun who does the counseling, she'll have her tongue
down your throat faster than you can say Jack Robinson.
HAYLEY: Who's he?
KAREN (looks at HAYLEY for a second, then shakes her head): Third,
if there's a riot going on, don't stop and think--just shank the
nearest guard and then casually walk away. Fourth, if I ask you to
put ground glass in somebody's food, just *do* it and don't ask
questions. Fifth... (Hesitates.) Steer clear of Jackie.
HAYLEY: Jackie? (Looks around, seeking this "Jackie" out.) Who's
KAREN (looking a little nervous): Never mind. All *you* need to
know is (lowers voice to a whisper) it ain't McManus who runs things
around here. And when the folks around here get in trouble--it ain't
him, or the guards, or God Himself they go to for help. It's *her.*
HAYLEY (confused): But--
KAREN: Never mind. I--I've already told you too much. Let's go
hock loogies on the Aryan Brotherhood. (They depart for their cell.)
(Evening: Poor clueless BEECHER is arranging his stuff in his new
cell. MAGGIE sits on her bunk, watching him intently.)
MAGGIE: So...you're not Canadian, then.
BEECHER: Nope. I don't even like Anne Murray. (Keeps folding
towels, as she stares and *stares...*)
(Night: Cut to another cell. We see HILL talking to someone whose
face is shrouded in darkness.)
HILL: Please, you've *gotta* help me. They've taken away all my
Hustlers, my Playboys, my Penthouses--and when I get pissed off about
it, they toss me in the fuckin' Hole. It's *cold* in there! (Pause.)
I--please, I'll do anything you ask.
JACKIE'S VOICE: So you say *now.* (The theme from "The Godfather"
starts playing in the background.) So you say now that the system has
failed you, now that that girlie-man McManus has played you for a
fool. But where were you before, Augustus? Never once did you invite
me to your cell for coffee. Never once did you laugh when I did my
impersonation of Michael Michele with steel needles stuck in her
HILL (pleading, hands clasped): *Please,* Jackie. I was foolish. I
was mistaken. You are my only hope!
(A very, very long pause.)
JACKIE'S VOICE: Very well. You shall have your titty magazines.
Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do *me*
a service in return. Until that day, consider this justice a gesture
of goodwill on this, the eve of my birthday.
(From out of the darkness comes a hand, which HILL kisses
(Cut to: MAGGIE'S cell. We hear very whiny squeals of pain as
BEECHER lies there getting his ass branded, MAGGIE concentrating
(Close-up of BEECHER'S little white tushie, now emblazoned with a
burned-in maple leaf.)
BEECHER: Owww, that *huurrrt!*
MAGGIE: Say it.
BEECHER: No--*please* no--
MAGGIE: SAY IT!!
BEECHER (sobbing as he sings): "I'm lying in bed, just like Brian
Wilson did..." (She smiles sadistically as he warbles the words.)
(Daytime: The prison laundry. We see VALERIA humming as she folds
piles of newly-washed clothing. Suddenly a man enters, hidden behind
an overflowing laundry basket:)
RYAN O'REILLY (already looking very devious): Hey. (Puts the basket
down with a thud--it is full to overflowing with pairs of
fire-engine-red bikini briefs. As it happens, this is also all he is
wearing.) How ya doin'?
VALERIA (glancing at him): Oh, hi! (Back to folding.)
O'REILLY (studying her): Say, you room with Kay Howard, right?
VALERIA (not looking up): Yep.
OFFSCREEN VOICE: Lucky you--only time *I* ever get any is when she
goes horndog after another riot. (Both turn and see, sitting in a
corner by a machine...)
O'REILLY (none too enthusiastically): Oh, hi, Munch.
MUNCH (to VALERIA): Hey, you brought your own detergent! Now see,
me, I always *forget,* and then I have to use these little packets
that McManus... (Trails off when he sees her roll her eyes and go
back to the laundry.) I'm gonna go get some Milk Duds. (Under his
breath, as he leaves:) Bitch.
VALERIA (sharply): What was that?
MUNCH: I said, I itch! (Leaves the room.)
O'REILLY: Man, if I had to hear that Gordon Pratt story one more
VALERIA: God, I *know.* (Very nasal:) "So then I said, 'I carry a
Glock, Timmy, just like you...' " (O'REILLY laughs. Studies her some
O'REILLY: So it must be really hard on you, right? Being Kay
VALERIA (considers it): Mmm...not really. (Keeps folding.)
