2.18 - Qualities and Difficulties
Transcript by Craig Best

This is a Beta copy
please contact me for any corrections or additions

[Opening scene - Alex and Kristina talking to Max in their living room.]

MAX: Well, what's Asperger's?

ADAM: [Pauses for a moment.] Well...


ADAM: Max, Asperger's is a form of autism.

MAX: What's autism?

KRISTINA: People who have autism are called autistic and...

ADAM: Yep. But some people have disabilities, Max, and...

KRISTINA: Well, it's not really a disability.

ADAM: It's not a disability. It's a syndrome.

KRISTINA: It's a syndrome. Your brain... it just works a little bit differently than other people's.

ADAM: Yeah, it... Yeah, right.

KRISTINA: It just... it processes things...

ADAM: You're just wired differently than everyone else.

MAX: But I don't have wires inside of me.

ADAM: No, you don't. It's just an expression.

MAX: I have muscles, and I have capillaries, and I have nerve endings, and I have blood, and I have bone.

ADAM: Yep, and they all work perfectly. We just all have tough stuff that we have to deal with in this world, and for you, Asperger's... It's just one of those tough things.

KRISTINA: [Almost crying.] Mm-hmm. And nobody's sure why it happens or...

ADAM: And no matter how tough it seems, you just have to know that your mother and I, we love you... hey... and we are here for you, and we always will be.

KRISTINA: Always. Do you want... Do you have any questions, honey? Or...

MAX: Do you guys have Asperger's?

KRISTINA: Un-uh. Daddy and I don't have it.

MAX: Does Haddie?

ADAM: No, Haddie doesn't have it either.

MAX: Just me.

KRISTINA: Max, we love you so much, honey... So much.

MAX: Can I go up to my room now?

ADAM: Sure, you can go ahead. You can go up to your room.

[Max leaves just as Kristina starts sobbing.]

ADAM: Honey, it's okay.

KRISTINA: No, just stop. Stop. Just... just please.

ADAM: Kristina, I'm sorry.

ADAM: I'm not mad at you.

[NEW SCENE - Braverman kitchen, Sarah enters.]

SARAH: Hi, mom.



CAMILLE: Hey, look at you.

SARAH: Yeah?

CAMILLE: You look great, all bright-eyed.

SARAH: Well, I was up all night.

CAMILLE: You were up all night? [Sarah shows her the note pad.] Writing, just like when you were in high school... My little poet.

SARAH: Oh, yeah.


SARAH: Oh, no.

CAMILLE: Short stories?

SARAH: Uh...

CAMILLE: Journal? What? What?

SARAH: Oh, no. I don't know. It's, uh...


SARAH: I don't know. Nothing like this has ever happened before, you know? It just... I just started, and it came out, and I don't know what it is. I don't know what it is... I guess a story. It's not... I mean, it's not magic. It's just a story.

CAMILLE: It sounds great.

SARAH: Maybe. We'll see.

CAMILLE: I'd love to read it.

SARAH: Uh...

ADAM: Can I?

SARAH: Um, it's not in order, and it doesn't feel... I think maybe I'm not ready.

CAMILLE: Oh. Oh, well...

SARAH: But I'll let you know.


SARAH: When I am, you'll be the... you know, one of the first to... Bye. [She leaves closing the door behind her.]

CAMILLE: [Chuckles]

[NEW SCENE - Exterior of 'Conservatory Arts Building' as Jasmine exits.]

JASMINE: See you later. Uh-uh. Get away.

CROSBY: Sweetie, can... can we talk for one second?


CROSBY: Just give me... I just want one minute, okay?

JASMINE: Get away. Move.

CROSBY: Hold on. Will you please just...

JASMINE: Get off... get off the door!

CROSBY: Sweetie!

[Jasmine drives off avoiding Crosby.]

[NEW SCENE - Apartment building, Sarah enters and goes to apartment E, slipping an envelope under the door before standing and having second thoughts.]

SARAH: Oh, God. Oh, my God. [Tries to get it back.] No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.

MARK: Did you lose something?

SARAH: Oh, my God. Hi.

MARK: Hi. Uh, I-is this your technique for breaking in? 'Cause I'm a little disappointed.

SARAH: It's not what you think.

MARK: Well, I'm... I'm just guessing. It's not often I find women kneeling outside my door.

SARAH: [Laughs]

MARK: This is kind of a "dear diary" day for me.

SARAH: Listen, look, for the record, I was trying to get something back, okay, that I put under there. So this is not, like, stealing or snooping or anything.

MARK: No, no. Y-you're just blushing.

SARAH: [Laughs] Oh, my God. [She stands.] Hi.

MARK: Hi. Um...


MARK: I'm just gonna get into my apartment.

SARAH: Oh, this is your apartment?

MARK: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

SARAH: Oh. That's so...

MARK: Such a coincidence. [Opening the door.]

SARAH: I'll just take that, and I'll, uh, see you later.

MARK: You're not... you're not gonna tell me what it is?

SARAH: Oh, no, no.

MARK: Way to amp up the mystery. I'll just never know why I saw Sarah Braverman kneeling outside my door.

