After the Fall



Dana walks into Isaac's office. Isaac follows behind and slams the door shut with his cane.

Isaac: Please have a seat, Dana.

Dana: Isaac, if this is about-

Isaac: Sit down.

Dana quietly takes a seat in front of Isaac's desk as Isaac walks toward his windows.

Isaac: I'm glad to see you are just fine.

Dana: Uh... thanks.

Isaac: Because I thought something might have happened to you last night.

Dana: About last night-

Isaac: Did I sound like I was finished? You'll have a chance to respond. For right now, you're going to listen, sit through this, and keep quiet.

Dana politely nods.

Isaac: There was a dinner last night... and a meeting. A voluntary meeting, but a meeting nonetheless. I've been asking you to attend these luncheons and dinners because it is important you are visible. It is important you have a presence at these meetings. I know you are worried you may go off on an uncontrollable rant or babble about how the sky is blue and the grass is green, but all I want you to do is take the first step and attend one of these meetings. Your presence is important to not only your future, but also the future of your staff and show. You not only owe it to me, you owe it to them, and most importantly, you owe it to yourself.

You cannot continue behaving like this if you wish to succeed with this network. I want you to inherit this position, but you have to give us a sign you want this position, you need this position, and you are dedicated to this position.

Dana is quiet for a moment.

Dana: Uh... may I?

Isaac: I'm finished.

Dana: Normally, I would have a logical explanation for what happened last night.

Isaac: And?

Dana: I seem to be lacking one right now.

Isaac taps his cane hard on the floor and he works his way toward his desk.

Isaac: You're going to get caught up on what you missed last night.

Dana: You took notes?

Isaac: I'm setting up a meeting between you and Sam.

Dana: The meeting was about ratings?

Isaac: No, we swapped recipes around the campfire. Of course, we discussed the network and ratings.

Dana: Isaac, I don't think I could handle a meeting with-

Isaac glares at Dana.

Dana: -um... but I am willing to listen and learn, even if it is with Sam.

Isaac: Good.

Dana: Isaac? Uh... are you really that angry with me right now?

Isaac: Now is not the time to be asking me that very question. I may say something which could be interpreted as unpleasant.

Dana: Oh-kay.


Jeremy is working at his desk. Dan walks over and sits on the edge of his desk.

Dan: So, what goes Jeremy?

Jeremy: Hey, Dan.

Dan: I've been thinking about Jo lately, and I know she enjoys Las Vegas: the strip, the lights, the vibrant energy-

Jeremy: The gambling.

Dan: And maybe a little bit of the gambling. But I was thinking we could go there, spend a few days, catch a few shows, partake a few margaritas, and truly have an enjoyable experience.

Jeremy: Gosh, Dan. I'm really flattered-

Dan: Not you.

Jeremy: Then what does this have to do with me?

Dan leans closer to Jeremy.

Dan: I need an excuse to ask Isaac for some time off.

Jeremy leans back and thinks for a moment.

Jeremy: I've got it.

Dan: What do you have?

Jeremy: "Isaac? I would like some time off to go to Las Vegas with my girlfriend."

Dan: But that's the truth.

Jeremy: And what's wrong with that?

Dan: Isaac would say "no."

Jeremy: And what's wrong with that?

Dan: I would like to go to Vegas within the next 7 days.

Jeremy: Vegas?

Dan: I've shortened it. It's cooler that way.

Jeremy: I see.

Dan: And I need an excuse to go there on short notice.

Jeremy: You want me to write a note to give to Isaac?

Dan: I need an idea.

Jeremy: How about your grandmother died?

Dan: She already did.

Jeremy: That kinda' defeats the purpose.

Dan: Kinda.

Jeremy: What about something happening to a member of your family? A family emergency.

Dan: They live in Connecticut.

Jeremy: And they don't have family emergencies in Connecticut?

Dan: I'm just saying I need an excuse to get to Vegas, not Connecticut.

Jeremy: A family emergency while they were in Vegas.

Dan: Vegas doesn't really work for you.

Jeremy: I'll stick strictly with the Las Vegas.

Dan: Okay.

Jeremy: Why the sudden rush to Las Vegas?

Dan: Is there anything wrong with being spontaneous?

Jeremy: You're still carrying the engagement ring around.

Dan: It's kept safely inside my pocket- just in case the right moment arises.

Jeremy: Good to be prepared.

Dan: Exactly.

Jeremy: You want to pop her the question out there.

Dan: If the right moment arises.