O'REILLY: I mean, the whole experience must have left you
psychologically broken and prime fodder for my campaign of sociopathic
mayhem, huh? (Pause.) Right?
VALERIA (confused): Uh...no.
O'REILLY: *Sure* it did. C'mon, you-- (Sighs, then decides on
another tactic.) Want a tit?
VALERIA (indignant): I *beg* your pardon?
O'REILLY (hastily): Uh--I mean one of these. (Reaches into the
crotch of his briefs and pulls out a small glassine bag.) Top-quality
stuff--primo. And I can get you chloral hydrate, too--
VALERIA: Forget it. (Starts picking a shredded Kleenex out of an
orange jumpsuit's pockets.) I keep *telling* her not to do this...
O'REILLY (almost yelling at this point): Look, are you gonna let me
turn you into one of my helpless little marionettes or not?!!
VALERIA (sternly): Look, mister, I don't know who you are or what
your problem is, but I *do* know that I D.A.R.E. to say no to drugs.
Why don't you clear off and try selling some Immodium to Beecher?
That cell smells like an elephant cage, all the times he's--what is
your problem *now?*
(O'REILLY stamps his bare feet in frustration, then turns and sees,
standing in the doorway...)
(Sudden flashback of a WOMAN very cheerfully garroting a man in an
Ohio State T-shirt.)
HILL (v/o): Prisoner number TY9947: Beth "The Enforcer". One
count of murder in the first degree. Motive: It was either that or
actually *finishing* the dissertation. Sentence: Twenty-five years.
Possibility of parole: Eight years. Movie rights: Held up by
bitter, byzantine dispute involving a secretary named Judy.
(Back to the laundry room, BETH walking slowly and slinkily forward.
O'REILLY stands there, utterly transfixed, as a sultry sax solo comes
from nowhere and huge clouds of steam begin obscuring the room...)
O'REILLY (huskily): My basket's *full,* baby. Full to *bursting.*
BETH (even more huskily): Just shut up and put me on *spin
cycle*...machine wash *hot.* *Burning* hot...
(They rush into each other's arms. The ensuing action is largely
hidden by steam and flying pairs of briefs, but judging from VALERIA'S
bored expression as she continues fluffing and folding, this is a
fairly commonplace occurrence...)
(That night: JACKIE sits court in her cell, surrounded by MARY,
HOLLI, KAREN, JUSTINE and three shadowy MALE FIGURES...LIVIA AND
CARMELLA SOPRANO also lurk in the background. As you can imagine,
it's pretty crowded, with lots of jostling, elbowing and irritated
muttering--one wave of JACKIE'S hand, however, and immediately the
crowd falls silent and respectful.)
JACKIE: I have called this meeting because I have received grave
news. (Pause, the "Godfather" music starting up again.) The
Tattaglia family intends to challenge our control of Oswald
Correctional. (Worried murmurs from the crowd.) I fear we are at a
grave disadvantage. The Tattaglias have a mole here in Oz--who it is,
I do not *yet* know. (People begin glancing suspiciously at each other.)
We can no longer rely on our traditional allies, the Giardellos...they
have never recovered from Don Alberto's shooting. I am told the
eldest son is particularly weak and worthless. And yesterday...I
received this in the prison mail room.
(Produces a folded-up newspaper, letting it fall dramatically
open...inside is a dead fish. The crowd gasps in horror.)
JUSTINE: My God! This means that--
JACKIE: Yes. Luca Brasi likes fish. (Long pause as she surveys the
room.) Mary, Holli, Karen, Justine--you are my most respected
caporegimes. I entrust you with the task of rooting out the Tattaglia
mole. I do not care what you do to her when you find her, only that
it is bloody and sadistic enough to ensure high ratings and a
relentless spate of fan fiction. (All four nod respectfully.)
Carmella, continue to accuse McManus of sexual harassment--it will
keep him distracted. Livia, I entrust to you the task of keeping the
gangs quiet for the time being...
(With a little bark of laughter, LIVIA nods and produces a *huge*
steel pipe from behind her back. Slapping it against her palm with a
satisfyingly loud smack, she shuffles in her houseslippers from the
cell in search of some heads to crack open.)
JACKIE: Until I give the word, remain at your respective posts. Mary,
you commandeer the east wing. Holli, west wing. Karen, infirmary and
weight room. Justine, the sauna, casino and Starbuck's franchise.
