Just Shoot Me! (1997–2003): Season 6, Episode 18 - The Book of Jack - full transcript

Jack wants to write a novel but ends up using a ghostwriter. With him out of the office, Nina, Elliot, and Maya compete for power over the magazine. No one produces much of anything related to quality.

- Whoo. That's it.

Jack's flight is confirmed
for the next week.

He's on vacation.
I do as I please.

The world is my oyster.

- Snow White, you
just gonna sleep in late

and watch Regis and Kelly?

- Dude, please. What kind
of woman do you take me for?

I'm all about The View.

- Never mention that show.

I was this close to being the
20-something Asian woman.

- Well, Finch, sounds like
you've got a great week plan.

- Oh, I do.

Because for lunch,
I'm having pancakes.

That's right.

Jack hates people that
eat breakfast food for lunch.

It's gonna be a great week.

- Good morning.

Dennis, did you remember
to pack my scuba mask?

I want to see my
bare feet underwater.

It makes them look gigantic.

- Hey, you will wear
these aqua socks, mister.

- But-

- Yeah, there's
coral. There's jellyfish.

There's sharp
stuff that's pointy.

- Dad, I went to go
visit granny last night

and guess what she gave me.

- A glimpse into the lonely
future that awaits you?

- Oh my God, I haven't
seen this stuff for years.

- Oh, wow. Nude-y playing cards.

These women are enormous.

- Back then, that
was a good thing.

Now, we know better.

- Oh-la-la. Looks like D.
Finch is going to be playing

a little Solitaire this weekend.

- What's this?

- I don't believe it.
This was my dream.

- To own a notebook?

Those really were simpler times.

- I was 18 and I was gonna
write the great American novel.

- Hey, look at these.

Who's got a lighter.

- Come on. You
can't smoke those.

They're over 50 years old.

- No, that's why I can.

Back then, they
made them healthy.

See? No warning.

- You know, this is pretty good.

A little rough but I
really had a lot to say.

- So, why did you stop?

- Because I had another dream:

To become fabulously wealthy.

- It seems like you
made the right choice.

- What's that supposed to mean.

- It just means that you've
accomplished so much.

You're a great publisher,
a great philanthropist.

- And a great friend.

- Elliot, no one
likes a kiss-ass.

- Just being nice.

- Elliot, no one
likes a crybaby.

- You know what?

If I'd put my mind to
it, I'd bet I could write

a great novel.

Dennis, cancel my trip.

- What?

What about your big-ass feet?

- No, I'm gonna
stay home writing.

- Well then, I'll stay here

and keep things
running smoothly.

- No, I'll need somebody
to cook and clean.

- Don't you have a
housekeeper to do that?

- I was going on vacation.

I gave her the week off.

People need to rest, Dennis.

- Mm, it's like
smoking a vitamin.

- So, I guess we should
put the Spring wear layout

in the back of the
magazine like we usually do.

- Mm-hmm.

You know, it's just such a
shame because I always think

it should be at the front.

- Me too, because Spring says,
"My journey is commencing."

- Exactly. Spring
is the beginning.

Spring is birth.

- I have looked into April
and I see Spring has arrived.

I'm fertile and reborn.

- You know, I promised
myself I'd get drunk this morning

and then I didn't and
now I'm paying for it.

- Here's a crazy idea.

Let's put it at the front.

- Yeah, let's
put it at the front.

I mean, your dad did leave
the three of us in charge.

- If we're going to
make some changes,

let's make some changes.

- Make it so.

- Oh, what a rush.

- You know, I have
few other ideas.

- Then why stop here.

- Let's do it.

- I'm sorry. Did I
accidentally walk into

the offices of Dork Magazine?

If we're going to
be put in charge,

then why waste
our time doing work?

- Here's an idea...

What if we change
the color of the print

in the Table of Contents?

- Wow.

- Great, right?

- Yes, it so clearly
should be red.

- That's not bad
but how about blue?

- But, I'm pretty
sure it should be red.

Red is sexy.

- But blue is regal.

- No, you know what's blue?

That big fat vein in your head?

- Elliot, I feel
strongly about this.

- And so do I.

- You know you're going
to have to break the tie.

- Yeah, what do you think?

- I don't care. I don't care.

In fact, this question
is at the top of the list

of questions I don't care about.

Right after, "When
do we plant daisies?"

and, "What's so great
about Pennsylvania?"

Do you hear me?

I don't care.

- But if you had to choose...

- Obviously, red.

Now, if you'll excuse
me, I'm going to go

and enjoy one of those
delicious altar cigarettes.

- Hey, what... You
wanted me to do this.

- Do it later. I can't
have any distractions

when I'm writing.

And, for crying out
loud, get rid of that waffle.

It's 1:30 in the afternoon.

- Fine.

- What are you doing?

- I'm just going to get
some schoolwork done.

