SEASON OF MIRACLES
Written by Carl Binder / Directed by Carl Binder
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF GENERAL STORE - MORNING - DAY ONE
COLLEEN (holding KATIE) watches as MATTHEW, BRIAN and a few TOWNSMEN
finish hoisting the town Christmas tree into place. Matthew looks
over at her.
A little to the left.
(they adjust it)
Too far. Back to the right.
(they adjust it)
Matthew and the men set about to secure the tree in place as Brian
steps over to Colleen to admire the tree.
Now comes the fun part -- decoratin' it.
LOREN, busily stocking Christmas goods (toys, ornaments, etc.) in
front of the store, pauses to stare up at the tree.
What d'you think, Mr. Bray?
It's a fine tree, Brian.
Wanna help us decorate it?
Wish I could.
(back to work)
Too many things to do.
Maybe Horace'll help us.
He went to St. Louis for the holidays to see Myra and Samantha.
What about the Reverend? Ain't he the one who usually organizes
this kinda thing?
Ain't seen him around.
GRACE hurries over from the cafe, interrupting the moment.
Loren, you got any pecans? I got six pie orders an' I'm fresh out.
Coupl'a pounds is all I got left.
Loren leads Grace into the store, nearly bumping into DOROTHY, who
comes out, trailed by a persistent JAKE, who's not happy about what
he sees in the Gazette he's holding.
This ad is too small. An' nobody'll even see it on the back page.
Exactly. But you didn't wanna pay for the front page, remember?
Forget what I said. I want the Gold Nugget to be noticed.
(as they pass by)
Hey, Miss Dorothy, Jake. You wanna help us decorate the tree?
Jake just gives him a look -- are you kidding? -- then turns back
Front page. I want it noticed.
He hands her the paper and heads over to the barbershop. Dorothy
looks back at Brian and Colleen.
I'd love to help, Brian, but I'm runnin' a little behind.
She heads off to the Gazette as Grace comes back out of the store,
carrying a bag of pecans.
Will you charge it to my account, Loren?
(before he can speak)
Brian starts to call to her, but she's already halfway to the cafe,
not even noticing the tree. As Matthew, Colleen and Brian watch
Looks like we're gonna be decoratin' the tree ourselves this year.
No, we'll find somebody.
Would you look at this...
The three look over at Loren, who's pulled a beautiful snowdome
out of a crate and is about to set it on display.
Pretty, ain't it?
Loren takes in the beautiful tableau inside the dome (a country
church on Christmas Eve, with a blanket of snowflakes falling all
around) before turning back to the kids with a chuckle:
More snow than we've had around here in years.
He sets the dome on display and goes back inside the store. Brian
regards the dome a moment before turning his gaze back toward the
bare Christmas tree. Off his look...
EXT. ROAD IN COUNTRYSIDE - DAY ONE
MIKE and SULLY, ride toward town in the buckboard wagon.
I've been thinking about Christmas presents for the children. We
won't be able to afford as much this year.
They'll understand. Important thing is we're together.
She's spotted something. Sully pulls up on the reins and stops the
wagon. He gives her a look, and she points off toward:
where a plump TURKEY pecks mindlessly away at some seeds.
+BACK TO MIKE AND SULLY
as she leans close to him, whispering:
I don't have my bow. I'll come back later and --
He stops short as Mike climbs down from the wagon.
What're you doin'?
She points out her plan -- you approach from one side, and I'll
approach from the other.
Michaela, just let me get my --
But she's already moving off to get into position. Sully shakes
his head -- he's not too sure this will work -- but he decides to
go along with it. He jumps down from the wagon, circling around
to one side of the bushes as Mike circles the opposite way.
The two move silently into place as between them, the turkey continues
to peck away in blissful oblivion.
+CLOSE ON MIKE
as she counts silently to three, then:
She leaps into action, followed by Sully. The turkey immediately
sees what's happening and bolts, running this way and that, dodging
outstretched hands at every turn.
+MIKE AND SULLY
are laughing now as the turkey dashes between them, causing them
to bump into each other. As the turkey disappears into the brush,
Mike and Sully tumble to the ground in a cloud of dust. They settle
a moment, catching their breath, then:
How 'bout meatloaf?
As the two resume laughing...
EXT. STREET - DAY ONE
Mike and Sully ride into town (from the direction of the train station).
As they turn the corner to head to the clinic, they see Brian and
a few KIDS making ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree. Sully
pulls the wagon to a stop. As he helps Mike down:
Tree looks good, Brian.
Just tryin' to find some people to help decorate it. Matthew had
to go to work, Colleen took Katie to Becky's.
I got some huntin' to do...
(a smile to Mike)
Gotta round us up some Christmas dinner.
(back to Brian)
But I can help you when I get back.
And I can help you, too, when I'm done at the clinic.
Mike gives Sully a quick kiss, then heads for:
EXT. CLINIC - CONTINUOUS - DAY ONE
Mike starts to unlock the door, when something catches her eye:
+ANGLE - THE REVEREND
walking slowly, tentatively toward the clinic from the church, a
worried expression clouding his face.
+BACK TO MIKE
as she steps toward him, eyeing him with growing concern.
The Reverend looks in her direction, but doesn't appear to see her.
Just as he's about to speak, he steps directly into the path of
a moving carriage.
Reverend, watch out!
He jumps back at the last second, barely avoiding getting hit as
the carriage rolls past. The commotion seems to disorient him --
he turns, looking back toward the clinic.
She steps right up to him, facing him directly, but yet he still
doesn't see her. Mike takes this in a moment, then:
I'm right here, Reverend.