Use any necessary means to maintain order until this *problem* is
MARY (cracking her knuckles): Gotcha, boss. But what about Tessio
and Clemenza? They should be hauling ass on this one, too--
JACKIE (after a pause): They are not the *loyal soldiers* I once
believed them to be...I have sent Pam Rose to see to them.
(Raised-eyebrow glances among the caporegimes). For the time being,
it is not safe for you to report to me directly. Coordinate all your
patrols through Saffron. She knows the geography of this prison like
none other before or since.
HOLLI: Donna Jackie... (Hesitates.) For an operation of this
magnitude, would it not be best to include the Oak Girls as well?
JACKIE (after a very long pause): The Oak Girls no longer have any
use for me. They wish to be known as "model prisoners." (She spits
out the words.). They aspire to be true *pezzonovante.* So be it.
Those who remain allied to me shall never want for anything, even if
they should get their heads blown off in the ensuing bloodbath for
their trouble. It is my way. (Wave of her hand.) You are dismissed.
(All file out of the cell except for the three still-anonymous MEN.
One of them steps forward into the light...)
JACKIE: So, my trusted consigliere. Do you approve?
CHRIS KELLER: You know I do. (Kisses her hand.) May I speak freely,
JACKIE: You may.
KELLER (seizing her hands between his): How much longer can we go on
like this? How much longer must you *torment* me?! I love you, my
darling! I love you, and your indifference is killing me!
JACKIE (amused): I would love to believe you, Keller, but all know of
your ways. You seek to make everyone around you fall under your
spell. Then you break their arms and legs and get all pissy when they
won't accept your apologies for it. Do I not have enough trouble with
Bruno Tattaglia breathing down my neck and--
KELLER (passionately): But *this* time, it's true! I love you, I
*adore* you, my sweet peerless Jackie! No woman or man anywhere
compares to you! My desire, my *utter abject physical lust* for you
is driving me mad--
MELDRICK LEWIS (stepping from the shadows): Okay, hold *on* a second
here, hotshot--there's any bedtime boppin' goin' on around here, it's
*my* job and *his.* Ain't that right, Mikey?
MIKE KELLERMAN (ditto): Yep. You can't just *waltz* in here and
become an official schtup, Keller--you gotta *prove* yourself. You
gotta be hot *all* the time, you gotta have endurance, you gotta have
poetry on your lips and magic in your tongue, you gotta anticipate all
the fantasies *before* she tells you--
MELDRICK: --and if you had another guy you could nail while she's
watchin', that'd be the icing on the cake. But what the hell *you*
got that we can't give her ten times better, Keller? Huh? (As if to
prove his point, he and MIKEY both strip naked, save for MELDRICK's
hat and MIKEY'S fireman helmet. KELLER is at a loss for words.)
JACKIE (artful shrug): They're right, you know, Keller. How can you
claim your *love* for me, and yet not know of my all-consuming passion
for watching handsome men writhe in a sweaty, panting, moaning
entanglement of white-hot burning lust? And what crimes have *you*
committed to compare to their icing of the entire East Side heroin
cartel in a single afternoon? (Another wave of the hand.) Leave my
cell, consigliere. You bore me.
(Looking heartbroken, KELLER departs with his head down; JACKIE
settles back in her chair to watch MIKE and MELDRICK going at each
other like there's no tomorrow. Hearing the sounds of ecstasy behind
him, KELLER clenches his fists, fighting back tears...)
(The common area, daytime....the hustle and bustle, sort of, of the
entire Em City population hanging out. On the overhead TV set we see
MISS SALLY, wearing only a strap-on and two strategically placed glass
jugs of milk, giving a blow job to GOVERNOR DEVLIN while PECKY and
NOOTER ream her from behind--as this is a rerun episode, nobody's
paying attention. Off by the stairs, MUNCH sits curled up on WILLIAM
MUNCH: And so then I looked him *straight* in the eye--no brow-waggle
or anything, *really* intense--and said, 'I carry a Glock, Timmy, just
like you...' "
GILES (solemnly): Amore. Sick. Street. Broom. (They kiss
passionately. From out of nowhere comes ROBIN in a black turtleneck,
Gauloise dangling from the side of her mouth; as she sings a heartfelt
rendition of "Je Me Quitte Pas," O'REILLY stomps around in a snit,
furious at his failure to sell *anyone* even *one* crummy hit of angel
dust. Cut to KAREEM SAID, at one of the tables with HAYLEY, KENNY
WANGLER, CYRIL O'REILLY and a very sullen-looking ANTONIO NAPPA.)