SARAH: Fine. Okay. Um... I just... I wrote this thing, and I don't know what it is. It just kind of came out of me, and I didn't sleep, and it felt really great, and then I was seized with this idea that I-I-I wanted someone to read it, and I thought of you.


SARAH: And then when I put it under your door, the feeling of wanting someone to read it was immediately replaced by intense regret and deep, deep shame. Um, so that's the story, and now I'll just let you go about your day.

MARK: I would love to read it.

SARAH: What?

MARK: I-I-I'd love to read it. I'd be honored.

SARAH: [Sighs] Are... Really?

MARK: Yeah, absolutely.

SARAH: Are you sure?

MARK: I'm sure.

SARAH: I mean... No. It's, like, I wrote it, so chances are... Whoo! Smelly.

MARK: Yeah, I'm sure. I know. Everything you do is terrible. Can I... can I read it?

SARAH: Um, yes. Yes, you can.

MARK: Thank you.

SARAH: I, uh... I think... Yeah, I think this is good. This is really wonderful. Thank you. Fantastic. Fantastic.

MARK: Anytime. It is fantastic. And it's good to see you.

SARAH: It's good to see you.

MARK: All right... I'll get started right away. All right, bye.


[Opening credits - featuring “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan]


DR. PELICKAN: So, you called it a "disability"?

ADAM: Yeah. Look, I'm sure that that's not what I was supposed to do, but I was caught completely off guard. Max just overheard my brother and I shouting at each other. He's standing there in the staircase. You know, the right words weren't exactly rolling off my tongue.

DR. PELICKAN: I don't mean to sound judgmental. I just want to understand what Max heard.

ADAM: Who knows what he hears?

DR. PELICKAN: What else did you say to him?

ADAM: I said that he was wired differently. You know? I told him we loved him, and I knew that it was a tough situation. What the hell are you supposed to say to him?

DR. PELICKAN: Well, you want to be simple, descriptive, upbeat. Emphasize some positive aspects of having Asperger's.

ADAM: Oh, yeah, the positive aspects of Asperger's. I'm sorry those weren't occurring to me in the moment. I mean, is this seriously your advice... to be upbeat?

DR. PELICKAN: It's a suggestion that I believe helps, yes.

ADAM: Well, I'm sorry. It was an emotional situation. I was doing the best I could.

DR. PELICKAN: I understand.

ADAM: I mean, Kristina was crying. It was late. I'd just finished...

DR. PELICKAN: Wait a minute.

ADAM: Shouting that he had Asperger's. I didn't know he was there.

DR. PELICKAN: Kristina, you cried?

KRISTINA: Yeah. I cried.

ADAM: Wait a minute.

KRISTINA: I cried, I mean…

ADAM: Are you really getting judgmental because she was feeling emotional?

KRISTINA: It's okay, honey.

DR. PELICKAN: No, of course not. It's completely natural. I promise you I'm not being judgmental. I-I'm looking for something that I think will help. I know it's here.

KRISTINA: Are you saying that I shouldn't have cried? I mean, I didn't really plan on it.

DR. PELICKAN: Crying implies that having Asperger's is something to mourn, right? We want to be sending a message that Max is like everyone else. He has his strengths. He has his challenges. Asperger's is a part of that.

ADAM: Okay, great. All right, well, she cried. I called it a "Disability." We blew it. I think that's clear. So what do we do now?

DR. PELICKAN: Well, I'm not sure.

ADAM: [Sighs and looks at Kristina.] I mean, you got to be joking! I mean, are you... Seriously, this is your advice? I mean, are we the only parents to have ever screwed up this badly?

DR. PELICKAN: I think you should try for a redo with Max.

KRISTINA: What is this?

DR. PELICKAN: That is a script.


DR. PELICKAN: It's a blueprint for you to talk to your child about this diagnosis. So you should read it together, mainly because I think you both need to be on the same page before you talk to Max about his autism again. So take some time. Take a few days. Really study it. Practice.

ADAM: Practice.

DR. PELICKAN: I know you both want the best for Max. I do too. This is an important transition for him. He's going to need you.

[NEW SCENE - Kristina and Adam in their kitchen.]

KRISTINA: I just feel like you're not on board with this at all.

ADAM: You're damn right I'm not on board, honey. I mean, we go to him for help, and his advice is to feed our son a bunch of positive spin.

KRISTINA: Mm-hmm. That's not what he meant at all.

ADAM: That is what he meant. Let's look at the script together. Let's break it down. Go ahead.

KRISTINA: "Qualities and difficulties of those with Asperger's. Quality... determined." That's a positive thing.

ADAM: All right.

KRISTINA: "Difficulty... making friends."

ADAM: Mm-hmm.

KRISTINA: "Quality... humorous in a unique way."

ADAM: Meaning no one gets his jokes.

KRISTINA: "Quality... exceptional at remembering things that others can't."

ADAM: Things that other people don't care about... bugs. The life span of a particular insect or the wingspan of a flying cockroach. Who cares? That's what that means.

KRISTINA: I ca... I care. "Difficulty... reading other people's cues." I think this is a good start. This is helpful.

ADAM: Well, I don't. I think it's a bunch of positive language. That's all it is. It's a lie.


