We Only Know So Much (2018) Script

[Jean] I wanted him.

Do you know that kind of wanting?

The kind that bears no analysis?

No thought. Just pure physical.

My body will have this now.


My body is me. Your body is me.

I become we.

It felt like love.

["My Body My Bones" by Jim and Sam plays]

It was love.

[James] Oh, hey, hey. Hold on.

Got something for ya.

¶ Ooh, ooh ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ¶

¶ You strike a match I light the flame ¶

¶ I'd die for you ¶

-¶ Falling on my weak ¶ -[James] Mott. [claps, whistles]

¶ And willing knees To the ground ¶

¶ Hands to my chest ¶

¶ You showed me how ¶

¶ The rumbling in my heart Goes pound for pound ¶

¶ Oh, oh, oh, oh ¶

¶ My body, my bones ¶

¶ You got me by the spine ¶

¶ Oh, oh, oh, oh ¶

¶ My body, my bones ¶

¶ Head to my heart To my waste to my thighs ¶

¶ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ¶

¶ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ¶

¶ I used to jump On and off trains ¶

¶ I'd never stay ¶

¶ Long enough for them To know my names on a grave ¶

¶ Tattooed in time You showed me how ¶

¶ The rumbling in my heart... ¶ Morning, how are you?

Can I have those apples? Thank you. Those'll be great.

¶ My body, my bones ¶

¶ You got me by the spine ¶

[Jean] I didn't believe in soul mates. But...

-[produce seller] This too? -Yeah.

...what we had felt other worldly

in a way that overtook me

at a time that I wanted to be overtaken.

But I don't live in another world.

I live in this one.

-Chrysanthemum floris folium. -Semper Fi.

I thought we were shouting things.

No, Theodore, the Gordon to English translation here is mums.

Must have been some line at the supermarket.

It's a hearty little plant, the Chrysanthemum.

Of course, this time of year those are the ones you typically see.

But it's a surprisingly diverse genus.

I mean, in the U.S., we think of it as a cheerful flower.

But in some countries, it...

It's entwined with lamentation. Grief.

And still others, it represents honesty.

At any rate, they're lovely.

You get them at the produce market?

[Jean] Mm-hmm.

Well, I could have gotten you flowers for free from work.

[Jean] I suppose you could have.

Otis, you're getting syrup on your math book.

The pages will get stuck.

It's fine. I've already read it.

Well, it'll sink through to the other chapters.

I read them all. And I did the assignments.

[Theodore] Hey, Ot. Check this out.

You're going to like this.

Now, do you know who Johann Sebastian Bach is?

-Yes, Grandpa. -Of course he does.

You show him your commemorative medals...

-[phone beeps] -...every single day.

-[Priscilla] What? -[Jean] What is it, honey?

Priscilla, I have book club today.

So, don't even think about taking...

-[door closes] -[sighs]

...the car.

There's nothing on the calendar about book club.


Happy Boss's Day, boss.

Oh. [chuckles]

Hey, well, bonsai. Fantastic.

You know, um, the bonsai dates back as far as the early times of the Egyptian cultures.

Although, most associate it with Japan and the concept of wabi-sabi.

Familiar with wabi-sabi, right? No?

Oh, well, it mostly has to do with the, um, I guess the appreciation of the transience of things.

Um, and on that account, um, it's kind of surprising that the bonsai gained any popularity at all in America, given our throw away culture.

You're welcome.


[James] I was showing my students

how to make blackout poems, and I realized all these love poems are about you.

From your body, time runs inside us.

Night, space, earth passes.

A vague sound.

In your soul joy is born.

With the kiss of love.

-Your breast, your lust. -[Vivian] Jean, Theo's gone outside again.


Priscilla? Just forget that guy.

You know I never liked him. Kyle's a douche.

I saw him talking to Lindsey Halgerson at Chipotle last week.

[groans] While we were still together?

She's not even pretty.

[Danielle] I just think she's a shady bitch.

You don't talk to someone's boyfriend at Chipotle.

Well, she does work there.

Whatever. Danielle's right.

It's not cool. You don't talk to someone else's boyfriend.

She's a bitch.

Uh, hey. Um... are any of you possibly interested in trying out for a new reality show?

[Ashley] You're really from TV?

Yup, it is totally legit.

-Cool! What's it about? -Well, uh, full details are confidential until production begins.

But it's fun. Female centric. An ensemble cast.

Yeah, right now we're bringing in people who look interesting.

Basically we're looking for someone with a sort of, uh...

-quality. Yeah. -Yeah, vibe.

[producer] Just follow the link on the website for audition details.

Uh, do we need to prepare a monologue or something?

[producer 2 laughs]

-Adorbs. Uh, no. -Adorbs.

No monologue required. Just-- Just be yourself.

[producer] You just be you, okay?

[producer 2] Okay.

