Wilk Steven Preaching to Choir by D3a5QFT7

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									PREACHING TO THE CHOIR

       “Pilot”

     Written By

     Steven Wilk




                          1531 Walnut Ave
                    Des Plaines, IL 60016
                           (847) 297-5296
                              First Draft


                 Revised: October 3, 2012
FADE IN:

                        COLD OPEN

EXT. A CHURCH- DAY (ESTABLISHING)

An establishing shot of a church in the afternoon.

INT. CONFESSIONAL- CONTINUOUS

A man is kneeling in the confessional wearing a suede
blazer, t-shirt and black jeans. This is Howard Lucious,
a conman and ex criminal who is our protagonist for the
show. On the other side of the confessional is Father
Bernet, a priest dressed in the traditional priest
uniform with collar.

                         HOWARD
            Forgive me, Father for I have
            sinned…

                      FATHER BERNET
            Go on…

                         HOWARD
            I have done a lot of…well…let’s
            just say bad things in my life.

                      FATHER BERNET
            What kind of bad things?

                         HOWARD
            Well…fraud, theft, armed
            robbery, grand theft auto,
            perjury, infidelity,
            embezzlement, burglary,
            harboring criminals, indecent
            exposure, prostitution, lying,
            cheating, stealing, murder…

                      FATHER BERNET
            You killed a man?

                         HOWARD
            No…I just thought throwing that
            in there would kind of spice up
            the list.

                       FATHER BERNET
            I see.   Well is that everything?
                                                               2


                         HOWARD
            Well… I hate to brag…but if you
            must pry… I spent a good number
            of years impersonating a Pastor…

                      FATHER BERNET
            How did you accomplish that?

                         HOWARD
            Well…

                                                     CUT TO:

INT. BAPTIST CHURCH-DAY (FLASHBACK)

Church members are talking to each other in a mild panic
as the Deacon addresses them from the pulpit.

                         DEACON
            Now, now, lets all settle down.
            We are all very upset about
            Pastor Jasper’s leaving, but we
            mustn’t worry ourselves. The
            Lord will send us a new Pastor
            as He sees fit.

Howard crashes through the roof of the church in a
parachute falling to the ground.

                      END COLD OPEN
                                                            3




                           ACT ONE

INT. BAPTIST CHURCH- DAY

Dust is clearing from where Howard fell. The entire
congregation is staring at him as he slowly stands up and
sunlight entering from the hole in the roof shines on
him. Two women near the front of the church are staring
at Howard in awe. One is Georgia, a mid 30’s widow who
always wears black, and the other is Wendy, who has just
turned 40 and dressed like old schoolmarm.

                           GEORGIA
            Hallelujah!

                          WENDY
            The Lord works in mysterious
            ways.

                         DEACON
            Did I tell you…or did I tell
            you?

Howard dusts himself off and looks at the small crowd of
people.

                          HOWARD
            Umm… Hi.   My name is Howard…

Howard sees a collection plate filled with money.

                            HOWARD
            …Money.

                            DEACON
            Howard Money?

                          MAN 1
            Our new pastor!

                         HOWARD
            …Pastor Howard Money.

Howard shakes the Deacons hand and smiles.
                                                           4


A voluptuous blond woman enters the church. This is
Howard’s wife, Isabelle. She is dressed in cut-off
shorts and a skin tight t-shirt. She is wearing high-
heels and heavy make up. Women in the church cover their
children's eyes.

                          ISABELLE
            Howie?    Are you all right?

The Deacon leans over to Howard.

                            DEACON
            Who is that?

                         HOWARD
            Oh that’s just Isabelle.    She’s
            my…my wife.

Isabelle walks up toward Howard.

                            DEACON
            Wow.

                           ISABELLE
            Howie…?

                         HOWARD
            Yes…my darling wife?

                        ISABELLE
            Darling wife?

                         HOWARD
            Yes, honey I was just telling
            the Deacon here about our
            marriage and my experience as a
            Pastor.

                        ISABELLE
            But you’re not…

Howard gives Isabelle a stare.

                    ISABELLE (CONT’D)
            Oh…I think I get it.

Isabelle gives Howard a slow and obvious wink.

                         DEACON
            Are you all right child? Do you
            have something in your eye?