The sound of her voice draws his attention to her. Mike looks up
at him, coming to the dreaded realization that he can't see, as
END OF TEASER
INT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
CLOSE ON A CANDLE, as a match lights it.
Are you able to see anything at all?
WIDEN TO REVEAL Mike, who takes the candle and holds a piece of
reflective metal behind it as she moves the flame in front of the
Reverend's eyes. She moves the candle closer to his eyes and then
back again as:
A little. I catch a few things outta the corner of my eye. But things
right in front of me are all blurry.
Did you sustain a blow to your head?
When did the symptoms begin?
Coupla days ago.
Mike blows out the candle and sets it aside.
Have you had any headaches, or problems keeping your balance?
What about numbness, or tingling in your hands and arms?
No, nothin' like that.
Good. That's good.
She gently turns his chin to face forward, then holds up her right
index finger directly in front of his face.
I'd like you to look straight ahead. I'm going to move my hand.
Tell me when you can see it.
Mike holds her left hand still as she slowly moves her right index
finger to the side. When it moves into his peripheral vision:
Mike lowers her hands.
What's wrong with me?
I suspect a condition, but I won't know for certain until I can
examine you with an ophthalmoscope. It's an instrument we use to
look into the eye.
(glancing around at the clinic)
Unfortunately, I don't have one.
(back to the Reverend)
But Andrew does.
INT. ANDREW'S CLINIC - DAY ONE
ANDREW peers through his ophthalmoscope into the Reverend's eyes.
You're right. The optic nerve is inflamed.
Andrew steps back and allows Mike to look. The Reverend tries not
to look worried.
What's that mean?
You have a condition called optic neuritis. We don't know what causes
it, but the optic nerve becomes red and swollen, impairing your
It can happen suddenly, over the course of hours, or over several
days. But in many instances the condition is only transitory.
Quite often the inflammation dissipates, and the symptoms reverse
as quickly as they appeared.
A look of relief washes over the Reverend's face.
You mean I'm not gonna stay like this?
Mike and Andrew exchange an uncertain look, then Mike turns back
to the Reverend.
We'll know more over time. I'd like you to stay at the clinic, where
I can better observe your condition.
Mike turns to Andrew, growing self-conscious. She wants to ask him
something, but feels uncomfortable about it. Before she can speak,
Andrew hands her the ophthalmoscope, knowing this is what she wants.
Here. You'll need this.
Thank you. I'll return it --
Whenever you can. No hurry.
Mike gives him a grateful smile.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
Mike and the Reverend pull to a stop in front of the clinic, where
Sully, Colleen and Brian have been joined by Loren, Dorothy, Grace
and ROBERT E. Everyone's concerned for the Reverend, moving in to
help him down.
Reverend, are you all right?
I'll be fine. Don't worry.
Is it true? Are you blind?
He's not blind, Loren. His vision has merely been impaired.
(clinging to hope)
And it's only temporary.
That's a relief.
Mike reacts, uneasy about this, but covers by turning to Colleen.
Colleen, would you help the Reverend up to the recovery room?
Mike hands Brian the ophthalmoscope.
Would you please take this into the clinic?
Brian takes the ophthalmoscope as Mike turns back to the Reverend.
I'm going to wire some specialists in Boston and New York about
The Reverend nods. As Colleen ushers him into the clinic, followed
We're here if you need us, Reverend.
Thank you, Robert E. Thank you, everybody.
The folks disperse as Sully and Mike start up the street. Sully
waits until everyone is out of earshot before he speaks.
Is it true? Is it only temporary?
In most cases it is...
However, there are some instances where the condition becomes permanent.
The two exchange a quiet, concerned look as they continue up the
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS) - DAY ONE
Brian and Colleen lead the Reverend in, being overly careful.
C'mon in, Reverend. Do you wanna sit on the bed, or should I get
you a chair?
You don't have to fuss over me.
Are you hungry? I can go to Grace's, get you some lunch.
I'm fine --
How about some books, or your Bible --
She stops short, catching herself, feeling terrible.
It's all right, Colleen.
The Reverend knows Colleen feels terrible, and tries to help her
out of it:
Come to think of it, some soup from Grace's would do nicely.
Sure. I'll be right back.
She goes out as the Reverend sits down on the chair. Brian steps
over to the dresser, picks up the ewer.
I'll get you some water.
He starts out, but as he gets to the door he glances back.
of the Reverend, seated in the chair. Thinking he's alone in the
room, his public facade begins to crumble, revealing his inner sadness
and growing fear.
comes back to him, his voice soft, reassuring:
Don't worry, Reverend. Ma helped me get my sight back that time
I hit my head. She'll do the same for you.
The Reverend manages a nod and a smile, but the worry is still there.
You just watch -- by the time Christmas gets here, you'll be good
Think we're gonna get snow this year?
I hope so.
Me too. You gonna do another livin' Nativity for the Christmas service?
No. This year I was hopin' to keep it simple. Talk about the first
Christmas... get the congregation to put themselves in the place
of the shepherds, out in the fields --
When they saw the star over Bethlehem?
That's right -- the most brilliant, gleamin' star in the sky...
and from it, a host of angels descendin' to earth...
Brian looks up, trying to picture the sight.
How many d'you s'pose are in a host?
Oh, hundreds -- thousands... their wings glistenin' in the light
from the star.
Imagine how those shepherds musta felt, gazin' up at that incredible
sight, listenin' to the news of the Christ child's birth.
Brian turns to the Reverend with a smile.
I've never even seen one angel, let alone a whole host of 'em.
The Reverend smiles again.
Musta been beautiful.
The Reverend quiets a moment, then:
God's greatest miracle.