[NEW SCENE - Joel and Julia in their kitchen with Sydney.]

SYDNEY: Can I bring my dress-up clothes to the sleepover with Jabbar?

JULIA: Um... Gosh, sweetie, I don't know if we're gonna be able to have that sleepover with Jabbar.

SYDNEY: No, no, no, no. You guys said that you were having an anniversary for love, and that meant that I got to have a sleepover.

JULIA: I know that's what I said, sweetie, and...

JOEL: Syd, head upstairs.

JULIA: I meant it.

JOEL: Get your shoes on. Find your backpack. We'll figure out all the sleepover details later. Okay?

SYDNEY: Okay. But I really, really want to have a sleepover.

JOEL: Okay, so do we.

JULIA: We really do. We do, sweetie. I promise.

JOEL: The one time we're able to actually have an anniversary date, just us, the one time...

JULIA: I know, babe. I know.

JOEL: But if we cancel with her, won't it look like we're taking Crosby's side in the whole thing?

JULIA: Will it?

JOEL: It might.

JULIA: I don't want to take sides. He's my brother, but he's screwed up.

JOEL: Is that an understatement, or are you just being literal? Hmm.

JULIA: Okay, we should cancel, right?

JOEL: Yep.

JULIA: Yes. Okay. Here we go. [Picks up the phone.]

JOEL: [Sighs]

JULIA: I mean, what do you even say?

JOEL: "Sorry about your betrayal."

[They both chuckle.]

JULIA: That's terrible.

JOEL: Sorry. I'm just... I was really looking forward to taking you out on an anniversary date, honey. Eight years.

JULIA: I know. I know.

[NEW SCENE - Kristine watches Max studying the side of a kids cereal box.]


MAX: Mm-hmm?


MAX: What?

KRISTINA: Is there anything you want to talk about?

MAX: Nope.

KRISTINA: Are you sure?

MAX: Yep.

ADAM: [Entering the Kitchen.] Hey.


ADAM: Morning, everybody.


ADAM: You all right?

KRISTINA: I don't know.

ADAM: All right, listen, hey, Max, I got to take off to work. You have a good day, okay, buddy?

MAX: Okay.

ADAM: Honey, come on.

KRISTINA: I'll be right back, buddy.

ADAM: Look, what's the problem? He looks fine.

KRISTINA: He looks how he always looks. I just think that maybe we should bring this up again and give him the chance to talk about it.

ADAM: I don't want to upset him. He's processing it in his own way. I'm not interested in memorizing a bunch of facts that have been polished up to make it sound like he's won something.

KRISTINA: I'm not saying that we should do that. I'm saying that we should just talk to him.

ADAM: I don't…

KRISTINA: Just explain…

ADAM: Look, I got to go to work, okay? Can we talk about this later, please?


ADAM: I love you.

KRISTINA: [Scoffs]

[Adam leaves, closing the front door.]

KRISTINA: [Sighs as she looks at Max. Walks back into the kitchen.] Buddy?

[NEW SCENE - Julia's house, Sarah, Crosby and Julia are sitting at the dining table.]

CROSBY: I feel like if I could, you know, get her to talk to me... Or get her to look at me and then talk to me...

SARAH: This is the plan?

CROSBY: I could maybe make it right. W-what do you think?

JULIA: I-I don't even know what to say.

SARAH: Nobody knows what to say. You're an ass. That's the fact.

CROSBY: I have got to fix this.

SARAH: It's the worst thing.

JULIA: It's not...

SARAH: I mean, it's the worst thing. It's the hardest thing to recover from. I'm sorry. It's just true.

JULIA: I think you can fix it. I don't know how. I'm not saying but that's, I mean…

CROSBY: Well, I have to fix it, because I love Jabbar, and I love Jasmine, so what are my options?

[The front door opens, Adam enters.]

JULIA: I think you can. I don't know what they are, but I think it's possible.


ADAM: You didn't say he was gonna be here.

[NEW SCENE - Exterior, Adam leave the house followed by Crosby.]

CROSBY: Hey, Adam! Adam! Will you... Hey! Will you please let me apologize? I was an idiot, okay? I was selfish. Are you really gonna act like you can't hear me saying "sorry"?

ADAM: You know what Crosby, I don't care that you're sorry. I just don't care, all right? I'm busy trying to look after my son, trying to look after my family. You're not even on my radar.

[Adam gets into his car and drives off.]

[NEW SCENE - Whiskey Mike's, Sarah is tending bar.]

SARAH: There you go, third round. Tell 'em to enjoy lunch.

LOU: You know my motto... Shots pay the rent, baby.

SARAH: Hey, Lou, what are you doing here? I thought you had to sleep all day like a bat.

LOU: Uh, Danny quit.

SARAH: Oh, I worked with him Saturday night.

LOU: Quit on Sunday.


LOU: On to New York. He's got a dream. I don't know.

SARAH: Well, so now what happens? You just take all the shifts?

LOU: Well, until Shanahan finds another manager. And he better do it soon, because these doubles are killing me.

SARAH: Hey. What about me?

LOU: Well, what about you?

SARAH: You know, to be the new manager.