                         GEORGIA
            I have some Visine!
                                                           5


Georgia gets up to give her eye drops to Isabelle.

                          WENDY
            Do you have contacts? I have
            some re-wetting drops!

Wendy gets up and runs to try and beat Georgia to
Isabelle. Both women run and accidentally crash into
Isabelle sending all three of them to the ground.

                         HOWARD
                 (to Deacon)
            What a friendly congregation you
            have here.

                         DEACON
            Thank you, we do what we can.
            And if you’re interested in
            becoming a new pastor here,
            you’ll find that out right away.

                        ISABELLE
                 (to Georgia and Wendy)
            Get off of me!

The Deacon helps Georgia and Wendy up as Howard helps up
Isabelle.

                    ISABELLE (CONT’D)
            What is wrong with you people?

                         DEACON
            What’s wrong with us?

                         HOWARD
            She just means she’s not used to
            being treated this kindly.

Howard smiles at the Deacon.

                         HOWARD
            We’re from up north.

                         GEORGIA
            Heaven?

Howard chuckles.

                            HOWARD
            No, New York.

                            DEACON
            New York?!
                                                         6


The congregation gasps.

                     DEACON (CONT’D)
            That’s one of the damned places
            in the world! Prostitutes,
            drugs, crime, murder…

Howard interrupts.

                         HOWARD
            Oh believe me, I know all of
            that. We just spent the past
            few years spreading the word of
            God over there. But I can tell
            you more about it later. If you
            don’t mind, I’d like to get a
            little cleaned up.

The Deacon nods his head.

                         DEACON
            Completely understandable.    Tell
            you what…

                            HOWARD
            What?

                         DEACON
            We’re having this social church
            dinner tonight down the street
            at the banquet hall. Why don’t
            you two stop by? It’ll give you
            a chance to meet everybody.

Howard shakes the Deacon’s hand.

                         HOWARD
            It sounds delightful.    We’ll be
            there.

INT. MOTEL- LATER THAT DAY

The motel room contains a couple of tattered suitcases
with miscellaneous clothes thrown about the floor and
beds. Howard and Isabella are getting ready for the
church dinner.

                        ISABELLE
            I can’t believe you want to pose
            as a Pastor for a little church
            in the middle of nowhere.
                                                          7


                         HOWARD
            We don’t have many options
            Isabelle. We have almost no
            money, no car, and no jobs.
            We’re stuck.

                         ISABELLE
            Well we wouldn’t be here in the
            first place if you knew how to
            fly a plane!

                         HOWARD
            Well I’m sorry but you can’t
            expect a straight male to
            function in a place called a
            cockpit.

Isabelle starts brushing her teeth.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            Besides impersonating a man of
            religion is nothing new to me.

Isabelle spits into the sink.

                        ISABELLE
            Santa Claus is not a man of
            religion.

                         HOWARD
            That was a one time thing!

                        ISABELLE
            You wore it to hit on old ladies
            in a nursing home.

                         HOWARD
            I was trying to score points
            with their daughters…

Isabelle looks at Howard

                         HOWARD
            …I mean their granddaughters…

Isabelle continues to look at Howard.

                          HOWARD
            …okay fine…I was trying to steal
            their jell-o.

There is a knock at the door. Isabelle opens it to
reveal Todd. Todd is wearing a baseball cap and holds a
toothpick in his mouth. Todd enters.
                                               8


                        ISABELLE
            Todd!

Isabelle hugs Todd.

                          TODD
            Hey, guys, what’s up?

                         HOWARD
            Not much, what are you doing out
            here?

                          TODD
            I heard a rumor that you two
            stole a private plane and were
            flying south…someplace.

                         HOWARD
            Yeah…that’s true. But how did
            you find us?

                          TODD
            ESP?

                         HOWARD
            Do you even know what that
            stands for?

                          TODD
            Umm…it’s…ejaculating sperm
            patrol?

                         HOWARD
            That doesn’t even make any
            sense.

                        ISABELLE
            Relax Howard…I called him and
            told him where we were.

                         HOWARD
            Why?

Todd looks at Howard.

                         HOWARD
                 (to Todd)
            No offense.

