BEFORE THE DAWN
Written by Julie Henderson / Directed by Bethany Rooney
EXT. TOWN - DAY ONE - APRIL 1872
It's a crisp spring morning, MIKE and SULLY ride the wagon into
town toward the telegraph office. Mike sits close to Sully, outlining
her plans for the day.
Oh, don't forget I invited Matthew to join us for supper tonight.
I might be late. I'm workin' out at Preston's homestead most of
the day and I wanna get as much done as I can while he's gone.
We won't start until you get there.
I'll do my best to be on time.
Sully gives Mike a quick kiss. The moment is broken when they see:
where several PASSENGERS mill about outside. A MAN, dressed for
traveling, knocks and peers through the darkened ticket window.
When there is no reply, he turns to the crowd, disgruntled. TOWNSPEOPLE,
with packages to mail, wait impatiently for the office to open.
+MIKE AND SULLY
look on puzzled.
I wonder where Horace is?
Sully shrugs casually and drives the wagon around the corner toward
the General Store.
INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY ONE
HORACE stands in front of the dresser mirror and pulls on his Sunday
best jacket. He leans in close to the mirror and adjusts his tie,
making sure it's exactly even and straight.
He steps back to survey himself and gives his hair one last swipe
with the comb. He sets the comb down, then stares at his reflection,
his expression peaceful and serene.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ONE
Sully helps Mike down from the wagon as LOREN places apples in the
Sully. Dr. Mike.
You got those brass hinges I ordered?
I was expectin' them this mornin', but Horace ain't opened up yet.
(a beat, frustrated)
Second time this week he's been late.
INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY ONE
Horace sits on the bed, still and silent. He removes a set of papers
from his jacket pocket, quickly signs them and places them on the
night stand in front of a photograph of himself, Myra and Samantha
with her doll, taken at Christmas. Horace caresses the precious
images a moment, before turning away.
He takes one of the two bottles of laudanum from the night stand.
+CLOSE ON THE LAUDANUM BOTTLE LABEL HELD IN HIS HAND.
as Horace considers the bottle a long moment.
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ONE
Mike and Sully stand by the counter with their purchases. The REVEREND
sits beside the counter while ANDREW reads the paper.
Says here the Courrier brothers were convicted for shooting that
Loren brings a box of nails over to the counter.
Oughta lock 'em up and throw away the key, if you ask me.
JAKE walks in.
Where's Horace? I got three telegrams to send.
Loren shakes his head.
Ain't seen him since yesterday.
He's got people lined up waitin' for him. And the train's just pullin'
The Reverend reacts, surprised.
It's not like Horace to neglect his duties.
You're right Reverend, he's always so conscientious.
Perhaps, he's overslept?
Well, maybe somebody oughta wake him up.
INT. BOARDING HOUSE HALLWAY - DAY ONE
Mike knocks on Horace's door.
No answer. Sully knocks louder.
Horace. You in there?
Mike and Sully exchange a look -- should they go inside? Mike nods.
Try the door.
Sully tries the door knob. He opens the door and they see Horace
seemingly asleep on the bed.
He doesn't stir.
INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY ONE
Mike walks over to the bed and gently shakes him. No response.
Horace? Can you hear me?
Mike quickly feels for a fever. Normal. She checks his pupils then
tries to shake him awake. Nothing.
Mike looks to Sully, confused by Horace's unconscious state. Sully
looks around the room for clues. He sees:
+THE DIVORCE PAPERS
on the bedside table.
Sully picks up the papers and quickly scans them.
He drops the papers and picks up the empty laudanum bottles, then
hands one to Mike. She looks down at the empty bottle then back
A beat, as the urgency of the situation registers. She tosses the
bottle aside, then slaps Horace hard on the face.
Horace! Wake up!
Mike tries to lift him. Sully moves swiftly, helping her pull Horace
to a sitting position. Mike raises his head.
Horace, you have to wake up now!
No response. Horace's head slumps forward. Mike looks desperately
If we can't revive him, he'll die.
Sully reacts quickly. He lifts Horace into a fireman's hold and
carries him towards the door. OFF Mike, desperately concerned for
Horace's life as we:
END OF TEASER
INT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
Mike and Andrew rapidly work over Horace. Mike leans over Horace's
chest with the stethoscope. She concentrates, counting his breaths.
Andrew operates the stomach pump.
Only nine breaths per minute.
Andrew removes the stomach pump tube from Horace's mouth.
His stomach's empty.
Horace, wake up.
No response. Mike leans in and listens again.
His respiration's falling.
Andrew takes this in, thinking quickly.
Perhaps a stimulant?
Mike hastily retrieves the hypodermic and atrophine from the medicine
cabinet, preparing the injection.
Andrew rolls up Horace's sleeve, spraying his arm with carbolic
acid. Mike returns with the hypodermic.
A 1/20th grain solution.
He took two bottles of laudanum.
Andrew nods grimly. Mike injects Horace, then grabs her stethoscope
and listens for the slightest change.
Keep breathing Horace.
Check his pupils.
Andrew checks Horace's pupils. Mike looks up.
Contracted -- the size of pinpoints.
Mike reacts -- time is running out. What else? She looks to the
door, an idea forming. She opens the door and calls to Sully.
Sully, please. We need your help.
Please, help me get him on his feet.
As, Sully and Andrew swiftly shoulder Horace to his feet, Horace
GROANS. They stop.
Horace, can you hear me?
He doesn't answer.