- Oh, Dennis, you can't write,
really write on a computer.

What you need is
this, the old typewriter.

Thought to finger, finger
to key, key to words.

- It's pretty much the
same deal over here.

- Anyway, now.

I begin.

Sounds like a lot of typing.

- Uh-huh.

- Little writer's
advice, Dennis.

Don't be afraid to put
some thought into your work.

- I'll keep that in mind.

- Here I go.

Chapter One...

Now, that feels good.

That's it.

We're switching.

- What?

- I want the computer.

I've been writing on
a computer for years.

This thing is an albatross.

- Fine.

- Sucker.

Okay, this is my life hit.

Just open a file...

New Document...

And now, I begin.

We're switching back.

- It's getting ridiculous.

- You know what?

Why don't you
just get outta here?

You're nothing
but a distraction.

- Really?

- Yes. Leave.

- Wee.

Alright. This is awesome.

Jack, don't you worry.

Things are gonna
turn around for you.

- Don't condescend to me.

Do you even know
what an albatross is?

- It's a large bird.

- It's a large
seabird, smart-ass.

- Hey, Nina, I got
you a little something.

- Nah, I'm not in
the mood for coffee.

- I threw in a shot of bourbon.

- That was very hot.

- There's something I
want to talk to you about.

The color blue.

- Oh, for God's
sake, not that again.

- Come on. You obviously
don't care, either way.

So, why don't you
just help out a friend?

- You really should
get that vein looked at.

- Look, here's
the truth, alright.

I can't stand taking
orders from Maya.

Just this week, I'd
like to be in charge.

And with your support,
we can vote her down

and then I can get what I want.

- So, what's in it for me?

- I don't understand.

Why are you in my dad's chair?

- Because this is my office now.

- What are you talking about?

You can't just come
in here and do this.

- Let's put it to a vote.

All those in favor of
Nina using Jack's office?


- All against.

- Nay.

- You lose. Out you go.

- Oh, come on. You've
got to be kidding me.

- Wait wait wait wait.

There's still another
piece of business.

All those in favor
of changing the color

of the ink to blue?

- Yes, red.

- Blue.

- Blue, whatever.

- You know, we make
a pretty good team.

- Why are you
still in my office?

- Don't touch those.

Move away.

- Let me just take a peek.

- I know. It's just not ready.

- How can I not like
something you wrote?

- I said, "No."

- But I'm getting, "Yes."

- You wanna read it? Fine.

- Mm-hmm.

Jack, this is page after
page of random letters.

- And numbers.

- It's really good.

- I've been sitting here
for three days and nothing.

So, I just started
banging on the keys

to see what it sounded like.


- Alright, you're scaring me.

- I can't do it, Dennis.

I can't write.

Me, Jack Gallo, I can't do it.

- I think you're making
too much out of this.

There is a couple of words here.

I mean, look.

There's "harp".

That's a word. I've heard that.

There's "gah". That's a
sound a baby might make.

- Get out.

Jack, now.

- Fine. I will.

But I'm just going on
the record of saying

I think there's
some real gold here.

- Hey, Maya.

There's still a lot of
work to be done this week

but not to worry.

I've made some decisions
that I think we can all sign off on

rather quickly.

For starters, I want
to go with Claudia

for next month's cover.

- I'm not so sure about that.

- Alright, you
wanna do this again?

Come on, Nina, we're voting.

- What's up?

- All those in favor of
having Claudia on the cover?

Nina, I want Claudia
on the cover so come on.

Hands, arms, pick up the pace.

- Maya bought me roses.

- What?

- All those in favor of
Stephanie on the cover.

Aye, as in I win and you
lose so I will be making

the decisions, I
will be in charge.

- I will buy you lunch.

- I have changed
my mind. Claudia.

- Back on top.

- We had a deal.

- Maya, roses die,
lunch last forever.

- I'll buy you a belt.

- I'll buy you shoes.

- I'll buy you a cashmere coat.

- Wow, Maya. Way
to raise the bar.

- Alright, I can match that.

Just give me a minute to think.

- Look, each of you wants to
make some very big changes

and I want some very big gifts.

So, let me make
this easy for you.

I'm just going to go
and register at Barney's.

- What?

- I must say, I'm doing a hell

of a job running this magazine.

And I'd dearly love it if
there was a cab waiting

for me downstairs.

- Four different ladies,
four different points of view.

Makes sense.

- Hello, is there a big
sleepy bear in his cave.

- Oh, God. Please go.

- Hey, I've got something
that will help you.

- Dennis, I'm unwashed,
unshaven, and I'm happy.

I just want to be
left alone right now.

- Or, you could meet Bob Fennel.

- Who the hell is this guy.

- I'm Bob Fennel.

- Yeah, he's my
English lit professor.

He can help you.

- It's really a little
late for all this.