SAID (painfully earnest, as usual): Okay. (Holds up a cardboard sun
covered in gold foil.) Now, *this* represents the power and might of
Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. (Tosses the sun over his
shoulder.) This Moroccan Barbie represents the Prophet's fourth wife
Aisha, while these miniature garden gnomes are the *hadith,* the wise
sayings of Mohammed. (CYRIL takes copious notes; everyone else looks
either bewildered or very bored.) These Pass the Pigs plastic dice
represent the forbidden substances of pork, alcohol--Hayley
al-Kareena, would you like to share with the rest of the class?
HAYLEY (glancing nervously at a MAN standing by the opposite wall,
arms folded, *burning* them with his eyes): I--it's--it's--
KENNY (equally freaked): ADEBISI!!!
NAPPA (looking up in exasperation): Oh, for the love of--*that's* not
Adebisi, you little wet-behind-the-ears morons, it's Alan Keyes!
(Pause; all five glance at KEYES, then each other, let out a
collective shiver of revulsion and bolt from the table, SAID clutching
his Barbie doll in a death grip...)
(Cut to the long overhead balcony; JACKIE stands observing the action
below, flanked by MIKEY and MELDRICK in spangled gold thongs. Cut
back to the common area, where MAGGIE sits at a table, wearing black
leather boots--a full riding ensemble, in fact, right down to the
jodphurs and snappy red jacket--and watching with a gleeful little
smirk as BEECHER spit-polishes her boots, literally.)
BEECHER (takes a few boot licks, then draws back making a face):
MAGGIE (yelling): Shut up and *tongue,* you whiny-assed turd-dropping
49th-parallel loser! LICK 'EM!!
(He quickly gets back to work. Farther down the table we see REDELL,
DASHA, ABBY, ANN, DAWN and SPINNER at work on a group cross-stitch
project--John Wayne Gacy in his clown costume. Guards are everywhere.
At the table's far end, we see RACHEL and MARTI sitting side by side
with their arms folded; RACHEL wears a T-shirt declaring "Lutherans Do
It Nailed to the Wall." Sudden flashback...we see a pasty-faced,
goggle-eyed, fishmouthed WOMAN intently typing something on a computer
WOMAN (Amnesty International-worthy dentist's drill of a voice):
"Dear Online Diary. How are you? I am fine. Today I folded some
socks and spent six hours on ICQ. Someday, the whole world will bow
before my greatness and--AUGGGGGHHH!!" (Out of nowhere comes a pair
of arms holding a huge oakwood baseball bat; we see the swing of the
bat, and the *splat!* of the WOMAN's brains hitting the screen,
mingling with the leftover bits of frosting...)
HILL (v/o): Prisoners number HY7708 and HY7709: Rachel and Marti,
a.k.a. the Oak Girls. One count of murder in the first degree. Motive
unknown. Sentence: Thirty years to life. Possibility of parole:
Twelve years. Movie rights to story: Twelve million and rising.
(Back to Oz...)
RACHEL (sotto voce): I hear the Tattaglias are muscling in on Em
MARTI: Uff da.
RACHEL: They've planted a fink. So I hear. You got any idea who it
is? (A hulking, butt-ugly GUARD lumbers past them, wearing a T-shirt
reading "Ask Me About an Exciting, Well-Paid Career as a Tattaglia
MARTI: No clue. But what do we care, anyway? We're not in the
Family anymore...only thing *we're* gunning for now is parole.
RACHEL (grumbling): Yeah, yeah, whatever...model prisoners, blah blah
blah, you won the coin toss. (Under her breath again:) God, I am
*so* fucking BORED...
(They sit staring at the TV, watching MISS SALLY do something
horrifying with a collapsible umbrella. BEECHER looks up from his
bootlicking to see KELLER watching him from across the room; he
blushes as KELLER winks flirtatiously. The T-shirted GUARD, whistling
casually, waddles toward the balcony stairs...)
(JACKIE turns from the balcony and, flanked by MIKEY and MELDRICK,
starts walking back toward her cell. Suddenly, as she reaches the
door...KARL METZGER jumps from nowhere, knocking out MIKEY and
MELDRICK with two quick nightstick-blows and barreling toward JACKIE.
Without missing a beat, she raises razor-sharp fingernails, gouging at
his eyes; as he howls in pain and his hands fly to his bloody face,
she grabs his fallen nightstick and breaks both his kneecaps with
lightning speed. But suddenly, from behind her...)
