The Answer Lies Within

Original Release Date:
November 21, 2000

Teleplay by:
Jim Hamilton

Excerpts from:
"Pilot" (original draft) by Aaron Sorkin
"The Rescuer" by Kasey

"Place Your Vote!" Result:
Will Dan and Rebecca break up or stay together?

Estimated Runtime:



Dana and Natalie walk into Tony Anthony's and go straight to the bar.

Jack, the bartender, approaches from the other side.

Jack: Good evening, ladies. What can I get for you two tonight?

Natalie: I'll have some buffalo wings to start off with this afternoon.

Jack: Buffalo wings for Natalie. And Dana?

Dana: Hey, Jack. First thing- did I happen to leave my umbrella in here the other night?

Jack: It depends. What does it look like?

Dana: Black umbrella with a burgundy handle. Oh, and I'll have some of those lettuce wraps.

Jack: Buffalo wings for Natalie, lettuce wraps and a burgundy handled umbrella for Dana. It'll be ready in a few.

Natalie: Thanks, Jack.

Dana: Thanks a bunch, Jack.

Jack walks away, while Natalie and Dana take a seat at the bar.

Dana: So, how's it going with Marcus?

Natalie: Great. He's going to be really good. I can see it already.

Dana: You've spent a lot of time with him this week.

Natalie: And he's picked up on everything quickly.

Dana: He's been in-

Natalie: In television before. I know, Dana.

Dana: I'm just concerned-

Natalie: Concerned about what?

Jack comes back over, sets down a paper napkin- one in front of Natalie and one in front of Dana- and places a drink on each.

Jack: The usual for you ladies, and they're still working on the appetizers.

Dana: You're the best, Jack.

Jack goes off to attend to another customer as Dana picks out an olive from her martini and munches on it. Natalie takes a sip of her pina colada.

Dana: I'm concerned about the amount of time you've been spending with him.

Natalie: There's nothing to worry about, Dana. Jeremy's cool with it.

Dana ponders over Natalie's answer.

Dana: What are you talking about? I was referring to mothering him. He's a grown man and he's qualified to do his job.

Natalie: That's what I was talking about, too.

Dana takes a sip from her martini, as Jack comes back over.

Jack: I think this belongs to you, Dana.

Jack hands Dana's umbrella back over to her.

Dana: Great. I owe you, Jack.

Jack: Not a problem.

As Jack goes away, Dana starts to set her umbrella down.

Dana: (to herself) That's how I left it here last time.

Dana pulls the umbrella back up, and as she is bringing it back up, she catches a glimpse of a handsome gentleman looking toward her and Natalie.

Natalie: What was that?

Dana: (turns to Natalie) Oh, nothing. I was talking to myself. (whispering) See that man over there with the navy jacket and solid tie?

Natalie: You mean the one that is looking over at us?

Dana: Shhhush, Natalie. Yes, the one who is looking over here.

Natalie: I wonder who he is interested in?

Dana: Neither one of us if you keep talking loudly.

Natalie: Dana. Take a look at him.

As Dana glances toward the direction of the gentleman, the gentleman directs his attention to the bar.

Natalie: He's interested in you, Dana.

Dana: (turns to Natalie) No.

Natalie: Well he's looking back this way again out of the corner of his eyes.

Dana: (whispering) He is?

Dana turns her head back toward the gentleman and he refocuses his attention again on the bar.

Natalie: You're being very obvious, Dana. The Bat-signal isn't as obvious.

Dana: Well, you'll just have to excuse me, Natalie.

Natalie: You should make the first move.

Dana: No.

Natalie: How about a move?

Dana: Natalie.

Natalie: Obviously he is a good dresser, and he does have a mixed drink along with his meal. He's eating with a knife and fork, too. He's a keeper, Dana.

Dana: He could be a nut case.

Natalie: There was a reason why you left you're umbrella in here the other day. It must be fate.

Dana: We're on our dinner break, Natalie.

Natalie: Then time's running out, Dana.

Jack comes back with two plates of appetizers and sets them in front of the two.

Jack: There you go ladies. So what will you have for dinner tonight?

Dana: Chicken Caesar salad, Jack.

Natalie: I'll have the roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, and green beans.

Dana: You're loading up tonight, Natalie.

Natalie: I'm not afraid- like some people.

Jack: Anything else for you two?

Natalie: Yeah, who's that guy over there?

Dana buries her face in her hands.

Dana: Natalie.

Jack: You mean the guy in the navy suit and solid tie?

Natalie: Yeah.

Jack: Well, he's single, plays for the Giants, and interested in Dana.

Dana raises her head back up.

Dana: How did you know that?

Jack: He already asked me about you.

Natalie: See, Dana. Go over there.

Dana: He doesn't look big enough to be a football player.

Natalie: Big deal. Fate, Dana. It must be fate.

Someone approaches Dana and Natalie from behind.


Natalie and Dana both jump and turn to discover Dan is right behind them.

Dan: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you two.

Dana: What are you doing here?

Natalie: I thought you were on vacation.

Dan: I am, but I'm back tomorrow. I thought I'd stop by and get a drink before checking on a couple of things. It's a good thing you two were here.

Natalie: Dan, you'll know this. Who's that guy over there. (motions her head toward the gentleman)

Dan looks over Natalie's shoulder.

Dan: That's Kevin Chandler, backup wide receiver for the Giants.

Natalie: He likes Dana.

Dana: Jack says he's interested. It doesn't me he likes me, he is just curious about me.

Dan: I'd say go for it.

Natalie looks down and notices Dan's hand.

Natalie: What happened to your hand?

Dan raises his hand up and reveals his right hand and wrist are bandaged up.

Dan: Oh, I sprained it playing basketball.

Dana: Are you all right?

Dan: I'll be fine.

Natalie: Did you fall on it?

Dan: I jammed it trying to dunk.

Dana: You can dunk?

Dan: I can dunk.

Natalie: Obviously not.


Isaac is sitting at his desk, while J.J. is seated on the opposite side.

Isaac: Absolutely not.

J.J.: We're not changing the story. We're changing how we are going to approach it.

Isaac: You want us to sugar-coat the facts.

J.J.: We've made a huge investment in this. We need to look at this objectively.

Isaac: What the hell are you saying, J.J.?

J.J.: We're saying you should presume he is innocent. Let's not make it look like he is guilty.

Isaac: He hit the guy over the head with a bottle in front of fifty witnesses.

J.J.: The majority of whom were probably intoxicated and cannot give an accurate story.

Isaac: Now who's being objective here?

J.J.: We're just saying in order to protect our 200 million dollar investment, we need to handle this delicately.

Isaac: One player out of twenty-five hundred is going to ruin our investment?

J.J.: He's an All-American.

Isaac: Who's been charged with second-degree assault.

J.J.: I'm trying to be reasonable here. I came down here as the messenger.

Isaac: Good. You can report back to them that they can take their objectivity and shove it up their keesters.

J.J.: Isaac.

Isaac: I didn't use any profanity because I'm not really that angry, yet. Keep pushing, J.J., and I'll be using a proliferation of them.


Kevin Chandler is sitting and finishing up his meal as Dana approaches from behind.

Dana: Excuse me, Kevin Chandler-

Kevin turns around.

Dana: Hi, I'm Dana Whitaker, executive producer of Sports Night.

Kevin: Wow.

Dana: What?

Kevin: That's a heck of a name- Dana Whitaker Executive Producer of Sports Night.

Dana lets out a small laugh.

Dana: Oh. You're making fun of me.

Kevin: I'm sorry. That was wrong of me to do something like that. I apologize.

Kevin wipes his hands off on his napkin.

Kevin: Hi, I'm Kevin Chandler, backup wide receiver, return specialist for the New York Giants.

Kevin holds out his hand. Dana reaches out and shakes it.

Dana: Nice to meet you, Kevin.

Kevin: Here, have a seat.

Kevin moves his plate over, gets up, and offers Dana his seat.

Dana: Oh no thank you. I couldn't. I'm sitting over there with my friends. We're on our dinner break.

Dana motions over toward Natalie and Dan, and they both wave at Dana and Kevin. Kevin waves back at the two.

Kevin: That's Dan Rydell, isn't it?

Dana: The one and only.

Kevin: You produce that show. That's a pretty good gig.

Dana: Yeah, it's time consuming. Doesn't leave me with a lot of free time. You have a pretty good job, too.

Kevin: It's a lot of physical work, but hey, I can take it. Plus, it helps pay the bills.

Dana stares at Kevin for a moment and she lets out a small smile.

Kevin: You okay?

Dana: Oh, I'm fine. I'm just a little tired, and I have to get back to work, but I would love to hear more about you.

Kevin: How about this, Dana. Since you have to get back to work, why don't I give you my number, and you can call me.

Dana: That would be nice.

Kevin pulls a pen out from his jacket and starts to write on a napkin.

Kevin: We can go out for some coffee of even dinner and get to know each other.

Dana: Dinner would be great.

Kevin hands the napkin over to Dana.

Kevin: The top number is my home number, the bottom number is my cell number. If you don't reach me, you can always leave a message.

Dana examines the napkin, folds it up, and places it in her purse.

Dana: I'll give you a call.

The two exchange smiles.

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