(now, more determined)
Walk him around... keep him moving.
Sully and Andrew begin to walk Horace around the room. Mike follows
intently, unwilling to let Horace slip away.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY ONE
The Reverend, Jake, MATTHEW, GRACE and ROBERT E talk softly outside
the clinic waiting for news. Loren stands to the side, alone with
his thoughts. They look up as Mike and Sully come out and gather
He's out of danger.
Relief registers on their faces, but slowly gives way to confusion.
Is it true, Dr. Mike, did he try to kill himself?
Robert E, we can't be certain of that.
He may have taken the laudanum by accident.
Everyone MURMURS various opinions -- agreement, doubt. They want
to believe her.
Downin' two bottles of laudanum's no accident, Dr. Mike.
The crowd quiets.
He did miss the last couple of Sunday services...
He hasn't come 'round the cafe much lately...
Ain't been to a town meetin' in months...
Found plenty of time for drinkin' at the Gold Nugget.
Matthew reacts, surprised.
Horace has been drinkin'?
Loren, quiet until now, steps forward.
You say you found them divorce papers right next to him?
Loren knows the truth and looks to Mike for confirmation. She can't
deny the evidence, as the pieces fall into place.
He's obviously been feeling terribly upset... for a long while...
And I didn't see it...
No one did. They all look away, feeling guilty and somehow responsible.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY ONE
Mike comes in while Andrew checks Horace's breathing. He stands
up, satisfied with what he's heard.
Fifteen breaths per minute.
That's good -- well within the normal range.
Mike looks up at the KNOCK on the door. The Reverend enters.
Yes, Reverend. Come in.
I thought I might sit with Horace.
Certainly, there's a chair beside the bed.
Mike guides the Reverend to the chair and he sits down. He quietly
places his bible on the bed beside Horace.
May I speak to you outside?
Mike follows Andrew onto the balcony.
EXT. BALCONY - DAY ONE
Andrew takes in Mike's fatigue and tension and proceeds cautiously.
Michaela, have you considered what you're going to do when Horace
Honestly, I haven't been able to think beyond this moment.
He'll need full-time psychiatric care... I'd be happy to make the
inquiries for you.
Yes, at sanatoriums.
Mike is startled. She never considered sending him away.
Surely you can see, he's a classic case -- impulsive insanity.
That's not a definitive diagnosis.
Well, no, but you can't deny that he tried to take his own life.
Mike can't deny it, but won't accept sending him away.
I don't believe Horace could afford a private sanatorium.
Perhaps a public asylum?
A beat, Mike sees that Andrew is only trying to help.
In Boston, I interned at an asylum... People crowded together, held
in restraints, medicated beyond consciousness.
She turns away, troubled by the memories.
No. What Horace needs is to be with the people who know him and
love him. We'll take care of him.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY ONE
Mike and Andrew hurry into the recovery room.
I think he's wakin' up.
The Reverend stands as Mike moves past him to Horace's bedside.
Horace is groggy but awake. Mike looks down at him.
You'll feel groggy for awhile and may have a slight headache, but
you're going to recover.
Horace turns, meets her gaze for the first time.
Why'd you have to ruin it?
OFF Mike's stricken expression.
INT. CLINIC - NIGHT ONE
Sully is adding wood to the stove as Mike comes in from upstairs.
Mike retrieves the blood pressure device from the cabinet. Sully
gets up and walks over to her.
I should get back to Horace.
Andrew's with him.
Sensing her exhaustion, Sully guides her to the chair and kneels
in front of her. A beat, then:
He said I ruined it.
He wanted to die.
Sully nods, understanding.
That's so difficult to believe... And now, he won't talk to anyone,
just stares at the wall.
I don't know how to help him.
You done what you could -- and he's alive.
But, how do I keep him alive?
Maybe more doctorin's not the answer.
I can't stand by and simply do nothing.
That's not what I'm sayin'... You fixed what he did to himself,
but maybe you can't fix why he did it.
Mike nods, taking this in. Frustrated, she looks down at the medical
books and journals on her desk and she sees the divorce papers.
She picks them up. A beat, considering, then she turns back to Sully,
with renewed determination:
Perhaps I can't help him, but I know someone who can.
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY TWO
MYRA, now sophisticated and stylish, exits the train, a four-year
old SAMANTHA at her side. Samantha holds a treasured doll in her
hand. Myra scans the crowd, and sees:
waiting on the platform. The women quickly close the distance between
them, embracing warmly. After a moment, they draw apart:
It's good to see you, Myra.
You too, Dr. Mike.
How was your trip?
We've been on the train two days, but Samantha was wonderful.
Mike turns to Samantha, smiles warmly and smooths the young girl's
Samantha, what a big girl you are now.
Samantha holds her doll out for Mike to greet.
And, who's this?
Sarah -- Papa gave her to me for Christmas.
Mike takes the doll's hand.
It's a pleasure to meet you, Sarah.
Satisfied, Samantha hugs her doll to her chest and draws closer
to her mother. Mike smiles and turns back to Myra.
She's beautiful, Myra.
Myra nods her thanks, then dismisses all pretense of small talk:
How is he, Dr. Mike?
Mike smiles and puts her arm around Myra's shoulder.
(full of hope)
He'll be better now that you're here.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Andrew is selecting a medical journal from Mike's desk, when Mike,
Myra and Samantha, holding Myra's hand, enter. Andrew turns around.
Oh, Michaela, I was just getting another journal. Horace is sleeping.
Mike nods, then makes introductions.