Brian looks at him, touched by the Reverend's sadness.
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY ONE
Mike walks with CLOUD DANCING, who holds Katie in his arms.
Perhaps a tea made from dogbane will help the Reverend. Or alumroot.
Hopefully that will work. If it doesn't...
Mike falls silent, dreading that possibility.
That is for the spirits to decide. If they choose not to return
his sight, then it is meant to be.
Mike stops walking, deep in thought. Cloud Dancing also stops, turns
Why would they do this to him?
Cloud Dancing looks at her -- this doesn't unsettle him the way
it does her.
The spirits do not punish us. They only show us which direction
we need to go.
Mike looks at him, trying to understand.
Where one path ends, another begins.
Mike absorbs this in thoughtful silence, as Cloud Dancing turns
his attention back to Katie.
Katie, each day you grow more beautiful.
He holds her up above him, saying something in Cheyenne. Mike looks
over at him, wondering what this means. Cloud Dancing turns to her,
In her eyes I see her mother's.
Mike smiles back at him, but we can see she's still troubled...
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF CLINIC - DAY ONE
Mike (with Katie in her basket) pulls up in front of the clinic
to find Colleen and Brian waiting for her. Mike immediately reads
their worried expressions.
The Reverend. His eyes're gettin' worse.
As Mike hops down from the wagon:
Brian, would you ride out to the hotel and get Andrew for me?
Brian runs off as Colleen picks up Katie and follows Mike into the
INT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
The Reverend, now clearly worried, sits on the examination table,
staring directly ahead as Mike examines him with the ophthalmoscope.
Andrew and Colleen watch from nearby.
The inflammation is not dissipating.
Are there signs of atrophy?
I'm afraid so.
Mike sets the ophthalmoscope aside, then holds the Reverend's chin
steady as she places her finger in front of his face (the same procedure
she performed earlier).
Tell me when you can see my hand.
She slowly moves her right index finger to the side. This time,
her hand moves further into his peripheral vision before he responds:
Now. But it's blurry.
Mike lowers her hand and exchanges a concerned look with Andrew.
Their silence increases the Reverend's fear.
I thought you said it was gonna get better.
The condition may still reverse itself.
Isn't there anythin' you can do?
I've brought some herbs from Cloud Dancing that might help with
(a look to Andrew)
I also think I should wrap his eyes.
To decrease movement and allow them to rest.
Hopefully, after a few days, the inflammation will subside, and
your vision will return.
The Reverend nods, but his optimism is fading.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
Several of the townsfolk, including Dorothy, Loren, Robert E and
Grace gather in front of the clinic along with Sully, Brian and
Matthew, their concern for the Reverend building.
Bandage his eyes?
Dr. Mike says there's not much else she can do. Said we have to
just wait an' see.
Loren leans close to Dorothy, lowering his voice:
Don't sound very encouragin'.
Dorothy shakes her head in commiseration. Loren turns to discover
Brian looking at him, having heard what he said. Loren sees the
worried look on his face and gives him a compassionate smile, trying
to bolster him.
But I'm sure everythin's gonna be all right.
as he and WOLF slip quietly away from the crowd (unseen). He walks
up the street past the bare Christmas tree, on his way out of town
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS) - DAY ONE
Colleen brings in the bandages and scissors, and sets them in front
of Mike. Mike picks up the bandages and begins carefully wrapping
them around the Reverend's eyes.
I'd like you to stay in bed the next few days. The less you move
about, the better.
Mike looks to Colleen as she continues wrapping.
Colleen, the herbs Cloud Dancing gave me are in my medical bag.
Will you boil some water and steep them into a tea?
Colleen goes out as:
EXT. CLINIC - SAME TIME - DAY ONE
The townsfolk are still gathered, staring sadly up at the recovery
room window, their spirits spiraling downward.
Can't believe this is happenin'. And to the Reverend, of all people.
There's still a chance it's only temporary. Ma told him so.
I'm sure she's right, Brian.
Prob'ly just sayin' that to make him feel better.
Everyone turns around to discover Jake and Hank standing on the
porch of the Gold Nugget.
Now Jake, that's not so.
(not harsh, just reminding them)
The man's gettin' worse, not better.
The crowd falls silent a moment, acknowledging this.
Well... it's in God's hands now.
Gonna need a miracle.
A few of the townspeople nod in agreement. Brian looks over at Grace,
then turns to the rest of the people.
But isn't Christmas the time when miracles happen?
This single ray of hope quiets the crowd. They turn in silence,
gazing back up at the recovery room window as:
EXT. WOODS - DAY ONE
CLOSE ON SULLY'S TOMAHAWK, cutting into the branch of an oak tree.
Two more swings and the branch is cut free from the tree. Sully
holds the branch, studying it a moment. Then, satisfied, he takes
the branch and starts off as:
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS) - DAY ONE
Mike finishes wrapping the Reverend's eyes.
I'll check on Colleen, see how she's coming with the tea.
Mike starts out, but the Reverend's voice stops her.
I'm still here.
(after a beat)
Mike comes back, sitting beside him.
(trying to sound optimistic)
But we mustn't give up hope.
No... we mustn't.
He reaches out. She takes his hand.
Will you pray for me?
The Reverend clutches her hand tightly, wanting to feel assurance.
Mike hangs on, but in her eyes we see a growing doubt, and a weakening
faith, as we:
END OF ACT ONE
EXT. STREET BY LIVERY - DAY TWO
A sullen Robert E works at the forge as Grace brings him a cup of
coffee. He takes it, and they share a quiet look before Robert E
sees Matthew passing by on horseback (coming from the direction
of the train station).
