4.14 - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Transcript by Craig Best

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

[Opening scene - Zeek and Camille in bed asleep, the phone rings and Zeek answers it.]

ZEEK: Hello? [Pause as he listens.] Wait. Yeah? Are you--are you home? Okay--yeah. Why don't you meet me at that place around the corner there? Yeah. Yeah, I'll be-- I'll be right there.

CAMILLE: Who was that?

ZEEK: Uh...

CAMILLE: What time is it?

ZEEK: Yeah, don't worry, Millie. Everything's okay. It's just, uh-- you go back to sleep, honey.

[NEW SCENE - Short time later we see Zeek and Ryan sitting at a diner eating breakfast.]

ZEEK: What's going on, Ryan?

RYAN: I can't sleep. I never sleep, you know? Just stare at the ceiling and then if I do sleep, I wake up. I'm--my heart's pounding, I'm sweating like an idiot, I'm--I'm freaking out like I got something I'm supposed to be doing. I don't know. It's not working, man. You know, I'm waiting for everything to get better and it's not. I'm just stuck.

ZEEK: So that's it? You're stuck? Well, what are you gonna do about it? You start with a little thing. I mean, however inconsequential it is. I mean--

RYAN: Like what?

ZEEK: I don't know. Something small. Something that you can take care of. Something that you can control. Beginning, middle, end. Task completed.

[NEW SCENE - Crosby and his family in the kitchen getting ready for the day.]

JASMINE: Jabbar, let's get your shoes on. We have to be out the door in five minutes.

RENEE: The boy's gotta eat his breakfast.

CROSBY: Yeah, buddy, you know what? Why don't you eat your eggs while you're doing your cards, okay?

JABBAR: I don't want eggs.

CROSBY: What do you mean you don't want eggs? It's got cheese and mushrooms and zucchini--

JABBAR: I don't want mushrooms. I want a breakfast bar.

RENEE: Jabbar, your father just made you some healthy...

JASMINE: [Passing him a Breakfast Bar] Just eat.

RENEE: Breakfast.

JABBAR: But I like Breakfast Bars better.

CROSBY: Look, as long as he gets some calories in his body, I guess it's okay with me.

JASMINE: Yeah, we--you know, we're just pressed for time. He doesn't eat like this all the time.

JABBAR: Yeah, I do.

CROSBY: No, you don't.

JASMINE: You, don't.


CROSBY: That's--he does not eat like that all the time.

RENEE: I just know that an hour from now someone's in for a major sugar crash.

[Jasmine takes Jabbar to the next room.]

JASMINE: Bye. [Off screen to Jabbar.] Come on, put your shoes on.

RENEE: Here. Don't waste 'em.

[NEW SCENE - Drew's school, Sarah is walking up the stairs. It's busy with a lot of students making their way to classes.]

MARK: Sarah.

SARAH: Hi. I was dropping off Drew's term paper--um, history paper. He left it at home. It's due today.

MARK: And you're a good mom. You had no choice. Do you know where to--

SARAH: Yeah.

MARK: Okay.

SARAH: Thanks.

MARK: All right. Um, I should probably get to--

SARAH: I don't wanna keep you. It's okay. Yeah.

MARK: I, um…

SARAH: It's okay.

MARK: No, I-I just-- it's so--it's so awkward. I'm sorry, I-I…

SARAH: It's gonna be awkward.

MARK: Would… Okay, would you--would you want to maybe just get together at some point and just talk all this through? Or just--I don't know.

SARAH: Yeah. I mean, I thought you didn't wanna...

MARK: No, I-I do.

SARAH: Talk to me.

MARK: And I--and I know that you're moving on and I am too, but I-I still really care about you... And, um…

SARAH: are you late?

MARK: II am now technically late. But I don't know. Just something to get some…

SARAH: Yeah. I think that would be really nice.

MARK: All right. Now I really am late.

SARAH: Okay. Thanks.

MARK: See you.

[NEW SCENE - Adam and Kristina at home with Nora. Adam is singing and using a toy piano.]

ADAM: [Singing] Nora, I adore ya, I adore ya, Nora.

KRISTINA: That's awful.

ADAM: What do you think?

KRISTINA: That's bad.

ADAM: That's a good little song.

KRISTINA: Your v-it's the tone.

ADAM: [Singing] I adore ya, Nora go higher.

KRISTINA: Go higher.

ADAM: [Singing] I adore ya.

[Max comes in the front door, interrupting things.]

MAX: I can't go to cedar knoll middle school anymore. It is a fascist state!

ADAM: Whoa, hey, Max, take it easy.

KRISTINA: Buddy, what is happening?

MAX: Mr. Mason said that we can't bring back the vending machine anymore, that I have to give up.

KRISTINA: Wait, what?

ADAM: I'm sure that's very disappointing, I need you to…

MAX: It's not fair, okay?

KRISTINA: Calm down.

MAX: I won--I won the election.

KRISTINA: Yes you did.

MAX: That means the kids voted for me to do this.

KRISTINA: They absolutely 100% did. So this is what we're gonna do. Listen, we're gonna talk to the school and see if we can change some of the rules, right?

MAX: No, it has nothing to do with the rules.

KRISTINA: That's what's fair.

MAX: It's the PTA. It's the parent totalitarian association. I did everything I was supposed to do!

KRISTINA: Yes, you did.

ADAM: Okay.

MAX: I wrote a letter, I got the signatures, I--

KRISTINA: Calm down for a second.

ADAM: Max.

MAX: I can't go to that school anymore. You guys have to find me a new school to go to.