                        ISABELLE
            I don’t know. I thought it’d be
            fun.
                                              9


                         HOWARD
            How in God’s name is him being
            here going to be fun?

Todd looks at Howard.

                         HOWARD
                 (to Todd)
            No offense.

                        ISABELLE
            He just…livens things up.

                         HOWARD
            Yeah but I don’t like him.

Todd looks at Howard.

                         HOWARD
                 (to Todd)
            No offense.

                        ISABELLE
            Todd, would you like to come
            with us to this church dinner
            shindig?

                          HOWARD
            No!   He is not going!

                           ISABELLE
            Why not?

                             TODD
            Yeah, why not?

                         HOWARD
            Because we have one shot at
            pulling this off, and last time
            we Todd helped out I wound up
            naked in a nursing home.

                        ISABELLE
            I don’t remember hearing you
            complain about it.

                         HOWARD
            I had laryngitis. Old
            women…trying to grab
            me…sometimes men…it was very
            traumatic.

Howard holds back tears.
                                                          10


                       ISABELLE
            Buck up. Just say he’s a
            relative.

                            HOWARD
            Cousin Ted?

Howard looks at Todd.

                           ISABELLE
            Ted?

                         HOWARD
            I think it’d be good to use a
            fake name.

                           ISABELLE
            Hmm…

                         HOWARD
            Just…make him look classy.

INT. BANQUET HALL- NIGHT

Howard, Isabelle and Todd enter the Banquet Hall. It is
decorated purple and white for the church dinner. There
is a small crowd of people mingling to each other.
Howard, Isabelle, and Todd walk over.

                         DEACON
            Did you find the place alright?

                         HOWARD
            Yes we did. Your directions
            were wonderful.

                        ISABELLE
            It is so nice to be here.

Isabelle gives an obviously fake smile.

                         DEACON
            Well I’m glad you both could
            make it. Everyone wanted a
            chance to get acquainted with
            you. I mean, we don’t just make
            anyone a Pastor.

                         HOWARD
            Yeah…imagine what kind of a
            world we’d live in if people did
            that.

The Deacon notices Todd.
                                                           11


                         DEACON
            And who is this you two brought
            with you?

                          ISABELLE
            Cousin Ted.

The Deacon shakes Todd’s hand.

                         DEACON
            Well it’s certainly nice to meet
            you Ted.

                          TODD
            I never met a Deacon before.

The Deacon freezes in shock.

                         DEACON
            You don’t go to Church?

                         HOWARD
            Well…I’m an atheist.

The Deacon opens up his pocket and blows a whistle.   A
small mob of men run over.

EXT. BANQUET HALL- CONTINUOUS

It is raining outside and we see Todd getting thrown out
of the back door.

INT. BANQUET HALL- CONTINUOUS

The Deacon is walking with Howard and Isabelle through
the purple and white decorations.

                        ISABELLE
            I think I’m going to go mingle.

                         HOWARD
            Okay, have fun.

                         DEACON
            Well, come Howard. I’ll
            introduce you to some of our
            more important church members.

                         HOWARD
            Interesting colors…purple and
            white.

                         DEACON
            It’s our Sunday school’s colors.
                                                           12


                         HOWARD
            Sunday School, eh?

                         DEACON
            Yeah, we have a football team.

The Deacon leads Isabelle and Howard to the small group
of people. There is Helen, an older woman wearing a
purple and white dress with a grandma-like smile.

                     DEACON (CONT’D)
            Howard, this is Helen.

Howard shakes Helen’s hand. The Deacon and Howard turn a
little to the left towards Stacy and Matthew, a married
couple. Stacy is wearing a low cut red dress, and
Matthew is in his Sheriff uniform.

                     DEACON (CONT’D)
            …and this is Stacy…

Howard shakes Stacy’s hand.

                     DEACON (CONT’D)
            …this is her husband,
            Matthew…our town Sheriff.

Howard shakes Matthew’s hand.

EXT. BANQUET HALL- NIGHT

Isabelle is sitting outside with Todd. She is placing a
Band-Aid on him from when he got hurt being thrown
outside.

                          TODD
            I should probably get going.
            Somehow I get the feeling I
            don’t belong in this place.