Matthew stops, dismounts as Robert E and Grace come over.
Any news on the Reverend?
No. Dr. Mike says we won't know anythin' 'til the bandages come
He hardly said a word to me when I brought him breakfast earlier.
The man's worried. Who wouldn't be?
Now something off screen (down by the General Store) catches Robert
Look at that...
of Brian, Colleen and several kids decorating the town Christmas
tree. Some are busy making distinctive ornaments (designed to look
like angels) while others hang them. They're starting at the bottom
-- not much of the tree has been decorated yet.
+BACK TO ROBERT E, GRACE AND MATTHEW
taking in the sight. Matthew smiles.
Brian wants to make sure the tree is decorated for the Reverend.
He's been prayin' for him, believes God's gonna cure him.
Grace and Robert E fall silent a moment, moved by this.
Faith of a child.
Robert E looks at her, then makes a decision. He takes off his gloves,
tosses them aside and starts over to the tree. Grace and Matthew
exchange a look, then Grace starts after Robert E. Matthew smiles,
ties off his horse and also heads over, joining Robert E and Grace
as they begin helping the children decorate the tree.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Andrew sets a medical text in front of Mike, who already has two
books open on her desk.
I've found a few case histories of optic neuritis in this text.
(opening the book)
The outcomes are varied -- about thirty percent of the patients
recovered fully, with no lasting effects.
Are there any recommendations on treatments?
Some, but it's not clear whether the treatments are responsible
for the cure, or simply just the course of time.
A LOUD BANGING on the clinic door interrupts the moment. Mike and
Andrew exchange a look, then Mike stands and moves to the door,
opening it to reveal:
hammer in hand, in the middle of hanging a wreath on the clinic
Oh. Sorry, Ma. I was just hangin' this holly wreath.
Mike gives him a smile as she stares at the beautiful wreath.
It's very pretty, Brian. Thank you.
I read that it "symbolizes the beauty of the Good News in a
Mike turns to him, touched by his hopeful attitude. It's now that
something beyond Brian gets Mike's attention, and she steps out
the door onto:
EXT. CLINIC PORCH - CONTINUOUS - DAY TWO
where she sees several townsfolk, including Colleen, Grace, Robert
E, Matthew, Dorothy, and even Loren busily decorating the tree and
several of the buildings in town.
Andrew and Brian step up beside Mike, who watches the town spring
Everybody's helpin' to decorate the town. Even Mr. Bray's helpin'
-- gave us four boxes of candles for the tree.
Mike looks across the street, where Jake and Hank stand on the porch
of the Gold Nugget, also watching the action, but not participating.
Where are your decorations, gentlemen?
We been busy.
I got two businesses to run now.
Dorothy hears this as she passes by with another holly wreath, on
her way to the Gazette.
(to the men)
I hope yours isn't the only place in town with no Christmas spirit.
(pointedly to Jake)
Now that's somethin' customers'll really notice.
She gives Mike a quick smile, then continues on as Jake and Hank
exchange a look, considering this. They then start over to join
the crowd, picking out decorations they can use for the Gold Nugget
turns back to Brian with a smile.
Well, I better get back to work.
Mike watches him go, her smile fading as she goes back into the
clinic with Andrew to continue her work.
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT TWO
Mike, tired after a long, arduous day, enters to discover Colleen
and Brian hard at work, making ornaments for the town tree. Colleen's
making more angel ornaments, while Brian is working on the beginnings
of a star.
Hello, Colleen, Brian. Where's Sully?
Out in the barn. He's busy makin' somethin'. Katie's asleep upstairs.
Mike nods and comes over, regarding their work.
More Christmas ornaments?
She picks up one of the angel ornaments, admiring it.
You like it?
Mike nods -- she does.
We wanna make sure the tree's filled with 'em.
And what are you making?
The star for the top. Gonna be a big one -- make sure it really
Mike sits beside Brian. He stops working, turns to her.
I've been thinkin' about when I went blind... an' I remember how
great it was to get my sight back in time to see the schoolhouse
So I wanna make sure the tree is finished by the time the Reverend
gets his bandages off...
Give him somethin' to look forward to.
Mike watches Brian as he continues to work, wishing she could share
his unwavering optimism.
INT. MIKE AND SULLY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT TWO
It's late -- the room is dark. Sully wakes to find Mike not in the
bed. He looks over to discover her sitting in a chair by the crib,
watching Katie sleep, a sad, troubled look on her face. After a
Mike turns to Sully as he sits up in bed.
I remember when the Reverend christened Katie. And I remember when
he married us.
And he's done so many wonderful things for the people of this town.
I can't help but wonder why this had to happen. Especially now,
Bad things happen, Michaela. And sometimes they happen to good people.
She comes over, sits on the bed beside him, her weariness showing.
As a doctor, I know it all too well -- children getting sick, people
I try to accept that, I try to live with it. But still... with all
the pain and suffering I see...
Mike pauses a moment, her voice quieting.
I suppose part of me will never understand why that must be.
Sully reaches out and puts his arm around her, pulling her close
to him. She leans into his embrace, still deep in troubled thought.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS) - MORNING - DAY THREE
CLOSE ON THE OPHTHALMOSCOPE, sitting on the bedstand.
PAN TO THE REVEREND, asleep in bed as early morning light streams
through the curtains. After a beat, cigar smoke drifts INTO FRAME,
waking him, and making him cough as we PULL BACK TO REVEAL:
Hank, sitting in a chair next to the bed.
'Bout time you woke up.
How you feelin'?
All right, I guess.