Sure. [chuckles]


[Gordon] Whereas, uh, tubule is a Lebanese mountain dish, although there are Armenian and, uh, Turkish variations, but that's more parsley than bulgur.

[Trudy] Gordon?

Gordon Copeland?

-[both chuckle] -I thought it was you.

I'm sorry, do we know each other?


Trudy Parker.

-Trudy. -Senior year, Ross Hall.

Pitchers of beer. Darts at the Rec.

Frisbee on the Quad.


You're kidding, right?

For Valentine's Day, you gave me a pair of red-footed pajamas.

I gave you a copy of Leaves of Grass.

We went to that French place.

On the way back, it rained so we ducked into that big cement pipe

'til the rain stopped.

You used to joke that our song should be...

"Why Don't We Do It in the Road."

[chuckles] I...

I had a roommate named Sheila.

-Belly dancing Sheila? -Yes.

My roommate when you and I dated for seven months.

I guess you were pretty distracted by your... thesis on Italian Renaissance painting.

Your art history degree.

Oh, yeah, I, um, I ended up getting a degree in hospitality management at Cornell.

Mm. Good for you.


[Trudy] Well, then... take care.

Uh, you too. Trudy.


[bike bell chimes]

I really just couldn't get into it.

I mean, that Ignatius guy was...

Kind of a hot mess.

Completely unsympathetic.

"Oh, look at me, I'm miserable, I'm stuck in this shitty town, I have bad gas."


Well, characters don't always have to be... sympathetic to be compelling.

Other thoughts?

What about James? You, it was your selection.

I'm kind of curious to hear more about what Jean has to say.

Um, well, this-- This might sound weird, but I actually can identify with Ignatius, in a way.

His own mother wants him committed!

Well, who hasn't been through that at one time or another, huh?

-[chuckles] -[awkward chuckling]

Well, Ignatius feels powerless in his life, that he's at the mercy of a fate that's not really in his favor.

And I've felt that way.

"Those who don't know the nature and the purpose of things... think the criminal and wicked have power and happiness."

It's not in there, Margot.

It's from Consolation of Philosophy, the book Ignatius constantly refers to.

You read Consolation?

Yeah, 6th century philosophers are my kinda rabbit hole.

I'll take pictures of the kittens in boxes.

-[laughs] -I love kittens in boxes!

Oh, my God, did you see the one with the kitten and the bunny in the teacup?

-[Alisa] No! -[Karen] Okay, I'm going to show it to you. You have to see it. So adorable.


[Margot] Oh, that's cute.

But then he seems to be saying that the only thing of any true value is found within.

So, in that sense, happiness is--

You are my happiness.

James. Shh. Shh. Shh.

You are a beautiful flowering tree.

And I'm a tired bird looking for my nest.

Oh, James.

It's getting real hard to share you.

Never mind.

Otis is only nine years old.

And I thought we'd only be looking after Theo and Vivian for a little while.

Alzheimer's is so unpredictable.

I can still smell you on me.


There's just a lot of things to consider, that's all.

It's just real hard.

What's so hard? [chuckles]

I was just suggesting that maybe we read a classic.

Something like Moby Dick.

Oh, no, thank you. [chuckles]

Good call, James.

Some ships sail from their ports and are ever afterwards missing.

-He is something. -Yes.


-Yes, he is. -Mm.

[Theodore] Let me read you a bit of my latest optometry paper.

My father was an optometrist.

And was also in the jewelry business, as these commerces were often conjugated together at that time.

I loved to sit in his chair. Loved the things of it.

The click of the giant eye piece.

And the curvature of the cornea complex as itself with the elements to confer the portraits obtained to the central nurse's station.

Who's Catrina?


Oh. I see.

Who's Caterina?

A girl I might maybe like. But probably not.

You know, considering she's a girl and everything.

Well, that's wonderful.

Tell me about her.

I don't know. She has two ponytails.

You mean pig tails?

I guess.

What is she like?

She has the neatest cubby of anyone, ever, crosses her feet in this weird way under her desk.

They kind of like wind around.

-Interesting. -[Otis] That's all I know.

Because she hasn't really talked to me or anything.

Well, the first boy I ever liked, Roger, when I was about your age, didn't know I existed for months.

But we eventually became friends.

And then... well, you know.

Love is a...

It's a thing, Otie.

It's a thing that isn't always what you think it might be.

When I first met your father, I was totally in his thrall, as they say.

He was so worldly.

Handsome in a certain way I thought.

And I was so young.

James has reminded me of a different thing that love can be.

But Daddy's name is Gordon.


Yes, it is.



Hey, hypothetical scenario.

Say you're approached by someone claiming to have a history with you.

The details of which are both specific and believable and you still have no recollection of those things and that person being connected, due to the fact that you have no recollection of that person.

Happens all the time.

