SCENE ONE: JACK AND JENNIFER GET HOME FROM THE VALENTINE'S DAY BENEFIT. JACK SAYS GOODBYE TO THE BABYSITTER.
JACK: Goodbye Mrs. Hawkins. Don't slip. Good. All right.
HE COMES BACK INSIDE.
JACK: Well I think she's all right. I mean she's not Jo but, you know, she's available. She'll show up when we want her to show up. She's got some grandkids. You seem to trust her. I seem to trust h....
JENNIFER: I hate her! I hate her and everything that she stands for.
JACK: You hate Mrs. Hawkins.
JENNIFER: I hate Sandra Stevens. Philip told me that the brass in Chicago is thirlled about her stories. They are encouraging her exposŘ on the Alamains. Do you know that?
JACK: Well of course they are encouraging her. They don't know what else to do. They got rid of you. What are they going to do now? I just don't understand this sympathy for Lawrence Alamain. I mean it's....
JENNIFER: Lawrence! Lawrence is not the only one getting hurt in this Jack. Sandra is going to drag Nicky, Bo and my best friend Carly through the mud and there is not a damn thing that I can do about it. (Beat) Jack, Sandra Stevens is a scandal monger. She is not a journalist, all right. Not only is she hurting Carly and that innocent child, she is destroying the show that I created, all right. I worked my fingers to the bone to put that show together and it's ruined. You have no idea how angry that makes me.
JACK: Believe me I have an idea. I haven't seen you this angry in quite some time.
JENNIFER: Oh and I haven't even started. You have not even heard the half of it, Jack.
JACK: I.... I can see you starting. As long as you don't start on me.
JENNIFER: What? (Beat) Don't be ridiculous.
JACK: Actually I'm being quite serious.JENNIFER: No matter what you did I could never get this angry at you. I could never get this outraged.JACK: Well.... I don't know about that. I'm sure there's been a couple of times I've done something that's made you.... kind of outraged.
JENNIFER: Well that was in the past. You're a changed man now. You're running The Spectator. You're going to buy it back soon.
JACK HALF SMILES.
JACK: Heh, yes of course.
JENNIFER: I'm sorry. This is really selfish. I've been so preoccupied with Sandra that I didn't even ask you how your meeting went with the backer. Is he going to give you the money to buy back the paper? JACK: We.... we're going to be.... talking about it some more.
JENNIFER: What? You gave him all the proposals to turn the paper around. What more does he need?
JACK: He needs.... he needs.... he needs time. That's what he needs, a lot of time, because he's a very cautious person and he wants to take care. But I don't want you to worry about it at all. I'm handling it. I really am.
JENNIFER: I wish I could handle Sandra Stevens.
JACK: I.... I think you will be able to handle Sandra Stevens as soon as you handle yourself. You're the problem.
JENNIFER: What are you talking about?
JACK: You're the one with the problem. You're angry at yourself.
JACK: You're angry with yourself. You see, you're .... you're feeling stuck here. That's what it is. I can tell. You're feeling stuck at home just playing wife and mother.
JENNIFER: Wait a minute. Being a wife and mother is what I am and I don't see that work is separate from that. I mean do you think that you're two people? Are you a publisher and a father.
JACK: No, no, of course not.
JENNIFER: No, well then I'm not either. In fact I think being a journalist has made me a better wife and a better mother. And I know that this is going to sound completely ridiculous to you but I think that I can make the world a better place. I think I can make it a better place for Abby and for everyone else's children. That's why this show was so important to me. And Sandra is just tearing apart everything that I have worked for and that I have dreamed about. Now the only thing I can do is sit down and watch my dream go up in a sleazy cloud of smoke.
JACK: Now wait a minute. You can't just do that. I'm telling you.... you have to.... you can't give up. You're going to fight her. You're going to fight her. That's what you've got to do.
JENNIFER: Jack, Philip.... Philip tried to fight her. It's impossible. She has so much power. I have no power. I don't even have a weapon to fight her. I mean I can rant and rave all I want. I can go on and on but I don't have a public voice. I don't have a platform. I don't have anything to go on.
JACK: No, no, wait a minute. That's not true. That is not true. You most certainly do have a platform.
JACK WALKS OVER AND PICKS UP HIS LAPTOP.
JACK: At least for now.
HE WALKS BACK AND HANDS HER THE COMPUTER.
JACK: You've got The Spectator. You can work with that.
JENNIFER GETS ONTO WRITING HER STORY.
SCENE TWO: WHILE JENNIFER WRITES HER EDITORIAL, JACK SITS SURROUNDED BY PAPERS TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO KEEP THE PAPER.
JACK: I need money immediately.JENNIFER: I thought the paper was doing better. Why are you so desperate for money right now?
JACK: Ah, nothing. I mean.... it's just a routine fiscal crisis.
JACK CONTINUES TO TALLY UP HIS FIGURES AND WHEN HE SEES THE RESULT HE SIGHS HEAVILY.
JACK: I don't know. I don't know. I just add up the figures again and again and the profits get smaller and smaller.
JENNIFER: Well you know Jack if you don't make the money quickly enough with some more ad revenues, you'll think of another way.
JACK GLANCES AT HER AND SIGHS AGAIN. HE REMEMBERS THE MANUSCRIPT WHICH IS STILL IN HIS TOP DRAWER. HE SLOWLY OPENS THE DRAWER AND PULLS IT OUT AND BEGINS TALKING TO HIMSELF AND THE MANUSCRIPT.
JACK: I thought this was going to raise it. Too bad you didn't pan out. If you had, it.... it would have been a hell of a lot different by now.
JENNIFER: What's that?
JACK: Oh, oh, it's nothing. Just facts and figures on profit margins or lack thereof.
HE PUTS THE MANUSCRIPT BACK IN THE DRAWER.
JENNIFER: Nothing that can help you raise more cash?
JACK: No.... no.... no.
JENNIFER: You know Jack if we work together maybe we can come up with some ideas. I mean I could help you out. We can go through everything.
JACK: No, no, I think my time would be better working on new ideas rather than rehashing old ones. It seems that your editorial is finished.
JENNIFER: Yes, yes.
SHE HANDS HIM THE COMPUTER AND WAITS ANXIOUSLY AS HE READS IT.
JACK: Well that.... that's good. (Beat) That's very good. (Beat) And very tough if I may say so myself.
JENNIFER: You sound surprised.
JACK: I am surprised.
JENNIFER: Well this is the new me. I'm going to be tough and direct from now on.
JACK HAS A SMILE ON HIS FACE.
JACK: Well I get the feeling that this is only the beginning.
JENNIFER: That's right. I am tired of only talking about how much I dislike Sandra's show. I am going to stop her cold Jack.
JACK: That's good.
JACK: I suppose you're going to do that by getting her fired off the show?
JENNIFER: Yes. I am not going to allow her to hurt people week after week, all right. A talk show can be fun, it can be exciting and yes it can be shocking sometimes but not at the expense of people's reputations and their lives.
JACK: Well I agree with that. I'm sure there must be some talk shows out there that do that.
JENNIFER: Well there are and there's room for one more. Mine!
JACK PLUGS THE MODEM INTO THE PHONE LINE.
JACK: There certainly is.
JACK CALLS THE NEWSPAPER.
JACK: Vern, Vern. Yes it's Jack. (Beat) Look.... hold the presses all right. I.... I've got a brand new editorial coming in for the morning edition. (Beat) Huh, huh. It should be coming through right now.
JENNIFER HANGS UP AND THEN JENNIFER SENDS THE FILE. SHE PUTS HER ARMS AROUND HIS NECK AND KISSES HIS CHEEK.
JACK: Well I just gave you the cannon. What you do with it from here on in is your business.JENNIFER: Well you know what? Starting tomorrow I am launching an all out no-holds-barred campaign to get my show back.
SCENE ONE: JACK IS UP EARLY READING THE EDITORIAL ENTITLED "TWISTING THE TRUTH IN JOURNALISM" TO JENNIFER AND JO.
JACK: "Reporters like Sandra Stevens not only hurt innocent people but threaten to tarnish the credibility of journalism as a whole."
JO: That's telling them Jennifer.
JENNIFER: Thank you Jo but I couldn't have done it without Jack's support. And I want you to know that it means a lot to me that you're still not trying to scoop Sandra Stevens with the Lisanne Gardner story.
JACK: Well I....
JENNIFER: Jack, you're a good journalist. Do you know that responsible journalism is more important than getting high ratings or selling newspapers. That money isn't everything. And you know that's what I'm going to prove to my former bosses. I'm going to call the studio today. I'm going to get ahold of one of the editors and I'm going to ask him to help me put a reel together of some of my shows. I'm going to get my job back Jack and it's all because of you.
SHE KISSES HIM.
JACK: Don't mention it.
JENNIFER PICKS UP THE PHONE WHILE JO TALKS TO JACK.
JO: You haven't told Jennifer about Billie yet.
JACK: No, I haven't.
JO: You said that Billie threatened to come here to the house and talk to Jennifer if you didn't return her money.
JACK: Moreover, she is not going to find Jennifer in this house. I'm telling you that right now.
JENNIFER HANGS UP.
JENNIFER: That's it. He's going to help me make a tape.
JACK: Good. Let's go. Come on, we've got to get you out of here.
JENNIFER: But I'm not even dressed yet.
JACK: Well that's just a small detail. Come on this is important. Important to you, to me, to everybody. Come on.
JENNIFER: Why are you trying to get rid of me?
JACK: I.... I'm not trying to get rid of you. I just want to make sure that your show's still there when you get there. You don't want Sandra Stevens reeking irreparable havoc do you?
JENNIFER: I know but what about Abby? I mean if you're going to be at the newspaper and I'm going to be at the studio....
JACK: Oh don't worry about that. Jo will babysit. Right Jo?.... Jo?
JO: Hmmm, well of course I will. There is nothing I'd rather do.
JACK: Good, good. See everything's all right. Come on.
JENNIFER: It's a good thing we have Jo.
JENNIFER: Because if we didn't have Jo who would we call. I mean I don't even know....
JACK: Ah, what? What now?
JENNIFER: I just hope this works.
JACK: Well me too. I mean, it will. Of course it's going to work. They're going to see you. They're going to realize how much they missed you. Then they'll be down on their knees begging you to come back.
JENNIFER: Things are really turning around for us, aren't they Jack?
JENNIFER: I mean you got the paper back and if I get my job back, we're not going to have a worry in the world, are we?
JACK: Not a worry.
SHE GRABS HIM FOR A HUG AND A KISS.
JENNIFER: Okay, okay, here I go.
SHE RUNS UPSTAIRS TO GET DRESSED.
JO: Jack you cannot keep Jennifer in the dark forever. You have got to do something.
JACK: I am doing something. I'm doing everything in my power to keep Billie Reed from spilling the beans to Jennifer.
HE SIGHS AND LOOKS VERY WORRIED. JO MAKES HIM SOME COFFEE WHILE JACK GETS BACK TO WORK.
SCENE TWO: JACK AND JO ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONVERSATION.
JACK: I tell you something. If I can convince this Billie Reed to give me a month, I can get those ad revenues up to a point where I can convince the bank officers to give me a loan. Now with this loan, I can not only buy back The Spectator but I'll have money leftover to pay off this blood money loan to Billie Reed. JO: If Billie will give you time. If the ad revenues keep going up.
JACK: I don't have any option, don't you understand? Last night I was even sitting around here looking at the old manuscript of In the Midnight Hour thinking of how maybe I could shop it around.
JO: Hey that's a possibility.
JACK: No, no, it's no possibility. I mean you don't understand. The only person remotely interested was one editor and then she got herself fired and that was that.
JO: She loved it. She thought it could be a best seller. She even came all the way to Salem to meet the author, Miranda Miller. I mean she could have gotten hired by another publishing company. You should check it out.
JACK: No, no. I can't do that. I mean there's no time. Those publishers move so slow. The only thing I can do is convince Billie Reed to wait.
THERE IS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.
BILLIE: Mrs. Deveraux, Mrs. Deveraux. Are you in there?
JACK: Dammit, that's her. Dammit, she's here.
JO: Jack, you have got to tell Jennifer now. You can't wait.
BILLIE: Mrs. Deveraux!
JACK: I can't. I can't tell her that. You heard her singing my praises.
BILLIE: MRS. DEVERAUX!
JENNIFER: Jack, can you get the door?
JACK: Ah, ah, you get it.
JACK: Yes, you get the door.
JO: What am I supposed to tell her?
JACK: I'm going to run Jennifer out the back door. You go up there. You tell her anything you can. You just keep her away from the front door and just give me a couple of minutes.
JACK PUSHES JO OUT THE FRONT DOOR TO TALK TO BILLIE AND HE SLAMS IT SHUT.
JENNIFER: Who was at the door?
JACK: Oh just an encyclopedia salesman.
JENNIFER: This early?
JACK: Ah, actually it's not this early. It's late. You better get a move on.
HE HELPS HER ON WITH HER COAT.
JENNIFER: I could have sworn I heard somebody calling my name.
JACK: Really! Ah, that.... that must have been Jo.
JENNIFER: Since when does Jo call me Mrs. Deveraux?
JACK: Oh I don't know. It must be some old.... thing you bring out in her.
JENNIFER: Where is Jo anyway?
JACK: I don't know. She's out there talking to the encyclopedia salesman actually.
JACK: Why? JENNIFER: Yeah.
JACK: Well I think she's interested in getting a whole set for herself. You know she's going to college and....
JENNIFER: Oh, okay.
JACK: Yeah. We better get you going. I mean you don't want to get caught in the middle of the salesman's thing.
HE GUIDES HER TO THE BACK DOOR.
JENNIFER: No, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I need my briefcase. I have all my notes from my shows.
JACK: Your briefcase. No.JENNIFER: I need this Jack.
SCENE THREE: OUT THE FRONT, JO IS TRYING TO CONVINCE BILLIE TO LEAVE AND COME BACK LATER. BILLIE KNOWS WHAT JO IS UP TO AND TELLS HER THAT SHE CANNOT GO INSIDE BECAUSE JACK IS IN THE BATHROOM.
SCENE FOUR: JENNIFER ARRIVES AT THE STUDIO AND SANDRA TELLS HER THAT SHE EXPECTS AN APOLOGY FOR THE EDITORIAL. JENNIFER REFUSES AND BRINGS UP THE STORY SHE IS ABOUT TO DO ABOUT CARLY. SANDRA THEN ACCUSES JACK OF DOING THE SAME THING AND JENNIFER DENIES IT. SANDRA THEN SAYS THAT SHE HAS SEEN JACK'S TOP REPORTER SNOOPING AROUND THE STUDIO LOOKING FOR HER TAPES.