KRISTINA: He's not wrong.

[NEW SCENE - Early morning, Julia and Joel lying in bed.]

JOEL: How long you been up?

JULIA: I think all night.

JOEL: Oh, honey. Oh. Your brain is like a hamster in a wheel. You just don't even need coffee. You start thinking and... You're up. Hey. [he kisses her shoulder.]

JULIA: I just keep trying to tell myself that it's gonna be okay, but I don't know that. I don't know. I don't know if it's gonna work. Ever.

JOEL: We should finalize it.

JULIA: What?

JOEL: I think we should finalize it. You know, just talk to the lawyers, file the paperwork, dot the "I"s, cross the "T"s. You know, if there's anything that's gonna tell our boy that he's a part of this family, that's it. I just think we need to, you know, just take the leap.

JULIA: You do, huh?

JOEL: Yeah. I really do. I just-- I'm sure of it.

JULIA: I wish I were.

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

[NEW SCENE - Cedar Knoll Middle School. Kristina approaches some PTA moms.]

WOMAN 1: …that energy, like, all that-- And I'd just be like--you just do whatever I said, you know?

LYDIA: Because you're the only girl and they wanna please you.

[They turn to see Kristina.]

WOMAN 1: Hi.


KRISTINA: How are you?

LYDIA: Hi. Good.

KRISTINA: So good to see you.

WOMAN 1: Good to see you.

WOMAN 2: Good to see you too.

LYDIA: You're Max's mom, right?

KRISTINA: Yes, we met at your jewellery party.


KRISTINA: You make jewellery. I'm Kristina.

WOMAN 2: How is your son doing? And how are you feeling?

KRISTINA: He's great. We're all great.

LYDIA: Great.

KRISTINA: You know, I actually wanted to talk to you guys about something because I think that you're the ladies that headed the initiative for the vending machines to be taken out of the school. Am I right?

TOGETHER: [Ladies] Ooh.

LYDIA: That was such a battle.

WOMAN 1: Battle.

LYDIA: But it was so worth it. I mean, it took two weeks of phone trees, but we finally got it done.

KRISTINA: Right, so, I know this might sound so crazy to you guys because you fought so hard to get them out of the school, but my son Max ran for student council president and he won...

WOMAN 2: Congratulations.

KRISTINA: And he promised the student body--thank you very much-- that he would bring back the vending machines. [The PTA ladies look confused] It was sort of his platform. He's--for the kids. And I would just want you guys to reconsider maybe just--

LYDIA: Kristina, I appreciate all the issues you might be facing with your son. But you cannot possibly be advocating to put back into our schools more sugar and high calorie junk. Well, I'm sorry, Kristina, but you have no idea how hard we worked to get that vending machine out.

WOMAN 2: Really hard.

KRISTINA: We're going to have to agree to disagree.

[NEW SCENE - Rizzoli Photography, Hank and Sarah working.]

SARAH: I have these, um, proofs I went through, but I'm sure you wanna go...

HANK: Is that Mortenson?

SARAH: Through them yourself--mm-hmm.

HANK: That's today, right? They weren't--they didn't--

SARAH: The messenger's coming at 4:00 to pick 'em up, yes.

HANK: 4:00?

SARAH: Uhhuh. I can move it.

HANK: No, leave it. I like a--I like a deadline.

SARAH: [Chuckles.] Hey, so, um, also tomorrow, I'm gonna have coffee with Mark.

HANK: [Chuckles.] Really?

SARAH: It's no big deal, it's just coffee, but I wanted to tell you.

HANK: All right. How did that come about?

SARAH: He asked and just wanted to clear the air and...

HANK: Yeah, all right, I mean…

SARAH: Have closure.

HANK: Hmm.

SARAH: Is that funny?

HANK: No, it's a little-- I mean--the whole thing's a little weird, but, um, that's, you know, it's your--

SARAH: Of cour-- it's weird for me too, but I thought I should tell you.

HANK: I guess-- I guess to each his own.

SARAH: What?

HANK: I just don't, uh--

SARAH: You wouldn't do it?

HANK: Look, do what you gotta do, I guess. All right?

[NEW SCENE - Construction site office, Joel is on the phone.]

JOEL: 15 guys waiting on us. So--but if you can't get me lumber by Monday, tell me now, because I'm gonna find someone who can.

RYAN: [Knocks on the door as he enters.]

JOEL: Okay, well, f-figure it out and call me back. [To Ryan] Hey.

RYAN: Sorry if this isn't a good time, I just--

JOEL: No, it's okay. What can I do for you?

RYAN: Uh, I'd like to have my job back, please.

JOEL: Uh... Look, uh, Ryan, I'm sure you're a great guy, but under the circumstances, I say we just chalk it up to a situation that didn't work out, you know? But if you need references, I'll be happy to give you one.

RYAN: No, I don't need-- I don't need a reference, like your sympathy or whatever. I know that I messed something up. I shouldn't have walked off, and I know that I cost you a lot of money. I'm coming back to you to say...

JOEL: That's okay.

RYAN: To take responsibility for what I did.

JOEL: Look, these things happen on sites. It's not a big deal.

RYAN: So let me fix it. You can dock my pay. I'll work for free until it's paid off.

JOEL: I'm sorry. The answer is no.

RYAN: I don't even get a chance to-- don't you see that I'm trying to fix it here?

JOEL: You had a chance. You had a chance, Ryan. I don't have the time...

RYAN: Wow, okay.

JOEL: To train somebody.

RYAN: All right.

