Z: The Beginning of Everything (2015–2017): Season 1, Episode 1 - Pilot - full transcript

Zelda Sayre is a free-spirited and flamboyant 18-year-old woman living in Montgomery, Alabama, in the year 1918. Zelda wants a bigger and better life and she's on the look out for an escape route. Zelda's stern father, Anthony, tries to keep her flamboyance suppressed which only makes her challenge his authority. During an evening out at a going-away-dance for soldiers embarking to France to fight in World War I, Zelda meets novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and is Zelda's intrigued by him quickly, but doesn't respond to his advances.

Things are sweeter
when they're lost.

I know,

because once I wanted
something and got it.

It was the only thing
I ever wanted badly.

And when I got it,

it turned to dust in my hands.

He had some character say that.

It was the way he always
looked at things.


But it might as well
have been about me.

It was always about me.

Right to the very end.

Or maybe it was about us.

Not that it matters.

Because all that came later.

- Be careful, Zelda.
- It's mighty high!

You'll break your neck!

Ish kabibble!

♫ He was dirty and lousy
and full of fleas ♫

♫ But he had his women
by twos and threes ♫

♫ God bless the bastard
King of England ♫

- Zelda!
- Zelda!

What if someone sees?
Good gracious!


She eloped?

Her mama and daddy
think she's at

her cousin Effy's house
for the weekend.

Good night.
They'll be carrying on

at 18 Montgomery Street
when they find out.

Whatever possessed
Nelly to do such a thing?

- Lust.
- Zelda!

Oh, come on, y'all saw
them at that officer's dance.

They were all hot and bothered.

You know her daddy is never
gonna let her marry a Yankee.


- Woo!
- Zelda!

Greetings, my jellies.

They're sweet,
but Montgomery boys

are such three minute eggs.

I'm tired of their foolishness.

Well, they're not so bad.

That Harry Gunther's
a real hoot.

If you like little boys.


What time are we going
to the dance tonight, kiddos?

Where is it?

Old city hall.
I can't be there
'til 9:30.

My daddy won't let me go
to a dance down there.

Then don't tell him.

Zelda, those dances are rough.

There's no chaperone,
and what if...

That's the point, scaredy cat.

What time is it?

Oh, Dick's gonna pitch a fit.

I'll see you in the park
at 9:30, Livy.

Bye, Ellie.

Let's just start without her.

Lil' Johnny's gonna
bust out crying any minute.

In this house, we eat
as a family.

Give me that baby, Tildy.

Oh, here.

How long are we
supposed to sit here?

Katie, I'm here!

Oh, just in time, baby.

- Honestly, Zelda.
- Where are your shoes?

They're in the hall.
They're all wet.

Am I gonna have to
buy you new shoes?

Judge, let's not talk
about this right now.

They're fine, Daddy.

They just need to dry out.

Katie, I don't have
a taste for roast tonight.

Can you make me one of
your tomato sandwiches?

Of course I can, baby.

We've been waiting on you
going on 23 minutes, Zelda.

You are going to eat
roast like the rest of us.

Well, you didn't have
to wait for me.

We always wait for you

and daddy always gets mad
when you're late.

I guess I was just having
too much fun.

- Zelda, go to your room.
- Why?

Because you seem to forget
that you're still living
under my roof,

which means I expect you
to act like a human being,

and not some swamp rabbit.

I don't see what you're
so upset about, Daddy.

I'm here now, aren't I?

Tildy, pass me that iced tea.

Zelda, I ask very little of you.

But being late for supper
is disrespectful to me...

Never mind, I'm not
really hungry anymore.

Sit down.

You're having an
awfully hard time

making up your mind
tonight, Daddy.

Don't you push me, Zelda Sayre.

Katie, I'll take my
sandwich in my room.

Oh, but darling, we've got
a beautiful key lime pie
for dessert tonight.

Well, then, I'll take
a piece of that pie, too.

Butter beans, dear?

I'm sorry, but you
should hear what people
say about her, Mama.

Eddie Timpson told me she
was dancing cheek to cheek

with Charlie Bumpass at
that dance the other night.

She's just high-spirited.

She's just plain selfish.

What about that
motor car she stole?

Poor daddy.

There you are.


Lieutenant Hammond.
How nice of you to
drop by.

One of these days,
someone important's

gonna notice when you disappear.

Oh, I suppose it's
a condition to which
we should all aspire.

These boots get any shinier,

you'll be able to
blind the Huns from
a quarter mile.

Oh, anything I can do
to aid the effort.

Well, you could
aid the effort by
training your men.

Oh, I think my boys
are doing quite well.

Have you seen the trench
they've been working on?

They're a lot better at
digging trenches

than loading
a stokes mortar,
that's for sure.

Yes, and as I said,
we are all very thankful

for your quick thinking
and cat like reflexes.

Uh, here is my
token of gratitude,
per your request.

when you copy that out,
do not change a word.

It took me four drafts
to get it right.