- Give him a chance, Jack.

He's got some
serious credentials.

- I've had five
novels published.

- Boom.

- Really? Five novels.

- Yeah yeah. One of
them takes place entirely

in a lighthouse.

- Actually, just
the first 10 pages.

- You know what?

I think he can help me.

- Really?

- Yes, Dennis, leave us alone.

I want to get started right now.

- Wow. I kind of saved you?

Maybe, you'll write
about this moment.

- Maybe, I will.

- Oh my God. I
was like half-kidding.

- I need you to write me a book.

- Excuse me?

- I need a book.

- Mister Gallo, Dennis
asked me here to tutor you.

- Change of plans.
You're writing me a book.

- Look, that's not what I do.

- Fine, I get it.

Let me give you a
sample of my writing.

- That's more like it.

That way, I can
critique your style.

Suggest improvements.
Really examine the structure

of your story.

- How's that?

- Wow, that's good writing.

- I'll need the first
chapter in two days.

- Done.

- Just so you know, I see
myself as a Hemingway type.

And make sure there's a panther.

A Jack Gallo novel
would have a panther.

- You got it.

- And maybe a little romance.

They'll come for the panthers.

They'll stay for the love.

- Okay, let's make a magazine.

Maya, what have you got?

- Well, for the diet
and fitness section...

- I really don't care.

Just give me the bag.

Oh, perfume.

Yesterday, I seem to
remember some talk

about a coat but whatever.


Funny, I don't
recall registering

for a cheap, hideous scarf.

- Hey...

- What the hell is
wrong with you people?

Jack is coming back tomorrow.

We have many decisions to
make and what do you bring me?

Some sewer water and a rag?

Jack is going to be very
upset and I don't blame him.

- You know what?

What do you think of this, Maya?

All those in favor of Nina
doing the work by herself?


- What? No, I'm
not going to do that.

- All those in favor of
blaming Nina when the work

doesn't get done?


- Okay, you know what?

I'll take the cheap scarf.

Elliot, you win.

- Nina, you've got
a lot of work to do.

- Maya, my fragrant queen.

- I would get
started if I were you.

- Fine.

I'll do it and you know what?

I'll do a hell of a job.

Because Nina Van
Horn is perfectly capable

of overseeing the
production of this magazine.

Bring me a Xerox machine
and an old copy of Vogue.

We're gonna make a magazine.

- And he felt a warm
trickle fall from his cheek.

But it was not his blood.

It was the blood of the panther.

- Oh my God.

Dad, that was amazing.

- It was.

- No, I mean really,
really amazing.

I just never felt that
you could write...

- I wrote it, okay.

I'm sorry. I'm just very
passionate about this material.

- Jack, that was so good.

I think we should put it in
the magazine next month.

You know if, by
some happy accident,

we have 30 pages to fill.

- Wow, Jack, I am really moved.

I'm going to hug you.

- Please don't.

- I have to.

- So, dad, now that
you've started writing again,

you're going to
keep at it, right?

- What choice do I have, Maya?

It's in me.

Elliot, let go.

- Hello, Jack.

- Jeez, Dennis, you startled me.

What are you doing in my chair.

- I know.

- What are you talking about?

- I know...

- What do you know?

- I know!

- Okay, okay, you know.

How'd you find out?

- Because it's the same
as the lighthouse book.

Except the panther dies
instead of the harbormaster.

- Fennel, that
lazy son of a bitch.

- How could you?

- Okay, I'm sorry I lied.

- I don't care if you lied.

Lying's great. I lie everyday.

- Then what do you want from me?

- I've never seen you quit.

- I didn't quit as much
as you think I quit.

- What does that mean?

- It means that, even
when I bought the book,

I was still thinking
about what you did.

You know, bringing
the professor over.

Believing in me.

- Jackson Gilbert
Gallo, what did you do?

- I wrote something.

- Give me that.

"The Scariest,
Hairiest Panther".

- It's a children's story.

- Mm, I hope.

Oop, there's a big
panther and a little panther.

- I wrote it for Hannah.

It's about me and her.

- The little panther
helps the big panther.

- I lost my glasses
when she found them...

- What's so funny?

- The little panther
isn't Hannah.

The little panther is me.

- What, no. It's Hannah.

- Nice try, sir.

The panther has a gold
mane and dancing a happy jig.

If that's not D. Finch
in panther form,

I don't know what is.

- Dennis, seriously, I
wrote it about my daughter.

- Okay. But, hey, just
so you know, I know.

- Don't start with that.

- I know.

- I don't wanna hear that again.

Get out.

How did he know.

That bastard is one
clever little panther.

♪ Life keeps bring
me back to you,

♪ Keeps bringing me home,

♪ It don't matter
what I want to do,

♪ It's got a mind of its own,

♪ Life keeps bringing
me back to you,