                        ISABELLE
            Well, rule number one is you
            don’t tell a religious person
            you’re an atheist.

                          TODD
            Nevertheless, I think I’m going
            to go back to Alabama.

                        ISABELLE
            What are you going to do there?
                                                        13


                          TODD
            Well I’ve been helping out my
            Grandma a lot lately.

                          ISABELLE
            With what?

                          TODD
            Crosswords, mostly.

Isabelle holds Todd’s hand.

                        ISABELLE
            You can’t leave yet. Part of
            the reason I wanted you to come
            here was so we could have
            another chance.

Todd looks at Isabelle.

INT. BANQUET HALL- CONTINUOUS

Howard is standing with the Deacon, Stacy and Matthew
still talking.

                         MATTHEW
            So you’re the Howard Money I’ve
            been hearing so much about.

                           HOWARD
            That I am.

                         MATTHEW
            I heard your from up North, is
            that right?

                         HOWARD
            Yes, me and my wife held a small
            church.

                         MATTHEW
            Really? I have some relatives
            up there. Where did you have
            your Church?

                         HOWARD
            Umm…it was across the street
            from a Starbucks.

                         MATTHEW
            Which Starbucks?
                                                              14


                         HOWARD
            The one that has a small Church
            across the street from it…
            obviously.

Stacy interrupts and she eyes Howard from his head to his
feet.

                          STACY
            Matthew, please leave the man
            alone. He’s not a criminal…

Everybody laughs.

                     STACY (CONT’D)
            …he’s a man of the church.

                            DEACON
            True…true…

                          STACY
            Lay off the interrogation.

                         MATTHEW
            Sorry about that Pastor, force
            of habit. You can never be too
            careful nowadays. Evil is
            everywhere.

Matthew punches his fist.    And his face turns stone cold.

                    MATTHEW (CONT’D)
            And when it lurks in our little
            town…I always find it.

Matthews face goes from serious to carefree.

                    MATTHEW (CONT’D)
            And on that note…I’m going to
            get something to drink. You
            want anything honey?

                            STACY
            No, I’m fine.

Matthew walks away to get something to drink.

                         HOWARD
            That’s some husband you’ve got
            there. I’d hate to see him when
            he gets angry.

                          STACY
            I can always tame him.
                                                        15


Stacy gives Howard a coy smile.

EXT. BANQUET HALL- NIGHT

Isabelle and Todd are sitting down and their eyes are
locked on one another.

                          TODD
            Give us another chance? You’re
            off running around dressing like
            a hooker and running around with
            Howard.

                        ISABELLE
            Howard and I are not a couple.
            We never were. It’s just for
            show.

                          TODD
            I don’t believe you.

                        ISABELLE
            Do you really think Howard’s my
            type? He’s great looking,
            smart, creative, a Beatles fan…I
            mean he’s way out of my league.

                             TODD
            True…

                        ISABELLE
            But you are a perfect fit.
            You’re like the brother I never
            had.

Todd gives her an odd look.

                    ISABELLE (CONT’D)
            In a non-creepy…type of way.

                          TODD
            Do you really mean that?

                           ISABELLE
            Oh yes…

INT. BANQUET HALL- CONTINUOUS

Howard, Stacy and the Deacon are still talking.
                                                     16


                         DEACON
            Don’t worry about Matthew,
            Howard. He’s always suspicious
            when new people come to our
            town.

                         HOWARD
            Does that happen often?

The Deacon shakes his head.

                         DEACON
            Nope. In fact you’re the first
            outsiders to decide to stay here
            in the past 10 years.

                           HOWARD
            Really?

                          STACY
            Yeah, and the only reason they
            had to stay was because they
            died.

The Deacon and Stacy exchange a little giggle.

                         DEACON
            We’re just pulling your chain,
            Howard. I think you’d make a
            fine addition to our church.
            Stay here, I’m going to go find
            the rest of our flock.

The Deacon walks away.

                          STACY
            You know Pastor… I’d let you
            flock me any day.

Stacy winks at Howard.

                         HOWARD
            Uh… thank you…but I’m married.

                            STACY
            Big deal?    So am I.

Howard starts to take a few steps back from Stacy.

                          STACY
            You know… A wedding ring isn’t
            the only thing you can insert a
            finger into.
                                                           17


                         HOWARD
            Ah…ha…well look at the time.

Howard looks at his wrist, which contains no watch.

                         HOWARD
            It’s a hair past a freckle. I’m
            running late. It was nice to
            meet you Stacy.

There is a bunch of commotion from the back of the room.

                          WENDY
            The Preacher’s wife is making
            out with the atheist cousin!

Wendy faints.



                       END ACT ONE
                                                           18


                           ACT TWO

INT. CHURCH DINNER- CONTINUOUS

Todd and Isabelle can be seen from the window making out
and fondling each other. Howard storms outside.

EXT. BANQUET HALL- CONTINUOUS

Howard pulls Isabelle and Todd apart.

                         HOWARD
            What are you two doing?!     You’re
            going to blow our cover.

                        ISABELLE
            I think Todd already blew his…

Todd and Isabelle laugh.

INT. BANQUET HALL- CONTINUOUS

Howard enters back in from outside and walks over to the
Deacon.

                         HOWARD
            I’m sorry Deacon, I’ve got to
            take my family home. They don’t
            seem to be feeling too well.

                         DEACON
            I can see that. Do you need any
            help? Perhaps someone could
            give you a ride.

                         HOWARD
            No thank you. We’ll be fine.
            Call me this weekend, I have a
            lot of great ideas I’d like to
            discuss with you.

                         DEACON
            What kind of ideas?

                         HOWARD
            You’ll find out when you call.

Howard smiles to the Deacon.

                         DEACON
            Haha…you are a sly one.     What’s
            your phone number?
                                                           19


                         HOWARD
            Uh…never mind…I’ll call you.

Howard starts to walk out of the banquet hall.

                         DEACON
            I’m in the yellow pages!

Howard waves goodbye and exits.

The Deacon’s wife, Eleanor walks up to the Deacon. She
is dressed in a conservative green dress with a matching
hat and glasses.

                         ELEANOR
            Who were they?

                         DEACON
            That was our new Pastor and his
            family.

                         ELEANOR
            Oh…I wish I had a chance to meet
            them.

                         DEACON
            Yeah, I wanted them to meet you
            too. I wonder if they’d
            consider coming over for dinner
            sometime this week.

Matthew and Stacy walk up to the Deacon.

                         MATTHEW
            What’s that about dinner?

                         ELEANOR
            We were discussing inviting the
            new pastor and his wife over for
            dinner.

                         MATTHEW
            Don’t you think there’s
            something a little off about
            him?

                          DEACON
            Not at all.   I think he’s
            perfect.

Stacy nods her head, agreeing with the Deacon.
                                                 20


INT. MOTEL- FOLLOWING DAY

Howard and Todd are in the motel room.

                         HOWARD
            Can you go and rent me some
            movies?

                          TODD
            Naughty Schoolgirls?

                            HOWARD
            No…

                          TODD
            Nice Schoolgirls?

                            HOWARD
            No…

                          TODD
            Well geez Howard, what else is
            there?

                         HOWARD
            Rent Sister Act, We’re No
            Angels, Nuns on the Run and Bye
            Bye Birdie.

                             TODD
            Why?

                         HOWARD
            You have a little studying to
            do.

                          TODD
            Why Bye Bye Birdie?

                         HOWARD
            Well that’s for me.      I haven’t
            seen it in awhile.

Todd starts to exit.

                            HOWARD
            Wait!

Todd stops in the doorway.

                             TODD
            What?
                                                          21


                         HOWARD
            Get Naughty Schoolgirls, too.

                          TODD
            I was going to anyway.

Todd exits. Howard takes out the phonebook and looks up
the Deacons number. He dials the phone.

INT. DEACON’S HOUSE- CONTINUOUS

The phone rings and the Deacon goes to answer it.

INT. MOTEL ROOM/DEACONS LIVING ROOM- CONTINUOUS (SPLIT
SCREEN)

Howard starts to talk ala “Telephone Hour” from Bye Bye
Birdie.

                            HOWARD
            “Hi, Deacon!”

                            DEACON
            “Hi, Howard!”

                         HOWARD
            “What’s the story, morning
            glory?”

                         DEACON
            “What’s the word, humming bird?”