Jeremy: I see a flaw in your plan.

Dan slaps the desk.

Dan: Jo needs to get time off from work.

Jeremy: That also.

Dan: I've got a plan for that.

Jeremy: She doesn't want to marry you.

Dan: I figure there has to be some sort of computer conference or maybe she could have a family emergency of her own. She is from California, and Vegas is not too far from where she grew up- what? What do you mean she doesn't want to marry me?

Jeremy: I mean she doesn't necessarily want to be engaged to you right now.

Dan: That was a few months ago. When she initially said "no," the moment was sudden and it probably surprised her.

Jeremy: Yeah, and flying to Las Vegas and going to a drive-thru chapel would be a lot smoother.

Dan: I'm not saying it would be easier. I'm just saying that I've felt a closer connection with her lately, like our relationship is growing deeper.

Jeremy: You've been spending a lot more time at her place while your apartment is being fixed up.

Dan: And that is time well spent.

Jeremy: I've got work to do. I'm gathering notes for the NBA wraparound. I've really got a lot of work to do.

Dan: I understand what you are saying.

Jeremy: You do?

Dan: You need time to think this through. You need to write a computer program which calculates the probability of the plan working. I am confident, though.

Jeremy: Uh... yeah. Get back with me on that program.

Dan: You're a good man, Jeremy.


Natalie is sitting in her seat inside the control room. Chris, Will, and Dave are running the boards. Everyone is concentrated on one particular monitor.

Chris: It seems to be spreading.

Will: Like a virus.

Dave: We'll need to get that fixed.

Natalie looks closely from her chair.

Natalie: I don't see it.

Chris: Two pixels are out on the monitor. Three means it has to be replaced.

Will: Three consecutive pixels. Three random pixels being out are nothing.

Chris: But it's possible for two consecutive pixels to be considered random. It's a possibility.

Will: At which point, it no longer becomes random. It becomes a pattern.

Natalie: I still don't see it.

Dave: We'll keep a close eye on it.

Natalie: Okay. What do you guys think of Los Angeles?

Chris: What about it?

Will: Are you talking about the Lakers chances?

Natalie: I'm talking about the city in general.

Dave: There's plenty to do.

Will: There's smog.

Chris: And pollution.

Will: Smog is pollution.

Chris: What about the trash problem?

Natalie: What's your overall views?

Dave: It's a great city.

Chris: It's a great city.

Will: It's going to fall into the Pacific.

Everyone looks at Will.


Dan knocks on the door to Dana's office. He pushes the door open and sees Dana sitting at her desk. She is wearing glasses and continues to read as Dan enters the room.

Dana: Good morning, Daniel.

Dan: I've completed the Falcons three-four.

Dan walks over to Dana's dart board and picks off several darts.

Dana: Good. What brings you in here?

Dan: I now have nothing to do.

Dan begins playing darts. Dana stops reading and takes off her glasses.

Dana: Danny, please leave me alone. I've got enough to do without you pestering me like a wayward fly. On top of this workload, I have to work in and tolerate a meeting with Sam; so if you are expecting any kind of leeway with your stories and time allotments, I suggest you stay far away from me toady.

Dan: Is anything wrong?

Dana: Now you're being just like Natalie. Nothing is wrong between me and Casey.

Dan: I was asking about the meeting with Sam.

Dana: Oh. Okay. There was a voluntary meeting and dinner last night, and Sam is going to fill me in on what I missed.

Dan: Why call it voluntary?

Dana: Why call it anything? It's just something more to annoy me.

Dan: Didn't Isaac attend the dinner? Why doesn't he give you the details of the meeting?

Dana: Because Isaac is mad at me, and I'm going to be mad at you if you don't leave me alone.

Dan: Okay.

Dan sets the darts along the base of the dart board. Natalie bursts into the room.

Natalie: I think we're all set. Elliott has two press conferences covered for later this afternoon. I don't think we'll have a problem with the monitor in the control room. Oh, hey Dan. Plus, I have arranged an interview for Bobbi with Cindy Parlow, and I should be able to get you Bobby Bowden later on today, Danny.

Dan: Great job, Natalie.

Dana: It looks like you now have something to do, Danny.

Dan: I'll start the prep work.

Dan leaves the office. Dana picks up where she stopped reading. Natalie stands, clutches her clipboard, and begins to rock slightly back-and-forth. Dana stops reading and is visually agitated.

Dana: What?

Natalie: I'm just waiting for the games to begin.

Dana: Inside my office?

Natalie: Unless you have something more for me to do?