T-SHIRTED GUARD (screeching at the top of her lungs, getting JACKIE
into a chokehold and grabbing the nightstick): ASSAULT ON A GUARD! ASSAULT
ON A GUARD! RIOT!!! RIOT!!! LOCKDOWN!!! LOCKDOWN!!!
(Deafening air-raid sirens go off; the scene below the balcony is
chaotic as Tattaglia-paid guards emerge from the shadows, grabbing
prisoners and dragging them back to their cells. JACKIE looks
disgusted by it all but not surprised. The GUARD finally puts her
down; JACKIE takes a deep breath, staring at her in regal fashion.)
JACKIE (as METZGER moans in death-agony, ignored by all): So, Bella
Stronzi...I had wondered when I might again be afflicted with the
presence of "The Warthog." You always were lustful for authority you
did not deserve and men who would have to be both blind *and* deranged
to find you attractive--and treachery is the only way you may acquire
them, so this latest *infamita* does not surprise me in the least.
STRONZI (JACKIE'S speech clearly beyond her minus-IQ mental capacity):
Quit using those big words, you bitch! You started this fuckin' riot,
YOU'RE IN THE FUCKIN' HOLE!!
(Starts dragging the unflustered JACKIE away. Down below, another
GUARD almost shanks BEECHER; KELLER pulls the startled BEECHER away
just in time and starts tippy-toeing with him away from the scene.
The air is filled with the *thwack!* of nightsticks hitting prisoners'
skulls, screaming, tear gas and the steady chant of "Betrayal!
Infamy! Fuckin' Tattaglias...")
(Cut to the Hole. JACKIE, her elegant pinstriped clothes replaced by
a "Tattaglias Rock!" T-shirt, stares defiantly at STRONZI through the
door's small porthole.)
JACKIE (picking with distaste at the T-shirt): You flatter yourself,
you crab-infested daughter of lice-ridden piss-stinking two-dollar
whores. No punishment can break the most powerful Donna the
underworld has ever known!
STRONZI (smirking): Merry Christmas, *fuckface!* (The porthole slams
shut. Suddenly light and sound flood the Hole--JACKIE turns and sees
that one wall is taken up by a large-screen TV. Her surprise turns to
abject horror when she sees there, on the screen...)
JAMES LIPTON: *Hello,* and *welcome* to the Bravo Network's
forty-eight-hour Inside the Actor's Studio marathon--
JACKIE: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Her screams echo down the
corridors of Oz...)
(Night. From KELLER'S cell we hear grunts, moans and ecstastic
screams as he rides BEECHER like a bucking bronco. Presently, after
numerous loving and sweat-glistening camera closeups, both have
regained enough breath to speak...)
KELLER: I could fix that maple leaf on your ass...turn it into a sun.
Indicative of the power of the great and powerful Allah.
BEECHER (utterly blissed-out): Nah...that's okay.
KELLER: Our Godmother is in grave peril, Tobias. Are you willing to
help me rescue her?
BEECHER: If I do, can we fuck again?
KELLER (amused): If you do, Beecher, I assure you that fucking me
will become one of your sworn duties to Donna Jackie. You in?
BEECHER (who has visibly suddenly gained both a beard and a spine):
Fuckin' A, I'm in. Can I crap on Maggie's face too?
KELLER (considers it): Mmmm...I think not. Save your notoriously
noxious ammunition for the Tattaglias.
BEECHER (shrugs): Oh, well. (They stick their tongues down each
(Cut to a sleeping AUGUSTUS HILL, whose cell is now literally
wallpapered in girlie centerfolds; skin magazines are piled six feet
deep on the floors. He stirs, opens his eyes halfway--and nearly
jumps out of his skin to see KELLER standing over him.)
HILL (still half-asleep): Wha...how'd you get in here? Lockdown--
KELLER (as though HILL hadn't spoken): As I am sure you know by now,
the Tattaglias have finally struck. Donna Jackie has been taken to
the Hole. Her caporegimes were ambushed and taken to solitary--Lewis
and Kellerman are in the infirmary. The Family is in disarray.
(Pause.) It is time for you to repay the debt you owe, Augustus.
HILL (nervous, but steeling himself): Okay...understood. What do I
have to do?
KELLER: Tomorrow is the Godmother's birthday. Can you get us a cake?
HILL: Whaddaya you need hidden in it--gun? Knife? Set of keys?