That's just... CRS is what that is.

Can't remember shit.

[chuckles] Right.

[door closes]

[indistinct chatter]

-Want these? -Huh?

All that's left are pomegranate, birthday cake, and jalapeño.

Hold out your hand.



"What was I about to do-- " Nope.

"How often do you end up double booking yourself?"

Why would I do that?


"How often do you have to ask someone to repeat instructions or story because..."



[Vivian] Oh, Theodore, what have you done with the can opener?

I just like to see how things work is all?

Yes. But you never remember how to put them back together again.

What do you mean? I remember how to put them ba...

All right. There's a manual one in the drawer, Grandmother.

This morning, I caught him going out by himself again.

Determined to photograph some mangy squirrel.

I always thought about a career in photography.

Or music.

Not that I have any regrets.

Hey, what does your father do for a living?

He was an optometrist.

An optometrist?

I was an optometrist.

You are my father.

Oh. Yes. [chuckles]

[Jean] If you could have seen the way he clutched the handful of jellybeans that little girl gave him today.

And who gave him the jellybeans?

Her name is Caterina.

Oh, right, Caterina.

You know her?

Of course.

When did you meet her? Has she--

Or has she been to the house?

Oh, you know what, you're right. I don't.

I don't know what I was thinking.

Well, I certainly wouldn't know.

They're Turkish.

Jellybeans, they're Turkish in origin.

The Turks they take these jellies and they...

well, they threw them in a hard--

[groans] I'm-- I'm sorry.

-It's all right. -I'm so sorry.

[Gordon] It's okay.

[Jean] Oh, God.


[phone beeps]

Job description.

I'm supposed to somehow take this cheap shit and turn it into an outfit I'm not totally mortified to wear.

Not possible.

What? Mom!

What are you doing?

I'm pretty much about to be cast in my own major reality show.

-[sighs] -This is serious.

Okay. I can't wear just any shitty outfit.

And I can't sound stupid.

I need to focus so that this doesn't get fucked up like everything else around here.


[James] Hey, babe, just thinking about you hard.

Missing you.

Are you there? Hello?

Okay. I guess you're busy. I get it.

So wishing you were in my arms right now.

Here, anywhere.

Had a day and a night.

It's fine.

Mott misses you, too.

To the sound of your sweet butter voice when you laugh

because his big dumb face looked like

he was trying to tell us what he thought was a squirrel turned out to be just the wind. Remember that?

I mean, you'd probably never forget that.

Still, I was retro-actively worried

almost as though it could happen again.

If you know my mind.



[Jean] I'm sorry.

I went to the worst place I could conceive of.

He's breaking it off.

Oh, my God, he's leaving me.

It's like I was in one of those nightmares

where you know you're having a nightmare

and you force yourself to wake up

only to realize that's also part of a nightmare.


What is it?


[Jean sniffs]

He was in my book club.

Oh, that's terrible. Had he been sick?

It says it appears... that he took his own life.


Well, it's, uh, well-known, there's a high rate of suicide among artists.

But suicides can often be prevented.

They say there are almost always signs.

Are you saying I should have known?



I'm sure you probably didn't know him all that well.

[knock on door]

[Gordon] Jean?

Jean, everything okay in there?

[Jean] And that's when I realized, no.

Everything is not okay.

It's not okay at all.

[Jean] But I certainly couldn't tell him that.

[Claire] Who?


Who couldn't you tell that everything wasn't okay?

My husband of 20 years.

Because he just hung himself with a belt.


-Sorry. -Well, I'm sorry.

Should I not share the specifics?

I don't really know how this works.

The way this works is we share everything here.

We're only as sick as our secrets.

Denial is the first phase of grief.

I didn't even call an ambulance 'til Mary Louise had been dead for two days.

Took me weeks to admit that my partner, Ellen, didn't swallow 80 Vicodin by accident.

[social worker] We don't get 100% honest, we're never going to get through what we need to get through.

And move our lives forward.

House, apple, boat, dog, kite.


Just try to remember those words.

Oh, house, apple, boat, dog, kite.

[Dr. Worland] Just try to remember them.

Okay. This is hereditary, isn't it?

Well, there is a familial genetic mutation associated with Alzheimer's.

Yeah. I knew it. I...

I can't end up like my father. I won't.

The tests show you don't have that genetic marker.

I don't.

[Dr. Worland] The scan didn't identify any significant Amyloid Plax.

Well, significant. It doesn't say there are none.

The presence of Plax alone can't be used to diagnose Alzheimer's.

It's not uncommon for people to have Plax.

No cognitive symptoms.

So, you can't rule it out.

Could do a spinal tap.

Nothing in your exam indicates it's warranted.

A lot of things can affect memory.

Sleep issues. Stress. Depression.

A dead, sexless marriage leading to abject loneliness and existential disassociation.