Myra, you remember Dr. Cook.
Good to see you again.
Andrew extends his hand to Myra. She shakes it firmly.
Thank you for helpin' my husband.
Andrew nods. Myra looks to Mike, the moment of truth has arrived.
Myra takes a deep breath.
I guess I should go up and see him now.
Myra looks down at Samantha, still holding her hand, then back to
You go on. I'll watch Samantha.
You sure? You think it's alright for me to see him by myself?
Mike avoids her gaze not yet willing to tell her about the divorce
Last time I saw him we were talkin' 'bout gettin' a divorce.
Of course he wants to see you.
Andrew, sensing Myra's nervousness, steps in:
You should both go. I'll stay here with Samantha.
Andrew kneels down, eye to eye with Samantha, and shakes her hand.
Hello Samantha, I'm Andrew.
Andrew takes his stethoscope out of his pocket.
Have you ever heard your heartbeat?
Samantha shrugs, shyly. Andrew puts the stethoscope to Samantha's
chest and allows her to listen. Andrew smiles, then looks up to
We'll be fine.
I'll be back in just a little while, honey.
Samantha nods. Myra looks to Mike -- let's go. Mike nods, then leads
the way out the door to the recovery room.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY TWO
Horace is asleep. Mike and Myra quietly enter the room. Mike moves
to the bed. Myra hesitates, as the reality of what Horace has done
sinks in. A beat, then Myra quickly moves to the chair beside Horace.
Horace, there's someone here to see you.
Myra takes his hand in hers and tenderly kisses his fingers.
Horace? Horace... it's Myra.
Horace slowly opens his eyes.
Yes, Horace, it's me.
Myra squeezes his hand and leans closer. Horace focuses on her face
-- she is real.
Horace pulls her hand close to his heart, holding tightly to her
lifeline. Myra looks to Mike, concerned this may be more than she
can handle. Mike puts a comforting hand on Horace's shoulder.
Horace, don't try to talk. Just rest now.
Yes, just rest. Everything's gonna be alright.
Horace closes his eyes and drifts back to sleep. Myra looks up to
Mike who smiles, reassuringly. OFF Mike, fully confident that Myra
is exactly the medicine Horace needs.
END OF ACT ONE
EXT. CAFE - DAY TWO
Grace pours coffee as Jake, HANK, Loren and Robert E talk intently.
Now, that Myra's back he'll be feelin' better.
She'll have him back to his old self in no time.
How's she gonna help him? When it's her leavin' that got him in
Grace nudges Jake, and they looks up to see:
+MYRA AND MIKE
carrying a medical book, approach the table. Nothing's changed.
Myra's heard worse -- and from most of them.
as Mike, concerned for Myra's feelings, tries to guide her to another
table. Hank quickly stands and pulls out a chair:
Myra, come sit over here.
Myra looks to Mike, who shrugs. Myra pulls herself up a little straighter
and walks to the table.
Everyone ad-libs "hellos" to Myra and Dr. Mike. Myra sits
down. Mike sits beside her. The reunion is awkward. No one speaks,
until Grace breaks the ice:
Myra, I'm so sorry 'bout Horace.
Now, don't go blamin' her.
Grace shoots Hank a look:
Who said anythin' 'bout blamin' her?
Yeah, it coulda been a lot a things 'sides the divorce papers.
Everyone looks to Loren, he's put his foot in it:
What d'ya mean, the divorce papers?
Mike tries to intervene:
Myra, well, the truth is...
Mike hesitates, not wanting to hurt Myra.
-- Truth is found 'em right next to the empty laudanum bottles.
Shocked, Myra looks to Mike.
I'm sorry, Myra.
Myra's worst fears are realized.
You couldn't have known.
But he seemed alright at Christmas. We agreed to the divorce. I
Mike empathizes, none of them knew.
There's no point in blaming ourselves for what we didn't know or
didn't do. What we need to concentrate on now is making Horace well.
How do we do that, Dr. Mike?
I believe Horace is suffering from a condition called melancholia...
and there are treatments.
What kinda treatments?
Well, first, someone will have to stay with him at all times.
I can do that.
We'll help you.
We sure will.
But, what about the treatments?
Dr. Greisinger, the foremost expert on melancholia, recommends a
program of stimulation.
Yes, to counter-act the effects of the melancholia... Horace won't
have time to think about feeling sad, if we keep him busy with a
regimen of revitalizing activities.
Long walks and rides, hot and cold baths, games and music.
Music can be especially helpful in brightening one's mood.
Don't see how music's gonna fix what's wrong with Horace.
I know it sounds odd, but if you all agree to assist me, I believe
we can help Horace through this difficult time.
Everyone except Jake nods, agreeing to do whatever they can.
'Course, we'll help.
Loren shoots Jake a look, urging him to join in. Jake shrugs.
Mike takes Myra's hand.
And your being here with Horace is going to be the best medicine
Myra nods purposefully at Mike. She's nervous, but willing to do
whatever it takes to make Horace well.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY TWO
The Reverend sits beside Horace, who's sleeping. Myra comes in carrying
a tray of food from Grace's.
It's me, Reverend. I brought Horace somethin' to eat.
Myra sets the tray on the table beside the bed.
I'm sure he'll like that.
The Reverend stands, sensing her nervousness at being alone with
I wanna tell you how sorry I am 'bout your eyesight.
Thank you Myra.
Myra nods, then looks down at Horace. In the long silence, the Reverend
senses Myra's discomfort.