LOU: You haven't been here that long.

SARAH: I've been here over a year, you know, off and on.

LOU: I need some consistency.

SARAH: No, I could be consistent.

LOU: What, are you Jonesing to manage a bar?

SARAH: I'm, you know, thinking about my future.

LOU: Here?

SARAH: I don't know, Lou. I mean, I dreamed of being an artist or a writer or something, but I mean, come on. I got to pay the rent, you know? What do you got, a line of people outside?

LOU: No.

SARAH: Just put in a good word for me.

LOU: Okay, I'll tell him you're interested, all right?

SARAH: Thank you.

LOU: [Putting put his fist.] Hit me. Don't leave me hanging. [She does.] Love you. I'll be in the office. Sell some more shots.

[NEW SCENE - Julia's office. The phone rings.]

JULIA: Yeah?

LADY: [Voice on the phone.] I have a Jasmine Trussell on the line for you. Should I take a message?

JULIA: No, uh, put her through. Thanks.

JASMINE: Hey, Julia. It's Jasmine.

JULIA: Hi, Jasmine.

JASMINE: I... I just wanted to call and find out if we're still on for the sleepover tomorrow.

JULIA: Yeah, I-I was actually gonna call you too. So... Are we still on?

JASMINE: Yeah. I-I hope so. Jabbar is pretty amped up about it.

JULIA: Yeah, so is Sydney. I just... You know? As long as you're okay with it.

JASMINE: Oh, it's okay. And... and I'm okay. Everything's okay. And, um... We'd really love for Sydney to come, so...

JULIA: Well, we would love that too.


JULIA: Is 4:00 too early?

JASMINE: 4:00 is great.

JULIA: All right, see you then.

JASMINE: Okay, bye.

[NEW SCENE - Crosby enters his houseboat, Jasmine has sent over some of his stiff in boxes.]

[NEW SCENE - Night time, Adam answers his front door.]


ADAM: Mom, dad, hi. Come on in.

KRISTINA: How are you?

CAMILLE: Good. How are you?

KRISTINA: I'm good. We're good.

ZEEK: Hey.

ADAM: Hey. Is everything all right?

ZEEK: Yeah. Well, you know, your sister told us what happened.

ADAM: What exactly did she tell you?

ZEEK: With Crosby and the stuff, you know?

CAMILLE: Yeah, pretty much everything.


ADAM: Why don't you guys come on in and sit down?

CAMILLE: Um, how... how are you doing?

ADAM: We're, uh, you know... We're all doing okay.

KRISTINA: We're good.

ADAM: Yeah.

ZEEK: So how's... how's my grandson doing?

ADAM: Tough to say. He's working through things in his own way, at his own pace.

ZEEK: So maybe it was for the best, then.

ADAM: Well, I don't know that I'd exactly put it that way, but...

ZEEK: He was gonna find out about it, so sooner's better than later.

ADAM: You know, dad, I got to say, I'm having a tough time sitting here listening to you try to put a positive spin on this. You know, Gaby has been working for us for over a year trying to gain Max's trust, and she quit because of Crosby. So we're not looking at this like some sort of awesome development.

KRISTINA: Do you guys want any coffee or anything?

CAMILLE: No, thank you. Have you talked to your brother?


KRISTINA: I don't think that's a good idea.

ZEEK: You should talk to him, don't you think? Blood is thicker than water. Come on.

CAMILLE: I mean, he... he made a mistake. It was a really bad thing he did, but he needs to talk to you. You're his brother.

ADAM: Is this why you came over here? You came over here to get me to... to talk to Crosby? Is that what this is? Do you know why he's irresponsible? It's because of you. Both of you are to blame for letting him get away with everything, for letting him off the hook for everything. Year after year, you make excuses for him. You do his laundry. You lend him money. You... you bail him out. He's a grown man! It's not my responsibility to make him feel better about this! You know, I'm spending all my energy trying to clean up this mess that Crosby made. He cheated on his fiancée. It directly affected Max. And I don't care if he didn't mean to hurt anybody. He did, just like he always does! He's selfish. [To Camille] And for you, of all people, to sympathize with that is unbelievable to me.

[Adam leaves the room and goes up stairs.]

KRISTINA: Honey? Honey?

[NEW SCENE - Conservatory Arts, Jasmine is teaching a class of dancers.]

JASMINE: Five, six, seven, eight. And one, two, three, and four. Shoulders, head, spiral walk. And one, two, three, and four, five, six, seven, eight. And one, two, three, and four...

CROSBY: [Entering the room.] Hey. Hey. Can I have, like, a second of your time?

JASMINE: I'm in the middle of class right now.

CROSBY: Okay, well, it's important. You... you have to talk to me.

[NEW SCENE - Hallway outside the class.]

CROSBY: Listen...

JASMINE: Don't you dare tell me what I have to do.

CROSBY: I just want, for one second...

JASMINE: No, no. I don't want to hear it. You know I'm barely holding on right now? Do you understand that? Do you? What you did to me makes me sick. What you did to our family makes me sick. I don't even want to look at you. Don't come here again. Don't come here again.

[Crosby sighs as Jasmine goes back to her class.]

[NEW SCENE - Max's room, Adam is helping Max get ready for class.]

ADAM: Okay, Max, let's boogie. We're late.

MAX: Why isn't mom taking me to school?

ADAM: Because she has to run an errand with Haddie.

MAX: These are the wrong shoes.

ADAM: Max, we don't have time, okay?

MAX: I want to wear my blue shoes.

ADAM: Just put those on. Put those on.

MAX: No. I need to put my blue shoes on.

ADAM: Max, these are fine. I want you to put these on.

MAX: No! I need to put my blue shoes on!

ADAM: Put the black shoes on. You don't need the blue shoes.

MAX: I need to put my blue shoes on.

ADAM: [Starting to loose it.] All right, fine. We'll find the blue shoes. You want to help me?

MAX: No. Max, you're telling me that you... All right, here they are. Look at that. Here are your blue shoes. [Sighs] Max, what if I told you you didn't have to go to school today?

MAX: But I do. It's Thursday.

ADAM: You don't. You don't have to go to school today.

MAX: Yes, I do. It's Thursday.

ADAM: What if, instead of going to school, you and I go to galaxy point park and ride roller coasters all day long? Just you and me. How's that for a surprise? Come on.

MAX: I don't like surprises.

ADAM: Okay. Remember the Velocerator.

MAX: Uh-ha.

ADAM: Scariest, fastest ride in all of Northern California?

MAX: Yeah, I know. It says so on the poster.

ADAM: That was your favorite. You wanted to ride that, like, a dozen times.

MAX: It's the one on the Mobius track, right?

ADAM: That's right.

MAX: The one that goes forwards and backwards?

ADAM: That's right.

MAX: Can we go on it more than once?

ADAM: We can go on the Velocerator as many times as you want. We'll only break for meals, okay? We will go on the Velocerator till the park closes. You may never want to go on the Velocerator again. What do you say?

MAX: Okay.

ADAM: Yes!

MAX: Yes!

ADAM: All right!

MAX: Awesome!

[NEW SCENE - Whiskey Mike's,

PETE: So, Louis tells me you are interested in management.

SARAH: Definitely.

PETE: Why?

SARAH: Why? Have you never seen cheers? Okay? [Chuckles] What looks better than, uh, you know, Ted Danson's job?

PETE: Well, Ted Danson was the owner.

SARAH: Right. That's up next. No, seriously, I, um... You know, I've just spent a lot of time being a bartender, and, uh, I think I'd be good at it. I'm looking to expand.

PETE: Okay, but you do know that it pays about 30% less than bartending, right?


PETE: Yeah. Yeah, managers, they don't take home tips. So you actually get a salary. And I can guarantee your current take-home pay is gonna get hit pretty hard.

SARAH: Um, huh.

PETE: Can I make an observation?

SARAH: Yeah.

PETE: The customers... they all love you, okay? And as far as I'm concerned, you can work as many shifts as you want, okay? Yes, maybe sometimes you're a little erratic, whatever. You don't bring me drama, and I love that. But I don't think you should be a manager. You know, and I'd hate to see you get burnt out after six months 'cause, you know, you hate scheduling everybody's shifts.

SARAH: Yeah.

PETE: Yeah.

SARAH: Well, thanks, Pete.

PETE: Come to me anytime.

[NEW SCENE - Galaxy Point Park.]

MAX: It's this way, dad.

ADAM: Are you sure?

MAX: Yes.

ADAM: I think it might be this way Max.

MAX: Yes. No, but first we have to ride... No. Dad! First we have to ride the Fury then the Bandit...

[Adam's phone rings.]

MAX: Excuse me. What are you selling here?

ADAM: Hey, honey.

KRISTINA: Hey, honey. Hi. Can you hear me?

ADAM: Yeah. I'm right here.

KRISTINA: Where are you? I can barely hear you.

ADAM: I am at galaxy point park.

KRISTINA: You're what?

ADAM: Max and I are playing hooky today, so we came out to Galaxy Point. We're gonna ride the Velocerator. Hey, Max, stay close to me. What?

KRISTINA: Okay, Adam, I don't think that that's such a good idea.

ADAM: Good idea, I know, honey, but we're having a fantastic time, okay? [Eating some cotton candy.] Max.

MAX: I need $6.

KRISTINA: I say this out of love, but you've gone rogue. Adam.

ADAM: Yeah? Honey, listen, it's just one day, okay? It's not a big deal.

KRISTINA: It is a big deal. We have to stick with the plan. Dr. Pelican said to stick with his routine, and this is not his routine.

ADAM: Kristina, you and I have been parents for the exact same amount of time, okay? Everything is gonna be just fine. It's under control. Don't worry, all right? I love you. Bye.

KRISTINA: [Adam hangs up his phone.] Hello?

ADAM: All right!

[NEW SCENE - Waiting in line.]

MAX: That is so cool! Hey, did you know that the sidewinder... Is an inverted element on a roller coaster where it makes a 90-degree turn while the train is inverted?

ADAM: I did not know that.

MAX: And the fastest coaster in the world is in Abu Dhabi. It goes from zero to 150 miles an hour in four seconds.

ADAM: Wow. That is fast.

MAX: If you sit in the front, you have to wear protective goggles. It's gonna be awesome! Whoo! I just can't wait. I can't wait. I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait. [Adam smiles.]




JULIA: Hey, honey. Hey, Jabbar, Sydney's here.

JABBAR: Hi, Sydney.

SYDNEY: Hi. I got a new pretty eraser.

JASMINE: Oh, you guys look great.

JULIA: Aw, thanks.

JOEL: Thank you.

JASMINE: Is there a special occasion?

JOEL: Uh, it is officially our eighth...

JULIA: Eighth day eating no sugar.


JULIA: Yeah. So we're celebrating. We're going to a raw-food restaurant.

JOEL: Mmm. Yes.

JASMINE: That's... that's really hard.

JOEL: Yes.

JASMINE: Good for you guys.

JOEL: I think it's the first date we've had on a weekday since, uh, before Sydney was born.

JULIA: No, that's an exaggeration.

JOEL: No, I don't think I am exaggerating.

JULIA: Yeah, you are, babe.

JOEL: Well, regardless, thank you. This... this is fantastic.

JASMINE: You're welcome.

JOEL: Okay.

JULIA: All right, well, I'll pick her up first thing in the morning?

JASMINE: You know, anytime. I'm not working tomorrow, so... Have fun. [Laughs tearfully]

JULIA: Jasmine.

JASMINE: I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm fine.

[Julia looks at Joel.]

JOEL: [In the kitchen area.] Hey, guys, who wants to play hide-and-seek Israeli Army style?

JULIA: [To Jasmine, they go to the living room area.] Come here. Come here.


JOEL: Yes? All right, here it is...

JASMINE: I'm sorry.

JULIA: No, don't be sorry.

JASMINE: Are you kidding me? You guys should go. I'm fine. I'll be okay.

JULIA: Hey, we are here now. Don't be silly. We can... we can hang out.

JASMINE: No, but you look so pretty. And I-I thought this was a special occasion for you two.

JULIA: No, we we're just gonna go eat.

JASMINE: Really?

JULIA: Don't worry about it. We can go eat anytime.

JOEL: Okay, uh, who here wants some pizza? What do you guys like on it... Brussels sprouts?

JASMINE: Thanks.

JULIA: Of course. Come here.

JOEL: You don't like Brussels sprouts? That's weird.

[NEW SCENE - Galaxy Point Park. Adam and Max are getting onto the ride.]

MAX: I can't believe this. We're actually on the Velocerator. We're on it.

ADAM: All right. This is gonna be great.

MAX: Yes, yes it is. It's gonna be really cool.

ADAM: All right, let's make sure we keep our hands and arms inside at all times. You ready?

MAX: Why isn't it going?

ADAM: Well, there's a few more people have to get on...

MAX: No, it should be going by now.

ADAM: I don't know.

ANNOUNCER: We're sorry, but the Velocerator needs repairs and will be closed for the rest of the day. Please come back and visit us soon.]

MAX: What?

ADAM: Okay, listen, Max, this is something we didn't plan on, but we have to get off the ride now.

MAX: No, we don't. You said we would ride the Velocerator as many times as I wanted.

ADAM: I know I did, but they have to make repairs.

MAX: No, you took me out of school…

ADAM: Look Max they need repairs all of a sudden.

MAX: …so that we could come here and ride the Velocerator.

ADAM: They need to make sure the ride is safe.

MAX: We changed everything about the day to come here and ride this.

ADAM: Max.

MAX: No, we have to ride it!

ADAM: There's another ride right over there.

MAX: [Now yelling.] No, I don't want another ride! I want to ride the Velocerator! It's not fair! It's not fair! [Gets out and starts running.]

ADAM: Max, hey, hey, hey.

MAX: It's not fair!

ADAM: Max! Excuse me. Max!

MAX: It's not fair!

ADAM: Max!

MAX: Aah!

ADAM: Max, hey. Excuse me. Max. Max, hey, hey, hey.

[Adam catches up with Max.]

MAX: It's not fair! You promised!

ADAM: Max, it's okay, all right?

MAX: You promised...

ADAM: I know I did.

MAX: We would go on the Velocerator as many times as I wanted!

ADAM: It broke down. I can't... [Trying to hold him Max lashed out.] Hey, Max!

MAX: You said! Aah!

ADAM: You're okay. You're okay.

[NEW SCENE - Night, Crosby's boat, he's drinking hard liquor and listing to loud music.]

MAN: Hey. Hey.

CROSBY: Uh, what are you doing on my boat?

MAN: Come on, sir, could you just lower the music a little bit, please, huh? It's been going all night.

CROSBY: I don't think I invited you on my boat.

MAN: Hey, other people live here. How about just a little bit of consideration?

CROSBY: I thought I was the only person out here adrift at sea.

MAN: No, no, there are other people in this world, yeah.

CROSBY: Why don't you turn your ass around and go back to your boat?

MAN: You don't need to talk to me like that.

CROSBY: I think you're on my boat, so I think I'll talk to you how I want! Get off my boat!

[Crosby pushed the man who hits back knocking Crosby over.]

MAN: Come on, mouth. Come on.

[Crosby gets up and they end up brawling on the floor.]

[NEW SCENE - Night, Police station, police radio chatter as Crosby exits.]

ZEEK: [Waiting by his truck.] I paid your bail.

CROSBY: I messed up.

ZEEK: Yeah, you did.

CROSBY: I mean... I really messed up.

[Zeek hugs his son.]

[NEW SCENE - Adam and Kristina's bedroom. Adam enters as Kristina is in bed reading.]

ADAM: He's asleep.

KRISTINA: That's good. That's good.

ADAM: I'm sorry, Kristina. I don't know what I was thinking.

KRISTINA: You were thinking you wanted to have a good time with your son and connect with him, and you did. You did.

ADAM: I was just trying to get him out of the house, and he had to have his particular pair of shoes, and I... I didn't want him to feel limited, you know? And I... [Voice breaking] I just wanted to forget about everything for one damn day, you know? And show him that we could go out and have a happy memory.

KRISTINA: It's okay, honey.

ADAM: You know, I just didn't want him to feel so alone.

KRISTINA: He had fun. [Patting the bed.] Come here.

ADAM: Anyway, I think you're right. I think that we should... Try to talk to him again about his Asperger's.

KRISTINA: Okay. I think that's a good idea.

ADAM: We can use the pelican script... As a guide.

KRISTINA: [Laughs] Okay, as a guide.

ADAM: [Sighs]

KRISTINA: You're a great dad.

ADAM: I have my moments.

KRISTINA: You're a great dad.

ADAM: Yeah.

[NEW SCENE - Night, Braverman guesthouse, front door.]

MARK: Sarah, hi.

SARAH: [Frightened] Aah!

MARK: Oh, hi.

SARAH: Oh, my God! Oh, my God!

MARK: I'm sorry. So sorry, I was... I was about to knock on the door. I didn't get there.

SARAH: This is not the door where you knock. [Pointing to the main house.] That is the door.

MARK: I don't know which door is the right door.

SARAH: [Catching her breath.] God.

MARK: This coming from the cat burglar outside my apartment.

SARAH: [Smiling] The cat burglar worked during the day... That's not scary.

MARK: You know, I get a little freaked out in the daytime. I came by to return your reading material.

SARAH: [underwhelmed] Oh.

[NEW SCENE - Entering the guesthouse, Sarah picking up clothes as she leads the way.]

MARK: I'm... I'm sorry. I should have called. I just, um... I just thought I'd...


MARK: I don't know... just come by. It's not really any fun to talk about writing over the phone.

SARAH: Right. This is gonna be a lot of fun. I can tell. So have a seat.

MARK: This is good. Um, so...

SARAH: So let me just save you. Uh, if I remember how this goes, is you start off with two or three kind of generic, positive comments about my writing, you know, to make me feel good about myself. And then you follow those up with two or three super-specific criticisms which are so soul crushing, because I realize in that moment how true they are, so if you want to just skip to those, that's fine, 'cause I probably won't remember the positive comments by that time anyway, provided there are any, which may be too hopeful. [Sighs] What?

MARK: Nothing. You just, uh... You just reduced my life's work as an English teacher, so I'm feeling a-a little unnerved.

SARAH: Oh, God.

MARK: I'll get over it.

SARAH: No, no, I'm sorry. I'm an idiot. I'm so sorry.

MARK: No, it was impressive.

SARAH: I'm just a little nervous. But I can take it, so I'm glad you came. Thank you. Go ahead, whatever you have to say.

MARK: Okay. Are you sure?


MARK: Okay. So, uh, well, firstly...

SARAH: Oh, I'm sorry. I just don't want to be in this chair, 'cause it just is not... I just want to sit...

MARK: Okay.

SARAH: [She moves to sit by Mark on the couch.] I just want to be so I can really...

MARK: Yeah. This is a good place for you. Um, so my main impression is that it's not a story.

SARAH: Okay. I know. No, no, no, listen.

MARK: Sarah. Sarah, shut up. Please, shut up.

SARAH: No, I can't. It just... it came out like, "blah."

MARK: Sarah, please, stop, stop, stop. I didn't say it was bad. It's not... it's not a story. It's more of a play, okay? Your characters are... are fresh. Their voices are... are crystal clear, and all of the action is told through the dialogue, which, incidentally, is incredibly funny.

SARAH: It is?

MARK: Yeah, it is. Now, I-I-I do have two criticisms. [She drops hear head into the cushion on her lap.] So the first one is your handwriting's readable, but I think for your next draft, you should actually type your work.

SARAH: Type it. Yeah. Okay, and?

MARK: And, two, you have to finish it. You need act two. And, um.. And that's it.

SARAH: That's it?

MARK: Yeah. It's really, really good. [She is stunned.] So... Congratulations, Sarah Braverman. You are a playwright. Was it hard to do?

SARAH: Um, no, I mean, that's the thing. It just kind of... No. No.

MARK: Wow.

SARAH: So just... I'm sorry. Just to be clear. You liked it?

MARK: Yes. I really did.

SARAH: That's just...

MARK: It's beautifully written. [Sarah is lost for words.] Well, I guess I'll, uh... I'll see you around, Sarah.