I said is everything okay at home?


Uh, yeah, you know, well, these things go in cycles, you know.

[Dr. Worland] All right. Now, tell me those five words I asked you to remember.

Uh, house, apple, uh, boat, dog, car.

No. Uh, cat. No.

It's fine. Four out of five is common.

Wait, no, I got a house, apple, boat... dog...

Excuse me, I have another appointment.

Thank you. Um, apple, boat, dog...


[door opens]

Oh, my God. That was so much fun.

-Yeah? -Yeah.

Priscilla Copeland.

Dude, it's easy. Just don't be boring.

-Hi -[Priscilla] Hi.

Hi. Yeah.

Uh, Priscilla.

We're just going to ask you a couple of general questions.

Get an idea for how you look on camera.

Try and cheat your answers here toward camera if you can.

But just try and be natural.

Yeah, totally.

[producer] And, remember, there are no right or wrong answers.

So don't worry about that.

We really do just want you to be yourself. Okay?

So, first question. What is your level of education?

Well, I'm in my first year of junior college.

But I kind of hate it. I'm thinking about dropping out.


Well, I mean, but maybe not.

Um, I don't know.

What do you think's your best quality as a person?

My style is great. [laughs]

Any hobbies?

What, like, stamp collecting or something?

Yeah, yeah, like that.

Is texting a hobby?

Not really.

Oh. I love to dance. And I like fashion magazines.

All right, why don't we move on.

Have you experienced or been treated for any mental or physical illness within the past ten years?

What? No, ten years ago I was, like, nine.

Nine-year-olds can have mental illness.

Well, that must be what's wrong with my brother then.


[clears throat]

Have you ever been on television before?

Uh, I went to New York with my family one time.

And we stood outside the Today Show.

But we were all the way in the back.

It was lame.

What's your primary motivation for being on TV?

Doesn't everyone wanna be on TV?

Not everyone.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

[Hal] It's just that I, uh...

I looked up to him so much.

In spite of his illness.

He was always such a good brother.

I thought that after that first time, you know, it was so long ago.

That he tried to, uh...

I thought he was doing better.

That the new medication was...

I just thought he was doing better.

[sniffs] Anyway, I've said enough.

Is there anybody else who'd like to say something?

Anybody? Sure.

Come here.

Uh, I guess I just wanted to say that...

Mr. D was nice to everybody.

Even if your art wasn't so hot.

He made you feel like it was.

He made you see how it could connect people.

And, you know, change you. And I won't ever forget that.

Thank you.

Oh, and, uh, if anybody would like a really big, sweet, old dog, Mott's gonna need a new home.

The wife's allergic, so...

Anyway, thank you all for coming and celebrating James's life.

Hey, buddy.

-I'm so sorry for your loss. -[Hal] Um...

I'm, um... I'm a friend of James.

He was in my book club.

I-- I'd be happy to take the dog.

My son would love him.

-Really? -Yeah.

I mean, that's amazing.

Are you s-- Are you sure?



[Hal] Okay, I mean, just, you know, let me know when's good for you.

I can get his stuff and get it up here to you.

Well, I can take him now.




Come on. Come on.

[Jean] Aw. I know.

You're very sad.

You're lonely.

You want to come up in our bed?

No, no, no. He stays in his bed.

Well, I think he's traumatized.

But in our bed?

-Oh. -[dog panting]

It's not like it makes any difference. Does it?

[dog panting]

Good boy.

What if we talk about all the things on the list before we even get to the apple orchard?

[Jean] Oh, Otie.

Sweetie, you don't need a list.

You don't always have to talk when you have someone special.

James and I have moments like that all the time.

We had wonderful conversations.

But half the time, we didn't even have to talk.

We could just... sit there together.

Love is a beautiful thing, Otie.

Someday, you'll come together with a person.

And a very almost... spiritual thing will happen.

I don't know how else to say it.

Hopefully your lover won't kill herself.

I already have the salon center and the pink styling chair for my American Girl doll.

And Caterina, if you have an American Girl doll, you can bring her over for a play date anytime.

And we can play salon.

I don't.

[teacher] Okay, Bethany, time to get on the bus now.

[Bethany] Well, that's okay, you can bring whatever doll you have as long as it's littler than an American Girl doll, I mean, it would be better if you had one, but, still, you could even bring a Barbie or an Ariel or a La La Lucy or a Gotz.

Well, a Gotz might be too big.

But, still, even if you can't fit the chair.

It can still sit next to mine and just talk to her while she's sitting there.

I don't want to sit next to the window

-in case it crashes. -Is that better in a crash?

Sitting in the middle?

I think so. Have you ever seen the old movie, Speed?

Very, very scary.

It's about a bus that never stops.

Well, I think this bus will stop.

I hope so.

Do you ever think that you'll kill yourself?