He coughs again from the cigar smoke. Hank puts out the cigar,
then stands and moves to the window, opening it. He looks out the
Everybody's been decoratin' the town, talkin' 'bout makin' it the
best Christmas ever.
(looks back at the Reverend)
Who knows, might even get snow this year.
The Reverend's still having trouble understanding why Hank has come
to visit. Hank walks back around to the chair and sits. After a
Been a long time since I been inside the church on a Sunday...
...'cept for that time when I tried to take it away from you.
The Reverend can't help but smile at this.
Never been much of a prayin' man.
Hank looks at the Reverend, his voice growing very sincere.
But this time I'm gonna make an exception.
Thank you, Hank.
Hank nods, feeling for the Reverend -- and wishing he could do more
-- as he goes out.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY THREE
Mike comes around the corner between the clinic and Gazette, carrying
a tray of food for the Reverend. But just as she's about to go in
the door, something catches her eye:
of Brian and a few kids continuing to decorate the tree. It's almost
finished, with dozens of angel ornaments dangling from the branches.
Brian is up on a ladder, decorating the top part of the tree.
+BACK TO MIKE
as she starts over, gazing up at the tree.
Brian, the tree is absolutely beautiful.
Brian stops working, turns to her.
Almost done. Only thing left is the star. But I'm gonna let the
Reverend put that up.
I'm sure he'd like that.
Wait 'til you see it at night, when all the candles are lit. Gonna
look just like the first Christmas, with the star in the sky, and
the angels descendin' to earth.
(looks at the angels, smiles)
A whole host of 'em.
Mike is moved by this, swept up in the sight. Grace hurries over
from the cafe, carrying a piece of pie on a plate.
Mike turns to Grace, who sets the pie on the tray Mike's carrying.
Forgot to give this to you. Pecan pie for the Reverend. Fresh outta
Thank you, Grace.
Grace takes in the tree with a smile.
Tree looks mighty fine, Brian.
Tomorrow's the big day? The bandages come off?
I'm gonna organize a prayer meetin' in the mornin', at the church.
(smiles with conviction)
He's gonna see again, Dr. Mike. That's what God's been up to...
(starts back to cafe)
Gettin' ready to give us our own Christmas miracle.
Grace heads back to the cafe as Mike turns back to the tree, watching
Brian hang the final angel.
INT. BARN - NIGHT THREE
Mike enters to find Sully (with Wolf nearby) hard at work, carving
the oak branch (the one he cut earlier) into a walking stick. It's
mostly finished -- he's now working on the final details.
Brian's finished the star for the tree. He wants to show it to you.
Sure. Be right in.
What're you making?
A walkin' stick.
Mike gives him a troubled look -- she knows for whom he's making
Sully, in the majority of cases, there's at least partial restoration
But in some cases there isn't.
We can't just assume the worst --
No, but we can be ready for it. Just in case.
Mike and Sully look over to see Brian standing in the doorway, holding
his now completed star, having overheard their conversation.
The Reverend's gonna get better, I know it.
He's always sayin' in church how God tests us. That's why we can't
give up. We gotta believe, we gotta show God we have faith.
Mike and Sully exchange a quiet look. Mike looks back at Brian,
sees the utter conviction in his eyes. After a beat:
You're right, Brian. We must have faith.
Mike turns to Sully, sees the uneasy look in his eyes. He looks
back down at the walking stick... then continues working on it as
EXT. CHURCH - ESTABLISHING - MORNING - DAY FOUR
A beautiful, spectacular morning. The church (with holly wreath
on front door) almost glows in the early morning sunshine.
ROBERT E (V.O.)
I know you got a special plan for the Reverend, Lord...
INT. CHURCH - MORNING - DAY FOUR
The prayer meeting is in progress. The pews have been pushed aside
-- the group stands in a tight circle, holding hands. Among them
are Robert E, Dorothy, Loren, Jake, Colleen, Mike, Brian and Grace.
...An' I know you're gonna make him well again.
As Robert E finishes, Dorothy continues the prayer:
Please, God, help the Reverend regain his sight. Touch him with
your healin' hand.
Dorothy looks to Loren, who continues:
I know you done a lotta miracles... but I'm hopin' you can find
it in your heart to give us just one more...
And let him know you ain't forgotten him...
Jake quiets, and Colleen picks up the prayer:
The Reverend's a good person. He's always doin' what's right, helpin'
Colleen looks to Mike, who's standing next to her. Mike continues:
He means a lot to this town. He's not just our Reverend... he's
our dear friend...
Beside Mike is Brian, offering the final, heart-felt plea:
He don't deserve this, God. An' I know you know that. So I know
you'll help him see again.
Brian quiets, and Grace finishes the prayer:
Thank you for hearin' our prayers, oh Lord.
+NEW ANGLE - PUSHING IN ON MIKE
In Jesus' name, Amen.
As everyone says "Amen," Mike opens her eyes... and in
them, we see hope.
EXT. STREET NEAR CLINIC - DAY FOUR
The townsfolk from the prayer meeting, joined by other townsfolk
along the way, follow Mike as she makes her way to the clinic. Brian
walks beside her, holding the Christmas star.
Mike moves with purpose, wanting to believe with all her might that
the Reverend will see again. The townsfolk are excited -- they know
Mike, Colleen and Brian go into the clinic, leaving the townsfolk
to congregate out front.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS) - DAY FOUR
Colleen hands Mike the scissors. Andrew and Brian (still holding
the star) watch from nearby as Mike turns to the Reverend, who waits
expectantly, his expression revealing a strengthening faith.
Are you ready?