Dana: You could attend my meeting with Sam.

Natalie: But that wouldn't be fair.

Dana: How so?

Natalie: When there is something more productive I could be doing.

Dana: Like what?

Natalie: Finding out what's going on between you and Casey.

Dana: Natalie.

Natalie: Hey, I'll leave you alone if you just let me in on what's going on.

Dana: What I wouldn't do for a bug zapper right about now.

Natalie: Excuse me?

Dana: Nothing.

Natalie: What's wrong with you and Casey?

Dana: Natalie.

Natalie: Tell me and poof, I am gone.

Dana: It's nothing to be alarmed about.

Natalie: So, it's something.

Dana: With all that's going on, we've decided to take a little break. It's no big deal.

Natalie: I'd say it's a very big deal.

Dana: It's not.

Natalie: You remember what happened the last time when you decided to go on a little hiatus?

Dana: What other hiatus?

Natalie: Pixley.

Dana: Ugh. It's not that situation. These two situations are completely different.

Natalie: Pixley, Pixley, Pixley.

Dana: Natalie.

Natalie: You let Casey wander off and Pixley appears.

Dana: We're just doing this for a couple of weeks. It's not like he could meet a woman and fall in love with her.

Natalie: Or like Dan running off to Las Vegas to get married.

Dana: What?

Natalie: It's something I heard earlier.

Dana: He's running off to get married?

Natalie: He's going to try. He's going to take the ball, drive it the length of the court, and take it to the hoop. You, on the other hand, might get the ball stolen while trying to call a time-out.

Dana: We're just taking a break.

Natalie: Pixley.

Dana: It's giving us a chance to catch our breaths.

Natalie: Pixley.

Dana: Would you stop with that!

Natalie: You should have come to me first with this idea of yours.

Dana: Why?

Natalie: You'd be hearing a different story right now.

Dana: And what story would that be?

Natalie: Well, it certainly wouldn't be... Pixley.


Sam is typing on his laptop at his desk. There is a soft knock on his door. Sam hears it, but he chooses to ignore it. A louder series of knocks hit the door.

Sam: Yeah?

The door opens and Dana quickly enters.

Dana: Let's get this over with, so we both can move onto more pressing matters.

Dana sits in front of Sam's desk.

Sam: What's this about?

Dana: Wha... we're supposed to be having a meeting about last night's meeting.

Sam: The voluntary meeting.

Dana: And let me tell you, there is nothing voluntary about it when one has to catch up on what they missed at the voluntary meeting.

Sam: Okay.

Dana: And I could have gone. I really could have, but I understood the word voluntary to mean of my own free will which would allow me the decision to attend or not attend.

Sam: Okay.

Dana: So what did I miss?

Sam: I don't know.

Dana: What?! Weren't you there in attendance? Didn't you volunteer your own free time to get free food and listen to the wisdom of the corporate staff?

Sam: That's not all true. We had to pay for our food.

Dana: Oh well forgive me for that. If I went, not only would I have given up free time, but also handed over some money for dinner.

Sam: Yeah.

Dana: What did I miss?

Sam: I was just there for the dinner.

Dana: Isaac sent me to you to talk about ratings.

Sam: Let's talk about the ratings.

The two sit quietly.

Dana: Well?

Sam: I was waiting for you to start.

Dana: Ooooo... okay. Fine. I'll start. Ratings over the past few months have been steady. We haven't gained any viewers, but we haven't lost any viewers. And heaven forbid if we lose one viewer because it would justify the network in firing Isaac.

Sam: Is everything all right, Dana?

Dana: Everything is going just as I planned.

Sam: From my experience, it doesn't sound like it; but to each, their own.

Dana: We have 3 million viewers a night watching my show. When you first came here, we had 3 million watching. We still have 3 million watching.

Sam: CNN/SI has shut down.

Dana: See? Ratings are not so bad that the network has to consider shutting completely down.

Sam: Plus, Fox Sports has discontinued their national sports show.

Dana: They felt they couldn't compete with ESPN. But we're holding steady, Sam. We haven't lost anybody. We still have three million viewers every night.

Sam: I don't give a damn about the three million viewers.

Dana: Excuse me?

Sam: I said I don't give a damn-

Dana: I heard what you said, and it frankly shocks me that you don't give a hoot about our viewers.

Sam: What I give a damn about is the two million viewers not watching the network. Where have they gone? What happened with those watching Fox Sports and CNN/SI? I give a damn about the two million who could be watching our network.

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