I don't think so.

Why, do you?

No, but my mom said that's what lovers do.

On purpose you mean?

I guess.

Then no. If I killed myself, it'd only be an accident.

Do you like crossword puzzles?

I don't know. I like spelling.

[Otis] Oh, well, I like to make crossword puzzles.

That was my first one.


[Gordon] Trudy...


Uh... there we go.

Dear Trudy, I hope you will accept my sincere apology for having forgotten our entire relationship.


For not remembering you.


I'm sorry, I did not recognize you at the store.

Yeah. Shit.

Can we meet so that you can tell me that I haven't lost my fucking mind.


Can we meet for coffee?

Can we meet for coffee?


Oh, man.





[intercom beeps]

[man] Gordon to the front, please.

Gordon to the front.


You tell people things when you are intimate.

When you are in love.

When you are we you share that you've been fighting mental health issues for years.

That the new medication is actually not working.

That it's all getting to be too much.

And you're thinking bad thoughts.

Very, very bad thoughts and you need help.

I know it seems personal.

Well, of course it's personal.

I'm the one he left. How is that not personal?

I was left, too.

We've all been left.

One way or another. Right?

[Claire] I just can't believe your husband was able to hide his mental illness from you for so many years.

Oh, yeah, well...

You know, a lot of things can go unnoticed in a marriage over the years.

I'm just trying to help.

It's okay. No, you be mad.

Not doing anybody any good to bottle it all up.

Anger is the next phase of grief.


And then what?

Serenity, joy, the happy fucking kumbaya acceptance?

That it was all meant to be.

Because I would trade a lifetime of serenity for one more afternoon lying on the blanket in the grass with him.

One more hour.




It's the next phase.

Thank you, but I don't think this is for me.

None of this is gonna bring him back.

[social worker] You tell people things.

When everything is not okay, you make sure you tell somebody.

[indistinct chatter]

[teacher] All right, listen up.

When you've each gathered a full bag of apples please sit at the bottom of your tree with your buddy, okay?

[Otis] Do you like robots?

-Robots? -Never mind.

Don't you like apples?

[Caterina] Yeah, but I don't like spots on them?

Like from worms and stuff.

Well, me neither.

So you probably don't like bugs then if you don't like worms.


Hey, I brought jellybeans. Wants some?


So birthday cake isn't so good, right?

You don't like birthday cake? Not even chocolate?

Oh, I love birthday cake.

I meant birthday cake jellybeans.

Oh, oh, good.

Then you can still come to my birthday party.

[Otis] Sure.

But if you come to my birthday party, you'll have to be my boyfriend.



Hey. Hey, hey, hey.

What are you doing?

Well, I have to get my paper to the post office.

Okay. Um, the mail's already gone out today and I think you're gonna need an envelope.

[knocks on door]

[Claire] Hi, um, is Jean home?

Oh, no, no, not at the moment.

Can I help you?

She left this book at our group.

The address was in it so I--

Oh, I will make sure that she gets it, thank you.

I'm sorry, I'm rude. It's just my father, um...

I'm Gordon, Jean's husband.


I'm sorry. I... [chuckles]

I really got to go, but thanks again.

-[clatters] -Oh, God.


Oh. Fun fact.

Spite and Malice is sometimes called Cat and Mouse.

So on the bus, Caterina told me she sits on the inside in case it crashes.

She has a fear of it.

Well, I have a fear of crashing.

Sometimes I'm afraid of running people down.

I didn't know that, Grandma Bibbie.

[Vivian] You know I don't drive.

I've never driven. It would be terrible if I did.

Can I ask a question?

Absolutely, daughter. You know what they say about questions.

Do you guys all have, like, a proudest accomplishment?

Well, for me, it would probably be in my painting.

Huh? I didn't know you were into painting.

I studied it in college.

You took one class.

I feel like I learned what I needed to.

About me, what should I begin.

Let's see, oh, yes. I'm a college graduate.

And I've kept my figure over the years.

And don't forget, my sense of adventure.

You just said you wouldn't even drive a car, Grandma Bibbie.

Well, you've seemed to have forgotten that when your great grandfather and I were married, we were very much the outdoorsy type.

As a matter of fact, your grandfather was conceived on the banks of the Colorado River.

It's a terrible shame about marriages today.

If one marriage doesn't succeed, they just throw it out and get another one.

Your great grandfather and I were married for 60 years.

It was like a... A dream.

Anyone want more pretzels?

Plenty of...

Priscilla, can I say mine?

-Please. -My symmetric crossword.

I was always very proud that I could recite my favorite poem by heart since I was 12.

"That is no country for old men.

The young... in one another's arms, birds and trees.

The, um, the dying generations that their song."

Uh... something...

Something, something mackerel.

Something um...

Something flesh, flower, uh...

