In Search Of
Written by Beth
In Search of JUDY
(EERIE THEME MUSIC: We see Stonehenge, the pyramids, and other inexplicable
wonders of the world interspersed with weird pictures of ghosts and some
(VOICEOVER (It's Leonard Nimoy!)): A capable but quiet woman, dedicated to
her job, excellent at filing things, writing names on the board, and
answering the phone. She's served countless detectives, sergeants and
lieutenants over the years, but no one seems to know anything *about* her.
Where did she come from? What are her dreams? Why doesn't she have a last
name? Tonight: In Search of . . . Judy the secretary.
(More music and weird things)
(CUT TO SCENE OF JUDY, her hair up on top of her head, a phone in her hand)
JUDY: Bayliss, call on line one.
(CREDITS, blah blah)
(CUT TO DETECTIVES MIKE KELLERMAN AND MELDRICK LEWIS, BALTIMORE HOMICIDE
KELLERMAN: What?! Never heard of her. (He shakes his head, pushes his hair
back from his forehead, resumes typing a report.)
LEWIS: Now why you gotta be asking stuff like that? (HE TURNS AWAY IN
DISGUST, SAUNTERS OFF)
(CUT TO DETECTIVE TIM BAYLISS, COFFEE CUP IN ONE HAND, GRIMACING AT THE
CARTON OF SOUR MILK IN HIS OTHER HAND)
BAYLISS: Look--I don't have time for this. (TOSSES THE MILK CARTON IN THE
TRASH) Uh . . . No. I have no idea who you're talking about.
(CUT TO DETECTIVE FRANK PEMBLETON, ON THE PHONE)
PEMBLETON: Get out of my face. (TURNS AWAY)
(CUT TO LIEUTENANT AL GIARDELLO)
INTERVIEWER: Excuse me, sir. Would you be willing to talk to us for a
moment about Judy the secretary?
GIARDELLO: (Has that fierce and scary look in his eyes; glares at the camera
until it slowly pans away.)
(CUT TO INTERVIEWER, STANDING ALONE IN THE BOX)
INTERVIEWER: As you have seen, our initial attempts to talk to the members
of the Baltimore Homicide Unit about Judy the secretary met some resistance.
Why won't the most hardened of detectives--men who spend each day of their
lives immersed in the grisly details of death--discuss a seemingly innocuous
Research into this matter reveals little. There are no personnel records
for Judy. No one seems to know her last name, where she lives, or how she
developed the uncanny ability to write names on the board so neatly. And
the few detectives who *were* willing to talk about her were unable to
provide much more information.
(CUT TO THE WATERFRONT. DETECTIVE JOHN MUNCH STANDING BEHIND THE BAR,
DETECTIVE KAY HOWARD SITTING ACROSS FROM HIM)
MUNCH: I remember one time--this was when Mike Kellerman was on desk duty.
He couldn't find a folder I had asked him for, and then he blew up at
me--totally out of control--and so I said something like, "Okay, okay! I'll
ask Judy for it." In retrospect, I don't know why I said that--I really
don't. I mean, I've never spoken to that woman.
HOWARD: That's what's so weird about it. It's almost like she really
*wasn't there* except to move the plot along in very minor ways. No one
really cared about her.
MUNCH: She didn't talk to us--why should we talk to her? I figure if
that's the way she's going to be, why bother? (SHRUGS)
HOWARD (SHAKES HEAD): I don't think she was ever *given* anything to say. I
mean, did you ever hear *anything* out of her mouth besides "Bayliss, Line
MUNCH: Look, Kay--I don't think she even said that much. That was Naomi's
INTERVIEWER: Who's Naomi?
HOWARD: (REFLECTIVELY) You know, she's actually a lot like Judy in some
ways . . .
(CUT TO THE BALTIMORE HOMICIDE UNIT: NAOMI)
INTERVIEWER: Thank you so much for agreeing to talk to us, Naomi.
NAOMI: (STARES BLANKLY AT THE CAMERA)
INTERVIEWER: Uh, we were wondering about a co-worker of yours named Judy.
Did you know her very well?
NAOMI: (HEAVY SIGH) Yeah, I knew her.
INTERVIEWER: What can you tell us about her? Why was she so marginalized
in the department?
NAOMI: Look--do you know what it's like to be a secretary? Do you have the
slightest idea of what it's like to at the beck and call of a bunch of
overgrown adolescents screaming at you about files and phone calls? Do you
know what it feels like to *never be able to say a single damn word back to
them?* (SHE LOOKS DOWN, HANDS SHAKING) So maybe Judy cracked a little.
Maybe it got to her. You know, I don't blame her--
INTERVIEWER: Blame her for what?
NAOMI: (OBVIOUSLY UNCOMFORTABLE) Look--I've gotta go. Someone's got a call
on line one. Just . . . leave this alone, okay?
INTERVIEWER: Naomi, Naomi--wait! Is it true that you and not Judy said
"Bayliss, line one?" Did Judy ever say *anything* in any episode? Can you
tell us what your last name is?
(CUT TO NAOMI, FROM BEHIND, QUICKLY WALKING AWAY)
(CUT TO INTERVIEWER, BACK IN THE BOX)
INTERVIEWER: Even in the fan community, few discuss Judy. An extensive
search of a few fan fiction archives reveal absolutely no stories *about*
Judy, and only a few of them mention her at all.
But that's not how Beth I feels about it. We visited her one day at work to
discuss her growing interest in Judy.
(CUT TO BETH I'S OFFICE. HALF-EMPTY DIET COKE CANS LITTER ALL SURFACES, AS
DO EMPTY CANDY WRAPPERS. POST-IT NOTES AND COLORED PENCILS ARE STREWN ACROSS
THE DESK, WHICH IS COVERED WITH A THOUSAND-PAGE MANUSCRIPT ENTITLED
_TOENAILS AND THE RAILWAY SYSTEM IN WUBANK COUNTY, NEW YORK, 1804-1807: A
MINDNUMBING SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS_. BETH SITS IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER ON A
SMALL TABLE NEAR THE DESK. UPON ENTRANCE OF THE INTERVIEWER, SHE HASTILY
HITS THE "Alt-Tab" KEYS.)
(INTERVIEWER LEANS OVER HER SHOULDER AND HITS THE "Alt-Tab" KEYS AGAIN. IT
IS REVEALED THAT BETH I. HAS BEEN READING JUSTINE'S "SOUL ALONE" INSTEAD OF
WORKING. INTERVIEWER SIGHS IN DISGUST)
INTERVIEWER: Okay. Thank you for asking us here. What got you interested in
Judy the secretary?
BETH I: All I can say is this. Imagine a life where you hardly exist except
to write down messages and hand over phone calls. You hate it-- you really,
really hate it. You might even have a few ideas--a lead on a case here and
there, a thought or two on a witness. You might want to tell a joke, or
yell at someone who's been rude to you, or talk about your family. And you
might *like* the detectives you work with, want to hang out with them, to
befriend them. But you can't. You can't talk, *ever,* no matter how much
you might want to, and no one gives a good goddamn about you. You're
nothin' but furniture, baby, furniture.
INTERVIEWER: (GENTLY) Did it ever occur to you that maybe Judy just isn't
that important? That she was mostly an extra on the show? That is doesn't
matter what we know about her?
BETH I: (TOO VEHEMENTLY, AND WITH DEMENTED LOGIC) Then why did they give
her a *name,* huh? Why bother with that?
(INTERVIEWER SEES THE MADNESS IN HER EYES, SLOWLY BACKS AWAY)
(CUT TO INTERVIEWER STANDING ALONE IN FRONT OF A TELEVISION)
INTERVIEWER: (GESTURES SADLY AT THE TV) A blank screen. Full of
possibilities, waiting only for light and color and sound to make it come
alive. But what if no one cared to turn it on? What if no one ever even
remembered that the TV was in the room, even though it was there every day?
A sad story, and a sad reflection on the alienation in today's society. Such
is the story of Judy the secretary.
Some mysteries were not to be solved. Some are too disturbing, too
frightening, too much an affront to our more delicate sensibilities. Others,
however, *should* be solved, *could* be solved if only people took the time,
the effort to . . . care a little. I urge you the viewers, and all members
of the Baltimore Homicide Unit, to reconsider the plight of Judy. Think
about her, and try to remember something-- just a little detail here, a
small memory there--that will have made her efforts and participation
useful. I appeal to all of you.
(ROLL FINAL CREDITS)