                            HOWARD
            How’re you?

                         DEACON
            I’m good. I was talking to my
            wife after you left the church
            dinner.

                         HOWARD
            Yeah I know. Once again, I
            can’t tell you how sorry I am
            about that. I wanted to get a
            chance to meet your family.

                         DEACON
            Good. Because we’ve decided to
            invite you and Isabelle over for
            dinner.

                         HOWARD
            That’s very generous of you.
                                                           22


                         DEACON
            Well, we don’t condone of her
            behavior last night. But I’m
            sure we can offer a little
            forgiveness…especially to the
            Preachers wife.

                         HOWARD
            Thank you, Deacon. I really
            appreciate your kindness and
            understanding.

                         DEACON
            Sure thing. So I’ll see you
            both around seven?

                         HOWARD
            Seven sounds great.

                         DEACON
            Oh, by the way Matthew and Stacy
            are coming too. God bless.

The Deacon hangs up the phone.

INT. MOTEL- CONTINUOUS (END SPLIT SCREEN)

Howard hangs up the phone.

                          HOWARD
            Damnit.

INT. DEACON’S HOUSE- LATER THAT NIGHT

The Deacon is helping his wife set the table. The
doorbell chimes a la “Amazing Grace”. The Deacon answers
the door. Howard and Isabelle enter.

                         DEACON
            Good evening, Pastor Money.

                         HOWARD
            Good evening, Deacon.

Howard nods to Eleanor.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            And who is this beautiful
            creature?

                         ELEANOR
                 (giggles)
            My name is Eleanor.
                                                        23


                         HOWARD
            Lovely to meet you.     You have a
            wonderful home.

                           ELEANOR
            Thank You.    It’s inspired by The
            Exorcist.

                           HOWARD
            Excuse me?

                         ELEANOR
            The movie, The Exorcist. I
            think it’s important to
            recognize that good always
            triumphs over the devil.

Howard looks on the wall to see a picture of an angel
violently decapitating a devil.

                         HOWARD
            That explains the picture.

Isabelle nudges Howard.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            Oh, I’m sorry. Eleanor this is
            my wife Isabelle. Isabelle this
            is Eleanor.

Isabelle extends her hand out to shake Eleanor’s.

                        ISABELLE
            Hey, what’s shakin’, bacon?

Eleanor looks at Isabelle’s hand.

                         ELEANOR
            We don’t shake hands in this
            house…we hug!

Eleanor wraps her arms around Isabelle until Isabelle
can’t breathe.

                        ISABELLE
                 (gasping)
            Howard!

The doorbell rings. Eleanor goes to answer the door.
Stacy and Matthew enter.

                         ELEANOR
            Good evening you two.
                                                            24


                         DEACON
            How are you both?

                         MATTHEW
            We are doing wonderful.

Stacy notices Howard.

                          STACY
            Yep, couldn’t be wetter…I mean
            better. Hi Pastor.

Stacy shakes Howard’s hand.

                         HOWARD
            Stacy…Matthew…

Howard nods to Stacy and Matthew.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            Nice to see you both again.

                          MATTHEW
            Likewise.   Where is that cousin
            of yours?

INT. MOTEL ROOM- CONTINUOUS

Todd is gagged and tied up to the bed struggling to move.

INT. DEACON’S LIVING ROOM- CONTINUOUS

Matthew and Stacy sit down on the sofa.

                         HOWARD
            He umm…couldn’t make it.

                         MATTHEW
            That’s unfortunate. There’s
            something familiar about you
            two. I can’t put my thumb on
            it.

                         HOWARD
            Well, I can’t think of what it
            would be. Maybe your just
            crazy…haha…

Matthew stares at Howard seriously.

                         MATTHEW
            Aren’t we all?

Matthew sniffs the air and then smiles.
                                                            25


                    MATTHEW (CONT’D)
            What is that delicious smell
            coming from the kitchen?

                         ELEANOR
            That’s my peanut butter peas.

                        ISABELLE
            Peanut butter peas?

                         ELEANOR
            Yeah…you take a bunch of peas
            and mash them up, then mix in
            some peanut butter. Sometimes I
            like to add a few spices and
            flavors. My family loves it.