"An old man, an aged man is... but a tattered coat upon a stick."

"Unless soul clap its hands and sing.

And louder sing for every tatter in its mortal dress.

Nor is there singing school but studying.

Monuments of its own magnificence and therefore, I have sailed the seas and come to the Holy city of Byzantium."

[dog panting]

[reporter] There was a wider than expected loss

in the second quarter.

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[Gordon] Uh, somebody from your book group dropped this by.

Oh, uh--

[Gordon] You must have left it.

Yes, uh, my book, thank you.


[Margot] Hi, Jean.

Haven't heard from you in a while.

Just wanted to remind you that we're having

the book club today.

In honor of James.

This week's book is the Long Weekend.

Hope to see you.

[knocks on door]

-Hi. -Hi, Jean.

We're just finishing up.

-Okay. -Come on in.

Sit down.


"Our days were forever and a moment.

And they were always and never."


Hey, what's wrong, Jean? Didn't you like the book?

Not really.

I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't like this book.

It just-- It just didn't ring true.

I mean, we're supposed to believe it was their fate.

To fall in love in five seconds?

Based on what?

I don't know exactly.

I mean, let's be serious.

The writing is weak.

Okay, okay. No, no, no, please.

Let me just...


Okay then. Um...

"It's as though we too share one body, one mind, one spirit."

That is weird.

It-- I mean, it's borderline creepy.

I'm sorry, but that line blew me away.

-Me too. -What is creepy about that?

Two people share one body.

Come on.

That's a-- That's a weird image.

Well, that's not how I read it.

Well then, you read it wrong.


-[chuckles] -[door closes]

[Gordon] She was a bit younger.

A recent graduate. Avid reader, right?

Although later, I was surprised at how many classics she missed.

Madam Bovery, Emma, no Austen at all and--

I just asked when you got married.



Good for you.

You never married at all?

I came close once.

Engaged to a horse trainer for two years.

You remember how much I loved horses?

-Right? -Yes, of course.

More than trainers it turns out.


Yeah, Trudy, um... ever since we ran into each other, I haven't been able to stop thinking about you.

That's nice.

Um, what I mean to say is I'm still struggling with my recollection of our time together.

Um, and I thought you might help.

Maybe just walk me through some of the details of whatever our relationship was so that I--


I can't do this again.

-No, no, let's just talk-- -Listen, Gordon.

I'm sorry about whatever is going on with you.

But I'm sure you can understand how uncomfortable this must be for me.

-Trudy. -I'm sure that there are treatments available.

Therapies maybe.

I wish you the best of luck with it.

But you-- No.



Trudy. Trudy, wait.

Wait. Wait.

Now, I've been to a doctor.

That sounds like a positive step.

Yeah, nothing showed up on the tests.

And he said that there was nothing wrong with me.

So, the only explanation is...

-Yeah? -[Gordon] Well, that... you created this rouse so that you could get to know me, which I find quite flattering.

-But I'm not really in a-- -Wait.

You think I'm stalking you?

When did I call you?

When did I write or try to contact you

-in any way? -Yeah, well, I thought you might be exceptionally clever and contrived that chance meeting in the store.


And you entice me into pursuing you.


-Get the fuck off of me. -Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Hey, hey.

Oh, God, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.


I didn't know what I was doing. I'm sorry.

Are you fucking insane?

I don't know.



[Gordon] Huh.

Talks too much.


Verbose. Yeah.


Who in the hell is Bethany?

They kill themselves?


Lovers kill themselves.

Hey. Hey, what's up?


Uh, I date douche bags.

Um, I sell used clothes made by Chinese babies.

No, I'm not proud of that, but thank you for asking.

Um, I'm probably going to die here alone in this bedroom.

Do you want to make a TV show about me?


Oh, Priscilla.

Jesus, Mom.

-What are you doing? -I wish I knew.

I mean, I got another audition for that TV show.

And all they said was to be myself.

Like, what does that even mean?

Usually, it doesn't involve practicing.

Listen, do not forget, you have to watch your grandfather today.

We're taking Otis to a birthday party.

That's today? No, I really need to work on this.

Can't you do it tomorrow?

You know how birthday parties work, don't you?

You have them on your birthday.

You couldn't have reminded me?

It's on the calendar.

Exactly one person looks at that calendar.

You're not going in that, are you?

What is wrong with what I'm wearing?

Only... everything. [laughs]

Come here.

No, no, I cannot wear jeans. Mm-mm.

Well, you can't wear what you're wearing.

It's just... sad.

I'm sad.

Well, you don't have to make it worse.

Just put these on. I'm trying to help you.

Here, these.


-Okay. -Like nine million times better.

[all] ¶ Happy birthday to you


[indistinct chatter]

Their two-week anniversary, she said.

Isn't that precious?

From that weird boy in my class to boyfriend.


