The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) Script

The Obyamywe Peninsula, a remote and fascinating region teeming with extraordinary marine life.

We chose its mysterious waters as the Belafonte's next destination.

In preparation for our voyage, the members of Team Zissou gathered at my oceanographic observatory here on Pescespada Island.

This was to be our most ambitious adventure to date, and ultimately a tragic one.

Our team included Esteban du Plantier, chief diver.

Our senior statesman, my closest colleague for 27 years.

Klaus Daimler, 40, engineer.

Calm, collected, German.

Vikram Ray, 28, cameraman. Born on the Ganges.

Bobby Ogata, 22, frogman.

Renzo Pietro, 45, editor, soundman.

Vladimir Wolodarsky, 33, physicist, original score composer.

Anne-Marie Sakowitz, 25, script girl.

Pele dos Santos, 30, safety expert.

Eleanor Zissou, my wife, vice-president of the Zissou Society.

We'd also invited marine science students from the University of North Alaska to accompany us as unpaid interns in exchange for school credit.

October 12th. Esteban and I explore the blue reefs beyond the peninsula.

Fluorescent snapper unexpectedly appear in the shallows, extremely rare at this depth.

Where's your gun?

Steve? Steve? Where's Esteban?

Is that thing rolling, Vikram?

Check the scanning monitor. Start tracking it before it goes too deep!

Esteban was bitten? Eaten!

Is he dead?

Esteban was eaten. He was swallowed whole?

No! Chewed. Check the scanning monitor!

He's got hydrogen psychosis, "crazy eye".

Steve, we think you got crazy eye.

Get him out of the fucking water.

Esteban!

Esteban! Esteban!

Esteban!

Esteban!

Steve! Esteban!

Esteban!

Esteban!

Esteban!

Was it a deliberate choice never to show the jaguar shark?

No, I dropped the camera.

Why are they laughing?

Yes. What's next for Team Zissou?

Well, that was only part one. It's a cliffhanger.

Now I'm gonna go hunt down that shark, or whatever it is, and, hopefully, kill it.

I don't know how yet. Maybe dynamite.

You don't know what it is?

No, I've never seen anything like it before in my life.

You say it is a jaguar shark. That's the title of your film.

It was coming right at us. I just said the first two words that came into my head.

That's an endangered species at most.

What would be the scientific purpose of killing it?

Revenge.

Bravo! What fun.

Steve, I'd like to introduce you to Antonia Cook.

She's the new head of the film society.

You must be so excited. I hope so. You think it went OK?

No. Congratulations, seriously.

Thanks. I wish it didn't require the "seriously", but thank you.

Well, I just don't think they got it.

Steve... Shit turnout tonight.

...you know Larry Amin, chairman of Saudifilm.

Oh, yeah. Hi.

Larry and I were discussing our financial predicament.

I thought it would be nice if the three of us rode out to the party together.

Why? Does Larry have that kind of spending bread to invest?

The king's backing him now. I got $500 million capitalisation from him.

Captain Zissou, can I get a shot of you with Captain Hennessey?

Where?

Make it quick.

Hey, Steven. How's everything going with your...

What are you calling it? Leopard fish?

Jaguar shark. Jaguar shark, exactly.

I love it. Tell me something, does it actually exist?

You know, Ali, I don't want to give away the ending.

Good man.

Oh, here comes our girl.

You're the most ravishing creature that I've ever seen in my life.

Hello, skinny. Hello, Eleanor.

Is that a new merit badge?

Yeah, as a matter of fact, it is.

I just became a knight in Portugal. The presidente gave a special ball...

Don't be nice to Ali. He's my nemesis.

How could you lay that slick faggot?

Well, I was in love with him at the time.

Yeah, he's charismatic.

How are you feeling? I'm right on the edge.

I don't know what comes next.

Wait here. I'll be right back.

I just wanted to say hello. Hi.

Hey, baby.

I said I wanted to say hello. I didn't say I wanted you to touch me.

I'm here with my wife. Eleanor, this is Mandeeza.

Do we really want to put me through this?

People say Eleanor is the brains behind Team Zissou.

What is Steve?

He's the Zissou.

Steve, this is my little nephew Werner.

He wanted to meet you.

How you doing, Werner? He brought you a present.

A crayon pony fish.

Wow.

Interesting specimen.

Thanks, pal. You're welcome.

Steve... you don't look too good.

How's this?

Steve, there's a bloke over there wants a word with you.

What do you need, old man?

How many of these do you have?

All right, look, just forge the rest of 'em yourself, all right?

Get outta here.


Hey, Steve, how come you're not sitting shivah for your friend Esteban?

What'd you say?

Who you gonna kill in part two?

Steve.


Larry Amin's flying back to Mecca tonight, to see if he can make the numbers work.

He should have an answer for us in ten days.

Tell him we need to know by Sunday.

Why would I do that, my darling?

To call his bluff, dammit, to light a fire under his ass.

My darling, we haven't made a hit documentary in nine years.

Let's not fuck with Larry Amin.

Doubles. Explain it to him, will you, Eleanor?

Screwdriver. He understands.

Amin needs to make a projection of the world grosses to see if he can get a tax break and run it through his output deal.

I don't understand, but I can tell it's bullshit.

Oh, what the hell is going on?

Play the black jack on the red queen.

Well, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go on an overnight drunk, and in ten days I'm gonna set out to find the shark that ate my friend and destroy it.

Anyone that would care to join me is more than welcome.

Captain Zissou, I'm sorry to bother you. I'm Ned Plimpton.

OK, man.

My mother's Katherine Plimpton.

You're kidding. No.

How is she? She died last month.

I'm sorry. Shit.

She was...

I've heard of you.

I don't know if it's true or not, by the way. Do you?

No, I don't.

I haven't heard from her in 30 years.

I guess it's too late now.

She never contacted me, you know.

Yes, I see.

You're supposed to be my son, right? I don't know.

But I did want to meet you, just in case.

I appreciate that.

I'll be right back. Don't go away?


Sorry about that. You caught me with one foot off the merry-go-round tonight.

Oh, that's all right. I don't wanna take up too much of your time.

I wanna thank you for talking to me and...

We'll find a way, mate. I know we will.

I just had a lovely chat with Si Perlman.

He wants to make a big to-do of the Oceanographic Explorer article, possibly give you the front cover, so do be nice to this girl Miss Winslett-Richardson, won't you?

Apparently she worships you, and we dearly need the press.

Oseary, this is probably my son Ned. We just met.

Ah. Oh, how delightful.

Hello.

Anyway, his mother just died. Plus, we're having some problems.

I just think it'd be a very special opportunity for all of us, especially him.

He needs this deal. OK, bring him over.

Well, he's right here.

I'm sorry. How do you do?

So what do you do? I'm a pilot. Air Kentucky.

Air Kentucky. Copilot, actually.

Yeah, I don't know that one. We hub out of Louisville.

Sure, there's some pretty country in those parts. Landlocked.

I have to tell you, I've been a member of the Zissou Society since I was 11.

Well, I'll be damned. Look at that.

Wanna kill this? Frankly, I'd better not.

I don't usually try grass.

Let me tell you about my boat.

The Belafonte was a long-range subhunter during the Second World War, which we bought from the U.S. Navy for $900,000.

This is my mentor, Lord Mandrake. He's dead now.

The sauna was designed by an engineer from the Chinese space program, and we keep a Swedish masseuse on staff.

Here's where we do all our science projects and experiments and so on.

This is the kitchen, which contains probably some of the most technologically advanced equipment on the ship.

Eleanor put together a topnotch research library for us, with a complete first-edition set of The Life Aquatic Companion Series.

We process our own rushes and keep a cutting room on board so we can do an assembly while we're shooting.

I can't find them. Once again, please.

This is the observation bubble, which I thought up in a dream, actually.

Two albino scouts swim with the ship.

They're supposedly very intelligent, although I've never seen evidence of it.

Here's the engine room. The bearing casings aren't supposed to look like that, but we can't afford to fix 'em this year.

Topside we've got the bridge, the minisub, an old chopper and all kinds of radar and sonar and underwater movie gadgets.

What happened to "Jacqueline"?

She didn't really love me.

Lord Mandrake.

It's wonderful. Very lifelike.

I'm not crazy about it.

This guy's a big-time asshole. We were roommates at the academy.

He used to be married to Eleanor.

He hogs up all the grant money.

You think you'll want to change your name?

Ned?

No, not the Ned part, unless you want to.

I meant your last name. I thought you might like to let me give you mine.

Ned Zissou? Ned Zissou. Exactly.

Or if you want to, you can change the first part, too.

I would have named you Kingsley if I'd had a say in it.

Kingsley.

I don't know. Maybe I'll stick with Ned for now.

Sure. That's OK.

Anyway, I'll order you some correspondence stock.

What are you doing? I ordered the wine.

Pour it over here, please. He doesn't know anything about wine.

Are those assholes talking about me?

People say, when someone says something like that about you it's because they're jealous.

But it still hurts. It hurts bad.

That man was damn rude. He can go straight to hell.

How did she die, by the way, your mother?

She took her own life. She took sleeping pills.

Why would she do that?

Well, she was in a great deal of pain, you know.

I see, yeah.

You know, my best friend just got killed. Esteban.

Yeah, I know.

The old man.

Let's go to my island.

Well, I...

I have to be back in Kentucky on Thursday.

Thursday? OK.

That's OK.


Your cat's dead.

What? Which one? Marmalade.

I'm sorry.

What happened?

A rattlesnake bit it in the throat.

Goddammit, Eleanor, why do you have to say it like that?

You couldn't try to break it a little bit nicer?

She's a rich bitch, you know. She was raised by maids.

Her parents paid for this island and two of my worst movies.

People say she's the brains behind Team Zissou.

People say a lot of things. What kind of cat was it?

Who gives a shit? I think it was a tabby.

Ned? Wanna come inside, we'll make up a room for you?

Steve, that reporter called.

Ned, wake up. I'm on the echo box. Push the red button to answer.

Throw on your slob and meet me on the beach in 12 minutes.

The white button? OK.

Action!

Only twice before have I had the good fortune to observe a "rubber tide", that rare occurrence when hundreds of electric jellyfish spontaneously wash onto a beachhead at once.

Bobby Ogata brings exactly this to our attention tonight.

Steve, what produces this effect of illumination?

Is there a chemical inside the organism?

No, Ned. Actually, it's the reflection of the moonlight on their outer membranes.

That's a very good ad lib.

Klaus, come over here and get a two-shot of me and Ned.

Ned, come in here.

Would you like to join my crew?

Would I like to... I want you on Team Zissou.

I don't think I can do that. Why not?

Well, it's not my field. I don't have the background for it.

No one here does. Klaus used to be a bus driver.

Wolodarsky was a high-school substitute teacher.

We're a pack of strays. Don't you get it?

Steve, I'm not even that strong a swimmer.

The answer's yes. Well, it's got to be.

I'll order you a red cap and a Speedo.

Cut. Klaus, why aren't you rolling?

Could I have a word with you, please?

Why aren't you getting this?

That was a goddamn tearjerker. Why did you cut it, man?

Because the sound is going to be shit.

He doesn't even know how to hold a boom.

He doesn't know diddly-jack about what we're doing.

Don't cut unless I say cut.

I've never seen so many electric jellyfish in all my life.

Those are Vietcong man-of-wars.

Oh, shit, she's right.

I guess we'll have to loop that line.

Where'd you come from? You look pregnant.

I am pregnant.

I'm not even going to ask what you men are doing out here in your matching pyjamas, by the way.

We're producing a film, as a matter of fact. Who are you?

I'm Jane Winslett-Richardson.

I'm the reporter from the Oceanographic Explorer.

Oh, yeah, sure. How'd you get out here?

I hired some drunk in a fishing boat.

That would take four hours. Why would you do that?

Because no one picked me up at the effing airport.

Jesus Christ, Klaus.

One of my guys was supposed to do that.

How long have you been working with Zissou?

Uh, approximately...

Only ten minutes, actually. I was hired during the scene on the beach.

He's Steve's son, supposedly. You are?

No, you're not. He doesn't have one.

Well, we're not 100% sure about that yet.

We just met yesterday.

Not this one, Klaus.

You heard me. Not this one.

OK.

First thing in the morning, huh? Just print everything?

Yeah, tell him to push it a stop and a half. OK.

What are you gonna do with him?

Who? Ned?

What do you mean?

I don't understand the question.

I offered him a spot on the Belafonte.

He didn't take it, did he?

Of course he took it.

We're gonna put him on the map, Eleanor.

We're gonna throw him a life preserver.

I believe in this boy. Why?

Because he looks up to me.

Yes, sir, and McKinnon's willing to take over my shuttle flights.

That's right.

Well, I just feel I need to see this thing through, sir.

Thank you for understanding. I'll check in with the Louisville office again next month.

"..As I have not, as they say, enough power of observation to isolate their sense of colour."

"For a long time afterwards, whenever I thought of her, the memory of those bright eyes would at once present itself to me as a vivid azure."

"So much so that perhaps if her eyes had not been quite so black, which was what struck one most forcibly on first meeting her, I should not have been, as I was, so especially enamoured of their imagined blue."

Hold it.

That's poetry? No, it's a six-volume novel.

Oh, so you're gonna read that whole thing to yourself out loud.

I'm not reading it to myself, I'm reading it to him.

When did you learn Zissou was your father?

Does it freak you out for me to ask that?

No, it doesn't, but it's a difficult question.

I sort of pieced it together over the years.

Well, how did he first contact you?

He didn't. I went looking for him last month after my mother died.

She had ovarian cancer, then it spread to her stomach and liver, and she took her own life.

Well, good night, I guess. Oh, good night.

You mind if I stay and listen for a little while?

OK.

Do you want me to catch you up on the story?

No, I'll be able to figure it out.

I'll just catch as catch can.

They made these for about... three and a half years before they terminated my sponsorship.

These are great.

May I turn this on? Fire one.

So what happened, in your opinion? What are you talking about?

Don't you think public perception of your work has altered in the last five years?

That's your first question? I thought this was supposed to be a puff piece.

Should we come back to it? Yeah.

OK.

Is it true that this is going to be your last voyage?

Wow. No comment.

Who told you that?

No, goddammit. I'm only 52.

How about we start out with some stock dialogue?

You know, favourite colour... blue. Favourite food... sardines.

How do you feel about part one of your new film?

Why? How do you feel about part one of my new film?

Well, I'm honest, you know, so... Just say it.

I thought aspects of it seemed slightly fake.

Wolodarsky.

I'll take five, Steve. How about taking five?

Did it seem fake when my best friend was bitten in half right in front of me, then eaten alive, screaming?

I think you're a fake.

And I think you're a phony and a bad reporter.

How does that feel? Now tell me something...

Does this seem fake?

How dare you!

This entire article was my idea. No one else gives a shit.

What about Si Perlman?

Are you joking? He's not even covering my expenses.

You're taking something out on me.

Stop crying. What's the deal here?

I was only trying to defend myself.

Well, you did a great job.

I'm sure you'll make a terrific father.

So... you really think you're a Zissou?

I don't know.

You travelled a long way for "I don't know", sonny.

That's true, but it's important to me.

Ja. well, there are a lot of things that are important to people around here, sonny.

Klaus, don't call me sonny. One more thing.

It's the Steve Zissou show, not the Ned show.

You hear me? Yes, I do.

Klaus!

Ja?

If you ever touch me again, I will kick your goddamned teeth out, is that understood?

Not if I don't see you first, sonny.

We gotta watch ourselves around this Jane character.

Don't tell her anything personal.

If you're not sure about something, change the subject and look for me.

This bull dyke's got something against us.

I don't think she's a lesbian. She's pregnant.

Bull dykes can get pregnant.

Anyway, I'd back out now, but we need the press.

See you in the morning.

Steve?

When'd you first hear about me?

About five years ago. I read it in an article about myself.

Did you believe it?

It was in the paper. I assumed they... checked their facts.

Why didn't you contact me?

Because I hate fathers, and I never wanted to be one.

I forgot. Your correspondence stock came in.

Hi, Ross. Started today.

I'll forward some pages to you through the copy department.

You're probably right, though.

What am I doing here?

I miss you and...

Oh, God, I don't know, Ross.

Where are you?

Listen, I'm not leaving this message.

Don't even know why I'm still pregnant.

The script girl uses these for continuity.

Here. Oh, no, no, no.

No exceptions. Everyone gets one.

Anne-Marie, do the interns get Glocks?

No, they all share one.

Take it, Ned.

Steve! What?

Whack on the echo box.

Zissou here. Oseary Drakoulias on line two.

Yeah?

I spoke with Larry Amin, and it's a pass.

In other words, you fucked us.

Let's not cast stones at one another, my boy.

Do you hear me, dammit? Do you? No, I don't!

I told you how to play it! Bloody hell. Listen here, mate...

May I interrupt for a moment?

Who the blazes is that? It's me, Ned.

Maybe this is nothing, maybe it's something.

I don't know your problems. I don't know...

But I just inherited $ 275,000.

Would that amount make any difference?

What sort of expression is the lad wearing on his face?

Can you fly a chopper?

I have, but I'm certainly not licensed in any way, shape or form.

Great. Let's go.

When was this whirlybird last serviced?

I don't know. Klaus is supposed to check it every six months.

You're back on the water, boys. The wire transfer came through from Kentucky, and Jackman and Wordsley are going to gap-finance the rest.

But we have a few hooks on it, so take a pew for a spell.

Number one, the bank want a drug screen for everyone on the crew before they'll forward the money.

A piss test? Yes, a piss test.

Two, a stooge from the bond company will be riding everywhere during the whole shoot to keep you on budget.

Who's the stooge? A chap by the name of Bill Ubell.

And there's not a damn thing you can do about that, Steve.

Three, you must swear, legally swear, that you'll not kill that shark, or whatever it is, if it actually exists.

I'm going to fight it, but I'll let it live.

What about my dynamite? Phillip, dynamite.

I'm off to Zurich. Follow me, chaps.

Mr Ubell, I'd like for you to know Steve Zissou and our equity partner Ned.

I hope you're not gonna bust our chops, Bill.

Why would I do that? Because you're a bond-company stooge.

Well, I'm also a human being.

All right, I take that back.

Yeah.

Let's have some teamsmanship.

Ho!


1, 2, 3.

Come on.

1, 2, 3.

Attaboy. Attaboy.

Here he is. Here he is. Come on.

You OK, Ned? You OK?

All right, give him some room. He's OK.

He just drank a little too much water.

How are you shooting this, Vikram? Wide open?

Light, 5/6.

As always, even in the most challenging circumstances, the members of Team Zissou find ways to keep morale high.

Wait. Hold it.

Is that a distress bark?

Is something wounded out there?

We quickly locate the source of the mysterious cry.

What is she, Steve? A wild snow mongoose.

We thought they were extinct. Her ankle's broken.

Ogata? Yeah.

Run and get some hot milk and put these guys in the incubator.

We radio for the emergency transport of our rare beautiful new friends.

That's what it used to be like.

Had Ned's heart stopped beating before you pulled him out of the water?

Had Ned's heart stopped beating before we pulled him out of the water?

Yes. But we got him started again pretty quickly.

Don't go on this voyage right now, Steve.

One of you is already dead, after all.

Who?

Oh, you mean Esteban?

Thanks for bringing that up.

Who's gonna tell us the Latin names of all the fishes and everything?

You know I can't remember all that shit.

Please stop, Eleanor. Eleanor, stop.

Why are you leaving?

I don't want to be a part of whatever's gonna happen out there.

Nobody knows what's going to happen, and then we film it.

That's the whole concept. That's how we've always done it.

I can't believe you took that boy's money.

He's an investor.

He's my sidekick.

The sugar crabs are back.

They're early this year.

I've never seen them mating before the solstice.

Is that mating?

Goodbye, Steve.

Don't say that. Even if it's true... don't say that.

It's too painful. What do you want me to say?

Say bon voyage.

Bon voyage.


Kingsley Ned Zissou, 29, junior-grade diving tech, executive producer.

Energetic, spirited, youthful.

Normally we would track the jaguar shark with the scanning monitor, but its power tubes have seized up and blown a gasket.

We proceed to the more advanced system located on a colleague's offshore facility.

This will be Team Zissou's next stop.

See, Renzo, this is what I'm talking about - a relationship subplot.

There's chemistry between us, you know?

Here's a quote. Wait. Who from?

"Zissou has an almost magical connection to the life of the sea."

"He speaks its language fluently. I've never met a boy like that in all my life."

Lord Mandrake. You should have opened with that one.

He was your mentor. Hey, intern, get me a Campari, will ya?

On the rocks?

You wanna go up in my balloon?

I like her hairdo. Me too, but Steve called it first.

I'm sorry I made you cry the other day. Oh.

That's OK. It's not completely your fault anyway.

I'm going through some personal problems.

Really? What do you got?

Well, I'm... five months pregnant. My editor's the father.

He's married, but... not to me.

Wow. That's a rough ticket.

You know, my first wife left me when I was your age.

What's Deep Search? My submarine.

I had this image of you on the wall above my aquarium all through primary school.

Oh, yeah? You mean the official photograph, where I'm doing this?

That's the one.

Well, maybe it's just me, but I don't feel like that person.

I never did.

Why did you abandon Ned?

I didn't. I never even met him.

What kind of piece are you writing, cubbie?

Are you gonna screw us on this deal?

I hope not.

You really think it's cool to hit the sauce when you got a bun in the oven?

Pele, bring us back down, please.

I don't have a problem with objective reporting.

What I have a problem with is some wombat coming on my boat, trying to railroad me. Why don't you see if you can get one of these dolphins to swim under the hull and give us a look.

Nah. Either they can't hear us, or they don't understand.

Son of a bitch. I'm sick of these dolphins.

Quiet out there tonight.

Can you hear the jack whales singing?

Beautiful. I wonder what they're saying.

That was the sludge tanker, but...

There you go. That's them.

By the way, would you mind if I made a few modifications to the Team Zissou insignia?

I have some ideas. You mean the patch?

Yes. The insignia.

Yeah. It's probably kind of dated, isn't it?

Sure. Take a crack at it. Make it a little trendier.

All right.

Are you finding what you were looking for out here with me?

I hope so.

I wrote you a letter about 17 years ago.

You mean like a fan letter?

Did I write you back?

I try to answer as many personally as I can.

"Dear Ned Plimpton, first, in answer to your question - always."

"Second, thank you very much for naming your bug after me."

"My wife tells me it is actually a type of gnat."

"You strike me as a very special boy and a key member of the Zissou Society."

"I wish I could come visit you in Kentucky and assist you with your work."

"I remember your mother. Take care of yourself, Ned Plimpton."

"You've served well. Your friend, Captain Steve Zissou."

"Dictated but not read."

Yeah, more or less standard boilerplate, I guess.

There's some real high-tech gear inside this deal, believe me.

First we turn on that tracking system, then as long as the batteries haven't gone...

Who locked us out? No one. We're trespassing.

Steve, are we allowed in here? It's a scientific community, man.

Captain, I am required by law to notify the bank of any illegal activities.

Just do what you gotta do to cover your ass, Bill.

Got it.

Fuck! They wired it. Klaus, go down and get me some cable snippers.

This is Captain Hennessey. You have trespassed on a private facility.

The Coast Guard is being alerted.

Again, this is Captain Hennessey. Immediately leave...

OK, action. Well, look who's back in town.

You travelled over 150 miles since we last heard from you.

It's heading for the South Pacific.

Turn on your tape recorder.

Is it the jaguar shark? On the record, yes.

Cut. Print both takes, Vikram.

Was I just in the film? Yeah. You have to sign a release.

But you've actually located the shark.

You better bet your ass we did. All right, everybody, we got about 25-30 minutes before the Coast Guard gets here to arrest us.

I want you all to get Hennessey's best gear onto the Belafonte in 15.

You're gonna steal his stuff? We'll get it back to him. Interns, let's see some hustle.

Uh, what is this, Pele?

I don't know. Uh, it's a map.

Steve.

Do you know you just charted us on a course through unprotected waters?

Yeah, we're taking the shortcut. But it's outside IMU jurisdiction.

I know, honey. Look at the map.

We go your way, that's about... 4 inches. We go my way, it's an inch and a half.

You wanna pay for the extra gas? What kind of system is this?

You have the Bernstein 9. Just upgraded last summer.

The nines are out already? Does this do cappuccino?

Ja. Wait. This isn't the procedure.

One of the interns just fell down the stairs with the tracking processor.

Make sure we steal the backup. You listening? Under no circumstances...

Shut up before you jinx us, Anne-Marie.

You catching anything?

Hook this up and make me a latte.

You know, Cubbie's kind of a suckermaker, but she's got some moves.

I agree.

If she wasn't a bull dyke, I think I might have a bit of a thing for her.

As you can see, if the creature continues its current migratory route, our paths should converge in less than four days.

I wanna get there in three. Can we? Vladimir, what's this blip here?

I don't know. We might have them mixed up.

It could be the other way around. Anyway, we're gonna be on top of it in the morning.

Good eye, Ned. Thank you. Should we investigate it?

Yeah. Let's make a dive at 6am, scope out the phantom signal.

It's probably one of Hennessey's turtles. I wanna be back on the road by lunch.

Do me a favour. Next time you get a hot idea in front of the reporter, whisper it in my ear first.

Otherwise I look like kind of a daydream Johnny, you know?

Daydream Johnny, yes.

You let him change your name?

Well, we changed it together. What was it before?

Edward Plimpton. That's a million times better.

Change it back, Ned. I really don't see you as a Kingsley Zissou.

Do you think Steve and I have a family resemblance?

No.

I guess it doesn't really matter anyway.

Here.

I stole it back... and strung it on some peppermint dental floss in case you want to wear it like a necklace.


Happy with the piece, Jane? What are you doing in here?

Am I? No.

Put that down. I assume I'm Mr Z.

I'm sorry that you think my red hat is, uh... What's the word you use? "Contrived."

And that...

"The Zissou of my childhood represents all the dreams I've come to regret"?

What? Why? I have to start locking my effing door.

It was locked. I kicked it in. Why don't you just curse, like other people?

I'm trying to get out of the habit before I have my fucking baby.

OK. That makes sense. Well, please clean up your room, anyway.

It looks like a goddamn typhoon hit it. Oh, get out.

Please don't make fun of me. I just wanted to flirt with you.

I'll have an intern come and fix the door.

This is a message from the IMU Coast Guard.

Apparently some crooked fuckers broke into my Sealab yesterday.

How awful. Did they nick anything?

It doesn't say. Probably just trashed the place. I'm so... pissed, I wanna spit.

Hugo... Tell Carl to load my elephant gun with buckshot.

We're gonna hunt down these sickos.

Supposedly, Cousteau and his cronies invented the idea of putting walkie-talkies into the helmet, but we made ours with a special rabbit ear on the top so we could pipe in some music.


Let's start with the reverse.

OK, roll it, Vikram.

Would it be possible for me to address you as "Dad" in this scene?

No. Why?

Oh, excuse me. I'm sorry. I forgot. I'm sorry.

Where you coming from, jack-off? Shit.

It's not a bad impulse, though, some kind of nickname.

Not that one. It's too specific. But try to think of something else.

Another name?

How about "Stevesie"?

That's good. Try it. What were you gonna say before?

Good luck, Stevesie. Fantastic. Let's go.

OK, action.

Look, Ned, there's a sunken airplane down there.

Let's check it out.

We examine the site but are careful not to disturb forensic evidence. How was that?

Not bad. The first take was a little faster.

Is it loose?

Klaus. Klaus? Ja.

May I have a word with you, please?

What?

Why'd you do that? I owed you one.

But you gave me a warning already.

You stood up for yourself. I still owed you one.

Now I owe you one. No. Now we're even.

Why are you doing this? He's not my father, you know. I don't have that.

What are you talkin' about? We're even, dammit. That's it!

No, it was like a beat-up little jalopy. I don't know what you'd call it.

You didn't see it? I didn't see it, boss.

Well, keep your eyes peeled.

Klaus, check who's on watch. I'll be in the sauna.

Pele and...

Who the shit is Kingsley Zissou?

Is that him? That's him.

I've never felt a baby in someone's stomach before.

I think you'll make a very good single mother.

Thanks. Although it does put you both at a tremendous disadvantage.

You know...

Steve's got a little bit of a thing for you.

Why do you say that?

Because he told me.

Really?

I thought he hated my guts.

Well, I think you hurt his feelings, but...

He says I hurt his feelings?

So... effed up.


Five... four... three... two...


Yeah?

Steve, would you please open the door?

Jane, is, uh, Ned in there?

Stevesie?

Stevesie, what's happening? Are those hijackers?!

Well, we call them "pirates" out here, Ned.

You were supposed to be on watch, by the way.

Oh, my God, you're right. Stevesie, look...

Whoa! No!

So you were reading to each other in French?

No, it's in English. It was translated.

You're not supposed to go into each other's cabins on a boat.

Why not? It's just kind of an unwritten maritime rule when you're at sea.

Especially the goddamn lookout.

I'm so sorry. So am I.

You hung us out to dry.

If we don't handle this right, we're gonna all get murdered, including her unborn British child.

I'm gonna kill you for that, asshole!

I'm gonna hit you so fucking hard, you'll be blind!

Please don't hurt him!

Watch me. I'll let you know when I'm gonna move.

It's safer to do what they say. They probably just want our money and jewels.

Yeah, then how am I gonna finish my movie, then? Jesus. Holy fuck.

They're going to kill us, Steve. I'm patting you on the back now, Klausy.

Don't be scared. I'm gonna get us through this, everybody. Ogata. Como esta. Pel?

Wake up, Ned-o! I'm sorry I yelled at you.

I need to speak with the man in charge.

Don't point that gun at him. He's an unpaid intern. Vikram, what coverage you get?

I kept rolling till they put this hood on me.

Bill speaks their language. What are they saying?

Hold on.

OK. Apparently they're taking a hostage. Obviously they've chosen Ned.

Now that they've found out I speak Filipino, they seem to be changing their minds.

Do you have a vault? They wanna know. There's no vault.

Our vault contains at least ten different currencies from all over the world, and we are prepared for every kind of financial necessity.

There goes Ned's inheritance.

Tell them if they don't get off my boat right now, there's gonna be a major shit storm.

Ned-o, can you hear me?! We'll get you back, Billy.

Is everybody else safe? Anne-Marie, are you OK?

No, I'm not. I told you these were unprotected waters.

What a fuckin' nightmare.

Be cool on this shit, OK, cubbie? I mean, at least try to show both sides.

I need to find a baby for this father.

Yeah, I think I know what you mean.

Here we go.

Steve... what are you... I said get your ass the hell off of my boat!


I've never seen a bond-company stooge stick his neck out like that.

What's that sound? Is that...?

The arctic night lights, yeah.

"As if the natural world's been turned upside down." Lord Mandrake.

Vikram, get some cutaways of this miracle.

Klaus, Ogata, put out the deck fires before we sink.

Those fucking amateurs. You left your dog, you idiots.

Wrap this stiff in a tablecloth. We're gonna bury him at sea.

Shouldn't we give him to the authorities or something?

No.

I'll write up a few words to read over him.

How you holding up there, intern? Doing OK?

Ned, how many fingers am I holding up?

I don't know. That's not my job.

Too many to tell. How many fingers... He's gonna be just fine.

I believe it's criminal that Steve allowed this to happen to us, by which I mean illegal.

We're being led on an illegal suicide mission by a selfish maniac.

I hear what you're saying, but I think you misjudge the guy.

Saint Paul said to the Corinthians:

"Without kin, no man may regard himself kindly. Without s..."

Holy shit! Son of a bitch. Cut.

This is Captain Hennessey. We've come in response to your distress signal...

Good God, is that you, Steven?

Run downstairs, put a tarp over anything that says "Hennessey" on it.

What about this guy? Just throw him over the other side.

Your engine blew up and your fuel's been stolen.

Correct?

I know how you feel. Some crooked fuckers just stripped my Sealab, you know.

Probably the same dudes.

I can tow you as far as Port-au-Patois. I'll need your signature on that invoice first.

It accounts for the expenses of the rescue, my time and that of my crew.

This is more than the budget of my project.

It's an estimate. What's your dog's name?

Cody.

Be still, Cody.

I have to run this by my bond-company stooge.

He's been kidnapped. That's true. I have to rescue him first.

Sign it now, or I'm leaving you out here.

Oh, I dined with Eleanor last weekend.

By the way, she's summering at my villa in West Port-au-Patois, don't you know?

Say, how's Team Zissou holding up without her?

The first thing that goes through a captain's head when there's low morale is:

"What'd I do? Is it all my fault?"

Well, he's probably right. Most of us have been together a long time.

There are others that were here before that.

Do you all... not like me any more?

I mean, what am I supposed to do? I don't know.

Look... if you're not against me, don't cross this line.

If yes, do.

I love you all.

Are you sure? Yes, I am.

I don't understand. Why?

What do you mean?

Wait a second. What are we doing? You said cross the line if...

Cross the line if you're going to quit. Oh...

Do it again. I misunderstood.

Hi, Ross. I got your corrections on the proofs.

They're fine, but... I'm not coming back.

It's over. Please don't try to contact me, OK?

You'll hear from us... sometime.

We got attacked by pirates.

I feel as if life has...

Well, you get the idea. Anyway, take care of yourself. Jane.

Will you write to me?

Of course. Give me the address.

Actually, I went ahead and stamped and self-addressed 50 or so envelopes just to make it easier for you.

Thanks. I'll use them.

Each one has three blank pages in it, and... there's a pen.

Maybe I'm going to write you a letter right now.

OK.

I bet I'm gonna really miss you, Ned.

I'm gonna miss you, too.

In fact, I feel like... I don't know, I feel like my heart's almost getting broken.

I guess I'm overreacting.

Is that really true?

Yes, it is.

That was all off the record, cubbie, that whole deal.

Actually, I'm surprised you didn't cross the line yourself.

What line? The line I drew on the deck just now.

You weren't up there? No.

You're kidding.

That was one of the most dramatic things that's ever happened on this boat.

I just lost all my best interns. I thought you were supposed to be covering this.

You just said it was off the record. But you didn't know that.

I was down here packing. You're at the wrong breaker.

So you are leaving.

You're jumping ship on me.

I'm going to scrap the article.

You mean you're not even gonna write the cover story on me?

Man, I don't have any stature any more.

Sorry, Steve. Everything just got too weird, that's all.

But I gave you a goddamn show-stopper up there.

Are you sleeping with Ned?

That's none of your business. OK. Are you?

No, I'm not.

You're gonna miss the jaguar shark or whatever it is if it actually exists.

Are you crying?

You cry easily, don't you?

Bloody hell, God save that poor little stooge.

This never would've happened if Eleanor was with us.

Thanks, man. Your luck had better change soon, mate.

Now I must away. I'll send you a postcard.

What? Where are you going? Abroad for a spell, my darling.

It's my passport status, you see. I'm X-9 at the moment. Legally, I'm a fugitive.

Wait a second. They stole my budget, my boat's broken, you're ditchin' me up the creek. What am I supposed to do here?

Well, I must say, nothing's jumping to mind.

Phillip, any suggestions? No, he's shaking his head.

Land ho! Port-au-Patois, dead ahead.

Port-au-Patois. Port-au-Patois ho!

Ho!

Ho!

Land ho!

Ho!

No, I can't give you full credit, but I'm not gonna flunk you, either.

You're all getting "incompletes".

This is bullshit.


Oh, shit. What do you want?

Do you mind if I butter you up before I answer?

Yes, I do. Tell me now.

I need some money to get the boat out of hock and rescue my bond-company stooge who got kidnapped.

Could we ask your parents to loan it to me?

No.

OK.

Could I butter you up anyway? It took me two and a half hours to get here.

Who's that dude? It's my research assistant, Javier.

Javier, te presento Steve.

Steve.

Necesito cinco minutos. I'd be jealous about you staying at Ali's except I always thought he was a closet queer.

So how's your father-son relationship coming along?

Well, nobody has a real lock on any of this, so I don't know how it all times out.

I mean, I know I want him to think of me like a father.

But the fact that there's a chance that he could really be my actual... biological son...

...is very difficult for me.

You know I'm not big on apologizing, so I'll just skip it, if it's all the same to you.

OK.

But anyway, I'm sorry.

I know I haven't been at my best this past decade.

That's true.

What happened to me?

Did I lose my talent?

Am I ever gonna be good again?

I don't know.

Doesn't matter, anyway. It's probably the last adventure I've got in me.

I was hoping to go out in a flash of blazes, but I'll probably just end up going home.

Unless you're planning to sell the island.

I wonder how much I could get for it.

In this market?

You were probably right all along. We should've had a kid together.

Of course, you were kinda already... on the edge of being too old.

Unless maybe that's a cop-out.

It's worse than a cop-out. I was 34.

It's good to see you, Eleanor.

I'm about to blow my stack.

I turn my back, and the bullshit begins.

Ned, you're a scumbag.

And, Jane, you're a goddamn liar.

What the fuck are you doing in here?

What the F are you doing in here?

I warned you about being in other people's cabins. You were supposed to go home.

You convinced me to stay and finish the story.

Is it still the cover? I don't fucking know.

Don't you dare put on that uniform.

It's all I have with me.

I told you I have a bit of a thing for her. "Not this one," I said.

You said, "Not this one, Klaus."

So you heard me? You're too old for me, Steve.

Well, you're pregnant. Can I have a word with you privately?

Yes.

Follow me.

Are you two fighting? I'll deal with you later.

Look, Steve, I know we both like her and you're angry and embarrassed, but leave her out of it.

You think that's what this is about? Shit, what has that bull dyke been telling you?

All right, I'm gonna warn you now, be a gentleman.

What are you doing here? I thought you interns ran out.

I wanna help you find that shark. Goddammit. Thank you, intern.

You're gettin' an A. His name's Nico.

Who? Hello, Vikram.

Gimme that camera. I'm gonna smash it over your head.

Cut!

I misread you, man. I'm gonna have to rethink some shit.

You don't know me. You never wanted to know me.

I'm just a character in your film.

It's a documentary. It's all really happening.

Well, damn you for that.

Go to bed, you sons of bitches.

That pregnant slut's been playing us like a cheap fiddle.

That's it. I'm gonna fight you, Steve.

You never say, "I'm gonna fight you."

You just smile and act natural, and then you sucker-punch him.

You fight your way, and I'll fight mine. Oh, listen, Ned. Don't you try...

I think your Team Zissou ring might've caught me on the lip.

You call yourself my son, but...

I just don't see it.

It's nothing personal.

What do you want?

Nothing.

That's so arrogant. That's... Screw off.

I can't believe I asked if I could call you "Dad".

Of course you said no. I let you call me Stevesie.

It sounds better.

It doesn't mean the same thing.

A week before she killed herself, my mother told me that you'd known about me since the day I was born.

Is that a fact?

That's a fact.

I ought to have stayed in Kentucky where I belong.

Quiet.

Somebody pay for this water taxi.

You got any petty cash on you?

Remind me to send Eleanor's parents a thank-you note on the good correspondence stock. OK.

This is the message we received earlier on our answering machine at Pescespada Island.

Bill Ubell here. I'm on a payphone.

I am blindfolded and my arms are bound, but a boy has been kind enough to assist me, and there's not much chance I'll get another call, so I thought I would ask if... What? No.

Well, thanks for checking in, Bill.

Next time, maybe you could let us know where you're at.

Based on the quality of the connection, the variety of wildlife in the background, and the elapsed time between Mr Ubell's capture and this message, there's a good chance he's on one of the Ping Islands.

There used to be a four-star hotel on Little Ping.

But the entire island was destroyed by a monsoon five years ago.

It's been uninhabited ever since.

I know the place. Hotel Citroen.

Cubbie, I'd like to speak on the record for a moment.

Eleanor has always been the brains behind Team Zissou.

By the way, are you gonna put in a good description of the command centre I've set up down here?

OK, gang, that's the plan. Set a course for Ping Island, full speed ahead.

You'll need to hire a team of mechanics to rebuild the engine first, of course.

I know. I'm saying, after that.

Just because I've decided to save your neck and help you do this rescue doesn't mean you've won me back.

Yes, ma'am.

Thanks.

Is the father out of the picture?

Actually, I was sort of terrified about having this baby.

Right now, I'm not really scared of anything.

Maybe it's my hormones. That makes sense.

I'm gonna tell you something confidentially which won't be mentioned again.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who can say this, including Steve...

Never mind how I found out. I'm a scientist.

It's the thing that puzzles me about Ned's situation.

What is it? Zissou shoots blanks.

I think maybe it's because he spent half his life underwater.


Let's try track three against picture.

A reef surrounds the Ping Islands, warning intruders to keep their distance.

Today, we discover one of its victims off the coast of Ping 3.

Our colleague, Alistair Hennessey, and his crew are nowhere to be found.

We will land at dawn.

Not bad.

We'll temp it with that, anyway.


All right, let's go.


Oh, shit. Swamp leeches.

Everybody check for swamp leeches and pull 'em off.

Nobody else got hit? What's the deal?

What a shame. They had a bartender here, Keno, made the best rum Cannonball I've ever tasted.

You ready, Vikram?

About six and a half. All right, shall we do this?


Barometer's falling. It's gonna rain. We gotta be quick.

Where are they? Unknown. Split into groups.

I'll take Ned, Ogata, and Wolodarsky.

Thanks. Thanks a lot for not picking me.

What? We're smack in the middle of a lightning-strike rescue op, Klaus.

What's the deal? I'm sick of being on B squad.

Listen, you may be on B squad, but you're the B squad leader.

Don't you know me and Esteban always thought of you as our baby brother?

I've always thought of you two as my dads.

Please don't let anyone make fun of me for saying so.

I can't guarantee that, Klausy, but I'll try. Can we get on with the manoeuvres now?

Wolodarsky, you got something?

Not yet.

Anybody see anybody?

Empty.

Klaus, pirates? No.

I think this whole place is deserted.

Shit. We played a bum hunch.

Fuck. OK, let's not get down on ourselves. We got two more Ping Islands to check out, except I don't know if we have enough gas to do it.

Dammit, Steve!

This sucks.

I'm disappointed in myself.

My first wife, Jacqueline, and I spent our honeymoon here.

Things are pretty different now.

All right, let's check out.

Did you get that, Vikram?

Uh, yeah.

Good. We'll give them the reality this time.

A washed-up old man with no friends, no distribution deal, wife on the rocks, people laughing at him, feeling sorry for himself.

Can I have a word alone with my son, please?

Are you all right? Not really.

By the way, I've been trying to think of a nickname that might mean the right thing.

I came up with "Papa Steve".

I'm sorry I never acknowledged your existence all those years.

It won't happen again. I mean it.

You are my son to me.

Almost more so.

See, for me to meet a guy like you at this time in my life...

I don't know. Uh... it's just...

I wanna communicate my feelings to you, but... I think I might start to cry.

That's OK.

There's something in the coat check.

Hey, Billy. You OK?

Did you get my message? Yeah. It was kinda garbled.

Jesus.

These pirates are monsters.

But remember, I shot one of their guys in the neck last week and killed him, so...

I think we're OK, too.

Where's Cody?

Cody?

See you...

Steven, are you rescuing me?

Fold.

Klaus, bring the dynamite.

They were in there after all! Run! Go! Move now!

Vikram got some great footage of your boat. I guess it's totalled?

Perhaps. We're extremely well insured. I'll probably come out ahead.

Although we'll obviously have to crew up from scratch next time.

They made soup of my research turtles.

Ogata, give some first aid to Pele.

Klausy, Ned-o.

Dig in and hold these rustlers off while I call in the rendezvous.

We'll meet on the beach.

You're A squad.

Renzo, Renzo, Renzo. Anybody, hello? Hello?

This gizmo's out of juice.

Thanks.

No, Captain.

That's Cedric. He's a friend.

Merci. Cedric.

Remind me, we'll send him a red cap and a Speedo.

Wolodarsky, go get the keys to that fishing boat and throw them in the water.

No, wait. They might have another set. Just blow it up.

Hey, Ned.

It looks like we recovered your inheritance.

Klausy.

That's it. I'm retired.

Oh, no, we forgot Cody. We gotta go back.

Goodbye, Cody.

See, this represents the Belafonte. And here's Pescespada Island, and that circle represents friendship, and the K here stands for Klaus.

Where's your symbol, Ned?

I didn't wanna impose myself.

Klaus is right. The flag needs a Ned symbol.

I suppose we could put an N on the side of that octopus.

What's that stand for over there?

That's Esteban.

It was working OK until late last night, but now the tracking system's gone completely on the fritz.

Screw it. Sell it for scrap along with the boat and the submarines. I'm going home.

Let's take up the whirlybird and see what we find, anyway.

I got a feeling we can spot this fish from 111 feet up.

Ned, I don't know if I ever even saw the bastard.

I have $ 275,000 invested in this damn production.

Something ate Esteban, didn't it? Now lead!

Right?

Right? Ho!

Ho.

What's that?

Letter from Jane.

What does she say?

Nothing to speak of.

Thank you for putting me on the flag, Ned.

Of course, Klaus. It was my pleasure.

But you stitched me onto the dolphin, and I want you to know how much that means to me.

Well, I'm very pleased you liked it.

You're not listening! I didn't just like it...

You understand? Yes, I do. Thank you, Klaus.

I've still got yours, of course.

My what?

"Dear Captain Zissou, I am 12 years old and live in Jawbone, Kentucky."

"A creek runs behind our house, where I live with my mother."

"She met you once some years ago, and I collect and catalogue amphibians, reptiles and insects."

"I don't know what this one's called, so I named it."

"You are probably my one of, if not the favourite person I've ever studied."

"I plan to be either A: an oceanographer, B: an architect, C: a pilot."

"Thank you for your good work. Sincerely, Ned Plimpton, Blue Star Cadet, Zissou Society."

"PS: Do you ever wish you could breathe underwater?"

I still wish I could breathe underwater.

Me, too, Ned.

Fluorescent snapper. What? Really? What's that?

A good sign. The last time we saw that big shitkicker here...

Something popped up there, didn't it?

I heard a pin snap loose on the rotator mechanism.

This is gonna hurt.

Ned!

Ned!

Ned. Hey, Stevesie.

Are you OK?

I think I'm OK.

What happened? Did we hit something?

Most likely not.

I think maybe the pushrod failed.

I'm sorry, Ned. I should've scrapped this chopper ten years ago.

Maybe I should've autorotated and performed a high bank during our descent.

We might've crashed a little softer.

Probably wouldn't have made any difference, though.


All hands, bury the dead.


This is the first time Eleanor's ever cried in front of me.

Except for once when she got her arm caught in the deck winch.

Is this my espresso machine?

How did you get my espresso machine?

Well, uh...

We fucking stole it, man.

Ali, why don't you go powder your nose? I need to talk to your ex-wife.

We've never made great husbands, have we?

Of course, I have a good excuse. I'm part gay.

Supposedly, everyone is.

I never told you this, but I was hoping... we might get the chance to adopt Ned. I think he would've wanted it that way.

Would you have gone along with me? He was 30, Steve.

But I'd have considered it.

Thanks, Eleanor.

We're a dying breed.

Yeah.

I guess we were all right while we lasted, though.

Oh, we were like glory's gate, my darling.

We were like that bloody shark of yours. We swam with the, um, uh...

Oh, goddammit. I had it on the plane. What was I gonna say?

Ah, well, it's good to see you. How's your passport status?

Much better, thank you. I'm back down to X-4.

Tell me, who knocked up the reporter?

I don't know.

Thanks for showing me the first draft.

You read it. What did you think?

Well, I was a little embarrassed at first.

Obviously people are gonna think I'm a showboat and a little bit of a prick, but then I realised...

That's me.

I said those things, I did those things.

I can live with that.

You're a good writer, Jane.

It's the effing cover.

Attagirl.

Excuse me.

Sorry to interrupt, but we got the scanning monitor up. Looks like the jaguar shark, or whatever it is that we're tracking, is in a trench on the far side of the reef.

What the hell is going on in here with the wiring?

Anybody feel like going for a ride?

Ned's Theme, take one.

I hooked a rhinestone bluefin on a rope to give him something to eat.


Is that one of mine? I think one of my research turtles survived.


Yeah, looks good.


Is that him? That's him, Klaus.


Are we... Are we safe in here?

I doubt it.

You still want to blow him up?

No. We're out of dynamite, anyway.

It is beautiful, Steve.

Yeah, it's pretty good, isn't it?

I wonder if it remembers me.


In 12 years, he'll be 11 and a half.

That was my favourite age.

Like this? Just like that.

You do it, too.

We complete the adventure, but another of our crew has been lost.

This one was my son.

Also our equity partner.

We start the voyage home in our wounded vessel.


Ho.

Ho.