[NEW SCENE - Braverman kitchen, Amber is baking.]

CAMILLE: Amber? I think that dough is flat enough. Are you all right?

AMBER: Yeah, I'm okay. I'm just, like, thinking about some things.

CAMILLE: Yeah. Ryan? Yeah. What, has he been calling you at 3:00 A.M. too?

AMBER: No. Why? Did he call you guys?

CAMILLE: Well, you know, Zeek's been... Working with him. You know, looking out for him.

AMBER: And that sounds bad. Is it--is he okay?

CAMILLE: Oh, no, no, no. He's--no, he's fine. He's moving in the right direction. He just still has an awful lot of stuff to work out, that's all.

AMBER: I wish there was anything I could do to help him.

CAMILLE: Well, try not to make it your burden. It's not. You know? Take it off those shoulders. And, uh, come on, let's get these pies in the oven. Come on.

AMBER: Okay. All right. I'm ready.

[NEW SCENE - Victor's room, Julia is tucking him in for the night.]

JULIA: Okay, there you go. Good night. I love you.

[Victor doesn't say anything.]

[NEW SCENE - Kristina in her kitchen talking on the phone, Nora is on the floor playing.]

KRISTINA: It's exactly what I said, Marlene. All these kids are going to...

ADAM: Hey. What? Uh-

KRISTINA: The convenience store to buy a bunch of junk, which our kids--

ADAM: [To Nora.] What's going on? You drumming?

KRISTINA: Yeah-on their way to school or coming back from school, they're buying a bunch of junk. And they're spending money at the convenience store anyway. So why not just put it into our school and have healthier snack--exactly. Thanks so much, Eileen. I will call you tomorrow, and tell Gladys the war is on.

ADAM: Wow.

KRISTINA: Oh, yeah.

ADAM: The war room.

KRISTINA: It's go time.

ADAM: Is this, uh, is this what I think it's about?

KRISTINA: I'm just trying to gather some information...

ADAM: Yeah? Vending-gate?

KRISTINA: For the PTA meeting.

ADAM: Oh, I see, you're gonna go into this PTA meeting as a lobbyist for candy and chocolate.

KRISTINA: Uh-huh. I am.

ADAM: Uh-huh.

KRISTINA: You say it like it's a bad thing. I'm going in to…

ADAM: There's nothing wrong with a little bit of candy and chocolate.


ADAM: I'm just trying to wrap my head around what you're thinking here, because Max will be okay if he doesn't get the vending machine back.

KRISTINA: Yeah, I know he'll be okay, Adam. This is the one thing that I can have control over and help with, and I'm not letting this die for him. So there you go.

ADAM: Okay.

[NEW SCENE - Jasmine arrives home with groceries.]


CROSBY: Oh, hey.

JASMINE: You reading comic books?

CROSBY: Yeah, I'm trying to stay relevant in Jabbar's life by keeping up with the cool stuff.

JASMINE: [Laughs.] Where is everybody?

CROSBY: Uh, he's at a playdate with Miles. And your mother-- you're gonna love this-- is grocery shopping for healthy and nutritious food for him because she didn't feel there was any in the house.

JASMINE: You're kidding.

CROSBY: No, I'm not kidding.


CROSBY: I'm surprised you didn't bump into her there unless she went to some crazy organic joint.

JASMINE: Baby, I'm sorry. I know being criticized is not fun and my mother is a master at it, so--

CROSBY: Look, if she wants to criticize us about the religious thing, I get it. That's very important to her. But her micromanaging what we're feeding our son? I'm not cool with it.

JASMINE: I know.

CROSBY: Look, we're the parents. If we wanna feed him motor oil for breakfast, we can do that. That's our right. She had, you know, her chance with you. We need to talk to her.

JASMINE: I you know, I really don't wanna argue with her about this stuff, you know? It's not--

CROSBY: Okay, I'm not suggesting that we argue with her, but what I'm saying is as two adults we need to sit down with her and go, "hey, here are our boundaries as parents. We don't want to be criticized every morning when we wake up." That's fair. No fighting, just, hey, here are our--you know.

JASMINE: No fighting?

CROSBY: Absolutely no fighting.

JASMINE: You promise?

CROSBY: I promise.

[NEW SCENE - Diner, Mark and Sarah are seated in a booth drinking coffee.]

MARK: I-I had about a full minute of thinking at first that this kids, like, a secret genius.

SARAH: [Laughs.]

MARK: Like, he just--he hasn't had anything to offer in class.

SARAH: Suddenly. Maybe it's because of your teaching.

MARK: Yeah, I've--I've-- I've opened him up.

SARAH: He just really--yeah, yeah.

MARK: And then the further I got into his essay, I started to recognize some of the ideas. It's the essay that Harold bloom wrote in the back of the book.

SARAH: [Laughs.]

MARK: I can't believe they think they can just get away with that.

SARAH: I wonder if that happens in photography. If, you know, if--I don't know, people find some old print and try to pretend it's theirs or something.

MARK: I'm sure...

SARAH: Yeah.

MARK: If you have the negatives, I guess you could prove it that way.

SARAH: Nobody uses negatives anymore.

MARK: Oh, yeah, that's true. Digital.

SARAH: It's almost a different art, you know, to do.

MARK: It is. Yeah.

SARAH: Have to learn both of them.

MARK: Been learning a lot about it. How's that-- how's that all been going?

SARAH: Good.

MARK: Yeah?

SARAH: Mm-hmm.

MARK: Good. Is--how's Hank?

SARAH: Good.

MARK: You guys are still seeing each other, right?