SARAH: I'll see you around, Mark.

MARK: All right.

[Mark leaves, moments later Sarah follows his outside.]

[NEW SCENE - Outside the guesthouse.]

SARAH: Hey. [They face each other.] Thank you.

MARK: You're... you're welcome.

[Mark gets in his car and leaves, Sarah smiling runs inside.]

[NEW SCENE - Max is at the dining table with his parents.]

KRISTINA: So buddy, do you remember last year when you went to occupational therapy to get more comfortable in your body? Remember that?

MAX: Mm-hmm.

KRISTINA: And you know how you've been working with Gaby and she's been helping you learn how to play with other kids?

MAX: Yeah.

KRISTINA: Well, you've been working so hard at these things because you have Asperger's syndrome.

MAX: You guys already told me that.


ADAM: Yeah. Yeah, we did, but what we haven't had the chance to do is to tell you about all the special abilities that people with Asperger's have... Like, for example, you have an amazing memory. And you have read every book ever written about pirates. And you're passionate about insects. You've always been able to memorize every fact about every insect. And that's all because of the Asperger's.

KRISTINA: But there are some things that are a little bit more challenging for you as well. You know, like you had to learn to remember to look into people's eyes when they're talking to you or to smile at someone when you meet them for the first time or to stay calm if somebody has a different idea than you. And, you know, sometimes these things come a little bit easier to other kids, but you've really had to work at them.

ADAM: And we know how hard you've worked to learn them.

KRISTINA: You're a rock star.

MAX: Will I always have it?

ADAM: Yes. Yeah, you will always have an amazing memory, and you will always be passionate about the things that you're interested in. And those social skills that your mom mentioned, those will always be things that you just have to remind yourself about.

KRISTINA: I actually have a couple of books here dad and I have been reading that talk about autism, and this one here was actually written by a boy who's a couple years older than you who has Asperger's syndrome. It's a really interesting book, and, uh, we will sit and read these with you if you want. Or if you want to read them by yourself and ask us questions. We're learning together, all of us. So this is all new for us too.

ADAM: We're proud of you, Max.

KRISTINA: So proud.

ADAM: Every day.

MAX: I want to go play Bug War online.

KRISTINA: [Chuckles] Okay.

ADAM: Go ahead.


ADAM: 30 minutes.

MAX: 45.

ADAM: 30.

MAX: Fine.

KRISTINA: I love you.

ADAM: Well.

KRISTINA: I didn't cry.

ADAM: You did a good job.

KRISTINA: You did such a good job. I'm so proud of you.

ADAM: You're a good mom, great mom.

KRISTINA: Thanks. I didn't cry.

[NEW SCENE - Crosby's houseboat, Jabbar is visiting.]

JABBAR: One, two, three.


JABBAR: Bam, out of the place.

CROSBY: You knocked me out. I don't know why I play with you.

JABBAR: Sorry. Two sorries.

CROSBY: I think you cheat. Mm-hmm.

JABBAR: Mommy says you need to stay here because you're working on the boat.

CROSBY: Um... [Clears throat] Yeah. That's what's happening.

JABBAR: When will you be done and come home?

CROSBY: Well, it's gonna be a while, buddy. Uh, I have a lot of work to do.

JABBAR: What happened to your eye?

CROSBY: Well, what do you think happened?

JABBAR: Punch, punch, punch.

CROSBY: [Jokingly] I'm gonna punch, punch you.

[NEW SCENE - Julia and Joel's house, he comes down his stairs to the living room.]


JOEL: I need to, uh... [Sits on the couch next to her.] Tell you something.

JULIA: Okay.

JOEL: I will never cheat on you.

JULIA: Joel.

JOEL: Honey, you know, we've been through so much, and... We're gonna go through so much more, you know, good and bad. We're just... we're gonna go through everything. And I will never... I will never cheat on you.

JULIA: Come here.

[They kiss then hug in a tight embrace.]

[NEW SCENE - Braverman Guesthouse. Sarah opens the envelope Mark bought her writing back in, inside finding a book “The Elements of Playwriting”.]

[NEW SCENE - Kristina reading to Max in his bed. He is almost asleep. Adam is watching from the doorway.]

KRISTINA: "Heard the news?" He said. "There's nothing else being talked about all along the riverbank. Toad went up to town by an early train this morning, and he's ordered a very large and very expensive motor car.” Max? [Brushes his hair back, then continues reading.] "The mole had long wanted to make the acquaintance of the badger. But whenever he mentioned his wish to... [Adam comes in a kisses Kristina.] He always found himself put off."

[Adam sits on the flood next to the bed.]

Episode End
2.18 - Qualities and Difficulties
Original Airdate (NBC) March 1, 2011
Written by Bridget Carpenter
Directed by Bob Berlinger

Transcribed by Craig Best
Original subtitles from www.addic7ed.com

Please Don't Use Without Permission!

This is a transcript of the aired episode that includes accurate word-to-word dialogues, some settings have been added where needed along with actions and/or camera movements where I felt they were necessary. "PARENTHOOD" and other related entities are owned, their respective companies and no copyright infringement is intended..
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