Howard and Isabelle make disgusted faces.

                         DEACON
            It really is scrumptious.

                         MATTHEW
            Sounds like it.

                         ELEANOR
            Dinner will be ready soon, if
            all of you would like to sit at
            the table.

Everybody exits to the dining room.

INT. DEACON’S DINING ROOM- CONTINUOUS

The Deacon’s dining room is surrounded with crucifixes on
the walls and cheap, acrylic dinnerware. Howard and
Isabelle sit next to each other. Stacy sits across from
Howard, and Matthew sits across from Isabelle. The
Deacon sits at one end while Eleanor goes into the
kitchen.

                         DEACON
                 (to Howard)
            We didn’t really get to talk too
            much last night.

                         HOWARD
            Yeah I’m sorry about that.
                                                          26


                         DEACON
            It’s okay. I just kind of
            wanted to talk a little
            business.

                           HOWARD
            Okay, shoot.

Matthew draws his pistol and shoots a hole in the wall.
Everybody ducks.

                          STACY
            Matthew! Put that thing away!
            You scared our Pastor.

Stacy runs her foot up Howard’s leg under the table.
Howard jumps and kicks the table.

                         DEACON
            Howard, are you alright?

                         HOWARD
            Yes, guns just make me a little
            jumpy.

                         DEACON
            Don’t let guns bother you. Only
            one in town who owns one is
            Matthew here. But he has
            horrible aim…so you’ll never
            have to worry about him shooting
            you…on purpose.

Eleanor enters with the food and sits down at the other
end of the table.

                           HOWARD
            I see…

                         DEACON
            Anyway, back to business. There
            are a couple of things I wanted
            to go over. First of all,
            Eleanor is going to be out of
            town this weekend.

                           HOWARD
            Uh huh…

                         ELEANOR
            I always lead the choir on
            Sundays.

Eleanor starts dispersing food onto every ones plates.
                                                      27


                         DEACON
            And we were talking about it and
            thought that perhaps Isabelle
            would be interested in filling
            in for her.

The Deacon looks to Isabelle for a response.

                           ISABELLE
            I’d love to!

                            DEACON
            Perfect.

                         MATTHEW
            You know, Howard we could use
            your help at the county jail.

                            HOWARD
            How so?

                         MATTHEW
            Preaching to the condemned. I
            mean you should be used to it
            coming from New York.

                         HOWARD
            Oh yeah…in fact I was just
            telling the Deacon about it last
            night.

                         MATTHEW
            Really? That’d be excellent.
            We must crush the sinners.

Matthew punches his palm.

                    MATTHEW (CONT’D)
            The county is actually on the
            look out for a Todd Winfield.

Isabelle starts choking.    Everybody looks at her.

                         ELEANOR
            Are you okay?

                        ISABELLE
            Yes…I just…remembered something
            I had to do. Howard, we have to
            go.

                         HOWARD
            Are you feeling sick?
                                                        28


                        ISABELLE
            No.

Howard kicks her from under the table.

                    ISABELLE (CONT’D)
            I mean…I think. Is there…umm…
            peanut butter in your peanut
            butter peas?

                         ELEANOR
            Yes there is.

                         HOWARD
            Well that must be it, she’s
            allergic to peanuts. Isabelle
            you forget that peanuts are in
            peanut butter.

Howard stands up and helps Isabelle out of her chair.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            Well I’m sorry once again
            everybody, but I am a family
            man.

                         DEACON
            That’s very respectable.

                         HOWARD
            Deacon, Mrs. Deacon…thank you
            both for everything. Matthew…
            Stacy…thank you for scaring me.

Howard laughs.

                         ELEANOR
            Wait! Take some food with you
            before you go.

Eleanor gives them a small bowl of her peanut butter
peas.

                         HOWARD
            But she’s allergic to peanuts.

                         ELEANOR
            Well, don’t have her eat them.
            Rub it on her chest. It’s good
            for congestion.

Howard and Isabelle take the bowl and exit.
                                                       29


INT. MOTEL ROOM- NIGHT

Todd is packing up clothes.

                          ISABELLE
              I can’t believe you lied to me
              about staying with your Grandma.

                            TODD
              I’m sorry…

                           HOWARD
              Do you realize how much you’ve
              jeopardized us?