Mike takes a settling breath, then raises the scissors and begins
cutting the bandages.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY FOUR
The hopeful crowd (which now includes Matthew and Hank) watches
the recovery room window, waiting for the impending good news.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS) - DAY FOUR
Mike finishes cutting the bandages. She removes them from the Reverend's
eyes, which remain shut. Mike, Andrew, Colleen and Brian wait with
slowly opens his eyes. A moment passes... and then the Reverend's
Mike raises her hand in front of the Reverend's face, moving it
to the side to test his vision. But this time, the Reverend's eyes
I can't see anythin'.
+CLOSE ON MIKE
reacting in stunned disbelief as we:
END OF ACT TWO
EXT. CLINIC - DAY FOUR
A clearly shaken Mike stands in front of the clinic, facing the
equally stunned crowd.
What d'you mean, it's worse?
How could this happen?
(trying to figure it out herself)
I... I don't know. The atrophy has progressed. I was hoping to at
least see some regeneration...
Thought you said it was only gonna be temporary.
Mike looks at them, struggling to find an answer. Andrew steps in
to help out:
It's true, in most cases it is temporary. But there are some instances
when the condition doesn't reverse itself.
As Andrew and the crowd continue their discussion, Mike notices
something up the street:
of Sully, standing at the corner, watching.
You mean the Reverend's gonna stay blind?
+BACK TO MIKE
her spirits continuing to sink.
It's still somewhat early --
Why don't you just admit it? He's gone blind.
(beat, to the crowd)
Lotta good all our prayin' did.
This quiets the crowd, hitting them hard. Jake heads off toward
the barbershop, passing a stunned and silent Hank as:
Mike turns to Brian, who stands holding his star. He looks devastated,
trying to understand what's happened... and now his disappointment
turns to anger. He slams the star against a post, destroying it,
before running off up the street.
But he keeps running. Sully tries to stop him as he runs past.
Brian, hold on --
Leave me alone!
He disappears around the corner. Sully steps over and picks up the
smashed star. He looks sadly back at Mike, who just stands there.
Like everyone else, she too is struggling to understand what has
happened... and why.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS) - DAY FOUR
Mike examines the Reverend's eyes with the ophthalmoscope. The Reverend
looks increasingly despondent, giving up all hope.
I'd like to continue with the herbs... and I'll examine you daily
for signs of regeneration.
The Reverend says nothing. Mike lowers the ophthalmoscope, struggling
very hard to be optimistic (she's grasping at straws here -- she's
not sure he'll get better, but she's still refusing to accept the
I won't give up, Reverend. I've wired several additional specialists.
I'll keep searching until I find a way to get your sight back.
A KNOCK at the door breaks the moment. Mike looks over to see Loren
standing in the doorway. His expression is one of compassion and
The Reverend reacts, turns toward Loren (the direction from which
the sound of the knock came).
'Afternoon, Reverend. Dr. Mike.
Loren comes in, steps over to the Reverend. Mike moves aside, putting
away the ophthalmoscope.
I want you to know that if you'd like, you can come live in Dorothy's
old room in the store.
Loren, you don't have to --
I know I don't. I wanna. See, she helped me get better when I was
sick, an' I was thinkin' I'd do the same for you.
The Reverend looks down, fighting the tears that are forming in
his eyes. Loren sits on the edge of the bed.
There now... it's gonna be all right. You're still with us -- you're
still our Reverend.
(after a beat)
How can I be your Reverend if I can't see the people in my church?
How can I lead them to God when I can't even read the Bible?
Loren has no answer. He looks over at Mike, who feels the weight
of the Reverend's sadness.
EXT. STREET - DAY FOUR
Andrew walks down the street with Mike (from the direction of the
train station) as she reads a telegram she's just received.
It's from Dr. Gerald Hall, in New York. He's treated several patients
with optic neuritis.
Mike quiets a moment as she reads. Andrew leans in.
What does he say?
According to the information I gave him, he thinks the Reverend
might be one of the few whose vision is not restored.
Does he recommend any treatments?
Mike shakes her head "no." They share a look of frustration
Mike and Andrew look over at Matthew, who comes over from the Sheriff's
Some of the folks in town been wonderin' about tomorrow's Christmas
service... whether or not there's gonna be one.
Mike quiets a moment, thinking about this.
I doubt it.
They ain't in much of a mood to celebrate.
Mike turns, looking off at something down the street:
of the town Christmas tree, fully decorated now, except for the
star at the top.
+BACK TO SCENE
as Mike continues to gaze up at the tree, her voice quieting:
I can understand why.
Off Mike's sad expression...
INT. RECOVERY ROOM (FRENCH DOORS)- DAY FOUR
Sully steps up, holding the walking stick he made, and pauses in
the doorway, watching as Mike gives the Reverend some tea.
Sip slowly, it's hot.
If it's all right with you, I'd like to stop takin' the herbs.
They have properties that are known to reduce inflammation. I think
it's best if you --
They're not workin'.
Sully steps into the room.
Listen to her, Reverend. Gotta give it some time.
Mike and the Reverend turn to Sully. Mike takes the cup of tea away
as Sully reaches out, takes the Reverend's hand.
Here... made somethin' for you.
Sully places the walking stick in the Reverend's hand.
What is it?
Walkin' stick. Hold it out in front of you, an' you can feel your
The Reverend holds the stick in silence for a moment.
You can use it tomorrow, when you come to the Christmas service.
The Reverend says nothing for a moment. Mike and Sully exchange
a look of concern.
Won't be goin' to the Christmas service.
He tries to hand the stick back to Sully.
Thank you, Sully. But I won't be needin' it.
Sully doesn't take the stick.
(to the Reverend)
Reverend, he's only trying to help you --
I don't want it!