MARK: You don't have to--

SARAH: No, but I--uh, we're seeing each other, I guess. Um, it's definitely not the timing I would have chosen and...

MARK: Mm-hmm.

SARAH: It's...

MARK: When I--when I heard about it, I was a little...

SARAH: Of course.

MARK: Surprised and I got--

SARAH: But everything I told you, you know, I wasn't-- there was no overlap. There was no sneaking around. It's--I just-- and it didn't have-- it's not the reason that...

MARK: Yeah.

SARAH: You know, we--

MARK: Well, that's--that's... That's nice to hear. I believed you, I just, you know--

SARAH: Yeah.

MARK: By myself, afterwards, I started to question everything, but no. Thank you for telling me that.

SARAH: There was this thing in the dark room that was months ago. But he kissed me-- we were developing a photograph. I barely knew him and--he-- it was n--it was quick and this odd thing and I didn't say anything because--

MARK: Wh--this is while we were together?

SARAH: Yeah, but now when I look back, I think, oh, I should have told you. And I-I should have known there was something at least on his end, you know?

MARK: Yeah, on his end.

SARAH: That I should have told you... That part.

MARK: Yeah.

[NEW SCENE - Julia and Joel sitting in their living room with Alison Locke their family lawyer.]

ALISON: Well, as we get into this completion process and move towards finalizing Victor's adoption, I need answers to a few questions so we can set a hearing date. Once the date's been set, you'll appear in court with Victor for a finalization hearing, and you will be granted the order of adoption.

JOEL: Wow. Amazing.

JULIA: All right.

ALISON: And Victor's doing well?

JOEL: He is. He really is, yeah.

ALISON: Oh, that's great.

JULIA: I'm waiting for he and Sydney to find their relationship. You know, find that-- that kind of sibling rhythm.

JOEL: Well, they're getting there.

JULIA: They're not there yet, yeah.

JOEL: Well--

JULIA: But--yeah.

JOEL: He's into baseball. He's a shortstop. Um, he, uh, has made a lot of really great friends at school.

ALISON: Fantastic.

JULIA: He's a grade behind in math.

JOEL: Yeah, but he used to be two grades behind, so that's not as big a deal as it was.

JULIA: Right.

JOEL: Yeah.

ALISON: Well, how would you describe. Victor's adjustment to your home?

JOEL: It's been great--

JULIA: Oh, well... Yeah, it's--it's--it's good. It's--there have been some bumps in the road.

ALISON: Well, that's normal.

JOEL: That's what I keep saying.

JULIA: Right.

JOEL: It's absolutely normal. Uh, you know, he's a great kid. He's, uh, really funny and he's a little shy at first, but he's not withdrawn. He's just--

JULIA: He doesn't love me.

JOEL: Julia.

JULIA: It's a relevant statement that I wanna make…

JOEL: Okay.

JULIA: And it's a concern that I have and it's been ongoing.

JOEL: It's a--

JULIA: You know this.

JOEL: It's a feeling you have. You don't know that.

JULIA: It's not a feeling that I have. He never says anything to the effect of having any affection for me.

JOEL: He's not going to say anything--he's a boy.

JULIA: Well, any kind of affection whatsoever. And I know we keep saying he needs more time, but just how much more time--

ALISON: You know what, I think the two of you need to take a little more time to talk about this.

JOEL: I don't think--no, no.

JULIA: That might be a good idea.

JOEL: I don't think we need to do that.

ALISON: Uh, from where I sit, it never hurts to take the time, because adoption is a very big deal. And just to say, you wouldn't be the first people in the world to change your minds.

[NEW SCENE - Renee sitting at the dining table when Jasmine and Crosby come home at the same time.]

JASMINE: Hey, mom.

RENEE: Oh. Oh, it's unusual that you both are home so early.

CROSBY: Yeah, I even got to pick her up from school.


RENEE: Oh, nice.

JASMINE: Mom, we'd like to talk to you about something if now's a good time.

RENEE: Absolutely.


JASMINE: Go ahead.

CROSBY: Um, yeah, we were thinking-- you know, both of us have been thinking that, um-- you know what, before we even get into that, I just wanna say that we love having you here. It's--it's--it's been really fun.

JASMINE: Yes. We do. We love it, mom.

RENEE: Thank you. I love being here.

CROSBY: Great. Yeah, we really like it. Um, which is not to say that it's not without its challenges. Um... Is this about the bathroom?

[They laugh.]

CROSBY: No, it's not. No, it's, um, it's about Jabbar specifically.


CROSBY: There have been times where we felt criticized. Um, the other morning at breakfast.

RENEE: So you're upset because I pointed out that Jabbar shouldn't be subsisting on sugar and starch?

CROSBY: Well--


CROSBY: We feed him other things.


RENEE: Okay. All right. So you do know that I just have my grandson's best interests at heart, right?

JASMINE: Of course, of course, mom.

CROSBY: We know that. Nobody's questioning your love for Jabbar or your dedication to him. What we're saying is it doesn't feel very nice to be judged every time we make a decision. It's not a nice feeling.

RENEE: Okay.

CROSBY: All right.

RENEE: Well, I--well, I'm sorry. Okay? I'm sorry. Is that okay?


RENEE: But I gotta tell you that from over here, sometimes it appears like the inmates are running the asylum.

CROSBY: Oh, is that what it...

JASMINE: Mom, that's not fair.

CROSBY: Appears like to you?

RENEE: Well, I know--

JASMINE: That's not fair.