Forgive the spelling.
It's not my strong suit.

"At night I recall
your glorious smile.

"Those twinned...

"At night I recall
your glorious smile.

"That twinned,
upturned of mirth
and abandon,

"and silvery dream,
and I feel anything
is possible."

It's good, isn't it?

I think I may have fallen
a little bit in love
with her myself

while I was writing them.

Evelyn's smile isn't glorious.

It's kind of crooked.

Well, no matter.

She'll believe that
you think it's glorious.

Which will make her
feel glorious,

which will make her smile be,
in fact, more glorious.

A real romantic, aren't you?

Why would any man
choose to be otherwise?

Now, excuse me.

I will probably be dead
three months from now.

No time to waste.

I have a legacy to create.

You'll be dead long before

anyone reads that
novel of yours.


I can live with that.

Thanks for the letter,

teach your boys to load
a goddamn mortar safely.

If we're gonna die
for our country,

we ought to do it
in France, not Alabama.

Yes, that is my
top most priority,

Baby, you're not going out.

I'm not staying in.

There's a dance at city hall.

The Judge is already
fit to be tied.

What do you think, Mama?

Should I wear
this one or the pink?

I don't know, at least
wear stockings.

Please tell me
you're wearing a corset.

If you don't wear a corset,

people are gonna think you're...

A speed?

Things are different now, Mama.

the war industries board

told us not to wear corsets.

Not to buy corsets.
There's a difference.

Oh, good Lord.

Smell that sweet alyssum.

It always reminds me
of Mama in the garden
at Mineral Mount.

What's the matter?

What do you think?

I think you should
put on some stockings.


I ran into Professor Wisner
at McCormick's this morning.

He said you haven't
been to ballet class
in a couple of weeks.

I'll go back eventually,
Mama, I promise.

What is it, exactly,
you're doing

that's keeping you from
your obligations, my girl?

I'm doing my patriotic duty.

By going to dances every night
and staying out to all hours?

Mama, these boys
are facing death

in the trenches of France.

It is the least I can do.

Bye, Mama.

Oh, baby, wait.

What is it?

Livy's waiting for me.

Let's not rile the judge
any more tonight. Come here.

Now you just try to be quiet.

Mind those rosebushes, baby.

The night smelled of
khaki and cigarettes.

The war was finally here,

in all of its
disordered grandeur.

I felt its urgency.

If I waited, it might be
gone forever.

Come on!

Hey, miss, you want to dance?

Come on, you little bearcat.

♫ A good man
is hard to find ♫

♫ You always get
the other kind ♫

♫ Just when you think
that he's your pal ♫

♫ You look for him
and find him ♫

♫ Foolin' around with
some other gal ♫

♫ Then you rave,
yes you rave ♫

♫ To see him lying
down in his grave ♫

♫ But if your man is nice,
take my advice ♫

♫ Hug him in the morning,
kiss him every night ♫

♫ Give him plenty of love,
you know what I mean ♫

♫ And treat him right ♫

♫ 'Cause a good man
nowadays ♫

♫ Is hard to find ♫

Time's up!
My turn!

Whoa, whoa, fella.
She promised me this dance.

Your mama's calling.
Back off, carrot top.

I can dance with both you boys.

No need to scrap.
Oh, my Lord!

Let's get out of here!

Wait, my bag, my bag, my bag.

What a night!
Those boys are crazy, though!

It was glorious.
I never had so much fun.

We gotta get home.

- Oh, ladies?
- Cigarette?

We don't smoke.
Come on, Zelda.

It's awful late.

Why don't you let us
walk you ladies home?

Why should we?

Yeah, why should we?

We can walk ourselves home.

Because you're not gonna
find two more amusing fellas

in this whole group of
regimental monkeys,

I can tell you that.

Well, you don't seem
that funny right now.

That's what the gin's for.

So, how's about it, ladies?

Well, all right.

But no getting handsy.

No going to the devil,
Private Harold.

Remember, all our daddies
tote guns.

You watch yourself, Zelda.

I'm fixin' to.

Bye, now.

You got one of those for me?

So, where are you
from, Private Landon?

Uh, my name is Lloyd.

But I like Landon.

It suits you.


Just outside Chicago, actually.

Where are they
sending you, Landon?

Just received orders to join
the 67th on Long Island.

And then we're on to
the Marne to fight the Huns.


Well, aren't you just terrified?

Hell, no.

I've never been abroad.

This is my first time
out of Chicago,
and I'm, uh...

I'm ready to see the world.

My ma keeps sending
me these letters

telling me to see
the Eiffel Tower.

And the Arch Du Triumph
or however they say it,

she doesn't understand
I'm gonna be covered in mud

in some trench
on the front lines.

Not on a grand tour.

They, uh...

try to have us write
our Last Will and Testament

before we go.

But I ain't gonna do that.

It seems like bad luck to me.

Nothing's gonna happen to you.


I know.

I'm gonna leave Montgomery.

- You are?
- Yeah.