                            TODD
              What do you guys want? I can
              only apologize so many times.

                          ISABELLE
              Just finish packing and get out.

                             TODD
              Yeah, don’t worry me.    I’ll get
              along somehow.

Todd picks up a suitcase.

                           HOWARD
              Wait a minute… you didn’t come
              with a suitcase full of clothes.

Howard grabs the suitcase from Todd and opens it up.

                            TODD
              You know, some people might be
              wondering whatever happened to
              Howard Lucious and Isabelle
              Craine.

                           HOWARD
              Are you threatening us?

                            TODD
              I’m just saying…if I get caught
              some info may slip.


Todd exits.

                           HOWARD
              The nerve of that guy.
                                                          30


                        ISABELLE
            Do you think he’d rat us out?

                         HOWARD
            Does he still have the hots for
            you?

                          ISABELLE
            I think so.

                         HOWARD
            Then my guess would be no. But
            I’ve been wrong before…once.

INT. BAPTIST CHURCH- MORNING

Howard gets up in front of the podium to deliver his
first words to the congregation.

                         HOWARD
            I know I’m the new Pastor here,
            and I look out to all of you and
            say to myself, look at all the
            lonely people.

Howard looks out at the crowd of people waiting for his
next words.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            And I’d like to tell you all a
            story about a lonely woman I
            knew named Eleanor Rigby. “She
            used to pick up the rice in our
            church where a wedding had been.
            She lived in a dream…while she
            waited by her window…wearing a
            face she kept in a jar by the
            door.”

                          MAN 1
            Who was it for?

                         HOWARD
            “All the lonely people. Where
            did they all come from? Where
            did they all belong? We don’t
            know.”

Howard walks out from behind the podium and begins
walking back and forth in front of the people as he
continues to speak.
                                                             31


                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            “And Pastor McKenzie was busy
            writing the words of a sermon
            that no one would hear. And no
            one came near him. The
            following day, Eleanor Rigby
            died in the church and was
            buried along with her name.
            Nobody came to her funeral. And
            Pastor McKenzie walked away from
            her grave as he dusted his
            hands.”

Howard sees the Deacon near the back of the church
watching him. He walks back behind the podium.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            Now you may wonder what is the
            relevance of this story. And it
            is simply to reach out to
            others. It isn’t enough to just
            believe in God and go to church.
            You need to love others, nurture
            relationships. Because in the
            end…the love you take is equal
            to the love you make.

Howard walks away from the podium after he finishes.

                     HOWARD (CONT’D)
            I’d like to introduce my
            beautiful wife Isabelle, who
            will be leading this morning’s
            choir.

Isabelle gets up and stands in front of the choir.   Music
starts to play ala Madonna’s “Like a Prayer”.

                        ISABELLE
                 (singing)
            “Life is a mystery, everyone
            must stand alone…
            I hear you call my name
            And it feels like home…”

The Deacon walks up to Howard.   As Isabelle and the choir
continue in the background.

                         DEACON
            That was quite an interesting
            sermon you gave.
                                                   32


                         HOWARD
            Thank you.

                         DEACON
            Do you really believe what you
            said?

                         HOWARD
            Of course I do.

                         DEACON
            Good. I have a feeling you’ll
            really turn our church around.

                         HOWARD
            I’m glad to know I can have an
            impact on the lives of others.

                         DEACON
            You know… it all goes full
            circle.

                         HOWARD
            What do you mean?

                         DEACON
            They will affect you just as
            much as you affect them…if not
            more.

The Deacon walks away as the choir finishes.

                          CHOIR
            “When you call my name it's like
            a little prayer…”

Howard looks over at Isabelle leading the choir.

                     CHOIR (CONT’D)
            “I'm down on my knees, I wanna
            take you there.”

Stacy looks over at Howard.

                     CHOIR (CONT’D)
            “In the midnight hour I can feel
            your power…”

Matthew looks over at Howard.

                     CHOIR (CONT’D)
            “Just like a prayer you know
            I'll take you there…”
                                                            33


Todd is standing in the back by the doors watching
Isabelle. Then exits.

                                            FADE TO BLACK

                       END ACT TWO

								
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