KELLER (puzzled): Er...no, just a cake. Three layers. Extra sugar
roses. Don't forget the candles. (Claps the nonplussed HILL on the
shoulder and walks off. Pan to the adjacent cell, where we see RACHEL
and MARTI lying wide awake, listening to every word. They exchange
worried glances, clearly on the horns of a dilemma...)
(The cafeteria, next morning. Passing by a Tattaglia guard, BEECHER
"accidentally" drops a napkin, bending waaaaay over to pick it up.
Distracted by the sight, the GUARD doesn't hear or feel REDELL and
SPINNER unhooking the keys from his belt. They toss them to DASHA,
who fumbles and drops them with a resounding crash--fortunately hidden
when ROBIN "accidentally" knocks over an entire tray of silverware.
DASHA kicks the keys across the floor to CYRIL O'REILLY. LIVIA
SOPRANO suddenly clutches her chest and falls to the floor,
distracting the other GUARDS long enough for CYRIL to run over and
give the keys to KELLER, who heads for the caporegimes' cells...)
(Cut to The Hole. JACKIE, though clearly battered by the unremitting
night of torture, is stubbornly refusing to break even as James Lipton
praises the immense genius of...)
HARLEE MCBRIDE: So then, I said, like, "Okay, so what's my
motivation?" Which is, like, weird 'cuz I don't even know what the
word "motivation" *means,* okay? So anyway, then I just decided to
be, like, a Method actor or whatever, and so I took off my clothes and
stood there butt-naked in front of this *huge* three-way mirror...
JACKIE (between clenched teeth, sweating profusely): I will not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total
obliteration... (The door suddenly swings open.)
STRONZI (smirking gleefully): Had enough, asshole?
JACKIE (with a calm smile): Go fuck yourself, you dog-sucking
mad-cow-diseased syphilitic flyblown turd. (Spits at her.)
STRONZI: Okay, bitch, THAT'S IT!!! GET READY TO FUCKIN' DIE!!!
(Pulls out a knife the size of a crew oar and starts advancing on
JACKIE. JACKIE backs slowly away, dodging left and right; the first
swing of the knife just misses lopping her head off. Though weakened
by her ordeal, she evades STRONZI with astonishing agility...)
(BOOM! With a perfectly placed roundhouse kick, she's disarmed
STRONZI. The knife goes flying; STRONZI grabs for it and gets a
jaw-breaking kick in the face for her trouble. As she collapses on
the floor howling like a stuck pig--appropriately enough--RACHEL and
MARTI suddenly burst through the door, entangled in a snarling
fistfight with CLAIRE HOWELL. MARTI grabs hold of CLAIRE by the ears
and slams her face-first into the wall. CLAIRE'S skull gives way with
a resounding *crunch*...at that exact moment, JACKIE grabs the knife
and stabs STRONZI square in the chest.)
JACKIE (as STRONZI gurgles and turns blue, blood spewing from her
chest): Do my eyes deceive me? I cannot be seeing the Oak Girls
standing here...they have no *use* for their Godmother anymore.
(Nonetheless, she smiles.)
RACHEL (weeping with emotion): We were so blind, Donna Jackie! So
MARTI (wiping bits of brain off her hands): We beg your forgiveness.
We-- (There is a sudden noise at the door; all three turn to see
VALERIA burst in, wearing spats, fedora and pinstriped suit with a
white carnation in the buttonhole, brandishing a tommy gun.)
VALERIA: Hi! Is everybody-- (Notices the bodies strewn around the
cell; throws gun down in frustration.) Dammit, I *always* miss all
JACKIE: Oak Girls, meet my newest footsoldier.
RACHEL (utter disbelief): *You?*
VALERIA (shrugs): Hey, I'm Sicilian--this stuff is like falling off a
log for me. Cool suit, huh? Kay let me borrow it--
MARTI (pointedly): As I was *saying*--we wish to reaffirm our
loyalty, Donna Jackie.
JACKIE: But why? (STRONZI makes a weak, dying grab for JACKIE'S
foot; JACKIE stomps on her hand, crushing the fingers.) Why this
change of heart?
RACHEL (sincerely, as heartwarming music plays in the background):
Because our lives are not complete without your presence, Jackie.
Your acerbic wit, your intelligence, your imitation of Michael Michele
with steel needles stuck in her eyes all serve to make our lives more
complete. We are lost without you. Please, Jackie, let us be part of
your Family again!