I'll leave you now.
He turns to go, but Myra reaches out, stopping him.
Oh, don't go.
The Reverend squeezes her hand.
You'll be fine, Myra.
Myra watches the Reverend leave. She turns back to Horace, surprised
to see him fully awake and watching her.
Hey there. You're awake.
Myra sits down and uncovers the bowl of soup on the tray, preparing
to feed him.
You hungry? I brought you some bean soup from Grace's.
Myra dips the spoon in the soup and holds it out for him. He doesn't
Dr. Mike says you gotta get your strength back.
He makes no move to take it.
Why'd you come?
Myra sets the soup back on the tray. She sits back, composes herself,
knowing her next words are all important.
'Cause I care about you.
Not the answer he wanted to hear.
You can go back to St. Louis. I'm alright.
Horace, you're not alright. That's why I'm here.
What about your job?
A beat, then:
The only thing that matters to me now is gettin' you well. Dr. Mike
says that if you follow your treatments you're gonna feel better
Um hmm. She says plenty of exercise and fresh air'll be good for
(marshalling her enthusiasm)
It could be fun. You and me and Samantha takin' long walks in the
woods, havin' picnics by the creek, an' maybe we could even go swimmin'.
Samantha loves splashin' in the water.
Myra stops, realizing that Horace hasn't answered.
That is, if ya want to?
He searches her eyes and sees the depth of her commitment.
Myra smiles and picks up the bowl of soup, dips a spoonful and holds
it out for him. Horace looks at her a moment, then nods and begins
INT. ANDREW'S OFFICE - DAY THREE
CLOSE ON HORACE
strapped into the Zander exercise machine, sweating and pedaling
hard. The blood pressure device is attached to his arm.
+PULL BACK TO REVEAL
Mike and Andrew, standing nearby, watching Horace. Mike checks her
Do you really think the exerciser will be able to relieve his symptoms?
I believe it can. Dr. Greisinger cited at least four cases where
patients reported marked improvement in appetite and mood following
Mike checks her watch again, then looks up at Horace.
Excellent, Horace... You may stop now.
He stops pedalling, exhausted. Mike reads the blood pressure gauge.
She looks up pleased.
Your blood pressure is in the normal range for your level of exertion.
You're progressing wonderfully.
Horace looks down, not meeting her gaze.
*What's wrong? Please. You can tell me.
He looks at her, considering a long moment, then:
(a little ashamed)
I don't think it's workin'.
Mike had hoped for more, but covers quickly.
Well, that's alright. We're just beginning the treatments. It's
probably much too early to expect measurable results.
Isn't that correct, Andrew?
Well, yes, it is likely that the melancholia will take time to subside.
She turns to Horace, her optimism shining brightly for him to see.
EXT. SPRINGS CHATEAU - SPRINGS - DAY FOUR
It's early morning. The spa is empty except for Horace, Loren, and
Jake who sit chest-deep in the water. Sweat pours from their long-john
clad bodies - they're boiling like plump lobsters.
Ahh, what a grand mornin' to be outside enjoyin' the gifts of mother
Loren looks to Horace and Jake. Silence.
(wiping his brow)
How much longer we gotta sit in here?
Loren turns to Horace.
You feelin' "stimulated" yet Horace?
I'm feelin' kinda hot.
Hot's good. Definitely a good sign. Might be even better if you
put your whole body in the water?
Horace sinks down, the water now up to his neck. Loren shoots a
look to Jake. He sinks deeper. The men sit in silence, suffering
in the steaming water.
I've had it.
Jake starts to get up, but Loren shakes his head.
Nobody's leaving here, 'til Horace says he's feelin' better.
You feeling better?
Horace considers the question. He has no ready answer. Frustrated
and overheated, Jake erupts:
We're wastin' our time. He ain't no better.
Loren jumps up.
Then, Loren drags Jake out of the spa and away from Horace's earshot.
What's the matter with you? You know he's sick.
He ain't sick. He's crazy.
He's no crazier than you or me.
Speak for yourself.
Jake reacts, startled.
When I had my stroke, I came close to endin' it. And Dr. Mike, well,
let's just say she helped me see there was somebody that cared 'bout
me livin'... And I aim to help Horace, the same way.
Loren looks at Jake, and sees he's not getting through to him.
When a man gives up on livin', it don't matter what he uses, a gun,
... a whiskey bottle.
Loren's words land heavily on Jake. Loren turns and walks back to
Horace looks up as Loren climbs back into the springs.
You're lookin' better already, Horace. What do you think, a few
Loren and Horace look up to see Jake climbing back into the spa.
Loren and Jake trade a look -- both glad to be there for Horace.
INT. HOMESTEAD - DAY FIVE
Mike and Myra remove instruments from a box on the table (tambourine,
cymbal, triangle, and a bell). Myra picks up the tambourine.
I don't know, Dr. Mike. I don't see how singin' a few songs can
Mike stops and faces Myra.
I know it sounds silly, but --
We've tried everythin' and there's no change.
Maybe this is the one thing that'll make a difference.
What if we try it and it don't work? What do we do then?
The alternative is unacceptable. Mike dismisses the thought, too
painful to even consider.
What, Dr. Mike?
Mike doesn't want to say it.
There are doctors who recommend a... sanatorium.
You mean an asylum.
Mike shakes her head, dismissing the thought.
We shouldn't be discussing this now. It's unnecessary and far too
premature for us even to consider. It won't come to that.
He ain't goin' away.