CROSBY: From your lofty perch of--

RENEE: Jabbar should be in bed at 8:00 during weeknights, period, right?

CROSBY: He--what--he is in bed...

JASMINE: He is, he is.

CROSBY: Every night at 8:00 on weeknights.

RENEE: Yes, unless he asks to see a movie with you.

[They start getting louder.]

CROSBY: Okay, there have been a couple of times when that's happened, but that's not the norm. You're trying to make the exception the norm, and this is exactly what I'm talking about. I don't need to be in a shouting match with you about Jabbar's bed time.

RENEE: No one's shouting.

CROSBY: That's our decision.

RENEE: Are you aware that for five years before you came into Jabbar's life, there was a system of discipline because kids need discipline.

CROSBY: Discipline will be administered the way we see fit, not the way you see fit. That's how it's gonna go down, okay?

JASMINE: Just everyone--

CROSBY: We don't need to be fighting about this. This isn't-- you don't have a right--

JASMINE: So let's stop fighting. Listen--okay. Hold on.

RENEE: No, no, no. I'm not fighting.

JASMINE: I know, I know.

CROSBY: No, no, you're right. You're judging. You're busy judging with your little comments...

JASMINE: No, she's not, Crosby. Crosby!

CROSBY: In a very subdued, calculated manner, I would say.

JASMINE: Please. Enough.

RENEE: In a subdued, calculated manner?


CROSBY: See? Even slower. Great.

JASMINE: Just stop, okay? Look, you're right. We should be more consistent with Jabbar. Especially when it comes to his bedtime. Okay?

CROSBY: She's right?

JASMINE: It's really not a big deal.


JASMINE: So can we not make it? Just.

CROSBY: Okay. [Stands up.] I'm the one that's crazy.

JASMINE: No, it's just...

CROSBY: Yeah. Nope.

JASMINE: This really isn't a--

CROSBY: You're both right.

JASMINE: It's not really a big deal.

CROSBY: I'm gonna let you guys make all future decisions. Invite me to his graduation.

[Crosby leaves the room.]

JASMINE: Crosby.

[NEW SCENE - Night time, Joel is driving with Julia in their car.]

JULIA: So why did you call the adoption lawyer without me?

JOEL: I've already told this to you. She called me. I returned her call.

JULIA: All right, what did you talk about? What was the conversation?

JOEL: Nothing. She--I basically said that the last time we met, you just had a momentary lapse, you know, you got cold feet. That's all.

JULIA: I just had cold feet. That's all. Yep.

JOEL: Yes, honey, it's--

JULIA: That's just-- can you stop trying to shame me into this?

JOEL: Shame you?

JULIA: Yes! You are because...

JOEL: Are you kidding me?

JULIA: It's just me. Because it's me that he's not bonding with.

JOEL: It's not just you.

JULIA: It's just me that has any kind of doubts about it.

JOEL: I don--

JULIA: It's just me. It's all me.

JOEL: Are you kidding me? You know, I have doubts too.

JULIA: No, you don't!

JOEL: Yes.

JULIA: Don't just--don't try to make me feel better that way. That's stupid. It doesn't work.

JOEL: Okay. Well, you know what? I have to be this way because there's not a lot of room for doubts on this side. You seem to be doubting enough for both of us.

JULIA: You the--it's on that street.

JOEL: I know where it is.

[NEW SCENE - A short time later, Julia and Joel are seated at a table in a restaurant with Crosby and Jasmine.]

CROSBY: Who's eaten here? What's good?


JOEL: The, uh, short rib...

JULIA: Yeah.

JOEL: Is insane.

JASMINE: Are you enrolling Sydney in karate? 'Cause Jabbar would love to have her in his class.

CROSBY: If you do that, you should have Victor also enrol.

JOEL: Yeah.

CROSBY: Wouldn't that be fun? If all three of 'em? And at Christmas we could do a UFC kind of bracket.

JULIA: Yeah.

JASMINE: Oh, God. Not everything's a competition, Crosby.

JOEL: Teach 'em karate.

CROSBY: Well, no. Everything is a competition in the Braverman household. Right, Julia? We love to compete, right? Julia? Everything's a competition, right?

JULIA: Yes, everything is a competition with the Bravermans. Yes, that is true.

CROSBY: Ooh, they have Burrata. I'm getting Burrata for sure to kick things off.


CROSBY: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. You remember when I said, "oh, I can't wait to get the Burrata." And her mom said, "What's Burrata?" I'm like, "oh, it's just really tender... Very soft." I said, "well, if you--"

JULIA: Um... Can you order me just--whatever?

JOEL: Yeah.

JULIA: Pardon me. I'm so sorry.

JOEL: You mean to drink or--

JULIA: And eat. Whatever.

[Julia leaves the table.]

JASMINE: Is everything okay?

CROSBY: What's, um-- what's that about?

JOEL: Uh... We had a really great day. Yeah.

[NEW SCENE - Short time later, Julia is outside. Upset and trying not to cry.]


JULIA: Oh. Hi.

CROSBY: Buddy, what's going on? [They hug.] You're upset we're ordering the short ribs? Is that what's going on?

JULIA: I'm just jealous.

CROSBY: You're jealous? What's happening?

JULIA: No. Oh, God, Cros. Um, it's just hard with Victor, so...

CROSBY: Like, what, um, specifically?

JULIA: Like, you know, we've had all this time together and it just doesn't seem like we're progressing, you know? He just--I'm not being over-dramatic. He just doesn't like me at--at this point, and it's so hard to see that that's gonna change. And I-I don't--I don't know. Joel is fine. They're great. They have no problems. But, you know, if I don't see something that tells me that some day, maybe, we can have a loving relationship, then, you know... Then I shouldn't be his mom, because he should be able to have that with someone.