Otis is weird? In what way?

He got her attention, that's what matters, right?

[Dean] Do you remember, Gordon?

-Huh? -What it's like to be that age?

[Gordon] Uh, well, of course, as much as any of us do.

Childhood memory does depend on interpreting the association of individual objects.

Oh, Jesus, Gordon.

He just means do you remember what it was like to feel innocent joy?

Yes, Jean. I recall joy as a child.

Even some as an adult.

[indistinct chatter]

So, I live with, like, everyone who's ever been in my family.

Including my grandpa and my great grandma Bibbie, who is like the world's oldest living human.

They're napping right now.

This is... a picture of me when I was a baby.

Lying on a blanket being very still.

According to Bibbie, this is the greatest thing I ever did.


What do you know, maybe I do have a proudest accomplishment after all.

Here is my parents. On their wedding day.



[Caterina] Do you want to play a video game?

[Otis] Yeah, I guess.

Basically, you have to rescue your family and take back the streets.

[siren wailing]

[man groans]

But you're running over innocent bystanders on the sidewalk.

Oh, that's fine. Don't worry.

Just try to kill as many bad guys as you can for points.

Oh... okay.

I'm totally his favorite.

-Right, Grandpa? -Oh, right.

I take photos too, you know.

-Squirrels mostly. -[chuckles]

I know, Grandpa. I'm actually making a video.


[phone beeps]

Come here.

Here, wipe your hands.

Thank you.

All right.

Let's play.

Your turn.

You got the color right, Grandpa.

But, see, this is a four of diamonds.

You have to play a diamond on a diamond.

And you can only play a five or a three on a four, see?


We only know a little.


Do what makes you happy.

[laughs] Okay.

Um... do you need to get changed, Grandpa?



[indistinct chatter]

[Dean] What, uh-- What do you do, Gordon?

Oh, well, I take care of a family as best I can.

Though recent events have led me to consider that I may have fallen short in certain areas.

Hell, who hasn't?

But you live with all that.

Right? The creeping disappointment.

You think a kid will fix it. But it's more of just the same.

Well, we're certainly not disappointed

-in our children. -[Gordon] No, absolutely not.

I hope that Priscilla would take her education more seriously, get into a proper college.

Well, maybe you didn't give her the confidence.

I mean, who can compete with you?

Spouting facts all day long.

I mean, I'm not saying that she hasn't always been a challenge.

-Right from birth. -[Gordon] Yeah, I wonder where she got that preternatural dissatisfaction?

Guys. It's a party for the kids.

-Let's try-- -[Linda] What, Dean, is their honesty making you uncomfortable?

Are you worried we'll have to talk about you and Roger and your late-night training sessions?

I'm not having this conversation now.

-You're drunk. -Of course I'm drunk.

What reasonable person wouldn't be?

Mom, can I open my presents yet?


Here, Dad, hold this, please.

[indistinct chatter]

[phone vibrating]

[chuckles] It's...

That's an old friend from college.

[Priscilla] There we go.

[water running]

Now you have to move this foot, Grandpa.

-No, no, no. No, this foot. -It's okay, I'll do it.

If you'll only just lift up your--

[Theodore] Priscilla!

I can do it.

Thank you, dear. Thank you.


-[Otis] I wrapped it myself. -Oh.

I made it special. Here are the clues.

So, you see, you go over here and you see three down says "bad jellybean" and then you look at the puzzle to see how many letters it is.

"Talks a lot girl." That's Bethany.

Right. So you go over here and then you look at the puzzle and then you compare the letters.

And then you can just write down.

That ones from me.



[Theodore] Lie down. Get in your bed.



New York.

Good boy.

See you later.

Well, Linda certainly seems to have an immodest approach to her family matters.

[scoffs] Well, I actually find it refreshing to hear someone speak openly about their marriage problems.

That was someone that I apparently dated in college.

-I had no-- -I don't care, Gordon.

No, it doesn't seem you do of late.

Well, at least you noticed.

I suppose I should be grateful that you're even remotely aware of anything

-that's going on with me at all. -No, I am-- I am plenty aware of-- Hey, Otie.

How did your special crossword go with Caterina?

Not that great. Actually, she broke up with me.

-What? -What?

Another boy gave her a better present.

She said that he was going to be her boyfriend, so...

Oh, Otie, she will learn that life is not about things.

You're a wonderful boy.

Yeah, your mother's right.

You know, you may feel terrible right now.

-But it's-- -It doesn't feel terrible.

Caterina and I were lovers for two weeks and it was amazing.

Don't worry, Mom.

I promise I'm not going to kill myself.

[car door opens]

[car door closes]


[knocks on door]



Everything okay in there?




Where are you?



So you escaped, huh?

Well, I won't tell if you don't.


Fuck. Grandpa!

[cries] Grandpa.

Hey, look at this.

A little porch time.

Otie, go around the back way and go to your room.

-Why, what is it-- -Just-- Otie, go around.

You guys fucked up.

All right, Priscilla.

Calm down. Tell us what happened.


You guys fucked up.

Grandpa needed a nursing home or something.

What made you think you could manage this?

What made you think I could manage this?

He asked me for five minutes in the bathroom.

And he died.

When you can't leave someone alone for five minutes, you clearly can't take care of them yourself.

You guys fucked this shit all up.

You should have known.

Now, one of you go call someone to come and get him, please.


Um... you have to tell Grandma Bibbie.


[Vivian] Ten minutes late to dinner.

Where have you all been?

[Gordon] It's Dad, Grandma, it's Dad.

What's the matter, did he fall down again?

No, no, no, no, no. That's not what I meant.

What I'm trying to say is... he's gone.

He passed.

He passed.

I see.

My father was an artist.

He made his living as an optometrist.

But... his humor and his soul belonged to art.

He was my inspiration.

I remember as a small boy, he helped me carve wood blocks to make prints.

It was as a child that his love of art took root in me.

Somewhere along the line, that was put aside for practical matters.

He was a beloved husband, son, grandfather, and... father to me.


Well, I was recently implicated in an occurrence in which I became uncertain of my cerebral facilities of which I had previously been very certain.

Frankly, I thought I'd lost my mind.

Maybe I did, I don't know.

Maybe it wasn't the disaster I initially believed it to be.

Maybe it was a blessing.

I think we should all lose our minds and find new ones now and again.

I'm not one for God especially, I'm sorry to say that in a church, but...

I think hopefully, my father is with my mother.


And that his mind rests.


Yeah, oh.

[Taylor] Hi, P.

Hi, Mrs. C.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Priscilla and I are best friends.

Like, we're practically sisters.

She just lost her grandpa.

Anyway, I just wanted to stop by and pay my respects.

Hugs and kisses.

Oh, this is not happening.

I can't believe Taylor got the show.


-I'm sorry, Priscilla. -I don't get it.

I-- First, Kyle, and now this?

I failed.

And I feel like I'm doing life completely wrong.

Do you ever feel that way?


I'm almost 20 years old and I have nothing to show for myself.

I have good hair.

I could be, like, a hair model.


there's more to you than hair.

Like what?

Do you think I'm good at anything?

-Mom! -Well, no, honey, I'm sure you are. Everyone is good at something.

Oh, great, but, like, you have no idea.

Well, I thought you said you were interested in fashion.

Well, I was. I am.

But, I mean, you can't just decide

-to be Rachel Zoe. -Mm-hmm, that's right.

You actually have to work for things.

Mom, you don't understand.

I was so sure that this was my destiny.

Life is what you make it.

Make your own fucking reality.

So, I finally took a bunch of her things to sell at the flea market.

I wound up buying a bunch of stuff that reminded me of her.

So, I guess I'm not ready to move on yet.

[social worker] Claire?

Do you want to share?

No, I don't feel safe sharing.

Why is that, hon?

Because someone here is a liar.

I went to Jean's house to return that book that she left.

And the man that answered the door introduced himself as her husband.

He looked pretty alive to me.

I'm a cheater, not a liar.

I fell in love with another man.

And he hung himself.

So... can you direct me to the correct support group for that?

No? Well, I didn't think so.

Yeah, I changed some facts but my pain is as real as anyone's here.

That sounds horrible.

But you should have told us the truth.


I mean, does anyone actually want the truth?

Because the truth is full of aging and disease and death and heartbreak.

So, is it any wonder I wanted to run from it?

I just tried to do it with someone who wanted to escape more than I did.

[social worker] The truth doesn't care whether we want it or not.

It just is.

I'm sorry I wasn't entirely honest.

But I won't apologize about James.

I regret hurting anyone, but it was the most honest thing I'd done in years.

There was no inciting incident as they say.

Would have been a deadly dull book the story of what happened to my marriage.

But in some... fuzzy area, I forgot why I mattered.

I felt irrelevant.

Not worth the effort of tossing out.

Not worth saving, just something that... gets shelved and gathers dust.

Make your own fucking reality.

[Jean] Maybe we're not the most reliable narrators

of our own stories.

At least the ones we tell ourselves.

We're all part of someone else's story, too.

Sometimes, it feels like that's all we are.

If we're lucky, something will jar us

into remembering that it's on us

to drive our own plots forward.

And leave it to others to say

how it all turned out in the end.

As I wipe my eyes

I keep rolling on

Follow that eastern wind

Until I get home again

¶ Saw a girl with auburn hair ¶

In the misty mountain air

She called me there

With a song and simple rhyme

In the glow of fireflies

[Jean] "There is a wisdom that is woe, but there is a woe that is madness.

And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces."