Nowhere Man

Written by Jeff Mills

episode 6, season 4

(A hospital. Claudia, Julia, Bailey, Charlie, Jennifer & Kirsten are all sitting in chairs at the hospital, looking shocked and sad. The words of the nurse saying "Your brother is in a coma...." followed by "He may not make it through the night...." are heard echoing in their minds. Charlie gets up to get a drink of water.)

Julia: Charlie, where are you going?
Charlie: I'm gonna get some water.

(Julia nods back at him and then goes back to her spaced out, trance-like state. Charlie walks down the halls, all the while, hearing the nurse's words again and seeing his brother in his head. As he goes to the water fountain, he breaks down. Just then, Bailey approaches him.)

Bailey: Charlie! Come on, man.

(Bailey hugs his brother and pats him on the back.)

Charlie: I am so scared, Bai! I am so friggin' scared!

Bailey: I know. We all are. But this isn't doing Owen any good. Come on, Charlie.

(Bailey walks away with Charlie.)

Bailey: Me and Charlie are going to take a walk outside.
Claudia: What? Don't you want to stay in here in case we hear anything?
Bailey: We're only going to be five minutes, Claud.
Julia: Yeah, well, don't stay out there too long.
Charlie: I don't know if this is such a good idea, Bai.
Bailey: I need some fresh air and I know you do, too. Come on, get your jacket.

(Owen is lying down asleep as he is in a deep coma. Shots of him and the room he is in are seen as we see that he is alive, but still in a coma.)

(Commercial break.)

(Inside the hospital. Julia and Claudia are sitting and talking.)

Claudia: When is Griffin coming?
Julia: Soon.
Claudia: Why do we have to go through this? I mean, why can't this family be happy?
Julia: I don't know, Claud.
Claudia: It's like it is incapable of this family ever being happy. Just when it seems like the bad times are behind us, there is always something bad that hits us next.
Julia: It makes you wonder if there really is a God. I mean, I want to look up there and say "Why us? What did we do?"
Claudia: I'm starting to think that, too.
Kirsten: Claudia, stop it! Don't think that way!
Claudia: No. I mean, why bother praying? No one is going to hear our prayers anyway.
Jennifer: Kirsten is right, Claudia. You've got to think positive.
Claudia: No, I've got to think realistic.

(Outside the hospital. Charlie and Bailey are walking and talking.)

Bailey: That is such bull, Charlie!
Charlie: Is it? Then explain how come this family has been through so much crap over the last three years.
Bailey: That doesn't mean there is no God.
Charlie: Bailey, I used to think like you when I was younger... and I understand the need for you to believe, but I don't. If there is a God, then He must be ignoring our prayers.
Bailey: I know how you feel, Charlie. I do. Last year when I was drinking, Joe was telling me all this stuff about how God was with me and dad was still with me... and I don't know. I'm still not sure what to think, but I still believe in God. And I believe that dad is still with me and the rest of us.
Charlie: It's all nice, Bailey, to say that, but it doesn't change anything. Our mother and father are dead and our brother is in a coma. And.... (Charlie walks away)
Bailey: What?
Charlie: (with his back turned to Bailey) You know what the whole irony is, Bai? It should be me. I should be the one in that coma. I should've been the one who got killed, not mom and pop.
Bailey: Charlie, don't say that!
Charlie: Why shouldn't I say it? It's the truth. It's my fault that they're dead and it's my fault that Owen is in the hospital. I should have noticed he was sick a lot sooner. And if he dies... God forbid... it'll be another person who died because of my stupidity.

(In the hospital. Griffin and Sarah enter.)

Julia: Griffin! Sarah!
Griffin: Julia!
Sarah: Hey!
Claudia: So glad to see you here!

(They all hug.)

Griffin: How's he doing?
Julia: The same.
Sarah: Where's Bailey and Charlie?
Claudia: Outside. They went to take a walk.
Julia: They'll be back in a few minutes.

(Outside of the hospital. Charlie and Bailey are walking towards the hospital.)

Bailey: I can't believe you're still blaming yourself for mom and dad's death.
Charlie: Walter Alcott may have been the one who hit them, Bai, but if I had been there, it wouldn't have happened anyway. And that's it.
Bailey: No. No, that's NOT it.
Charlie: Yes it is.
Bailey: No it isn't.
Charlie: Yes it is, alright! God, Bailey! I had a life, okay? I had a job! I had everything going for me and then, bam! They died! And it's all MY fault!
Bailey: You think you're the only one with problems? I know how you feel. I went from fifteen to forty in one week. I loved them, but I hate them for that.

(Both sigh and pause before Bailey speaks again.)

Bailey: Charlie... we all had to grow up faster because of their death. We all share in this tragedy... and you're not the only one who had a life! We are all in the same boat here, Charlie. You, me, Julia and Claudia. And we've always gotten through hard times together, as a family. We're not going to get through this unless we are in sync with each other.
Charlie: I just... I can't do it, Bai. As long as he's in that coma... if I knew he was going to be alright... if I knew he was going to live, then I would feel better.

(In the hospital. A doctor approaches Julia, Griffin, Claudia, Sarah, Jennifer and Kirsten.)

Dr. Lewis: Salingers?
Julia: Yes! How is our brother?
Dr. Lewis: He's still in critical condition. His condition hasn't improved, but we're hoping that it will.
Claudia: Doctor, is Owen going to die?
Julia: Claudia!
Claudia: What? I think we should know!
Julia: Yeah, but just to ask....
Dr. Lewis: It's okay. Claudia, I really can't say. I really can't say to any of you whether Owen is going to live or not, but we are really trying to help him. It's a longshot, but if we all keep praying and we keep doing everything we can to help him, then anything is possible.

(Commercial break.)

(In the hospital. Charlie and Bailey are walking towards Julia, Sarah, Claudia, Griffin, Jennifer and Kirsten.)

Bailey: Sarah!
Charlie: Griffin!
Sarah: Hey!
Griffin: Hey guys!

(They all hug.)

Bailey: I'm so glad you both are here.
Sarah & Griffin: So are we.
Charlie: So, anything new?
Julia: The doctor said that Owen is still in critical condition and his condition hasn't improved.
Charlie: Damnit.
Claudia: But she also said that if we pray and they keep trying to help him that anything is possible.
Charlie: Yeah, right.
Bailey: C'mon, Charlie....
Charlie: It's not anything we haven't heard before, Bailey. They just say that stuff to make us feel better. Well, you know what? I'm tired of people trying to make me feel better! You want me to feel better? Get my brother out of his coma. Then I'll feel better. But until then, don't give me a bunch of lip service about how everything is going to be okay. Okay?

(Charlie walks off.)

Claudia: Why is he acting like that?
Bailey: He's just scared, Claud.
Julia: Yeah, well, so are we, but we're not acting like he is.
Bailey: Just leave him alone, okay? He'll be back.

(Outside the hospital. Charlie is standing outside and thinks about the past. He thinks about the past.)

(Flashback to Jan. 1994, the day before his parents were killed. The Salinger family is in their house. Nick is on the couch watching TV as Diane is in the kitchen preparing a meal.)

Nick: Where are you going, Jule?
Julia: I've got to study. I got a test tomorrow in geometry.
Nick: What about you, Bai? Where are you going?
Bailey: Out.
Nick: Out? Where's out?
Bailey: Out! I've got a date.
Diane: Which one?
Bailey: Alissa. Bye.

(Bailey leaves the house.)

Diane: I worry about that, boy.
Nick: Forget about it. He may be a little mischievous, but he's a good kid.

(Charlie enters the house.)

Charlie: Hey, I'm home!
Diane: Charlie! How are you?
Charlie: Good, mom! (kisses her on the cheek) How are you?
Diane: Same as always.
Nick: Charlie, nice of you to drop by.
Charlie: Oh, hi, dad. What's up?
Nick: Obviously not you this morning. I needed your help this morning and called you, but you didn't answer your phone. Then, your mom says that you slept in until two o'clock this afternoon.
Charlie: I'm sorry.
Diane: Gosh, Charlie, that is not healthy at all to sleep that late.
Charlie: Great, that's all I need... a lecture.
Diane: I'm not lecturing you. I'm just concerned, that's all.
Charlie: Well, don't be. I'm going to be fine.
Nick: Really?
Charlie: Yeah, really.
Nick: Did you get a job yet?

(Charlie pauses for a few seconds.)

Nick: Well? Did you?
Charlie: No.
Nick: Why not?
Charlie: I haven't had time, okay. And besides, I'll get to it eventually.
Nick: Oh, you got time to sleep until two in the afternoon, but no time to call your mother who needed you to watch your brother. Why can't you be more like your brother, Bailey?
Charlie: Oh yeah, like Bailey is an angel.
Nick: He may not be an angel, but he's responsible and dependable. God forbid if we ever really needed you, Charlie. You'd probably miss that call, too.

(Flashback ends. Charlie is standing outside the hospital as he looks up to the sky.)

Charlie: You were right, pop. You were right.

(Just at that moment, Joe enters.)

Joe: Right about what?
Charlie: (turns around) Joe!
Joe: I'm sorry for showing up so late. I was out of town when I got the call.
Charlie: It's good to see you.

(They both hug.)

Joe: You want to explain to me what your father was right about?

(In the hospital. Kirsten and Jennifer are by a water fountain, drinking water.)

Kirsten: Listen, Jennifer, I want to thank you for helping me out back there.
Jennifer: It's okay.
Kirsten: No, really. I... I don't want us to be enemies, especially now. I want us to be friends, if that is okay with you.
Jennifer: Who said we're enemies? You're Charlie's friend and that's it, right? And besides, you're a good friend.
Kirsten: Thank you.

(Kirsten hugs Jennifer.)

Claudia: Charlie's still outside.
Bailey: Yeah.
Julia: Joe's out there with him?
Bailey: Yeah.
Griffin: They've been out there for awhile, haven't they?
Sarah: Yeah, like fifteen minutes.
Bailey: Don't worry about it. I'm sure they're having a good discussion.

(A nurse enters.)

Nurse: Salingers? You can see your brother now.

(Everyone leaves to go into Owen's hospital room.)

(Commercial break.)

(Outside the hospital. Charlie and Joe are talking.)

Joe: Well? How were they right, Charlie?
Charlie: I should be in that coma, Joe. I should have been the one who died that night. Because... I'm a jinx. I am a jinx on this family, a black sheep, a whatever you want to call it....
Joe: Charlie, stop it! That's enough!
Charlie: No! You know it's true, too!
Joe: No, it's not!
Charlie: It is! I mean, maybe I'm not the same type of person I was three years ago, but I have failed my family. I'm a failure as a son and as a brother. I have failed.
Joe: How? How have you failed?
Charlie: I wasn't there that night they died. I should have been more aware of Owen's sickness even though I have done a good job taking care of him. I've gotten better and I own my father's restauraunt yet I'm the same old screwup I always have been. My sister runs off and gets married and I have no idea. My brother is an alcoholic and nearly gets himself and another person killed. I'm tired of it. I'm so damn tired of it.
Joe: (pauses) You're right, Charlie. You used to be irresponsible and undependable. However, far be it from me to judge you. That is up to the Lord.
Charlie: Oh spare me the religious crap please!
Joe: Shut up! Now I listened to you so you listen to me. You are NOT a jinx. You are not a screwup. Wasn't it you who confronted your brother about his alcoholism? Wasn't it you who broke up with that girl because she didn't like your siblings? And isn't it you who runs a successful business and is a responsible, mature adult? Charlie, it is very easy to blame yourself for this. I know. But this is not your fault and neither was your parents' accident.
Charlie: That's all very nice to say, Joe. And I would believe you... if only it were the truth.

(Owen's hospital room. Jennifer, Kirsten and Griffin leave as Bailey, Julia and Claudia enter the room.)

Bailey: Hi, Owe. It's me, Bailey. And Julia and Claudia are here, too.
Julia: Charlie's outside with Joe, but he'll be in soon.
Claudia: We sure miss you, Owe. The house just ain't the same without you.
Bailey: Yeah, and we are all praying for you.
Julia: That's right.

(They continue talking as Joe enters.)

Bailey: Hi, Joe!
Joe: Hi. Owen, this is Joe. I miss ya, little buddy. We're all praying for you, Owen. And we're not going to listen to what the doctors say. You're going to come out of that coma, and you're going to be as good as new.

(Time passes as Charlie enters the room alone.)

Charlie: Hey, Owe. It's me, Charlie. I know you can hear me, Owen, and I just want you to know that... I'm... I'm... (starts to cry) I'm... m-m-miss you. I miss you so much. I miss us being able to play and watch tv and go to games and stuff. Most of all, I miss you. You have made me a better person, Owen, because I had to take care of you. And I think I've done a pretty good job. I'm tired of beating myself up over things in the past. I feel like I've gotten a second chance... and I want you to be a part of my future. I like having you as my brother. And I pray to God that you get out of this coma. I love you.

(Charlie kisses Owen on the forehead and leaves the room. Just then, Owen's hand starts to move.)

(Commercial break.)

(In the hospital. The Salingers and friends are sitting and waiting.)

Bailey: Charlie!
Charlie: Hi.
Julia: Where have you been?
Claudia: Yeah, we've looked all over for you.
Charlie: Relax, guys. I took a walk and thought about some things... and I just came from Owen's room.
Claudia: Didn't you want to see him with us?
Charlie: Yeah, I just had some things on my mind. But I'm better now.
Kirsten: I wish Owen was doing better.
Griffin: After all the prayers we've sent, I sure hope God is listening.
Joe: He is. He is listening.
Claudia: I don't know anymore.
Julia: I'm like half optimistic and half pessimistic. I mean, part of me is thinking everything is going to be okay. Then the other half is thinking... "What are we going to do if he dies?"
Charlie: Don't think that.
Julia: Well, it's a question that has to be asked, Charlie.

(A nurse enters.)

Nurse: Salingers?
Charlie: Yes!
Nurse: I have some news on your brother's condition.
Bailey: What is it?
Charlie: Just tell us... is our brother going to live or die?
Nurse: (smiles) Your brother is out of his coma.
Charlie: (smiles) Yes!

(Everyone cheers and hugs each other.)

Nurse: Now, I must warn you that Owen is going to be in the hospital for a few weeks.
Bailey: What's wrong?
Nurse: He's having problems moving his neck, but other than that, he is doing fine.
Charlie: Can we see him?

(The Salingers plus Griffin, Jennifer and Kirsten enter Owen's room.)

Owen: Hi!
All: Hi, Owen!
Bailey: How are you doing, buddy?
Owen: Good... my neck hurts, though.
Kirsten: Did you get any needles?
Owen: Uh huh... I just got one. The doctor said it will make me feel better.
Kirsten: That's right.
Owen: I'm tired... I want to go sleep.
Julia: We should let him rest.
Claudia: Goodnight, Owe. (kisses him on the forehead) It's good to have you back.

(Everyone hugs Owen and leaves the room except Charlie, who stays behind.)

Charlie: It's good to see you, Owen. We missed you.
Owen: I missed you, Charlie.
Charlie: You're going to be okay. I just want you to know that I'm proud of you, Owen, and I love you.
Owen: I love you too, Charlie.
Charlie: (smiles) Pretty soon you're going to be out of here and when you come home, we're gonna spend a lot more time together. You want to do that?
Owen: (nodding his head) Uh huh.
Charlie: Well, Owen, I'm going to go now. You get some sleep, okay?
Owen: Bye bye, Charlie.
Charlie: (kisses Owen on the forehead) Goodnight, Owen.

(NP: "Beautiful Boy" by John Lennon. Charlie watches Owen fall asleep in the hospital as he looks up to God, tears of joy in his eyes, as he says "Thank you.")

(End of episode 6. Closing credits.)

(Commercial break.)

(Sneak previews for next episode of "Party Of Five." Scenes show Owen at the hospital with his health improving, Bailey shocked to see Sarah with a new guy, Julia and Griffin planning on having a second wedding for the whole family to come to and finally, Kirsten and Charlie kissing.)

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