CROSBY: Listen, do you want my 2¢?

JULIA: Yeah.


JULIA: Yeah.

CROSBY: When Jasmine came and dropped Jabbar off, I didn't have a single clue on how to be a parent. I mean, it just happened in one second, yet she was expecting me to be a dad and I didn't know what to do, and you know who I watched? Who I studied, who I looked up to? You.

JULIA: [quietly] Me?

CROSBY: You are such a good parent. You are so patient. You're so calm, and you're so involved. And I watched you, and I could only aspire to be as good as you. And Victor hates you. Okay. You know who I hated when I was nine years old? Mom.

JULIA: [Laughs]

CROSBY: Remember, she was on her crazy health food kick and only put wheat germ cookies in our lunch box?

JULIA: Yeah.

CROSBY: Yeah. She was deplorable, and I hated her. I loved her, but I also hated her. But I didn't tell her that I loved her. I only said I hated her. And that little guy needs you. And he loves you, and I know he loves you because it's impossible not to love you.

JULIA: Shhh.

CROSBY: For real. Listen to me.

JULIA: What are you trying to do to me?

[NEW SCENE - Next morning, Crosby in his bathroom shaving.]


CROSBY: Hey. Aren't you gonna be late?

JASMINE: No. My mom took Jabbar.


JASMINE: I wanted to talk to you about what happened with her. I feel really bad.

CROSBY: You don't have to say that. But I appreciate it. Thank you.

JASMINE: Appreciate what?

CROSBY: That was an apology, right?

JASMINE: No, it wasn't. Why would I be apologizing?

CROSBY: Why would you-[Laughs]

JASMINE: I didn't do anything.

CROSBY: Well, maybe you'd apologize because we were supposed to go in as a unified front and confront your mother and then right in the middle of it, you just pulled the ripcord and the chute deployed and you were gone.

JASMINE: Yeah, but--

CROSBY: I think maybe I would deserve an apology because of that.

JASMINE: No, I didn't know you were gonna come at her like that.

CROSBY: I didn't come at her.

JASMINE: Yes, you did. You confronted her.

CROSBY: We had a conversation, and then I look over and my partner is taking a nap, or even worse, joined her side.

JASMINE: I didn't join her side, okay?

CROSBY: Oh, really? Okay.

JASMINE: Look, just apologize. It'll make it all right.

CROSBY: No, I can't.


CROSBY: I'm not gonna apologize.

JASMINE: Just be the bigger man and apologize.

CROSBY: I can't--

JASMINE: Okay? Please?

CROSBY: Sweetie, I'm-- I cannot do that. I'm not gonna do that. What has to happen is you have to learn to confront your mother. That's what's really going on.

JASMINE: What? That is not--that's-- That's--

CROSBY: That's the big issue.

JASMINE: No, it's not.

CROSBY: When's the last time you did? Eh?

[Jasmine can't answer.]

CROSBY: That's the--oh, that's crazy? That's crazy talk? When's the last time you confronted your mom? [Jasmine leaves the room and Crosby goes back to shaving.] You're on the right side of this argument.

[NEW SCENE - Amber outside Ryan's apartment, she knocks on the door.]





AMBER: How are you?

RYAN: I'm good. How are you?

AMBER: I'm good.

RYAN: Come in.


RYAN: My place is wrecked 'cause--

AMBER: I know, I know, I know.

RYAN: That's okay.

AMBER: We could, uh--we could just talk about it out here.

RYAN: Yeah.

AMBER: Yeah.

RYAN: You look great.

AMBER: Thanks.

RYAN: Beautiful.

AMBER: Um...

RYAN: And why'd you swing by? It's a surprise.

AMBER: Right. Yes. Because I just wanted to... Check up on you.


AMBER: See how you were doing. Say hi. I know you've been hanging out with Zeek.

RYAN: Yeah.

AMBER: That's probably fun. Having some playdates.

RYAN: He's a good hang.

AMBER: Yeah, he's a great hang. That's cool. He told me you, um, talked to Joel. You went back and apologized. And I just thought that was, like, very--

RYAN: No, I-I went back. I wasn't trying to work my way--

AMBER: I know.

RYAN: No, really.

AMBER: No, I-I get it.

RYAN: Okay.

AMBER: I get it, I was just actually gonna say that I was proud of you.

RYAN: Yeah, I went back and asked him for my job back.


RYAN: It didn't-- it didn't work out.

AMBER: Sounds like the attitude of a quitter.


AMBER: Yeah! If you want the job, you should go back there. And, I mean, did you passionately tell him--

RYAN: Yes! I mean, I didn't, like... Get on my knees and kiss his hand or any--

AMBER: I'm just saying, I think if you wanted the job, you could get it back.

RYAN: I made it very clear.

AMBER: Mm, take it from somebody who has experience bribing Joel. It's--it's doable. You just gotta get a very honest look on your face and bring some treats. I think it could work and, you know, what's the worst that could happen?

RYAN: It's so cold. Do you wanna--

AMBER: I can't.

RYAN: Okay.

AMBER: Well, I... I should go.

RYAN: Yeah, it's really good to see you.

AMBER: You too. Well... See you soon.

RYAN: I hope so. [Amber walks away slowly.] Bye.

[NEW SCENE - Julia and Joel getting the kids ready for school.]

SYDNEY: Can I wear slippers to school?

JULIA: No, you can't wear your slippers to school.

SYDNEY: Well, they're warm.

JULIA: Well, they're slippers. [Sydney makes a pouty face.] Wear your slippers to school.

SYDNEY: Really?



VICTOR: Can I wear my slippers to school?

JULIA: Do you want to wear your slippers to school?


JULIA: Good. [Starts to leave the kitchen.] Hey, Victor.


JULIA: Um, come here.

VICTOR: I already did my homework. It's fine.

JULIA: Good. Um... That's not what I wanted to talk to you about, though. Joel--your dad--and I are going to choose a date next week to finalize your adoption. You know what that means?

VICTOR: Not really.

JULIA: Okay... Uh... That means we're gonna go to court, all of us together. And we're gonna stand in front of a judge, and we will promise to take care of you. And we'll probably sign some papers and then we will be your mom and dad... From now on. Does that sound good to you?

VICTOR: Sure. I'm gonna go get my backpack.

JULIA: Okay.

JOEL: You sure?

JULIA: Nope. Heh. But you know...

[NEW SCENE - Classroom, PTA meeting, Kristina is there with a number of PTA members.]

ALEXIS: So next Tuesday, there will be a parent education seminar on new approaches to learning math, led by Dr. Arroyo, and anyone interested can show up at 6:00, no need to RSVP. Now, our final order of business is a proposal by Kristina Braverman that we bring back the vending machine that was here last year.

LYDIA: I'm confused. That matter's settled. We voted on it last year.

ALEXIS: I agree.

WOMAN 2: So why are we talking about it again?

ALEXIS: I am not sure.

KRISTINA: Sorry, guys. I just--I don't get to many of these meetings, but it thought that-- can I just talk out loud?

ALEXIS: Yeah. Come on up, Kristina.

KRISTINA: I'm, okay. I have-- I just wrote some notes that maybe I could just share with you guys, just to give you a better understanding. Look, I understand the reasons why you want them out of the school. Okay? I get that.

ALEXIS: So why are we having this conversation?

KRISTINA: Well, we're talking about this for a couple of reasons. Well, first of all, I found out that the extra money from the vending machines went to support programs like art and music and helped fund the P.E. Right?

VICE PRINCIPAL: That's right.

KRISTINA: That's right. And now we don't have that. Okay? Last year alone, we brought in... $12,400, it generated.

WOMAN 1: Okay.

KRISTINA: So there's a gaping hole in the budget.

WOMAN: I'm sorry to hear about a missing art class. But I don't see why my daughter's allowance should be responsible for taking care of that.

KRISTINA: Okay, I understand all of that, but here's the thing. Your daughter's allowance may be going somewhere else. At least we have some control in the school. What's happening is that our kids are buying junk food. And they're buying more junk food from convenience stores because it's cheaper there. And our school is losing funds because we don't have that vending machine. So we really haven't solved the problem, you guys. We've just sort of, like, moved it.


KRISTINA: And that's not helping anybody. So this is what I propose. I propose that we bring back the vending machines, and we offer the kids healthy choices. We fill those vending machines with fruits and vegetables and low-sugar choices and healthy foods.

MAN 1: Do they have those?

KRISTINA: Oh, God, yeah. The have those. Other schools have those. I've looked into it.

TEACHER: Do they carry diet Pepsi? Because I'm gonna be honest, after fifth period, I would do anything for a cold diet Pepsi.

KRISTINA: Don't know, but I will look into it.

[NEW SCENE - Night time outside Rizzoli Photography, Hank leaves the building.]

MARK: [Waiting by his Jeep.] Hank. Hey.

HANK: Hey. Yeah, she's, uh... She's not in right now.

MARK: Oh, I-I came to talk to you, actually.


MARK: Yeah.

HANK: All right. You wanna-- you wanna go inside?

MARK: Oh, no, that's okay. Um, I just, uh... You know, the more I think about... Everything that happened with me and Sarah, the more I realize that... What you did was-- was calculated and manipulative and cowardly--

HANK: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I don't know-- I don't know what you're talking about.

MARK: Well, you-- you kissed her. You kissed her when you knew that we were engaged. Are you gonna deny that?

HANK: All right, look--

MARK: Okay, so no. You're not gonna deny it, so you think it's okay to kiss another man's fiancée?

HANK: Listen, listen, listen. I don't calculate to kiss anybody. Okay? So just relax and maybe walk around the block once and take a breath…

MARK: I don't need to take a walk around the block. I-I'm fine. I just came here to tell you that I am still in love with Sarah, and I'm going to be the classy guy that you never were and tell you to your face that I'm planning on taking her back.

[NEW SCENE - Outside the construction site, the workers are on their lunch break.]

MAN: Oh, no, there he is. The guy that cost us all a grand in a single day.

RYAN: That's me.

JOEL: You cost me a grand every day. What are you talking about?

MAN: I'm just looking out for you. He's dangerous.

JOEL: Would you go make yourself useful or something? Sorry.

RYAN: Uh, listen, I really struck the wrong note with you last time. I'm sorry about that.

JOEL: Oh, you were fine.

RYAN: No, I, um... I'm not asking for my job back. I just didn't want things to be weird here.

JOEL: I appreciate that. That's--that's not weird. It's ballsy of you to come back.

RYAN: Thanks.

JOEL: Yeah.

RYAN: [Holding a paper bag.] Donuts.

JOEL: Did Amber tell you I like donuts?

RYAN: I have a source. I can't tell you who it is.

JOEL: Yeah. Oh, man. You nailed it. Thank you.

RYAN: Thank you. Um... You're a really good guy, and--and I'm so glad that you hired me in the first place, and then... You know... No hard feelings.

[They shake hands.]

JOEL: Yeah. None whatsoever.

RYAN: Thanks.

[Ryan starts walking away.]

JOEL: Hey. Ryan? You got gloves in your car?

RYAN: Yes, sir.

JOEL: Then go get 'em. I'm gonna teach you how to sweat some pipe.

RYAN: [Excited] Really? Ohh!

JOEL: All right.

RYAN: Thank you so much! Okay, I'll be-- I'll be right back.

JOEL: Yeah.

[NEW SCENE - Crosby and Jabbar at the dining table, Jasmine is serving the food.]

CROSBY: That's just a "yabba-dabba-doo" that you've added a "g" to.

JABBAR: Scrabba-dabba-do!

CROSBY: Yeah, that's not original. That's stolen.

JABBAR: Scrabba-dabba-do!

CROSBY: You stole that from Fred Flintstone. He's like, "ooh!"

JASMINE: [To Renee] Got your plate ready for you.

RENEE: Thank you. But if you don't mind, I'm just going to eat my dinner in my room.

JASMINE: Wait. Why?

RENEE: You know, it, uh, it just seems like it might be better for me to not interfere with things.

JASMINE: Mom, you're not interfering with anything. Please just sit down and eat with us, please?

RENEE: I'm gonna have my dinner in my room.

JABBAR: You're not gonna eat with us, grandma?

RENEE: No, but I am going to come in and say good night to my baby boy later. Okay?


RENEE: Thank you.

CROSBY: Hmm. Mm-hmm.


[NEW SCENE - Rizzoli Photography, Sarah enters.]


HANK: Hey.

SARAH: I got the donuts, even though you told me…

HANK: Good! Listen, I saw Mark.

SARAH: Okay.

HANK: Yeah, I saw him right outside. I, uh…

SARAH: Okay, sorry. What is he…

HANK: He was just waiting for me. You know, I…

SARAH: Waiting for you?

HANK: Yeah, yeah.


HANK: He'd been out there I don't know how long. But, uh... He told me he wanted to win you back. [Chuckles, Sarah is silent for a few moments.] Yeah.

SARAH: Okay.

HANK: So I don't know. You know, I don't know. I'm just telling you. I'm just telling you what happened. He, uh, basically... Challenged me to a duel maybe or something, which…

SARAH: I'm sorry, I did-- I had no, uh-- I don't know what to say.

HANK: Yeah, you had the coffee with him, and then...

SARAH: Oh, my God.

HANK: He came over. No, I'm just saying.

SARAH: I didn't, uh, do anything magical in our coffee that would make him say that.

HANK: You told him about the kiss. Why did you tell him about the kiss?

SARAH: I-I don't understand what's happening here.

HANK: I'm just asking why would you tell him something like that?

SARAH: No, you're not just asking, you're…

HANK: It was nothing… it wasn't planned, it was nothing

SARAH: Why would I tell him something like that? Because, at the time, we were engaged. And he asked if I ever cheated on him with you, and I didn't, so I wanted to tell him the one thing that did happen. And I don't know why that's upsetting to you.

HANK: It's upsetting. I don't want this. I don't want this. I don't want to be the jealous guy. I don't want to be involved in this drama. I didn't want this. I didn't want anything.

SARAH: Okay, well, you don't have to have it.

HANK: No, but--but--but--li--but--it happened. I didn't calculate it. I didn't manipulate it. It happened.

SARAH: Well, no one was accusing you.

HANK: And I like it, I like it!

SARAH: Oh, you do like it?

HANK: Yeah, yes!

SARAH: Okay, thanks. I didn't know. I wasn't sure.

HANK: But I don't like... I don't like where it's gonna end up.

SARAH: How where is it gonna end up?

HANK: Because I can see, I can see what's happening. I know... I'm screwed, I just…


HANK: Because.

SARAH: Why do you say that?

HANK: Because I'm into this.

SARAH: Okay. I... Never heard that from you before. [They share a moment.] And--where you going now?

HANK: I gotta go. I gotta go. I gotta think this-- I gotta--

SARAH: Don't go!

HANK: Listen.

SARAH: "I'm into this," and walk away? That's-- you can't do both.

HANK: You gotta figure it out.

SARAH: Why do I have to figure--

HANK: I don't know what you're doing, but--

SARAH: What do I have to figure out?

HANK: You gotta figure out what you want!

SARAH: Am I not here doing this with you? Why are you walking away from me? Please!

[Going up to his apartment.]

HANK: I know what I want. He knows what he wants. You gotta figure out what you want.

[NEW SCENE - Cedar Knoll Middle School. The hallway is packed with students moving between classes.]

MICAH: Max! Max!

MAX: What? You're loud.

MICAH: Max, come with me. You've gotta see this.

MAX: No, I have two books to return to the library.

MICAH: Max, it's back.

MAX: What is?

MICAH: The vending machine. It's outside, Max.

[Max starts running down the hallway.]

TEACHER: No running!

MAX: Move!

[NEW SCENE - Outside, Max looks around and quickly find the vending machines. A group of students has gathered and start cheering and clapping.]

MAX: Yes! Yes! Oh, my God, I did it. I did--I really-- I got-- yes! Yes! Yes!

[Max jumps up and down as Skittles rain down around him.]

Episode End
4.14 - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Original Airdate (NBC) January 15, 2013
Written by Bridget Carpenter
Directed by Lawrence Trilling

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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