He throws the stick on the floor. As quickly as his anger appeared,
it recedes. He falls silent, turning away from them.
Sully looks at Mike, then reaches down and picks up the walking
stick. He starts out, but pauses at the door to lean the stick against
the wall. He gives Mike another look, then goes out, leaving the
Mike turns back to the Reverend, who stares sullenly into space,
fighting tears. Mike feels for him, desperately wants to help him,
but all she can do is just watch and wait in helpless frustration.
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT FOUR
Mike, looking completely exhausted, comes in, carrying a few medical
texts. She dumps the books on the table, along with her medical
bag, then hangs up her coat. That's when she notices it:
Brian's smashed star, sitting on a chair near the door. Mike picks
it up and looks at it as Sully comes downstairs. He sees Mike and
Kids're all asleep.
Mike nods, continues to look at the star.
Brian was angry at God for not listenin' to his prayers.
I know how he feels.
Mike sets the star down. She moves to the table and sits, absently
opening the medical texts. But she doesn't look at them -- she's
dwelling on something else:
I picked up our Bible today. I started looking through it... searching
for some assurance... some answers.
(looks up at him)
All I found was a verse that said all things work together for good
for those who love God.
She shakes her head, her frustration and exhaustion now giving way
But I don't see what good can come of this. One of God's most loyal
servants, struck blind without warning... made to suffer.
We can't always be lookin' to find a reason --
Mike closes the books and shoves them aside.
(her anger building)
Is this the work of a loving father? Would you purposefully harm
Katie or Brian and then tell them it's all for the best? No. A father
who truly loves us would not allow this to happen!
Mike falls silent a moment, her anger waning. Sully crouches in
front of her, takes her hands in his. She looks at him.
I want to believe, Sully. I went to that prayer meeting with faith.
Maybe you were prayin' for the wrong thing.
Mike quiets, confused by this.
Maybe the miracle ain't in the healin', but in findin' the strength
to accept what happened.
This hits Mike hard. She absorbs it in thoughtful silence, starting
Sometimes we gotta stop askin' "Why me?" and start askin',
"What am I gonna do about it?"
Mike looks at him, tears forming in her eyes -- along with the beginnings
of resolve -- as we:
EXT. CHURCH - NIGHT FOUR
It's very late -- the town is deserted as Mike makes her way across
the bridge, heading for the church. She arrives at the steps and
pauses, as something catches her eye:
+INSERT - A HOLLY WREATH
hanging on the front door.
+BACK TO MIKE
as she regards it a moment, remembering what Brian told her earlier.
After a beat, she takes a deep breath and goes quietly in.
INT. CHURCH - NIGHT FOUR
Moonlight streams in through the windows as Mike comes into the
darkened church. She walks silently down the aisle, arriving at
a front pew, where she sits, deep in thought. She looks up at the
Then she kneels, folding her hands in front of her and bowing her
head as she offers her prayer:
I've doubted you... I've questioned you, demanded to know why.
But now I come to you with a new prayer... to show me how to help
the Reverend find the strength to keep going...
She looks up at the cross again.
And to help me find that strength as well... no matter what lies
END OF ACT THREE
EXT. HOMESTEAD - ESTABLISHING - MORNING - DAY FIVE (STOCK)
INT. HOMESTEAD - MORNING - DAY FIVE
A fire roars in the fireplace as Brian and Colleen come downstairs.
They pause at the foot of the stairs when they discover:
Mike and Sully, sitting at the dinner table, putting the finishing
touches (painting) on a brand new star for the Christmas tree.
Mike sees the kids and smiles.
Well, good morning. You're just in time -- we're almost finished
with the star.
Brian comes over and watches them paint. He's still visibly upset.
Thank you, Colleen.
But Brian is silent. Mike and Sully share a quiet look, then Mike
turns back to Brian.
I was thinking about what you said the other day, about not giving
up. And you were right.
Brian looks at her, not sure what she means by this.
What's happened to the Reverend is terrible. But it will be even
worse if we don't stand by him, and help him to face it.
That's why we're makin' the star. Wanna show him we're not givin'
up -- we believe in him, no matter what happens.
Mike finishes painting, sets down her brush.
There. Now to make it sparkle.
Sully opens a packet of ground pyrite, which he and Mike sprinkle
on the star. Mike looks at Brian as she works, gently appealing
The Reverend needs our help, Brian. Now more than ever.
Mike finishes sprinkling the pyrite.
Off Brian, gazing quietly at the now glittering star...
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF GENERAL STORE - DAY FIVE
Loren unlocks the front door of the store and turns around the "Closed"
sign in the window. He opens the door, then suddenly stops, as something
out in the street catches his attention.
+AT THE LIVERY
Robert E and Grace also see what Loren sees, and they start toward
+AT THE BARBERSHOP
Jake comes out -- he sees it too.
+AT THE GAZETTE
Dorothy is already on her way over, along with Hank, who's come
out of the Gold Nugget. Together they walk toward the center of
town, joining the other townsfolk as they watch:
who lifts the star from the back of the wagon. Colleen stands beside
her, holding Katie. Mike hands the star over to Matthew, who steps
up on the ladder and hands the star to Sully, who stands about halfway
Sully then hands the star up to Brian, who stands at the top of
the ladder. He takes the star and -- in full view of gathering townsfolk
-- places it at the top of the Christmas tree.
Mike turns to the townsfolk as they move closer, gazing up at the
Merry Christmas, everyone.
The folks look at her, a bit confused. Mike turns to Grace.
Grace, I was wondering if you would sing at the service tonight.
Grace and the other townsfolk react to this with even more confusion.