JACKIE (after a pause): Very well. Of course, you understand that if
were not for our full-scale vendetta against the Tattaglias, I would
have to have both of you whacked for running out on me like a pair of
mangy, ungrateful curs--but as it is, I'm short on help. Where are my
VALERIA: Keller got them out of solitary. They're gearing up for...
(Lowers her voice.) The Attack.
RACHEL: What attack?
VALERIA: Sssshhh! (To JACKIE:) Mike and Meldrick are
chloral-hydrating every Tattaglia guard they can find. (Pulls an
envelope from her pocket.) Keller wanted me to give you this...
(JACKIE examines the contents: Polaroid after Polaroid of BEECHER and
KELLER bopping like crazed weasels. On the back of one we see
written: "Have I proven myself to you, my Godmother? Keller."
JACKIE studies the pictures thoughtfully, then smiles.)
JACKIE: Tell Keller his fealty will be...much rewarded. (VALERIA
exits.) As for you, Oak Girls, come with me...we have a great deal of
work to do.
(RACHEL and MARTI exit. JACKIE studies the still-gurgling STRONZI
carefully, then takes an orange from her pocket. Using her
knife-sharp fingernails, she removes a segment of orange peel and
places it Marlon Brando-style in STRONZI'S mouth as the "Godfather"
theme plays yet again....with an ironic salute, she leaves the Hole,
slamming the door behind her.)
(A guard station, later that afternoon. Em City is back on lockdown.
Tattaglia guards stand around, joking with each other, clearly unaware
of JACKIE'S escape. As MCMANUS passes by, a GUARD trips him and he
goes flying; as they snicker, he runs away sobbing, clutching his
hindquarters. The GUARD, basking in his little triumph, looks up at
the balcony to see...)
GUARD: OH, SHIT!!
(He dives for cover--too late. From their hiding places on the
balcony emerge MARY, HOLLI, JUSTINE, KAREN and PAM, taking
dead-accurate machine-gun aim at the Tattaglia GUARDS and dispatching
them all in a hail of bullets and flying body parts. One GUARD
manages to evade the assault and runs for the common area door, only
to be neatly garroted by SAFFRON and SPINNER. MCMANUS, watching in
astonishment, hightails it to a phone:)
MCMANUS (hysterical): Send lawyers, guns and money--the shit has hit
(Slams down the phone and runs to the laundry room, hiding in a basket
full of O'REILLY'S bun-huggers. Suddenly, a hand reaches into the
basket, pushing aside the briefs...)
RACHEL (evil smile): You sorry sack-of-shit puss--did you *really*
think Donna Jackie wouldn't find out about your little *deal* with the
MCMANUS (even more hysterical): But I needed their *help* running
this place--the prisoners scare me! They're *mean!* You put that
damn gun down *right now,* missy, or you are *so* completely on Ad Seg
(She blows his head off, then empties the gun into what remains of his
skull. Suddenly, she hears the *click* of a gun behind her...)
VERN SCHILLINGER (brandishing a Glock): Odin save the Tattaglias!
The Aryan Brotherhood is behind them *all* the fuckin' way,
sweetcheeks! SIEG HEIL! (Points the gun at RACHEL and bursts into
song:) "I got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere--"
(His song is cut off by JACKIE, who appears in the laundry doorway and
tosses a knife Prizzi's Honor-style right through his throat. As he
topples like a tree, JACKIE and RACHEL go hand-and-knife-to-hand
against several ARYAN BROTHERS who burst through the door. RACHEL is
backed into a corner by one; MARTI emerges from a dryer and
brass-knuckles his skull into pulp.)
(Meanwhile, in the infirmary, MIKEY and MELDRICK--now wearing hospital
whites--and LIVIA SOPRANO straight-razor several more Tattaglia GUARDS
to ribbons and run out the door. In the common area, the caporegimes
and Family-allied GUARDS are finishing off the remainder of the
Tattaglia guard and their Aryan Brotherhood allies. Bullets fly,
limbs sail through the air like confetti...)
GOVERNOR DEVLIN (standing in the main Em City doorway, a bevy of
machine-gun-toting NATIONAL GUARDSMEN behind him): FREEZE!!! DISARM
RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!!
(Their eyes widening, MIKEY, MELDRICK, LIVIA, the caporegimes and
allied guards drop their weapons. DEVLIN steps slowly forward,
grinning in anticipation...)
(And the NATIONAL GUARDSMEN fall like dominoes as knives launched from
the balcony hit their throats with pinpoint accuracy. From above,
RACHEL, MARTI and CARMELLA SOPRANO hoot in triumph. DEVLIN, amazed at
this sudden turn of events, stands there stunned for a moment and then
grabs for one of the machine guns...but the caporegimes have beaten
him to it. He backs away slowly, his fear turning to utter terror
when from behind them, back in her natty duds, emerges...)
JACKIE: So, *Governor Devlin,* we meet again. (Pulls a *huge* knife
from her pocket, opening it with a loud *click* of the blade.) But it
does seem to me that I once knew you by a very different name...
DEVLIN (laughing nervously): Okay, look, we can talk about this--
JACKIE (smiling): Oh, I think not. (Walks slowly up to him, knife
held close to her chest; the other, not-soon-to-be-forgotten members
of our cast emerge from the shadows, climb down from the balcony,
assemble behind her.)
DEVLIN: Look, no hard feelings, okay? No--
JACKIE: *No hard feelings.* (Advancing closer.) It's a bit *late*
for that, Governor Devlin--but really, why *do* I persist in calling
you that? I know you all too well by your *real* name--
DEVLIN (now getting *really* nervous): Let's just be *reasonable*
here, all right?
JACKIE: Yes--*Ed Danvers* would be a reasonable man, I suppose. And
*James Devlin,* now *he* is the soul of reason. But neither of them
are the true name of man I am now facing, the nemesis who has done
*everything* in his power to crush my Family, to destroy my empire, to
dethrone me from my *rightful* place as the great and powerful ruler
DEVLIN (now backed against the wall): No...no...*please*...
JACKIE: PREPARE TO *DIE,* BRUNO TATTAGLIA!
(With a single practiced movement, she slits DEVLIN/BRUNO'S throat
from ear to ear. Ducking the arterial spray, she watches him fall to
the floor, then takes the white carnation from her buttonhole and
drops it on him. As the entire room holds its breath, she turns and,
smiling magisterially, declares:)
JACKIE: He is dead. The *padrone* of the Tattaglia family is
dispatched--and Oz belongs to the Family once again.
(The room breaks out in explosive cheers of joy as Family-allied
GUARDS resume their posts, the caporegimes line up to kiss JACKIE'S
hand and the rest of the PRISONERS break into a spirited medley of
Sinatra hits. KELLER approaches respectfully; JACKIE takes his hand
in hers and kisses it. His whole face lights up with joy. Presently,
she motions for silence...)
JACKIE: I share your happiness that I am once again the kling-klang
king of the rim-ram room. However... (Looks around the room at the
mess of blood, guts and body parts strewn everywhere.) Who's going to
clean this up?
(Everybody suddenly starts looking everywhere but at their Godmother.
Finally, MAGGIE motions in BEECHER'S direction and, when he looks up,
smirks and snaps her fingers. He looks beseechingly over at KELLER,
who shrugs--rules are rules, babe--and tosses him a mop. Stamping his
foot and letting out a whiny sigh, BEECHER grabs the mop and starts
throwing random limbs into a Hefty bag, O'REILLY and KAY HOWARD
amusing themselves by pelting him with stray fingers and teeth. Just
when you thought things couldn't get any more festive, confetti
suddenly falls from the ceiling, and then wheeling in from the
kitchens, a candle-covered cake precariously balanced on his lap,
AUGUSTUS HILL: O, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! And all that cal.
Shit. (Places the cake before JACKIE.) Howdy'a like *them* fuckin'
ALL, SIMULTANEOUSLY: *HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JACKIE!*
JACKIE (beaming): Eat me, you pricks.
(As JACKIE surveys her truly magnificent cake--thanks, Augustus--the
room breaks into a good old-fashioned chorus of "Happy Birthday."
Whipping off their hospital whites, MIKEY and MELDRICK jump onto
nearby tables and, back in their gold-spangled thongs, start go-go
dancing to the improvised music as the scene, and our sorry excuse for
a story, mercifully FADE TO BLACK.)
ABJECT APOLOGIES OFFERED TO:
The HBO Network
J. K. Simmons
The Barenaked Ladies
The Mattel Corporation
The Milton-Bradley Corporation
The nation and citizens of Canada
The Italian-American Anti-Defamation League
The Bravo Network
Every Schismite mentioned in this story
And most of all to Jackie, who really deserved a better birthday
present, but what are you gonna do...joyeux anniversaire!