Myra looks at the tambourine in her hand, then back to Mike.
I'll never let that happen.
EXT. HOMESTEAD PORCH - DAY FIVE
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou;
We pan down to the porch and see Mike, Sully (holding Katie), Horace,
Samantha (note: Samantha sits between Myra and Horace), and Myra
sit on the porch steps, instruments in hand, in the middle of singing
a rousing, jaunty rendition of "Skip to My Lou". BRIAN
accompanies them on the harmonica.
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou;
Mike and Myra sing with exceptional vigor, but their faces are tight
and drawn as they watch Horace sing, looking for the slightest sign
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou;
Samantha claps her hands and sings gayly.
Horace stops singing, unable to keep up the pretense any longer.
Mike and Myra trade a concerned look, but continue singing the song.
Skip to my Lou, my darling.
As the song ends, Samantha jumps, clapping her hands. She turns
to Horace with a sunny expectant smile.
Oh, Papa, wasn't that fun?
Horace would give anything to offer his daughter a genuine smile,
but can't pull it off. There's an awkward silence before Horace
I'm sorry, honey. Papa's not much fun today.
He turns away and walks around to the side of the house. Samantha
quickly follows. Myra goes after her.
Mike trades a concerned look with Sully
+AROUND THE CORNER OF THE HOMESTEAD
Horace turns around when he hears Samantha approach.
What's wrong Papa?
Horace doesn't know what to say, how to tell her what's wrong. He
kneels down, struggling to find the words.
Sometimes people just stop havin' fun, no matter how much they want
to, they can't...
Horace looks up, frustrated, and sees Myra quietly watching them.
He turns back to Samantha.
... but your Papa never wants to stop you from havin' fun... So,
you go on, honey, sing your song again.
Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou; Lou, Lou, skip to my Lou; Skip to my Lou,
+CLOSE ON MYRA
her heart breaking as she sadly watches her daughter quietly serenade
EXT. CAFE - DAY SIX
Mike and Horace come into the cafe after a brisk walk. They sit
at a table.
That was excellent, Horace -- we covered almost two miles. Now,
we need to follow up with a robust meal.
Horace nods quietly. Myra comes over to their table. She smiles
bravely, taking a deep breath, then:
I got good news.
What is it?
Myra sits down next to Horace. She takes his hands in hers.
I quit my job... I'm stayin'.
Mike and Horace are taken aback by her news.
Really? You're stayin?
A beat as Myra takes in Horace's hopeful expression.
That's a nice way a puttin' it, Horace -- for good.
Myra glances to Mike, knowing she's not completely convinced.
Myra, this is... wonderful.
(picking up on Mike's hesitation)
Now, I know this may seem sudden, but I... I thought it through
and... it's what I want.
Horace brightens slightly -- these are the words he's been waiting
months to hear.
Does this mean you and me can go home -- together?
Myra looks to Mike -- what does she think? Mike turns to Horace.
Horace, are you ready to leave the clinic?
Would you like to go home... to your family?
Horace looks from Mike to Myra -- a smile on his face for the first
It's all I ever wanted.
Myra looks up at Horace a moment, then glances at Mike, uncomfortable,
as the reality of her renewed commitment sinks in. Mike smiles back
encouragingly. Myra turns back to Horace, and hugs him tightly.
Horace hugs her back even tighter.
Off Mike, grateful to see Horace on the road to recovery.
END OF ACT TWO
EXT. CLINIC - DAY SEVEN
Myra stands smiling as Mike and Horace, carrying a small suitcase,
come out of the clinic.
Hey, you ready?
Mike steps off the porch leading the way, then looks back to Horace.
Horace looks across the street toward the boarding house, a seemingly
insurmountable distance. Then, with determination, they stride off
toward the boarding house.
Horace, isn't it exciting, your first day back?
EXT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY SEVEN
The Reverend and Brian, holding Samantha's hand, wait outside the
Brian looks up as Mike, Myra and Horace approach.
Horace, you've got quite a welcoming party.
You're home, Papa.
Horace sets his suitcase down and looks down at Samantha.
Brian takes in the picture of Myra, Horace and Samantha -- a happy
It's almost like gettin' married all over again.
Yeah, it kinda is.
Then why don't we make it official -- have another weddin' ceremony?
What a wonderful idea, Reverend.
(warming to the idea)
Can we really do that? We're already married.
I don't see why not.
What do you think Horace?
Our weddin' day was the happiest day a my life.
Myra nods and smiles up at Horace.
Then it's settled.
Mike, Brian and the Reverend look on, pleased by the turn of events.
INT. BOARDING HOUSE - NIGHT SEVEN
Myra and Horace, dressed in their night clothes, prepare for bed.
Myra emerges from behind a screen where Samanatha sleeps.
Sleep well, sweetheart.
The room seems too small for them as they try to navigate around
one another. Horace unpacks the last of his things from the clinic.
Myra turns to hang up one of her stylish city dresses in the wardrobe.
She runs into Horace, ready to hang up his jacket.
Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
Horace notices the dress, nothing like the clothes Myra used to
wear, and backs away.
Yeah, they like me to dress nice at the bank.
Myra puts the dress away. Then moves to her side of the bed and
gets in. Horace hangs his jacket in the wardrobe.
Maybe we could take Samantha on a picnic tomorrow?
Horace moves to the bed, seeing Myra there seems odd now, somehow
Sure, that sounds good.
She reaches over and turns his side of the bed down. Horace lowers
the lamp flame, then gets into bed. Side-by-side, once again.