Thought there wasn't gonna be one.
Dorothy steps closer to Mike.
Michaela, you told us the Reverend wasn't gonna come.
I'm hoping we can change his mind.
I don't think so. I doubt if he'll ever go back to the church.
Mike looks at the townsfolk, her voice kindly imploring:
Then it's up to us to help him find his way.
The townsfolk quiet, giving this some thought as we slowly:
EXT. STREET - NIGHT FIVE
The candles on the tree are now lit, making the angel ornaments
flicker and glow. The star at the top glistens in the night as on
the street, townsfolk make their way toward the church.
EXT. CLINIC BALCONY - SAME TIME - NIGHT FIVE
The Reverend sits alone in the cold night air, a blanket wrapped
Mike steps out onto the balcony, sees the Reverend. She steps over
to him, her voice softening.
I just wanted to let you know that the town is still going to have
a Christmas service tonight. We'd love it if you would be with us.
I don't think so.
You can't live your life like this, Reverend. You have to start
looking ahead, thinking about what you're going to do --
I have been thinkin'. It's all I been doin' for days now.
There's a reason this happened to me. I figure it's a punishment
for my early way of life. The gamblin', drinkin' --
No, it isn't.
She sits in a chair facing him.
A wise man told me something recently. He said that God doesn't
punish us. He only shows us in which direction we need to go.
The Reverend quiets at this.
Where one path ends, another begins.
These words give the Reverend pause, making him think. Mike notices
this. She looks out toward the street, at the tree glistening in
Brian was hoping to give you a Christmas present. He and the people
from the town made wonderful ornaments for the tree. And for the
top he made a beautiful, shining star.
(looks back at the Reverend)
But when the bandages came off and your sight didn't return, he
became angry at God, and destroyed the star.
The thought of Brian losing faith hits the Reverend hard.
The Reverend looks down sadly. After a quiet moment:
Wish I coulda seen it.
We made a new star. And Brian placed it at the top of the tree...
to show you he believes in you... and wants to help you in any way
Mike reaches out, takes his hand.
We all do.
The Reverend is deeply touched by this. Mike watches him intently.
(after a beat)
What's it look like? The tree?
Mike looks over at the tree and begins to describe it.
It's tall and strong... overflowing with shimmering candles...
The Reverend listens, mesmerized, visualizing in his mind what Mike
The star at the top is glowing in the night. And beneath it, dozens
of sparkling angels, descending to earth.
A "whole host of them."
(looks back at the tree)
It really is quite beautiful.
(beat, then softly)
Mike turns to him, sees the tears forming in his eyes.
I can see it.
Mike smiles, gently squeezing the Reverend's hand as SOFT PIANO
MUSIC fades in, carrying us to:
EXT. CHURCH - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT FIVE
Wagons and carriages are parked outside. Lamps glow inside. Over
this we hear GRACE singing:
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices...
INT. CHURCH - NIGHT FIVE
The townsfolk have gathered for the Christmas service, listening
as Grace sings. Brian accompanies her on the piano. Among the congregation
are Sully, Matthew, Colleen (with Katie asleep in her carriage),
Loren, Dorothy, Robert E, Andrew, Jake and Hank.
Sully glances back at the doorway, looking for Mike and the Reverend,
who are noticeably absent.
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine.
Grace returns to her seat as Brian stands and steps over to the
The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, verses 8 through 14:
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the
field, keeping watch over their flock by night."
+ON THE CONGREGATION (DIFFERENT ANGLES)
listening as Brian continues to read. They're trying to enjoy the
service, but can't help feel a heavy sadness, wishing the Reverend
were here with them.
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory
of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid."
+BACK TO BRIAN
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring
you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For
unto you --
Brian stops short as FOOTSTEPS are heard. The congregation turns
to the source of the sound:
where the Reverend and Mike have come in. The Reverend is using
the walking stick Sully gave him to guide him.
The room falls silent as he hesitates -- this a very difficult moment
for him. But then he takes a deep breath... and begins walking down
Mike follows behind him, sharing a smile with Sully as the Reverend
slowly makes his way to the front, where Brian steps over to help
him up to the pulpit. As Brian takes the Reverend's arm:
Brian, is that you?
(after a beat)
You mind if I continue the readin'?
Brian, moved, looks to Mike and Sully, then sets the Bible on the
Brian goes to join Mike and Sully as the Reverend turns to face
the congregation. He closes the Bible, then continues the reading
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye
shall find the babe wrapped in swaddlin' clothes, lyin' in a manger."
The Reverend pauses a beat, getting to his favorite part:
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly
host praisin' God, and sayin', Glory to God in the highest, and
on earth peace, good will..."
He suddenly stops short, as if something has caught his attention.
The congregation reacts, concerned.
Reverend? What's wrong?
The room falls silent, as everyone listens. But not a sound is heard.
+CLOSE ON THE REVEREND
as he smiles.
+ON THE CONGREGATION
reacting -- what? Loren, seated near a window, pulls aside the curtains
and looks out.
Would you look at that! It is! It's snowin'!
As everyone jumps to their feet:
EXT. CHURCH - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT FIVE
The door opens, and the Reverend comes out, guided by Mike and Sully,
and followed by the rest of the congregation. (This tableau is very
similar to the one inside the snowdome we saw earlier).
Together they step out into the falling snow, savoring this joyous
moment. Mike and Sully hug as Brian and Colleen spin around, joining
the townsfolk in the growing celebration.
The Reverend looks toward the sky and smiles, feeling the falling
snow against his face on this glorious, miraculous night as we PULL
UP AND AWAY and:
END OF ACT FOUR