Where are you gonna go?


Someplace that's not the South.

I like the South.

The women are beautiful.

And the food is aces.

I'm sick of all these
old buildings.

Old people, old houses.

Everything's old here.

I want to go someplace
shiny and new

that's not obsessed
with the past.

Well, this is it, Landon.

I don't even know your name.

Miss Zelda Sayre.


Miss Zelda Sayre.

Do you think you could
wait for a fella like me?


Probably not.

I don't wait for anyone.

Good luck in France, Landon.

I hope you get to
see the Eiffel Tower.

It is 1:30
in the morning.

I'm sorry, Daddy.

I went for a walk with Livy,

we must have lost track of time.

Zelda, why must you always lie?

I'm not lying, I...

I saw you kiss that Yankee.

And I can smell the gin

and cigarette smoke
all over you.

Ish kabibble.

Zelda Sayre, you come back here.

You do not walk away
from your father

when he is addressing you.

I am ashamed that
a daughter of mine

is just a little hussy,

kissing strange men in front
of all our neighbors

with absolutely no
sense of propriety.

Well, isn't that the way
hussy's do?

You just think you can
do as you please,

but that's not the way
life works.

Trust me, I know.

I know.

Mama says conflict
develops the character.

Idn't it divine?

Would you like to try it on?

I don't know.

I might like this green one.

Are you sure your mama

would let you wear
a dress that short?

Bless your heart
for your concern,

but honestly,
I'm looking for something
a bit more Au courant.

That is exactly what
Coco Chanel showed
in Paris this spring.

You can't get more
Au courant, dear.

You're right, I'll probably
have to go to New York

to find something more
up to date than these
old things.

Oh, Lord, look at the time.

Just in time.

Mrs. Baker's been fussing
about tardiness all morning.

Good morning, everyone.

The war continues.

And so, we must continue,

even redouble our efforts

for membership and productivity.

Today, we work on
leg and body bandages.

One of you holds
the bolt of the fabric.

That person is the rollee.

How'd it go last night?

I'll tell you later.

That sounds interesting.

Not to the Judge.

I had a letter from
Arthur Brennan yesterday.

Was it thumbs under
or forefingers under?


Who's Arthur Brennan?

That boy from Atlanta
with the rich daddy.

He enlisted.
He's down in El Paso.

Sent me his pin and said
he'd write every day.

But you don't even like him.

I know.

Tattle later, ladies.

Tattle later, ladies.
Important though
your affairs may be,

Important though
your affairs may be,

our brave young men
would appreciate

your giving their welfare

more speed and attention.

What are you wearing
to the dance tonight?

At the country club?

I'm not going to that thing.

But it's a benefit for our boys.

I know, I'm just
tired of that set.

I've dated every
single one of them.

They're so safe and predictable.

That's why last night
was so fun.

At least they're men, not props.

What else are you gonna do?

Stay home and read a book?

Oh, Zelda, just the person
I was hoping would be here.

Hello, Mrs. Riggs.

I am in charge of
the entertainment
for the benefit tonight,

and we'd so love it
if you would come

and perform one of your
little ballet solos
for the crowd.

It is always such
a hit with the young people.

Right, girls?

That's right.

I can't think of anything better

than watching Zelda
do her little dance.

Let me talk to Mama.
See what she thinks.

All right, dear.
You let me know.

All right.

Come on, Zelda.
Just do it.

I don't want to, Ellie.

I haven't practiced in weeks.

I don't want
to look like an idiot.

You'll be the best
looking idiot in the room.

I think it's a wonderful idea.

You're a beautiful dancer.

And all those boys
you like will be there.

Leon Ruth, Dan Cody,
John Sellers.

I would rather drown myself
than spend another minute

with those bloated, spoiled
Montgomery boys, Mama.

Not one of them has
read a book or has
any opinion about anything

unless it's the latest
football game or automobile.

That's not fair, baby.
That John Sellers is
right smart.

And so is Peyton Mathis.

He already has his own business.

I don't like that Mathis boy.

He's too old
to be gallivanting
with you and your group.

He's a rooster anyway.

What does that mean?

I don't need to hear
about any of that.

I just don't want you taking
up with that Mathis boy.

Oh, Judge, Sara Riggs
is really in a fix.

She needs Zelda to be
the entertainment tonight.

Zelda's old enough to
make her own decisions.

Thanks, Daddy.

I don't have anything to wear.

Oh, you just leave that
to me, baby.

I'll take care of it.

- Zelda, that was wonderful.
- Thank you.

Who is that saint?

That's Zelda Sayre.

And she's no saint, Goldilocks.

May I?

Excuse me.
Thank you.

Thank you, Peyton.

Anytime, darling.


You got me all steamed up.

Let's go for a ride.

No, wait, I don't feel
like leaving just yet.

Aw, sure you do.

I'm sorry, old man,
I believe this is my dance.

.srt Extracted and Resynced
by Dan4Jem, AD.MMXVII.I