She'd like that.
Oh, yeah, the picnic.
What would you like to have? We could get somethin' special from
I don't know, doesn't matter.
Yeah it does, and I know how much you like her fried chicken.
Whatever we have'll be fine.
Myra reaches for his hand. He pats her hand.
I'm awful tired Myra.
Myra withdraws her hand.
Oh, sure. You get some sleep.
(a beat, then:)
Good night, Horace.
Good night, Myra.
Horace turns away, facing the wall.
+CLOSE ON HORACE
who stares at the wall wide awake.
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY EIGHT
Loren and Jake stand at the counter. Horace completes sending a
message, then looks up.
That'll be two bits.
It's good to have you back, Horace.
Telegraph office ain't the same without you.
Jake reaches into his pocket for change and slides it across the
Can you read that back to me?
Horace looks at his telegraph pad.
To Mr. Bernard at the Denver Post --
(trying not to lose patience.)
No, Horace, Dallas.
Oh, sorry, Jake.
It's alright Horace, can't be easy gettin' used to things your first
Loren shoots Jake an appealing look. Jake relents, softens his tone.
That's Mr. Bernard at the Dallas Post.
(patiently, spelling out)
I got it, Jake, no problem. I'll send it again.
Horace turns away to send the new message. Loren and Jake look on,
pleased that Horace seems better. They turn to leave and pass Mike
as she enters.
Good morning, gentleman.
Horace looks up at the sound of Mike's voice.
Good morning, Horace.
Hey, Dr. Mike.
He stands and retrieves a package from the bin, pushing it across
the counter towards Mike.
Got those medical supplies you ordered.
She glances down at the package and sees that it's addressed to
Oh, Horace, this package is for Dorothy.
Sorry 'bout that.
Horace quickly removes the package and searches for the correct
one. Finding it, he hands it to her.
Mike reaches out and touches his arm.
How are you doing, Horace?
Well, it's my first day back -- and I'm a little rusty, but I've
turned a corner, Dr. Mike. In a couple of days I know I'll be good
Good, I'm glad to see that everything is going well.
Everything's going great.
Mike nods and smiles, then turns and leaves. As soon as Mike is
out the door, Horace sinks into his chair, his smile falls away,
leaving him deeply troubled. Everything is not going great.
EXT. GOLD NUGGET - DAY EIGHT
Hank leans on the porch railing of the Gold Nugget. He sees Myra
on her way to the clinic.
Myra stops and looks in Hank's direction. She can't avoid him and
walks over to the porch.
Hank takes a long, slow look at her -- taking in her new hairstyle
and stylish clothes.
There's somethin' different 'bout you, Myra.
There's been somethin' different 'bout me since I quit workin' for
Myra gives him a skeptical look, not trusting him for a minute.
Now, don't get your back up. You look good... city livin' agrees
Thank you, Hank.
That's why I can't understand you thinkin' of gettin' married to
Myra stiffens defensively.
Hank, you ain't changed.
Maybe not, but you have. An' you're foolin' yourself if you think
you can go back to being just "Mrs. Bing".
I never stopped being Mrs. Bing.
What 'bout them divorce papers?
That's all behind us now, everythin's changed... Horace needs me.
And what about you?
Hank raises an eyebrow, questioning her, but she doesn't back down.
Myra stubbornly holds his look.
I'm gettin' married... tomorrow.
Well, I guess I'll see you at the weddin'... Mrs. Bing.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY NINE
The meadow is chapel quiet. The wedding guests gathered. Loren,
Jake, Hank, Robert E, Grace, Matthew (holding Katie), Brian (holding
Samantha's hand) and Andrew, have been waiting in their places long,
silent minutes. They shift, restless and edgy. Horace is late.
The Reverend stands underneath an arbor of wildflowers. He clears
his throat nervously, almost grateful not to see the faces in front
Myra stands, in her wedding gown, facing the Reverend, with Mike
and Sully at her side. She stares blankly ahead, twisting her bouquet
of pink lilacs back and forth in her hands.
Mike looks to Sully, her face strained with unspoken fear.
He'll be along.
Said he had a few things to take care of at the telegraph office.
I just rode by, he wasn't there.
Mike puts her arm around Myra, offering comfort.
Sully stares down the street.
I'll find him.
Mike turns to Sully, a sick feeling growing in her gut. Sully nods.
Myra looks at Mike, pleading, shaking her head.
Go. I'll watch the children.
Sully, Mike and Myra head toward the boarding house, picking up
the pace as they go.
INT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY NINE
Horace, dressed in his wedding suit, stares at his reflection in
the dresser mirror. His expression is flat and colorless.
The door bangs open as Sully, Mike and Myra rush in -- he's alive.
Horace turns around and Mike sees:
+CLOSE ON THE REVOLVER
held in Horace's hand.
Leave me alone.
Sully steps in front of Mike and Myra.
Put the gun down, Horace.
Horace doesn't move. Myra pushes past Sully, fighting her fear.
Don't do this, Horace...
Horace, I'm beggin' you, don't do this... please...
I'm sorry, Myra, but you and Samantha'll be better off without me.
The gun shakes in Horace's hand, he's barely holding it together.
Sully steps forward, his hand outstretched for the gun.
Gimme the gun, Horace.
Horace stares blankly at him - the moment of truth. He slowly raises
the gun, staring down at it. A beat, then he lowers his arm, defeated.
Sully steps over and takes the gun from his hand.
stands alone, shattered. He slumps to the bed -- all hopes dashed.
Myra moves to the bed, reaching out to comfort him.
I'm sorry Myra, I tried... for you and for Samantha. I said I was
better... I'm not.
Saying the words out loud releases a floodgate of emotion. He looks
away, wounded, tears brimming in his eyes.
I can barely get outta bed in the mornin'. And when I do, it feels
like I'm walkin' knee-deep in mud.
He looks up to Dr. Mike, barely holding it together.
Nothin' feels right, nothin' tastes good... I feel like I'm suffocatin',
it's pressin' in on me so hard. And I can't make it go away.
(a beat, pleading)
What's happenin' to me, Dr. Mike?
(with a heavy heart)
I don't know.
Off Mike's sorrowful look as we:
END OF ACT THREE
EXT. CLINIC - DAY NINE
Mike comes out of the clinic to talk to the gathered crowd. Myra,
Sully, Jake, Loren, Matthew, Andrew, Hank and the Reverend wait
for her to speak.
I've sedated him. He's resting comfortably.
The crowd MURMURS, uneasy.
We'll need to take turns staying with him again.
We already done that and he ain't no better.
Maybe he really is crazy?
That's a terrible word, crazy -- Horace is our friend. He needs
our support now, more than ever.
You're right, Michaela. But for his own safety, a sanatorium could
be the best way for us to support him.
A beat, as Mike takes this in.
He can't afford that.
If it's best for him to go away, we could raise the money.
The crowd murmurs their agreement. Mike, still fighting the thought
of sending Horace away, looks to Myra. She sadly returns Mike's
gaze, seeing no other choice.
What else can we do, Dr. Mike?
Mike has no answer.
EXT. BALCONY - DAY TEN
Horace sits in a chair and stares out over the town. He doesn't
look up when Mike comes out.
Mike pulls a chair up beside him and sits down.
Horace, I apologize.
Horace looks at her.
I wanted to believe I could cure you, when the truth is, I don't
really know what's wrong.
What're you sayin'?
Well, the medical books say this condition could pass suddenly,
gradually, or perhaps never.
Horace reacts, trying to make sense of what she is saying.
Some doctors feel that a complete change... a sanatorium may prove
What do you think, Dr. Mike?
It's painful, as Mike struggles to say the words.
Perhaps a sanatorium might be best.
Horace nods then turns to stare once again out the window. A long
silent beat, then Mike reaches over and holds his hand, as they
both continue to gaze out over the town.
INT. MIKE AND SULLY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT TEN
Mike is brushing her hair. Sully comes into the room, takes the
brush from her, continues brushing her hair for her.
He said -- he'd go to a sanatorium.
Sully nods. He knows there's nothing he can say that will comfort
her at the moment.
Some things just ain't ours to fix, Michaela. No matter how much
we want to.
She nods. He kisses her.
Why don't you get into bed. I'll bring you some tea.
She looks up at him with love and gratitude. They kiss again, and
he gets up and goes out of the room.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT TEN
Brian is sitting at the kitchen table in his night shirt, staring
into space, considering something. Sully is surprised to see him.
Brian is startled out of his reverie.
What are you doin' up?
Sully starts to make tea for Mike as he and Brian talk.
I was thinkin' -- sometimes I get -- sad.
Sully nods, goes on about his chores, waits for Brian to give him
And I was just wonderin'-- what if --
He hesitates to say it out loud. Sully helps him.
What if you got sad? Like Horace?
Brian is relieved not to have to say it. He nods, looks at Sully
with frank curiosity.
Can that happen to anybody?
Sully sits down across from him. He doesn't down-play Brian's fears.
People have all kinds of feelin's. Feelin' sad is all right.
Did you ever feel like that?
I've been real sad. And I've been real angry. I know sometimes I
haven't much appreciated the gift of being alive.
But you never tried to kill yourself.
No. That's just not somethin' I'd ever do. Neither would you or
But, how do you know that?
Brian, there's always a reason to go on livin', some folks just
have more trouble seein' it.
Brian looks to Sully, trying to follow along, but still confused.
Remember, when your ma died -- you were awful sad.
Brian nods solemnly.
Saddest I ever been.
But you didn't give up. You found a reason to keep goin' -- for
Colleen, Matthew and Dr. Mike...
Brian looks to Sully and the pieces start falling solidly into place.
A beat, then:
... And you, Sully --
Sully nods and Brian looks up and hugs him, grateful to Sully for
easing his fears.
EXT. CAFE - DAY ELEVEN
Mike and Andrew are reading the sanatorium pamphlets that are spread
out on the table.
This looks like a possibility, the grounds look quite attractive.
Andrew hands the pamphlet to Mike who examines it.
Yes, it does look lovely, but, I'm afraid it's too expensive. We've
collected some money, but not nearly enough to afford the Twin Oaks
Mike picks up another brochure and reads it.
This one seems more affordable, and it looks quite pleasant, too.
(turning it over)
She looks to Andrew.
It's so far away.
Jake walks up. Mike and Andrew look up, surprised to see him.
Dr. Mike. Andrew.
What can we do for you, Jake?
An uncomfortable beat, then:
Well, I wanted to tell you, we got some money in the town treasury
-- for emergencies. It ain't much, but I thought, maybe it could
Thank you, Jake. I'm sure it will.
Mike smiles, genuinely touched by Jake's offer. Jake nods and turns,
leaving the cafe.
EXT. PORCH - DAY TWELVE
Mike looks up from sweeping the porch to see --
Myra, the Reverend and Samantha, walking toward the clinic.
You stay here with the Reverend, honey, while I go talk to Dr. Mike.
Samantha guides the Reverend to a bench on the porch. Samantha and
the Reverend play contentedly with Sarah. Myra continues over to
The Reverend told me Horace's willin' to see me now. Is he better?
I'm afraid he's the same.
Then, he's still goin' away?
What should I do, Dr. Mike?
I don't know what to tell you, Myra.
But, it's all 'cause of me.
Mike sees Myra's turmoil and feels responsible.
Myra, I have to believe that there's something more to what's troubling
Mike struggles, working it out as she goes along.
... something we can't see or perhaps even understand... People
get divorced, but they don't...
Try an' kill themselves.
Mike nods sadly.
(a beat, considering)
All I know is... I gotta stick by him.
Myra feels relieved, having made her decision. She goes inside the
clinic. Mike looks after her, troubled that Myra may be letting
herself in for heartbreak. She then turns back to watch --
of the Reverend and Samantha, playing.
EXT. CLINIC BALCONY - DAY TWELVE
Horace stands alone, watching the town's clamor and commotion.
Out here Myra.
Myra joins Horace on the balcony.
It's nice out here.
MYRA (said at same time)
HORACE (said at same time)
No. You go.
Myra shakes her head.
No, you go first.
Horace turns to Myra, almost apologizing.
I want you and Samantha to go home to St. Louis.
No, Horace, we're comin' with you.
No. Myra, you done all you can for me.
But, I can get a job. An' me and Samantha'll come to see you on
Horace smiles bravely -- she's still the sweet woman he married.
I been standin' out here for hours. Thinkin' 'bout all the nights
I lay staring at the ceiling, wishin' you'd come home to me... But,
no matter how long I wished for it, havin' you here hasn't made
it any better.
Horace takes the divorce papers from his pocket and hands them to
+CLOSE ON THE DIVORCE PAPERS
The same papers Sully picked up in the teaser.
as Myra recognizes the papers and tears start to well in her eyes.
She silently shakes her head.
Myra looks into his eyes -- this is really what he wants from her.
She slowly takes the papers. A beat, then she turns to go, but stops
She quickly turns around and hugs him hard. He feels brittle in
her arms. She pulls away and looks up at him, but her hand lingers
on his chest a moment.
He holds her look, nodding quietly. She turns away and leaves. A
beat as Horace looks at the closed door, then he turns back to watch
the town below.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWELVE
Mike and Samantha sit together on the cot, playing with her doll.
Samantha stands up on the cot, holding Sarah out for Mike to see.
Look, Sarah's happy.
Mike admires the doll's smiling face.
You're right. She looks very happy.
Can I show her to Papa?
Samantha's simple question brings home the pain of their predicament.
... Yes, I think your papa would like that.
They look up as Myra comes in, tears in her eyes.
He wants us to go.
Mike nods knowingly. She walks over to Myra, holding her arms open.
Myra walks into her embrace.
It's so hard to leave him, knowin' he's still so sad.
Mike nods, hugging her closer. She looks over Myra's shoulder at
Samantha, playing with Sarah, an idea forming.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY TWELVE
Horace sits on the bed as Mike enters the room.
Horace look up, curious.
You have a visitor.
Mike goes out to the hallway and returns with Samantha, holding
her doll, Sarah. Samantha goes to stand in front of Horace.
Mama says we're leavin'.
That's right honey, you're going back to St. Louis where you can
play with all your friends.
Are you comin' with us?
No, sweetheart, I'm not comin'. Papa's got... I just can't.
Samantha can see that he's unhappy. She holds her doll up for him
Sarah says don't be sad Papa.
Samantha looks him right in the eye with a serious, thoughtful expression.
I told Sarah, when you come for my birthday party -- you're gonna
Horace feels awful, he'd forgotten her birthday was so near.
Oh, Samantha, wish I could, but...
Samantha turns away, burying her face in Sarah's hair.
What's wrong, honey?
She looks up at him, tears welling in her eyes.
Now Sarah's sad.
Horace's heart breaks for his daughter's pain. Horace opens his
arms and picks her up for the first time, holding her close to his
Don't cry baby. Papa will be there for your birthday... I promise.
Tears brimming in his eyes, he looks over Samantha's shoulder toward
the doorway, where Mike and Myra are watching. He holds their gaze
-- will he be able to keep his promise?
INT. CLINIC - DAY THIRTEEN
Mike is folding bandages when Horace comes in the door from the
recovery room. He's carrying his suitcase. Mike looks up surprised.
I'm not goin' to that sanatorium.
Mike is pleased to hear his decision but is still nervous about
letting him leave, alone.
You know that you're welcome to stay here as long as you like.
Horace smiles at her concern for him.
Thank you Dr. Mike, but I got somethin' I gotta do.
I'm goin' over to the General Store and order a present for Samantha...
Mike holds his look.
I'll be takin' it to her in St. Louis for her birthday.
Mike understands what he's telling her -- he's going to keep living
Horace turns and walks out the door.
EXT. CLINIC PORCH - DAY TWELVE
Mike follows him out the door and onto the porch.
Horace walks across the street and stops a moment. He stands in
the middle of the street, breathing in the life of the town. Then,
he turns and heads toward the General Store.
watches him a moment, smiling slightly. There's still concern, but
more relief that Horace has taken the first step back to life. Then
she turns and goes back inside the clinic, shutting the door behind
her as we: